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Home wine making resources

Information comes first, so read a book or two about wine technology and home wine making. Learn about vines and vine growing if you want to make wine from grapes, Jeff Cox’s book “From Vines to Wines” is a good start.

If you have decided to make your own wine at home, even if it is wine from other fruits than grapes, you will need some equipment and tools. The most expensive equipment includes a home distiller to make spirits from wines.

Once you have chosen your basic equipment, you will need the ingredients and the bottles. You can collect your own. For the rest of us, there are kits for any type of wine you would want to make.

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Cholesterol Down

The following is an excerpt from the book Cholesterol Down by Janet Bond Brill, Ph.D., R.D., LDN.

Ten Simple Steps to Lower Your Cholesterol in Four Weeks–Without Prescription Drugs.

Published by Three Rivers Press; December 2006;$13.95US/$17.95CAN; 978-0-307-33911-9
Copyright © 2006 Janet Brill, Ph.D.

Great recipes from the cholesterol down book

Mia’s Veggie Omelet

This recipe is named for my daughter Mia, who often makes this colorful and nutritious omelet. Serve with two soy sausages, whole-wheat toast, and margarine with plant sterols.

Yield: 1 serving

 ¼ cup asparagus, chopped
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons canola oil
¼ cup jarred sweet red peppers (found in the condiment section of most supermarkets)
½ medium Vidalia onion, chopped
6 egg whites
1 ounce soy cheddar cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper to taste, optional

Cut tough stems off asparagus. Chop the tender portions of the spears into small pieces. Microwave in microwave-safe bowl with water until soft, about 2 minutes. Heat oil in frying pan. Add vegetables and sauté over medium-high heat until cooked (onion is transparent). Whisk egg whites together until a froth forms. Add in egg whites and fry until omelet has reached desired consistency. Top with shredded cheese, cover, and continue heating until cheese has just melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper if desired and serve warm.

Nutritional information per serving (1 omelet):
Calories: 261, Fat: 13 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 840 mg, Carbohydrate: 8 g, Dietary Fiber: 2 g, Sugars: 2 g, Protein: 29 g

Four-Mushroom Barley Soup

Warm and comforting, this soup is just the thing for a cold winter’s day.

Yield: 10 servings

9 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
½ ounce dried porcini mushrooms
½ ounce dried shiitake mushrooms
¼ cup canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 medium shallots, finely chopped
8-ounce package baby bella or cremini mushrooms, stemmed, cleaned, and diced
12-ounce package white button mushrooms, stemmed, cleaned, and quartered
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 carrots, peeled and chopped into small pieces
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup whole-grain barley
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
Shredded soy or regular part-skim mozzarella cheese, optional

Heat 1½ cups chicken broth. Add porcini and shiitake mushrooms to broth and soak, covered, until soft, about 30 minutes. Remove mushrooms from broth and chop into small pieces; set aside. Strain soaking liquid and set aside. Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add onions and shallots and cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the baby bella and button mushrooms and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are tender, about 10 minutes. Add carrots and garlic, stir, and cook an additional minute. Add remaining chicken broth, porcini and shiitake soaking liquid, porcini and shiitake mushrooms, barley, bay leaf, and thyme. Bring to a boil, stir, and cover; reduce heat and simmer about 1 hour. Remove and discard bay leaf before serving. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese before serving, if desired.

Nutritional information per serving (1/10 of recipe, 351 grams or approximately 1½ cups soup):
Calories: 157, Fat: 6 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 744 mg, Carbohydrate: 20 g, Dietary Fiber: 5 g, Sugars: 2 g, Protein: 7 g

Deli Club Sandwich

Yield: 1 serving

2 slices 100% whole-wheat bread
4 slices Smart Deli roast-turkey-style soy deli slices
1 ounce Lifetime cholesterol-reducing cheddar cheese
½ avocado, peeled and sliced
¼ cup chopped spinach
2 slices tomato
1 slice red onion
Mustard to taste

Toast whole-wheat bread. Combine all ingredients into sandwich and add condiments to taste.

Nutritional information per serving (1 sandwich):
Calories: 353, Fat: 10 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 1134 mg, Carbohydrate: 40 g, Dietary Fiber: 10 g, Sugars: 14 g, Protein: 29 g

Spinach Salad with Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

Yield: 2 servings

4 cups washed spinach leaves, preferably organically grown
2 large ripe tomatoes, diced
2 large portobello mushrooms
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
Juice of ½ fresh lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Balsamic glaze (available commercially such as Gia Russa from Italy)

Heat grill to medium-high heat. Chop spinach into small pieces and divide spinach between two salad plates. Top each with chopped tomatoes. Wash and dry mushrooms, removing stems. In a small pot, heat olive oil and sauté garlic with lemon juice, salt, and pepper until garlic is browned. Brush mushroom caps (both sides) generously with olive oil mixture. Grill mushrooms over medium heat, stem side down, for about 8 minutes. Turn and grill tops for 6 to 8 minutes more. The mushrooms should be browned and tender. Remove from grill, cut into quarters, and arrange over spinach salad. Add seasoning to taste. Drizzle salad with balsamic glaze and serve.

Nutritional information per serving (½ of recipe):
Calories: 220, Fat: 15 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 236 mg, Carbohydrate: 21 g, Dietary Fiber: 5 g, Sugars: 7 g, Protein: 5 g

Soy Chicken Patties

Yield: 1 serving

2 frozen soy-based chicken patties (such as Morningstar Farms), defrosted
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried dill
Commercial gravy, optional

Preheat broiler. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil. Place chicken patties on foil, drizzle with lemon juice, and sprinkle with dill. Broil about 2 minutes each side, until no longer pink. Serve with commercial gravy if desired.

Nutritional information per serving (2 patties):
Calories: 308, Fat: 13 g, Cholesterol: 1 mg, Sodium: 1028 mg, Carbohydrate: 19 g, Dietary Fiber: 7 g, Sugars: 5 g, Protein: 19 g

Mashed Potatoes with Chickpeas

Yield: 6 servings

2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 can (15.5 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup light soy milk
½ cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
¼ cup Take Control Light margarine
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
Commercial gravy, optional

Place potatoes in large saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain and return potatoes to pan. Add chickpeas and mash using a potato masher. Add soy milk, chicken broth, margarine, and salt and pepper and stir. Cook an additional 2 minutes, until heated, stirring constantly. Serve warm. Top with commercial gravy if desired.

Nutritional information per serving (1/6 of recipe, 293 grams or approximately 1 cup):
Calories: 255, Fat: 5 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 751 mg, Carbohydrate: 46 g, Dietary Fiber: 5 g, Sugars: 3 g, Protein: 7 g

Garlicky Broccoli

Yield: 2 servings

2 cups broccoli florets
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Fresh parsley, for garnish, optional

Place broccoli in a microwave safe bowl, add water, and cook in microwave on high until tender, about 5 minutes (I like it very well done, about 10 minutes). In a saucepan, combine olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice and cook over low heat for approximately 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until garlic is golden brown. Pour garlic sauce over drained broccoli, toss, add salt and pepper to taste, and serve. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.

Nutritional information per serving (½ of recipe):
Calories: 88, Fat: 7 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 20 mg, Carbohydrate: 5 g, Dietary Fiber: 2 g, Sugars: 0 g, Protein: 2 g

Copyright © 2006 Janet Brill, PH.D.

About the Author

Janet Bond Brill, Ph.D., R.D., LDN, is a registered and licensed dietitian/nutritionist, exercise physiologist, and certified wellness coach. She has been published in the International Journal of Obesity and the International Journal of Sport Nutrition, as well as in the popular press.

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Serotonin power diet

The Serotonin Power Diet explains how the easiest way to lose weight is to use your brain.

Serotonin is the body’s “feel good” brain chemical. It increases feelings of well-being and calm–and it also turns off the appetite. Eating your favorite starchy and sweet snacks, in carefully calculated amounts and at specific times, causes your body to increase its natural serotonin production, turning off your appetite. The result? Easy and painless weight loss.

Great recipes from the serotonin power diet

Shrimp and Fennel Stir-Fry 
This dish also tastes good cold. If you don’t like fennel, substitute white mushrooms. 

2 teaspoons olive oil 
2 cups fennel bulb, cut into ¼” slices 
1 teaspoon ground black pepper 
2 cloves garlic, minced 
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper or hot sauce 
Large shrimp, uncooked, peeled and deveined 

  Women: 4 ounces/Men: 7 ounces 
2 tablespoons lime juice 

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. 

Add the fennel, pepper, and garlic and cook for 5 minutes or until the fennel is tender but not mushy. 

Add the red pepper and shrimp. Cook 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are pink. 

Add the lime juice and serve. 

Makes 1 serving 
Per serving (women): 296 calories, 29 g protein, 21 g carbohydrates, 12 g total fat, 7 g dietary fiber, 515 mg sodium 

Per serving (men): 389 calories, 47 g protein, 21 g carbohydrates, 14 g total fat, 7 g dietary fiber, 645 mg sodium 

Fast Creamy Broccoli Rice 
Two kinds of cheese give this recipe a savory taste.

2 tablespoons low-sodium chicken broth or water 
1 package (10 ounces) frozen broccoli spears 
Instant rice, white or brown, cooked according to package directions 

  Women: 1½ cups/Men: 2 cups 
2 slices fat-free American or Swiss cheese singles 
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese 
Ground white pepper 

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the chicken broth and broccoli spears until the broccoli is thawed. Add the rice and stir to mix. Top the rice with American or Swiss and Parmesan cheeses and heat, stirring occasionally, until the cheese is melted. Season with pepper to taste. 

Makes 1 serving 
Per serving (women): 430 calories, 32 g protein, 71 g carbohydrates, 2 g total fat, 10 g dietary fiber, 562 mg sodium 

Per serving (men): 512 calories, 34 g protein, 90 g carbohydrates, 3 g total fat, 10 g dietary fiber, 565 mg sodium 

Pasta Shells with Smoked Salmon 
This recipe creates a sophisticated dish worthy of guests. 

Small pasta shells or orecchiette (ear-shaped pasta), cooked according to package directions 
  Women: 1½ cups/Men: 2 cups 
½ tablespoon butter 
1 cup thinly sliced Savoy or green cabbage 
¼ cup water or chicken or vegetable broth 
½ cup frozen peas 
Chopped smoked salmon (for lower sodium, use cooked salmon) 

  Women: 2 ounces/Men: 4 ounces 
2 tablespoons fat-free sour cream 
Salt (optional) 
Ground black pepper 
½ cup snipped fresh dill 

Put the cooked pasta in a large bowl. 

Heat the butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the cabbage and sauté until soft, about 6 minutes. Add water or broth and bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat and add the peas. Stir the mixture into the pasta. 

Add the smoked salmon and sour cream, then salt (if desired) and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with dill just before serving. 

Makes 1 serving 

With smoked salmon 
Per serving (women): 456 calories, 25 g protein, 68 g carbohydrates, 10 g total fat, 10 g dietary fiber, 1,275 mg sodium 

Per serving (men): 604 calories, 38 g protein, 84 g carbohydrates, 13 g total fat, 8 g dietary fiber, 2,409 mg sodium 

With fresh salmon 
Per serving (women): 491 calories, 28 g protein, 68 g carbohydrates, 12 g total fat, 8 g dietary fiber, 170 mg sodium 

Per serving (men): 672 calories, 44 g protein, 84 g carbohydrates, 17 g total fat, 8 g dietary fiber, 200 mg sodium 

Curried Thai Sweet Potato and Chicken Soup 
Look for fat-free coconut milk and curry powder in the ethnic-foods section of your supermarket. Cilantro can be found in the herbs section of the produce department. 

Sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½” chunks 
  Women: 8 ounces/Men: 12 ounces 
2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth 
1 teaspoon canola or vegetable oil 
½ medium onion, chopped 
1 1″ piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced (optional) 
2 teaspoons Thai curry powder 
4 tablespoons canned fat-free unsweetened coconut milk 
2 tablespoons lemon juice 
Cooked chicken breast, shredded 
Women: 2 ounces/Men: 4 ounces 
Ground black pepper 
1 sprig fresh cilantro or 1 teaspoon dried coriander 

In a large soup pot over medium heat, simmer the sweet potatoes in the broth for 15 minutes until tender. 

Heat the oil in a skillet over low-medium heat and sauté the onion and ginger (if desired) until soft, about 4 minutes. Stir in the curry powder. 

Add the curry-onion mixture to the sweet potatoes and broth in the soup pot. 

Add the coconut milk, lemon juice, and chicken and heat until the soup is just about to boil, approximately 2 minutes. 

Season with pepper to taste. 

Pour the soup into a bowl and garnish with cilantro. 

Note: Do not use canned sweet potatoes in syrup. To save time, try frozen skinned sweet potatoes instead. 

Serve with steamed spinach. 

Makes 1 serving 
Per serving (women): 435 calories, 20 g protein, 76 g carbohydrates, 6 g total fat, 10 g dietary fiber, 259 mg sodium

Per serving (men): 699 calories, 52 g protein, 104 g carbohydrates, 8 g total fat, 14 g dietary fiber, 370 mg sodium 

Casablanca Onions 
This dish is so tasty you will want to make extra. 

Cooking spray 
1 teaspoon olive oil 
2 sweet or Vidalia onions, thickly sliced 
½ teaspoon coriander 
¼ teaspoon cumin 
¼ teaspoon cinnamon 
4 ounces jarred tomato sauce (optional: low-sodium variety) 
¼ cup low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth 
1 tablespoon raisins or dried currants 
1 bay leaf 
½ teaspoon brown sugar 
Ground black pepper 

Coat a skillet with cooking spray and heat over low-medium heat. Add the olive oil and onions and sauté until soft, about 8 minutes. Remove the onions from the skillet. Add the coriander, cumin, and cinnamon to the skillet and sauté for 1 minute. 

Return the onions to the skillet; add the tomato sauce, broth, raisins or currants, and bay leaf; and cook for 30 minutes or until the sauce is thick and the onions are very tender. 

Remove from heat and remove the bay leaf. 

Stir in the sugar and season with pepper to taste. 

Makes 1 serving 
Per serving: 108 calories, 3 g protein, 20 g carbohydrates, 2 g total fat, 4 g dietary fiber, 18 mg sodium 

Reprinted from: The Serotonin Power Diet: Use Your Brain’s Natural Chemistry to Cut Cravings, Curb Emotional Overeating, and Lose Weight  by Judith J. Wurtman and Nina Frusztajer Marquis © 2006 Judith J. Wurtman and Nina Frusztajer Marquis. Permission granted by Rodale, Inc., Emmaus, PA 18098. Available wherever books are sold or directly from the publisher by calling at (800) 848-4735.

About the Author

Judith J. Wurtman, PhD, has been recognized worldwide for decades of pioneering research into the relationship of food, mood, brain, and appetite. Dr. Wurtman received her PhD in cell biology from MIT and took additional training as an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow in nutrition/obesity. The author of five books for the general public, she has written more than 40 peer-reviewed articles for professional publications.

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Feel good diet

Designed to balance brain chemicals, keeping dieters happy and motivated while shedding pounds.

The Feel Good Diet is an eating plan based in the latest neurological research. Designed to balance brain chemicals, keeping dieters happy and motivated while shedding pounds. The book includes scrumptious recipes.Dieting depletes neurotransmitters, as a result most people feel moody, hungry, with low energy levels and generally unhappy. Lacking will power to go on, they quit. The Feel Good Diet is an eating plan designed to keep brain chemicals balanced, making possible to shed pounds while replenishing stamina and enthusiasm.

The following is an excerpt from the book The Feel-Good Diet by Cheryle Hart, M.D., and Mary Kay Grossman, RD
Published by McGraw-Hill; January 2007;$22.95US/$27.95CAN; 978-0-07-145378-3 – Copyright © 2007 by Cheryle Hart and Mary Kay Grossman

Easy Beef and Bean Soup 

Use canned beans to make this soup a snap. 

½ pound lean (96 percent) ground beef 
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine 
1 medium onion, chopped 
2 teaspoons olive oil 
1 15-ounce can white kidney or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed 
1 medium carrot, sliced, or 1 cup sliced frozen carrots 
1 stalk celery, sliced 
16 ounces tomato juice 
3 cups beef broth 
1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary 
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley 
Black pepper to taste 

Brown ground beef with garlic and onion in oil in a large kettle or saucepan. Add beans and all remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer 20 to 30 minutes. 

Makes 6 servings 

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 22 grams carbohydrate, 7 grams fiber, 13 grams protein, 3 grams fat, 98 calories, Lo-Lo

Chicken and Kashi Casserole 

Kashi is labeled as a breakfast pilaf and is often found with the hot breakfast cereals in the grocery store. But it is a wonderful wholegrain side dish for any meal. You’ll love the chewy texture in this pilaf and the spices that are reminiscent of stuffing. 

½ medium onion, diced 
¾ cup diced celery 
¾ cup sliced mushrooms 
1 ½ teaspoons chicken flavor base 
1 ½ cups hot water 
1 6.5-ounce package Kashi 
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning 
4 chicken breasts, bone in, skin removed 
Mrs. Dash seasoning 
Salt as desired 

Preheat oven to 375°F. To a 3-quart or larger covered casserole or dutch oven, add vegetables, chicken base, and hot water. Mix well. Add Kashi and poultry seasoning and stir. Arrange chicken breasts on top, bone-side down. Sprinkle chicken with Mrs. Dash and salt as desired. Cover, and bake in oven for 1½ hours. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving. 

Makes 8 servings 

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 17 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, 19 grams protein, 3 grams fat, 167 calories, Hi-Lo-Lo

Grilled Pork Loin Steaks with Rosemary 

Be sure not to overcook pork steaks. Use a meat thermometer to be sure that they stay moist and juicy. 

1 pound thick-cut pork loin steaks 
1 tablespoon olive oil 
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar 
½ teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring (optional) 
1 tablespoon lemon juice 
1 tablespoon soy sauce 
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 
3 cloves garlic, crushed 
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary 

Cut pork into 4 pieces. Place all ingredients in a resealable plastic bag. Shake well. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to overnight. Grill or broil pork steaks just until they reach 170°F. Serve immediately. 

Makes 4 servings 

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 5 grams carbohydrate, 0 grams fiber, 24 grams protein, 15 grams fat, 248 calories, Lo-Lo-Lo 

Grilled Salmon Fillet 

Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Choose fish several times each week. The fish can also be baked in a foil packet in a 400°F oven for 20 to 30 minutes. 

1 2-pound wild salmon fillet 
2 tablespoons olive oil 
3 cloves garlic, crushed 
Juice of one lemon 
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 
¼ cup soy sauce 
Mrs. Dash or lemon pepper seasoning 

Preheat barbecue grill. Rinse salmon fillet and pat dry with paper towel. Cut a piece of foil 4 inches longer than the length of the salmon. Brush it with olive oil. Lay fillet, skin-side down, on foil. Curl edges of foil up around salmon to prevent juices from running out, leaving the top uncovered. Spread garlic evenly across salmon. Combine lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce, and pour over fillet. Sprinkle liberally with seasoning. Place salmon fillet on foil about 6 inches from coals or gas flame. Indirect heat is best. Cover grill. Cook 15 minutes. Do not turn. Check salmon. Salmon is done when flesh has turned paler pink and flakes with a fork. Do not overcook. 

Makes 8 servings 

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 0 grams carbohydrate, 0 grams fiber, 14 grams protein, 11 grams fat, 169 calories, Lo-Lo

Sautéed Vegetables 

Choose your favorite veggies. Cook them lightly to preserve vitamins and antioxidants. 

2 teaspoons vegetable oil 
2 cups of any mixture of the following vegetables: 
    Fresh or frozen broccoli florets 
    Fresh or frozen cauliflower florets 
    Onion, cut in wedges 
    Carrot, sliced thin 
    Celery, sliced into bite-sized pieces 
    Fresh or frozen green beans, whole or cut 
    Mushrooms, sliced 
    Green, red, or yellow pepper, cut in thin strips 
    Zucchini, sliced thin 
2 tablespoons water 
½ teaspoon lemon juice 
1 teaspoon soy sauce 

Heat oil in a medium frying pan with a lid on over medium heat. Add vegetables. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Reduce heat. Add water and cover. Continue cooking for 4 minutes (most of the water will be evaporated). Toss with lemon juice and soy sauce. 

Makes 2 servings

Nutrition Facts Per Serving (using a combination of all vegetables): 7 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber, 2 grams protein, 5 grams fat, 74 calories, insulin-neutral unlimited 

Copyright © 2007 by Cheryle Hart and Mary Kay Grossman

About the Author

Cheryle Hart, M.D., is board certified in bariatrics, the medical specialty of weight management, and in obstetrics/gynecology. She completed her specialty training at the Mayo Clinic and is now in private practice at the Women’s Wellness Workshop in Spokane, Washington.

Mary Kay Grossman, RD, is the nutritional advisor of the Women’s Wellness Workshop in Spokane. She speaks nationally on insulin resistance and diabetes nutrition. They are the coauthors of the bestselling book The Insulin Resistance Diet.

For more information, visit their website at:

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Brand name grills

There are so many different types of grills out there that it can be overwhelming comparing one to another. If it’s time to get your wish-list together for a new grill, you may want to know a little about what you’ll be looking at before you head to the store. Here is a quick review of the top five competitors so you can start narrowing down your choices. Compare before you shop.


Char-Broi grills have long been known as great performing grills with fantastic features including a warranty that covers the grill’s lifetime or 99 years, whichever comes first. They are made with excellent electric ignitions, porcelain cast iron burners, porcelain coated cooking grates, and a whole lot of accessories. These grills also come with durable stainless steel bodies so they don’t rust easily. A great choice for the grilling maestro, or maestro wannabe.


Perhaps the best known brand in the world of grilling, Weber grills have always been known for their great craftsmanship and superb products. Originally, Weber only made charcoal grills, but now they are a force to contend with in the gas grill arena. Weber has the know-how to make a wide variety of grills for just about any budget. The great thing about these grills is the cheaper ones don’t skimp on quality. The less expensive models just have fewer special features, but keep the same high quality basic structure.


Uniflame grills are a hard bargain to contend with. They are often the lower priced grills in the store, but they are actually quite nicely made. The grills are loved for their ability to cook and heat evenly, which is not so easy to boast about. Some of the higher priced grills often have difficulties translating the same heat over the surface of the grill, but Uniflame does a great job of consistency. With a Uniflame, you will not be getting a top of the line grill, but you will get one that works well enough to get the job done.


When it comes to gas grills, Broil-King has definitely earned a great reputation. They have been around a long time, which gives them serious credibility. If you wanted a grill that feels solid in both construction and cooking, Broil-King is the grill for you. Grates made of high quality cast iron, double tube burners, linear control valves, and fantastic storage options, all give Broil-King the much deserved reputation of being a griller’s grill. Broil-King grill parts are made to last and can be easily replaced if needed, which adds a whole new dimension to their performance.


Brinkmann offers lower priced grills with tons of features, some models even have as many as five burners, and infrared capabilities! Though the construction is somewhat lacking in terms of weight and heft, if you are looking for a lot of features without a heavy price tag, Brinkmann grills are the way to go. These grills also have large cooking areas, side burners, porcelain coated cast iron cooking grates, rotisseries, and electric ignition. These are features you’ll also find in the more expensive grills, but here you’ll find them at a reduced price.

So now that you know a little about each of the top performers, you should be able to put together a proper wish list. Happy shopping!

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What to look for when buying a flan or tart tin

Flan pans and tart tins are a must for any well equipped kitchen.

These types of baking pans extend your options beyond the standard pie or cake pan. With so many different types, sizes and depths available, it’s important to know what to look for when buying a flan pan or tart tin.

Knowing what to look for when buying a flan pan or tart tin can save you a lot of money as well as ensure that your dishes come out with that professional look.

Get the right bakeware for your favorite recipes from the start.

Whether you enjoy open-top pie, quiche, cheesecake, custard pastries, or any type of fruit or savory tart, the right flan or tart tin will help you achieve the delicious results you desire. Since each of these dishes has different needs, you’ll be glad of the wide range of styles of this bakeware. A few things you may want to consider are:

Pan diameter – The larger the diameter the greater the baking surface and possibly the more servings the pan will hold.

Pan depth – The final product of some recipes should be thin while others should be thicker.

Fluted or smooth sides – Fluted sides are more decorative and can help to make the crust a bit more stiff.

Removable or loose bottom – This allows you to remove the outer ring without marring the crust when removing the dish from the pan.

Dishwasher safe – This is a must, especially if you will be serving in your bakeware.

Comparison chart of features for popular flan tins

It is a good idea to make a comparison table.

BrandFrieling USA Zenker Flan PanKaiser Flan TinFox Run Loose Bottom Flan Pan
ConstructionTin-plated SteelNon-stick coated steelNon-stick coated steel
Size11 inch9 1/2 inch9 inch
Dishwasher SafeNoYesYes
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The Dukan diet, a case of effectively adding protein to lose more weight

So, you want to lose weight but not give up the foods you love. What if there were a way to do that?

This is an introduction to the Dukan Diet. If there was ever a diet to claim “eat as much as you like,” it would be the Dukan diet.

Founded by French nutritionist, Pierre Dukan, the Dukan diet combines 68 forms of animal protein and 32 vegetables, giving you the ‘green light’ for 100 foods. This gives you a diet based on what the human species evolved on, and keeps us feeling happier and healthier. Let’s take a closer look at the Dukan diet and why it might be the right one for you.

4 Phases

The Dukan diet uses four different phases. By walking through these four phases, you can shed weight quickly and then make lifestyle changes so you don’t gain the weight back. Here are what the phases look like:

The attack phase – This phase is brief, lasting only a couple weeks with immediate results. In the attack phase, you are allowed to eat from a choice of 68 high-protein foods which the body digests quickly and effectively.  Vegetables and other carbs are very limited during this time.  This phase is not meant to be long term, but is considered a ‘kick start’ to your metabolism.

The cruise phase – Once you have attacked your weight loss goal, it is time to put the pound-shedding on autopilot. This phase allows you to begin incorporating 32 vegetables into your diet. The days alternate between your Pure Proteins (PP phases), which you were given in the attack phase, and Proteins accompanied with recommended Vegetables (PV phases). This phase allows you to continue to shed weight on a consistent basis.

The consolidation phase – This phase lasts 5 days per pound lost in the cruise phase. For example, if you lost 6 pounds during the cruise phase, then you would be in this phase for 30 days. During this phase, the body prepares for the return to a balanced diet. In this phase you have monitored freedom which helps you overcome the willpower issue when establishing a freshly conquered and yet vulnerable ideal weight.

The stabilization phase – This is the phase you live in for the rest of your life. During the first three phases, you learned how to eat healthy and have taught your body the right way to keep a healthy pattern. In addition to the simple rules for stabilization, there are three non-negotiable rules:

1. Consume 3 tablespoons of oat bran per day.
2. Choose to take the stairs whenever possible.
3. Have a pure-protein Thursday, i.e. Attack Phase menu.

Why all those Oats?  The first obvious question has to do with the 3 tablespoons of oat bran you must eat every day. The oat bran swells 20 to 30 times its volume when inside the stomach, making you feel satisfied. It also “confiscates” calories within the small intestine and takes them down into your bowels. The amount of calories lost by consuming the oat bran is not relevant to immediate weight loss, but they do add up over time as this process is repeated.

What are the Cons to this Diet?  As with all low-carb, high-protein diets, the program warns that dieters may suffer from some disturbing side effects, such as bad breath, constipation, dry mouth, and fatigue as your body gets used to its new way of life. One of the best ways to help with all of these conditions is to drink plenty of water, take a good multivitamin, and get between six and eight hours of sleep a night. And, of course, exercise daily.  A 20 minute walk each day will help digest your food and burn calories.  But, be aware that vigorous exercise requires carbohydrates, so during the Attack Phase, you will need to limit your exercise to a moderate degree.

If you are looking for a diet that will get the pounds off quickly, then moves you into a lifetime of healthy weight management, the Dukan diet may be the right diet for you.  You get to eat lots of good food while your body learns how to metabolize it properly.  That’s what the real purpose of a diet is all about.

There are plenty of books and recipe books for this diet.

Not for every one. This diet can be really boring if you are not a person who enjoys eating only proteins. Not a lot of scientific evidence to back this diet up.

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Volumetrics, the diet of more food and more weight loss

Facts about the Volumetrics weight loss diet.

The Volumetrics Eating Plan is based on the simple fact that people like to eat. And, if people are given the choice between eating more and eating less, they’ll take more almost every time. It has been burned into our society and culture. Just look at meal sizes over the last thirty years and you will notice that not only have the portions increased, the size of the plate has increased too.

Unlike diets that are based on deprivation, the Volumetrics diet doesn’t try to fight this natural preference. Its creator, nutritionist Barbara Rolls, PhD, argues that limiting your diet is not sustainable; you will just wind up hungry and unhappy and revert back to your original eating habits. Let’s take a look at the basics of the Volumetrics Eating Plan.

The Volumetrics approach

The approach Dr. Rolls takes is to help people find food they can eat lots of while still losing weight. The diet revolves around the feeling of fullness, or satiety. The theory is that people feel full based on the amount of food they eat, not the number of calories or nutrient density.

So, the trick is to fill up on foods that aren’t full of calories, which allows the dieter to stick to the main principle of calorie restriction. Dr. Rolls claims that in some cases, following a Volumetrics diet will allow you to eat more than you do now, while still slimming down.

Dr. Rolls has excellent credentials. She a professor of nutrition and director of the Laboratory for the Study of Human Ingestive Behavior at Penn State University. She is also the author of more than 200 research articles. Volumetrics is based, in large part, on the work done in her laboratory.

What you can eat on the Volumetrics diet

Since the diet doesn’t revolve around differences in body types or “good” foods and “bad” foods, Dr. Rolls doesn’t ban food types as part of the Volumetrics diet. She does, however, urge people to evaluate foods based on their energy density which is a critical concept for the diet.

Energy density is the number of calories in a specified amount of food. Some foods are more energy dense than others, like fats, which have a lot of calories packed into a small size. Water, on the other hand, has an energy density of zero.

Basically, this diet is a game to see how you can eat more food while eating fewer calories.  Here is a short break down to give you some idea of what Volumetrics is all about.

Very low-density foods include: Non-starchy vegetables, nonfat milk, soup broths.

Very high-density foods include: Crackers, chips, cookies, chocolate and candies, nuts, butter and oils.

Since water is the ultimate zero-density food, Volumetrics relies heavily on foods with a high water content, such as many vegetables and fruits, which are 80 to 95 percent water. These will fill you up without adding a lot of calories. Dr. Rolls also suggests eating lots of foods with filling fiber, along with adequate portions of lean protein and healthy fats from fish and other sources. Of course, energy-dense foods, like sweets, fats, and alcohol, are still allowed, but only in moderation.

Anyone who loves lots and lots of food, will enjoy the Volumetrics diet. You will still have to do some simple math to calculate the energy density of foods, but at least you don’t have to track calories or deny yourself a small bite of that delicious chocolate mousse.  If endless bowls of soup and piles of veggies and fruit appeal to you, dig into Volumetrics and watch the weight come off.

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Eat right for your blood type and let your DNA define your diet

Information about the Blood Type diet.

Your DNA controls how your body reacts to certain external factors. It determines your allergies, your physical build and how everything works together. So why would you not eat based on your DNA as well?

Although you most likely don’t have a DNA analysis machine in their back pocket, you do know a basic component of your DNA that can closely group people based on how their bodies function;  your blood type – O, A, B, or AB.  That’s how the Eat Right for Your Type diet explains and encourages people to eat based on your body’s needs.

The basics

Peter J. D’Adamo, ND, the author of Eat Right for Your Type, believes blood types affect the digestive system differently and that some foods, good for people of one type, are “dangerous” for another. Some critics claim that this diet may suit those who are looking for a program that doesn’t involve tracking calories.  However, for D’Adamo, it is about using your blood type to determine your susceptibility to certain illnesses, as well as exercise that will benefit you the most.

How the diet works

D’Adamo believes the right diet for your blood type comes down to lectins, food proteins each blood type digests differently. If you eat foods containing lectins incompatible with your blood type, you may experience inflammation, bloating, a slower metabolism, even diseases such as cancer. The best way to avoid these effects is to eat foods meant for your blood type.

All foods fall into three categories on the Eat Right for Your Type diet:

1. Beneficial – foods act like medicine
2. Neutral – foods act like food
3. Avoid – foods act like poison

What you can eat

Type O is for “old,” as this blood type is human’s oldest tracked blood line. These people have a digestive tract which retains the memory of ancient diets, so your metabolism will benefit from lean proteins like poultry and fish. You’re also advised to restrict grains, breads, and legumes, and to enjoy vigorous exercise.

Type A is for “agrarian” people who depend on agriculture for their sustenance. These people should stick with vegetarian diets. The type A diet contains soy proteins, grains, and organic vegetables and encourages gentle exercise which can be seen in the more settled and less warlike farming ancestors.

Type B comes from our nomadic past and has a relatively tolerant digestive system. This blood type can enjoy low-fat dairy, meat, and produce but should avoid wheat, corn, and lentils. Moderate exercise should be the norm for these folks.

Type AB is a combination of Type A and B. The “modern” blood type AB has a sensitive digestive tract and should avoid chicken, beef, and pork but can enjoy seafood, tofu, dairy, and most produce.

While there is little research to back up the findings, many critics will agree that the nutritional guidance in the diet is sound.  There are healthy eating tips in this diet, regardless of whether or not your blood-type is the angle you are considering.  But, as far as diets go, this is a very interesting way to look at the reasons some people gain weight and others don’t eating the same foods.  Give it a try.  Learning how to eat right for your body type has been popular for years – now it’s time to eat right according to your blood type.

There are guide books for each blood type, there are recipe books for each blood type, and there are supplements for each blood type.

There is not much evidence to back up that the eat and avoid food lists for each blood type are the the right ones.

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The Fat Resistance Diet, count 1 2 3 to weight loss

The Fat Resistance Diet was developed by Dr. Leo Galland who is recognized as an expert in the field of nutritional medicine.

It is based on the concept that hormones, which include leptin and adiponectin, control the appetite and body fat levels in the body. When fat levels become too high in the body, inflammation occurs that subsequently alters the body chemistry and balance of these hormones. The idea behind the diet is to reduce inflammation which restores the body’s chemistry, reducing cravings, promoting fat burning, and helping the dieter to achieve a healthy weight.

3 stages of weight loss and control

There are three stages to the Fat Resistance Diet. In the initial stages carbohydrates such as grains and starchy vegetables are avoided, but as the dieter progresses through the three stages the amount of carbohydrates is gradually reintroduced.

Stage 1 – concentrates on reducing inflammation and restoring blood sugar levels. This is achieved by an abundance of super foods and nine to ten servings of fruit and vegetables every day along with a relatively high intake of quality protein. The high nutritional quality of the this phase will help to re-balance body chemistry and cut your cravings for carbohydrates. This stage also provides a jump-start to the fat loss process.

Stage 2 – increases your choice of foods so that the diet is suitable for long-term fat loss. After completing Stage 1, the insulin levels in the body should have decreased which allows for tolerance of more complex carbohydrates in the diet. Stage 2 allows for reintroduction of legumes as well as some whole grains such as oatmeal and brown rice.

Stage 3 – is the maintenance stage. In this stage the variety of foods increase further to include healthy grain-based meals like carrot raisin muffins, blueberry flax pancakes, and even whole grain pasta. The inflammation reducing foods are still emphasized while the caloric content of the diet is slightly higher to allow for maintenance of weight loss.

Recommended foods

The foundation of the diet is fresh fruit and vegetables in abundance, as these contain phytonutrients such as carotenoids and flavonoids which act as anti-inflammatories.

Foods which are high in carotenoids include: carrots, broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, pumpkin, papaya

Foods which are high in flavonoids include: blueberries, cherries, pomegranate, citrus fruit, dark grapes, green tea, onions, dark chocolate

Fresh herbs and spices can also be used during the diet because they have important nutritional factors which reduce inflammation and improve the taste of foods without adding calories.

The diet also emphasizes increasing the intake of foods that are high in good fats like the Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish, walnuts, flaxseeds and dark green leafy vegetables. These fats play an important role in reducing inflammation as well as improving general health.

Is this the diet for you?

The Fat Resistance Diet is a solid weight loss plan based on nutritional science. Besides losing weight, this diet has an added bonus of helping to reduce inflammation within the body and supplying high levels of antioxidants to help control hormones and keep your body healthy and happy. If you like the idea of a diet plan based on scientific study, you might want to give the Fat Resistance Diet a try.