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Frozen Food is as Healthy as Fresh!

frozen berriesAnd sometimes frozen produce is even healthier. That fact flies in the face of the common misconception out there that fresh produce from your supermarket is somehow healthier than frozen, and that’s simply not true. In fact, two recent studies conducted in Britain found that some frozen fruits and vegetables were “…richer in health-boosting vitamins and antioxidants.” These studies found that, for example, frozen broccoli had four times the beta-carotene and frozen carrots had higher levels of vitamin C and polyphenols than their “fresh” counterparts.

limp celerySo how could we all have gotten this so wrong? What the British studies, and similar studies conducted by Rice University and the University of California at Davis discovered was that “fresh” does not always equate to picked yesterday. Supermarket produce is almost always picked prior to becoming ripe and permitted to ripen in storage and during shipment. Thus, these fruits and veggies were picked weeks before they reach your kitchen and the longer they sit off the tree, bush, vine or out of the ground, the more nutrients they lose.

oranges-1117644_960_720On the other hand, much of the produce that’s destined to be frozen is permitted to reach the peak of ripeness, which is also its time of optimum nutrition, prior to being picked. Think of this as cryogenic freezing that keeps the produce perpetually young, immortal, if you will, until it’s thawed and ultimately enjoyed.

The nutrient studies cited above also found that florescent lights, such as those in a supermarket, and the darkness of your fridge, where much of your produce sits for days prior to being consumed, can screw with the circadian clocks of the fruits and veggies. This artificial light and darkness causes the peaches-825564_960_720produce to “produce” (couldn’t resist) fewer cancer fighting glucosinolates.

So, unless you own an extensive fruit and vegetable garden on par with a small farm, or visit a farmer’s market on an almost daily basis (and that’s often impossible during the winter and early spring months), freshly picked and quickly frozen produce, such as the type used here at, can more than meet your nutritional needs.


Diabetic Ideas for the Thanksgiving Meal

thanksgiving-dinnerWhen you have diabetes, managing the disease means you need to be mindful of what you’re eating. Stick to eating healthy meals at regular intervals and it’s doable. But how do you handle eating when it comes to the big Thanksgiving Day meal? And if you’re cooking for guests who have diabetes, what do you need to know?

With an estimated 29 million people in the U.S. with diabetes, and another 79 million with pre-diabetes, looking for ways to eat healthier to control blood sugar levels makes sense for most people. Show up to enjoy the feast or get cooking in the kitchen with a plan in place, and the big meal will be enjoyable for everyone, even those with diabetes. Here’s how to navigate the Thanksgiving feast.

Create Your Plate with Diabetic-Friendly Foods
If you’re not sure what to cook for Thanksgiving, or what to eat, follow the Create Your Plate! model designed by the American Diabetes Association. This healthy eating plan gives you a visual of what to eat to manage your diabetes. Half your plate should include non-starchy vegetables like carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, and tomatoes. Some healthy protein (turkey makes the list), whole grains, and starchy vegetables are good for you too. Follow this basic plan, and you’ll be on track to control calories and limit carbohydrates, important for managing diabetes.

thanksgiving-dinner-platedEnjoy the Turkey
After filling half your plate with vegetables, be sure to enjoy a serving of turkey. It’s high in protein and doesn’t contain carbs that can elevate blood sugar levels. But a serving is all you really need, which is about the size of your palm. If you’re cooking the turkey, it’s healthier to roast it in the oven than deep fry it. And when it’s ready to eat, remove the skin, which contains a lot of calories and fat.

Sample the Stuffing
If you’re a true traditionalist, you can’t have a Thanksgiving meal without stuffing. But if you have diabetes, you’ll probably only want a small sample of stuffing. Why? It’s generally made with white bread and is high in carbohydrates. If you’re in charge of making the stuffing, use whole wheat bread and add more non-starchy vegetables to the stuffing mix. Doing this will make the stuffing more diabetic-friendly, take longer to digest, and do a better job at regulating blood sugar levels than traditional stuffing. French Green Beans with Mushroom Sauce French Green Beans with Mushroom Sauce

Pay Attention to Potatoes

If you showed up as a guest at the first Thanksgiving, potatoes weren’t on the menu. Yet today, mashed potatoes and gravy, and sweet potatoes are a common side dish that goes with the turkey. If you plan to eat potatoes, only eat a small serving. They’re a high-carb food that can cause rapid changes in blood sugar levels. Check out some recipes to make a healthier version of mashed potatoes, or try our Magic Mashed Potatoes or Mashed Sweet Potatoes.

Enjoy the Green Beans
If you’re following the Create Your Plate! advice to choose diabetic-friendly foods, green beans are a good choice. And they’re often served steamed, sautéed, or added to a casserole for the Thanksgiving meal. They taste great seasoned with onions, herbs, and other spices. Or you can try our French Green Beans with Mushrooms and Cream Sauce. Other diabetic side dishes on our menu include decadent Creamy Spinach and Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, two classic sides that will make you forget about potatoes.

Save Room for Dessert
Pay attention to the kind of foods you’re putting on your plate and be aware of the amount of carbs you’re eating to manage your diabetes. Doing this will help you make smart food choices, and even have room for dessert. You’ll want to skip, rich, decadent desserts made with lots of sugar and flour. But there are lots of healthy options that can be your sweet treat after the big meal like cinnamon roasted pears, quinoa dessert pudding, or even some healthier items from our dessert menu.


Easy and Inexpensive DIY Halloween Costumes

In case you haven’t looked at the calendar or noticed that your neighbors have had tombstones, cobwebs, and skeletons scattered around their homes, it’s October, and you know what that means…it’s time to start decorating for Christmas and Halloween is right around the corner. And, as discussed in our last blog, the best food gift ideas are those made with your own two, loving hands, the same applies to Halloween costumes. So here are a few non-scary ideas for you to consider:

  1. bag-jelly-beansBag ‘o jelly beans – This costume is great for older kids and is sooooo simple. All you need is a clear trash bag, a black Sharpie, colored balloons, and a red ribbon. Simply cut holes in the trash bag for arms and legs, write the nutritional info on the bag, copied from a box of real jelly beans, blow up the colored balloons, place them in the bag after you or your child has climbed in, and then tie the top of the bag loosely around your neck with the red ribbon. Now, just stay away from sharp objects.





  1. freudian-slipFreudian slip – It really doesn’t get easier than this costume, and it almost always gets people talking. All you need is a slip, a Sharpie, and some stickie notes or those stickie name tag things. (The clothes under the slip are optional…if you can pull it off, go for it). Next, just write Freudian terms, such as id, ego, superego, penis envy, psychoanalysis, Oedipal complex, regression, repression…you get the idea, on those stickie things and place them, strategically, on the slip. Then, have all your friends lie on a couch and ask them lots of questions about their mothers.





  1. geekHarold Wolowitz/geek chic – The now famous character from the Big Bang Theory has helped to make dressing like a geek, well, chic. So, what you’ll need to achieve this look is to strap a pair of Vans or Chuck Taylors on your feet, slip into a pair of painfully tight and brightly colored skinny jeans, pull a matching (or not) dickie over your head, don a gaudy, long sleeved button down shirt, wrap a wide belt around your waist, and complete the ensemble with a geeky belt buckle (batman symbol, old Nintendo controller, or Pac Man being a few of his favs). Now, just be prepared to discuss your time on the International Space Station and your lack of a doctoral degree.




  1. floFlo from Progressive – Hate insurance and insurance agents? Who cares, you’ll still be the life of the party in this almost monochromatic costume. Requirements: white polo shirt and jeans, a pair of blue Chuck Taylors and head band, a white apron with the word “Progressive” across the front, a “Flo” name tag, and a “I insurance” pin. As for the hair style…sorry, you’re on your own with that one.

So, if you’re tired of trolling through magazines, websites or Halloween stores in search of the perfect costume, why not make your own? It can be amazingly simple and inexpensive (or cheap, if you prefer), as evidenced by these four unique, easy and cheap examples…no blood or zombie guts required.


CKD Patients, Tips to Get Through Winter

When winter weather arrives, many people look forward to snowfall, winter activities like skiing and snowboarding, and the coziness of drinking hot chocolate or coffee by a warm fire indoors. You might enjoy these things too, but when you have renal disease, it’s important to take certain precautions to protect your health during the cold-weather months.

stay-warmStay warm

Cold-weather alone won’t cause you to catch a cold. But frigid temperatures can shrink the size of blood vessels, force your heart to work harder, and increase your blood pressure. If circulation slows, it can have a negative impact on your kidneys. Fortunately, getting too cold is largely avoidable by dressing in layers and wearing warmer clothes. And if you’re worried about catching a cold, make it a point to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or use hand sanitizer regularly.

Protect your skin

Just because a typical winter day might be gray and overcast, doesn’t mean the sun’s rays are any less harmful than a hot summer day. In fact, the earth is actually closer to the sun during the winter months, and the sun’s ultraviolet rays are just as harmful. It’s important for everyone to protect their skin from the sun, even in the winter. Those with renal disease or people who recently received a kidney transplant may have a compromised immune system and need extra protection from the sun to prevent skin damage and skin cancer. Cover up and use sunscreen when you’re outdoors, even in the winter.

College friends gathered in group affection love and couples date night buddiesBe happy

The winter months and holiday line-up can lead to depression for many people with renal disease. Too much stress can be harmful to your mental health, physical health, and your immune system. You can beat the blues by planning ahead, organizing your schedule, and letting your family and friends know what your plans are. Enjoying time with people you like, watching funny movies, reading a good book, laughing, and getting regular exercise can also help you be happy, beat the blues, and be healthier.

Manage allergies

You’re coughing and sneezing. You have itchy, watery eyes. And even though it’s winter, you might not have a cold. It could be allergies. One in five people suffer from allergies, and symptoms can often be worse during the winter months. If you’re feeling under the weather, it’s important to strengthen your immune system to protect your kidneys and your health. If you think you have allergies, talk to your doctor about a simple test to find out what you might be allergic to and come up with a plan to treat them.

Renal meal delivered
Spinach Mushroom Lasagna with Green Beans- A renal diet meal from

Eat healthy

It’s probably the most important rule to follow for people with renal disease. You already know you need to follow specific diet to protect your kidneys and your health. And it doesn’t have to be hard. Our large selection of Renal Meals will keep you happy, healthy, and well-fed through the winter with foods like Turkey Chili with Brown Rice, Cheesy Vegetable Omelet, Hash Browns and Broccoli, Beef Stew, Carrots & Mashed Potatoes, and many other choices.

Winter doesn’t have to be a worry for people with renal disease. Stay warm, protect your skin, be happy, manage allergies, and eat healthy, and you’ll be happy to have a visit from Old Man Winter.


Food Quote Fun

We like to include interesting and amusing food quotes on our banner at Those, by necessity, need to be  short. Here are some of our favorite longer food quotes. We hope you enjoy them as mush as we do!

John Barrymore
John Barrymore

High-tech tomatoes. Mysterious milk. Supersquash. Are we supposed to eat this stuff? Or is it going to eat us? ~Annita Manning

There is a lot more juice in grapefruit than meets the eye. ~Author Unknown

I would like to find a stew that will give me heartburn immediately, instead of at three o’clock in the morning. ~John Barrymore

Shipping is a terrible thing to do to vegetables. They probably get jet-lagged, just like people. ~Elizabeth Berry

No man in the world has more courage than the man who can stop after eating one peanut. ~Channing Pollock

It would be nice if the Food and Drug Administration stopped issuing warnings about toxic substances and just gave me the names of one or two things still safe to eat. ~Robert Fuoss

As a child my family’s menu consisted of two choices: take it or leave it. ~Buddy Hackett

One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating. ~Luciano Pavarotti and William Wright, Pavarotti, My Own Story

Amiss-piggyfter all the trouble you go to, you get about as much actual “food” out of eating an artichoke as you would from licking 30 or 40 postage stamps. ~Miss Piggy

Never work before breakfast; if you have to work before breakfast, eat your breakfast first. ~Josh Billings

Vegetables are interesting but lack a sense of purpose when unaccompanied by a good cut of meat. ~Fran Lebowitz

A bagel is a doughnut with the sin removed. ~George Rosenbaum

Great eaters and great sleepers are incapable of anything else that is great. ~Henry IV of France

Anybody who believes that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach flunked geography. ~Robert Byrne


Make your Plans Now for July 29th: National Lasagna Day

Some people go overboard with bacon. Photo by
Some people go overboard with bacon. Photo by

What better way to add some spice to an otherwise boring Wednesday in July than with some lasagna? This most famous of Italian dishes and Garfield’s (the cat, not the president) favorite meal is also the perfect family meal…I mean, who doesn’t love lasagna?

And best of all, it can be personalized by simply adding, subtracting or replacing some of the traditional ingredients. For example, one could use ground beef, Italian sausage, chicken, pork (mmmmm, bacon) or kielbasa (there’s even a recipe out there that includes ground moose!). You could also decide to skip meat altogether for the vegetarians in your life.

As for cheeses, you’re only limited by your imagination. Here are a few choices: ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, Monterey jack, Romano, asiago or provolone. And for you cheese lovers out there, you could combine all seven of the above cheeses into one lasagna dish if you so desire.

As with cheeses, there are a myriad of vegetables you could choose from as well, even if there are no vegetarians sitting at your table. Some of the

Mama’s Lasagna from Comes in Family Size!

more popular choices are spinach, carrots, eggplant, mushrooms (although they’re neither a vegetable, nor a fruit. Hell, they’re not even considered a plant), onions, garlic, peppers and radishes.

There is one downside to National Lasagna Day, however. And that is the fact that it’s in July! I mean who wants to heat up an already hot kitchen by cranking the stove up to 425 for two hours? So how to share some lasagna with your cat(s) and family on a hot July day? Simply pre-order your lasagna from! We offer three delicious varieties: mama’s beef lasagna, spinach mushroom lasagna with light pesto, and lasagna with meat sauce. Don’t sweat your noodles off! Place your lasagna order today and you’ll be stress and sweat free come July 29th.

Steve, blogger


Diabetes Tools

When you are diagnosed with Diabetes type 2, the first thing you need is a sort of diabetes tool kit.

That tool kit should include:

1. Recipes –  The American Diabetes Association has a large variety of diabetic recipes, and their advice is to “Focus on filling your plate with non-starchy vegetables and having smaller portions of starchy foods and meats.” Ready made diabetic meals from follow that rule.

2. Fitness Plan – Consult your doctor before beginning any type of fitness plan. If you’ve been inactive, starting a walking or swimming program is probably best. At least a half hour a day, five days a week, and you’ll soon find yourself wanting more! A simple weight training program is good for all of use as we age, so hit the gym as well.

3. Goals – It’s very difficult to change your lifestyle all at once, but it’s extremely important to make changes for the better. Left to run its course, diabetes can lead to kidney disease, nerve problems, blindness, high blood pressure and stroke.  Make a list of things you need to do, like reduce fat in your diet, go for a walk every day, reducing stress.

Break the list down into easy, manageable, difficult. Then develop a chart or calendar for doing the things you need to do. Be proud of yourself for each hurdle you cross.

4. Get Educated! – is a series of youtube videos that will help you to understand what needs to be done.

Here’s one of the videos:




Focus on filling your plate with non-starchy vegetables and having smaller portions of starchy foods and meats. – See more at:
Focus on filling your plate with non-starchy vegetables and having smaller portions of starchy foods and meats. – See more at:

Focus on filling your plate with non-starchy vegetables and having smaller portions of starchy foods and meats. – See more at:
Focus on filling your plate with non-starchy vegetables and having smaller portions of starchy foods and meats. – See more at:”

10 Food Buzzwords we are Sick of!

Food marketing is an activity that has been there since time immemorial. But have you ever thought that buying food should not be so complicated? All the labels that go with it take the fun out of shopping, and at times, eating. People eat to live; we get the whole concept but as with anything, when overused, it becomes overrated; even diet buzzwords. The sound of these diet words make us cringe:

  1. Heirloom Tomatoes
    Heirloom Tomatoes


At one point, heirloom tomatoes really were heirloom- old seeds that had been rediscovered and grown, so that you had an amazing looking fruit that no-one had seen for years. Now it’s used for every tomato out there that’s just maybe fresh picked or really ripe, and everything else from cheeses to corn. Time to give this word a pass.

  1. Natural

We get it; all-natural foods are always preferable over others. But whether you are dieting or not, isn’t everything we eat natural first then processed later? Basically the FDA allows a company to call a product natural as long as it doesn’t have added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances. So beware of what you’re getting. Haagen Dazs vanilla ice cream is all natural, but not necessarily good for you!

  1. Fresh

Granted, everybody loves fresh food but how many times do you buy something “fresh” at the convenient store or the grocery only to get home and find out it is stale? What if different labels like “baked today” or “arrived yesterday” were used? Truth in advertising!

4. Probiotic

Oh, marketers, you did a good job with this one! Suddenly everything is marked probiotic. Yogurt has had these beneficial bacteria for centuries, but suddenly certain brands had better ones, or more of them. I say shut up and eat your yogurt.

Organic Farmer
Organic Farmer

5. Organic

Organic can be good! But much organic produce doesn’t actually come from small farms, as you may picture it. It comes from huge factory farms that don’t necessarily take care of the environment. It is only a small definition that tells farm management what types of substances can be put on their fields.

6. Antioxidants

They are important because they help in protecting against heart diseases but all fruits and vegetables have antioxidants. Eating pomegranates isn’t going to save your life. Eat sensibly.

7. Junk Food

Everybody knows…continuous eating of junk foods is bad for your overall health. We know these kinds of food add little to no nutritional value to the body but there’s no need to label them as ‘junk’. They can actually get you through a bad day or heartache.

8. 12-grain bread

It sounds healthy, and crunchy, but in reality unless it’s really whole grain it may not be very good for you. As 12 grain (or any grain) bread could have sugar and all kinds of preservatives. Be wise, look at labels.

9. “Eat Clean”

This is a common phrase used in marketing various diet foods. It is annoying in a sense because someone would think they are demonizing the usual foods we eat on normal basis. Food is not “unclean”.

10. Healthy

As the saying goes, one man’s meat is another man’s poison. When it comes to diet foods, this saying is literal. Healthy is a relative word. Staying healthy is crucial, but one does not have to eat by the book…bend the rules a little every now and then.


Where are the biggest Christmas light shows?

Christmas lighting started centuries ago when people put candles on their trees at night. Nowadays people and communities vie with each other for the biggest  displays. Where are the biggest Christmas light shows?

1.  Disney World’s The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

2. Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting

3. Hong Kong, China Winter Festival

4. Lights Spectacular, Johnson City, Texas

5. Tokyo Midtown “The Milky Way”

6. Grand Place – Brussels, Belgium

7. Copenhagen: Tivoli Gardens

8. The Lagerstrom House – Surrey, B.C. Canada

9. Brussels: Town Hall

10. Branson, Missouri: Silver Dollar City

Those are the ten biggest we found- where are your favorites?

Melody Scott, blogger


Setting a Holiday Table

Most Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners are family affairs, with close friends invited as well. So the table setting doesn’t have to be formal, but you do want it to look nice.  Here are 8 tips for creating an attractive holiday table!

A selection of small colorful gourds look great in a glass bowl.

1. Centerpiece – Keep a low and simple centerpiece so everyone can see each other. A beautiful glass bowl with many-colored squashes, or filled with colorful glass balls or ornaments would be lovely.

2.  Runners – Try a white tablecloth with a brightly colored runner (plaid is great) to give the table a striking look.

3.  Chairs– Attach a bow to the back of your chairs, with the name of the person you’d like to sit there, if you have a seating plan.

4. Place settings– feel free to mix up your plates and bowls, play around with different patterns and colors. Do you have blue plates and green bowls? They might look great together!

5. Wonder where everything is supposed to go? Here’s a diagram from Wikipedia. If you’re not using everything, put it in the same general location and move it in!

6. Napkins – There are no rules for napkin placement- lay it on the plate as above, with or without a napkin ring, or tie with a ribbon or silver or gold wire. Roll it up and put it into the water or wine glass for each place.  Or fold it in half and lay it under the fork at the left side of the main plate. If you want to get fancy, Google ‘folding napkins’ and fold them into fantastic shapes and put them on the main plates!

7. Color Schemes- You don’t have to stick with autumn colors for Thanksgiving, or red and green for Christmas. Break out of the mold and try a table color scheme of elegant white and gold,  pale blue and silver,  deep yellow and tan,  sage green and deep black.

8. Placemats- If you have a beautiful wood table, then placemats are a good idea to keep the finish. But if serving a meal for four, a criss-crossed runner could act as placemat. have fun with placemats and napkins- same color, matching colors, colors on opposite sides of the color wheel- whatever looks like fun.

Most of all, have fun and don’t stress out this holiday season!’s Thanksgiving meals delivered and Christmas meals delivered can really take the stress off.

Melody, blogger