• General Articles

    What’s Cooking for Your Next Vacation?

    Themed vacations are growing in popularity, but if dude ranches, ski packages and safaris aren’t your style, maybe you would enjoy a vacation for food lovers. Whether you take your cooking seriously or just like to eat, these vacations or tours may be just the ticket.

    Guided Culinary Vacations

    These culinary vacations are generally purchased as a package that can be semi-customized, have a guide and may take you to destinations you have only dreamed of visiting. They may be centered on giving you the experience of tasting the local cuisine and participating in the cooking experience yourself. Among these are popular Tuscany cooking vacations.

    Experience Local Fare

    A Tuscan vacation, of course, would take you to Italy. You may visit major cities such as Rome, small, picturesque towns such as Pienza, winemaking villages such as Montepulciano, or even tiny hillside villages such as Cortona. You might enjoy local pasta dishes including linguini with clam sauce, bucatini or carbonara along the way. Scenic and unforgettable places you only imagined you could visit may unfold right before you, drawing you in with their sights, smells and tastes.

    A Culinary Vacation is More Than Just Cooking

    Your vacation may include visiting unforgettable Italian cities and landmarks, perusing the many artists, vendors, shops and boutiques. You may taste the fare at a number of wineries, restaurants and outdoor cafes. You might also have the opportunity to visit a number of local artisans to learn how cheeses or loaves of bread and other staples of Tuscan cuisine are made.

    Hone Your Cooking Skills

    Of course, the main reason for these vacations is to get some hands-on experience in local kitchens (cucinas) where, you may learn to make your own hand-made pasta, ragu, risotto or gnocchi. You might learn the art of cooking rustic sauces or the techniques used in preparing fish and seafood Mediterranean style.

    Whatever your interest in cooking, you are likely to walk away with life-long memories and an appreciation for the satisfying flavors of Italian cuisine.

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  • General Articles

    Natural Solutions from the Sea: Green Shell Mussels

    When looking for alternatives to prescribed medication, many people turn to natural supplements derived from nature to help improve their health. From fish oil to shark cartilage, the sea can provide many natural alternatives to medication. Green shell mussels, also known as green-lipped mussels, are a shellfish found in the waters of New Zealand, and they have recently been studied for their health properties. While the health community is still learning all the positive aspects of greenshell mussel powder, researchers have already identified conditions that can be improved with the addition of a green mussel supplement.

    Inflammation Reduction

    Green shell mussel powder or extract contains an Omega-3 fatty acid similar to that found in fish oil. This fatty acid blocks the compounds within the body that lead to inflammation and can be helpful in the treatment of chronic conditions like arthritis and asthma.

    Joint Protection

    Another important compound of green shell muscle extract is mucopolysaccharides. These proteins build up cartilage and increase joint fluid to protect against normal wear and tear activity of daily life. This can aid in slowing down the signs of arthritis with age.

    Stomach Protection

    Lipids, also known as fats, in the green mussel extract help protect the sensitive lining of the stomach. For people who are undergoing chemotherapy, this can reduce the nausea side effects that can occur with treatment. If a person has to take a daily non-steroidal medication like aspirin, green shell mussel extract can buffer the erosive effects of the drugs on the stomach lining.

    Antioxidant Source

    In nature, antioxidants in our food are known to boost the immune system. Green shell mussel extract also contains antioxidants that that decrease damaging compounds called free radicals inside the body. By decreasing free radicals in our systems, we can decrease overall cell damage.

    By turning to nature, manufacturers can provide more organic and holistic choices for those invested in alternative approaches.…

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  • General Articles

    Gourmet Gift Baskets Really Hit the Spot

    You may have that certain person in your life that is difficult to shop for, but that you want to give something special. Or you may be invited to a dinner party and want to take a hostess gift. What do you give when you can’t think of anything that sounds right? You might consider gourmet gift baskets to suit their taste.

    Choose Unusual Ingredients

    The fun of receiving a gourmet food basket is finding things inside that you may not always have around but would enjoy trying. Such ingredients as smoked salmon, specialized mustards and exotic teas star in these baskets. Quality Camembert, Brie and wine–flavored cheese spreads, or caviar, Greek olives and smoked almonds may hit the spot. Imported candies and cocoa can bring a smile to anyone’s face.

    Match the Container to the Recipient

    Gourmet baskets may be arranged in refined stitched leather boxes, rustic wooden crates, or even velvet-trimmed containers. You might also find them in lovely woven baskets and elegant scroll-topped metal tins. You can really order them in as fancy or casual a container as suits the occasion. A galvanized tin pail filled with smoked meats and cheeses is someone who likes entertaining outdoors in the summer.

    For Special Occasions or Everyday

    Finding a unique gift for a special birthday is easy when you choose a basket full of gourmet treats, but sending one to someone for no other reason than to show them you care can be a memorable experience for them. For a wedding gift, choose a silver container with a classic sheer charcoal and silver harlequin design. If it is a housewarming, you might select a rustic wooden box tied in a big red bow to resemble a ribbon cutting. The sky is the limit.

    So the next time you feel stuck and uninspired, consider a gift basket full of gourmet goodies. It’s sure to be a hit!…

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  • Food

    Tips on Eating Delicious and Healthy Food while Dining Out

    People love to eat in restaurants. According to the NRA or the National Restaurant Association, Americans spends 24% of their meals away from home, either eating out at fancy restaurants or fast food chains. Restaurant food is meant to smell, taste and look good.4

    It means that there is a small room for nutrition since most menus features dishes that are drenched in rich sauces or butter, salads with creamy dressings and whole grains vegetables and fruits. You need to try some of these strategies to enjoy restaurant meals while still sticking to healthy eating plans. If you want to know more about eating healthy food while you are dieting, you can check out restaurants like Chipotle, Souplantation or The Cheesecake Factory

     Investigate what you are eating

    These days, healthy foods are almost everywhere. Even junk foods marketed as a healthier alternative is not new. The trick is to know what you are eating before you enter the restaurant’s premises and get enticed by their menu. A lot of the restaurant’s menu is available online and that means the nutritional value is also available for people to check. You will be able to choose what restaurant to go to and your healthiest options. It also means that you can go into restaurants ready to order their best meals and ask for any substitution when necessary.

    Before going into any restaurant, make a plan

    If you are a heavy eater, before heading out you can eat lightly. If you know ahead of time that you are going out for dinner, have lighter meals before heading out. You need to commit to eating light and slow. It takes 10 to 20 minutes for the impulse from your stomach to reach your brain and tell them that you are no longer hungry. People, who eat fast, sometimes overeat; while people who eat slowly tend to eat much less and still satisfy their hunger.

    Make sure that you do physical activities before or after your meal

    All you need is a good and comfortable pair of trainers. You have to pick a restaurant that is near your place enough for a 10 to 15-minute walk. You will get your hearty meal as well as your 30-minute exercise. Not only that, you will save money on parking space and avoid parking hassles. You can also do a brisk walk with your friends after the meal to give you time to chat while giving your body time to digest the food you just ate.

    Do not split your plate

    You have probably read about asking for a half portion or sharing a meal with someone. But looking at how restaurants put a lot in every portion of their meal, half a portion may still be too much. You need to practice visualizing the food you are ordering and compare it with what you are eating at home.

    You need to be more deliberate when you are ordering your meal

    You need to balance what you are eating. Include a healthier selection of different food groups like low-fat dairy, vegetables, fruits, whole grain and lean protein foods. Look for freshly made salads for an entrée. If you are eating too many fatty foods, it will balance everything.

    For example, if the entree is a salad with grilled or baked chicken, seafood or …

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