Food Lectins in Health and Disease: An Introduction

In recent years it appears there is a rising epidemic of people suffering from chronic digestive and autoimmune conditions. Food intolerance or sensitivities may lie at the root of the problem. Most people, including doctors, have little clue how foods they eat may be contributing to their chronic illness, fatigue and digestive symptoms.

There are, however, a lot of clues in the medical literature and the lay public's experience about how foods are causing and / or contributing to the current epidemic of chronic illness and autoimmune disease. There are several diets being used by many people with varying success to improve their health despite a general lack of iron clad scientific proof for their effectiveness. One of the clues to the cause and relief of food induced illness may lie in proteins known as lectins that are present in all foods.

Animal and plant sources of food both contain complex proteins known as lectins. These proteins typically have the ability to attach to sugars or carbohydrates on the surface of human cells. Some of these proteins can cause clumping of human red blood cells, a process that is called agglutination. The process of agglutination occurs when someone receives the wrong blood type during a blood transfusion. In fact, red blood cell agglutination specific to each person or groups of people is the basis for testing for blood types. There is some data that blood types may influence how people respond to certain foods though a blood type specific diet appears to have been disproven. The attachment or binding of certain food lectins can initiate a variety of cell specific effects. These reactions may mimic hormones or cause changes in cells. This is termed molecular mimicry.

Most plants contain lectins, some of which are toxic, inflammatory, or both. Many of these plant and dairy lectin are resistant to cooking and digestive enzymes. Grain lectins, for example, are quite resistant to human digestion but well suited for ruminants like cattle who have multi-chambered stomachs. Therefore, lectins are present in our food and are often resistant to our digestion and some have been scientifically shown to have significant GI toxicity in humans. Others have been shown to be beneficial and maybe even cancer protecting. Either way plant and animal proteins are foreign proteins to the body and are dealt with by digestion and our immune system in a positive or negative manner.

The human digestive system was created to handle a variety of plant and animal proteins through the process of digestion and elimination. Some plant and animal proteins or lectins are severely toxic to humans and can not be eaten without causing death like those in Castor beans and some mushrooms. Other foods must be prepared before they are safe to be eaten. Preparations may include pealing, prolonged soaking and cooking like kidney beans. Other foods may be poorly tolerated because of a genetic predisposition or underlying pre-existing food allergy or intolerance. Others are tolerated to some degree or quantity but not in large amounts or on a frequent basis. People who are intolerant to the milk sugar lactose, because of inherited or acquired deficiency in lactase enzyme, may tolerate small amounts but may have severe bloating, gas, abdominal pain and cramps with explosive diarrhea when a large amount of lactose containing foods are eaten. Foods can become intolerable to some people after their immune system changes or gut is injured from another cause.

Of the food lectins, grain / cereal lectins; dairy lectins; and legume lectins (especially peanut lectin and soybean lectin) are the most common ones associated with reports of aggravation of inflammatory and digestive diseases in the body and improvement of those diseases and / or symptoms when avoided. Recent research by Loren Cordain PhD., Has suggested that these lectins may effectively serve as a "Trojan horse" allowing intact or nearly intact foreign proteins to invade our natural gut defenses and enter behind the lines to cause damage well beyond the gut, commonly in joints, brain, and skin of affected individuals. Once damage occurs to the gut and the defense system is breached the result is what some refer to as a "leaky gut". Moreover, many people who develop a "leaky gut" not only have gut symptoms such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, and abdominal pain but also other symptoms beyond the gut, or extra-intestinal symptoms. Commonly affected areas are the brain or peripheral nerves, skin, joints, and various body glands. With continued exposure of the gut by these toxic food lectins a persistent stimulation of the body's defense mechanism in a dysfunctional manner, occurs, ie autoimmune disease.

Wrong types or levels of good and bad bacteria in the gut, or intestinal dysbiosis, may contribute to this process of abnormal stimulation of the immune system. Research supports the strong possibility that such stimulation may be accentuated by interaction of the bacteria with food lectins. It is believed by some that this may further worsen gut injury and autoimmune disease. This latter concept is gaining acceptance and recognition by doctors in one form as the hygiene theory. It is speculated that our gut bacteria have become altered by increased hygiene and over use of antibiotics and that this phenomenon may be playing a significant role in the rising incidence of autoimmune diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, and chronic intestinal diseases like Crohn's disease and irritable bowel syndrome.

Lectins as a cause however are largely being ignored in the US though the field of lectinology and lectins role in disease is more accepted internationally. Avoidance of certain food lectins may be helpful in achieving health and healing of chronic gut injury. Healing of a "leaky gut" and avoidance of ongoing abnormal stimulation of the immune system by toxic food lectins and bacteria in the gut is the basis for ongoing research and probable success of several popular diets such as the paleo diet, carbohydrate specific diet and gluten -free / casein-free diet. More research is needed in this exciting but often neglected area. Food Doc The, LLC Note features a website Http://www.thefooddoc.com That will Provide physician authored information on food Intolerance, sensitivity and allergy color : such color : as the lectin, gluten, casein, and lactose Intolerance with dietary guidance That will feature in the a near future an online symptom assessment and diet-diary.

Copyright 2006, The Food Doc, LLC. All rights reserved. http://www.thefooddoc.com

Weight Loss and Side Effects of CLA

Does Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) have any bad side effects? Does it work for weight loss? CLA has been sold for many years as a fat loss supplement based on the weight loss and body composition (ie losing fat and gaining muscle) changes seen in studies using mice and rats. Does is work in humans? More recently research in humans has shown that it can be used to increase fat loss. In this article we'll look at some of the benefits of CLA as well as some of the potential side effects. In addition to weight loss studies there have been (and are currently) countless studies looking at the effects of this fatty acid on reducing inflammation, fighting cancer, and in the treatment of other conditions.

Ever since 2007, there has been an increase in use of CLA as a fat burner. This is due to the release of a meta-analysis (basically a review of several scientific studies) published in the May 2007 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition which concluded that 3.2g / d of CLA can induce moderate weight loss in humans. CLA is an attractive weight loss supplement and many people use conjugated linoleic acid as part of a fat loss supplement stack (ie a group of compounds and herbs taken together to maximize effects) because unlike many other weight loss supplements it is not a stimulant and you do not suffer the nasty side effects of getting the jitters, increased heart rate, or worse – increased blood pressure. This is especially as there are not many effective options for non-stimulant fat burners on the market.

Let's now look at two more studies that involve people taking supplemental CLA. The first study was again published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The researchers found that when people supplemented with 3.2 g / d of CLA (this is generally the recommended dosage for weight loss purposes) they burned more fat and more specifically they burned more fat when they slept!

This is true.

Not only did the subjects that took CLA burned more fat when they slept, the fat they burned was NOT fat they had recently eaten; it was actually stored body fat that they were burning. This study gets even better as the researchers reported that the individuals that took CLA had decreased urinary protein losses. In other words the CLA group had improved protein retention when they slept. These are really interesting findings. If I owned a supplement company that sold large dosages of CLA – my new headline would be "CLA – Scientifically Proven to Burn More Body Fat and Build Muscle while you SLEEP."

So CLA can work for weight loss but are there any side effects? Again in 2007, another study was published that looked at the effects of CLA on weight loss, this time in obese people. In this study, the participants were given CLA dosages of 0, 3.2, or 6.4 grams / day. At the end of the study the group that received the 6.4 g / d of CLA experienced a significant increase in a compound called C – reactive protein or CRP for short. C – reactive protein is a protein that is released from your liver. It is commonly used in the medical field as a general marker of the level of inflammation in your body – higher CRP means more inflammation.

While there was an increase in CRP, it was truly not clinically significant as CRP levels remained below what is considered normal (Normal CRP levels are 3mg / dL). It is also important to see realize that the people in the study that had increased CRP as a result of taking a CLA supplement were taking 2x the 'recommended' dose for weight loss and also that people that obese normally have higher CRP levels (this might have come into play here as well). The group that only took 3.2 grams per day did not have any increase in their CRP levels.
Based on the findings in the studies that I've mentioned above and the review of studies from article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition is seems that 3.2 g / d of CLA can be safely taken to boost weight loss.

The next question that you should ask is …

What do you do with these findings? At the moment not a whole lot … CLA is a nice add-on to a fat loss program but "add-on" is the key word. CLA is perfect for nutrient stacking as combing these effects with a supplement like green tea extract (which has also been shown to boost weight loss), increased non-exercise physical activity, and multiple meals throughout the day will surely boost your fat loss. If you are not spot on with your nutrition, training with weights 3x per week, and doing 3 interval sessions per week then do not waste your time with CLA and focus on the more important things.

A Fancy Twist on Yellow Cake Mixes

Do you like fancy dessert cakes? Are you looking for a few simple recipes that you can make at home that taste just as good as a store bought cake? If so, I think you will enjoy these easy recipes.

Before we get to the recipes, I would like to share a few important baking tips with you.

Baking Tips:

1. Invest in a cake tester. You can pick up one for less than $ 6.00 at most kitchen stores.

2. Do not over bake! I remove mine from the oven 3-4 minutes before the recommended time. They will continue baking in the pan.

3. Do not grease and flour your baking pans unless the recipe calls for it.

4. Always let them cool before frosting.

Banana

2 small bananas
1 box of yellow cake mix
1 box of instant banana cream pudding mix
4 eggs
1 c. water
1/4 c. oil
1/2 c. chopped nuts, optional

Slice bananas into a large mixing bowl. Beat until they are well mashed, then add in the remaining ingredients. Mix with a mixer at medium speed until all ingredients are blended together. Pour into a well greased and floured 10 "tube pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes, let cool in the pan for 20 minutes before removing. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar when cake is completely cooled.

Lemon

1 box yellow cake mix
1 box instant lemon pudding mix
4 eggs
1/4 c. salad oil
1 c. water
1/4 c. confectioner's sugar

Combine and blend all of the above ingredients (except for the confectioner's sugar). Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour into greased and floured baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until done. Cool for 15 minutes in the pan and then turn it out onto a wire rack. Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar. Let cool and enjoy.

Strawberry Jello

1 box yellow cake mix
1 box strawberry flavored gelatin mix
1 pkg. dream whip

Follow directions on box and bake cake in a rectangular baking pan. Make gelatin according to directions on the package. Once it is done baking, poke holes all over it using a large pronged fork, then pour gelatin all over cake focusing on the holes. Put dream whip on top as icing. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

Lemon-Lime Jello

1 box yellow cake mix
1 box lemon flavored gelatin mix
1 box lime flavored gelatin mix
1/3 c. reconstituted lemon juice
1 c. confectioner's sugar

Add gelatin granules to the dry cake mix. Proceed to mix cake, following the directions on the box. Pour batter into a 9 x 13 inch floured and greased baking pan. Bake according to package directions. Mix lemon juice and confectioner's sugar together. When it's done baking, prick the surface with a fork. Pour lemon and sugar glaze over the top of the cake. Let cool before serving.

Best Leather Conditioner – How To Choose The Best Conditioner For Your Leather Upholstery

It seems that as the years roll by, leather is becoming more widely used for upholstery covering than ever before. And a question that is frequently asked is , "Which is the best conditioner to use on my leather?"

After all, there as so many different leather conditioners available on the market, choosing the right product can be rather confusing, to say the least.

Unfortunately, most people do not realize, many of the available conditioners will, in fact, speed up the deterioration of your leather!

And that's what this article is about, helping you cut to the chase and find the best leather conditioner for your upholstery.

So, before you rush out and buy the first leather conditioner that catches your eye, here are 4 very important points you need to consider:

1: New Leather Contains Natural Oils

When leather is made in the tannery, natural oils are infused into the hides to maintain a certain level of moisture, and to reduce the friction between the fibres.

The natural oil content directly affects the leathers' pliability and softness.

Now, that's all very well with brand new leather but here's what happens when 'wear and tear' and direct sunlight get involved:

2: The Natural Oils Evaporate

Once exposed to direct sunlight, these natural oils evaporate, causing the moisture content to diminish, resulting in lost softness and pliability.

This is evident in leather car upholstery, especially the top of the rear seat which get 'hammered' by sunlight, day in and day out.

3: Leather Conditioner Should Replace Evaporated Oils

The best conditioner replaces the oils which have been lost through evaporation. Furthermore, these oils should be exactly the same used originally in manufacture.

You should also be aware that silicone, beeswax and petroleum-based products and even oils sold for saddles etc, will in fact, seriously harm your upholstery. Because what happens is, they leave an acidic residue on the surface of the leather which eats into the finish and eventually destroys it.

This brings me to my next point, which ensures you select a conditioner that will replenish your leather with the correct, natural leather oil.

4: The Best Leather Conditioners Should Pass Leather Testing Standards

There are a number of independent leather testing authorities used by tanneries, world-wide, ensuring that leather and leather products meet international standards. These standards are to help protect you, as a consumer, from dodgy products.

Many conditioners available on the market have never been tested. Others have been tested but have failed and are not recommended for consumer use.

So before you buy any leather conditioner, make sure it contains the exact same oils used in the tannery for new leather, and check it has been tested and approved by an independent leather testing authority.

How to Make Rosogulla or Rasagulla – Trade Secrets Shared Here

Making and enjoying, Rosogulla is such a nostalgic journey to the past and a great tribute to my childhood and growing up in a very special place; Asansol in West Bengal. The smell of the wet earthen pot holding the Rosogulla, straight from the sweat-meat shops is invigorating.

There's lot of mystery surrounding Rosogulla; regarding it's place of origin – West Bengal or Orissa. It is widely believed that in 1868, Nobin Chandra Das of Bagbazar, Kolkata, invented, and became instantly famous; who was later supported by his son KC Das. Eminent historian, J. Padhi has claimed that "the Rasgulla is more than 600 years old. It is as old as the Rath Yatra in Puri". Ratha Yatra is a huge Hindu festival associated with Lord Jagannath held at Puri in the state of Orissa, India during the months of June.

Another school of thought: During the Bengal renaissance; between the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the upper class Bengalis employed the Brahmin cooks from neighbouring Orissa, famed for there culinary skills. As a result many Oriya delicacies got incorporated into Bengali cuisine. It was this during this time Haradhan Maira, a confectioner of Phulia district, Orissa, transferred this knowledge to Kolkata (Calcutta). NC Das modified the original version to extend it's shelf life and was thus credited with 'Sponge Rosogulla'.

VARIATIONS: Ladikenis – Bhim Nag invented this deep-fried syrupy Ledikeni that was created for and named after Lady Canning (wife of the Governor-General of India, Lord Charles John Canning.) When she arrived in Calcutta with her husband in 1856, in the electric days before the Sepoy Mutiny.

Making Festive "Coloured" Rasgulla. The most common colours in use are Pink and Orange. To make coloured Rasgulla, do NOT add food colour to the milk. Add desired food colour while kneading the Cheese. Roshogulla stuffed with Cardamom, Raisins. Adding Rose water and Saffron. Rasagulla is the first cheese based sweet, and is a precursor to many other Bengali Sweets: Rasmalai, Pantua, Cham Cham, Sandesh to name a few.

Things You'll Need: To Make Chenna / Paneer (Cheese)

  • Organic Full Fat Milk – 1 litre
  • Plain Natural Yoghurt (1) – 200ml or
  • Lime Juice / White Vinegar – 2 tbsp

Yield – 260grams Chenna Divide into 12 equal portions

Sugar Syrup

  • Water – 300ml
  • Sugar – 200grams (add to taste)

Golden Touch Preparation: [Making Cheese – 1 hour 30 mins + 40 mins]

  1. Boil Milk in a deep bottomed, non-stick pan.
  2. Stir regularly with a wooden spatula to prevent Milk sticking to the bottom.
  3. Once boiled, lower heat; add Yogurt. In about 3-5 minutes, curdling starts, separating the Whey (2) from the Chenna / Panner / Cheese (3).
  4. Line a strainer with Cheese Cloth. Leave it there for 1 hour (4).
  5. Knead the Chenna for about 5 minutes, resulting in a smooth, soft dough.
  6. To test the readiness of the Chenna, rub a small amount of Chenna on your palms and make a small ball out of it. If the ball holds together in a smooth ball, it is ready. If not knead for another 5 minutes. If too dry and crumbly add a few drops of water (5).
  7. Just before you are about to make the balls, in a 24cm diameter, deep non-stick stock pot, add Water and Sugar and bring to boil on low flame. Stir occasionally.
  8. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Knead each ball tightly in your palm and roll into a smooth balls, without cracks. These small balls end up three times their size after cooking.
  9. Add the balls to the boiling syrup, carefully. Cover. Boil on full flame for 20-25 mins (6).
  10. Remove from flame. Allow to cool.

Golden Touch Service Serve chilled on it's own in the Sugar syrup or with Misti Doi (Sweetened Yoghurt).

NOTES:

1. Yogurt vs Lime Juice / Vinegar. This is my variation. All other recipes you'll find adding Lime Juice or White Vinegar to curdle Milk. Benefits of using Yoghurt; it does not leave the after taste of sourness and produces a greater yield of Chenna. Tried and tested method at Chacko's Kitchen.

2. Whey can be used for kneading Flour for Chappati, Roti, Naan instead of Water; also can be used to cook Lentils.

3. Caution: The Cheese become hard and rubbery if you continue to boil after this stage.

4. This is an important stage, and I would like you to take it seriously. You need NOT leave it for long, or press it down under weight, unlike when you make Paneer. Rosogulla requires moisture in it. In hotter climates, reduce this time to say 45 minutes.

5. The softness of Rasgulla depends on how well you knead the Paneer. The more you knead, the more spongier the Rasagulla be.

6. Do not add too many at the same time; as they need to expand and become spongy. Commercial Rasgulla is dipped in too thick sugar syrup, therefore when you make at home you can adjust the Sugar to your requirements.

The Importance of Food Safety in Our Lives

Safety in general is important for every individual. It is an issue that we take into account in different aspects of our life. For instance to ensure our personal protection, we buy stun guns that we can bring with us anywhere. Moreover, we wear seat belts to keep us safe while we are driving. More importantly, we ensure that the food we eat is safe. How the food is prepared is what we all consider. When we eat in restaurants, when we buy from a store and even when we cook our own food, we make sure that it is clean and safe to take in to replenish the needs of our body.

Food safety has become an issue of special importance for the retail food industry. There are many instances that food contamination can occur between the process of production and consumption. Food can be contaminated at the farm, ranch, and orchard or in the sea. Contamination of food can even occur while it is processed in large manufacturing companies and while it is delivered to different retailers. Finally, food can be contaminated during the last stages of production at retail establishments and by consumers in their homes.

Food safety is especially critical in retail food establishment because this may be the last opportunity to control and eliminate the hazards that might contaminate food and cause food borne illnesses. Even when bought from already inspected and certified sources, ingredients may be contaminated when they arrive at the food establishment. It is important to know how to handle these ingredients safely and how to prepare food in such a manner that reduces the risk of contaminated food being served.

Food borne illness happens and it adversely affects the health of millions of people every year. It is a sickness that some people experience when they eat contaminated food. It impairs performance and causes discomfort and body weakness like your being hit with streetwise stun guns. Food borne illness also has a major economic impact. It costs our society billions of dollars each year. These costs occur in the form of medical expenses, lost work and reduce productivity by victims of the illness, legal fees, punitive damages, increased insurance premiums, lost business and loss of reputation.

You may be asking yourself whether all the knowledge about food safety has something to do with you. The answer is definitely. Customer opinion surveys show that cleanliness and food quality are the top two reasons people use when choosing a place to eat and shop for food. Consumers expect their food to taste good and not make them sick. It is the responsibility of every food establishment owner, manager, and employee to prepare and serve safe and wholesome food and preserve their clients' confidence.

Food safety is utmost importance. Achieving clean food at your dining table is a joint cooperation starting from those who manufacture the food, delivers it to retailers, sells the food in the market, and lastly to the consumer who purchases the food, cooks and eats it. Through this, all people will be free from any food borne diseases.

Traditional Food in Colombia – Know Some Facts

Colombia has a privileged location in South America, with part of its coast to the cool Pacific Ocean and part in the Caribbean with its warmer waters. Part of the country has mountains, other part has valleys. Therefore they can grow all kinds of fruits, vegetables and have all kinds of seafood.

Through its history, Colombia has received influence of the Peruvian and Brazilian cuisine's tradition, but also from the Japanese and Arabic way of cooking. To this add their own cultural heritage, as the Amerindians also raised different species of animals, with which they could make delicious dishes. And to this variety we also must add the Spanish tradition.

We could say that the Colombian cuisine uses different meats, fishes, plenty of vegetables and lots and lots of exotic and delicious fruits. Also their delicacies depend on the regions, as food is different in the mountain regions than what is on the coastal regions. Its food is always, anyway, very tasty, with natural flavors, and not too spicy. Colombians also love soups, which are practically a must in each dinner or lunch. But the most important fact is that they love their food done with fresh ingredients, and fresh fruits.

In Colombia people have usually three meals a day. First one, breakfast, before to going to work. The most important meal is lunch. It is a meal consisting of three courses, soup, main dish and a drink, and dessert or fruit. Dinner is very light, taken around 9:30 PM.

What is more fascinating about Colombia is that all changes according to the region where one is. If in the jungle, or in the coast, or in the valley, people have their own way of dressing, have their different food preferences, their favorite drinks. And this is what makes it such a rich country and so very interesting.

But in all these regions there are some things in common too. They take it very seriously what their food is, the recipes they use and the different techniques are they same as centuries ago, giving them a sense of nationalism, reinforcing the feeling of being all from the same country. Their typical meals are full of tradition and history and they will not change that.

We 've were to the if name some of the traditional dishes or food of Colombia , we 've Could choose the Arepa, the Sancocho, the Fritanga. Also lots of chicken, beef, fish corn, onions tomatoes, potatoes, rice and several different legumes.

To all this we should add a wonderful cup of coffee, the best in the world!

How Hospital Cafeterias Are Increasing Retail Revenue

Hospitals retail areas find themselves under increasing pressure to meet revenue goals

Faced with rising costs and financially challenging times, healthcare organizations are increasingly looking to their retail areas as an additional source of revenue generation. Although hospital foodservices operations are well known for providing patient meals, most if not all are also responsible for the retail side of foodservice operations at their onsite cafeteria, snack bar and or coffee bar. Tasked with growing their revenue contribution to the hospital, many Directors of Foodservices and Cafeteria Managers are taking creative steps to increase patronage. Increasing employee participation, enticing members of the local community, and tailoring their food and beverage offerings to the needs and culinary preferences of patrons are all goals of aggressive foodservices operators.

Grab and Go

In a busy healthcare environment, speed is key! That's why over the past few years, many hospital cafeterias have redesigned their space to accommodate new coolers stocked with appetizing pre-packaged food choices; ranging from yogurt and fruit parfaits, to sandwiches and salads. These portable food options offer a highly convenient and fast way for busy healthcare workers to quickly grab something to eat or drink while on the run. The pre-packaging also enables staff to bring these items back to their desk or another area for consumption at a place other than the cafeteria. When used with a POS system and bar coded labels, check out of these grab and go items at the point of sale takes only a few fast seconds.

Dining Experience

Many healthcare facilities have renovated their cafeterias to offer a more appealing restaurant-like dining experience to attract employees, visitors and guests. Their goal is to entice hospital workers to remain onsite for lunch instead of seeking off site alternatives, appeal to visitors, and in some cases attract the local community. To accomplish this, Foodservices Directors are not only creating a visually appealing dining area, but also are hiring highly talented and experienced restaurant chefs with a flair for engineering new and delicious menus. Using a POS system with menu item performance tracking gives the chefs a clear picture of which menu items are performing well, and which should be removed from the menu rotation.

Employee payroll deductions

Managed through a Point of Sale System as an employee payroll deduction to be deducted from a future pay check, the ability to make a retail purchase by scanning the employee badge already carried by the healthcare worker is seen to be a valuable benefit and convenience. When employees can present the badge they already carry as a form of payment, they no longer have the need to carry cash or credit cards as they move about the facility. Frequently, this convenience means the difference between having the time to enjoy a delicious meal versus a skipped lunch or breakfast. Cashless payment also translates into an increase in add on food and beverage purchases, when the employee does not have enough cash on their person to cover all the choices they'd like to make.

Credit card processing

It's not unusual for visitors to find themselves without cash on hand when visiting a patient in the hospital. We are all consumers accustom to paying for most everything with our debit or credit cards, and are therefore quite surprised to find out the hospital cafeteria does not accept credit or debit cards. Although most hospitals offer an onsite ATM, the inability to accept credit or debit card payments translates into a lost sale; and quite possibly a full tray of food left at the checkout counter because the visitor did not have a convenience payment option. The checkout process is a big part of the customer experience, so it is important that credit and debit card processing is fast and fully integrated with the cash register operations of the POS system.

Great Convection Oven Recipes – Classic Cream Puffs

If you want good pastry made right, here is a great convection oven recipe. If you want, the cream puffs can be prepared up to 12 hours before the filling. You can just freeze them to store longer, just make sure that they are wrapped airtight. To cook the puffs in this recipe, just place them thawed on a baking sheet. Make sure they're placed slightly apart and bake for 5-8 minutes on a 400 degree oven.

This recipe serves 10 people

Ingredients for this convection oven recipe are:

Cream Puff Dough

Filling (you can choose any of these fillings):

Ice cream

Choco-Orange cream

Whipped cream, lightly sweetened and flavoured

Chocolate flavoured ice cream to be put as a topping (optional)

Confectioner's sugar (optional)

Preparation of this convection oven recipe:

1. Use a spoon to separate the cream puff dough into 10 mounds. The portions have to be equal at about 1/4 cup. Place these on a baking sheet and make sure they're at least two inches apart.

2. You then have to bake the puffs in a convection oven set at about 375 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until they are golden brown. If you are cooking multiple sheets at the same time in a single oven, you should make sure to change their positions halfway through baking. Use a wooden skewer to poke holes into each puff and then continue baking them until they're golden brown. After that, cool the puffs in a rack.

3. Slice off the top of each puff and add about 1/2 cup of your preferred filling. Replace the tops you cut off and then you can put in the toppings you want. This convection oven recipe is very easy to make and you could try experimenting with different fillings.

A Fancy Twist on Yellow Cake Mixes

Do you like fancy dessert cakes? Are you looking for a few simple recipes that you can make at home that taste just as good as a store bought cake? If so, I think you will enjoy these easy recipes.

Before we get to the recipes, I would like to share a few important baking tips with you.

Baking Tips:

1. Invest in a cake tester. You can pick up one for less than $ 6.00 at most kitchen stores.

2. Do not over bake! I remove mine from the oven 3-4 minutes before the recommended time. They will continue baking in the pan.

3. Do not grease and flour your baking pans unless the recipe calls for it.

4. Always let them cool before frosting.

Banana

2 small bananas
1 box of yellow cake mix
1 box of instant banana cream pudding mix
4 eggs
1 c. water
1/4 c. oil
1/2 c. chopped nuts, optional

Slice bananas into a large mixing bowl. Beat until they are well mashed, then add in the remaining ingredients. Mix with a mixer at medium speed until all ingredients are blended together. Pour into a well greased and floured 10 "tube pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes, let cool in the pan for 20 minutes before removing. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar when cake is completely cooled.

Lemon

1 box yellow cake mix
1 box instant lemon pudding mix
4 eggs
1/4 c. salad oil
1 c. water
1/4 c. confectioner's sugar

Combine and blend all of the above ingredients (except for the confectioner's sugar). Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour into greased and floured baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until done. Cool for 15 minutes in the pan and then turn it out onto a wire rack. Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar. Let cool and enjoy.

Strawberry Jello

1 box yellow cake mix
1 box strawberry flavored gelatin mix
1 pkg. dream whip

Follow directions on box and bake cake in a rectangular baking pan. Make gelatin according to directions on the package. Once it is done baking, poke holes all over it using a large pronged fork, then pour gelatin all over cake focusing on the holes. Put dream whip on top as icing. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

Lemon-Lime Jello

1 box yellow cake mix
1 box lemon flavored gelatin mix
1 box lime flavored gelatin mix
1/3 c. reconstituted lemon juice
1 c. confectioner's sugar

Add gelatin granules to the dry cake mix. Proceed to mix cake, following the directions on the box. Pour batter into a 9 x 13 inch floured and greased baking pan. Bake according to package directions. Mix lemon juice and confectioner's sugar together. When it's done baking, prick the surface with a fork. Pour lemon and sugar glaze over the top of the cake. Let cool before serving.

Type 2 Diabetes – Maintain Stable Blood Sugar With These Thai Food Classics

Thai food is one of the fastest growing cuisines in the West. And with dishes more flavorful and rich than most other countries can offer, it's no wonder more and more Type 2 diabetics are turning to Thai food to eat healthy without needing to choke down bland salads and sandwiches.

However, not every Thai dish on your local Thai restaurant menu is appropriate for diabetics. A meal with papaya salad, fried noodles and sweetened sticky rice will likely push your blood sugar higher than a kite. Lucky for you there are a few mouth-watering Thai dishes that are ideal for keeping diabetic blood sugar in check.

Spicy Shrimp Soup: Spicy shrimp soup ( also known as "tom yom goong") contains fresh shrimp, Thai spices and coconut milk. Although not as healthy as salmon, shrimp is rich in omega-3 fats. Omega-3 fats combat the inflammation that underlies insulin resistance. Research published in the 2009 "FASEB Journal " found that supplementing with omega-3's from seafood reduced insulin resistance stemming from obesity.

Coconut Curry: Coconut curries such as panang curry are bursting with foods like vegetables and lean meats, which should form the basis of your diabetic diet. Coconut oil is rich in a unique type of fat known as medium chain triglycerides. A paper in the February 2009 "Diabetes Metabolism Research Review" concluded that medium chain triglyceride-rich foods help diabetes manage their blood sugar.

Morning Glory: Stir-fried morning glory is the perfect Thai side dish. Morning glory is a green vegetable that can help you lose weight. Studies show that diabetics that gorge themselves on vegetables tend to weigh less than those that avoid vegetables.

Grilled Chicken: Many Thai restaurants offer grilled or baked chicken. Once you remove the skin, this dish becomes quite low in saturated fat and calories. Research suggests increasing your protein intake from healthy sources like grilled chicken can keep appetite at bay and may even boost your metabolism.

Steamed Vegetables: It does not get much healthier than steamed vegetables like broccoli, tomatoes, onions and carrots. However, Thai people would not accept a bland dish like steamed vegetables on their own. By adding a dash of salt and a generous amount of coconut milk, a dieting classic turns from boring to mouth-watering.

Fresh Fruit: Thailand offers fruits like pineapple , dragon fruit and mango that are not only flavorful but chock full of important vitamins and minerals. Ask your local Thai restaurants to make a fruit plate consisting of traditional Thai fruits for your dessert. Be sure to limit your fruit intake as certain Thai fruits like mango and pineapple are sugar-rich.

What To Look For In A Food Catering Service

Every event in the corporate world entails specific yet comprehensive details. Whether it's a simple breakfast meeting, monthly executive lunch or an annual conference, the preparation should at least be weeks prior to the scheduled event date. You want to be able to provide delicious, filling fare that will not only keep everyone satisfied and energised for the event's activities, but also get them talking about the high quality standards that your brand upholds for small and large events alike.

As such, your goal for your next event should be to pick catering services in your area with a solid reputation for delivering only the best quality food – and that means they whip up tasty, nourishing meals using the freshest ingredients. And simplicity must be their prevalent philosophy for preparing wholesome food that everyone will be sure to love.

Meals at the office or corporate events do not have to be heavy, strictly sit-down affairs. Think foods that can be held in one hand or eaten in a simple carton with chopsticks or a fork: sandwiches, wraps, salads, and sweet or savoury breads. How about a bowl of hearty, comforting porridge, or mixed fruits with cream, or muesli?

You'll be amazed at how the most distinguished caterers around can create wonderful offerings made with fresh, wholesome ingredients (lean meats, fresh fruits and vegetables, light dressings and sauces, and a wide range of herbs and spices) that are quick and easy to eat, not to mention absolutely enjoyable.

Freshly roasted coffee is a definite favourite at these corporate gatherings and events, so that's sure to be a specialty of the best names in catering. Most huge events, however, bring people with varying tastes together, so other equally refreshing beverages must be served – and like the food, they should be nutritious as well as flavourful. So a caterer that also offers freshly squeezed juices, coconut water, organic sodas and pure mineral waters is a keeper.

Aside from serving great food, good caterers extend their standard of excellence to the type of packaging they use. Pick a caterer that ranks sustainability high on its list of priorities. Biodegradable cartons, compostable tubs, and reusable paper handle bags are not only good for the environment, but they're highly attractive, too.

Lastly, you'll want to hire a caterer with proven experience and expertise in setting up the spread at your office or event venue. They must have all the equipment and provisions necessary to ensure that the food is kept wonderfully presented and fresh so everyone will be able to eat and drink comfortably. And they should also be thorough and efficient when packing up after the event is done.

With the right caterer, everyone at your workplace will have a taste of delightfully wholesome meals and an extraordinary event experience.

Delicious Food Good for Eyes – The Eye Health Benefits of Walnuts

When it comes to snacking you would probably agree that it is difficult to find a food that is not only tasty but healthy at the same time. However, this statement is not necessarily true in all cases. For example, when it comes to eye health, if you are looking for a snack that meets this criteria, Walnuts are a good choice. Therefore, if you've ever wondered whether or not Walnuts are good for your eyes, here are some benefits of Walnuts for better vision:

Rich Omega 3 Fatty Acid Content: This eye food consists of a higher level of Omega 3 Fatty acids than other nuts. For instance, a number of scientific research studies have actually revealed that Omega 3 Fatty acids may reduce the risk for age related eye diseases such as Macular Degeneration. Eye doctors recommend a diet that consists of Omega 3 Fatty acids as this is a good way to support eye health.

Rich Antioxidant Content: Nutritionist Rebecca Katz of the "Longevity Kitchen Magazine" states: "Ounce for ounce walnuts have twice as many antioxidants than any other nuts." Research was presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society whereby scientists revealed analysis supporting this conclusion. Scientist Joe Vinson, PHD, who conducted the analysis stated: "Walnuts rank above peanuts, almonds, pecans, pistachios and regular nuts. Vinson revealed that the quality and potency of antioxidants in Walnuts were higher than other nuts but revealed that the reason people don 't eat enough of them is that they think that they are fattening. He revealed that the kind of fat found in Walnuts is not the artery clogging type of saturated fat, but a healthy kind of fat called monounsaturated fat that actually supports heart health.

Eye Supporting Vitamins and Nutrients: This food to improve eyesight, consist of Vitamin E. In the case of Vitamin E, research studies have indicated a benefit derived from this nutrient in terms of the slowing of Cataract development.

Walnuts consist of Zinc and also Selenium. These are essential antioxidants that play a vital role in terms of protecting the eyes from the negative effects of free radicals that cause damage to eye cells. From this point of view, they are helpful in the prevention of age related vision disorders.

In terms of portions, nutritionists recommend eating a handful of walnuts a day to promote heart health and also general health. Therefore, from the point of view of general health, here are some additional benefits of Walnuts for eyes:

Eating a handful of walnuts a day not only protects your eye health, but interestingly, health experts have identified a weight loss benefit that is associated with eating this healthy snack. It is actually helpful in assisting you in maintaining or losing weight. A lot of interest in the medical community has been focused on the fact that eating walnuts in moderation, on a daily basis, can actually improve your cholesterol and triglyceride levels thereby supporting heart health.

Finding a healthy food that is not only good for your eyes but pleases your taste buds does not have to be a challenging task after all. By incorporating a handful of Walnuts into your diet, on a daily basis, you give your eyes antioxidant protection against age related vision disorders. By doing this you are also improving your general health in areas related to the promotion of good cholesterol levels, better heart health and even weight loss. Ultimately, when it comes to eating to support eye health and general health, it turns out that snacking with Walnuts proves to be an excellent healthy snack alternative.

Classic Cookies – Italian Wedding Cookies

It is also known as "Mexican wedding cookie". Italian Wedding Cakes is effortless and simple to make recipe. It is hard to give explanation how tasty this Italian Wedding Cakes is. Here is some information about Classic Cookies – Italian Wedding Cookies

  1. History of Classic Cookies
  2. The texture of the Classic Cookies

1. History of Classic Cookies:

The name "wedding cookies" is a remaining mystery to all. A small number of Latinos bake them in their resident countries for their family. In fact, there is no actual word for them in Spanish. Recipes for them are not present from for the most Mexican and Russian-language cookbooks. More people are questioning still is why they are connected with weddings. Brides and grooms will offer them at their receptions. Italian Wedding Cookies are Pignoli, Biscotti, Pizelle, Cucidati, Butter Cookies, Seed Cookies, Anise Cookies, Lady Lock Cookies and Peanut Butter Blossoms.

In the wedding guests, too, if a 7-foot-long table filled with Classic Cookies – Italian Wedding Cookies will awaits you at the reception. It signifies an impression of the bride and groom at a wedding. The cookie table was a wedding ceremony custom. It was a cultural in Italy. Women family members from both sides of the families would start months earlier than the wedding making their favourite cookies. The cookies are brought to the wedding ceremony along with other presents for the couple. The cookies would be presented on long tables. Guests of the wedding ceremony come to the reception, find their table or seat, and go to the cookie table. They use plates to get their favourite cookies.

2. The texture of the Classic Cookies:

There is a unique cookie, known to numerous individuals. It is easily broken and fine, with plenty of different names that indicate the same thing. It is a melt-in-the-mouth confectionery with a lot of cherish with warm and loving memories to all. Sometimes it is blurring but always with loving recollections of mother or grandmother baking, with friends and family gathered round for festive occasions. The kitchens covered with the sweet aroma of a unique and well baked morsel that comes with a butter-and-nut flavour.

Traditional Food in Colombia – Know Some Facts

Colombia has a privileged location in South America, with part of its coast to the cool Pacific Ocean and part in the Caribbean with its warmer waters. Part of the country has mountains, other part has valleys. Therefore they can grow all kinds of fruits, vegetables and have all kinds of seafood.

Through its history, Colombia has received influence of the Peruvian and Brazilian cuisine's tradition, but also from the Japanese and Arabic way of cooking. To this add their own cultural heritage, as the Amerindians also raised different species of animals, with which they could make delicious dishes. And to this variety we also must add the Spanish tradition.

We could say that the Colombian cuisine uses different meats, fishes, plenty of vegetables and lots and lots of exotic and delicious fruits. Also their delicacies depend on the regions, as food is different in the mountain regions than what is on the coastal regions. Its food is always, anyway, very tasty, with natural flavors, and not too spicy. Colombians also love soups, which are practically a must in each dinner or lunch. But the most important fact is that they love their food done with fresh ingredients, and fresh fruits.

In Colombia people have usually three meals a day. First one, breakfast, before to going to work. The most important meal is lunch. It is a meal consisting of three courses, soup, main dish and a drink, and dessert or fruit. Dinner is very light, taken around 9:30 PM.

What is more fascinating about Colombia is that all changes according to the region where one is. If in the jungle, or in the coast, or in the valley, people have their own way of dressing, have their different food preferences, their favorite drinks. And this is what makes it such a rich country and so very interesting.

But in all these regions there are some things in common too. They take it very seriously what their food is, the recipes they use and the different techniques are they same as centuries ago, giving them a sense of nationalism, reinforcing the feeling of being all from the same country. Their typical meals are full of tradition and history and they will not change that.

We 've were to the if name some of the traditional dishes or food of Colombia , we 've Could choose the Arepa, the Sancocho, the Fritanga. Also lots of chicken, beef, fish corn, onions tomatoes, potatoes, rice and several different legumes.

To all this we should add a wonderful cup of coffee, the best in the world!