My Favorite Kitchen Gadgets

 

The kitchen is truly the heart of the home and my favorite room in the house. It’s were everyone gathers around to eat and share their day.
It all started with my very versatile Kitchenetics Mixer I bought as a young mother. To be able to mix and make my own homemade bread with my fancy mixer was so exciting, and that’s not all it could do. But alas, they don’t make them any more but back then any gadget that made my life easier in the kitchen for a family of five was happily accepted whether it was for my Birthday or Christmas, it was a hit and put a smile on my face. But it doesn’t end there. Kitchen gadgets STILL make me swoon! Anything that matches my kitchen theme colors of red and black in the way of kitchen decor or matching dishes, glasses, tablecloths, or centerpieces, it doesn’t matter, it all makes me very happy!
Although it has served me well over the years, I’ll soon be replacing that old but faithful Kitchenetics Mixer. I’ve got my eye on a new Kitchen Aid Professional 600 6-Qt Mixer. To go along with it I also have my heart set on a fabulous FOOD PROCESSOR also made by KitchenAid. These make chopping, dicing, and pureeing so quick.
So I must confess I LOVE watching the Rachel Ray Show! It’s so entertaining, the food always looks delicious and her guests are fabulous. I always learn something every time I watch.
I have recently bought some of her bakeware and kitchen gadgets. I LOVE the SCRAPER/SHOVEL Mine is red of course, but it makes scooping up all of your freshly chopped veggies a cinch! I used to just use the side of my chef’s knife, but it doesn’t hold very much. The shovel gets the job done quickly and effectively. I love it so much I have even given them away as gifts for new brides. I also love her line of STONEWARE with the convienient handles built right in and the matching lids. I gave four of the small golden yellow dessert sized ones to my daughter forher birthday last year. She loved them! Another can’t do without item is Rachel’s EVOO Oil Dispensing Bottle and matching Vinagar Bottle. These have made it super easy to use my oil and vinagar when cooking without the messiness of lids and glass bottles sitting around on the counter.
Next is my black 8 Cup RICE COOKER by Aroma. I LOVE this cooker! It has a basket inside for steaming vegetables while the rice cooks. My favorite rice is a Gourmet Blend with long grain Wild rice mixed in, called WildBlend by LUNDBURG. This rice comes out perfect every time in the rice cooker and is so healthy too. I add broccoli or asparagus in the top basket and they come out steamed perfectly every time.
For Christmas last year I gave my daughter the most awesome PIE SERVER! This server has a built in pusher that pushes the piece of pie off the server and onto your plate perfectly. It’s genius! (Wish I had thought of it) Along with a fancy pie server I gave her a beautiful sunflower yellow PIE PLATE to match her kitchen,of course.
Now lets talk spatulas and wire whisks. I have had a ton of both over the years , some better quality than others, and made from all types of materials. I have finally settled on SILICONE SPATULA’S PASTRY BRUSHES and SILICONE COVERED WIRE WHISKS. Silicone is fabulous! They make scraping and mixing fun again and are super easy to clean as well. They don’t burn or melt which is a must when making Caramel and of course mine are all red to match my kitchen.
Last but not least, my favorite GEORGE FORMAN GRILL. This is so awesome and versatile I can’t live without it. Although I have an awesome outdoor grill, this little grill is perfect for indoors. I love it so much, I also bought one for my son away at college so he could eat healthy in just a few minutes. He loves it too!
Well I hope you enjoyed hearing about some of my favorite Kitchen Gadgets and maybe peaked your interest in trying a new kitchen gadget or two yourself. I’m sure I’ll come up with more in the future as more new fangled stuff comes on the market. Meanwhile, HAPPY COOKING!
Be Happy – Be Healthy!
-Annette

Soft Drinks are destroying your health

Soft Drinks Are Destroying your Health

  • The average American Consumes  2 CUPS  or more of SUGAR a Day!!

FACT: The difference between a normal persons blood sugar and a diabetics blood sugar is…1/4 of a TEASPOON!

If we are consuming over 2 cups of sugar a day… is it any wonder that DIABETES is rising at an alarming rate?
Whether sweetened with sugar or artificial sweeteners, sodas are playing havoc with your health. The sugars and chemicals in both regular and sugar-free colas combine to create a witch’s brew of health dangers that create problems in your body from head to toe.

  1. Obesity
    A British study found that when a child’s fat cells mature, if fructose is present, more of the cells mature into fat cells in belly fat.  And researchers at Princeton University found that rats who were fed high-fructose corn syrup gained 47 percent more weight than rats who were fed an equal number of calories, but without corn syrup.  Diet drinkers aren’t safe from weight gain, either.  A study at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, found that people who drink soft drinks don’t lose weight; they gain. And the risk of obesity was even higher among those who drank only diet sodas.
  2. Cancer
    When sodium benzoate, used for mold prevention I many soft drinks, is mixed with vitamin C, it creates a carcinogenic substance called benzene.  Researchers at India’s Tata Memorial Hospital found a “very significant correlation between soft drinks and an increased risk of esophageal cancer, and other studies have liked soft drinks to the risk of deadly pancreatic cancer.
  3. Bone Fractures
    Phosphoric acid, which gives drinks their “bite’” leaches calcium from the bones.  Diet sodas are just as much to blame as those sweetened with sugar.  A study done at Walter Reed Medical Center found that diet sodas leeched both calcium ad phosphorous from the bones of healthy women, putting them at risk for osteoporosis.
  4. Yellow teeth
    Phosphoric acid, in addition to leaching calcium from bones, causes tooth enamel to erode, leaving yellow teeth.  Normally saliva is slightly alkaline, but the phosphoric acid lowers the pH of saliva and causes tooth enamel to corrode.  The result: yellow and rotting teeth.
  5. Cholesterol
    A study published in Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association, found that people who drank one or more soft drinks each day were 25 percent more likely to develop high blood triglycerides (a type of fat), and 32 percent more likely to have low levels of “good” cholesterol.
  6. DNA damage
    Sodium benzoate has the ability to switch off vital parts of a person’s DNA, according to research from a British University.  The results could eventually cause cirrhosis of the liver and other degenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s.
  7. Diabetes
    Research at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Woman’s Hospital in Boston suggests that women who drank one sugary drink each day double their risk of developing adult-onset diabetes when compared with women who drank fewer than one a month.  And information from the Framingham Heart Study found that drinking one or more sodas a day, whether regular or diet increases the risk of metabolic syndrome, a group of risk factors which increase the odds of both diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
  8. GERD
    Studies have shown that people who drink sodas suffer more from gastro esophageal reflux disease than those people who didn’t drink sodas.  Sodas boost acid levels and often require medication.  Soda also causes other gastrointestinal problems: Chronic high-acid levels can inflame the linings of the stomach and duodenum.
  9. Brain Damage
    More than 92 side effects are associated with aspartame, a sugar substance used in diet sodas.  They include brain tumors, emotional disorders, and epileptic seizures.  But the brains of those who drink sugared drinks aren’t safe either: a study at Georgia State University found that a diet high in fructose impaired the memory of rats.
  10. High Blood Pressure
    Researchers at the University of Colorado found that a diet high in high-fructose corn syrup increased the risk of developing high blood pressure by 87 percent.  And a recent study of volunteers who consumed 74 grams of fructose daily, the equivalent amount found in four soft drinks, showed that a third of them had borderline high blood pressure, and 8 percent had hypertension, even though none had experienced blood pressure problems.
  11. Kidney Stones
    Numerous studies have shown that drinking colas enhances the formation of kidney stones.  One study the Journal  of Epidemiology found that drinking two or more colas drinks each day, whether regular or diet, increased the risk of developing chronic kidney disease.
  12. Fertility Issues
    A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that men who drank more than a quart of cola daily had a sperm count 30 percent lower than those who didn’t drink soda at all, putting them at risk of becoming infertile. And research funded by the European Union found that one cola a day containing artificial sweeteners increased an expectant mom’s risk of miscarriage by 38 percent: Four or more cans a day increased the risk by as much as 78 percent.
  13. Gout
    Researchers from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and Harvard Medical School in Boston found that men who consumed the highest levels of fructose—found in large amounts in sugar-sweetened colas—more than doubles their chances of getting gout.

FACT:  A popular Cola, at pH 2.5 is almost 50,000 times more acidic than neutral water, and needs 32 glasses of neutral (pH7) water to counteract the consumption of one glass of Cola!

Why would you set yourself up for these health problems?  You only get one body and you must take care of it and it will take care of you.

Be Happy – Be Healthy!

HARDBODY FITNESS HOLISTIC HEALTH INSTITUTE

The Right Stuff

THE RIGHT STUFF

I’m a GADGET GEEK!
As a Certified Master Trainer, Nutritionist and  self-proclaimed gymrat for the last decade and more, I’ve seen a lot of fun, useful, creative gym equipment and accessories come and go over the years. Now, I wouldn’t really call myself a gadget person, but if it has ANYTHING to do with the gym, or the kitchen, then yes, I’m a total GADGET GEEK! As a new trainer, I learned really quickly that to get the job done right it’s best to have the right tools and I soon fell in love with all kinds of gym gadgets that made my workouts really fun for myself and my clients. So call me crazy, but I LOVE GYM EQUIPMENT and GYM ACCESSORIES!
Today I wanted to share some of my newest “MUST HAVE”assessories I’ve added to my gym bag. Now like most things in this life, if your going to be highly successful you need to get organized and have a plan. THE RIGHT STUFF makes all the difference between a great workout or a lousy one. This includes your clothes, shoes, music, and some necessary accessories. Let’s start with music.
Get your Groove On
When I first started attending the gym way back in 2000, having your own workout music was the new big thing!  I was sporting a brand new state-of-the-art non-skip CD Player with it’s vey own neoprene pocket strapped around my waist. I thought I was boss. I was thrilled to have the ability to listen to music and entertain myself while doing 30-45 minute cardio sessions after my personal training session.
I didn’t really mind that despite the non-skip claim, it would randomly skip, pause, or startover while I was jogging on the treadmill,throwing off my gait every few minutes. Or the fact that I had to burn my own music CD’s. I was still thrilled with my new gym toy.
Then along came the new I pod stick which now plugged into its very own USB port strapped to my arm. What a nice upgrade! and I was again a happy camper at the gym living in my music during my workouts. But it had it’s issues too. My armband would get sweaty (and stinky)and slide down my arm and the ear phones would get in the way of my workout, but hey, it was better than a CD Player strapped around my waist, right? Then along came the IPOD Mini. I was again thrilled and had to have one! It was so small I could clip it to my shirt where it was convience but out of the way. I could also skip forward and backward in my playlists… and working out was fun again!
Motivation
Music is the most motivating thing you can have at the gym.  The pace and beat of the music can get you motivated or drag you down. But access to it needs to be convient and shouldn’t be cumbersome with cords all over the place. A few years ago I finally discovered Spotify HAL-LE-LU-JAH! This changed everything.  Now all I needed was my phone and some earplugs! If you haven’t heard about Spotify by now hears the scoop. For $10 a month you get unlimited access to millions of songs and make endless playlists for all your favorite types of workouts. I have custom playlists for the treadmill both walking and running, for lifting, for Ab workouts and leg day. All with different paced music for motivation and entertainment depending on what I’m working on that day. My music plays such an important motivating part of my workout I can’t workout without it. In the past I’ve been known to turn around and go home if I forgot my earphones or had a dead battery.

About six months ago, I discovered the next big thing. The Tone Infinim  Boy, do I love my silver Infinim. This thing is awesome! It uses Bluetooth technology and retractable earbuds so I can connect to my phone and spotify wirelessly. Also with the use of the Tone and Talk App I can hear my texts read to me when they come in. It also doubles as a Bluetooth for my phone calls and i can carry on conversation with the earbuds in. Three great ways to use it all wrapped up in a lightweight arch around my neck and out of the way.

My Secret Weapon
Over the years I have found many things that help with successful weightloss. Among them is my best kept SECRET WEAPON that I’m finally going to share here. Years ago I discovered how effective wearing neoprene pants were to target my midsection and thigh areas as I prepared for bodybuilding competitions. all that time spent doing cardio my neoprene pants were my best friend. Make sure you have at least two pair.  One to wear and one for the wash. They work using thermal heating. Which means they raise your core body temperature and help target fat burning in any area thats covered by the neoprene. My favorites are the High waisted Shorts.  I like these because they come all the way up top the bottom of your bra top. I like the Capri’s for wintertime beacuse they cover more of my legs and you can run outside in the cold and still be warm and plenty sweaty. There’s also a Long Sleeve Sauna Shirt by Kutting Weight that looks very promising. I also like the Tankini if you just want to target jjust your waist and back area. Guys don’t worry, they make them for you too. Check them out.
Mens Neoprene Shorts and Shirts. 

Timing
Having a great watch makes a huge difference.  My favorite is the Women’s Sport Ironman.I can’t count how many of these I have had over the years. It’s durable and very reliable.  It’s water resistant and never leaves my arm. I even shower with it. It has tons of features including a timer, an alarm, an indigo light and chronograph for swim laps. It’s also sized to fit woman’s smaller wrists.

No Bouncing
When choosing a bra top, it’s very important to get one that’s comfortable but also controls the girls and the bounce. My favorite is the Protegee by Under Armour. This bra is really comfortable witha full zipper front so it’s easy to get in and out of.

Cool and Comfortable
Then you need a comfortable tank over the top. My favorite is a simple cotton burnout Racerback Tanktop. I dont like getting overheated when I workout and the burnout material is light, airy and barely there. The racerback matches up with the raceback of your bra top and allows freedom of movement for your lats and shoulders.

Run Like the Wind
Snacks
Hydrate
Protein and Snacks
I have been a fan of Blender Bottle for about fifteen years now.  I LOVE their products. I still love their older style protein shaker for mixing my breakfast shakes in the morning Blender Bottle Protein Shaker  but they recently came out with a new model Blender Bottle Sports Mixer 20. 0z. which is pretty slick too.   I like to have at least three shaker bottles on hand.  One for home, the car and the gym. I fell in love with their newest product the moment I saw it, thesuper fun and useful GO STACK. This is perfect for my gym bag. It can hold supplements, powders, snacks, nuts, raisins or anything you want.  I love that the layers stack and twist together and you can mix and match the sizes too. You can make it as tall or short as you need.

Be Happy – Be Healthy!

HARDBODY FITNESS HOLISTIC HEALTH INSITUTE

Kissed By the Sun - How to Tan the right way

How to tan the right way. The sun is our friend…

One of my favorite tanning products is TANAMINS.  The 2000mg of Tyrosine in this product is what helps your body produce more of your own melanin. With more melanin you will be able to get a deeper darker tan.

 

Be Happy – Be Healthy!

HARDBODY FITNESS HOLISTIC HEALTH INSTITUTE

What's In Your Gym Bag?

What’s In Your Gym Bag?

Those Lying Scales!