Saturday, May 25, 2013

Feeling ill?  Under the weather?  A touch of the flue, bronchitis or pneumonia?  Depressed?  Lonely?  or All of the above?

The Cure? =  LOVE

Love.  It can embrace a broken heart,
That has been beaten, torn and battered.
It can make a simple little thing important,
When it doesn’t seem to matter.

It can lend a listening ear, 
when one is down and out.
It can instill a sense of worth, 
when self esteem is but a doubt.

It can cause one to feel some joy, 
When there seems to be none around.
It can utter sweet kind words,
Where only verbal abuse was found.

It can put a song into a heart,
That never knew one before, 
And pave the way to happiness, 
Opening up many doors.

Love, doesn’t have a cure, it is the cure!
It is the only medicine for all ailments.

Life is about 10% what happens to you, and 90% what you do to make it happen!

For your copy of LOST AND FOUND: LOVE, a book of love poems, go to:  

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Avocados: Heart-Healthy Fruits

The creamy flesh of an avocado gives this food — which is botanically a fruit — an indulgent quality. However, ounce for ounce, avocados are actually one of the healthiest foods around. Not only are they rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, they also contain large amounts of potassium, vitamin E, fiber, folate, and vitamin B6. Best of all, you can enjoy avocados on all Phases of the South Beach Diet.
Buying avocados
There are dozens of varieties of avocados. The two most commonly found in supermarkets are California varieties: the Hass (dark green to purplish black pebbly skin) and Fuerte (smooth, thin, green skin). When selecting any variety of avocado, choose a heavy, unblemished fruit. Remember that most avocados sold in supermarkets aren't ripe — so plan ahead if you're making guacamole or some other dish using avocados, since they take a few days to ripen.
Storing avocados
You can ripen hard avocados by keeping them at room temperature for three to six days. However, you can accelerate this process by storing the avocados in a paper bag. Putting an apple or banana into the bag will make ripening even quicker because both of these fruits emit ethylene, a gas that speeds the process. To test whether your avocados are ripe, give them a gentle squeeze; ripe fruit will yield to pressure without denting. Overripe avocados will dent.
You can store ripe avocados in the refrigerator for up to three days. Once an avocado is cut, rub the surface with lemon or lime juice to prevent discoloration, although a little brown discoloration won't affect its nutritional value or flavor. If you’re making guacamole in advance of a party, place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole to keep it from discoloring.
Enjoying avocados
On the South Beach Diet, 1/3 of an avocado counts as one of your good fat choices for the day (it’s the equivalent of 1 tablespoon of a healthy oil). Slice the avocado and enjoy the slices with a squeeze of lemon, as a salad topping, or layered with other ingredients on a sandwich or in a wrap. You can even add some diced avocado to a smoothie.
To pit an avocado, slice it lengthwise from end to end and twist to separate the two halves. Using a sharp knife, tap the knife’s tip into the pit and twist gently to remove. To remove the flesh, run a paring knife or spoon between the skin and flesh, and remove in one piece or dice the flesh while still inside the skin, then scoop it out with a spoon.
Poems of love fill my heart
and come out one at a time.
Some poems are easy to start,
and flow like nursery rhymes.
Tender moments and soft words
sometimes will overflow.
They become rhyming words
a special love to show.
I love to write what I feel,
to share with friends so dear,
Then they'll know what is real
and my intentions will be clear.
So I'll never fail to write
these poems of love all night,
for sharing with my friends,
helps my heart  shine bright!

for more poetry go to:

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentines Day! 
"Age does not protect you from love, but love, to some extent, protects you from age."  

What Makes Me Romantic? 

Well, the word really started with an association with Spring and Summer in Rome/ I understand it! For me, its being motivated to perceive some things in a man that makes me forget time, place and rational thought! Something that makes a man see "Eve" in me, and makes me appear to him to be "his" forever: to cherish, to love, to tease, to protect, to care for, to hug and to kiss passionately, too. Something that makes me want to share, to give, to enter into his consciousness and remain there until the very end of our time! 

My feeling of 'romantic' really comes from feelings of being mentally free and utterly suspended from "proper" rational conduct or behavior and societal expectations: how else can you justify the seemingly 'foolish' things that lovers do?

I believe in "romance", and would return to Rome anytime, to celebrate what has existed between man and woman since the beginning of time! But I also believe that one does NOT have to travel that far to find romance, because it's really a beautiful state of mind. As I grow older, it is the one dream that I cherish above all others. 

So in my own, very private way; I am, like many others still in that search for romance with a very special man. And as Dr Seuss said, "You know you are in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams!"  I am still dreaming!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Healthy Breakfast Foods for Weight Loss

5 healthy breakfast foods to help you lose weight.

Eating a morning meal is a healthy habit if you're watching your weight. Research shows that regular breakfast eaters tend to be leaner and dieters are more successful at losing weight—and keeping it off—when they eat breakfast. What's more, people who typically eat breakfast also get more fiber (more on why this is important later), calcium, vitamins A and C, riboflavin, zinc and iron—and less fat and dietary cholesterol. Perhaps it's because they often eat cereal, which is fortified with vitamins and minerals, and fruit, which is naturally nutrient-rich.
But that doesn't mean you have to eat cereal to stay—or get—trim. Instead, mix-up your morning meal and try one—or a few—of these 5 breakfast foods that help you lose weight.
1. Raspberries
A cup of raspberries delivers a whopping 8 grams of fiber (that's more than double what's in a cup of strawberries and about the same amount in a cup of some types of beans). What's so great about all that fiber? Recent research in the Journal of Nutrition suggests eating more fiber as a way to prevent weight gain or even encourage weight loss. Over the course of the two-year study, the researchers found that boosting fiber by 8 grams for every 1,000 calories resulted in about 4 ½ pounds of weight lost.
2. Oatmeal
Oatmeal can help you lose weight in two ways. First, it's packed with fiber and it keeps you feeling fuller longer. Second, a recent study in the Journal of Nutrition reported that eating a breakfast made with "slow-release" carbohydrates—such as oatmeal or bran cereal—3 hours before you exercise may help you burn more fat. How? Eating "slow-release" carbohydrates doesn't spike blood sugar as high as eating refined carbohydrates (think: white toast). In turn, insulin levels don't spike as high. Because insulin plays a role in signaling your body to store fat, having lower blood sugar levels may help you burn fat.
3. Yogurt
A recent report, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, and out of Harvard revealed which foods are correlated with weight change, including the top 5 foods that promote weight loss. Yogurt was one of them! (See more of the Best Foods for Weight Loss, and 5 Foods That Make You Gain, here.) Another reason to eat yogurt: the protein in it may give you an extra edge if you're looking to get leaner. When researchers fed two groups of mice a high-fat diet for 11 weeks, the mice that got water spiked with whey protein (a type of protein found naturally in yogurt and other dairy) packed on 42 percent less weight and nearly a third less body fat than the mice who just drank plain water, despite the fact that they ate roughly the same number of calories. The whey eaters also gained 7 percent more lean body mass (e.g., muscle mass). Save calories—and unnecessary sugar—by choosing plain yogurt. If you need a little extra sweetness, try fresh fruit (maybe raspberries?).
4. Peanut Butter
Nuts were also among the top 5 foods that Harvard researchers said promote weight loss. I love to slather a tablespoon or two of peanut butter onto whole-wheat toast (ahem, a "slow-release" carbohydrate), but you could also add nuts to your oatmeal (another "slow-release" carb).
5. Eggs
Eggs deliver protein, which is great for dieters. Compared to carbohydrates and fat, protein keeps you satisfied longer. Plus, in one study, dieters who ate eggs for breakfast felt fuller longer and lost more than twice as much weight as those who got the same amount of calories from a bagel for breakfast.


Some are too heavy.
Some are too weak.
Some are too bland.
Some are too bleak.
Some are too sour.
Some are too sweet.
Some are too loud.
Some are too meak.
Some don’t know the difference
from a day or a week.

But, the best one
is the one made for me
it is special, as you can see

The best one is YOU!

Written by Yolanda Pacheco Garcia
"Awakening Love"

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Daily Dish

A Spotlight on Spinach

Take a cue from Popeye and be sure to eat your spinach! Though not guaranteed to give you super strength, spinach is rich in many nutrients, including beta-carotene, iron, magnesium, and vitamin K, and can be enjoyed on all Phases of the South Beach Diet. And there’s more good news: Studies show that this dark, leafy green can help maintain good health and may reduce your risk of heart disease, some cancers, and other illnesses. Spinach is a versatile vegetable that can be tossed into a salad, sautéed in a stir-fry, used as a filling for omelets, or mixed with other ingredients to create a flavorful dip.
Buying Spinach
The most common type of spinach available in supermarkets is Savoy, but among others are baby spoon, flat or smooth-leaf, and red spinach. Fresh spinach can be purchased loose or in bags. Spinach that is sold in bags is usually prewashed, making it convenient for preparing quick meals. If you choose to buy spinach loose, select fresh green, undamaged leaves and avoid those with yellow or dark spots, wilted parts, or a sour smell. Leaves with thinner stems (typically sold as baby spinach) will usually be sweeter tasting and more tender.
Storing Spinach
Spinach can be stored in its original bag in the refrigerator for three to four days. Avoid washing spinach before storing it because the moisture can cause it to spoil quicker. If you have leftover cooked spinach, cover it well and use it the next day in an omelet.
Preparing Spinach
Loose spinach should be washed thoroughly since the leaves and stems tend to collect sand and soil. In order to clean properly, drop spinach leaves into a colander and rinse with cold water, tossing gently with your hands. Then spin the leaves in a salad spinner or dry them with a paper towel. (If you are planning to cook the spinach, do not dry the leaves because the water will help cook them.) Be sure to remove any overly thick stems for more-even cooking. While raw spinach makes a delicious salad base, some of its nutrients (like lutein and beta-carotene) are better absorbed by the body when cooked. So do use it both ways.
Here are some additional ways to enjoy spinach:
  • Prepare a flavorful spinach-and-artichoke dip with part-skim ricotta
  • Serve raw spinach with chopped hard-boiled egg, crumbled turkey bacon, and a vinaigrette dressing
  • Sauté spinach as part of a stir-fry made with skinless, boneless chicken breast or lean beef and mushrooms
  • Stuff skinless, boneless chicken breasts with chopped spinach, chopped sun-dried tomatoes, and a reduced-fat cheese, such as feta
  • Add chopped spinach to macaroni and cheese made with whole-wheat macaroni and reduced-fat Cheddar
  • Stir low-fat plain yogurt into chopped or puréed cooked spinach for a healthy side dish


Our love was supposed to be so strong
Can't explain what made it go wrong
We always had neverending fun
I thought that I was your only one.

And now I am sad, lonely and blue
You are not the same, the one that was true.
For without you I'm lost in a sea of tears
Wanting and wishing for a few more years.

Eternal happiness, eternal bliss
All wrapped up in that wonderful kiss
The one always given a lower score
In order to practice to get some more.

And now it is gone, like the leaves of the tree
wondering if ever love will be for me.
I need more spinach to make me strong
to help me heal from a love gone wrong.

From the book Awakening Love 
Written by Yolanda Pacheco Garcia

Monday, August 27, 2012

What's New and Beneficial About Pears
  • For nutritional reasons, we're often advised to consume the skins of fruits. However, it's less often that research provides strong evidence in support of this advice. Recent studies have shown that the skin of pears contains at least three to four times as many phenolic phytonutrients as the flesh. These phytonutrients include antioxidant, anti-inflammatory flavonoids, and potentially anti-cancer phytonutrients like cinnamic acids. The skin of the pear has also been show to contain about half of the pear's total dietary fiber.
  • In recent studies measuring risk of type 2 diabetes in U.S. women, pears have earned very special recognition. Researchers now know that certain flavonoids in food can improve insulin sensitivity, and of special interest in this area have been three groups of flavonoids (flavonols, flavan-3-ols, and anthocyanins). All pears contain flavonoids falling within the first two groups, and red-skinned pears contain anthocyanins as well. Intake of these flavonoid groups has been associated with decreased risk of type 2 diabetes in both women and men. However, a new analysis of the Nurses' Health Study has shown that among all fruits and vegetables analyzed for their flavonoid content, the combination of apples/pears showed the most consistent ability to lower risk of type 2 diabetes. We believe that this special recognition given to pears as a fruit that can help lower risk of type 2 diabetes in women is likely to be followed by future studies showing this same benefit for men.
  • You've no doubt heard someone say that cloudy fruit juices containing fruit pulp provide better nourishment than clear fruit juices that have had their pulp removed through filtering. Scientists have now proven that statement to be correct with respect to pear juice. With their pulp removed, pear juices were determined to lose up to 40% of their total phenolic phytonutrients, and to have significantly reduced antioxidant capacity. "Cloudy" pear juices (technically referred to as "high turbidity" juices) emerged as the superior juice type in terms of nutrient content as well as antioxidant benefits.

Nutrients in
1.00 each (178.00 grams)
Nutrient%Daily Value


vitamin C12.4%

vitamin K10%

Calories (103)5%

This chart graphically details the %DV that a serving of Pears provides for each of the nutrients of which it is a good, very good, or excellent source according to our Food Rating System. 
Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Support
While pears are not an unusual source of conventional antioxidant or anti-inflammatory nutrients (for example, vitamin E or omega-3 fatty acids), the phytonutrient category is where this fruit excels. For example, in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (1,638 participants, average age range 62-69 years), the combination of apples/pears ranked as the second highest source of flavonols among all fruits and vegetables—partly due to the epicatechin richness of pears. Average flavonol intake in the study was about 14 milligrams per day, and one pear can provide about half of this amount all by itself. The list of phytonutrients found in pears has been of special interest to researchers, and the list below summarizes their findings about key phytonutrients provided by this fruit.
Hydroxybenzoic acids
  • chlorogenic acid
  • gentisic acid
  • syringic acid
  • vanillic acid
Hydroxycinnamic acids
  • coumaric acid
  • ferulic acid
  • 5-caffeoylquinic acid
  • arbutin
Flavanols, also known as Flavan-3-ols
  • catechin
  • epicatechin
  • isorhamnetin
  • quercetin
  • kaempferol
Anthocyanins (in red-skinned varieties, including Red Anjou, Red Bartlett, Comice, Seckel, and Starkrimson)
  • beta-carotene
  • lutein
  • zeaxanthin
Virtually all of these phytonutrients have been shown to provide us with antioxidant as well as anti-inflammatory benefits. As a result, intake of pears has now been associated with decreased risk of several common chronic diseases that begin with chronic inflammation and excessive oxidative stress. These diseases include heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Decreased Risk of Type 2 Diabetes and Heart Disease
As a very good source of dietary fiber, pears might logically be expected to help protect us from development of type 2 diabetes (or DM2, which stands for "diabetes mellitus type 2) as well heart disease. Adequate intake of dietary fiber is a long-established factor in reducing our risk of both diseases, and in the case of pears, this benefit may be even more pronounced due to the helpful combination of both soluble and insoluble fiber in this fruit. In addition to their fiber content, however, pears have other ways of helping to protect us against these diseases. In the case of DM2, scientists now know that pear flavonols (including isorhamnetin, quercetin, and kaempferol), flavan-3-ols (especially epicatechin), and the anthocyanins (found in red-skinned varieties including Red Anjou, Red Bartlett, Comice, Seckel, and Starkrimson) all help improve insulin sensitivity. (More and more research attention is being given to mechanisms of action in this area, including regulation of the enzyme NADPH oxidase.) In the case of heart disease, recent research has shown that pear fibers are able to bind together with bile acids in the intestine, lowering the pool of bile acids and decreasing the synthesis of cholesterol. In addition, the phytonutrients in pear may play a special role in these fiber-bile acid interactions. The ability of pear fibers (and other fruit fibers) to bind bile acids has actually been compared to the cholesterol-lowering drug cholestyramine, with pears showing about 5% of the ability of the drug to accomplish this result. (Among commonly eaten fruits, only bananas and pineapples showed more bile acid-binding ability at 9% and 6%, respectively.)
Reduced Cancer Risk
The health benefits of pear fiber also extend into the area of cancer risk. Fiber from pear can bind together not only with bile acids as a whole, but also with a special group of bile acids called secondary bile acids. Excessive amounts of secondary bile acids in the intestine can increase our risk of colorectal cancer (as well as other intestinal problems). By binding together with secondary bile acids, pear fibers can help decrease their concentration in the intestine and lower our risk of cancer development. In the case of stomach cancer (gastric cancer), intake of pears has also been shown to lower cancer risk. Here the key focus has not been on pear fiber, however, but on pear phytonutrients, especially cinnamic acids (including coumaric acid, ferulic acid, and 5-caffeoylquinic acid). In a recent study from Mexico City, it took approximately 2 total fruit servings per day and 4 daily vegetable servings to accomplish a decrease in gastric cancer risk. Pears and mangos were among the key foods determined to provide cinnamic acids in the study.
Esophageal cancer (specifically, esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, or ESCC) is a third cancer type for which pear intake helps lower risk. In a very large-scale study conducted by the National Institutes of Health and the American Association of Retired Persons (involving 490,802 participants), pears were found to be a key food associated with reduced risk of ESCC. Interestingly, numerous foods belonging the rose (Rosaceae) family were also found to lower risk of ESCC, including apples, plums, and strawberries.
Other Health Benefits
It's become fairly common to hear both laypersons and healthcare practitioners talking about pear as one of the more easily digested fruits. In fact, many practitioners recommend that pear be one of the first fruits considered when it comes time to introducing an infant to his or her first pureed fruits. Even though we have been unable to find large-scale human studies to support these digestibility claims, we don't question the fact that easier digestion has been experienced by many individuals in the context of pears versus other fruits. One factor that may come into play here is the low acid nature of pears, especially in comparison to widely enjoyed citrus fruits like lemons, grapefruits, and oranges.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Time to Sleep


Come 10 pm, when the rest of the world is starting to wind down, you're winding up. Maybe it's something more, but it could be what you're eating (or not eating). Yahoo Health has created this list of the top 10 foods to help you get a good night's sleep.
Bananas. They're practically a sleeping pill in a peel. In addition to a bit of soothing melatonin and serotonin, bananas contain magnesium, a muscle relaxant.
Chamomile tea. The reason chamomile is such a staple of bedtime tea blends is its mild sedating effect - it's the perfect natural antidote for restless minds/bodies.
Warm milk. It's not a myth. Milk has some tryptophan - an amino acid that has a sedative - like effect - and calcium, which helps the brain use tryptophan. Plus there's the psychological throw-back to infancy, when a warm bottle meant "relax, everything's fine."
Honey. Drizzle a little in your warm milk or herb tea. Lots of sugar is stimulating, but a little glucose tells your brain to turn off orexin, a recently discovered neurotransmitter that's linked to alertness.
Potatoes. A small baked spud won't overwhelm your GI tract, and it clears away acids that can interfere with yawn-inducing tryptophan. To up the soothing effects, mash it with warm milk.
There's more so read more
Oatmeal. Oats are a rich source of sleep - inviting melatonin, and a small bowl of warm cereal with a splash of maple syrup is cozy - plus if you've got the munchies, it's filling too.
Almonds. A handful of these heart-healthy nuts can be snooze-inducing, as they contain both tryptophan and a nice dose of muscle-relaxing magnesium.
Flaxseeds. When life goes awry and feeling down is keeping you up, try sprinkling 2 tablespoons of these healthy little seeds on your bedtime oatmeal. They're rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a natural mood lifter.
Whole-wheat bread. A slice of toast with your tea and honey will release insulin, which helps tryptophan get to your brain, where it's converted to serotonin and quietly murmurs "time to sleep."
Turkey. It's the most famous source of tryptophan, credited with all those Thanksgiving naps. But that's actually modern folklore. Tryptophan works when your stomach's basically empty, not overstuffed, and when there are some carbs around, not tons of protein. But put a lean slice or two on some whole-wheat bread mid-evening, and you've got one of the best sleep inducers in your kitchen.

Fit's Tip: It's all about the serotonin and melatonin.
When it comes to a good night's sleep people are willing to try anything, so it's always nice to find out that nice things like reading a book or taking a warm bath can help you get a great night of rest. Add another great thing to that list: drinking cherry juice.
Tart cherries are the new super fruit, following the trends of Acai Berries and Pomegranates. Tart cherries have some of the highest levels of antioxidants in fruits as well as vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, folate, iron and fiber. They pack 19 times more beta carotene than blueberries or strawberries. Not only can tart cherries help ease the pain of arthritis and gout but they also reduce the risk factors of diabetes, heart disease and even certain cancers.
And how does the super fruit help you sleep better at night? Cherries contain melatonin, one of the naturally occurring brain chemicals that helps regulate sleep patterns. (more than strawberries) Drink a glass of unsweetened cherry juice before bed to get a boost in those sleep inducing chemicals.  AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, RELAX--CLEAR YOUR MIND OF EVERYTHING NEGATIVE, PROBLEMS, LISTS, AND THE PAST.
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Sleepless Nights

Love is not supposed to make you cry,
if this is so then why do I?
Love is not supposed to make you sad,
then why is my heart feeling so bad?

I gave you my love
I gave you my heart,
I did not think, 
from me you would part.

We sang, we danced
spending wonderful days together
that flew by so fast
while we were birds of a feather.

I do not know what I will do
during lonely days ahead.
I do know that life will be blue,
with sleepless nights, without you.