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Archive for July, 2011

Roasted Beets with Balsamic Vinegar


Hands-on time: 5 minutes Time to table: 65 minutes or 95 minutes
Serves 4

1 pound fresh red beets
Olive oil, optional (I don’t find it necessary, see NUTRITION ESTIMATE for calorie impact)

Balsamic vinegar Slice off the greens but leave about a half inch of the stem end intact (this preserves the nutrients). Wash well. Place each beet on a sheet of foil or all the beets in a single layer in a casserole dish. If you’re watching calories, MEASURE the olive oil (it’s easy to use more than you want!) and drizzle onto the beets. Splash with balsamic vinegar.

Roast at 400F for 1 hour OR at 375F for 90 minutes. Let cool, slip off skins. Slice or chop and serve immediately or refrigerate for later use.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE (How many calories in beets? How many Weight Watchers points in beets?) Beets with no oil, per Serving: 49 Cal (3% from Fat, 14% from Protein, 83% from Carb); 2 g Protein; 0 g Tot Fat; 0 g Sat Fat; 11 g Carb; 3 g Fiber; 18 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 88 mg Sodium; 0 mg Cholesterol

With 1 tablespoon olive oil, per serving: 79 Cal (38% from Fat, 9% from Protein, 53% from Carb); 2 g Protein; 4 g Tot Fat; 0 g Sat Fat; 11 g Carb; 3 g Fiber; 18 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 89 mg Sodium; 0 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 1 point

With 2 tablespoons olive oil, per serving: 109 Cal (55% from Fat, 6% from Protein, 39% from Carb); 2 g Protein; 7 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 11 g Carb; 3 g Fiber; 18 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 89 mg Sodium; 0 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 2 points

With 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) olive oil: 169 Cal (71% from Fat, 4% from Protein, 25% from Carb); 2 g Protein; 14 g Tot Fat; 2 g Sat Fat; 11 g Carb; 3 g Fiber; 19 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 89 mg Sodium; 0 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 4 points

Too Close for Comfort

If you call for an ambulance in Darien, CT, one of your teenager’s friends could be the EMT knocking on your door.  Darien EMS-Post 53 is staffed and run by teens from the town.  When one of them, Emily Close, noticed cars tailgating ambulances in emergency mode to take advantages of the openings in traffic on busy roads like I-95, she decided to do something about it.  She called her local State Rep. Terrie Wood who helped pen a new law that took effect July 1 banning cars from being within a 250 foot radius of a moving ambulance.  Emily’s concern wasn’t just the car’s proximity but also the risk that oxygen tanks on board could create in an actual accident.  Wood calls her work with the area teen, “one of her proudest accomplishments.”

A gang we like!

What a debacle this debt ceiling discussion is.  And what a relief the Gang of 6 is.  A bi-partisan group, made up of 3 Republicans and 3 Democrats, including a “true blue” like Dick Durbin, has come up with a workable solution.  We like their plan to lower the personal and corporate income tax rate from 35% to 23% to stimulate growth, cap the growth of our debt (currently at 14 trillion – 3 trillion of which was added by Obama) and cut programs that we can’t afford.  In August, the US Government will spend 100 billion more dollars than it takes in.  ‘Nuf said.

If you would like to read more, check out this article on how Americans are getting fed up with the entire thing that ran in US Today today.

TLK-2-UR Teen

Something to tell your teen?  Well, you’re more likely texting than talking these days. And, it’s going to take a lot more than a 🙂 or a 🙁 to get their attention or earn their respect. I picked up a book of texting acronyms for my daughter the other day.  It is 50 pages long. Moms, that means we’ve got some catching up to do. 

There’s no doubt that your kids already know shorthand for “Mom over Shoulder – MOS.” But maybe you need to know the texting code for Marijuana – 420.  Crafty, no?  Parent is watching me? 9. Parent no longer watching? 99.  What about “KPC – Keeping parents clueless!” In that case, a digital override from Mom might say, “PMFJI  – Pardon me for jumping in” or to short-circuit the sex talk they didn’t listen to, “ KYP or Keep your pants on!”

“DWI” and “BYOB” are two us older folks invented … and should still fear along with the newer “DIC – Drunk in charge and DOC – Drug of choice.” And just in case your teen gets busted, check the very next text.  It could be “CMBP or Cover my butt partner!”

 “EWI or Emailing while impaired” could lead to “FMTYEWTK – Far more than you ever wanted to know.” As usual, parents are left shaking their heads at teen insistence on being different in ways that are not necessarily improvements.  Isn’t “TMI” a more efficient way to say “more info than I needed” than “MITIN?” 

 I really like “ESO – Equipment Smarter than Operator” and “OMIK – Open mouth, insert keyboard.” 

How to decode what your teen thinks of a love interest that they DO NOT talk to you about?  No doubt an “IIIO – Intel inside, idiot outside” is a lot better than “A completely obsessive, really nutty person or ACORN.”  A “BHAG” is a big, hairy, audacious goal.  If anyone knows what that means, please tell me.   A “SLIRK” is a smart, little rich kid. “D8” is cute and means she wants to go out with him.  @>> is the symbol for red rose which is a polite way for a guy to say “hot” digitally. ASLMH or Age, sex, location, music or hobbies means they need to know more.

BTWITIAILW/U has got to be easier to spell out, don’t you think?  It’s “By the way, I think I am in love with you.”  And by the way, who would text that?

Let me know if I am missing anything.  In the meantime I am sealing this with a big kiss or “:-X”  and signing off as your favorite “SITCOM” or single income with two children and an oppressive mortgage.” P.S. – I would rather be “SIP – Skiing in Powder.”

A loving way to weight loss

Is weight loss rooted in exercise, what you eat or what you think?  An interesting article that we found on Aphrodite Women’s seems to suggest that you how you feel about yourself will affect how and if you lose weight.  Improving body image can enhance the effectiveness of weight loss programs based on diet and exercise, say dieticians in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.  The findings are based on a study of overweight and obese women on a year-long weight loss program. Half the women were given general health information about good nutrition, stress management, and the importance of looking after oneself. The other half attended 30 weekly group sessions (the intervention plan) where issues such as exercise, emotional eating and improving body image were discussed.

On the behavioral intervention plan, women found that the way they thought about their body improved and that concerns about body shape were reduced. Compared to the control group they were better able to self-regulate their eating and they lost much more weight, losing on average 7 percent of their starting weight compared to less than 2 percent for the control group.

“Body image problems are very common amongst overweight and obese people… Our results showed a strong correlation between improvements in body image, especially in reducing anxiety about other peoples’ opinions, and positive changes in eating behavior. From this we believe that learning to relate to your body in healthier ways is an important aspect of maintaining weight loss,” concluded research leader Dr Pedro Teixeira, from the Technical University of Lisbon.