Lighten up Your Holiday Fare

This weekend is Memorial Day weekend. It doesn’t mean you have to forget the healthy eating. A few substitutions may help. Here are some ideas to help keep your holiday lower in calories.

Consider making it a 2-meal day. This way you don’t feel as guilty eating a little more than you normally do.

Try substituting turkey burgers for beef.

Make cole slaw with yogurt instead of mayo or heavy calorie laden dressings. Mix it up and use broccoli slaw instead. Yogurt Cole Slaw Recipe

Eat more vegetables. Consider grilling them too. You can also grill sweet potatoes in wedges.

Add a green salad.

Have fruit for dessert – consider grilling peaches or bananas.

Drink water or unsweetened tea.

Have a wonderful Memorial Day Holiday.

Reading for Health

Last week, we talked about reading for health. Let’s talk about ways to accomplish this.

1) Your Public Library. Most towns have a local library where you can get books for free. Libraries even offer magazines, newspapers, and books on tape. To sign up for a card, usually you just need to bring in proof of your address, like a bill (if you haven’t gone green), or some other mailing.

2) Kindle App. There are many free books you can read through the Kindle app. It helps if you are a Prime member. On the first of every month, you are sent an email with free choices of books to read that aren’t even published yet. They are the books set to be published the following month but you get a chance to read them for free. You also can borrow up to 10 books at a time for free if you are a Prime member. If you own a Kindle device, you can also borrow one book a month from the Kindle owner’s lending library. That is 12 books a month right there! You can also search for books that are free.

3) Rakuten OverDrive. You can read library books and audiobooks through your library or school. The only caveat we have found is that the library may carry books OverDrive doesn’t and vice-versa. You can download the OverDrive app to your device, sign in with your library card number or create an account and add your library number to your account. You must belong to a local library or school to use this free app. If a book you want to read is unavailable you can recommend it and see if it becomes available. They allow you to download the book in ePub or Kindle versions. If you download the ePub, you read it through the OverDrive app. If you choose Kindle, you borrow it through Amazon Kindle. You can choose 1 or 2 weeks as your loan period.

4) Public Domain books. The Victor crew found a resource that has a long list of places where you can find free public domain books, some in pdf form:

5) Bible apps. There are several apps where you can read the Bible in whatever translation you want. You just need to search the app store for your device. One of the most popular is YouVersion. It has many versions in many languages.

There is no excuse not to find something to read for free.

Reading for the Health of it!

Did you know reading is good for you? Here are some ways it can help:

1) Reading can help reduce stress. Because it can immerse you into new worlds, you can forget about some of the issues dogging you. It offers a distraction.

2) Reading helps keep your brain from slowing down too quickly. Keeping your mind active helps slow down cognitive decline.

3) Reading can help improve your sleep. If you use a device at bedtime to read, be sure to use the night or blue mode, though.

4) Reading can improve some social skills. Engaging with book characters helps increase empathy.

5) Reading may increase intelligence. Well, the more you read, the more you know.

Does it matter what you read? Some of the wealthiest, most successful people read biographies, autobiographies, educational, and other non-fiction books. Health benefits are enhanced from all kinds of reading. Even reading for just 6 minutes a day can help.



Filo, also phyllo, or philo is a very, very thin pastry dough. Thin breads would be baked with walnuts and honey as a precursor to baklava. Some say filo was first made by the Turks and some say the Greeks.

The dough itself is usually made from flour, water, and oil or vinegar. It is very difficult to make as it needs to be stretched and worked with long rollers and it tears easily. These days it is easier to buy it frozen. You need to work with it quickly.

One ounce is about 85 calories and contains about 1.7 grams fat. Although that may seem low, when you are working with it, you usually layer it with butter which can add significantly to the amount of fat.

Here are a couple recipes:

Apple Strudel:


Ever have trouble sleeping?

Trouble sleeping could come from anything be related to a number of things – what you eat, eating before bed, stress, acid reflux, too much on your mind. Too much caffeine may affect sleep habits as well.

If you eat too close to bedtime, it can cause acid reflux because there hasn’t been enough time to digest the food you’ve eaten. Some foods like tomato sauce and chocolate give trouble too since they are so acidic.

If you must eat at night, maybe try some oatmeal or something else that is bland and fulfilling.