Monthly Archives: May 2012

Pre-Diabetes – Are you susceptible? Discover how to prevent it from developing into type 2 diabetes.

Pre-diabetes means you probably have higher than normal blood-sugar levels but, fortunately, not high enough to be classed as being diabetic.

However it does mean that you are susceptible to developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease if you do nothing about it.

Unfortunately, more often than not, there are no physical symptoms to warn you if you are in a pre-diabetes stage. So it’s worth getting yourself checked out and, if you fall into any of these categories, ask your physician if you are likely to be at risk of pre-diabetes:

* You are overweight and you are aged 45 or older

* Your weight is OK and you’re aged 45+. Ask your doctor during a routine check-up if testing is appropriate for you

* You are an adult under age 45 and you are overweight

* You have high blood pressure; low HDL cholesterol and high triglycerides

* Your family has a history of diabetes

* There’s a history of gestational diabetes in your family

* You have given birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds

* You belong to an ethnic or minority group that has a high risk for diabetes, such as African American, American Indian, Asian American, Pacific Islander, or Hispanic American/Latino.

The good news is, if after testing you discover that you do have pre-diabetes; your blood-sugar levels are rather higher than they should be but not in the diabetes range, you can take positive action to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

* Reduce the amount on your plate – eating just a little less helps reduce your risk factor.

* Avoid snacks; if you must snack go for a healthy rather than sugar-laden option.

* Drink a glass of water 10 minutes before eating to take the edge of your appetite so you don’t overindulge in food.

* Choose whole-grain foods or sugar-free foods.

* Grab a little more exercise, such as walking up the stairs instead of taking the elevator or escalator.

* Don’t shop for food when you are feeling hungry.  You’ll be more tempted to buy the foods that increase your blood-sugars, add  weight and generally create a higer risk of moving from your pre-diabetes state into being a fully diagnosed type 2 diabetic.

Taking these and other simple actions can reduce your risk of turning pre-diabetes into type 2 diabetes.

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Grilling Tips and Secrets for Rib-Eye Steak, Filet Mignon, and Prime Rib

Grilling has become one of America’s favorite ways to cook, not only does it add great flavor to a variety of meals, but it allows you and your family an opportunity to eat outside as well. It is important to grill successfully however, because you do not want to end up burning your dinner that you spent good money on, this is especially true with steak products that can sometimes be expensive, such as: rib-eye steaks, filet mignon, and prime rib.

MagicKitchen.com’s ready-to-cook Filet Mignon

When grilling filet mignon, there are a number of things you should keep in mind. The most important concerns seasoning. Filet mignon is one of the most expensive cuts of steaks out there and has a lot of taste on its own, so there is absolutely no need to over-season it. Just adding some fresh ground pepper or adding some whole grain mustard is a great way to season filet mignon. When grilling filet mignon, you should also be sure to use a high heat and to make sure to pre-heat the grill – never place the filet mignon on the grill before lighting it. Another important tip for grilling filet mignon is never to puncture the steak – make sure to always use tongs to move or turn the steak over. And the final grilling secret for filet mignon is never to overcook it, don’t turn your expensive steak into a doggie chew-toy. Cook the filet mignon with your grill lid open, on one side for 4-5 minutes on one side for a medium-rare steak, 6-7 minutes for a medium steak. Then flip the steak over with your tongs and cook for 2 minutes on the other side for medium-rare or 3 minutes for medium. If you want to create some lovely grill marks on your filet mignon, after 2 minutes on the first side, lift the filet mignon gently with your tongs and place back down at a 90 degree angle for the remaining 2 or 3 minutes. Always let a steak rest 5-10 minutes after cooking, or all the delicious juices will run out and it will be dry!

When grilling rib-eye steaks, it is also often a good idea to keep your seasonings simple. Olive oil and fresh ground black pepper or a small amount of a steak seasoning mixture or rub are often good choices. Many of the other tips for grilling filet mignon hold true for grilling rib-eye steaks as well. You should also pre-heat your grill to a high heat, make sure to leave the grill cover open, and always make sure never to puncture the meat with a fork or knife, always using tongs instead. It all comes down to perfect cooking time with rib-eye steaks. With a steak that is an inch to an inch and a half thick, you will want to cook it for 4-5 minutes on one side for a medium-rare steak, 6-7 minutes for a medium steak, and then flip and cook for the same amount of time on the other side depending on how well done you would like your rib-eye steak. If you steak is thinner than an inch, you may wish to reduce the cooking time, unless you like your rib-eye steaks well done. And again, if you want to create some lovely grill marks on your rib-eye steak, after 2 or 3 minutes on the first side, lift the steak gently with your tongs and place back down at a 90 degree angle for the remaining 2 or 3 minutes.

MagicKitchen.com’s Ready to cook Prime Rib Roast

In grilling prime-rib, many of the foregoing grilling tips and secrets will hold true. Simple seasoning is often best, although this cut will hold a marinade nicely as well. (You should also never puncture prime rib, always use tongs). The main difference with prime rib is that this steak is often grilled “bone-in” and several steaks can be grilled in one cut. The trick is to maintain an even and constant head across the entire piece of meat that you are cooking. A prime rib roast should be grilled for 12 to 14 minutes per pound at a temperature around 325 degrees Fahrenheit, usually medium to medium high on your grill. A full seven-bone prime rib roast (up to 18 pounds) can take up to 4 hours to fully cook, and should be turned half way through the grilling procedure. When grilling many prime ribs as one roast, always figure out the exact weight before starting to grill your prime rib. A whole prime rib roast must be left to rest after you take it off the grill, this will allow juices to seep back in and flavors to continue to blend. Set the prime rib in a warm place under a loose covering of tin foil. After around 20 minutes of resting, you can slice and serve to your guests. If you are grilling only one prime rib steak, you can follow the same directions for a rib-eye steak, with a higher heat on the grill and an open cover.

However, the most important grill secret to take away from this, is whether you are grilling filet mignon, rib-eye steaks, or prime rib – never puncture your steak, always rest it and never overcook it!

Martie, MagicKitchen.com blogger

 

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Everything You Didn’t Know About Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola is arguably the most famous brand on the entire planet, but how much do you really know about the soft drinks company?

Coke and Pepsi

Pepsi are undoubtedly Coca-Cola’s biggest competitor. In fact since the 1980s the two companies have been ‘fighting’ the ‘Cola Wars’, a turn of phrase used to describe the aggressive mirroring of their marketing campaigns.

But back 1932 Coke had three separate opportunities to buy out Pepsi. But they declined as they thought Pepsi-Cola was a working class drink and saw their own beverage as more of a high-end product.

Coke and Cocaine

There was originally approximately 9 milligrams of cocaine in an average sized glass of coke, but it was completely removed from the recipe in 1903. Today the company use a coca leaf extract that is free from cocaine and officially contains no trace of the illegal substance whatsoever.

Coke and Their Secret Recipe

When Neville Isdell stepped down as CEO of Coca-Cola having worked for the company for 43 years he admitted that he’d never been told the secret recipe. He said he knew the system for keeping it secret, but nothing more than that.

But there’s no real need for the recipe to be kept secret as Coca-Cola are the only American company that are legally allowed to import coca leaves, which can be turned into cocaine.

Coke and the Nazis

Coca Cola was one of three official drink sponsors at the 1936 Olympic games in Berlin, otherwise known as the Nazi games. And they continued to produce and sell Coke in Germany even after Britain and France had declared war on the Nazi state.

It was only when the United States entered the Second World War that production stopped, as increased trade restrictions meant the bottling plants couldn’t get hold of the sugar and syrup used to make it.

It was also illegal to import ready-made Coke into Nazi Germany so Max Keith, the head of Coca-Cola Deutschland started production of an orange flavoured alternative called Fanta. Yes, Fanta was invented in Nazi Germany! How upsetting.

Coke and its Popularity

The Coca-Cola Company sell 1.7 billion Cokes across the world every single day. That works out just shy of 20 servings every single second.

Astonishingly the word “Coke” is thought to be the second most recognizable in the entire world! The only word more people know the meaning of is “okay”.

And while we’re on the subject of Coke’s worldwide popularity did you know that 94% of the world’s population recognize the company’s logo, and thus are the most recognized brand in the world.

When he’s not drinking Coke Harry Donald spends his days writing about the many novelty gifts on offer at Find Me A Gift, the gift ideas people.

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Helping a customer feels good!

I get a lot of calls from people who are trying to make sure their parents are getting the proper nutrition. When people get older they sometimes lose the ability or even the desire to go to the grocery store or cook for themselves after a lifetime of cooking. So they’re left eating very little or nothing at all in some cases because they just can’t cook anymore.

One customer in particular was at the end of her rope. She lives 3 hours away from her Dad and visits as often as she can. She called practically crying after looking in his refrigerator, at her father’s thinning waistline and searching through websites trying to find a solution that will give her peace of mind and keep her father fed.

When she called MagicKitchen.com, she was so impressed with the selection that we had that she actually exclaimed, “This is a dream come true! You have complete meals delivered to his door that he can just put into the microwave and eat a nutritious meal? The low-sodium guidelines his doctor set, he could never follow on his own and we were there to help. We spent some time talking on the phone about his dietary needs, about how scared she was that he had just stopped eating.

Her Dad has been using MagicKitchen.com ever since and calls to tell her how much he loves the food. His favorites are the Pot Roast and the Spaghetti with Meatballs. Not only is it a special package that arrives to his home that makes him feel special, he has a small conversation with the delivery person and it actually makes his day to receive his food.

I know I am doing my job well when people call me frantic, and out of options and they end up completely satisfied with the food and the service, so much that they take the time to write and tell me so.

Mariel, MagicKitchen.com blogger

(This video doesn’t have anything to do with senior nutrition, it’s just pretty amusing. Seniors rule!)

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Types of Diabetes

Mary Tyler Moore is the International Chairman for JDRF

The American Diabetes Association adopted the following classification in 1979.

Type –1, insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus
Type-2, non insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus

There are two other kinds of diabetes, known as gestational diabetes and secondary diabetes. There is also a special kind of diabetes in India called malnutrition related diabetes.

Type-1 Insulin-Dependant Diabetes

This is the most severe form of diabetes. It develops when pancreas makes little or no insulin. Without insulin in the blood stream, sugar does not get into the cells, and remains in the blood. People with type-1 diabetes depend on injections of insulin to regulate their smaller metabolism. Type I diabetes, also known as adolescent diabetes, differs from Type 2 in that the body stops producing insulin altogether.  Type I diabetes is generally diagnosed in children or young adults.

Type-2 Non Insulin Dependent Diabetes

This type of diabetes is also known as adult onset diabetes. It seldom develops before the age of 40 years, although it may occur at any stage. Infect the incidence of type-2 diabetes in adolescents in on the rise. But because the symptoms are milk, these may not notice and the condition remains undetected for a long period and till later years. In Type 2 diabetes the pancreas either does not produce adequate levels of insulin or the body becomes resistant to its own insulin.

One common factor in both type-1 and type-2 diabetes is elevated blood sugar levels. However, unlike type-1 diabetes, type-2 is not a disease of the immune system. While people with type-1 diabetes must use insulin to live, most of those with type-2 diabetes are able to control the disease and even reverse it. This is possible by a combination of a diabetic meal plan, proper weight control and adequate exercise.

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Menu for a Perfect Date

Beef Pot Roast

Whether this is your first date and you are just now getting to know each other, it’s your anniversary and you and your significant other are celebrating your long lasting love together, taking the time to plan a romantic meal, and pulling out all the stops, can create the ultimate ambience. You can make it easy on yourself by buying already prepared meals from MagicKitchen.com. If you serve delicious dishes like Beef Pot Roast followed by an incredible dessert like Chocolate Ganache Cake; how could you not have the beginnings of the perfect date?

Planning the menu for a perfect date doesn’t need to be about serving the most expensive wines and putting together complicated entrees, A romantic evening with your partner is all about showing them how much you care about them and since the beginning of time food has been a great way to set the mood. Arranging an intimate evening at home, away from the unwanted distractions of a busy restaurant lets you focus on yourselves as a couple. The most important thing to remember is to have fun and get to know each other over the carefully thought out menu you’ve planned for your perfect date.

The meal is the most important part of “The Perfect” date and you’ll want to plan a main course that is light enough to leave room for a delicious dessert, also keeping in mind your date’s likes and dislikes. You can’t lose if you make a hearty, flavorful Beef Pot Roast with gravy and maybe some fresh green beans and new potatoes as side dishes. Follow this wonderful meal with a rich and creamy, melt in your mouth Tiramisu and your irresistible treat is sure to get the reaction you’re looking for.

Chicken Parmigiana

Another great choice that should be considered as the mainstay on a menu for the perfect date is Beef Stroganoff with pasta, everybody’s favorite comfort food. If you and your date are more partial to chicken, luscious, rich Chicken Marsala is fantastic choice, covered with savory mushrooms and delightful wine sauce. Another favorite is Chicken Parmigiana, cooked to perfection, bathed in delectable tomato sauce, covered with Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.

If you or your loved ones enjoy dessert, and who doesn’t, then you’ll want to try the Chocolate Lovers bundle, a wonderful collection of rich delicious chocolate desserts. For something different try the “Bada-Bing” cherry bread pudding which not only delivers a delightful taste, you’ll have fun with the name; a cute conversation piece. When it comes to desserts, cakes are always a great choice and can range from traditional carrot cake to a moist and delicious chocolate cake, to an assortment gourmet cupcakes. Perhaps you want something more along the lines of double fudge brownie or Dutch apple pie (topped off with ice cream maybe?); yum!

The best way to put together your menu for a perfect date is to make it a surprise and keep it simple. Over complicating things will just stress you out and make you feel anxious. This is supposed to be fun and exciting and by planning your menu with the choices mentioned above you can relax, enjoy a glass of wine and your date will appreciate all your efforts in putting together the perfect date.

Cheryl, MagicKitchen.com blogger

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Energy Drinks: How Healthy Are They?

It’s been a long, stressful work week and you’re about to embark on the long drive to the cottage for the weekend – but you’re really, really tired.

What do you do?

Many of us would be reaching for that coffee, tea, or other beverage to perk us up and give us that much-needed energy boost to get through the next few hours. Both full-sized energy drinks – like Red Bull and Monster Energy – and energy shots, like Living Essentials’ 5-Hour Energy are popular pick-me-ups among tired college students and daily grind workers alike. Although these kinds of drinks can be handy when you need a quick energy boost – like when driving a long distance and you need to be alert, or before a big exam you were cramming for the night before – caffeinated drinks, like many things, should be consumed and used in moderation.

There’s tons of other healthy ways to ensure you’re awake, alert, and aware during the day, most days – here’s some of our favorite tricks.

Eat a good breakfast

Breakfast is often called the most important meal of the day, and there’s a reason why. Right when you awake, your body has been going without food during the hours you were sleeping, and your brain needs nutrients to get you going. Starting the day right means you’ll have more energy throughout the day.

Ensure your meals are healthy and balanced

Eating a healthy meal is always a good idea, but making sure healthy eating is a part of your everyday lifestyle will help you become more awake and energized long term. And, if you’re looking for a sweet treat, dark chocolate can be a healthier pick-me-up, thanks to the antioxidants found in it.

Get a good night’s sleep

This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people routinely get less sleep than recommended by professionals. The Mayo Clinicsuggests adults get 7-9 hours of sleep a night – if you routinely are getting less than that, it can contribute to a lack of mental awareness and sharpness during the day.

Eat smaller, healthy meals or snacks throughout the day

Croissant and Jam from MagicKitchen.com

Eating small, healthy meals or snacks throughout the day, on a regular basis, can help you maintain your energy levels as well. Frequent, smaller portions help maintain your blood sugar levels and avoid the dreaded sugar “crash”, which makes you feel tired, sluggish, and slow.

Take multivitamins

Ensuring our bodies are getting the right vitamins and minerals is paramount to how we feel throughout the day and week. Something as simple as taking a multivitamin can help us get those much-needed nutrients, and will often help when it comes to energy level and mood.

By maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you’ll feel more energized and awake on a regular basis. Of course, on those one-off occurrences when you’re exhausted and need to stay alert after a long day, it’s fine to indulge in an energy drink or coffee – but, again, moderation is key.

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Website Update

Here’s something new- we have fairly long pages on our product pages like http://www.magickitchen.com/menu/main_courses.html.

We knew that as people scrolled down, they no longer could see the navigation menu on the left. So we fixed it!

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The Ultimate Hangover Breakfast

The Ultimate Hangover Breakfast – With civilization came the wisdom and ability to take normal food stuffs such as; wheat, rice, and barley then turn them into something that will chemically alter a persons perception of the world.

Now it’s one thing to drink in college and pop up the next day for class or part time work, however adult life isn’t always as easy. I’m going to give you some tips to help you go out for the office birthday at the club then be fine come Thursday mornings meeting.

First and foremost preventative measures will help to prevent those terrible, mind numbing, don’t turn on the lights yet hangovers. Often times dehydration is a big issue in the anatomy of a hangover. If you make sure to drink a glass of water to every five beers, or two shots of spirits and harder liquor you can ease most effects you’ll end up feeling the next morning.

Before going to sleep, or err.. should I say passing out depending on how hard you party, make sure you have a dollar water gallon container and chug as much as you can. The sooner you imbibe water after alcohol the sooner the chemical support can occur.

Alright the worst has happened; you wake up to the sound of your alarm clock, but this morning it sounds like the screaming of women and children and slaughter of pigs. Your head is pounding, your mouth tastes like batteries, you still have yesterdays clothes on with a stain down the front of your chest, and the sight of morning sunlight feels like getting eye surgery done with a fork.

You don’t understand why this is happening and your iPhone has about 40 texts about how you were “Nearly a god king among men” from around 5 hours ago. We’ve all been there right? Now for the hard part you still need to get to work within 50 minutes, what can you eat for breakfast to help from dying all day in the office? Have no fear, if you didn’t drink the water the night before the first thing is drink about 5 glasses of water.

Protein synthesizes with alcohol in both the bloodstream and liver so if you have that “I woke up drunk” hangover a good move is making eggs.

Some scrambled eggs with cheese are quick and easy with either a stove or microwave to let you spend time on showering and preparing for a day of finding out “What exactly did I do last night?”

Brett, MagicKitchen.com blogger

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