A fun run at Minute Maid Park–join us!

Hello, Dear Readers:

I found someone I could outrun!

While we may never be Olympians, we have the chance to enjoy some healthy competition and maybe win some awesome Houston Astros prizes at the Astros Foundation Badges and Bases H-Town Run/Down on Saturday, September 29 at Minute Maid Park. This event benefits the Astros Foundation and the Houston Police Foundation.

There is a 5K walk for adults and kids as well as a 10K run. There are prizes in the various age categories. There are also snacks, music, and lots of fun! My personal highlight was the food truck maple-bacon-donut which I am sure cancelled all the calories I burned on the walk. I also got to boogie with the cows, which was a first for me, and probably the cows.

Please go online and register for this fun event $25 for the walk, $35 for the run, $10 for kids 12 and under until August 31 and then all increase by $5.

When you register, also select, “Join a team”. Look for our team, the FOT’s ( Friends of Twila). Let’s make her proud and raise some funds for two very important organizations that do so much good work!

Register here:

https://www.mlb.com/astros/community/foundation/run

Have a beautiful day!

Diane

 

It’s healthy and it’s delicious!

Hello, Dear Reader:

I spend a lot of time trying to make good food choices, especially inthe grocery store where I have discovered that “healthy”, “low calorie” and “sugar-free” don’t mean that the product is not loaded with salt, artificial ingredients and other chemicals. Few people have time to stand and read the label of every product on the shelves. It is overwhelming. What to do? Nutritionists recommend checking the label for fewer than 5 ingredients and be sure that one of the top ones is the actual core product you think you are purchasing, like orange juice.

Naturally, the more foods we eat in their “natural” state, like fruit and vegetables, the better. I hit the jackpot recently when I discovered a powerhouse dish that rings all the bells for a healthly dish, Mediterranean tabbouleh.

There are dozens of recipes for it online and I think I came up with a winner. It keeps beautifully in the fridge and is so colorful and healthy. It has the most delicious “fresh” taste. It is simple to prepare and really does not need cooking.

Diane’s Tabbouleh

2 cups of bulghur wheat ( I used Bob’s Red Hill bulghur wheat)

2 and 3/4 cups boiling water

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (2 lemons)

1/4 cup olive oil

1 clove of fresh garlic, finely chopped

1 and 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

The green tops of one bunch of green onions, chopped

Approx. 8 sprigs of mint or the contents of one of the plastic fresh herb packages at the grocery, chopped fine

3/4 of a fresh bunch of Italian flat-leaf parsley (not curly), chopped fine

1 large English cucumber, seeded, not peeled and diced.

One container of cherry tomatoes, sliced ( and drained)

1 tsp. black pepper

Place bulghur wheat in a large bowl, pour in boiling water, add lemon juice, garlic, olive oil and 1 and 1/2 tsp. of salt. Stir and allow to stand for 1 hour.

Add green onions, mint, parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, pepper and mix well. Adjust seasoning to taste. Cover and refrigerate. Even better day two and three! Average prep time: 30 minutes!

Quick, easy and delicious–

Seeds of Change is a whole line of natural grains pre-cooked and packaged ready to eat or serve as the basis for another dish. They “cook” in the package in 90 seconds in the microwave and are outstanding when tossed with other healthy ingredients–rinsed and drained, canned black beans, cherry tomatoes, sliced, chopped red and green bell peppers, green or red onions, and any other you choose. Add a light vinegarette, like Good Seasons and toss well. It is delicious hot or cold and keeps in the fridge for days. You can also add cooked meat or shrimp. Yum! And so easy!

If you have easy, go to healthy dishes, please share! We all need great ideas!

Have a wonderful day!

Diane

 

Diamond Beach is a Galveston jewel!

Good day, Dear Reader,

I just made an amazing discovery and it just might be something that you and your family would enjoy. I hosted my first, ever, Camp Grammy for three of my precious grandsons, 11 year-old twins, Hudson and Landon and  10 and 1/2 year old Austin. I was so nervous that they would not have a good time and never want to come back again! I settled on Galveston as the place and I found a nice condo to rent. I struck gold! The condo I rented is in a complex called Diamond Beach at the end of Seawall Blvd.

The cool, lazy river

The place is so perfect for families, girlfriend getaways, family reunions, and of course, 3 active young boys.

The water features at Diamond Beach are spectacular–a cantilevered, multi-level pool that runs the full length of the complex, a huge lazy river with tubes, a big fancy waterslide that shoots you out like a bullet, an indoor pool and two huge hot tubs. Inside there is a fully equipped game room complete with full-size arcade games (free), pool table, foosball table, shuffleboard, and big screen TV.

My little charges especially loved the movie theater that you can reserve for 2 hours (no cost) to see movies on Netflix or one from their vast collection. There is also a play room for little ones, and lots of pool areas that are just their size.

Two of our favorite places, when I could drag the boys away from the condo were Jimmy’s Restaurant & Fishing Pier and Magic Carpet PuttPutt! Jimmy’s has excellent, very reasonable, fresh seafood in an open air setting over the ocean. As a treat, you can walk on the pier for free after dining. Children’s plates–fish, shrimp and fries are large and only $7! Try the fish tacos as well–excellent!

The bar-b-que burger-yum!

The Shark Shack on the Strand serves up a mighty burger! Everyone needed a doggie bag for the awesome fries!

I found my thrill at Dorothy May’s, 2111 Strand, where all the beautiful jewelry and great gifts call! Dorothy Alspaugh’s taste is impeccable with all the high style brands we love! End your day at Buster’s Old Time Photos dressed from bygone eras and you have a vacation to remember!

Have a wonderful day,

Diane

 

It’s a YES for “The Spy Who Dumped Me”!

Good day, Dear Reader:

Let me say that I went with some trepidation to see The Spy Who Dumped Me, just out at theaters everywhere. With that title I expected fall flat jokes, lots of pratfalls and a pointless story line. Then why did I go in the first place? Jamie! Well, really Sam Heughan who is Jamie in the STARZ Outlander series. Honestly, I would have gone to see him read the yellow pages. And the movie did not disappoint.

Think of it as Saturday Night Live (at its best) meets James Bond. I am a huge Kate McKinnon fan after her stint as Hillary Clinton on SNL. Well, she steals this one, Mila Kunis, Justin Theroux and a cast of baddies hold their own. Yes, the body count is probably in the dozens, and someone does get impaled, but she was really bad! And if you have traveled to Europe, there are some fabulous scenes taken in Vienna, Budapest, Prague and more!

And of course, there is Jamie, um Sam, who looks as good out of his kilt as he does in it! And if you haven’t seen Outlander and don’t have STARZ, check out the DVD’s at your local library and if you don’t drool, you’re not half the woman I think you are. And if you enjoy that, read Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, a great adventure in nine volumes (so far!).

Is it really safe to eat fish?

We all know that a good diet is key to good health, but there is so much confusion around the safety of food choices. Fish is the richest source of omega-3 fatty acids, polyunsatured fats that are critical to heart and brain health.

The American Heart Association notes that people who consumed seafood four or more times per week had a 22% lower risk of coronary heart disease than those who ate seafood less than once a month. But because of pollution of our oceans, fish may contain unhealthly levels of mercury which poses neurological risks for children and adults. What to do?

Scientists recommend choosing fish that have been shown to have the lowest levels of mercury such as:  Atlantic mackerel, salmon (fresh and canned), trout, catfish, flounder, tilapia, and sole. As for canned tuna, choose the light chunk which has one-third the mercury of albacore and one-fifth the mercury in sushi tuna. Pregnant women are advised not to eat canned tuna.

This is disturbing information as canned or packaged tuna has been my go-to lunch for years, which of course could account for some of my mental deficienties. Moderation, dear, moderation.

Help lower your cholesterol without drugs

When my last bloodwork showed elevated cholesterol, my doctor suggested that I add to my diet a glass of Metamucil every day. She said it is very helpful in bringing down those bad cholesterol numbers. And we know we all need more fiber…besides it is sugar free, doesn’t taste bad in really cold water and you can buy the generic, Equate brand and save a bundle!

Have a wonderful day!

Diane

 

Travel+ Leisure, yes, we want more!

Hello Dear Reader,  

The latest issue of Travel + Leisure just hit the stands with the “World’s Best Awards 2018”. While we might not all be able to afford the #1 hotel in the world–the Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan, Indonesia, we can still visit the best cities, islands, and watch for specials on the best cruise lines!

Speaking of specials!!! Viking Cruise Lines was voted the #1 cruise company in the world in the  “large” ship category–not mega-ship, they carry about 930 passengers. If you are a refgular cruiser, you will be interested to know that they beat out Crystal, Regent, Cunard, and Oceania, all fabulous cruise lines!

Consider joining me to find out what makes them so special on January 31, 2018 on an 8-day cruise to Cultural Cuba. I am attaching a link so you can see all details. It is pretty fabulous!

https://www.vikingcruises.com/oceans/cruise-destinations/caribbean-americas/cultural-cuba/index.html

Even if you can’t stay at the Four Seasons, you can visit the top city in the world on the survey, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico or Oaxaca, Mexico, second place. The best island? Java, Indonesia and second, Bali, Indonesia.

Destination spas? #1 in the U.S., Mii Amo, Sedona, AZ, #6 Lake Austin Resort Spa.

How do you get there?   Domestic Airlines:  #1 Virgin America, Jet Blue, Alaska, & 4th, Southwest. International:  Singapore Airlines #1, Emirates, Qatar, Japan Airlines.

Car Rental Companies:  #1 National, Enterprise, Hertz, Alamo.

Mega-Ships:  #1 Cunard, Disney, Princess, Holland America, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean.

Best U.S. city to visit:  #1 Charleston, SC, New Orleans, Savannah, Santa Fe, & NY City. Sorry, Houston.

Islands:  #1 Hilton Head, SC, Golden Isles–Jekyll, Little St. Simons, Sea Island,St. Simons, #3 Kiawah, SC.

Hawaiian Islands:  #1 Maui, Kauai, Big Island.

European Cities:  #1 Florence, Rome, Istanbul, Porto, Portugal, Seville, & Barcelona.

One of the best ways to see much of Europe is by river cruise. Pretty much no one ever gets sea sick and as one captain told me, “If the ship sinks, just step off onto the bank!”. These small ships make for a very intimate and warm experience with less than 200 passengers and lots of amenities included. One of my favorite trips is to the Christmas markets along the Danube or Rhine rivers. It truly puts you in the Christmas spirit and if you are lucky, you will have some snow!

Have a lovely day!

Diane

 

Breaking news from Oprah!!

Good day, Dear Reader:

I have some marvelous news that I just discovered in the latest issue of Oprah Magazine, “You don’t have to be thin to be chic”. It is the message I have been waiting to hear since someone told me post-baby fat is just fat– when your youngest is 10. Part of the problem is that we have fixated on the Victoria Beckhams and their skinny sister models and movie stars and not role models like our favorite billionaire, Oprah. She gets us.

Oprah knows that we are fighting gravity, hormones, and genes. Forget that if you live in a place like Houston, Texas you could be tempted by a different restaurant every night of the year. Besides, our crazy lives leave little time to make those great scratch dinners we see on the Food Network! I’ve spent a small fortune purchasing those exotic ingredients only to have them die in my fridge because I never had time to cook them!

Our life is complicated. Pioneer women had hard lives on the prairie but they never had a VCR that permanently blinked 12:00, or an IPhone that lost all your contacts, or a smoke alarm mounted on a 12 foot ceiling  that goes off in the middle of the night when you only have a 6 foot ladder! Their wagons never had to be inspected and they didn’t have to fight the kids to put on their seat belts. You never worried that junior would become to addicted to (fill in the blanks):  1.  stick ball, 2. shoveling manure, 3. pitching hay, or 4. milking cows.

Lipstick Digest is my venue to share ideas and products that might make life a little simpler, prettier and just more fun! I hope you will share with me your ideas as well.

Tip for today:  The sun is not our skin’s friend! Save your money on sunscreen by purchasing the Equate brand SPF 50 sold at WalMart. It is cheap and Consumer Reports gives it a score of 99 and the cheapest per ounce at $5.00 for 8 oz. Trader Joe’s SPF 50  gets 100 at $6.00 for 6 oz., but not everyone has a Trader Joe’s, sadly.

Tips:  Water-resistent means it works for 40 to 80 minutes of sweating or swimming, which means it must be re-applied every 2 hours. Apply it 15 minutes before exposure for best absorption. Use about an ounce–it should fill your palm to do someone’s whole body. Consumer Reports, July 2018.

Come back soon and bring friends!

Diane