Eating Healthy is becoming Impossible

In the last little while, as I have been venturing off to the grocery store to do my weekly shopping for food and other necessities for the home, I have noticed that eating healthy is becoming impossible with the huge price hike of fruits and vegetables and other healthy foods. It has been absolutely crazy.

Doctors, dietitians, health pros keep telling us to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, but they should also realize that groceries are not cheap anymore. Many years ago, it was decent, you could go a long way to stretch your dollar, but now food, cost of living is increasing. People have to work harder to make a buck, and that is just ridiculous.

I do not care, food should never be expensive and on top of all that, people need to pay food tax too. Some people are buying less healthy foods in other aisles of what they can afford. I remember one time I was shopping at my local store, and I was in the canned food aisle with the high sodium soups and those ready made noodle ramen soups as well as pasta and rice and all that, also aisles with sugar based foods, I couldn’t help overhearing these 2 people talking to each other saying, “I have been trying to get healthy, but I cannot afford it, the prices for healthy food is insane, so to feed my family, I have to do anything and everything, so I got to do what I can”. It broke my heart. Life has become so difficult. It is unbelievable.

These governments and those who control the prices for our food, should think about all the people that need to dig into their pockets a lot more, but I do not think they care about people at all, as long as they make the money, who cares the health condition of people?

If all these professionals are promoting and expecting us to eating healthy, then they should back us up and offer us coupons, or better yet to work with the government and these food companies, farms that these veggies and fruit come from to come up with a plan that healthy eating is important and where obesity, overweight people can be motivated more when they see prices becoming more reasonable.

For cauliflower now, it is at a staggering $6.00, then for apples it is almost $4.00 for the bag, and there the total is now $10 just for 2 items. For a bag of onions is like $3.50, for red, orange, and yellow peppers is $2.97 a pound. So on and so forth. So with tax and everything it comes up to $20 or more for those things. fruits and veggies should not be more than 1 dollar or $1.50 at the most. They are fooling us.

No wonder why people are so stressed out. I am planning on setting up a petition online to decrease prices for food and to encourage people to eat healthier.

What do you think about it?

Talin’s Mouth-watering 2 Layer Penne Lasagna

I know you are probably thinking Penne Lasagna? I’ve made that possible. Who says that you always need to put Lasagna dough sheets to make Lasagna? Not to me. As long as you have Pasta Noodles of any kind that is large to mid size. I am not saying the Acini De Peppe, Orzo, and small noodles you use for soup and all that. I am saying Penne, Spaghetti, even Rotini. I have tried, tested and tasted. It is delicious! Well, let’s get started.

Depending on the number of people that you are serving in your family or your friends. It is in your preference.
This is for a family or friends of 4 or 5.

You will need:

– 900g of Penne Rigate Package (depends on your pan size as well and number of people)
– **Onions or Garlic are Optional. (It is your choice)**
– Oregano
– Basil
– Tomato Paste
– Tomato’s
Mozzarella Cheese
– Parmesan Cheese
– Cottage Cheese
– Extra Lean Ground Beef
– Sea Salt – (Never use table salt) **To your added preference**
– Grinded Black cracked Pepper
– All Spice

To begin:

1) Mash the extra Lean Ground beef into small pieces, cook it well done in a pan. That is where you will add just the Tomato Paste and Sea Salt. add about 4tblsp full of tomato paste and 1 and a half tsp of sea salt. (Add water, but not too much) You do not want your Lasagna to be Soggy. Add just enough to mix the tomato paste with them together.

2) In a separate small mixing bowl add 1 tbsp Oregano, as well as Basil, and all spice – Mix them together

3) Wash and Slice 4 fresh tomato’s – use Tomato on a Vine or Roma Tomatoes. put them aside.

4) In a mixing bowl add the grated Mozzarella Cheese and Cottage cheese. Mix it together.

To make the Penne:

1) Make sure you put a little more than half a large pot of water

2) Boil the water and put Sea Salt and as soon as it boils, add the Penne. (Never put any kind of noodles in a non-boiled water, it will stick to the bottom of the pot and stick to the other noodles)

3) Immediately stir the Penne so that all the noodles will become tender evenly and keep mixing ever 2-3 minutes. Let it boil on medium heat for about 10 minutes. If it needs more time, then go to about 11-12 minutes. MAX. (Do not overcook and make it mushy. Take it out while it’s al dente)

4) Drain and set aside to make 2 equal parts of the Penne Rigate, but first Mix the ground beef/tomato paste mix with the penne before Parting them. Add the Oregano, Basil and All spice mix with them as well.
In a Medium to Large Pyrex Pan:

1) Add cooking oil spray to the whole pan.

2) Add the first layer of the Penne and even it out.

3) Add the cheese mix – then Put Parmesan Cheese

4) Add the layer of the Tomato’s

– **for the Last layer – Repeat Steps 2-4 but add #4 first, then #3– Add the Parmesan Cheese last.

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Oven Settings:

– Bring the Oven to Convection – to 375 degrees before you put the Lasagna in.

– Let it cook for 30 Minutes

and there you have it.
Penne Lasagna. Bon Appetit! Enjoy!

How to Exercise and Diet With No Pain, No Crazy Diet Plans

All if not Most of us know the pain and stress that comes with exercising, eating well, following a diet plan, getting quick results in no time, thinking about the pain that comes with exercise and much more. Well, do not worry, I have the solutions and tips to steady, healthy, painless results that will benefit you in the future, but first you will need to dispose all those diet pills, protein bars, energy drinks, and all those crazy smoothies that are loaded with oodles of chemicals, harmful toxins that do more harm than Good which is a recipe for diseases later. Do yourself a favour a get nutrition out of real food, and skip those energy diet stores. Safety is number one and getting healthy and fit will not happen overnight. Work at it. Even if it may take a year, just get yourself up and be patient.

Exercising:

We all know that exercising has a lot to do with weight loss with the balance of food, but visit your doctor first, ask what type of exercise is good for you, whether its elliptical, treadmill, weight lifting, exercise bike, sit ups, push ups and whatever. I am going into my 3rd week being on the treadmill. The first week I began walking at 2.5 speed at 10 minutes, then I increased my exercise the week after to 15 minutes a day, then as I began my 3rd week, I am doing 20 minutes on the treadmill each day at 2.5 speed until I get to an hour much later.

It is important to pace yourself and begin to exercise and just get your body moving, then when your body gets used to it, slowly increase your time on a treadmill and exercising with whatever you have. Never begin at the top. Work your way up to prevent yourself from hurting and then you won’t want to do it anymore. Trust me, I have been there and done that. I refused to ever go back on the treadmill because of it, and now with learning how to do it, I began a pain free exercise that I will see results in the long run and your body will thank you later. You don’t want to hurt your Body, you want to get healthy and do it safely.

Skipping Meals — Do not Do it!

Skipping meals will not only do harm to your body, you will lose nutrients that your body needs to fuel up, Never skip meals. Eat smaller portions through the day and never go hungry as you will end up eating more and then that will add up the calories. Eat fewer calories, but portion them out and follow healthy recipes, but never ever starve yourself. You maybe losing weight, but what are your insides telling you? Getting healthy doesn’t mean that you have to skip meals, it means to eat everything, but limit yourself.

Water – Drink plenty of it.

Never drink Ice Cold or Cold water. Always drink warm to hot water as it will absorb into your body more and you will be hydrated. Put lemon or a little cinnamon to add flavour to your water and drink. Drink 6-8 glasses of water daily. You will end up using the washroom more, but that is a good sign. It means your body is getting rid of fat, and toxins. Your organs will function better, and your bowel movements will improve from being so constipated, well if you get constipated.

Food Intake — Eat everything: Never cut out anything:

Eat equal amounts of carbs, breads, grains, fruits, veggies, meats, pastas, cheeses and other foods. Never ever cut anything out from your diet as everything has its nutrients, with iron, folic acid, niacin, vitamins and minerals needed for the body to function. Always be aware of what your purchase at the grocery store, and read the nutrition labels… Sodium and Sugar are in a lot of our foods, and it is not very good for you, but if you limit the quantity ingested, you will see results. Follow the labels, and go from there. The more you cut out sweets and carbs from your diet, you will want more, so limit yourself and never ever let these crazy diet plans get to you.

What really angers me is when people waste a whole egg, do not throw away the Egg yolk, eat the whole egg, you are entitled to eat it one everyday, and sometimes a couple of times per week, but do not cut it all out. It really makes my blood boil when people waste food like that. DO NOT. Eat EVERYTHING!

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Trust in me, I have been there when it comes to pain and trying to seek fast results. It put my body into pain for weeks and sometimes I could not even move. I was sore, I was crying in agony and in pain. I gave up very quickly because I did not want to feel that burn pain in my lower leg calve muscles. That killed me. I just couldn’t deal with it anymore. I began so many times with my exercise and stopped within the few weeks or 3 months. I just didn’t have the energy to do it anymore because of the pain I endured. It was so bad, That I cried.

Don’t let over excessive people give you advice on how to workout and eat right, don’t let these extreme diet plans, exercises get in the way. Do it as you feel, and listen to your body. Don’t allow over extremists to control your mind and your motivation. Get motivated by doing it at your own pace and never fall for gimmicks, and those diet stores with terrible chemicals that will hurt you in the long run. So save lots of money, get moving on your own time and never ever allow others to control you. Lose weight, have fun doing it and do not stress over how long it takes. Longer is better. trust me.

You will thank me later.In a year or less from now, you will find me and say, Talin you were right about all this. I am glad you opened up my eyes. Exercising and Eating everything should not be struggle, it should be fun and exciting.

All the best and enjoy!

The Start of My Health & Fitness Routine – Any Advice for me?

I am really excited to announce a new phase in my life beginning with the journey to getting more healthy and fit and to lose weight starting with:  – 15-20 minutes on the treadmill for the first 2 weeks everyday – After 2 weeks 25 minutes for another 2 weeks everyday
then the 2nd month 30 minutes, then up to 45 minutes the 3rd month, then 1 hour after the 4th month, then I will exercise 5 days per week after the 3rd month. Just the beginning, I will need to exercise everyday and keep at it. I was thinking about it during the weekend, I said what am I doing to myself? What am I doing to my body? I need to get moving.

Then I will do some Yoga as my Body gets skinnier. Eventually I will join a Gym, but I already have a treadmill at home.

I want to improve my nutrition and food intake, and eat healthier to keep the weight off. I will have a light breakfast in the morning with oatmeal, boiled egg, a glass of water or 2, then small portions throughout the day with portioned rice and pastas with a limited amount, drinking about 1-2 liter’s  of water a day, no sugar in coffee or tea, no chocolate, but dark chocolate, no refined sugars, candies, sweets, lots of veggies and fruit, more leafy greens, and foods with colour, more raw veggies… Hopefully by the summer time I will lose about 40-50 pounds.

How can I stop the cravings for eating a lot of Carbs and how do I prevent myself from eating sugary things? Its going to be a huge challenge, but I am up to changing my lifestyle, and the way I eat.

What websites should I visit that really help with Fitness and Eating well? There is a lot out there, but which ones are actually accurate and from the best sources?

What advice do you have for me? What do you think I should do in terms of portion control? what kind of things I should avoid, and all that other stuff? How can I maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle without overdoing it. I never want to over do it.  I would appreciate it so much. Thank you!

Talin’s — Favourite Sweet Tahini Bread Swirls

Many Years ago, I was at my Armenian Community Center and there was a Bazaar like a flea market type of event, and a couple of days before I went and assisted the Armenian Women’s Guild Group to make Sweet Tahini Bread Swirls to sell, So I learned how to make it from the Armenian Ladies and perfected it. So, I decided to write down the recipe to make it at home. I was so glad I did. It is incredibly tasty, and I enjoy making this. Although I have not made it in over a year, but I was thinking about it today, so I want to make it again this week, and Sweet Tahini Swirls are good anytime, any day. You can serve this with Coffee, Tea, Armenian Coffee, or at anytime. You can have it for Breakfast, or for a snack, whenever your heart desires. Well, Here is the recipe for this delicious dessert.

This is counted as 4 Bread Swirls of 16 Cm’s, but you can play around with the amounts according to how many you are making.

CREDITS: http://www.blago.net/baking/bread/lebanese-sweet-tahini-swirls/

Made some modifications, but full credit goes to the site above

Dough:

  • 1 tsp dry yeast
  • 120 ml lukewarm water
  • 200 gr all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Filling:

  • 4 small tbsp tahini
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 4x tsp olive oil
  • 4x tsp cinnamon

Use Flour on countertop or big cutting board to work with the dough and filling.

Make the dough

Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water, and add the sugar and oil. Add the flour, a handful at a time. Quickly knead into a floppy, flexible dough that does not stick to the hands anymore. Leave covered in a bowl for about 2 or 3 hours, to rise. As all the air will be rolled out of it later, the stretchiness of the dough is more important than the amount of air in it.

Follow the Following Steps.

tahini scrolls production

When the dough has had some time to rise, divide it into four balls. Roll out one ball at a time, into a rough rectangle of “pizza thickness” – about 2 or 3 mm (1). Scatter the teaspoon of olive oil over it. I combined the tahin with the sugar, added a teaspoon of finely ground lemon rind (packet) to that, and scattered the somewhat dryer tahin mixture, like crumbs, over the dough surface (2). Dust the tahin-sugar layer with cinnamon. Gently press it flat with the back of a spoon. You’re now ready to roll.

Pre-heat the oven to 190° C. If you use a baking stone, put it in the middle rack.

Dust the worktop with a bit of castor sugar and flour to help with the rolling. Cut squares of baking parchment of about 17 x 17 cm. Roll up the dough rectangle, starting at the longest edge. Roll and pull and gently twist a bit, and the resulting sausage will be much longer, about 40 to 50 cm (4). Taking one end as the center, now turn the sausage in on itself, forming a rolled bun (5). Gently press it flat with your hand, then transfer onto a piece of parchment, and use the rolling pin again to gently roll the bun into a 15cm wide flat circle, about a cm in thickness (6). Prepare as much swirls as your oven can hold in one go, leave the rest covered up.

Using a pizza peel or an extra-wide spatula to support the flat tahini swirls sitting on their separate parchment, quickly transfer them into the oven. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or till parts of the surface have turned a deep golden brown. Get them out and leave them to cool and get nice and crispy on a wire rack.

Have some apple tea to go with that. Their taste is not overly sweet; and I love the combination of crunchiness with that slightly caramelized sesame filling. Roll over Swedish cinnamon buns, these tahini swirls are awesome!

CREDITS: http://www.blago.net/baking/bread/lebanese-sweet-tahini-swirls/

Pasta Lovers Unite – Loving All Kinds

I have been loving pasta for as long as I can remember. I remember when I was 8 years old. I made my very first pasta dish with of course the supervision of my mom. She started getting me in the cooking mode since I was 7 years old and she taught me the basics from making pasta sauce from scratch and how long to boil the pasta for and then as I got older when I was 14 years old, I began to do it all myself without supervision anymore and they love my pasta’s I make. Now I do an assortment. I do lasagna, fettuccine Alfredo and a whole bunch of other styles of Pasta. I love tortellini, rigatoni, fuccilli, elbow macaroni, linguine, and among other really awesome styles. For all those connoisseur’s for pasta, I am sure you can all relate to the passion. I think all of us pasta lovers have this different type of food passion and I am sure all of us can eat this everyday. 

Too many carbs though, but I do not care, Pasta is good for you. You may not believe it, but it really is and a good nutrition factor. There are some people who go overboard and go to extremes when dieting, I believe that nobody should diet. All it is, is to watch your portion control and who cares if you have a little more, but pastas have durum semolina, and all kinds of nutrition packed into it.  God bless this food. :) Spaghetti, Penne Rigate, Tagliatelle, Cannelloni. I have come up with so many recipes, and different styles of how to create and make that perfect sauce, and that perfect blend of tastes. Some can be done with Veggies, an array of meats, Seafood pastas, cheese pastas, pasta salads, Olive oils, vinaigrette,  I would love to get the accessories to make pasta from scratch for my Kitchen Aid stand mixer, but its so expensive to buy, So for the time being I want to try and do different pastas on my own and get the dough recipes and then cut the dough into Tagliatelle Nests, and get them all pretty. There are also small shells, linguine, and so many several types.

In the world, mostly Italy and few other places, pasta, spaghetti is very well know around the world, and different people make it different ways. what are some of your favourite pasta dishes? What do you work with? I would love to venture off to Italy and go on a Food Trip tour and taste and get the feel of how important Pasta is to those regions and to the cultures. I would love to go on a culinary adventure and get more personal with top chefs, Pasta Experts and so much more. The possibilities are endless and its such a beautiful thing.

  P-A-S-T-A …. yum yum yum. Bon Apetit…..

Talin’s Famous Lemon with Lemon Zest Cake

Recently I decided to try something new for myself when I was preparing cake one time to take to a relatives house. So I decided to come up with a whole new different type of cake that involves Lemons. I am a huge fan of Lemons and It is such a good source of Vitamins and it helps the immune system. The Lemon cakes major flavour is definitely the Lemon and it has to have the Sweet/Sour Lemony taste to it. Now here is my famous recipe.

Ingredients Required:

2 Juicy big or Large fresh Lemons – If you like the extra Lemon taste add one more if you life.

Sugar

Flour

Baking Powder

6 Eggs

Milk

1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract or Vanilla

Preparing the Lemon:

Now before squeezing the lemon I suggest you wash the lemons really well because were going to be using the Yellow skin to zest it.

Before squeezing the Lemons, take a zester and put the lemon skin that is ZESTED in a separate bowl. Zest until you see the white core of the Lemons, but make sure its not so so delicate to squeeze.

Now in a Lemon squeezer, make sure all the liquid juices are out of the Lemon. becareful for the seeds that they dont go into the juice.

Now put the Zest with the Lemon juice for about 5-10 minutes until soaked together until you start with the Cake batter preparations..

Preparing the Cake Batter:

Crack open 6 large eggs into the cake making bowl – for best results use the machine.

Start the machine and make sure the eggs are fully beaten and make sure it starts to turn into a light creamy yellowing colour.

Add the LEMONS/LEMON ZEST

Then put the teaspoon of Vanilla

After put 1 to 2 cups of Sugar

1 cup of Milk

1 to 2 Tablespoons of Baking powder

2 cups of Flour — check consistency. If its way too watery put about half a cup more of flour if it’s a little denser just leave it be.

Dont stop the machine until everything is mixed well together –

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To prepare the Cake Baking Pan…

Make sure the Cake baking pan is deep.

Spray the pan with OLIVE OR CANOLA OIL with the cooking spray and make sure you have it all covered….

Add the Cake batter to the PAN Let the cake batter settle until your OVEN heats up

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Pre-heat your oven to 350

When your oven is pre-heated, put the Lemon Zest Cake in.

It should be done in an hour or so Depends on the strength of your oven. — Now to know its been done, just stick a tooth pick inside. If it comes out clear, its done, if it sticks to the toothpick it still needs to be done. Make sure its Gold Brown on top.

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Now before taking the cake out of the pan, let it cool off then put it onto a dessert plate. There you have it!

ENJOY!