The Keeping Room

We are starting down the road to home ownership. I have no idea if this is even possible what with our being in the country not even two years yet. But we are going to give it the old college try. And if it’s a bust then we lease again and try next year because really, in the grand scheme of things, we are together and I am pretty sure there was a law passed in this state banning ugly olive green carpet. All will be just fine.

Still, with optimism we visit Trulia and Zillow on a frequent and regular basis. Looking at houses with the husband online has opened some interesting possibilities. And some interesting conversations. Currently the conversation is about having an old house. I want old like Queen Anne old with turrets and towers and dumb-waiters and kitchen stairs and archways encrusted with wooden curlicues. Maybe even a ghost. A gray lady who haunts the rose beds. He wants older. Really old. Like pre-Revolutionary War old.

I am not a fan because this old usually means it has been done up in that horrendous “primitive” style with its I-am-pretty-sure-that-is-lead paint chips off flaking off everything, badly stenciled pineapples, and hinges don’t work properly. Heavily distressed means unusable in my world. If I have a damn pie safe cluttering up my room I want to keep my damn pie safe in it. I don’t want a dust catcher with eye-brow raising levels of toxicity. I absolutely firmly believe that no colonial woman in her right mind would have so much broken crap around her house. In a time before tetanus shots and penicillin and magic erasers and hot water on demand, that stuff was basically death waiting to happen. And if you had a beautiful piece of furniture that took great skill and ages to hand-craft, like hell are you going to let paint chip off of it and let the worms gnaw at the wood.

We can find the compromise. I mean, that’s what the internet is for. Someone somewhere has had the same problem and already thoughtfully posted a solution. Usually with pictures. Isn’t our modern world just grand? I could scour out the rust and chips and make it fresh and new. But then, with what we all consider quintessential primitive removed, what about a Colonial house would I really want? What is in it for me? The solution I found came in the form of a thing I have never heard of before: the Keeping Room.

Kitchens of pre-colonial errors contained a little nook nestled into one side or the other called the keeping room. What “keeping” is defined to beexactly is lost in our modern version of English. But I like to think in one instance it means “keeping company.” A couch, a couple cushy chairs, a card table, a little informal lounge space for company to sit in while you have at it in the kitchen. On freezing nights the family would sleep in it “keeping warm” in an economical, and relatively safe, way since only the kitchen stove needed to be kept burning. It was used by children for “keeping busy” while playing, reading, working on needlework, or reciting lessons.

A keeping room is for keeping friends and family together, near the hearth, near the heart of the home. A huge glorious kitchen where food is slowly cooked and coffee is sipped and children play. A place of warmth and good smells and promise of full bellies. A place for business and noise and laughing and muddy shoes in the corner. A place that now has a place to be kept, to sit, to linger, to visit, to be part of the life of the home without being relegated to leaning up against a wall or standing in a doorway or loosing circulation in your lower extremities while you perch on a stool.

And just like that I must have a house with a keeping room.

Greetings from New England

Hi. I moved to New England.

Because I simply do not have enough funds to cover the therapy bills should I wish to rip the scab off and fully discuss in detail the horrors of our move across country, let me instead summarize with cryptic and vague bullet points and then we can all just move on:

  • Sub freezing temperatures, snow, and no winter gear. In both states
  • It’s easier and far cheaper to check a gun as airline baggage than to ship it
  • 4 weeks with no cars
  • 7 weeks with no furniture
  • You shouldn’t pack wine bottles in a pod in temps that will hit the negatives
  • The washing machine and dryer disappeared
  • Dust on dust on dust and there is still a mysterious odor
  • A concussion paired with a trip to the ER
  • Random surprise bills/fees/expenses costing us into the thousands of dollars
  • Advice: never vaccinate your kids early
  • The hell mouth has been located and it’s in my basement

And if you would like to know what happened to my beautiful kindergarten curriculum, I can say it paid off having everything for the entire year completed in advance. Of course it didn’t help having most of it in a pod for weeks on end which has thrown it totally out of whack and I had to tweak, push, and prod everything to get back on track. And we were on track until this weekend when the plague descended upon my little family and was highlighted with not one but two ER rooms and a ambulance. But come hell or high water I will finish this damn school year on time and without tears, and along with it I will finish uploading all the missing weeks if you wish to borrow my curriculum for yourself.

Which now brings us to today and what is happening in my life.

First, we are short-term renting a house. Our lease is up this summer and by then we need to have decided if we are going to buy or rent another year, and act upon that decision. I was rather tired of dealing with winter moves and a short lease means we can break that cycle. We are looking at possibly jumping town, or even state, so at this point I am going to leave our current location broad and unannounced. We are in New England, we are staying in New England, and that’s all I’ve got for you.

Speaking of, our rental house would be a blog post in itself. Maybe several. My landlady is nice and considerate and a good person, but her definition of finish is vastly different than mine. Her definition of working kitchen is also vastly different, but I gave up silently judging for Lent so I need to stop the conversation here. So besides the occasional rant about having only a 2×2 work surface on which to cook, the smoking chimney, the severe drafts, the doors that won’t open or close, and the random ceiling coving flying off the walls and trying to impale me with its rusty, bent nails, I won’t get into too many details. She is trying to sell the house and I don’t want to ruin that for her. I also don’t want someone tracking her down and telling her I am complaining publicly about the daily plaster dust raining from the wall and ceiling cracks because that might hurt her feelings needlessly. And it isn’t hurting a buyer by lack of disclosure because believe me, you can see these cracks from several rooms away.

I have resumed my cooking. And with it I resumed my passion for needing all the stuff, which led me to purchase a pie bird, 5 Mason Cash mixing bowls, and Julia Child’s famous cookbook. Which do not fit in my kitchen with the 2×2 work surface.

I have started looking into next year’s curriculum. If you were paying attention, this means I am not currently in Vermont since Vermont requires the whole damn thing to be done and submitted no later than yesterday. But I did purchase the main bulk of the text books by that date and started to organize the non-text book based classes and draft the grade book spreadsheets. I should be able to put up some curriculum notes soon. I know you are just so excited.

I haven’t resumed running as I am still having issues with my lower extremities. The house being questionably stable and certainly in no way level isn’t helping. Ah, well. Baby steps. I am sure to get in my 10,000 steps a day. Sweeping plaster dust eats up a good few thousand alone. At least I am not Couchy McCouchersons.

And I have resumed blogging. As you can see. I am sure it will be sporadic at best but then, whatever. I am not doing this for money nor am I in any way professional. I haven’t yet resumed writing the next novel but that will come when the dust settles. Not literally because oh my gosh seriously the dust never settles in this house.

My First Day as a Single Mom

Finally I can share some news! The Husband landed a new job which involves travel, travel, and more travel. This first project can last weeks, months, or even years. We don’t know. No one knows. But boy I hope someone starts to know pretty quickly.

For him it is miserable. No one melting down at full volume at the worst possible moment, no one kicking him in the face as they crawl into bed with him at 2 am, no one watching him go to the bathroom every flipping time. He gets to eat when he wants, has a maid clean up his room daily, can explore fabulous cities, and will spend his time with adults doing adult things and having adult conversation. I don’t honestly know how he is going to make it through this. Totally sucks to be him. I get to experience our kids twenty-four-freaking-seven totally up in my face not leaving me alone for a nanosecond. Sweet goodness I won this coin toss. Alone time is overrated. So I have heard.

But coupled with this awesome new single mom title is a super tight tight tight budget. Because we are going to have to move and moving costs money and the sooner we do the sooner I can cease being single mom. I know. Day one and I am already prepared to give up the title. Clearly I am ungrateful. And undeserving.

Where we will end up is any one’s guess- that guess heavily weighing on that aforementioned anyone who has the magic answer to how long the current project will run and where next project will be located. Because the husband keeps threatening to hang it all and move us to Vermont and he totally means it.

Either that or he wants to move across town to this charming 1979 two story ranch loaded with original features including not one but two faux stone fireplaces, low popcorn encrusted ceilings, period tile super glued to the subfloor, and a burgundy kitchen that looks remarkably like the coagulated aftermath of a pig slaughter gone horribly, horribly wrong. Oh and it butts up to BLM land. In the high desert. You know, the place that is dirt, dirt, and more dirt and will only ever be dirt except that one day it floods and becomes super sticky mud? I will never have anything clean ever again. But hey, bonus! All that wind stirring it up will naturally exfoliate me and within a month I will lose at least five pounds in skin alone. Who needs those top seven layers?

I told him I wanted a project. What I meant was a gorgeous 4000 square foot Queen Anne loaded with original features in beautiful Schenectady. I want to spend my life battling lead paint and drafty windows, not black widow spiders and rattle snakes.

So here you are in my journey with me. His journey started this morning as he embarked on his twelve hour travel path through half a dozen airports because where we live and where he is assigned are remarkably the only two places in this entire country that don’t seem to connect to any mutual hub stream. At all. None.

Which is why I am single mom for a (please please please let it be) limited time while the powers that be determine the place he shall be and the length he shall be there so we can live at least in the same time zone. And if the powers that be especially love me, they will make sure it isn’t in Vermont.

But, good news, I survived day one. Almost.

The teen is about to blast through the door between work and her date tonight, the two youngest are watching what is probably an age inappropriate movie instead of sleeping, and I know there is one bag of peanut butter cups downstairs that is the sum total of our contribution for trick or treaters and at this rate I may have to keep the lights off and just hide in a closet the whole night because I. Need. Them. Now.

That aside, we ate meals on time. And the dishes were done. And we brushed our teeth. And I managed to pack two boxes. And I made a shopping list to go with my new meal plan for my new budget. And no one died, got mutilated, or got slapped with an anti-social behavior order and ended up on probation. So I survived. Hooray for me.

Rambling Thoughts

Just another journal entry today.

I finished the olive green dress. Well, mostly finished. I did mainly French seams but the few I did standard need to be finished. I also need to add a second dart, the hook and eye, and a bit of trim. I know, the same stuff I have been needing to add for the last week and a half. I think I will make today a sewing day and get that sorted out. Maybe.

I also have two sweaters I am altering using a method I saw on pinterest. They are both excessively large on me, but warm and woolly and free. The concept is to sew along the existing seams, trim, then seal the seam by running a zig-zag stitch that just scootches off the edge. Basically it is mimicking a serged seam. Let’s see if this fake-it version works. If not, I have been meaning to whip up some bias tape and will seal the seams with that and hope for the best.

I am being gifted a few yards of material from my Mother-in-Law which should arrive end of next week or so. I only know it is tricot and “t-shirt like.” What weave, what weight, and what yardage is unknown but I am excited all the same. She said it was to make dresses, but she also greatly underestimates how big I am. Which, I guess, is actually rather sweet. It sure beats being thought of as a ginormous zeppelin. But when it comes to amount of material she might not be gifting enough for an entire dress. It will be enough for a blouse or skirt, of that I have no doubt. I have several patterns in mind and can’t wait to see what I get to create.

The great wardrobe challenge is exactly that- a great challenge. For those not in the loop yet: My goal is to start wearing as few items as possible. Not quite a capsule wardrobe, but rather a minimal clothing allotment. I want to get over the societal pressures of having new clothes for every occasion, a huge walk in closet stuffed to the brim, and impulse buying. So for this, I need to have as few items as possible, with great function and scope, and stylish for the season/era in which I live but not absolute trendy. I decided to mimic the wardrobe levels of yesteryear but not the actual fashion style. I have been reviewing “typical wardrobes” of the 1930s and 1940s to do this, thinking that the depression and war years would give me simplest yet realistic base numbers.

So far, I have discovered the two summer dress method of the 30s isn’t sufficient. I think the key difference is I don’t wear the undergarments of the era- so the slip that would naturally add the absorbent layer is missing meaning they need to be washed more frequently. And since I don’t hand wash like my ancestors, this was expected to not be a problem as I can toss it in every day if I wanted. Only that in itself has been the very problem. My seams are breaking down, I already blew out one zipper on one of the dresses and had to replace it, and the fabric print is significantly faded. The cheaper quality lining material is full of pills and thinning. Washing even only couple times a week has wrecked havoc on the dresses. I haven’t decided how I want to correct this problem yet, but as summer is on its way out I have plenty of time to study and review before the next year’s trial.

Speaking of which, already my summer dresses just aren’t heavy enough and we have barely entered fall. And I live in the desert. I am having to layer cardigans, which is no problem, but also leggings. At this point I might as well wear pants and call it a day. It would be less bulk and my skirts wouldn’t stick and ride up. The online advice says to add boots that touch or cross the hemline, but I don’t wear shoes around the house all day long. Still doing a lot of thinking about this, though I need to think fast or I am going to be awfully cold soon.

It’s pretty much status quo on the homeschool front. Winter is my goal to purchase the following year’s text books so I can spend spring writing up the weekly schedules. I may need to re-evaluate my choices because at this point we have way more time than money. I really wanted to avoid modular learning and instead use a foundational course. It may end up that I have to make some hard choices and adjust my plans. I know, I know. First world problems, eh?

I am a few weeks behind posting my lessons plans- so getting caught up is on the agenda for today. We are starting week 8 on Monday. I can’t believe the quarter is nearly finished. The “every other ish day or so” method of recording is working out well. I am also thinking of tweaking when we do math- so far it is four days a week, which I am happy with. The book covers 130 days, which is set to the public school format of 180 days minus 50 for testing/non-learning days (parties and fieldtrips). To make this work, the “every five days” assessments fall on top of a normal lesson, plus sometimes on top of a special hands-on lab, making it a significant math day. As in a good solid hour significant kind of math day, not even counting the follow-up work at the end of the day. It’s a bit much for a kindergartner. I am going to see if I can re-balance and use my 50 blank days for the assessments, making some weeks 5 and some weeks 4 lessons. It won’t reflect in my lesson plans this semester as I am going to just pencil it in. If it works out next quarter then I will make the change permanent for the second half of the year.

High School:
The teen is looking at a spring start to community college this year instead of fall next year. We discovered with 24 transfer credits she can skip her High School Proficiency exams, the SAT and/or ACT, and only be required to take the expected math and language arts placement exams because she will be entering her four year as a transfer student and not a high school student. No weird explanations, no packets, no justifications for my GPA assignment. High school “won’t count” since she is already a college student so the worry about extra accountability for homeschooling is no longer an issue.

This is mainly possible because we know where she is going to University. It was an easy decision: in-state because paying twice as much or more for non-resident fees is stupid, and not the one close to home because she wants to “go away” to college. So that left an option of one, UNLV (University of Las Vegas). Additionally our local community college has a direct transfer program to UNLV and academic advisers on campus. She can, and is, ensuring that she not only has 24 transferable units but those 24 will satisfy her actual degree and streamlining the whole transfer process through their special intake system. As for acceptance- they have an 85% rate. I am thinking with her projected GPA and following their special intake policies, it’s a safe gamble to put all our eggs into this one basket.

With all this in mind, we are focusing hard on her completing what she needs to get proper placement in math/language arts levels and completing the courses she won’t need for her degree (she is an engineering major) but does need for having a balanced and well-rounded education. Because life. Once she starts the community college, she will be keeping up her foreign language, programming, and literature courses at home. It won’t be for credit, but it will be for her balanced knowledge.

Looking at this process, I am re-evaluating what the little ones will do once they get to high school. The idea was to send them, possibly, to a public four year. But now I am thinking I may keep them home until 16 and then follow the “off to college” route their eldest sister is doing. As for social development, it isn’t going to increase suddenly because they hit puberty. All stages of life need social interaction. While they will miss things like the prom (unless they are the dates of a public school child) and year books, they won’t miss out on friends, peer clubs, and group activities. And I am not worried about age. There are so many high-school-on-college-campus programs they will be with plenty of their same age group. They will also have the added bonus of the age groups above their own, thereby strengthening their ability to mix in society.

The Great Ugly:
There have been some positive developments on that which is sucking the energy out of me right now. Hopefully we will have turned the corner by the end of the month, and it is looking like this is what is going to happen if everything continues at its current pace. There are still so many questions left unanswered, the main one being where on earth we are going to live. So far, Vermont isn’t an option (hooray) but one of the other diamond states is. Staying local has now pushed its way to the most likely option and for that I am thankful. We have built up such a wonderful base of friends that I hate to leave them so soon. In the end I know that it is what it is. When you put your trust in God there is no fear, no regret, and from what I have experienced, no being idle. This stone is certainly not destined to gather any moss.

And bonus- if we stay local we may still move rentals. This means NO MORE NASTY OLIVE GREEN CARPET. Oh, happy day! Now of course, saying that, I probably just guaranteed us one more year in this house. Le sigh.

The Novel:
It isn’t writer’s block. It’s a secondary character who keeps trying to push into primary position. Since she wants everything to be about her, I am thinking of letting it be about her. I am toying with the idea of splicing the former main character’s story into her own. It will be a complete rework, but if I am to the point of not even writing anymore because I am annoyed with how it is going, then what is the point of going that direction? Best to scrap it and start again.

So here I go. Starting again. So much for finishing it this year. My goal is to write a book I am happy with not write a book to meet an arbitrary deadline. Since it will make me happy to do this, this is what I do.

How to make the perfect Caesar salad at home.

Caesar salad is named after Caesar Cardini, a Mexican chef in Tijuana in 1920s. Should we stick to Caesar Cardini’s original recipe, or if improving tweaks are acceptable and how far can we go before the dish becomes something else entirely? Now let us learn to make the perfect Caesar salad at home. It can either be an appetizer, or by adding some protein such as chicken or shrimp, can be turned into a complete meal.

Prep Time : 30 minutes                       Yield : 2 to 4 servings

Ingredients :

1/2 to 3/4 cup homemade croutons – Get a baguette and cut the slices of1 inch, about 3 cups. Cut the slices of bread into cubes and put them in a bowl. Toss in 1 tbsp. of garlic powder and almost 3 tbsp. of olive oil. Mix all the things well so the bread is well coated and put the bread on a cookie sheet. Toast it, for about 10 minutes or until the bread is nice and brown, in the oven.


1 coddled egg – Coddled egg may be substituted with 1/2 cup of mayonnaise. This substitution requires the reduction of some of the olive oil.

1 to 2 teaspoons finely-chopped garlic ( Inner green germ should be removed – the sprouts add an unpleasant bitterness)

1 to 2 anchovy fillets, mashed – More or less anchovy fillets may be added according to your personal taste.

2 tablespoons (1/2 lemon) freshly-squeezed lemon juice.

2 tablespoons (1/8 cup) freshly-grated Parmesan Cheese

Coarsely-ground black pepper

6 tablespoons olive oil

2 to 3 heads Romaine lettuce – Pull the leaves off the head, wash the leaves well and make them dry. Then, by hand, tear the lettuce into small-sized pieces and put them in a bowl.

Dressing :

Dressing is the thing that makes the caesar special. The original is an emulsification of egg, garlic-infused olive oil, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce – but it doesn’t quite work because you add each ingredient to the salad individually, and then toss them together. The quantity of each ingredient are completely up to you, but start with 1 cup of olive oil and 1/4 cup of vinegar and Mix each and everything very well. The best way of getting a nice, creamy dressing is to combine each one of the ingredients except the olive oil and then, while whisking, slowly pour the oil into the garlic, vinegar and lemon mix. After you’ve got these ingredients blended perfectly then, add the mashed up anchovies and whisk everything together.

Preparing the Caesar Salad :

In a large salad bowl, add 1/3 of the prepared Caesar Salad Dressing and Mix with the croutons until well coated. Add the pieces of lettuce preferably Romaine and the remaining dressing, toss until coated.

Serving Caesar Salad :

Divide the salad between chilled plates and sprinkle 2 tbsp. Parmesan cheese and black pepper (coarsely-ground) on each salad. Serve immediately with chilled forks. Make 2 to 4 servings (depending on the size of servings).


Prepare and enjoy your perfect Caesar salad at home with friends and family.

How to make an entire breakfast out of Peanut Butter.

Fitness enthusiasts, healthy foodies, dessert fiends, culinary geniuses –  everyone loves peanut butter and we can’t blame them. You can eat it plain, throw it into sweet recipes, or use it accordingly to cherish your dish, the options are truly limitless. To help you eat more of your favorite food, here is a list of ideas to make your entire breakfast out of peanut butter. Take a look and don’t miss.

1). Peanut Butter Cookies

Directions :

Preheat the oven to medium heat (about 350 degrees F). Line a cookie sheet with a slipat baking mat. Combine peanut butter, coconut oil, and brown sugar until smooth in a stand mixer. Stir in egg, then mix in oilseed meal, baking soda, oats and whole wheat flour. Stir in chocolate chips. Using a 2 tablespoon cookie ladle, pick up the balls of dough onto your cookie sheet. They won’t spread, so they can be semi-close together. Bake for about 9 minutes, until the bottoms start to get golden.


Grab one of these peanut butter breakfast cookies while you’re running out the door and you’ll get yourself a delicious treat that not only tastes great, but is healthy for you, too. Each cookie provides 160 calories and 4g of protein. Grab a few of these and you have a simple, nutritious breakfast on-the-go with protein, fiber, and healthy fats to keep you full until lunch.

2). Pumpkin Peanut Butter French Toast

Directions :

Combine peanut butter and pumpkin in a bowl and set aside. Stir together egg white and pumpkin pie. Wipe the sandwich clean in egg white mixture. Spray a skillet with non-stick cooking spray. Cook sandwich thin slices at a mmedim temperature until egg mixture is stable, and flip it once. Remove sandwich thins from grill and spread 1/2 of it with pumpkin peanut butter mixture and coat peach pieces on the other half. Press two halves together and cover in syrup.

Who says pumpkin can only be consumed in the fall? With the combination of pumpkin and peanut butter, you can have a delicious, creamy and healthy French toast at home.

3). Peanut Butter Pancakes

Directions :

Preheat electric grill to about 350 degrees F. Add oilseed and water in a large bowl and then add peanut butter, baking soda, baking powder, salt, vanilla extract and stir to combine. Add almond milk and stir again until it is properly mixed. Now add oat and whole wheat pastry flour and stir continuously for a few minutes to make a mixture. Let batter rest for 5 minutes. Pour ¼ cup of the batter onto the grill. Cook for 1-2 minutes more on the other side.

When you wake up with a craving for a classic like pancakes, here’s the perfect breakfast you should be trying! With these pancakes, you don’t have to worry about feeling overly stuffed, but they will surely provide you the energy to help you get going through your morning.


Irrespective of what you may consider a good breakfast meal, peanut butter can easily be included in your morning meal to enhance its healthy fats and protein, and of course, taste. Pick the one from these recipes that complements your morning craving.

5 healthy soups you can make in under 10 minutes

When the temperature drips down and the nights become longer making the days go short , nothing hits the target better than a bowl of warm soup. However spending hours in kitchen is something that never tops a person’s to do the list. Soups have become an important part of our meals. Interestingly just the way salads are easy to prepare , some soups which are healthy as well takes just 10 minutes for the preparation. So here are some easy to make soups that are far better than the frozen meals and roadside Chinese stall people have.

  1. Tomato soup – very famous and easy to make. Use fresh ripe red tomatoes. Cream and sugar are used to give a balance to tanginess of tomatoes. The tomatoes are blanched & then pureed. And then garlic is added , stirred for a while and then served.

It is very healthy as it contains a number of minerals and vitamins and even helps in improving vision and  fights against cancer as well.

  1. Lemon chicken soup- as the name suggests a healthy soup which you can make without much to do. In a pot, over medium-high heat, add condensed chicken and rice soup along with lemon juice and put it on simmer. Further In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks and then Slowly stir in 1/4 cup of the hot chicken broth to event curdling. Gradually pour the egg yolk mixture into the soup, stirring constantly. And then pour Into bowls and garnish with some of fresh parsley. lemon

This soup is rich in proteins and calcium and if left for a while to get cooked , get content also declines.

3.Egg drop soup: this soup is the same as you would get into some Chinese stalls up. It’s a super simple dish to prepare which is warm and soothing. It’s a soup of beaten eggs along with boiled chicken broth. Black pepper and tofu are also generally used.

This soup is rich in sodium and vitamin C.

  1. Broccoli and Parmesan soup: under this case the name speaks for itself. Cooking them together gives a cheese flavour all over. Drizzle cut broccoli with olive oil, with lemon juice , salt and pepper. Further sauté onion and garlic and then add things together and stir and blend for a while and serve hot.

This soup having broccoli as it’s major ingredient helps in reducing hen cancer risk and also helps in making bones strong .

  1. Black bean soup: since beans have been very rich in proteins an d fibre , having bean soup is very healthy and it just takes 10-12 minutes to prepare. It takes into lemon juice and bacon. Also crushed tomatoes and carrots can also be used to give a different texture and flavour all together.

This soup contains black beans and thus is rich in a number of minerals which help in managing diabetes and keeping up good health.

So what are you waiting for , lets go and get started..

As quoted from Fiona Kirk’s bestseller “Soup Can Make You Thin”, –

“The wealth of ingredients in a bowl of soup provides a good balance of carbohydrates, protein and fats as well as the vitamins and minerals required to create energy and keep us firing on all cylinders.”


7 healthy alternatives to McDonald’s

The word ‘fast’ is no more associated to the word ‘unhealthy’. Rather it’s regarded as an intelligent decision especially for the ones who don’t have much time to work out in kitchens or the ones who are busy in their eat race. There would be no person who once would have not taken up food from these fast food joints after getting from a party or a late night meeting. Practically saying , we spent quite a large number of hours in our car and so we are required to eat outside but with a condition of it being healthy. Some people are still stuck over the idea of McDonalds being the best while some are way ahead of their time and making the best of it and interestingly McDonalds is falling in the top 10 list of the people’s preferences because of the new upcoming joints which promise much more. So some of the healthy alternatives to McDonalds which everyone can equally opt for can be :

  1. Jason’s Deli : The reason of its gaining popularity is that it’s one/fifth ingredients are organic. It’s the first restaurant concept to ban the use of artificial trans fat. It’s all about Choice , People and Food. It’s one of the most exciting thing in the menu is the Selections and Choices that customers can make for making their own sandwiches and salads.
  2. Au Bon Pain : This name may seem quite weird but this is what makes it special and different. It specials in serving soups , salads , sandwiches and entrees made from hormone free chicken , veggies and whole grains. The fact that attracts people here is that before you place your order you get to see the nutritional content of each meal , which according to them is a way to empower people.
  3. Tender Greens : It’s a very famous restaurant in United States , famous for using freshly picked up vegetables from a farm in Oxford. They use ingredients that are kind to the environment. It contains all from hot things to big salads and to mouth watering pastries and desserts. And that too all of its items are under $12.
  4. Panera Bread : This restaurant has won an award for the top honors for kid fare. It makes use of home made peanut butter with organic herbs on a whole grain wheat bread making it tasty and healthy at the same time. It has removed all the artificial flavours from its list.
  5. Chipotle : A very famous joint which has won very high marks for its usage of organic , hormone and antibiotic-free chicken. People love the control and choice it provides to its people over burritos , tacos and salads. Many of its dishes are even sodium free. chiptole

How can we forget about the Juice Bars

  1. Beverly Hills Juice : it’s been working since 1975. It’s believed to have lost a big opportunity if you go to L.A. And not taste this. They make use of any vegetable be it carrot or lettuce and what they transform it into is way beyond ones thinking by just adding banana or almonds or cocoa even. So this comes out to be an altogether different thing to try on.
  2. Pressed Juicery : Juices have always been healthy and yummy at the same time . They focus on making it taste great , making it affordable , making it simple and making it for everyone.they make amazing raw food , cold pressed juices and super amazing Smoothies to go. packed

Thus what we see now is the Improved Fast Food Chains which are emphasising of ‘Fresh’ over ‘Fried’.

Fruit salads – 5 ways to make it instantly more yummy

Health is wealth…

Good health equals to an important asset of one’s life and so to maintain good health you ought to have a balanced diet which contains all the nutrients in the same amount along with roughage and water. And interestingly the main source of roughage is salads. Salads are easy to make , very quick to throw up together and go-to anywhere anytime lunch. They are now given the title of Prince of Meals. And who is interested in eating the same old boring lettuce – cucumber-chicken or barbecue-vinaigrette every single day ?

Everybody wants a change , since Change is the only constant now! And making salad is no rocket science to learn , it’s just very easy.

So here I am with some very easy and interesting mix and match-ups with different flavours and textures without much to do in the kitchen to give you an altogether different experience:

  1. Add up new greens: lettuce every time may seem boring and old , so you can mix up it with spinach or romaine lettuce, endive or even mixed baby greens. You can also let go off the leaves and instead try adding tomatoes, celery , cucumbers etc. It will even make your bowl look different. salad
  2. Dressing up salads: it’s really fun to add up different sauces and dressings that will completely change the look and taste for your conventional salad. Olive oil is very easy to use. Even use of basic vinaigrette is easy to make up or even a bit of vinegar or fresh lemon juice too. To make it more of your taste , you can throw up herbs like oregano , basil or garlic as well.
  3. Some crunch adding: people always prefer something crunchy in all sorts of dishes. So let’s try to add some crunch in salad too. Using some roasted nuts , might be walnuts or even raw cabbage or raw onions can go. Even adding a bit of tortillas will make the salad go entirely different.
  4. Adding creativity and colours to your salads: you may add macroni or even pasta for more amazing flavour. If you don’t prefer lettuce or cabbage you can even use shredded carrots for the base. Even peppers and sunflower seeds would do great. So this time toss up vegetables as well.
  5. Let’s heat up things: adding one or two warm things will make it more exciting and change the texture of the salad. Hot chicken breast pieces, bacon pieces, tuna pieces or in case of Vegans , need not worry – tofu or soya can work out miracles. salad-2

So now it’s your time to do your bit and don’t let yourself be confined to what you see in television or restaurants or even just this , bring out your own style because salads are something you can’t ignore , they are very rich in vitamins and minerals which not only help easy digestion but also help in keeping our body fit and away from diseases. Apart from this , salads contain high fibre content and also act as antioxidants. So wake up before its too late..

Five protein alternatives for vegans that are just as nutritious

Say Hello to Plants !

Human beings since day one have been taking up proteins in some or the other form to keep themselves growing , just for a simple reason that it’s very important for our brain function and workouts. Rather they are called THE BUILDING BLOCKS of our lives.

Oddly enough people in our country have had a stereotype in their minds that we get majority of our proteins from animals only.

Regardless of different opinions, even most of the environmental, health and humanitarian problems are because of the increasing consumption of meat and animal products. Also they are high in cholesterol and saturated fats which are not so good for humans body.


Thus by putting all the pieces of this jigsaw puzzle together , we need to look for some alternatives , especially for the vegans.

The sad truth is that people are still stuck up on the idea of their dinner plate being filled with meat ; of all kinds and then a bit of vegetables and might be some rice. So according to me an easy way is to leave the thought of how our plates look like and focus more on healthy vegetarian dishes.

Well there are a plenty of sources of plant-based protein meals which can be eaten. So here we are with some of the best options one can go for –


  1. Tofu: As far as the name is concerned it may appear a boring one , however its main attraction is that it can be flavoured in any way you want it to and helps in adding rich , chewy and creamy texture to your food and is highly rich in proteins.
  2. Black Beans: These are one of the most richest source of proteins and antioxidants and the most healthiest beans of all. One of an easy way to enjoy them is to make black bean burritos but they can also be used in salads or made a vegetable off.
  3. Oatmeal: Oatmeal contain magnesium, calcium and vitamin B apart from having three times proteins more than brown rice along with more fibre and less starch. It is one of the best protein based breakfast to take.
  4. Vegetables: Especially spinach, black eyed peas , broccoli and asparagus. All these names may appear boring but they contain high amount of proteins and are even rich in many other nutrients. All of these can either be used as vegetables for cooking a dish or even in salads.
  5. Soya bean and soya products: There are so many easy ways to eat soya beans. It works as an amazing alternative food for the vegetarians as it can be easily substituted in place of daily meals of fish , meat , cheese , etc. protien-2

These are just 5 simple and easily available protein alternative which are quite nutritious and healthy as well . Since protein is the oil to the human machinery , you all have to now decide whether to let your machine have rust or lubricate your machinery make it function well.