Sunday, October 16, 2011


Peppermint marshmallows...they turned my mouth pink.



“The occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way: a fortunate stroke of serendipity.”

I went to the Buckhead Diner yesterday to meet fellow bloggers and enjoy a delicious afternoon tasting Chef Charlie’s new menu (more about that later).

I came away with a special new friend and a personal commitment to talk about a condition we realized that we both suffer from, a condition few discuss or admit to and a condition---since it is mostly peculiar to middle aged women---doctors frequently over look, chalking symptoms up to female hormones, the time of the month, menopause.

Hashimoto’s Disease is essentially a failure of the thyroid gland. Our immune systems attack our thyroid gland. It expresses itself in a series of apparently unconnected, disparate symptoms. It is difficult to diagnose and often leaves the sufferer feeling like there is something wrong in their head rather than their body.

We sleep too much and even then, we are constantly tired. We are always hungry. We have random joint and muscle aches and pains. Our faces look puffy and pale and our hair thins. We are frequently cold, anxious or depressed, nervous, restless and irritable.

So, here’s the Question: along with medication, can diet make a difference for my new friend and me? Can certain foods help us feel better?

Well, yes and no---the research is mixed. There is some evidence that eating or avoiding certain foods can have a limited affect on thyroid function and the diets that some say do help are high in fiber. And, that can’t hurt any of us.

So here’s the deal:

                                                        **take your thyroid medication
            **talk to your doctor, ask questions until you get the answers you need
                               **eat a healthy diet that is high in fiber
        **avoid---as much as possible---overly processed foods like refined sugar and white flour     
                                **take a good B-complex vitamin
                                                         **exercise, exercise, exercise
**until better research comes along, (just) limit your intake of broccoli, cauliflower, kale, soy and walnuts

Sunday, October 9, 2011

"Take what you need, leave your fair share."

 This is a reprint from an article published by The Responsibility Project.
 Leave a comment...let us know what you think.

“Take what you need, leave your fair share.”  

That’s the new policy at a Panera Bread cafĂ© in suburban St. Louis, where diners are asked to pay what they want for their food, leaving the money in a donation box—and leaving some wondering if a restaurant can successfully serve up a side order of responsibility.
“Some will call it a hot trend, others a pipe dream, but the notion of letting diners choose what they pay for their meals has been gaining traction over the last decade,” The New York Times reports, fueled in part by social entrepreneurs “who believe that making a profit and doing good are not mutually exclusive.” The goal of such non-profit restaurants is to cover expenses, using any remaining money to provide food and jobs for people in need. At Panera, customers who can’t pay for their meals are asked to volunteer at the restaurant.

Panera CEO and founder and Ron Shaich told USA Today that he’s “trying to find out what human nature is all about” by placing the honor system at the top of the menu. “There’s no pressure on anyone to leave anything. But if no one left anything, we wouldn’t be open long.”

Critics, however, question whether charity can be a restaurant’s bread and butter. “I don’t think the honor bar system will work nationally,” says trends consultant Marian Salzman. “While young people are very much attuned to helping out and making a difference, if they find themselves sitting next to other customers with whom they don’t feel comfortable, they’re not coming back.”

If you were one of the haves subsidizing the have-nots at a non-profit restaurant, would you contribute the full cost of your meal? I certainly would.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Eyes Have It...Eat Your Carrots!

We've all heard the expression, we eat with our eyes. It's true. Nothing will reach our mouth if the eyes don't register approval first. However, did we ever hear the reverse.....our eyes are what we eat?

I know, yes, all our Mothers told us, "Eat your carrots, they're good for your eyes." But do we eat enough of those sweet orange roots?  And, are those carrots really all our healthy eyes need?

Well, for most of us, no and no again. Our pretty blues, browns, greens and hazels also need sardines, cod, mackerel, tuna, spinach, kale, eggs, garlic, onions, shallots, capers, soy, blueberries, grapes, nuts and! Yep, wine. (Of course, moderation with wine is always important. Of course!)

We need to feed our eyes well. Here's a treat for the eyes compliments of my Nana who never wore glasses (except for the sun).

Buy walnuts in their shells, they're fresher that way
9 egg yolks lightly beaten
9 egg whites beaten until stiff
½ lb powdered sugar, extra for garnish
2 tablespoons matzo meal -or- 2 tablespoons flour
pinch salt
2 teaspoons of real vanilla extract
1 lb ground walnuts, extra whole nuts for garnish
1 jigger good red wine

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Lightly butter a spring form pan. Line the bottom with parchment or wax paper and lightly butter the paper also
  • Cream together the egg yolks, sugar and salt
  • Gently stir in the flour or matzo meal and then the vanilla
  • By hand, using a rubber spatula, fold in the beaten egg whites, 1/3 at a time
  • Pour into the prepared pan and place on the center rack of the oven.
Bake for 45 minutes or until the cake pulls away from the side of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean (or with only a few crumbs clinging to it). 

Let the cake rest in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out on a cookie rack to cool. Carefully peel off the parchment or wax paper.

To serve: dust the top with powdered sugar and garnish with whole walnut halves.
Cake keeps for 2-3 days at room temperature.