Vitamins: The Rule of 7

Vitamines are in abundance at any Walgreens or other drug stores. Clearly, we all need vitamins, but how to choose the right one? Well, since most vitamins in the pill/capsule form do not get absorbed by the body and are simply discarded as waste, fresh fruit and vegetables are the only way to go. Here is the rule of 7.

Eat at least 7 fruit or vegetables a day.
Count 1 as a full serving: 1 apple, 1 pear (or 1 cup).

Getting to 7 is not that hard.
Consider breakfast with potatoes and eggs (2 potatoes)
Banana for snack (1)
Salad with lunch or dinner (2-3 veggies)
Strawberry/orange for desert (1)
2+1+3+1 = 7

Add carrots with hummus snack and it will bring you up to 10, a healthy source of vitamins for you. Notice if your body becomes tired or sick on the days when you don’t follow the Rule of 7.
Make up for it the next day!

Stay healthy my friends.


Orange Juice Turkey recipe

Ever wanted to have healthy Thanksgiving Turkey? Here is an awesome recipe.
Turkey cooked in the freshly squeezed orange juice. Super tasty and juicy!

* fresh young turkey (11lb pictured here)
* 5lb bag of oranges
* grill mate spices
* stuffing of your choice

Preheat oven to 375 F.
1) Squeeze the juice from oranges (not including skin) into a large container
2) Wash the turkey with water, remove guts, add stuffing
3) Place the turkey into a deep baking tray, sprinkle grill mate spice over it
4) Pour orange juice into the baking tray, fill in baking tray half way
5) Cover with foil completely and allow the turkey to bake like this for 3 hours.
6) After 3 hours, uncover, baste and cook for another 30 minutes until light brown

Check the temperature of the thickest part of the thigh near the bone to read 180F or if cooked with the disposable thermometer until it’s popped.

Enjoy with freshly cooked cranberry sauce and creamy mushed potatoes!!

Food tip: Stay off Sushi and Kobe Beef!

After the 9.0 earthquake and the nuclear melt down in Japan, consider staying off sushi and Kobe beef for a while. Even though FDA, CDC and pretty much any other health/nuclear authority say the radiation levels are safe and there is no reason for concern, having lived through Chernobyl, let me just say, you never know until years after and it is better to be safe than sorry.
If you are a sushi lover, like me, it may be a hard decision. But somehow, since March 11, I did not have any cravings for it. And if it is not possible to cut out seafood from your diet, then at least know where your fish comes from. Make sure you ask, where it is caught. Because your fish may be coming from Canada, but it could still be caught in or near Japan. If it is coming from China or Thailand, I wouldn't eat it either. Just because of its close proximity to the highly radioactive waters. There are plenty of ocean water near North and South America where the fish are least likely to get affected. So chose your seafood from these places.
While fish supply may or may not be coming Japan, Kobe beef is. So with Kobe burgers and such it is more clear. Stay off Kobe beef!
Other foods that may be coming from Japan are, reportedly, processed fruits and vegetables. I haven't seen any of those, but it is always a good idea to read the label.
Stay healthy and well fed.
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Golubtsy – Stuffed Cabbage Dish Recipe

In the cold weather dawned upon us for longer than usual this season, stuffed cabbage dish such as this one is the perfect treat for the mind, body and soul. Named  “golubtsy” in Ukrainian culture, it is very popular in Russian speaking families. The recipe is a three fold.

1st – You have to boil the cabbage (Napa or regular cabbage will do). Place the head of cabbage in the boiling water for about 5 minutes. Be careful not to over cook as the leaves then become too soft.

After 5 minutes, take the cabbage out of the boiling water, place it on the plate to cool. When cooled down, you can begin to peel the cabbage one leaf at the time. You will then roll each leaf with the stuffing inside, starting with the thicker edge of the leaf. You can use the knife to cut off the thickest end.

2nd – Prepare the stuffing. You can use any stuffing you like, meat or vegetarian. I use ground turkey combined with chopped onions, carrots and mushrooms. Some times I add corn (such as in this photo) and one raw egg.

3rd – Prepare the sauce. Golubtsy are cooked in the sauce and can be placed on the stove or inside the oven. Again, you can experiment with the sauce or use just water. I use half a glass jar of tomato/basil pasta sauce, mix it with another half of water and 2 table spoons of sour cream. Here also, you can add some chopped mushrooms, onions and carrots.

Now that you have boiled your cabbage, prepared stuffing and the sauce, you can begin rolling the leaves and placing them in the cooking pot, or a baking tray.

Separate one leaf from the head of the cabbage, take a spoonful of stuffing, place it at the thicker edge or the leaf and roll it like a burrito. Place it in the deep baking tray. Continue until all leaves are rolled.

Now pour the sauce over it distributing it evenly in the baking tray. Your golubtsy should be half way in the sauce. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cook for 20-25 minutes. Do not overcook.



Amazing Bread from Trader Joe's

I recently found an excellent all organic bread in Trader Joe's. It reminds me of the Ukrainian Gray Bread (seryj hleb). It's got a thick crust and a grayish softer middle. It tastes great and has only 3 ingredients: Organic Whole Wheat Flour, Filtered Water, Sea Salt. 

If your Trader Joe's doesn't carry it. Print this out, bring it to the customer service desk and request it.


Just Mango Slices, the perfect healthy snack.

When the weather is cold and wet, snacking on something warm and delicious is not a vice, it is a necessity. But what we snack on makes a difference. I found a perfect healthy snack at Trader Joe’s – Just Mango Slices, unsweetened and unsulfured.


Sulfate dioxide is often added to a variety of dried fruits available at almost every store. The added sugar is also a popular additive making dried fruits more like candy in texture and flavor. Well, the Just Mango Slices is free of additives and in the list of the ingredients only one is listed: dried mangoes.


And if you ask me, that’s how it should be. It is also high in Vitamin A (80%), which helps the immune system.

For under $3 a package, it makes a perfect healthy snack.

Try it!