How to get your tomato naked

How to skin a tomato!

  • To blanch tomatoes, start by boiling some water
  • Once boiling, turn off the stove, taking the pot off the heat, and put the tomatoes in
  • After 10 minutes, or once the tomato skins start to split open, put them into some cool water. I used room temperature water (no such thing as cold water out of the tap here in the Arizona summer season!)
  • If the skin hasn’t already split, you can easily pierce it with a knife
  • Be careful when skinning your tomatoes, the little bit of liquid between the skin and the flesh is still pretty hot! When piercing the skin, roll the tomato around a few times in the water to cool off the newly exposed tomato flesh

And that’s how to get a naked tomato, skinned and ready for sauce or soup.

So unexpected (plus a recipe)

Me? Write a cookbook?

Well, after deciding a meal my husband made was too pretty to eat and took out my new studio lights to take pictures – I was hooked. I have awakened a new passion the past few days to design recipes and artistically and visually capture the love I have for food, cooking, and a SOUL (seasonal, organic, unprocessed and local) lifestyle.

Want to take this journey with me?

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Think fast – and lose weight?

There’s a new buzz word that I’ve been seeing popping up on the internet in the diet world lately: Intermittent fasting.

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USDA unveils new online weight planning tool

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) have partnered to add the NIH Body Weight Planner to USDA’s SuperTracker online tool as a goal-setting resource to help people achieve and stay at a healthy weight. Created in 2011, the SuperTracker tool empowers people to build a healthier diet, manage weight, and rUSDAeduce risk of chronic disease. Users can determine what and how much to eat; track foods, physical activities, and weight; and personalize with goal setting, virtual coaching, and journaling. With science-based technology drawing on years of research, the Body Weight Planner will enable SuperTracker’s more than 5.5 million registered users to tailor their plans to reach a goal weight during a specific timeframe, and maintain that weight afterward.

The math model behind the Body Weight Planner, an online tool published by NIH in 2011, was created to accurately forecast how body weight changes when people alter their diet and exercise habits. This capability was validated using data from multiple controlled studies in people.

“We originally intended the Body Weight Planner as a research tool, but so many people wanted to use it for their own weight management that we knew we needed to adapt it with more information about how to achieve a healthy lifestyle,” said Kevin Hall, Ph.D., who led creation of the Planner and is a senior investigator at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the NIH. “The Planner is a natural fit within the SuperTracker as it lets people accurately determine how many calories and how much exercise is needed to meet their personal weight-management goals.”

The Planner’s calculations reflect the discovery that the widely accepted paradigm that reducing 3,500 calories will shed one pound of weight does not account for slowing of metabolism as people change their diet and physical activities. More recently, the math model was further validated using data from a two-year calorie restriction study of 140 people. With those data, Hall and colleagues showed the model can also provide accurate measurements of calorie intake changes by tracking people’s weight. Researchers are examining how to apply this method for public use.

“We are pleased to offer a variety of interactive tools to support Americans in making healthy lifestyle changes,” said Angie Tagtow, executive director of USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, which created and manages SuperTracker. “The NIH Body Weight Planner helps consumers make a plan to reach their goals on their timeline, and SuperTracker helps them achieve it.”

More than two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese. Maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent complications related to overweight and obesity such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death.

“NIH’s collaboration with USDA allows the public to quickly reap the benefits of the latest medical research results,” said NIDDK Director Griffin P. Rodgers, M.D. “Sharing resources and expertise lets us get out important information as efficiently as possible, empowering people to take charge of their weight and their health.”

The NIDDK, a component of the NIH, conducts and supports research on diabetes and other endocrine and metabolic diseases; digestive diseases, nutrition and obesity; and kidney, urologic and hematologic diseases. Spanning the full spectrum of medicine and afflicting people of all ages and ethnic groups, these diseases encompass some of the most common, severe and disabling conditions affecting Americans. For more information about the NIDDK and its programs, see http://www.niddk.nih.gov.

5 tips to help you keep your diet resolution

New_Year_resolutionLike so many women around New Year’s, you’ve probably sworn to yourself to “eat healthier,” “lose weight,” and “take better care of yourself” over the next 12 months. Many of you have probably turned to popular diets circulating the internet to accomplish that, whether it’s the raw diet, Paleo, Mediterranean, vegan, vegetarian, or – well, the list goes on. While there are many great ideas in a lot of those diets, there is always a challenge when starting something new. Here are some tips in making your 2015 health goals a reality using your chosen diet style:

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Mercury Rising! Keep your cool during dog days of summer

high-temperature-98824_640Summertime in the desert can be brutal if you aren’t prepared for it. The hot sun and relentless heat can sneak up on you, and cause harmful effects – even fatal ones.

According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, though, the population most at-risk for emergency room visits and fatalities are the elderly population. Between 2000-2012, one out of every two Arizona residents who either died or showed up in emergency rooms for heat illnesses were older than 54 years.

But children are also very vulnerable to heat illness, especially when car travel is involved. According to the Safe Kids Worldwide Organization, heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle-related deaths for children under the age of four. On average, every 10 days a child dies from heatstroke in a vehicle, or about 40 children a year.

Here are some good rules of thumb to follow to keep you and your family safe from the sun this season.

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Nickel and dime your way to health: ChooseMyPlate launches new grocery budgeting resource

In an economy which is struggling to balance itself, we all would like to get more bang for our buck – especially when we’re at the grocery store. And on the surface, eating and buying healthy can appear much more expensive.

on a budgetWell, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (ChooseMyPlate.gov) this week announced a new tool in its resource chest to help people make their nutrition nickles count. Piggybacking on its Ten Tips to save at the grocery store, ChooseMyPlate has created “Healthy Eating on a Budget.”

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