Yin and Yang Food – How Does it Affect You?

Did you know that Yin and Yang, the principle at the heart of Chinese philosophy, applies to Chinese food and cooking as well? In Chinese medicine, all food can be divided into four Qis: Hot, warm, cool and cold; or yang, mild yang, mild yin and yin respectively.

In general, yang food improves blood circulation and warms us up, but too much yang food (or eaten during the wrong season e.g. summer) will induce constant thirst, hot flashes, night sweats and constipation. In contrast, yin food quenches thirst, cleanses our systems and cools us down, but if eaten inappropriately it will lower our metabolism and weaken our bodies. In particular, according to traditional Chinese, pregnant women are traditionally advised not to eat yin food (e.g. crab, watermelon) as it may increase the chance of miscarriage.

So what are some examples of yin and yang food?

Grains and Beans

  • Mild Yang (warm food): glutinous rice, black rice, barley, sago, sorghum
  • Mild Yin (cool food): wheat, barley, green beans, buckwheat, millet
  • Right in the middle: Rice, corn (maize), sweet potato, sesame, soy beans, rice beans, oat, long beans, sweet peas, kidney beans, mung beans, lentil, broadbean

Meat and Dairy Product

  • Mild Yang (warm):beef, lamb (mutton), chicken, shrimp, lobster, mussels, goat milk
  • Mild Yin (cool): duck, abalone
  • Yin: duck egg, crab, clam, octopus, squid, escargots, raw food
  • Just Right: chicken egg and egg white, pork, scallop, fish, cow milk, yogurt

Fruits and Nuts

  • Mild Yang (warm): peach, almond, dates, lychee, long yan, lemon, papaya, pine nut, walnut, chestnut, cherry, mango
  • Mild Yin (cool):apple, pear, orange, strawberry, pipa
  • Yin (cold): Persimmon, pomelo, banana, starfruit, kiwi, water melon, sweet melon
  • Just Right: plum, pineapple, grapes, olive, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut milk, peanut, hazelnut

Vegetables

  • Mild Yang (warm): spring onion, garlic, leeks, coriander / parsley, onion, pumpkin
  • Yang (hot): pepper
  • Mild Yin (cool): tomato, celery, egg plant, choy shum, spinach, asparagus, artichoke, cauliflower, tofu (including soy milk), gluten, lotus root, winter melon, cucumber, mushroom, needle mushroom
  • Yin (cold): bok choy, arrowhead, water spinach, watercress, bamboo shoots, seaweed, straw mushroom, bitter melon, water chestnut
  • Just Right: carrot, potato, taro, mushroom, turnip (very mild yin), black fungus (very mild yin)

Other Food and Ingredients

  • Mild Yang (warm): spices such as young ginger, clove, dill, rosemary, sage, turmeric, thyme, horseradish, cayenne, nutmeg, wild pepper, cumin, star anise; stimulants such as alcohol, coffee, black tea and other caffeinated drinks; red sugar, ginseng
  • Yang (hot): Cinnamon
  • Mild Yin (cool): green tea, honey, beer, chrysanthemum tea, mint
  • Yin (cold): Soy sauce, soy bean paste, salt

How Does This Apply To Us?

According to the Chinese, each of us are born yin, yang or somewhere in between. For example, if you always crave for spicy food you may have a “yin” body; and if you love watermelon anytime in the year you are likely a Yang.

Your health condition can also indicate the yin-yang balance of your body. Constant cold hands and feet? A …

What Do You Need to Cook Chinese Food?

Are you, like many people, attracted by the possibility of cooking scrumptious and healthy Chinese meals at home? What do you need, in addition to the recipe, the ingredients, and your kitchen?

Well woks have been the mainstay of Chinese cooking for centuries – over 3000 years use in China, indeed. If you have not got one, is a wok necessary? Highly desirable, but not really essential, would be my view.You can use a frying pan to cook stir frys. A wok, does, however, have numerous advantages. It needs much less oil, and distributes heat much more even more than a frying pan does. And the unique concave shape of a wok makes tossing the food around during stir frying more straightforward. Coupled with the fact that you can also use the wok as an simple every day frying pan, and a deep fryer if wanted.

Other equipment that is also not essential, but desirable includes:

A wok lid . Which can either be domed shaped or flat topped. It should be able to fit the lid of the wok. And the lid needs to be high enough to ensure that it will allow the wok to be used with the desired quantities in it.

A spatula . Which is used for stirring and tossing the food It needs to have a long handle – for obvious reasons! And it can be made of metal or wood – the latter is especially desirable for non stick woks and frying pans.

A ladle . Used for adding stock, in addition to other seasoning. A ladle can also be used to measure out other ingredients to add.

A cleaver . Cutting and slicing before food preparation is especially important. Having bite size pieces enables the food to be eaten with chopsticks. It also reduces cooking time by increasing the amount of surface area exposed to heat. And permits greater absorption of sauces and flavorings. Although Chinese cleavers often look as though they could cut through bones, do not use cleavers for this – it may damage them. Although traditionally made of carbon steel, this can rust and add a taste of metal. Best to get a knife made from stainless steel. The flat end can also be used as a pestle.

A steaming basket . This is a round basket that can hold food hovering over boiling water. Bamboo baskets are generally better than metal ones as the bamboo absorbs the moisture and allows the steam to circulate. Dripping water from metal ones can reduce the flavor of the food.

Ring stand . A ring stand can stabilize the wok. Generally these have open sides for gas stoves, and closed sides for electric ones. If your wok has a tapered stand then use it so that the helmet side is up for electric stoves, and other side up for gas ones.

Rack . Usually a semi circle and can be used to keep food warm.

Skimmer . A skimmer is a implementation …

Tips For Cooking With Asparagus

Most people regard asparagus as an ingredient that needs to be cooked with caution. Here are a few helpful tips on how to cook with this vegetable.

Begin by buying asparagus right. Select asparagus spears that look a fresh and bright green and that have compact but firm tips. If you need to cook with asparagus that has slightly wilted tips, firm them up by soaking them in cold water for a few minutes.

After buying fresh asparagus, you need to keep it in a moist place till you are ready to use it. Frozen asparagus can be kept in the freezer. Remember not to defrost frozen asparagus before cooking. Once you’ve taken the frozen asparagus out of the freezer, do not refreeze it. You can store asparagus in the freezer for a maximum of eight months. If you are using the canned variety, it should be stored in a cool and dry place.

Asparagus is a versatile vegetable and lends itself to various food combinations. You can top steamed asparagus with sour cream, mayonnaise or yogurt. You can also infuse herbs like parsley and tarragon into melted butter and pour the mix over asparagus. Fresh asparagus works well with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Asparagus goes best with dry white wines such as Chenin Blanc, French Colombard or Fume Blanc. After trimming asparagus, do not discard the trimmed ends. These can be pureed and used in soups, stews or sauces.

Asparagus can be cooked in several ways. If you are cooking on the stovetop, you can steam fresh asparagus by boiling it in a small quantity of water until tender. This should take about five to eight minutes.

If you want to steam asparagus while in an upright position, tie the stalks together with a string. Make the stalks stand straight in a double boiler so that the tips stay an inch or so above the salted, boiling water. Cover the double boiler and cook for about five minutes or until tender.

For stir-frying asparagus, start by chopping the spears diagonally into half inch pieces. Keep the tips whole. Next stir-fry the cut pieces in a skillet containing hot butter or olive oil over a medium heat. It should take about three minutes for the asparagus to tenderize. Stir-fried asparagus should be soft yet crisp.

Fresh asparagus can be cooked in a microwave in a baking dish or even in a serving bowl. Place about a pound of asparagus in the cooking dish. If you are using whole asparagus spears, keep the tips in the center. Pour in about a quarter cup of water and cover the dish. Cook at 100% power for 5 minutes. Turn over the spears half way through cooking. Reduce the cooking time by about a minute if you are microwaving cut pieces or tips.

Frozen asparagus can be cooked in the microwave by placing it in a covered microwaveable dish containing about two tablespoons of water. The cooking time is about five minutes at …

Four Fantastic Tips to Prevent Urinary Blockage in Cats

Cat urinary infections, as any cat owner will tell you, is something to be taken seriously. It is surprising to see the number of cat owners who have no idea about cats urinary infections. They all seem to think that urinary infections in animals are not as serious as they are in humans and can be easily easily with antibiotics. If you think so too, you need to read this article fully.

First of all, let me make something very clear. Urinary blockage in cats is as common and as dangerous as it is in humans. So, you should observe your pet closely and look for symptoms of this problem. If you do, you should immediately take it to a vet and get it treated properly. If not, this problem could be fatal.

When you suspect that there is something wrong with your cat, you can take it to a vet and treat the problem accordingly. Still, it involves a lot of pain and suffering for your cat and a lot of mental agony for you – the cat owner. So, what I am saying is very simple. Why wait for a problem to occur and then treat it? Why not prevent it completely? That's right; you can take steps to prevent cats urinary infections. While not certain, it will help. Let me explain how you can do that.

1. Your cat's diet is the most important factor that decides its health. The food that your cat eats should have high water content to keep it hydrated. The food you feed your cat should be high quality and contain organic or at minimum ingredients that you recognize.

2. Make sure your cat drinks plenty of clean water. Dehydration is the cause of a lot of health problems in animals. So, you should always make sure it stays hydrated.

3. Clean your cat regularly. There are special shampoos and soaps available exclusively for gentle animals like cats. You should use them and keep your cat clean. This will reduce the chances of infections considerably.

4. A popular way to prevent urinary blockage in cats is by giving a small dose of homeopathic supplements regularly. These supplements are extremely powerful and can prevent urinary tract problems in cats. They can also boost your cat's immune system amazingly well. By making these supplements a part of your cat's regular diet, you can make sure your cat stays healthy and active for a long time.

Just try to follow the tips I have mentioned above and you will be surprised to see the results. Like I already said, preventing cats urinary infections is very easy – you just need to give your cat the right kind of food and the right supplements. So, take action today and take good care of your cat. …

Traditional Hardwood Restaurant Chairs

If you're opening a restaurant or plan to redecorate an existing eatery consider traditional hardwood chairs to outfit your dining areas. Finely finished and stained hardwood has a rustic and classic charm that you can not achieve with chrome or aluminum and with the right upholstered seat and chair backs you will have a comfortable and durable restaurant chair that will stand the test of time and provide high quality seating for all your guests.

Steak houses, seafood restaurants and upscale eateries are all appropriate settings for traditional hardwood restaurant chairs. Beech wood is an abundant material for commercial restaurant furniture and has proven to be extremely durable when used for chairs. Whether an end chair, side chair or arm chair solid beech wood can be found in many different shapes and styles with custom options for upholstering to match your restaurants overall theme and décor.

Simple yet classic ladder back style side chairs are perfect for traditional restaurant décor. Beech wood ladder back side chairs feature mortise and tenon joint construction along with metal reinforcements to provide a sturdy seat made for heavy commercial use. The seat of a ladder back chair can be left as smooth hardwood or accented with a variety of fabric upholstery for added comfort.

The head of the table in a traditional style restaurant should be outfitted with high quality hardwood arm chairs. Classic and elegant arm chairs are very comfortable seating options and have the option of seat back and seat upholstering. The Beidermeier arm chair is a great choice for traditional steak houses and old world cuisine eateries with its sturdy appearance and durable frame. With a seat height of 18 "the Beidermeier arm chair is a perfect fit fort most standard restaurant tables and many models feature staining options that include traditional wood colors including mahogany, cherry and walnut. …

Restaurant Training Manual – Presenting the Menu & Taking Food Order

Headwaiter/waiter should approach the table with a smile and pleasant eye contact, and must greet guests by saying: “Good (time of the day), Mr./s (name of guest), I am (name of staff), your (headwaiter or waiter)”. The Headwaiter/waiter must introduce the theme of the evening/day by saying: “Welcome to our… (name of theme) evening, / day Mr./s… (Name of the guest)”.

In case guest does not go to the bar for an aperitif, the headwaiter should propose aperitif to guests by saying: “Would you care for an aperitif, Mr./s (name of guest)?” Headwaiter/waiter must ensure that menus are in excellent condition (depending on location), stands on the right hand side of the guest, with the menu opened on the first page and holding it by the top, should present to the ladies first while maintaining eye contact by saying: “Please allow me to present you our (name of theme menu/menu of the day) Mr./s (name of guest)”.

Headwaiter/waiter should introduce any one of the specialties of the day (as applicable). Headwaiter/waiter must retire from guests table for a few moments (3-5) minutes, allowing guests to study the menu, by saying: “May I leave you to look at the menu, Mr./s (name of guest)? I will be back for your order in a short while.” In case of unavailability of specific items, guests are advised accordingly, by saying: “Mr/s (name of guest), I do apologize, unfortunately we do no have (name of item) today”. Headwaiter/waiter should return to the guests table with a smile and pleasant eye contact and ask if they are ready to place their order, by saying: “Mr/s (name of guest), are you ready to place your order?”

Headwaiter/waiter has to stand on the right hand side of the guest, women first, while smiling and maintaining eye contact and should take the order. Headwaiter/waiter has to highlight verbally at least one menu item as a house special or seasonal specialty, by saying: “May I recommend the specialty of the day (name of dish)?” Headwaiter/waiter takes children’s order first (if any), followed by women’s and finally the host’s.

Headwaiter/waiter writes down guest’s orders on docket, numbering each person’s order, and highlighting any special requests.

Headwaiter/waiter clearly labels all children’s menu portions on the food order docket.

Headwaiter/waiter repeats orders and collects menus from the right hand side, women first by saying: “May I repeat your order, please Mr/s… (name of guest)? Mrs (name of guest), you have ordered (chosen menu), and Mr… (name of guest) you have ordered (chosen menu)”.

Headwaiter/ waiter ensures that guests names, numbered orders, table number, number of persons, waiter’s name, date and time of order appear clearly on the order sheet.

Headwaiter/waiter retires from guests with a courtesy bow and a smile, thanking guests for their choice and wishes them a pleasant day/evening by saying: “Thank you Mr/s (name of guest), have a pleasant (time of the day).”…

How to Make Healthy & Delicious Baby Food

Making homemade baby food puree is simple, easy, and is very healthy and nutritious for your baby! You can save a lot of money by making your own food and your baby will love it! All you need, at a minimum, is a blender or food processor for pureeing, ice cube trays for freezing, and freezer bags and / or storage containers. There are other products available for making baby food at home such as tiered steamers, food mills, ice cube trays with lids, and other gadgets that can make preparing baby food easy (or more difficult depending on your cooking skills!). The Kidco Electric Food Mill has been my best friend in whipping up fresh batches of baby food. However, I've used standard blenders for pureing as well.

Here is how to make puree out of most fruits, vegetables, and meats:

1. Cook the desired food by baking, steaming, boiling, or microwaving.

2. Remove the food and allow to cool down a bit, reserve a little of the cooking liquid.

3. Transfer the food and cooking liquid (or you can use plain water or breast milk if you wish) into a blender or food processor and puree the food.

Note: You can use plain water or breast milk instead of the cooking liquid. However, vitamins see out into the water while cooking, so adding the liquid is a bonus.

4. Remove the food and serve immediately to your baby or freeze in ice cube trays for up to 2 months.

That's all there is to it! …

The Psychological Benefits Of Adopting A Stray Dog Or Cat

We are experiencing a plague in the United States. Unwanted and stray cats and dogs. I believe a great deal of this is due to lack of education.

Some cities and municipalities put a lot of funding behind spaying and neutering education. Many communities have no-kill shelters, and a lot of other good is being done. But more can be done. The amount of strays is epidemic in the U.S and does not seem to be getting better. We know better, most of us.

For every baby born in the U.S there are seven cats and dogs born.

A female cat and her offspring can (and usually does) produce 420,000 kittens within seven years.

One female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 puppies in six years (and usually does).

As many as 25% of dogs entering shelters each year are purebreds.

Approximately 61% of all dogs are killed in animal shelters.

Approximately 75% of all cats entering shelters are killed.

It costs approximately $100 to capture, house, feed, and eventually kill each stray animal — a cost which you, the taxpayer, eventually pay.

Can you see the importance of becoming educated regarding spaying and neutering pets? The Doris Day Animal League has a wonderful program http://www.ddal.org which can give you a great bit of important information.

I do not sit in judgment Though I owned pets all my life, I truly did not understand true pet care until I reached my adulthood. I only knew what my parents taught me which was very limited.

As a upper-middle class child, like other upper-middle class kids, my parents bought me “the dog du jour” or what was trendy from a recent movie. From Irish Setters to Golden Retrievers to Great Danes to Sheepdogs.

And only from the finest breeders.

There is nothing wrong with that. Those animals need homes as well, and I feel good about every animal I learned to take care of as a child (from wherever they derived).

As I matured, I understood owning and caring for an animal is more than “just looking good next to an exotic or popular breed”. It is about bonding, caring, and loving that animal and learning unconditional love from it.

I will give you an example. The Northridge earthquake in 1994 destroyed my home. I was forced to move into an apartment that didn’t allow dogs. I had a beautiful blonde golden retriever I was forced to give away.

I cried on and off for a month (even though Otis got a home in Malibu and was living better than me).

I moved back to my home state of Mississippi to take care of an ailing mom. As a writer, I knew this could put me in a vulnerable situation, but I also knew that my mom took care of me whenever I was ill and that was the right thing to do. And as I expected, writer’s block set in and I did not write for four years. That was …

Review of the Excalibur Food Dehydrator

TenDecades.com is a site dedicated to helping people create a healthy lifestyle primarily through a raw or living foods vegetarian diet. As such, we offer several kitchen appliances that greatly aid those who seek to prepare raw living foods.

Once such appliance is a food dehydrator. With a food dehydrator, you can create a myriad of healthy snacks and recipes that still retain most of the live enzymes found in fresh food. For example, you can crate dried fruit snacks with practice any kind of fresh fruit or vegetable. You can create vegetable chips, crackers and fruit rolls. You can also dry nuts, legumes and herbs & spices. Many people also make all kinds of meat jerky with various spices and meat types such as beef, venison, chicken, ostrich and fish.

Food dehydrators are also great for people who like to hike or camp and want to make their own dehydrated food to carry with them.

In this article, we will review the Excalibur Food Dehydrator.

The Excalibur dehydrator has three primary models: The Excalibur Model 2400, the Model 2500 and the Model 2900. The main difference between the three models is their size and tray capacity.

The Excalibur Model 2400 has four drying trays and has 4 square feet of drying area. The outside dimensions are 13 inches wide x 17 inches deep x 7 inches high and weighas about 16 lbs. The unit has a 4 inch fan and 220 watts of drying power. At the time if this writing, prices range from about $ 115- $ 125 for the Model 2400.

The Excalibur Model 2500 has five drying trays and has 8 square feet of drying area. The outside dimensions are 17 inches wide x 19 inches deep x 9 inches high and weighs about 18 lbs. The unit has a 5 inch fan and 400 watts of drying power. At the time of this writing, prices range from about $ 180- $ 200 for the Model 2500.

The Excalibur Model 2900 has nine drying trays and has 15 square feet of drying area. The outside dimensions are 17 inches wide x 19 inches deep x 13 inches high and weighs about 20 lbs. The unit has a 7 inch fan and 600 watts of drying power. At the time of this writing, prices range from about $ 210- $ 225 for the Model 2900.

All three units are equipped with an adjustable thermostat and they include drying trays with screens. It is important for your food dehydrator to have an adjustable thermostat so that you can regulate the temperature inside the unit. If the temperature exceeds about 105-107 degrees Fahrenheit, the live enzymes in the food will perish and the nutritional content of the food will be depleted dramatically.

When drying liquids such as yogurt or fruit purees, optional flexible Excalibur ParaFlexx® 14×14 Teflex (TM) Sheets can be purchased to line the trays to prevent spills and allow for the dried product to easily peel from …

How to Lose Weight Fast

Have You Ever Wondered How To Lose Weight Fast?

Do you want to lose weight fast, most people do?  We live in an era of speed an age when everyone wants quick results.  Regardless of the fact that the excess weight a person carries took time to accumulate they often want to be rid of it in a short space of time.  That’s why everyone is looking for the quick fix and explains the lure of the latest pill, potion or exotic tea.

Everyone want to know how to lose weight fast and it’s possible to lose it quickly using pills but these have bad side effects.  It’s also possible to starve oneself by going on one of the diets that cuts out food all together and to lose weight quickly.  You may have noticed that the majority of those who do lose weight this way put it all back on again.

The best way to lose weight is to lose it steadily in the same way it was gained which gives the body a chance to adjust and the skin to return to it’s original size and shape.  However there are ways of addressing weight problems that can help to lose weight faster than others and there are some things to avoid too.

How to Lose Weight Fast

The things to avoid if you want to lose weight and to lose it fast are diets.  Diets focus on food and the focus while on a diet is generally on what you can’t have.  Cutting out foods, calorie counting, fat reduction, points and the like mean that all the focus is on food, food, food.

People on diets learn which foods are ‘bad’ and which foods are ‘good.’  They learn what to avoid and what they can have and again it’s all food, food, food.  Because of the way the mind works this focus on food will make you crave food and especially the foods you have been told not to have.

To lose weight fast is easier than you ever imagined.  First of all decide what you want, not what you don’t want but what you want.  Keep the focus off food for now and focus on size and shape and level of fitness then write it down.

Now ask yourself the following questions:

  • “What do I have to do to achieve that?”
  • “What sorts of food could I eat to help me to achieve it?”
  • “What portion sizes will be needed to achieve my goal?
  • “How can I enjoy foods and still reach my goal?” 

You do know the answers to those questions and if you ask them repeatedly by beginning each day asking, “What could I eat today that will help me to be slim by… “ or “What size portion shall I eat this evening so I can reach my goal by… “ or “How can I stay on track today so I can achieve my goal of being… on… “

The way the human …