Olive Oil Not Butter

On your bread, that is. Studies show that when people dip some bread into a little bit of olive oil, instead of spreading the butter, they end up eating less bread. Unsaturated fats, like the kind found in olive oil,will help satisfy your appetite better than saturated fats do. A little at the beginning of a meal will help you eat less overall.

Another benefit of having olive oil instead of butter is that fats in the olive oil will help boost absorption of the nutrients in your meal.

Try mixing some olive oil, fresh chopped garlic, and a touch of balsamic vinegar in a small bowl, Next, dip some warm bread in the mixture. I promise it tastes delicious and is healthier than butter!

Can Exercising Keep Those Wrinkles At Bay?

This could be one more reason o get motivated and do some form of exercise every day. An interesting article discusses the theory that exercising everyday will help keep you looking younger, as well as keeping your body healthier.

Studies are showing that consistent exercise might be responsible for creating cellular changes in our bodies. Our chromosomes have protective caps on the tips, which are called telomeres. According to the article, "A recent study done in Britain followed sets of twins and looked at their activity level. Their findings confirmed that the twin who exercised more had longer telomeres than the one who didn't - and was biologically as much as nine years "younger." So it is likely that if you are younger at the cellular level, you will just look younger too.

Aside from the cellular benefits that may be possible with exercise, there is the fact that blood flow will increase through physically moving your body, giving you skin a healthier glow and help rid your body of toxins.

And probably all of us know the effects of stress on our faces, skin, and souls. Lep in mind that exercise will release endorphins which will combat stress. And chances are that you are going to feel better about yourself and gain some confidence with regular exercising.

It is so easy to let the demands of our everyday lives distract us from taking care of ourselves.But busy as we women are, we owe ourselves the benefits of daily exercise. Looking younger, feeling better, and getting healthier... what other motivation do we need?

How To Live Longer With 4 Easy Steps

There are 4 things you can start doing today that may help you live a longer and healthier life.

1. Exercise Reguarly.

Helps lower blood pressure by 10 points in as little as three-four weeks.
Raises "Good" Cholesterol while helping lower"bad" cholesterol.
Boosts Insulin sensitivity in high risk women.
Stimulates bone growth.

2. Eat Fruits and Vegetables

Fiber and Minerals in fruits and vegetables help bring down blood pressure.
Eating Veggies and Fruit instead of foods high in saturated fat can help lower "Bad" cholesterol.
Eating Fruits and Vegetables is linked to higher bone density, possibly because of higher potassium and other nutrients.

3. Watch The Weight

Taking off some extra pounds can help lower "bad" cholesterol and increase "good" cholesterol.
You can help reverse pre-diabetes by losing some body weight, even 5 percent loss can help.
Losing weight can help lower blood pressure and reduce your risk of developing hypertension.

4. Don't Smoke

Avoid the damaging effects of smoking such as:
Increased blood pressure
Narrowing of blood vessels, whih increases heart attack and stroke risks
Increased blood sugar
Diminished bone mineral density

Try and make small changes in your daily habits at first just to get started on the road to a healthier lifestyle. Make a plan to walk every evening for 20 minutes, and to add one fresh fruit or veggie to your diet each day. The better you begin to feel, the more motivated you will become, and the better care you will take of yourself!

Best Foods For Sex

Some foods may be better than others when it comes to sex. It's true. So if you want to know which foods will give you the best chance at great sex, keep reading!

Espresso. Coffee, especially strong brew, increases blood flow which in turn makes nerve endings more sensitive.....

Chocolate. The darker the better. Chocolate has chemicals, such as anadamine and phenylethylamine, which produces a cozy, euphoric feeling.

Shrimp and Oysters. Shrimp and raw oysters have lots of zinc--a very important mineral when it comes to a healthy sex life. Zinc controls progesterone levels, which helps boost libido. It also helps increase sperm levels and fends off impotence in men. Shrimp also contain a stress-reducing amino acid and the feel-good hormone serotonin.

Beef. Beef has protein that will increase the body's production of the hormones dopamine and norepinephrine. These hormones will help keep you awake in the bedroom, as long as you don't eat too much! Overeating will signal the body to produce sleepy time hormones.

Sweet Potato. Potassium helps reduce stress, and sweet potato is an excellent source of potassium. Less stress may mean more sex...maybe.

Spinach. Magnesium, found in spinach, helps dilate blood vessels, which in turn increases blood flow...which of course is good for nerve endings.

Red Wine
( 1-2 glasses). Grape skins contain the antioxidant, resveratrol, which increases estrogen production which is good for getting that "in the mood" feeling, and as an added bonus, helps with the body's lubrication process.
Drinking wine made from Muscadine Grapes will give you a higher concentration of the antioxidant than most other red wine so drink a glass or two, but no more than that or it will depress the nervous system.

Vanilla Ice Cream. Ice cream has high levels of calcium and phosphorus, two minerals that build your muscles' energy reserves and boost your libido. Vanilla is best because the scent is known to help reduce anxiety and inhibitions.

Chocolate Syrup
( on that vanilla ice cream! ) Not only does it taste good, but research shows that women release high levels of the "feel good" endorphins after eating chocolate.
The cocoa in chocolate contains methylxanthines, stimulants that increase your body's sensitivity—ensuring that your skin registers even the slightest touch or movement against it. As always with chocolate, the darker the better!

Raspberries. Also delicious and healthy for your body, raspberries have a potent antioxidant that also increases blood flow in your body.


Eight Easter Candies You May Want To Avoid

Who doesn't munch as they fill Easter baskets for their kids? How can you not? But before you start filling those baskets, you might want to take a look at Newsweek's List of the eight most fattening Easter candies.

I honestly can say that even after reading the list, I will probably still eat candy...in fact, I know I will. Except for those yellow and pink marshmellow bunny/ducky things..never have like those peeps, and I refuse to buy them for the baskets! But yes, the jelly beans and chocolate eggs will be all over our house and we will all be feeling the sugar on Sunday.

A surprising thing on the list for me is the fact that those creme filled Cadbury eggs actually have less calories than the hollow chocolate eggs. The hollow chocolate candy eggs will treat you with as much as three times the calories as the creme eggs!

How many calories does your favorite Easter candy have?

Going Barefoot Better For Your Feet?

Yea! I love, love, love going barefoot every chance I get! I admit it. And I tend to let my kids run around barefoot as well. I love the feel of the sidewalk under my feet, and of course, grass! But I get remarks from my husband and others about how "dirty" and unsafe being barefoot is. Ack! As long as all 'bared' feet are washed at the end of the day, and the area that the 'bared' feet will be traipsing along is relatively safe, then why not enjoy that free foot feeling, I say.

Now a report has come out that says that earlier human populations who did not wear shoes actually had healthier feet with fewer problems than the shoe wearing humans of today! Yippee....a rebuttal for those doubters of the wonders of going barefoot!

The study challenges the widely held belief that habitually wearing shoes is good for your feet and suggests that going "barefoot" results in fewer bony pathologies.

The two professors who conducted the study both agreed that if you want to have fewer feet problems, than going barefoot is the answer. Of course, there is the "right place, right time" factor in going barefoot, lol. Even I will wear shoes when going out (my kiddos as well, hehe). And I would NEVER EVER think of stepping in a public restroom sans shoes. But it is nice to know that the next time my tootsies are enjoying their freedom, I am actually doing my cute (OK...maybe not so cute, but since you can't see them I can fib!)toes some healthy good!

10 Foods That Help Detox Your Body

Next time you are at the grocery store, bring along this list of the top 10 foods that can help "cleanse" and "detox" your body!

1. Green Leafy Vegetables: The chlorophyll helps clean out environmental toxins (heavy metals, pesticides) and protects the liver.

2. Lemons: Make fresh lemonade. Vitamin C is absolutely one of the best detox vitamins, and helps convert toxins into a water-soluble form that's easily flushed away.

3. Watercress: The leaves are rich in minerals and have a diuretic effect that helps move things through your system. Add some to your next sandwich.

4. Garlic: We all know about the health benefits of garlic for your cardio system, but garlic is also good for the liver because it activates the enzymes in your liver that filter out the bad stuff in your system.

5. Green Tea: So full of antioxidants, green tea is just about the best drink for your body ever. Your liver gets an extra bonus from green tea-- the catechins in the tea speed up liver activity.

6. Broccoli Sprouts: They have 20 to 50 times more cancer-fighting, enzyme-stimulating activity in each bite than the grown-up vegetable. If you can't find the sprouts at your grocery store, try a health food store.

7. Sesame Seeds: These are said to be good for helping your liver deal with the effects of alcohol and other chemicals. You can get sesame seeds in a paste form, called tahini, which is also very popular in Asian cooking.

8. Cabbage: Make some coleslaw with it, or try a 'salad' of shredded cabbage and olive oil and vinegar...quick and delicious! Cabbage is an excellent food for your liver because it activates both of the detoxifying enzymes that are in your liver.

9. Psyllium: Get the powder and stir some into your morning juice. It i rich i soluble fiber, which is great for cleansing the body of toxins and cholesterol.

10. Fruit: Buy a variety and eat some every day. You will get Vitamin C, nutritional fluids to clean your body, and lots of antioxidants.

Thought For Today --March Archives

Monday March 31st

Stress bumps up levels of the hormone cortisol, which in turn hikes up blood pressure and suppresses your immune system. A quick antidote: deep breathing; it takes mere minutes and will have an instant calming effect on your body and mind.

Friday March 28th

If you run out of eye makeup remover, you can use a dab of olive oil and a wet washcloth as an alternative.

Thursday March 27th

Keep salad makings and cut up fruit at eye level in your refrigerator. "Hide" the high calorie foods/snacks in the bins and out of sight.

Wednesday March 26th

Herbs are a flavorful source of antioxidants. Add some to your sandwich or salad to perk up the taste and nutrition.

Tuesday March 25th

Keep an ongoing list of things that make you smile. Look at the list when you’re having a rough day.

Monday March 24th

Keep a container in your refrigerator with baby carrots, snap peas, and red pepper slices. Next time you want to nibble on something...dig in!

Sunday March 23rd

Happy Easter!

Saturday March 22nd

Coloring Easter Eggs today? If you want your eggs to be in fashion, better stock up on the Teal Blue Dye! According to Paas, Teal blue is the new "it" color, shoving aside so-last-season purple.

Friday March 21st

Meditation induces physical relaxation and mental awareness. Sit still for a minute, close your eyes, and focus on your breath.

Thursday March 20th

Wild salmon and sardines are full of omega-3 fatty acids, which help ward off depression and Alzheimer's disease. Sprinkle onion powder, crushed red pepper, and a little salt/pepper on some salmon fillets, and marinade the fillets overnight. Grill or broil the next day for a delicious and healthy meal!


* 1/4 cup olive oil
* 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
* 4 cloves garlic, minced
* 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
* 2 tablespoons white sugar
* 2 tablespoons chopped green onions
* 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Wednesday March 19th

Try eating nine servings of fresh fruit and veggies everyday for a week and see how you feel at the end of the week. Be sure to et a "rainbow" of fruits and veggies as well, not just the same ones each day.

Tuesday March 18th

Give someone the benefit of the doubt today. It will make you feel good!

Monday March 17th

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Don't forget to wear your green!

Sunday March 16th

Coconut is full of good cholesterol-lowering fats and nutrients. Try using coconut milk when cooking up jasmine rice; serve with grilled shrimp for a taste of the Caribbean. Or mix into smoothies.

Saturday March 15th

Drink a glass of antioxidant-packed cranberry or pomegranate juice mixed with club soda. It's refreshing and healthy.

Friday March 14th

Forget regret. Our mistakes are what shape us and help us to grow, especially if we learn from them.

Thursday March 13th

Brighten colors in the wash naturally (and cheaply) by dissolving one cup of table salt in the water before adding your laundry.

Wednesday March 12th

Practice visualization when you're feeling tense: Picture a serene, beautiful scene and repeat an affirmative mantra, like "I feel calm."

Tuesday March 11th

Learn a new word daily; It's a fun challenge, and you'll love showing off your expanding vocabulary! Get your word at m-w.com/netdict.htm

Monday March 10th

Dark chocolate contains antioxidants and may help prevent several types of cancer. Delicious and nutritious!

Sunday March 9th

Write down five things you’re thankful for in your life.

Saturday March 8th

Try keeping a list of things you can do instead of eating posted on your refrigerator door, i.e. walking, knitting, crossword puzzle, sit-ups, etc.

Friday March 7th

Eating oranges and olive oil may prevent wrinkles and dryness, and keep you looking more youthful as you age, according to a new study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Thursday March 6th

Take a moment each day for stillness. Your body and spirit need time to recharge. Try meditation or visualization techniques.

Wednesday March 5th

Keep an ongoing list of things that make you smile. Look at the list when you’re having a rough day.

Tuesday March 4th

Begin your day with a nice, big, full-body stretch. It’ll invigorate you and loosen up tight muscles.

Monday March 3rd

Warm up with a cup of hot apple cider instead of hot chocolate—you'll save more than 3 grams of fat.

One Bowl Banana Nut Muffins

These healthy muffins are rich in Vitamin E make a great breakfast food. Wheat germ adds to the nutty flavor of the muffin.


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup low-fat milk
3 tablespoons butter
1 egg
cinnamon sugar (optional)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
For easy clean-up, use the paper muffin/cupcake liners in your muffin pan. To help prevent sticking to paper, use a little cooking spray on each liner as well.

Mix flour, walnuts, wheat germ, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg in large bowl. Stir in bananas, milk, butter and egg. Mix until just blended.

Fill muffin cups with batter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar if you like ( I do not use it, and my kids love these muffins anyway).

Bake about 20-22 minutes. Cool, then remove muffins from pan.

Enjoy warm muffins with a cup of herbal tea....yum!

Hmmm..Eat a Halthy Granola Bar and Win A Dream Bag

Quaker has a new 90 calorie granola bar...90 calories...yea! This healthy munchie comes in two yummy flavors--Dark Chocolate Cherry, and Strawberry Vanilla.

And Quaker is having a give-away in honor of the new snack, so you might want to go on over to the site and enter to win! The prize is a 'too cute' red designer bag filled with make-up, an Ipod nano, and, of course, granola bars!!

To check out the nutrition content of the new granola bars, click here.

Enter the sweepstakes here, and good luck!

St. Patrick's Day Treat--- Chocolate Guiness Cheesecake

It's St. Paddy's Day! A day to be Irish ( even if you're really not), and have fun. Indulge in this oh so decadent dessert, and relax...tomorrow you can eat healthy again!


* 1 cup crushed chocolate cookies
* 1/4 cup butter, softened
* 2 tablespoons white sugar
* 1/4 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
* 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
* 1 cup white sugar
* 3 eggs
* 1/2 pound semisweet chocolate chips
* 2 tablespoons heavy cream
* 1 cup sour cream
* 1 pinch salt
* 3/4 cup Irish stout beer (e.g. Guinness®)
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 1 (1 ounce) square semisweet chocolate


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Prepare a 9 inch springform pan with butter.
2. Combine the crushed cookies, butter, 2 tablespoons sugar, and cocoa in a small bowl; mix; press into the bottom of the prepared springform pan.
3. Place the cream cheese in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer set to low speed until smooth. While beating, slowly add 1 cup sugar and then the eggs, one at a time. Continue beating until smooth.
4. Combine the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave until the chocolate is completely melted, stirring every 30 seconds. Beat the chocolate into the cream cheese mixture. Add the sour cream, salt, beer, and vanilla; blend until smooth. Pour the mixture over the crust. Place the pan into a large, deep baking dish. Fill the dish with water to cover the bottom half of the springform pan.
5. Bake the cheesecake in the water bath in the preheated oven for 45 minutes; turn oven off; leave the cheesecake in the oven with oven door slightly ajar another 45 minutes; remove from oven. Run a knife along the edge of the cheesecake to loosen from pan. Chill in refrigerator at least 4 hours.
6. Melt the semisweet chocolate in a small bowl using the microwave. Make chocolate clovers by dropping 3 small drops of melted chocolate close to one another on waxed paper. Drag a toothpick from between two dots outward to make the stem; chill until hardened. Arrange the chocolate clovers on top of the chilled cheesecake for decoration.

Can Veggies Help You Remember Where Your Keys Are?

Forgetting things, like where I put my keys, is getting way too common for me. I hate the feeling of going upstairs, only to realize I forgot what I was going up there for! Thank goodness I have my kids, they are only to happy to point out my ever increasing forgetfulness to me! Truly, I think they are determined to get the most mileage they can out of mom's weary brain!

So, if eating some more veggies will kick my lethargic brain cells into gear, I'm all for it! Studies that focus on food and memory suggest that the more overall produce you eat, the better. Research conducted by Harvard Medical School over the course of 25 years and studied more than 13,000 women showed that the participants who ate relatively high amounts of vegetables over the years had less age-related decline in memory.

Even better news comes from research that shows that foods that contain the phytochemicals, anthocyanin and quercetin, may actually help reverse some age-related memory loss.

Also, an Australian study found that eating plenty of foods rich in folic acid was associated with faster information processing and memory recall. After just five weeks of introducing adequate folic acid into their diets, women in the study showed overall improvements in memory.

OK--so what are the best foods for eating and getting these benefits from?


Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, bok choy, spinach, collard and mustard greens, kale and Swiss chard.

Some of the best foods for anthocyanin
: Berries (all varieties), cherries, black currents, eggplant, red, black, and purple grapes, plums, rhubarb, red onion, red apples, red/purple cabbage, and red beets.

Some of the best foods for quercetin
: Onions (red, yellow, white), kale, leeks, cherry tomato, broccoli, blueberries, black currants, elderberries, apricots, apple with skin (Red Delicious), and red, purple, and black grapes.

Some of the best foods for folic acid include fortified whole-grain breakfast cereals, lentils, black-eyed peas, soybeans, spinach, green peas, artichokes, broccoli, wheat germ, beets and oranges.

And remember the saying, "Fish is Brain Food"? It's true. The omega-3 fatty acids that is are in many fish can help protect your memory. Studies of people who ate fish at least once a week had a 10 percent slower decline compared with those who did not eat fish, a difference that gave them the memory and thinking ability of a person three years younger.

Time for me to go shopping for some 'brain food'!

Waist Not Weight More Important To Your Health

Waist size is more important than weight, according to Dr. Michael F. Roizen, and Dr.Mehmet C. Oz (think Oprah!), authors of YOU: The Owner’s Manual.
Because of its proximity to vital organs, belly fat is the most dangerous fat you can carry, and it is one of the strongest predictors of health risks (heart disease, diabetes, and more bad stuff) associated with obesity.

According to Roizen and Oz, we should be measuring our waists and not worrying so much about stepping on the scale. Ideal waist size for women is 32½ inches or less and 35 inches or less for men.

They suggest losing weight by eating 3 healthy meals a day and have snacks in between in order to stay feeling satisfied and not hungry. According to the doctors, if you feel like you are starving, this makes your body want to start storing fat.

Also, eat the same thing (yes, it's what the two docs say!) everyday for breakfast and lunch. Apparently people who keep their food choices limited tend to lose the most weight.

Make sure your breakfast contains fiber; Fiber eaten in the morning will help reduce afternoon hungry cravings.

Walk every day for 30 minutes.

Eat a handful of walnuts (healthy fat) 20 minutes before sitting down to a meal--this will help curb your appetite and lessen your chance of over-eating!

And yet more reason to get a good night's sleep---- fatigue will make you crave sugary foods because the sugar will release chemicals in your brain that sleepiness and fatigue will leave you short on.

Don’t buy anything with more than 4 grams of saturated fat or 4 grams of any sugar (especially high-fructose corn syrup) per serving. Check labels on everything you buy at the market. Saturated fat is an aging fat that’s bad for your whole body, and simple sugars make you crave high-calorie foods.

OK Ladies....get out those tape measures and put away the scales!!

Salmon and Pasta Salad

Try this recipe for a healthy delicious lunch! Tastes sooo good when you stuff the pasta salad in the tomatoes, but also yummy with tomatoes just sliced on the side.

What You'll Need:

1 cup dried four-color corkscrew macaroni
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup shredded cucumber or zucchini
1/4 cup shredded carrot
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise dressing or salad dressing
1/2 teaspoon snipped fresh dill or 1/4 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper1 7-1/2-ounce can salmon, drained, flaked, and skin and bones removed
4 medium tomatoes


1. Cook macaroni according to package directions, except omit any oil or salt. Drain; set aside. In large bowl combine yogurt, cucumber, carrot, mayonnaise dressing, dill, salt, and pepper. Add cooked pasta and salmon; toss gently to coat. Cover; refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.

2. Meanwhile, for tomato stars, cut out 1/2 inch of the core from each tomato. Invert tomatoes. For each tomato, cut from the top to, but not quite through the stem end to make 6 wedges.

3. To serve, place tomatoes on plates. Spread wedges slightly apart; fill with salmon-pasta mixture. Makes 4 servings.

Just What Are The Best Sleeping Tips?

With all the research and news about sleep, I decided to roam around the net looking for tips on getting a good night's sleep. But what I found were a lot of contradictory suggestions. Where one site will advise eating carbs before bed, another will tell me not to. I found the tip to read before bed, yet another tip popped up...yep...not to read or watch tv before bed. So I decided to go with the advice that made the most sense to me, and sounded reasonable.

So here is my list of the best sleeping tips:

1. Do not go to bed until you feel sleepy. If you go to bed and do not fall asleep within 20 minutes get up and do something else until you feel sleepy again.

2. Get up at about the same time every morning, no matter when you go to bed.

3. Avoid alcohol and caffeine for several hours before bedtime.

4. Take a bath before going to bed. Add some soothing aromatherapy oils, just as lavendar, to your bath. Keep the water warm, but not hot. The warm water raises body temperature that helps you to sleep while too hot will make you feel weak and sweaty when you get out.

5. Don't Go To Bed Angry. Old but true advice. While this may not always be easy to do, I do agree that getting no a heated argument with my husband just before hitting the sheets does make for a particularly tough night sleep!

6. And of course...the opposite of arguing...making love. Is there any better way to ensure a sound night sleep?

7. Check Your Iron Levels. This is an interesting tip I came across, and one I had not heard of before. Women that are iron-deficient tend to have more trouble sleeping.

8. Keep a Journal. I think this is really a good idea. Write down everything that is on your mind. Journaling your thoughts is relaxing and therapeutic...give it a try if you don't already do this.

9. Eat a Light snack. If I am really hungry, I know I will have trouble going to sleep. So I say go ahead and have a light snack and calm the grumbling! Common sense of course should prevail here, lol, and don't go for a full on meal. Maybe some slices of apple, or half a muffin with peanut butter,or a handful of nuts. Try some herbal tea or the tried and true glass of warm milk with your snack.

10. Just whatever works! LOL. Whether it be reading, some late night tv, finishing up some task I wanted to be done with, whatever feels right at that moment, I will probably go ahead and do, even if it is contrary to the advice of sleep experts. If it will help clear my mind, or help me get relaxed and sleepy, then I might watch some Jay Leno, or read one more chapter of my favorite mystery of the moment ( one site I visited advised not to read mysteries at night...oh well.)

So these are the best tips I find to make the most sense for me. Care to share any tips that work for you?

Bad Night's Sleep..... Bad For Women's Hearts

While not getting a good night's sleep is not good for anyone's health, it appears that it can be especially bad for women. Recent studies are showing that sleeping poorly takes a higher toll on women's cardiovascular health than men's.

The study found that about 40 percent of the men and women were classified as poor sleepers, defined as having frequent problems falling asleep, taking 30 or more minutes to fall asleep or awakening frequently during the night.

But while the sleep quality of the men and women studied were similar, the effects of the poor sleep patterns on the cardiac health of the men and women were dramatically different.

For women, poor sleep is strongly associated with high levels of psychological distress and greater feelings of hostility, depression and anger. They had higher levels of all the biomarkers tests -- higher levels of C-reactive protein and interleukin-6, measures of inflammation that have been associated with increased risk of heart disease and higher levels of insulin.

Women who reported taking a half an hour or more to fall asleep showed the worst cardiac risk profile, according to the study.

Shrimp Scampi With Linguine

Shrimp is an excellent low fat source of Omega-3 and Vitamins B-12 and D. Shrimp is often thought to be high in cholesterol, however, recent studies have revealed that cholesterol levels in shrimp are significantly lower than previously thought. An average 3 ½ ounce (100 gram) shrimp portion contains about 150 milligrams of cholesterol, or about half the cholesterol found in one chicken egg.

There are two types of cholesterol. LDL is known as "bad cholesterol" because it may promote production of artery-building plaques that can result in a heart attack. HDL is called "good cholesterol" because it returns cholesterol back to the liver for reprocessing, which reduces cholesterol in the blood stream. A serving of a dozen large shrimp contains about 130 mg of cholesterol. This is not a health concern because shrimp is low fat with a rich content of highly unsaturated fatty acids which lead to the formation of high density lipids known as good cholesterol. Consuming shrimp may actually lower blood cholesterol levels.

Shrimp Scampi with Linguine

# 1 lb linguine
# 4 tablespoons butter
# 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more
# extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
# 1 large shallot, finely diced
# 5 garlic cloves, sliced
# 1 pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
# 20 large shrimp, about 1 pound, peeled and deveined, tail on
# kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
# 1/2 cup dry white wine
# 1 lemon, juice of
# 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves

Prepare pasta according to package directions.

Drain the pasta reserving 1 cup of water.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter in 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat.

Saute the shallots, garlic, and red pepper flakes (if using) until the shallots are translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Season the shrimp with salt and pepper; add them to the pan and cook until they have turned pink, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Remove the shrimp from the pan; set aside and keep warm.

Add wine and lemon juice and bring to a boil.

Add 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons oil.

When the butter has melted, return the shrimp to the pan along with the parsley and cooked pasta and reserved pasta water.

Stir well and season with salt and pepper.

Drizzle over a bit more olive oil and serve immediately.

Milk --- It Does Brooke Shield's Body Good!

Lipstick Jungle Star, Brooke Shields, is the latest actress to sport a milk mustache and promote the benefits of drinking milk. Shield's ad campaign will be featured in the March 14 issue of Us Weekly.

Brooke looks fantastic in the milk ad, imho, and her quote states, "Busy Body. Actress, model, mother, health nut, spokesperson, role model. How does a busy mom get it all done? I exercise, eat right and drink milk. Studies suggest the nutrients in 3 glasses of lowfat or fat free milk a day can help maintain a healthy weight. Plus the protein helps build muscle for a lean body. Done."

Hmmm....makes me want to go pour myself a glass of cold milk...how about you?

Three Things You Can Do To Help Protect Your Fertility

If you are contemplating 'mommyhood' at some point in your future these three tips may help you protect and boost your chances of getting pregnant.

Don't Douche. Douching can wipe out normal, protective bacteria in the vagina, upsetting the natural balance and putting you at risk for bacterial vaginosis, a common but often overlooked vaginal infection. This infectin, if left untreated, has been linked to preterm labor and may be associated with higher risk of miscarriage and infertility.

Don't Smoke. Smoking is just bad for our health, period. But if you do smoke and need some extra motivation to quit, think about your fertility. Cigarette toxins not only damage a woman's eggs, interfering with the fertilization and implantation process, but also cause the ovaries to "age." You do not want your eggs to be 'older' than you are, especially if you are hoping to get pregnant! The good news here is that while smoking can cause permanent damage to your reproductive system, quitting smoking can help bring back some ovarian function.

Limit Alcohol
. Too much alcohol can affect fertility in women, according to recent studies. Alcohol changes estrogen levels, which may affect implantation. Even two glasses of wine a day may hurt your chances of becoming pregnant. So if you want to have a 'baby belly' soon, it's best to skip the wine altogether. And research shows that that women who drank any alcohol along with more than a cup of coffee each day were half as likely to conceive as women who abstained from alcohol and drank little or no coffee per day. But drinking a cup of coffee each day in itself does not appear to affect fertility.
So if you are working on getting pregnant-- skip the wine and limit the java to one cup a day.

Read more about fertility at Parents.com

Fight Wrinkles With Melons

Fight wrinkles as well as treat your taste buds with this easy and delicious dessert:

Just place some chilled melon balls in a wine glass and splash with champagne. Then add some mint for a garnish.

Skin needs beta-carotene to help fight wrinkles....and melon has lots of it! Especially cantaloupe! Melon also has a high water content so it can help skin well hydrated and looking smooth and soft.

Asparagus Time!

Hmmmm..it's Asparagus season again! March through July is the best time for finding fresh asparagus at the supermarket,

Asparagus is high in folic acid, and is also a source of potassium, fiber, vitamin B6, vitamins A and C, and thiamin. Plus, the yummy spring veggie has no fat, no cholesterol, and is low in sodium.

Asparagus is delicious just grilled with a drizzle or so of olive oil, salt and pepper, and sprinkled parmesan cheese on top. This vegetable is really versatile and can be incoporated into salads, soups, and sandwiches, and pastas!

If you need a recipe idea that uses asparagus, try this recipe for easy Tilapia with Asparagus :


* 2 (3 ounce) fillets tilapia fillets
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* salt and pepper to taste
* 1 lemon, halved
* 1/2 cup white wine
* 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
* 3 tablespoons capers
* 1 cup asparagus spears, trimmed and cut in half
* 3 tablespoons butter


1. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Drizzle fillets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place fillets in skillet and sprinkle with half of the lemon over. Cook for 3 minutes per side, or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Transfer fillets to a plate, and keep warm.
2. Add wine, remaining 1/2 lemon, tomatoes, capers, and salt and pepper to the skillet. Increase heat to medium high and boil for 2 minutes to burn off alcohol. Reduce heat to low and return fillets to the pan along with the asparagus. Cover and simmer 2 minutes more, then transfer fish and asparagus to a serving dish and keep warm.
3. Again, increase heat to medium high and whisk in butter, and boil to desired consistency. Spoon sauce over fish, and serve.

Stroller Fit Offering Free Family Class

Stroller Fit is a great company that offers a "stroller" exercise program for moms and babies. And on Saturday March 15th, they are offering a free Family Class and lunch (classes are approximately 50 minutes including warm-up, strengthening, cardio, stretching and cool-down).

Just go to the Stroller Fit Website, and find a location near you, and then sign up!

5 Quick Energy Boosters You Can Do In Just Minutes

Here are some quick simple ideas to perk yourself back up during the day when you feel a bit sluggish

1. Laugh

Laughter is the Best Medicine....remember that phrase? It's true! Your brain releases endorphins each time you laugh. These are 'feel good' chemicals with a lot of punch! Endorphins can make you feel more awake and refreshed, can boost your immune system, help prevent heart disease and even reduce your risk of depression.

2. Exercise

Try getting up and moving, even for a few minutes. Exercising your body also releases those 'feel good' endorphins, and it also helps you take in more oxygen and fires up your metabolism. Try some of these quick moves during the day when you are feeling down:

March in Place
Jump rope
Do Lunges
Dance with your baby
Run laps with your kids
Tackle the stairs in your house a couple of times

You'll be laughing, breathing in oxygen, getting your circulation going, and releasing tension!

3. Drink Water

This is actually the most common reason for feeling sluggish during the day---dehydration! The less water there is in your system, the less oxygen is circulating in your bloodstream. So drink up! 8 glasses of water during the day will keep the 'blahs' at bay. And guzzle a glass of water whenever you are feeling low and sluggish...you may be suprised how much better you'll feel.

4. Yoga Quickies

Try these two simple positions to improve your circulation and relieve tension.

Eagle Arms. While you're sitting or standing, cross your arms in front of you so that your left elbow is resting in the crook of your right elbow. As you bend your elbows, your hands should be back-to-back and resting in front of your face. Now rotate your hands so that your palms are facing each other. Hold for two or three deep breaths and release. Repeat with your right arm above your left.

Leg Stretch. Lie flat on your back with your butt and legs straight up against a wall. Take several deep breaths. Now create a diamond with your legs by turning your ankles and knees out and sliding your feet halfway down the wall. Making sure the soles of your feet are touching, take several more breaths.

5. Sniff A Lemon!

Or a lime, orange or grapefruit. Yes, really! Apparently certain scents can help you recharge fast, and increase your attention span. So grab a lemon and either cut into it or squeeze it, and at the same time inhale deeply.
Peppermint is also supposed to be good for invigorating the senses, so try sipping on a cup of peppermint tea.


Apricot Muffin Recipe

Research shows that of any food, apricots possess the highest levels and widest variety of carotenoids. Carotenoids are antioxidants that help prevent heart disease, reduce “bad cholesterol” levels, and protect against cancer. In traditional Chinese medicine, apricots are considered helpful in regenerating body fluids, detoxifying, and quenching thirst.

And for men, there is a possible added benefit: Apricots are a rich source of the carotenoid, lycopene. Choosing to eat lycopene-rich foods and regularly drink green tea may greatly reduce a man's risk of developing prostate cancer, suggests research published the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Jian L, Lee AH, et al.)

Hmm...makes me think twice about eating a fruit I usualy give very little thought to!

So here is a recipe featuring the amazing apricot!

Apricot Muffins

You'll Need:

3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 large egg
3/4 cup apricot nectar
4 teaspoons orange zest grated
3 cups whole wheat flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup apricots, dried chopped fine
3/4 cup


Mix the sugar, shortening and egg until fluffy. Stir in the apricot
nectar and orange rind. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and add to the creamed mixture. Blend in the apricots and add to the batter.

Pour into the muffin tins, that have been sprayed with a non-stick coating. Let stand for 20 minutes and then bake at 350 degrees F. for 15 to 20 minutes or until done. Cool on racks.

*nuts can be added to this recipe as well---just add some chopped nuts with the apricots to the mixture.

Link Between Breast Cancer Recurrence and Estrogen

High levels of estrogen in womens blood has been tied to breast cancer already, but now research is showing that high levels of estrogen may also play a big part in a woman's recurrence of breast cancer.

Estrogen causes cell division, which research shows may start breast cancer. According to studies, women that experienced a recurrence of breast cancer had twice the level of estrogen in their blood as women who stayed cancer-free after treatment.

Drugs are used to lower estrogen levels in women with breast cancer, but according to researchers and doctors, there may be two other things women can do to help decrease levels of estrogen in the blood:

Moderate to Vigorous Exercise and Healthy Weight Management.

So we need to exercise every day, even a brisk walk about 20 minutes every evening/morning would be helpful, and we need to pay attention to what we choose to eat!

To learn more about breast cancer, go to The National Cancer Institute

Interesting Facts About Sugar's Effects On Skin

Apparently sugar, especially too much of it, can actually cause premature skin aging.

Sugar molecules in our bloodstreams attach to protein molecules. The new molecules formed are called advanced glycation end-products, or AGEs. AGEs damage collagen in skin, cartilage, and ligaments and promote a loss of elasticity. Skin becomes dry, saggy, and wrinkles form. Ack.

And sugar has even more power when it comes to our skin. The type of collagen you have determines how resiliant our skin is. The most abundant collagens in the skin are types I, II, and III, with type III being the most stable and longest lasting. Glycation transforms type III collagen into type I, which is more fragile.

AGEs also mess with your body's natural antioxidant enzymes, leaving you more vulnerable to sun damage — which is still the number one cause of skin aging.

So if you are beginning to see more wrinkles than you care to on your face, you probably need to work on cutting some sugar out of your daily diet.

To cut back on sugar and improve sugar damage to our skin, experts give this advice:

Try and keep sugar to 10% of your total calories, which is roughly 10 teaspoons f added sugar ( think one 12 oz. can of soda ). Check for hidden sugar in food by reading labels. Sugars will be listed by grams under total carbohydrates on a food label. Take that number and divide it by 4 (each teaspoon of sugar is equal to 4 grams ). So if sugars are listed at 12 grams, you will be getting 3 teaspoons of sugar in each serving.

Stay Away from High Fructose Syrup -- a common ingredient in breads,crackers,snacks,sodas, and fruit-flavored drinks. This type of sweetner is thought to produce more AGES than regular sugar.

Vitamins B1 and B6 fight AGES (yea!) so take at least 1 mg daily of each. B1 and B6 are plentiful in food, but taking a multivitamin — most of which deliver at least 1 mg of both Bs — ensures you're getting the daily value of 1.1 mg for B1 and 1.3 mg for B6 (1.5 mg after age 50).

Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 every day.

Antioxidants help keep sugar molecules from attaching to protein molecules ( causing AGES ), so repelnish those antioxidants constantly. Eat foods high in antioxidants like Walnuts, Cranberries, and Red Bell Peppers.

And you can apply antioxidants to your skin with vitamins C and E, and even apply some Green Tea! This is a great way to make sure those anioxidants reach the dermal layer of skin, where collagen and elastin are located.

And, lastly, skin exerts say using products that contain retinoids can help build new collagen. So look for retinol in serums and lotions that you buy over the counter.

Read the complete article on sugar and it's effects on skin here!

Have You Ever Bought Airborne?

I have not, but if you have purchased this product because it claimed to help fight colds, you may be entitled to some money now!

Airborne has just settled a class-action lawsuit for 23.3 million dollars. Ouch! The suit was brought against Airborne for false advertising. The company, however, does not admit wrongdoing or illegal conduct.

Airborne now claims to be an "immune booster" rather than a supplement that can prevent or treat colds. Airborne's change in their advertising campaign came about when a plaintiff filed suit against the company in March 2006.

And that came after an ABC News report disclosed that the company's clinical trials were not conducted by doctors or scientists, but instead carried out by two laypeople.

To get more information go to www.airbornehealthsettlement.com.

Celebrity Diets.....Second Up.....Rihanna

Rihanna is big right now in the music world, but not so much in the "jean" world, lol! According to an interview the singer recently gave, she weighs in about 133lbs. and is 5ft. 8in. Rihanna shared how she keeps her shape with Fabulous Magazine.

Her favorite workout routine? Running on a treadmill with the help and motivation of a personal trainer (raise your hand if you wish you had a personal trainer....sigh).

What is Rihanna's favorite part of her body? In her words..."My bum, and I keep working at it as I want it to be perfect. It makes my clothes look good – and guys like it!"

What does she like least? Her legs.

Breakfast for Rihanna is typically have egg whites and pineapple for breakfast with hot water and lemon.

Lunch, she says, will be fish and potatoes. Dinner will also likely be a fish entree.

She "makes herself eat vegetables" though she doesn't like them.

And carbs are "her enemy", but she does not go without eating them for more than three days.

You can read Rihanna's full interview here, and see some more picures of the 20 year old singer.

Complexion Tips That Are Easy To Do

Did you know that rubbing a chilled tomato slice rubbed on your face about three times a week will lighten dark spots? I didn't know this, but I think I'll give it a try!

Cotton balls dipped in cold milk will instantly rehydrate and refresh your skin!

A face scrub of sugar and olive oil is good for combating oily skin, and will slough off dead skin.

"Beauty Sleep" is for real! Get 7-8 hours of sleep each night and see the results in your mirror. Your skin will look less wrinkled, eyes less puffy, and dark circles will improve! Plus you'll just feel better getting 7-8 hours sleep at night.

Skin actually repairs itself at night. So remember to put a light face cream on every night after washing and removing your make-up.

Facials and beauty treatments should be done about once every two months; If you do facials more than that, it could tire your delicate facial skin and upset the natural balance of your skin.

Tie your hair back in a cute bouncy ponytail! This automatically gives you a more youthful look, plus it keeps dust, oil, and even dandruff that may be on your hair from getting on your face and forehead.

The tried and true advice...wash your face and keep it clean, is still the one of the best things you can do for your face. Even though it may be tempting to skip a night once in a while and just crawl into bed, try and fight the urge and wash and moisturize your skin first!

And last, but certainly not least, drink your water! We have all heard it before, and will undoubtedly hear it again and again, but we need to actually DO this one. Ty to drink 8-10 glasses of water every day. It will flush out toxins from your system, cleaning up both your body and face.

'Thought For Today' ...... February Archives

Friday Feb. 29th

Keep fine lines and wrinkles at bay by applying a moisturizer with SPF of at least 15 every day, even in winter. Before bed, apply a hydrating night cream.

Thursday Feb. 28th

Grab your camera and take pictures of your family—the everyday moments are often the most memorable.

Wednesday Feb. 27th

Buy something you don’t need at all, but would like to have anyway.

Tuesday Feb. 26th

Have trouble sleeping? Try Spritzing your sheets with a lavender scented spray. Lavender induces relaxation and sleep.

Monday Feb. 25th

Make a commitment to get out and walk at least three times this week. Make each walk about 20 minutes. You'll be proud of yourself for sticking to your plan, and you'll feel better too!

Friday Feb.22nd

One of the best ways to make sure you sleep well at night is to exercise regularly during the day. In studies at Stanford University, in Palo Alto, California, 30 to 40 minutes of moderate aerobic activity in the early evening helped people sleep more deeply than those who didn't exercise.

Thursday Feb. 21st

Snuggle under a warm blanket with a cup of hot chocolate and watch an old movie (one of your favorites!). Have kids? Make a deal with your hubby or significant other...he takes the kids off your hands one night so you can have "me time"...and you do the same for him on another night. Now...go make that hot chocolate!

Wednesday Feb. 20th

Our feelings may not be entirely in our control, but our responses are our choice. You have to choose to be happy, choose to be the bigger person, choose not to let someone impact your life in a negative way.

Tuesday Feb. 19th

Go on a "Complaint Fast." Commit to not complaining about anything or anybody for a day ( or two!). Focus on life's more positive aspects, which has been proven to create a deeper sense of gratitude and overall happiness. Can you commit?

Monday Feb. 18

Start a journal.
Writing down your feelings can take a weight off your shoulders you might not have even realized was dragging you down. It’s like free therapy!

A "Lucky" Cheesecake Recipe For St. Patrick's Day!

I am Irish, and love celebrating St. Patrick's Day! This cheesecake recipe comes from Kraft Foods, and I think the best part of it is the Irish cream Liqueur.....the flavor comes out even stronger after a day in the refrigerator...yum!

Ingredients You'll Need:

1-1/2 cups finely chopped PLANTERS Pecans
2 Tbsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine, meltedCappuccin
4 pkg. (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. flour
1 cup Sour Cream
1/4 cup Irish cream liqueur
4 eggs

PREHEAT oven to 325°F if using a silver 9-inch springform pan (or to 300°F if using a dark nonstick 9-inch springform pan). Mix pecans, 2 Tbsp. sugar and the butter; press firmly onto bottom of pan. Bake 10 min.

BEAT cream cheese, 1 cup sugar and the flour in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add sour cream and liqueur; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Pour over crust.

BAKE 1 hour 5 min. or until center is almost set. Run small knife or metal spatula around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim of pan. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator.

Baking Tip* To help keep the top from cracking, place a glass pie dish filled with water on the oven rack below the cheesecake while baking.

To make the shamrock decoration, sprinkle green colored sugar over a clover-shaped template placed on top of chilled cheesecake to resemble a shamrock.

Also--if you do not want to use the liquer, try using 1 Tbsp. Instant Coffee and 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon dissolved in 1/4 cup boiling water for a 'Cappuccino Cheesecake".

Extra Health Benefits Of Taking The Pill

Women taking the pill to prevent pregnancies may also be getting extra health benefits, according to the FDA. In fact, many women taking an oral contraceptive pill are doing so for reasons other than prevention of pregnancy.

Taking the pill can lower your risk of endometrial and ovarian cancers. Even taking the pill for just one to five years can lower your risk by 40 percent. When you are on an oral contraceptive, ovulation is decreased, and it is thought that ovulation may trigger cell change in the ovaries that can lead to cancer. So less ovulation may be a very good thing.

The estrogen in oral contraceptives helps clear up acne.

Taking the pill will help regulate periods (you can 'schedule' when you want to have a period according to your convenience), and make them lighter and shorter. And, yea!.....cramps are usually banished with the pill as well!

Oral contraceptives are also believed to help relieve many symptons of PMS. Different pills will alleviate different symptons, so you may have to try several before you find the one that gives your particular symptons the most relief.

Endometriosis, a condition in which uterine-lining tissue grows in other pelvic areas, can lead to scarring, severe pain, and sometimes infertility. The Pill stops the growth of tissue in other areas by reducing the hormones that cause the lining to build up.

The pill can also bring relief to women that suffer from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), which is a hormonal disorder that triggers irregular cycles, excessive hair growth, and acne.

Read the full article about these potential benefits here.

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Hangover Remedies Au Natural Style

Too much Friday night partying, or maybe an office party gone a little wild? Maybe it was just a little too much wine with your significant other last night?

But however you got your hang-over, here are some tips to try and help alleviate the symptoms naturally.

Drink a cup of soothing peppermint tea. This should help with an upset stomach.

Or try drinking a large glass of fresh, unsweetened orange/grapefruit juice and take a good multivitamin supplement.

Depending on how you feel, if you can eat a simple breakfast of yogurt or oatmeal with honey and a sprinkling of wheatgerm, followed by a slice of dry rye toast.

Try some soothing aromatherapy:

* An aromatherapy bath with two drops each of lavender and juniper and one drop of rosemary essential oil will help melt away those hangover blues.

* Mix one drop of fennel and one drop of juniper essential oil into 500ml warm water. Dip cotton wool pads into the solution and dab your forehead, temples and liver area.

If you are prone to overindulgence or if your social calendar consists of endless parties and restaurant meals, then you have to give your liver a break every now and again.

Rich or stodgy foods and alcohol can clog your lymphatic system, which will hamper the effective release of toxins from your body. The resulting build-up will put strain on your liver, kidneys, your digestive and immune systems.

Help take the load off your lymph and flush out toxins in your system with this simple detoxifying drink:

* 3-4 tablespoons of pure cold-pressed olive/almond oil
* 6-8 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
* 3-6 garlic cloves
* Freshly grated ginger to taste

Pop all the above ingredients into a blender until frothy and drink it immediately.

Note: People with a history of gallstones should seek medical advice before drinking the drink and pregnant and breastfeeding women should not take it.

These tips come from a great article in Health 24

How To Burn 200 Calories

Want to burn some calories? Got a jump rope handy or a rake? Here is a guide to give you some idea of various activities you can do, and for about how long, in order to burn around 200 calories.

Skipping (jump rope style)......15 Minutes
Pilates (beginner)..... 50 Minutes
Walking (4 mph) ........ 34 Minutes
Boxing (punching bag).... 28 Minutes
Hiking.................. 28 Minutes
Jogging .................. 25 Minutes
Swimming (vigorous)...... 18 Minutes
Step Aerobics ........... 17 Minutes
Rock Climbing ............ 17 Minutes
Stationary Bike ........ 16 Minutes
Elliptical Trainer..............15 Minutes
(using arms and legs)
Basketball...................... 34 Minutes
Gardening (raking,).............35 Minutes

And, let us not forget about "bedroom" exercising~! About 45 minutes of hot and heavy sex should burn off about 200 calories!


Scrumptious Creamy Vegetable Fondue Recipe


* 1/4 cup milk
* 1/4 cup white wine
* 1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese
* 1 (8 ounce) package shredded Monterey Jack cheese
* 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
* 1/4 cup chopped green onions
* 1/4 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
* 1 teaspoon ground dry mustard
* 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
* 1 teaspoon garlic powder
* 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper


1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, mix together milk, white wine, Cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack cheese and cream cheese. Cook, stirring frequently, until melted, about 10 minutes.
2. Stir in green onions, spinach, dry mustard, cayenne pepper, garlic powder and black pepper. Continue cooking until all ingredients are well blended, about 10 minutes.
3. Transfer mixture to a double boiler or fondue pot to keep warm while serving.