Information to help thwart cravings

Ignorance can be bliss but sometimes knowledge can help making the right decisions easier.

A lot of times we don’t really want to think about what we eat, it makes it easier to enjoy it, but if you want to put yourself off of something, find out what is really going into it.

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Are doughnuts your Achilles heel? Buy one this isn’t filled with anything. Wrap a couple of paper napkins around it and squeeze hard. Look at the amount of grease that is now soaking those napkins and onto your hands. Think about all that grease swimming around in your stomach, your body trying to cope with it, finally being deposited into storage in your belly, thighs and butt AND AROUND YOUR HEART AND INTERNAL ORGANS when it’s too much to burn off. And sorry to tell you but pretty much 100% of donuts are fried in partially hydrogenated oil.

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Are potato or tortilla chips your thing? Buy a small lunch sized bag. Go outside or stand over your sink. Use a lighter and light the chip and watch it burn like a candle. About half of what is in a chip is fat. That’s why it burns like that! This photo is from an article on how to make an emergency candle! Or read this

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Is it gummy candy you can’t resist? Watch THIS video. I think it will change how you see it.

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Like any of the following?

• Hershey’s Whopper’s Malted Milk Balls
• Hershey’s Milk Duds
• Nestle’s Raisinettes
• Nestle’s Goober’s
• Tootsie Roll Industry’s Junior Mints
• Tootsie Roll Industry’s Sugar Babies
• Jelly Belly jelly beans, Russell Stover and most jelly beans generally
• Godiva’s Dark Chocolate Almond Bar; Dark Chocolate Cherries; Milk Chocolate Cashews; White Chocolate Pearls; Milk Chocolate Pearls.
• Gertrude Hawk’s chocolate-covered nuts and raisins; cupcake sprinkles; decorative cake pieces
PRETTY MUCH ANY SHINY CANDY–all contain shellac to improve the shine. Most people are at least a little disgusted when they find out that the source of shellac is from the rear end of a beetle-like bug. The other name for shellac, “confectioner’s glaze”, sounds much sweeter than dried beetle butt juice–but it is DRIED BEETLE BUTT JUICE!

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Coke obsessed? Each can of coke contains 10 teaspoons of sugar, much more than what your body can process in a day, another additive called phosphoric acid, cuts the level of sugar so that you don’t vomit automatically after drinking a can. Yum! not.

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Think diet soda is a better choice? Think again. Researchers at the University of Texas found that people who drank diet soda were 41 percent more likely to be overweight. The artificial sweeteners also dampen the “reward center” in your brain, which may lead you to indulge in more calorie-rich, sweet-tasting food. Many artificial sweeteners trigger your brain to crave carbohydrates. Even diet soda drinkers who maintained a healthy weight range still had a significantly increased risk of the top three killers in the United States: diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

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Breads like Wonder Bread and other manufactured white breads often contain a softening agent called L-Cysteine. L-Cysteine is made from human hair! The other source for L-cysteine is duck feathers. Read your labels and avoid all softening agents, and if you are going to eat bread, make it whole grain and try to avoid manufactured.

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Cheese products contain less than 51% cheese. Any cheese whose package states it is “processed” or “pasteurized” is most likely made from less than 51 percent of cheese The other 49 percent would be a concoction of flavorings and additives to give your tastebuds the illusion of cheese.

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Do you want me to go into what is in fast food? Just remember if you could see the components of these kinds of food you would leave them on your plate without any kind of feeling of deprivation. Try to keep that in mind and it might be easier to pass them by…

 

 

 

I’m about to reveal the unhealthiest food you eat (don’t read if you don’t want to know!)

And you aren’t going to like me for it. I’m sorry. I really am. I’m sorry for me too because I love them too! There are a lot of contenders for this spot–certainly pastries made with white flour, sugar and trans fats are up there, but even so, I’m sorry to reveal to you that the unhealthiest food is…

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Yep, it’s French fries. Read on, most especially the last bit!

French fries made in restaurants often come dipped in corn oil even before they are fried. Processed corn oil is considered one of the worst oils for the human body. Aside from the saturated fat, corn oil has 60 times more inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids than Omega-3s. French fries are also often dipped in sugar before frying to get that brown crusty outside. So even pre-frying they are terrible for you!

French fries are usually cooked in a combination of hydrogenated vegetable oils like corn, canola and soybean oil which are especially damaging to our health. PLUS the polyunsaturated fats they contain become rancid with the constant heating and reheating that degrades their structure. The more the fat is reheated, the more toxic it becomes. You’ve seen that dark brown oil that is in restaurant deep fat fryers, that stuff is TOXIC!!!

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Fries are obviously simple carbs. In sufficient quantities high glycemic carbs will spike the hormone insulin in your bloodstream which is responsible for shuttling nutrients into cells. These quickly digested carbohydrates themselves are converted into glycogen, which is stored very easily in your body as fat. What is now considered an “average” serving of fries has between 370 and 730 calories. 730 calories should be a whole meal’s worth!

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But it gets even worse.

In recent years French fries, particularly those from fast food chains and restaurants cooked at the highest temperatures, have been shown to contain significant levels of a potentially dangerous substance called acrylamide. Acrylamide forms when foods containing carbohydrates and the amino acid asparagine are cooked together at high temperatures. Potatoes contain a lot of asparagine so deep frying them produces some of the highest levels of acrylamide ever detected in foods!

French fries and potato crisps are recognized as the two biggest sources of acrylamide in the average diet. Potato chips or crisps also contain very high levels when tested, but since French fries are eaten so often by so many people, they are thought to be the biggest source of this damaging chemical in our diets.

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An EFSA statement said that acrylamide is both carcinogenic (potentially cancer-causing) and genotoxic (can cause damage to the genetic material of our cells).

Scientists are only just learning how ingested acrylamide affects our bodies, I think there is more bad news to come.

So add it all up and fries and crisps/chips are just insanely unhealthy. If you can find a way to sub something else in instead, you will be doing your body a big favour. And please don’t shoot the messenger!

It’s My Party–Halloween fun on the Danforth

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My friend Rose and I both adore Halloween. So when I told her that I was going out to the Halloween store “It’s My Party”, 423 Danforth, she wanted to come along. We had a lot of fun looking through everything and she bought an awesome skull from the wall of skulls…

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and I got the cutest feathered witch hat and a ring that glows and changes colour! I can’t wait to wear them on Halloween (and possibly just shopping around Roncy!).

This is the place to go for costumes! Everything from masks to weapons to full outfits to makeup to jewelry to costumes for your kid or your dog!

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That peacockapoo does not look happy!

I thought about buying this skeletal hand jewelry, and these ants…

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Just some of the huge number of mustache choices

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Bloody fingers, carving equipment, all manner of decorations and even steampunk accessories

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A fun place to explore–even something for your garden!

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Friday viewing suggestions: 10 movies to charm your weekend

If you are looking for something sweet, moving or delightful to watch this weekend, you can’t go wrong with any of these.

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1. Local Hero (1983) Directed by Bill Forsyth. This was my favourite movie for many years. Peter Riegert plays an American sent to a small village in Scotland to buy up the land rights to build an oil refinery. It’s funny and sweet and hugely charming–plus beautifully filmed. Also starring Burt Lancaster. The score is fantastic, composed by Mark Knopfler. Every time I think of this movie I smile.

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2. Away We Go (2009) Directed by Sam Mendes. John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph star as a couple expecting their first child and looking for a place to settle down to raise it. It’s touching, eccentric and clever and the acting is wonderful. It’s also very funny, with great performances including the awesome Catherine O’Hara.

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3. The Secret of Roan Inish (1994) Directed by John Sayles. “10-year-old Fiona is sent to live with her grandparents in a small fishing village in Donegal, Ireland. She soon learns the local legend that an ancestor of hers married a Selkie, a seal who can turn into a human. Years earlier, her baby brother washed out to sea in a cradle shaped like a boat; someone in the family believes the boy is being raised by the seals.” A story about love and loss and myth and magic set against gorgeous Irish scenery.

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4.  Nanny McPhee (2005) Directed by Kirk Jones. Emma Thompson (who also wrote the script) stars as the title character, a nanny who visits a family in chaos and uses her special talents to bring things into line. Based upon the ‘Nurse Matilda’ books by Christianna Brand–this movie, and the sequel, are great fun for kids and adults. Great cast and charm galore.

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5. Waking Ned Devine (1998) Directed by Kirk Jones. When Ned Devine wins the lottery and then dies of shock, his friends in the little Irish village of Tully More decide find a way to accept the winnings (in memory of Ned of course). Quirky and darkly comedic, yet sunny and sentimental, if this cast does not charm your pants off, you must not be wearing pants!

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6. Get Low (2009) Directed by Aaron Schneider. Robert Duvall and Bill Murray–need I say more? Well, okay–in the 1930’s a hermit in Tennessee threw his own funeral/party and the story became of bit of legend. This reimagined version of the real-life story is both beautifully crafted and quietly moving. Amazing that this is the director’s first film. Of course the acting is fantastic! I love a seemingly low-key film that still packs an emotional punch.

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7. Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009) and Moonrise Kingdom (2012) Directed by Wes Anderson. Mr. Anderson lives in a magical world of his own. Marrying his vision to the equally uniquely visionary author Roald Dahl is a union that cannot be missed. Charming, funny and creative are just not superlative enough words for Fantastic Mr. Fox. You MUST see it. You just must!!

The dreamy, funny, bizarre and poignant Moonrise Kingdom reminds us that deep feelings of love and romance can often be extremely powerful in youth. The saturated colours and really astonishing visuals (which make you feel as if you are experiencing your own memories) are not just wonderful but wondrous. Amazing acting and a fantastic cast. It’s so insanely creative, quirky and unique that Wes should get an Oscar for just making a movie so completely all its own. Again, you must see it.

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8. Lars and the Real Girl (2007) Directed by Craig Gillespie. If I just tell you the plot, a man with social issues develops a relationship with a blow-up doll, it either sounds deranged or silly and this movie is neither. It’s a story about love and community and kindness. I’ve seen few Ryan Gosling films (and I’m afraid I assumed he was just a pretty face/good body actor) but he is so touching in this movie it completely changed my view of him. You will laugh and you will cry.

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9. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011) Directed by John Madden. An insanely wonderful cast including Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson and Celia Imrie–this movie is also a love letter to India. For various reasons a number of Brits in their latter years end up at the same hotel in Jaipur, India and the country affects them all in different ways…joy, bitterness, transformation, racism, hope and love. Great stories and acting, and this movie will make you want to fly to India and immerse yourself in the colours, beauty, people and life there!

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10. Amelie (2001) Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. I can’t even begin to tell you the plot of this movie, so I won’t. Just watch it if you haven’t seen it, and watch it again if you have. A fantasy, fairy-tale, fable of a film and pretty much the ultimate in charming movies. If you don’t fall a little bit in love with Amelie by the end (be you either male or female) you have a heart of stone!

(Bonus: Any Miyazaki film ever made!)

Hanoi 3 Seasons–must have been the off season

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I am no longer a practicing Presbyterian, but Presbyterianism still lingers within me in some ways. I am by no means a skinflint, but if I spend money on something, I want to feel like it is worth it. For instance, my recent meal at Curry Twist was twice the cost of this meal, but money so well spent!

When I saw that Hanoi 3 Seasons, 1135 Queen St. E, was on the “Best of” lists for Vietnamese restaurants in TO for both NOW Magazine and BlogTO, I figured it was worth the long streetcar schlepp out to Leslieville and whatever the cost of the meal.

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Sadly, the results were very disappointing. My dinner companion for the evening is also a very healthy eater but we decided to splurge and ordered the Cha gio Cha Muc $6.50, which was Spring Rolls and Calamari Patties. The Calamari was okay, not a lot of flavor but the spring rolls were basically just wrappers–not much of anything inside so basically just tasted like fried wrapper!

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Then our entries arrived. He ordered what looked really good to me too, Cha Cha –Hanoi-style Grouper with Dill and Shrimp Paste $13, but when it arrived we were both surprised to see that each of the many pieces of grouper were breaded and deep fried! Much too much fried food for him and although he said it tasted okay, he didn’t feel well afterward. Surely the menu should have informed him that the fish came that way so he could have made a better decision!

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I ordered the Tom Nuong Xa–Spicy Shrimp with Lemongrass.  Shrimp, not so spicy :( and the rest of the dish was super bland. So much so that I added sauce again and again to give it enough flavour to eat. I’ve had similar vermicelli dishes all over TO, and this was by far my least favourite.

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Although I occasionally will pop into a place just to try it (and in that case if it isn’t good, that’s just life), I think if you research someplace beforehand and it’s on several best of lists, well it should at least be good, if not great! To make matters worse we got out of the streetcar a number of blocks early and passed so many enticing places on the way to Hanoi 3 Seasons that we even discussed scratching our plans and going to one of them. I wish we had! I know Leslieville is filled with great restaurants and I don’t get out there very often, so doubly disappointing.

Hanoi is lovely inside and our waitress was adorable but I can’t say much more than that. If it had just been one part of the meal that wasn’t good it would have been okay, but this was 0 for 3. My rating: NOT on Amy’s list of best Vietnamese restaurants in TO by a long chalk! I will post about my favourite Vietnamese place soon. Zero ambiance but vastly better food.

 

 

Friday Viewing Recommendations: 10 Magical Movies to Watch in October

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1. Spirited Away (2001) Directed by Hayao Miyazaki. My favourite Miyazaki movie, this is a story of a young girl who, during a move with her family, wanders into a magical town full of ghosts, demons, witches, monsters and evil spirits. Quirky, sweet, captivating, heartfelt and enchanting with an incredible score—there is just such a feeling you have while you watch it. Make sure to watch the subtitled version and not the dubbed!

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2. Hocus Pocus (1993) Directed by Kenny Ortega. It’s not a great movie but it’s silly and Halloweeny and it has Bette Middler chewing the scenery, and you can’t beat that. In Salem, Mass, three witch sisters are resurrected on Halloween night and wreak havoc. The only thing standing in their way are some teenagers and a special cat. Definitely a kid’s movie but fun for anyone.

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3. The Raven (1963) Directed by Roger Corman and The House of Wax (1953) Directed by André De Toth. Two classic Vincent Price movies. The first is a fun, tongue-in-cheek interpretation of Poe’s “The Raven”, the second a horror movie in which Price plays a gifted artist who makes wax figures. Pick one depending on if you are in the mood for something amusing or spooky. This may tip you in it’s favour “The Raven” also stars Peter Lorre (he is awesome in this movie), Boris Karloff (as Dr. Scarabus, I love character names like that) and a very young Jack Nicholson!

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4. Shaun of the Dead (2004) Directed by Edgar Wright. A movie so good you can watch it many times and enjoy it every time. “Shaun (Simon Pegg) doesn’t have a very good day, so he decides to turn his life around by getting his ex to take him back, but he times it for right in the middle of what may be a zombie apocalypse…” Bloody and bloody brilliant. Yes, it is horror, but it’s so funny, you will spend more time laughing than being horrified.

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5. Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) Directed by Henry Selick. Amy’s favourite movie!! Fun to watch at Halloween and Christmas and anytime! I don’t need to describe it, you have all probably seen it–but watch it again this October, it makes any Halloween season more fun. “Life’s no fun without a good scare…” And you can’t go wrong with these other Tim Burton movies; Sleepy Hollow (1999), Beetlejuice (1988), Corpse Bride (2005)

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6. Young Frankenstein (1974) Directed by Mel Brooks. Again I don’t need to tell you about this movie, but if you haven’t seen it for years, watch it again this year. It really holds up! Best part of the movie,  Madeline Kahn and Marty Feldman. Just seriously great comic actors. Did you know that Gene Wilder wrote the movie along with Mel Brooks?

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7. An American Werewolf in London (1981) Directed by John Landis. It took me ages to get over the transformation scene; I don’t even like knuckle cracking! It is a horror film but with lots of humour to break the tension. It is gory and there is some sex, so not for kids. Again an older movie but one that completely holds up. Spook yourself and laugh at the same time.

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8. The Halloween Tree (1993) Directed by Mario Piluso, based on a Ray Bradbury book. The book is better, but this animated version is still fun and has the voice of Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Moundshroud. The story is an exploration of the roots of Halloween itself. Ray Bradbury narrates the movie.

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9. Practical Magic (1998) Directed by Griffin Dunne, based on an Alice Hoffman book. Again the book is better than the movie, but the movie is still very charming (pardon the pun). Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman are two orphaned sisters who are raised by their aunts and discover their gifts make them objects of suspicion and distain in their town. They experience love and loss, all to a great soundtrack. Ok, yes maybe it’s a chick flick but it’s a magical one.

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10. Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983) Directed by Jack Clayton, based on a Ray Bradbury book. Ray did the script for this movie so it is quite true to the story until the end (which I bet wasn’t his choice). A very dark Disney film, not really for kids, this story starring Jonathan Pryce and Jason Robards is about a carnival coming to town, but not your usual fun carnival–a creepy, menacing one. A thoughtful script and nicely shot with Pryce being quite terrifying and Robards so appealing, it’s too bad Disney felt it had to change the ending. Still a very moody and Octobery movie.

Pan on the Danforth

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 My mother wanted to ride the subway while they were visiting a short while ago (I love that that is still a fun thing for someone!) so I gave her a nice long ride and took them both out to Greektown. I have only had Greek food once since moving to TO, I went to Pantheon where I spent a lot of money and was not impressed. I chose Pan on the Danforth, 516 Danforth Ave., for us to try this time. I’m so glad I did!

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It’s a charming restaurant with lovely staff. My only regret is that I didn’t have the nerve to snap photos of what everyone else had around us because it all looked so good. The people next to us had the saganaki which was a surprise as we didn’t realize until it was lit with a huge swoosh of fire! It smelled amazing.

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The menu had numerous things I would have liked to try, and I will come back and do just that.

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My dad and I both had the Kakavia $19, which was delicious with an enormous number of mussels, plenty of calamari (that’s what those rectangular pieces all through are–no pasta, all seafood!), two absolutely perfectly cooked pieces of salmon–only a very few scallops and shrimp, but the tomato/garlic broth was beautiful. I ate half for dinner and had the other half for my dinner the next night.

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My mother had the braised lamb shank, $19, Mediterranean herbs and savory vegetables served over monastiri orzo pasta. She said it was extremely good. Complimentary grilled bread of course, I treated myself to one piece.

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It’s a lovely restaurant with nice staff and great food. Check it out!

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10 really easy things you can do to make yourself healthier

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1. Eat 1 Brazil nut a day. Selenium is a metalloid that rarely occurs on its own but is often mixed into metal sulfide ores. Its chief commercial use is glassmaking! Trace elements are a necessary micronutrient for the bodily functions of most organisms including you. Selenium helps with thyroid function, is good for your skin and can even reduce the effects of mercury toxicity. However selenium in large amounts is toxic itself. Just one Brazil nut provides your daily requirement of selenium, don’t eat more than two.

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2. Don’t lie to yourself about fruit. A lightning bolt should come out of the sky and hit me right now. I’ve had a number of dinners in the past months that consisted of a pile of strawberries, peaches, blueberries and watermelon. I’ve eaten more cherries this summer than probably five normal people would. I tell myself it’s healthy but I know it’s not.

Sure a few servings of fruit a day is super healthy, but unless you are also getting in a number of servings of veggies, you are missing out on some essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, plus you are taking in too much fruit sugar as well. So have some red grapes, an apple and some strawberries, but also make sure you have some kale, broccoli, sweet potato, avocado, Brussels sprouts or carrots!

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3. Sub tea for juices. A study at Baylor College of Medicine shows that fruit juice increases blood sugar and blood pressure levels, and increases triglycerides. The sudden surge of acidic sugar (no matter what the source) can inflame the arteries, and too much inflammation in the body leads to arterial disease.

Also fruit juices often have added sugar and it’s disguised in the ingredient list. Look for words like “juice cocktail”, that means added sugar!
Fruits are meant to be eaten whole, and, except for a few fruits that have a tough protective outer layer like the pineapple and banana, all parts of the fruit are full of valuable nutrients that the body is waiting to utilize. In most cases, the skin of the fruit can contain more nutrients than the flesh.
Meanwhile tea, esp green, white, rooibos and some black teas contain lots of health benefits. You are switching something bad for your body for something great!
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4. Don’t buy it. If you don’t bring it home, you won’t eat it. If you have a bag of chips or cookies in the house, they will go in your stomach at some point, probably sooner rather than later. Use some tricks–eat before you shop, read the label–if it’s full of chemicals say “my body deserves better than this” and put it back, have a list and don’t deviate, whatever works for you. Later in the evening when you wish you had bought it so you could snack, it won’t be there. You might be annoyed (with me), but I doubt you will take the trouble to go out and get it. So that is one more healthy day under your belt.

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5. Read these two posts again and think about what you want long term for your health. Sugar and Trans fat.

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6. Eat something fermented. Fermenting foods is an ancient practice and sometimes the old ways are best! Did you know that some studies say that 80% of our immune system is in our gut? Fermented foods improve digestion, increase good bacteria in your gut, they are rich in enzymes, increase vitamins such as folic acid, pyroxidine, B vitamins, riboflavin and biotin, and they increase flavor. So have some kombucha, sauerkraut, tempeh, yogurt, kefir, miso, labneh, kimchi and injera! (not all at once lol)

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Curry Twist: perhaps my favourite meal so far in TO

I LOVE Indian food. Love it! However, my pesky cumin allergy makes it very difficult to go out and have it. I have written to a number of places to ask if they have, or could make, cumin-free entrees. Almost all of them never reply. So I was so pleased when I contacted Curry Twist, 3034 Dundas St. West, and asked about a specific dish and if they could make it sans cumin and they wrote back to say just let them know what night I was coming and they would.

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Complimentary crispy spiced cracker-like bread on the left

If you know me and what I like you will know why the description of the above shrimp dish made me want to come here so much. When I ordered the “cumin-free shrimp” and the server took the order to the kitchen, the chef shouted “Amy!” Loved that!

We ordered the Tawa Paneer $8.95 to start (which they also made without cumin for me!) which was browned cheese with spices and peppers. It was so good that we ate it before I remembered to take a photo! Sorry!

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Then they brought the garlic naan  $2.95 to the table. Now you know I eat bread rarely and white bread almost never but naan is special, and this one, covered in garlic and dusted with herbs, smelled better than anything I have smelled in a LONG time! Seriously, this smelled amazing! I only ate about 1/4 of this but I would have happily eaten the entire thing! It was extremely good.

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Perfectly cooked rice, every grain distinct. Chili shrimp for me (left), Goan Fish Curry for him (right). My dining partner grew up eating curry, makes it himself (very well) and loves it. His verdict? The best curry he has had in Toronto, and one of the best he has ever eaten!! He said the flounder was an interesting choice for curry, great texture. Mine was also incredible! Spicy, herby, ginger, garlic, lemon, amazing. I had half for dinner and the other half cold for lunch today and it was just as good that way!

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I think this is now my favourite TO restaurant. I want to go back for dinner again tonight! You should go–trust me, you will thank me!

 

Friday Viewing Recommendations: Why You Should Watch Doctor Who

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Created by Torontonian Sydney Newman–(and just in case you don’t know, he was also a writer and producer for “The Avengers”), and the longest running series in the history of television (1963-1989; 1996-present), “Doctor Who”, for the uninitiated, is far more than a children’s show.

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Of course its premise, a time travelling alien in a sentient British Police Box “ship” (much bigger on the inside) who often visits earth and alien worlds to intervene and help in any myriad of crises, does sound like Saturday morning fare, however the show would not be such a worldwide phenomenon, and so deeply beloved, if it was all just a fun romp with a happy ending.

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 Yes, there are interesting and wonderful companions, and myriad trips back in history or to the future, and the show is filled with some really cool, amazing and terrifying aliens. Yes, the stories penned by writers such as Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, Barry Letts, Russell T. Davies, Neil Gaiman, Douglas Adams and Richard Curtis are mostly extremely well written and original, in fact a lot of them are truly exceptional…but, in the end, it’s the Doctor himself who makes this series so compelling that even having 13 different actors portraying him only adds to the power he has over the audience.

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He is a Shakespearean figure, at once comedic, silly, childlike, deeply tragic, haunted, dangerous and dark. Not just a hero who can be worshipped as always doing good and saving the day, the Doctor has seen and participated in some extremely horrific events. He is responsible for an enormous number of deaths and also saving  billions of lives over and over.

He can go from making you laugh one moment to fixing such a steely eye and delivering a monologue that it chills or makes you tear up. He hates. He deeply hates the enemies of good. And he loves. He loves very deeply, and he loses everyone he loves eventually, so all his love is tinged with the pain he knows is coming. Not such a simple, one-dimensional children’s character!

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Recently the doctor has regenerated (a huge event in Who-ville) and is now being played by Peter Capaldi. Not the first Scottish Doctor (Sylvester McCoy and David Tennant were previous Scots in the role), but the first to use his accent! He is a return to the more statesmanlike character of the 1st and 3rd doctors but with an energy and humour all his own.

Responses are mixed as they always are (fans often forget that they once were unsure of that previous new incarnation before they grew to love him) and the shows have been a bit uneven–the first, third and fifth were great, the second and fourth, not so much, but I think Mr. Capaldi is just beginning to reveal “his” doctor and I am looking forward to seeing where he takes the role. Plus the new opening credits are so AWESOME!!!!

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Don’t feel intimidated by the fact that, should you want to dive in, there are 44 years worth of shows (and one really awful movie) that you would need to watch to catch up. You can easily start to watch now without feeling lost. Or start when the new series began back in 1996 and work your way up through the four newest doctors. There are lots of pretty damn rip-roaring and powerful episodes in those years.

But do go back sometime and watch at least one Tom Baker episode, because his Doctor is just too awesome to be missed. I recommend “Robots of Death”, “Pyramids of Mars” or “Genesis of the Daleks”.

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and also, once you are a fan, watch the dramatization of the origins of the show, “An Adventure in Space and Time” (2013) starring David Bradley as the first Doctor Who, William Hartnell. It’s charming.