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July 23, 2010

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Men: Foods to Boost Your Libido

July 22, 2010

Gentlemen, are you feeling low on sexual fuel lately? I know you may hate to admit it, but sometimes, it just happens. Life gets to us mentally and physically, and tends to muck up our sex lives in response.

Here are some edible ways you can boost your libido and rev up your sexual appetite:

Celery
I understand celery isn’t the sexiest food out there, but it really can be a fantastic source for sexual stimulation. This little green guy contains androsterone, an odorless hormone released through male perspiration and turns women on.

Ray Oysters
This is one of the classic aphrodisiacs. Oysters are high in zinc, which raises sperm and testosterone production.

Bananas
Bananas contain the bromelain enzyme, which is believed to increase libido and reverse impotence in men. Bananas are also a good source of potassium and B vitamins, which increase the body’s overall energy levels.

Avocado
Avocados contain high levels of folic acid, which helps metabolize proteins, thus giving you more energy. They also contain vitamin B6 (increases male hormone production) and potassium, two elements that increase libido in both men and women.

Almonds
Almonds are a prime source of fatty acids. These are vital as they provide the raw material for a man’s healthy production of hormones. Additionally, the smell of almonds is purported to arouse passion in females.

Eggs
Eggs are high in vitamins B6 and B5. These help balance hormone levels and fight stress, two things that are crucial to a healthy libido. Some people will eat raw chicken eggs just prior to sex to increase libido and maximize energy levels… although I recommend brushing your teeth after you decide to do so.

Liver
A good source of glutamine – a cellular fuel for your immune system – liver may indeed increase a slowed-down libido.

Figs
Figs are high in amino acids, which are also believed to increase libido and increase sexual stamina.

Garlic
Sure they’re stinky, but garlic contains allicin, an ingredient that increases blood flow to the sexual organs. It’s a highly effective herb to help increase libido. Garlic capsules are always an option if you don’t feel like battling with garlic breath.

Chocolate
Obviously a very romantic and sensual food, chocolate also contains theobromine – an alkaloid – which is very similar to caffeine. It also contains phenylethylamine, a chemmical believe to produce the feeling of “being in love.”

Now get to your local supermarket and fill your shopping cart with goodies to fire up your sex life! Your lover will appreciate it.

Thanks to Men’s Health for doing the research for this article.

Salt in Your Diet and Your Health

July 22, 2010
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If you take two highly toxic chemical elements – sodium (chemical symbol Na) and chlorine (chemical symbol Cl) and combine them, you get NaCl, or common table salt. NaCl is something that we can’t live without. However, it seems that most of us are getting too much of this white powder. Campaigns to reduce the salt or the sodium in your diet are now becoming popular

Human blood has a salt content of about 0.9%. Although our bodies cannot function without salt, our daily requirement falls within a narrow range

It is the salt in your blood that helps control blood pressure. As the amount of sodium from salt in your blood increases, the blood volume increases because sodium attracts and retains water. Your heart then has to work harder to move the increased volume of blood through your blood vessels. This creates increased strain on the arteries and high blood pressure. There is mounting evidence that shows there is a direct relationship between excess salt in the diet and the incidence of heart disease and strokes.

It has been noted that the salt content of our foods has been increasing over the years. Many food manufacturers say they have added salt to their product to enhance the taste in response to consumer demands. However, some health and advocacy groups suggest that consumers have developed an unhealthy craving for the salt because of the unregulated addition of salt by so many food manufacturers.

According to some estimates, North American consumers are getting three to four times as much salt per day as they need; the average Canadian consumes about 3400 mg of Na /day in the form of NaCl. Even if you don’t have a salt shaker on your dinner table, you could be still be getting too much salt. Every food contains some salt. Salt is added to many processed foods for taste, and in some cases it serves as a preservative. Even foods that you would not expect to have salt in them can be major sources of salt. Bread, processed meats, processed vegetables and tomatoes and vegetable juices are the major sources of salt in our diets.

Checking the nutrition facts panel on most processed foods is a good place to start to see how much “hidden” salt you are eating. Food composition tables often provide sodium levels; so when checking composition tables or recommended daily intake statements it is necessary to understand whether the recommendation is for salt (sodium chloride) or for just sodium.

Today there are many types of salt being sold. The traditional white table salt is now competing with expensive sea salts that come in many colours. The colour of sea salt is due to minor impurities such as minerals, so the health concerns about table salt also apply to sea salt.

It is believed that reducing salt in the diet is the most cost effective way of reducing the burden of cardiovascular disease. Cutting down on salt is an easy way to improve your health.

Original Article

Eggplant Lasagna

July 19, 2010

I was really craving Eggplant Parmesan, but I was looking for an alternative to your average dish. So I created this little tidbit. I couldn’t afford ricotta cheese so for now, this is the recipe from my first attempt. The batter turned out really flavorful. My critics liked it, but I think if you layer this basic recipe with ricotta cheese and (whole wheat) lasagna noodles cooked to al dente it would be amazing. Next time for sure!

This recipe will make approximately 6 servings:

INGREDIENTS:
– 2 cups seasoned dry bread crumbs (I season them with 1/2 teaspoons of Basil, Parsley, Thyme, Oregano, Paprika and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper)
– 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
– 2 (1 pound) medium eggplants, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch slices
– 4 eggs beaten with 3 tablespoons of water
– 1 large jar of Pasta Sauce (your choice, I like four cheese)
– 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
– Vegetable oil for frying (olive oil works too, but be prepared to use a lot of it. Eggplant LOVES olive oil!)

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Heat pan with a thin layer of oil in it to Medium heat. Take a slice of eggplant, dip it into the egg mixture, then drag through the breadcrumb mixture (I like to add a little cheese in with with the breadcrumbs… doesn’t really matter which kind of cheese you use, you can even use both!) until completely coated. Repeat with all slices of eggplant. Place the slices in the pan and fry until golden brown. Flip and repeat.
3. Spread 1 cup of pasta sauce in a 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Layer 1/2 of the baked eggplant slices, then 1 cup of sauce, then 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese; repeat until all of the eggplant is used up. Cover up with aluminum foil and bake 45 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake uncovered until cheese is melted.

ENJOY!

Notes: Feel free to “VEG” out here. You can add mushrooms or zucchini or squash to your layers as well! YUM!

Photo courtesy of freshfromflorida.wordpress.com

What Do You Think?

July 17, 2010

The “World’s Best Pancake Recipe”

July 17, 2010

A couple weeks ago a friend and I tried this recipe. Considered to be the “World’s Best Pancake Recipe,” –By whom? Who knows… but we made them anyway! They were very tasty!! I did have one critique however… their texture was lacking. They were a bit crumbly for my liking. Not the “World’s Best” in my opinion, but pretty darn close. I’m looking forward to customizing this recipe to perfection! Maybe come up with a few variations too!

Something to try making for your Sunday brunch tomorrow?

INGREDIENTS:
– 2 cups flour
– 2 tablespoons sugar
– 4 teaspoons baking powder
– 1 teaspoon baking soda
– 1 teaspoon fine salt

– 2 cups buttermilk (real buttermilk!)
– 4 tablespoon melted butter
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 2 beaten eggs

DIRECTIONS:

1. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, whisk and set aside.
2. Combine the wet ingredients in a bowl, whisk. Add to the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. Fry in a pan with butter on medium heat. Top with maple syrup, fruit, or whatever your heart desires.
ENJOY!



Longmont, CO — Getting with the Program!

July 16, 2010

I live in Longmont, Colorado, a quant and charming place to live. Sure there are your typical chain stores, but in general there are plenty of mom and pop shops to choose from. I especially like the local farmer’s markets in the area. Anywho, we’re about 45 minutes from Denver, and 20 minutes away from Boulder, the “happening” places in the area. Longmont finally has its first rooftop dining space!

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The new rooftop deck at 7 West Pizzeria & Pub is something new for Longmont, and it has received a warm welcome from diners, owner Ed Behlmann said.

“They love it. It’s been full almost every night,” he said. “People are asking to go up there.”

The deck and bar on the building at 526 Main St. can seat 86 people at umbrella-shaded tables on about 1,400 square feet. It is the first rooftop deck built on a restaurant in the city, Behlmann said.

He said he’d been thinking about adding a seating area and bar on the roof for a while but it wasn’t until December, when he learned that the city’s zoning allowed it, that the idea kicked into high gear. City inspectors told him if he wanted to build a deck on the roof, he would need to add a second set of stairs and a sprinkler system throughout the building due to the increased seating capacity.

Construction began May 10 and the rooftop opened to diners June 28.

The architect, Peter Carey of Carey Design Studios in Gunbarrel, said he dealt with a number of variables while designing the deck.

“It was an old building so we had to bring it up to code for safety reasons,” he said. “Exiting the structure and locating the staircase, and how it would work with the rest of the restaurant, were concerns. And cost was a factor, too.

“We wanted the aesthetics to look nice and fit in with the other buildings in the area. It was first rooftop deck downtown so we wanted to raise the bars for others to follow.”

Rooftop decks on restaurants are popular in Boulder and lower downtown in Denver, and Carey said he thinks the idea will catch on in Longmont.

“We tried to make it a real fun place to be and encourage people walking by to look up and come in for a cocktail,” he said.

It took about a month to design, which Carey said was a bit rushed, but it was important to have it open for the summer season.

Carey, who serves on Longmont’s Historic Preservation Commission, said that while his firm has designed restaurants before, this was his first rooftop deck on an eatery.

“I was excited to be part of that,” he said.

It was also the first such project for contractor Elliott Silver, owner of Lafayette-based Silver Contracting. The weight of the deck rests on steel beams that stand on steel pads anchored to concrete footers at ground level, he said.

“As we did the work, we could see the different remodeling phases done on the building, stuff people had done 30 or 50 years ago,” Silver said. “On the ground, we had to break through the concrete and a couple feet under it was what looked like an old brick patio. It could have been the original Main Street.”

Read more: Longmont’s 7 West Pizzeria & Pub introduces city’s first rooftop dining space –