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How to Snack Right

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Snacking, we love and hate to do it. We love the salty chips, the sweet candy, but we hate the feeling we get after finishing a whole bag of the things. What if you could snack without the guilt?

Now, it’s not completely possible, because too much of anything really is not a good idea. But you can start moving in the right direction when it comes to what you’re eating and what you’re buying at the store to keep on hand.

The problem many of us have is temptation and the ability to resist. We all know that going to the store hungry is not the best idea. But what if you’re getting a craving for chips and decide to just get a bag to last the month? You know what will happen during that next movie night, the chips will be gone!

There are a few solutions to this, which we’ll discuss below.

Limiting Your Quantity of Bad Snacks

Bad snacks are all the ones we love to eat: chips, Oreos, cookies, candy, donuts, gummies, Pop Tarts, etc. You know the ones I’m talking about. The problem isn’t that you’re eating them, it’s that you’re eating too much. If you eat out of the whole bag of chips, it’s impossible to know exactly how much you’ve eaten. There was a study about giving people at a movie theater a big container of popcorn and giving others a smaller container. Who do you think ate the most popcorn? Those with the big container. These people even ate more stale (14 day old) popcorn when it was given in a big container!

We can use the results from that study to help us limit our bad snacking, but still get to indulge every once in a while. Instead of eating from the bag, put the chips or cookies on a plate and only eat that amount, no more. Once you can see what you’re eating, you’ll slow down so you can savor the flavor.

Eating More of the Right Stuff

If you need to snack in order to quell your appetite, you need to be eating the right stuff. This means vegetables, fruits, nuts, granola, yogurt. This is all stuff we don’t think of as fun snacking. But if you want to snack smart, especially at work or on the go, start making your on snack packs. This will prevent you from allowing yourself to get chips or a candy bar from the vending machine because you’re hungry. Now there’s no excuse because you have your own snacks with you.

We don’t eat enough healthy snacks because the flavors don’t excite our brain as much as unhealthy snacks do. Bring a variety of snacks with you when you’re on the go and keep them in your pantry. Having a variety means you won’t get tired of eating the same celery sticks over and over.

Here are some ideas:

  • Celery and nut butter
  • String cheese
  • Beef jerky
  • Protein bars
  • Strawberries
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Pistachios
  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • Hard boiled egg
  • Bean or kale chips
  • Dark chocolate
  • Mixed nuts

Snacking doesn’t have to be hard. You just need to make the conscious effort that you’re going to stick with the healthy stuff and that you can indulge every once in a while with portion-controlled amounts.


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Pet Friendly Naples

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Love for a pet is unlike any other. They would do anything for you and vice versa. You want to spend as much time with them as possible, but where is there to go?

We put together this list of pet friendly spots in Naples that accept you and your four legged friend. These include the beach, restaurants, and stores. Where will you take your pet first?

Dog Parks

The first spot you’d think to take your pooch is to a local dog park. Luckily Naples is home to a few.

Central Bark aka City of Naples Dog Park

This cleverly named dog park is located at Riverside Circle near the intersection of Goodlette-Frank Road and Central Avenue. It’s complete with 2.5 acres of room to roam as well as water fountains, dog wash stations and areas separated for big and small dogs.

Rover Run

Located in Veterans Community Park in North Naples, this dog park is one of the most popular. The park is open from 7:30am to dusk, and has an area for small dogs and one for bigger breeds.

The Beach

Keewaydin Island

Despite the large number of beaches in Naples, not many allow you to bring your dog. Keeywadin Island lets you bring your pooch as long as they are leashed. You’ll need a boat to get to the island, and there are no facilites. But come during a weekday when we’re not in season and you’ll have the island to yourself.

Dog Beach

It’s referred to as the dog beach. It’s the only one in the area that allows dogs and doesn’t require a boat to reach. It’s just north of Bonita Beach and south of Lover’s Key State Beach Park. It’s even off leash!

Stores

Pucci and Catana

This luxury pet boutique is right at home on 5th Avenue South. You can find luxury designer items for your pet like Gucci Pet, Burberry Pet, and more. Bring in your four-legged friend to truly enjoy the store.

Mercato Shops

Mercato is a favorite destination for humans and dogs alike. Many restaurants will allow you to dine with your dog on the patio, and quite a few shops including Charming Charlie’s, Nordstrom Rack, and Gallery on Fifth, even allow you to bring in your pet.

Fergie’s Closet Doggie Boutique

Formerly located at The Shoppes at Naples Bay Resort, this boutique caters to the pet who loves having a full closet. The store is relocating to a larger space, so check their website to find out when they re-open.

Restaurants

Dog-Friendly Patios at Mercato
There are over a dozen restaurants that allow you to dine with your pet on the patio including Masa, Naples Flatbread, Taps, The Capital Grille, and many more.

Fit & Fuel Cafe
This cafe is located right next to the Naples Cyclery at the Pavilion Shopping Center. They allow for outdoor seating with dogs and even have a water bowl outside to keep them hydrated.

M Waterfront Grille
Want something a little more upscale? Dine with your pup outside at this restaurant at the Village on Venetian Bay.


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Healthy eating as we age

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Eating well should be a goal at any age, but especially as we get older. When we age, we need to watch how the changes in our bodies interact with the items that we’re consuming.

A healthy diet is key to living a better life. It will help improve energy levels, allow you to better fight off illness, and give you the mental acuteness you need.

How does our body change?

There are multiple processes that take place in our bodies as we age.

These include:

  • Lowered senses: Our sensitivity to salt and bitter leave first, which may make you want to add more salt to items.
  • Digestion slows: Your digestive system slows down, meaning it is more difficult to process certain vitamins and minerals that are important for mental alertness.
  • Metabolism slows: Adopting a healthy diet and exercise routine will help avoid unnecessary weight gain

What should I be eating?

The key is the find foods that are healthy and delicious. It is one thing to try to eat lots of kale and spinach, but if you dislike the taste you will end up getting sick of the items quickly.

Here are some foods you should be including in your diet:

  • Fruit: (2-3 servings per day)
  • Vegetables: (2-3 cups per day) of dark, leafy greens (spinach, broccoli) and colorful veggies (carrots)
  • Grains: (5-10 ounces) Stay away from processed white flour and try more whole grains with nutrients and fiber
  • Oils: (5-8 teaspoons) Eat foods full of healthy oils like olives, avodacos, and nuts
  • Calcium: Limit your milk consumption to 3 cups of fat-free or low-fat types. 1 cup of yogurt, 1-1.5 oz of cheese, 1 cup of cottage cheese.
  • Protein: (5-7 oz) Eggs, tofu, nuts, peanut butter, fish, poultry

Snack smart

You can snack between meals if you feel yourself getting hungry. But be sure that they are healthy snacks low in calories, sodium, saturated and trans fat. These include items like Greek yogurt, nuts, seeds, and grilled chicken.

More fiber

As we age, our digestive systems become less efficient. That means we need to be eating much more fiber than we used to. Women over 50 should be eating at least 21 grams per day and men over 50 should eat at least 30 grams.

Here’s how you can get your fiber in:

  • Whole grains
  • Wheat cereal, barley, oatmeal
  • Beans and nuts
  • Vegetables like carrots, celery
  • Whole fruits (including the peel)

Skip the sugar & empty calories

We probably don’t need to be reminding you, but stick to drinking water. Sugary drinks like soda, sweet tea, and energy drinks may taste great but they are not doing your body any good.

Also stay away from “empty calories” which include many items in the middle aisles of the grocery store including cookies, alcohol, and chips.

Resources

Healthy Eating after 50
National Institute on Aging

Healthy Eating Tips for Seniors
National Council on Aging

Eating Well As You Get Older
NIH Senior Health


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Tasty Christmas Treats to Get you in the Spirit

Christmas is a time for family, festivities, and, our favorite, FOOD! Who doesn’t love walking in to the smell of fresh baked Christmas cookies? Or cooking the holiday ham? Maybe you have your own family Christmas traditions. It’s always fun to make those good ol’ recipes, but it’s also fun to change it up and make some new items. Here are some delicious Christmas recipes we think you should be trying this season.

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Christmas Crunch
Cookingclassy.com
A perfect treat while you wait for dinner or snack on while the kids open presents.

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Peppermint White Hot Chocolate
Gimmesomeoven.com
It’s a spicy take on the traditional Christmas beverage.

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No Bake Peppermint White Chocolate Cheesecakes
Cookingclassy.com
No baking? Count me in!

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Gingerbread Cheesecake Bites
Afewshortcuts.com
Bet you can’t wait to make these.

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Eggnog Snickerdoodles
Amyshealthybaking.com
Combining two of the classics of Christmas: cookies and eggnog.

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Krispie Treat Christmas Trees
Raininghotcoupons.com
These are too cute not to try and make.

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Kahlua Hot Chocolate
damndelicious.net
The hot chocolate for adults.

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Cinnamon Roll Pancakes
therecipecritic.com
Ok, these aren’t really a treat, but they’re sweet and delicious.

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Oreo Peppermint Bark
Crazyforcrust.com
Oreos AND peppermint? What could be better?

Reindeer Cupcakes
withsprinklesontop.net
These are perfect to make with the kids!

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Chocolate Covered Pretzels
lovefromtheoven.com
Salty, sweet, and just a touch of festivity.


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Our Favorite Fall Foods and Drinks

In celebration of fall, we posted a few tasty Thanksgiving day foods to try out. But there’s more to fall than just Thanksgiving. There are so many great ingredients and tastes that epitomize fall. Pumpkin, spices, warmth, nuts, apples, soups, hot chocolate. Getting hungry, huh? Here are some of the tastiest fall foods we could find from desserts to drinks to delectable entrees. Enjoy!

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Cream Cheese Filled Pumpkin Bread
Say no more! You had me at cream cheese, then stole my heart with pumpkin bread. This sounds like the ultimate fall food. (Averie Cooks)

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Apple Pie Bites
These are perfect for those watching their figure, but who don’t want to compromise and eat boring, tasteless food. These apple pie bites are a shot of dessert in miniature form. (The Blond Cook)

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Pumpkin Waffles and Apple Cider Syrup
Now who wouldn’t want to wake up to the smell of that? (Cooking Classy)

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Caramel Apple Sangria
This is for those of you who love to pair their alcohol with the season (is that a thing?). (A Night Owl Blog)

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Biscuit Pot Pie
This just screams warm fall food and brings you back to eating at home as a kid. (Damn Delicious)

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Apple Cider Donuts
Skip Dunkin’ Donuts. These are a mouthful of fall’d favorite fruit in donut hole form. (Sally’s Baking Addiction)


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4 Delicious Summer Meals

Summer isn’t over just yet! You can enjoy a few outdoor family dinners. Bring the kids and pets and it’ll be a grand ol’ time. But don’t forget the food! Food is what brings us together at the table, something to talk over and about. So try these tasty summer dishes at your next dinner.

Sweet and Spicy Apple & Pecan Coleslaw
This comes to us from Mom Spark. It’s a new take on the refreshing coleslaw we’re all used to. The extra kick really gives it some flavor.

Cowboy Caviar
This is a great bbq recipe that doesn’t require a stove, oven or grill. It’s just some tasty beans, and veggies mixed and seasoned to perfection. It complements any grilled meat or fish, and also goes great with chips. (Via Party Bluprints Blog)

Grilled Hawaiian Teriyaki Burger
Know what makes something Hawaiian? Throwing a pineapple on it! And boy does it taste good! You’ll wonder why you never tried it before (Via Skinny Taste).

Buffalo Fries
Who doesn’t love a kick of buffalo sauce? It goes great on chicken, pizza, and fries. Mix in some refreshing blue cheese and you have an appetizers everyone will love. (Via Tidy Mom)


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Tasty Summer Drinks

Summer isn’t complete without a refreshing drink on a hot day. And nothing tastes better than a cup of something homemade. Maybe it’s lemonade or sweet tea, or something a little stronger. Take a look at these easy to make drink recipes to get you in the summer spirit (get it summer spirit?).

Easy Peach Tea
Passion For Savings has a great homemade tea recipe using delicious peaches, water sugar, and tea bags. Check out there site to see exactly how to make this sweet drink.

Orange Lemon Shake Ups
This tasty summer beverage comes from Love Grows Wild. Adding a twist of orange to your lemonade never taste so good.

Frozen Coconut Limeade
We found this frozen summer sip on Dessert Now Dinner Later (great name huh?). This drink will certainly keep you cool and refreshed.

Cucumber & Melon White Sangria
This adults- only drink is great for dinner outside, or spending time with friends. This comes to us from Eating Well.


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Easy Dinner Recipes for Seniors

It’s not always fun to cook dinner, but it’s always fun to eat it! Take the hassle out of cooking dinner with these simple recipes. Find more recipes on our blog as well as tips for seniors and nurses.

Shrimp With Tomatoes

Ingredients

1 10-ounce box couscous (1 1/3 cups)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc)
kosher salt and pepper
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

Directions

  1. Cook the couscous according to the package directions.
  2. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes, wine, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 4 to 6 minutes.
  4. Add the shrimp and cover. Cook until the shrimp are cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve with the couscous.

Courtesy of Real Simple

Baked Pesto Chicken

Ingredients:

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
½ cup basil pesto
2 plum tomatoes
shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cover cookie sheet with foil.
2. Put pesto and chicken in bowl. Toss until chicken is covered.
3. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
4. Place slices of tomato on top of chicken and sprinkle with cheese.
5. Bake another 3-5 minutes.
6. Serve with a box of angel hair pasta and herbs and French bread.

Courtesy of Moms Who Think

Southwestern Beef Chili With Corn

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 poblano or bell pepper, chopped
1/2 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed
1 tablespoon chili powder
 kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 cup corn kernels (from 1 ear, or frozen and thawed)
1/2 cup grated Cheddar (2 ounces)
2 scallions, sliced

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, onion, and poblano and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes.
  2. Add the beef and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until it is slightly darkened, 1 minute.
  4. Stir in the beans, chili powder, 3 cups water, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  5. Simmer over medium heat until the vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the corn.
  6. Divide the chili among bowls and top with the Cheddar and scallions.

Courtesy of Real Simple


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Is a Paleo Diet Healthy for the Elderly

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You’ve probably heard the term ‘Paleo Diet’, but maybe you’re unsure exactly what it means. A Paleo Diet (Paleolithic diet, Caveman diet) is based on eating habits of our ancestors. This includes focusing on foods like meat, nuts, and berries. Notice that this diet cuts out most of our modern food. This is because proponents of the diet claim that the Paleolithic era, after which the diet is named, is the time during which humans evolved their specific nutritional needs. They claim that our metabolism has been unable to adapt fast enough to our modern foods. These modern foods are those that came during the invention of agriculture and animal domestication.

What foods does this include? Well Paleo enthusiasts advise against grain, legumes, dairy, and processed foods. They see these as some of the causes for many modern day ailments like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Critics, though, have pointed out that during the Paloelithic period, many humans ate grains and legumes, and that it is too difficult to pinpoint exactly what humans ate back then.

What does the Paleo diet require?
Put simply, the Paleo diet is about more protein and meat, less carbohydrates, and high fiber. Protein should high moderate to high fat but avoid trans fats and omega-6 fats. Though the diet wants you to stay away from carbohydrates, it says to eat non-starchy fruits and vegetables. And your high fiber amount should come from these non-starchy vegetables and fruits, not from grains.

Foods excluded from the Paleo Diet
– Dairy Products
– Legumes
– Grains
– Processed Oils
– Salt
– Refined sugar
– Alcohol
– Coffee

Is the Paleo Diet safe for seniors?
It really depends on your level of health. If you’re really considering switching to a Paleo diet, it’s recommended to talk to your doctor. They can tell you what types of foods you should be focusing on in your diet. Maybe you can slowly introduce more Paleo-like elements into your diet. Try cutting out a lot of carbohydrates, processed foods, refined sugars.


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Quick and Easy Breakfast Recipes

Sometimes it’s not so easy to get out of bed and go make a large, healthy breakfast. Who wants to make all that food, then clean all those dishes!? It’s just too much work. There are easy breakfast recipes out there that can get you the nutrients you need. Your body requires protein, fiber, vitamins, calcium, and more. Here are a few of our favorite breakfast recipes which are made special for seniors.

Oatmeal with Blueberries

Banana Split Oatmeal

1 serving

Ingredients:

  • 1⁄3 cup oatmeal, quick-cooking (dry)
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon salt
  • 3⁄4 cups water (very hot)
  • 1⁄2 banana (sliced)
  • 1⁄2 cup frozen yogurt, non-fat

Preparation:

  1. In a microwave safe cereal bowl, mix together the oatmeal and salt. Stir in water.
  2. Microwave on high power for 1 minute. Stir. Microwave on high power for another minute. Stir again.
  3. Microwave an additional 30-60 seconds on high power until the cereal reaches the desired thickness. Stir again.
  4. Top with banana slices and frozen yogurt.

sunflower

Breakfast Barley with Banana & Sunflower Seeds

1 serving

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup uncooked quick-cooking pearl barley
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted salted sunflower seeds
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Preparation:

  1. Combine 2/3 cup water and barley in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH 6 minutes.
  2. Stir and let stand 2 minutes.
  3. Top with banana slices, sunflower seeds, and honey.

Poppy Seed Fruit Salad

6 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons orange-mango fat-free yogurt (such as Dannon)
  • 3 tablespoons poppy seed salad dressing
  • 2 cups halved strawberries
  • 2 cups cubed pineapple
  • 1 cup honeydew melon balls
  • 1 cup cantaloupe balls
  • 12 Boston lettuce leaves

Preparation:

  1. Combine yogurt and salad dressing in a small bowl; stir well with a whisk.
  2. Combine strawberries, pineapple, and melon balls in a large bowl, tossing gently.
  3. Line each of 6 plates with 2 lettuce leaves; spoon 1 cup fruit mixture onto each plate.
  4. Drizzle each salad with 1 tablespoon dressing. Serve immediately.

Healthy Breakfast Frittata

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 medium onion, minced
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 lb ground lamb or turkey
  • 1 + 2 TBS chicken broth
  • 3 cups rinsed and finely chopped kale (stems removed)
  • 5 omega-3 enriched eggs
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Preparation:

  1. Mince onion and chop garlic; let them sit for 5 minutes to enhance their health-promoting benefits.
  2. Preheat broiler on low.
  3. Heat 1 TBS broth in a 9-10 inch stainless steel skillet. Sauté onion over medium heat, for about 3 minutes, stirring often.
  4. Add garlic, ground lamb or turkey, and cook for another 3 minutes on medium heat, breaking up clumps.
  5. Add kale and 2 TBS broth. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook covered for about 5 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and mix.
  6. Beat eggs, season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and pour on top of mixture evenly. Cook on low for another 2 minutes without stirring.
  7. Place skillet under broiler in middle of oven, about 7 inches from the heat source so it has time to cook without the top burning. As soon as the eggs are firm, it is done, about 2-3 minutes.