National Potato Chip Day

11 03 2010

As part of my day job, I’m always flipping through magazines to stay abreast of what’s hot in the media.  This week, while reading the March issue of Better Homes & Gardens, I was alerted to the fact that this Sunday, March 14, is National Potato Chip Day.  Who knew?  I often participate in awareness campaigns, including walks/fundraisers for breast and prostate cancer, but finally this is an awareness day that requires little from me other than sitting on the couch, popping in a DVD and shoveling in a bag of Doritos (though Doritos aren’t technically potato chips).  What could be easier or more fun?

So, this got me to thinking: What are my favorite potato chips?  One mentioned in Better Homes & Gardens is Golden Flake, a staple of southern snack foods.  Being from Mississippi, I’m all too familiar with this brand.  I can remember visiting my father, who is a parts manager for GM, and always finding a few of the large tin canisters – like the ones filled with popcorn that are so popular during the holidays – around the office. These aren’t for the dieter though.  I recall them being a little greasier than your average crisp, with a heavy sprinkling of salt.  Delicious none the less.

If you prefer a healthier option, let me introduce you to my all-time favorite chips – Popchips.  I first saw these chips about a year ago and immediately started telling everyone about them.  Why the excitement?

For starters, these chips aren’t fried or baked.  Just like the name implies, they are popped.  Using the same technology found in popcorn, the creators replaced the corn inside the kernel with potato, so when the kernel explodes, it creates this perfectly round, delicious chip that is a healthy alternative to regular potato chips.  In fact, each serving has 120 calories, with 35 calories from fat.  Not bad.

The chips look a lot like a mini rice cake, but they are packed with flavor.  You can choose from seven flavors including Original, Barbeque, Sour Cream & Onion, Cheddar, Sea Salt & Vinegar, Parmesan Garlic, and my favorite, Salt & Pepper.  They are a little more than a regular bag of chips, but well worth it.

What do you think?  Are you going to try Popchips?  Add a comment and let us know your favorite chips.

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The Mixer: Drinks of the Day – A Toast to Elvis

8 01 2010

In honor of Elvis’s would-be 75th  birthday today, here are three cocktail recipes from Three-O Vodka that will get you “all shook up.”

For a more complete celebration, try pairing your cocktails with some of Presley’s favorite foods, including fried peanut butter & banana sandwiches, sweet potatoes, cheeseburgers and burnt bacon.  To learn how to make The King’s favorite sandwich, click here to see the recipe from Paula Deen.

Jailhouse on the Rocks

Drink Recipe Ingredients:
2 oz. Three-O Mango Vodka
4 oz. Iced Tea

Drink Recipe Preparation:
Mix in a glass filled with ice and garnish with lemon wedge

Blue Suede Shooters

Drink Recipe Ingredients:
1 ½ oz. Three-O Cherry Vodka
¼ oz. black raspberry liqueur
¼ Blue Curacao

Drink Recipe Preparation:
Shake with ice and strain into a shot glass

All Shook Up

Drink Recipe Ingredients:
3 oz. Three-O Grape Vodka
½ oz. Blue Curacao
½ oz. grenadine
Splash club soda

Drink Recipe Preparation:
Shake first 3 ingredients with ice and strain into a martini glass. Splash club soda and garnish with an orange wedge.

Drink recipes and images provided by Three-O Vodka.

Three-O Vodka Family of Flavors

Disclaimer: No products were exchanged for the above review.





Your Best Body in One Hour: Workouts from Men’s Health

7 01 2010

It’s seven days into the New Year, and you still haven’t started your workout routine?  What are you waiting for?

Jumpstart your nutrition plan and workout routine today, begining with these gym-free workouts from Men’s Health.  In just one hour, you could be on the path to achieving your best body ever.

Move No. 1: Warrior Lunge

Stand with your feet together, then move your left foot forward about 12 inches and your right foot back about the same distance. Raise your arms straight overhead.

Finish: Keeping your head and chest up, bend both knees to lower your body. Shift your weight forward until the front of your right thigh feels stretched and your right knee is an inch or two off the floor. Hold for 3 to 5 seconds, then return to the starting position. Do three to five repetitions on each side.

Men's Health Workout: Warrior Lunge

Move # 2: Sumo Squat To Stand
Stand with your feet spread wide and angled out. With your knees flexed, bend at the waist and wrap your fingers under your big toes.

Finish: Holding your toes, straighten your legs as much as you can without losing the natural arch in your spine. (In other words, if your back rounds, you’ve gone too far.) Move at a slow pace. Do one or two sets of 12 to 15 reps.

Men's Health Workout: Sumo Squat to Stand

Move # 3: Kneeling Hip-Flexor Stretch
Place one foot on a bench behind you and your other foot flat on the floor. Lower yourself until your back knee touches the floor. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.

Mens Health Workout: Kneeling Hip-Flexor Stretch

Move # 4: Lying Chest Stretch
Lie faceup on a foam roll with your head supported, your arms bent 90 degrees, and your upper arms parallel to the floor. Your palms should face the ceiling. Hold for 30 seconds.

Men's Health Workout: Lying Chest Stretch

Injury-Proof Your Body
Perform one or two sets of eight to 10 repetitions of the following exercises.

Move # 5: Glute Bridge
Lie with your knees bent, with a rolled towel between them. Pull your toes toward your shins. Squeeze your glutes and raise your body.

Finish: Lower your hips to the floor, but don’t touch it.

Men's Health Workout: Glute Bridge

Move # 6: Lateral Tube Walk
Slip exercise tubing around your ankles and move it above your knees. Stand with your knees slightly bent and place your hands on your hips. Sidestep to your right, then to your left.

Finish: Sidestep to your right, then to your left.

Men's Health Workout: Lateral Tube Walk

Move # 7: Swiss-Ball L
Lie on a Swiss ball as shown, with your chest off the ball.

Next: Bend your elbows 90 degrees as you raise them to the level of your shoulders, so that your arms create a pair of L’s.

Finish: Rotate your forearms upward 90 degrees. Retrace the pattern to the start.

Men's Health Workout: Swiss-Ball L

Move # 8: Swiss Ball Y
Assume the same starting position as for the Swiss-ball L.

Finish: Glide your shoulder blades back and down, and lift your arms up and to the sides at 45-degree angles till you form a Y. Return to the starting position.

Men's Health Workout: Swiss Ball Y

Move #9: Swiss-Ball T
Use the same starting position as for the Y. Pull your shoulder blades in toward your spine and extend your arms straight to the sides to create a T with your torso. Then reverse the move back to the starting position.

Men's Health Workout: Swiss-Ball T

To view a slide show of these workouts, visit the MSN health section by clicking here.

Photos & Content provided by MensHealth.com.





New Year’s Weight Loss Tips with Kai Hibbard

5 01 2010

2009 was a yo-yo year for celebrities and average Joe’s alike.  Everyone from Jessica Simpson to Valerie Bertinelli – even that Subway guy Jared – has battled the bulge and the glaring eyes of the public as they take control of their cravings and waist lines. But for us mere mortals, who lack the convenience (and money) of a celebrity chef, pre-packaged meal plan and high-priced personal trainer, we need a little extra support to help jump start our fitness and nutrition plans in the New Year.
I recently sat down with Kai Hibbard from season three of NBC’s The Biggest Loser®.  After losing an amazing 118 pounds on the show, Kai – now an AFAA certified aerobics instructor and spokesperson for Livea, a doctor-developed, non-prescription patent-pending appetite control supplement – found it hard to keep the weight off after the show ended. Since then, Kai has discovered a new approach to weight loss, one she considers more balanced and healthy than her pre-show routine.  Kai’s S.M.A.R.T. plan is as follows:


  • Snack: Have a snack before you head to a holiday party.  Try an apple with some cottage cheese or some whole wheat pita pieces and hummus. A snack that mixes healthy carbs and proteins (along with fiber!) will keep you feeling full, making you less likely to overindulge on sweets. Also, studies show that eating smaller meals, or healthy snacks, throughout the day helps speed up your metabolism.
  • Make Time: There is no excuse for not working out, even if it’s a quick walk around the block.  Many people think that if they can’t make it to the gym for an official workout that this means they can avoid physical activity all together.  If you find yourself rushing from one activity to the next, fit your workouts into that day’s routine.  Try squats while you brush your teach, leg raises while you type at your desk or bicep curls while you carry your groceries inside the house.  Being creative means you’ll always have time to squeeze in a quick exercise or two.
  • Avoid Overtraining: Whether you’re just starting out or you already know your way around the gym, overtraining is a serious issue, especially for the beginner.  Doing too much too soon is a sure fire recipe for fatigue, injury and feeling “burnt out.” This can leave many newbies with a sense of failure, which causes them to completely dismiss their New Year’s resolution to get into better shape.
  • Rest: As mentioned before, it is important to give your body enough time to recover between workouts, not just to avoid fatigue, but also to give your muscles a chance to repair and grow.  For every pound of muscle, the average man or woman will burn 40-50 calories daily, as muscle helps increase your metabolism. And when you sleep, your body can burn several hundred calories.  If you lift weights on day one, try taking a brisk walk for 30-minutes on day two.  This will allow you to get in a great cardio workout without straining the muscles you worked the day prior.
  • Think Ahead: One of the best ways to stay on track is by planning your workout and meals ahead of time.  If you know you’re going to be busy with a late meeting or chauffeuring around the kids, workout when you first wake up.  If you’re taking a road trip, pickup some healthier snack options at the grocery store the day before.  Nothing is worse than stopping for gas and filling up on sugar instead.  Mapping out your day will help maintain and reinforce all the healthy habits you’re working so hard to build.




The Mixer – Drinks of the Day: Woodford Hot Apple Pie & MISTical Eggnog

24 12 2009

Christmas Eve with family warrants multiple [alcoholic] drinks, and here are two guaranteed to please.

Continuing with our holiday drink series, the following are recipes for making a Woodford Hot Apple Pie and MISTical Eggnog with a twist:

Woodford Hot Apple Pie

Woodford Hot Apple Pie

Drink Recipe Ingredients:

Drink Recipe Preparation:

  • Mix Woodford Reserve and hot apple cider in a coffee mug (glass is preferable).
  • Top with whipped cream.
  • Add cinnamon stick and sprinkle with cinnamon.
  • Garnish with apple wedge.

MISTical Eggnog

MISTical Eggnog

Drink Recipe Ingredients:

  • 1 oz Canadian Mist
  • Splash Chocolate Syrup
  • 4 oz Eggnog
  • Whipped Cream
  • Cinnamon Stick or Cherry for Garnish
  • Nutmeg

Drink Recipe Preparation:

  • Mix Canadian Mist and chocolate syrup with eggnog.
  • Top with whipped cream.
  • Garnish with a cinnamon stick or cherry.
  • Sprinkle with nutmeg.




The Mixer – Drink of the Day: The Ultimate Ketel One White Chocolate Martini

21 12 2009

Christmas is only four days away, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get into the holiday spirit today with this yummy drink recipe from Ketel One Vodka.  Not only will it feed your sweet tooth, it will give you one heck of a buzz.

The Ultimate Ketel One White Chocolate Martini

The Ultimate Ketel One White Chocolate Martini recipe is as follows:

Drink Recipe Ingredients:

  • .75 oz. Ketel One Vodka (25 oz. per bottle)
  • .75 oz. white crème de cacao
  • .75 oz. Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur (25 oz. per bottle)
  • 1 tablespoon(s) chocolate syrup
  • 1 tablespoon(s) cocoa powder

Drink Recipe Preparation:

  • Pour chocolate syrup into bottom of glass.
  • Shake other ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker.
  • Serve straight up in a cocoa-rimmed martini glass.

For more recipies, log on to www.TheBar.com.

Disclaimer: Product was provided in exchange for editorial review.





Quench Your Thirst: Brown Ale 101

7 08 2009

Intent on debunking the myth that hot weather begets light beer, Newcastle Brown Ale offers up Brown Ale 101: While the palates of dark beer lovers don’t change in the summer, restaurants, bars and backyard BBQers forego year-round appreciation of the brown ale for its thin, clear-ale counterparts.

Some myth-busting brown ale factoids for summer beer drinkers:

  • Color: Golden-brown in color, Newcastle is not one but two beers, combining English Pale and Dark Caramel malt in a recipe perfected by Colonel Jim Porter in 1927.
  • emperature: Unlike lagers/pilsners, ales are best enjoyed cool, rather than cold. The ideal temperature for Newcastle Brown Ale is 38F to 42F degrees. Your average refrigerator is between 35F and 38F degrees
  • Calories: Darker beers don’t equal more summer calories. Newcastle Brown Ale weighs in at 140 calories per 12 oz. serving.
  • Food: The robust flavor of brown ales, like Newcastle Brown Ale, allows them to pair well with red meat, fish and chicken – three cornerstones of summer grilling.
  • Smoothness: Bottled with less CO2 than its competitors makes it a smoother option.
Newcastle Brown Ale

Newcastle Brown Ale