Whether it’s your child’s favorite art teacher, that dental hygienist who always hooks you up with extra floss samples, your physical therapist, the office admin or mail room staff, we all have those folks that we plum forget to get Christmas or Holiday gifts for at the end of the year. Then, we’re stuck either feeling bad about not getting them anything or doing the last minute scramble.
Fret not! We’ve got you covered!
If you have some spare moments during the day or your lunch hour, jot down to the local discount outlet store like Ross, Marshall’s, Burlington Coat Factory, TJMaxx or the like and pick up one or more of these quick and easy super last-minute gift items.
A pack of Note Cards
A Note pad and Pen Set
A gift box of Chocolates
A wrapped Scented Candle
Novels or Meditation Guides
A Box of Hot Cocoa Mix
A Starbucks Gift Card
Then head down to the dollar store,and pick up bags, tissue paper and a pack of holiday cads. Fill out the Tag and you’re done! Last minute shopping done in under one hour! Boom!
In the hustle and bustle of Holiday shopping, decorating, Christmas Card photo taking, and wrapping, Christmas breakfast may be the farthest thing from people’s minds.
We’ve got you covered with 4 recipes for Christmas breakfast starting with a yummy and quick recipe for Chorizo Scrambled Egg Breakfast Taco compliments of IMUSA, leader in Hispanic cookware, combines chorizo, lime juice, eggs and cheese (among other ingredients) to make an outstanding breakfast taco that your guests will remember.
Heat 1 cup of milk in a saucepan until it bubbles and add ½ cup of butter to the milk and stir until the butter melts.
Set aside until it cools to 110 degrees or luke warm.
Add luke warm milk mixture to the bowl of a mixer and dissolve a package of dry yeast into it.
Add ½ cup sugar, 3 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 3 eggs to bowl and mix.
Add an additional 1 ½ cups of flour ½ cup at a time until fully mixed.
Dump dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead the dough until smooth (about 8 minutes).
Gather dough into a ball and put it into a lightly greased bowl turning to cover all of dough.
Cover and allow to rise about 1 hour. After risen roll out to a 10×14 rectangle.
In a small bowl combine ¾ cup of brown sugar and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and sprinkle over rectangle.
Sprinkle ½ cup of raisins over the top and roll up dough along the long side.
Cut dough into 12 equal pieces and place in a greased 9×13 baking dish cut side up.
Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to rise over night.
The next morning preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and allow the dough to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking for 25 to 30 minutes.
While the rolls are baking mix together 1 teaspoon corn syrup, ½ teaspoon vanilla, 2 tablespoons of half and half and 1 ¼ cups of powdered sugar and whisk together.
Drizzle the glaze over the warm rolls and serve.
Egg and sausage quiche
Brown 1 lb. of bulk breakfast sausage in a skillet.
Drain the sausage and set aside.
Cube 8 slices of wheat bread and layer it into a 9×13 dish.
Layer the sausage over the bread and then layer the cheese (2 ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese).
Mix 5 eggs, 2 cups of milk, 1/8 teaspoon of salt, and ¼ teaspoon of dry mustard and pour it over the cheese layer.
Mix 1 can of cream of mushroom soup and ¼ cup of water together and spread it over the top of the other ingredients.
Cover and refrigerate overnight.
The next morning bake for an hour at 300 degrees F or until set.
Let cool 20 minutes before cutting into squares.
Cut a stick of butter into small cubes and mix it into 2 lbs. of shredded hashbrown potatoes in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl mix together 1 pint of sour cream, 1 can of cream of mushroom soup, 8 oz. of shredded cheddar cheese, and 1 grated onion.
Pour this mixture over the potatoes and toss to combine.
Pour into a 9×13 baking dish and cover with foil.
Refrigerate casserole overnight.
The next morning bake covered for 30 minutes.
Remove foil and bake an additional 30 minutes.
Additional shredded cheese can be added to the top during the last 30 minutes of baking.
We have a long way to go to understand emotional eating, though there’s been a lot of recent research on it to provide us clues as to why we do it.
Emotional eating works to soothe and provide comfort. It’s okay at times, but can spiral out of control easily. It helps to know as much about emotionally eating as possible.
Dr. Susan Albers, author of the brand new book “50 More Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food” shares these 8 things about emotional eating you probably never knew.
(click first for slideshow)
2. Cake plus guilt equals less weight loss. Cake is a comfort food that can be associated with guilt and worry or pleasure and enjoyment. In a study of dieters, those who associated cake with “guilt” vs. “celebration” were less likely to lose weight over a three-month period. Those who had positive feelings and associated cake with being a comfort food were more likely to lose weight during those three months (Kuijer and Boyce 2014). The take-home message: guilt can derail your efforts.
3. Comfort foods are not cross-cultural. Have you assumed that chocolate is the go-to feel-better food everywhere in the world? It’s not. People in different countries and comfort from various foods. For example, in Japan, miso soup, okayu (rice porridge that is made when children are sick), and ramen are popular comfort foods. In India, it’s samosas, potato-stuffed crisps served with spicy green chutney. In Italy, it’s ribbons of fresh pasta or potato gnocchi..
4. There’s a gender difference. According to one study, males prefer warm, hearty, meal-related comfort foods (such as steak, casseroles, and soup), while females prefer comfort foods that are more snack-related (such as chocolate and ice cream) (Wansink, Cheney, and Chan 2003).
5. We choose out of habit. When we’re stressed out, we tend to revert back to the foods we frequently eat—whether they are healthy or not. A study presented at the Institute for Food Technologists Annual Meeting and Expo tested fty-nine MBA students at the University of California during midterm exams. During peak stress times, students were more likely to choose the snacks they eat most frequently (Neal, Wood, and Drolet 2013). This is likely because it takes less thought and cognitive effort to choose familiar foods.
6. PMS doesn’t trigger hormonal chocolate craving. Many people are under the misperception that hormonal changes make us crave chocolate during that time of the month. However, 80 percent of menopausal women still report chocolate cravings despite no longer having menstrual cycles or significant variability in their hormone levels during the course of a month (Hormes and Rozin 2009). The theory is that our desire for comfort and our stress about the approaching time of month causes us to turn to a culturally reinforced way of coping. In other words, we expect that chocolate will help, so we begin to crave it, not exactly because hormones are driving us to it.
7. Ritual is comforting. Do you eat comfort foods in a certain way? For example, do you eat the icing off your cupcake first or cut your peanut butter sandwich in half every time? Most of us have particular ways in which we eat food. A study published in the journal Psychological Science found that performing a ritual (like cutting a food in a particular way or eating it in a specic sequence) makes food taste better and gives you more enjoyment (Vohs et al. 2013). In this study, participants broke a chocolate bar in half without unwrapping it and ate it one half at a time. The non-ritual group ate the chocolate however they wanted. Those who performed the ritual with the chocolate bar enjoyed it more.
8. Ritual is comforting. Do you eat comfort foods in a certain way? For example, do you eat the icing off your cupcake first or cut your peanut butter sandwich in half every time? Most of us have particular ways in which we eat food. A study published in the journal Psychological Science found that performing a ritual (like cutting a food in a particular way or eating it in a specic sequence) makes food taste better and gives you more enjoyment (Vohs et al. 2013). In this study, participants broke a chocolate bar in half without unwrapping it and ate it one half at a time. The non-ritual group ate the chocolate however they wanted. Those who performed the ritual with the chocolate bar enjoyed it more.
Reprinted with permission: New Harbinger Publications, Inc. copyright © 2015 Dr. Susan Albers
Not everyone is excited about the Winter Holidays. Some people are blue this time of year because it is also a reminder of lost loved ones that can no longer share in family gatherings and traditions. Also, some people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder which is a condition marked by mild depression during the time of the year when there is less daylight. December, in particular, can also be a time for reflecting on the year and making plans for the next which could trigger anxiety too.
There are tricks and things you can do to pick yourself up and not succumb to the winter blues. Here are few from Dr. Pragati Gusmano at Mode.com
Having a financial plan is the key to avoiding overspending this holiday season, according to two finance professors at the University of Texas at Dallas. Finance professors Jeff Manzi and Randy Guttery say consumers should follow these simple steps as they complete their holiday purchases.
1. Construct a budget and stick with it. Go back and look at last year’s checkbook and receipts from holiday spending. Decide how much you want to spend this year, including holiday gifts, events and travel. Planning ahead allows you to look for bargains, coupons and offers like free shipping. Make sure to keep track as you spend.
Make a list and check it twice.
2. Be flexible and willing to trim your shopping list. Buy for families or couples, instead of individuals, or buy gifts for the children in your family, but not all the adults. Decide who and how much before heading to the stores.
4. Buy gifts online or purchase gift cards. If you shop online, you’re less tempted to impulse buy. Gift cards allow you to stick to your budget easier.
5. Pay with cash. It’s always smarter to make purchases with cash you have available in your checking or savings account, rather than racking up debt and interest, even if you think you can pay it off immediately. Never take a cash advance against a credit card.
6. Keep it simple. Instead of spending money on a loved one, spend time with them. Go to a movie or out to lunch. Help your children create gifts or bake treats. Rather than hosting a lavish holiday party, ask everyone to bring a potluck dish and BYOB.
7. Look ahead to next year. Holiday spending comes every year, so don’t let it sneak up on you. Make a 12-month budget with a free app, such as Mint. See if your bank or credit union offers a Christmas club so you can put away money all year.
Good luck and happy shopping and saving!
Jeffery Manzi and Randy Guttery are clinical professors of finance and managerial economics at UT Dallas.
You wouldn’t think it but winter allergies can be as brutal as seasonal allergies during spring and winter. Usually though, they come from inside pollutants like poor ventilations, dust mites and other pests. Cockroaches, dust mites, dander, and mold can trigger cold-and flu-like symptoms, said immunologist Dr. Joan Lehach
Also, the frigid temperatures that keep us inside also expose us to indoor allergens capable of triggering a variety of cold and flu-like symptoms.
“If you experience more than nine days of continuing congestion, coughing, sneezing, watery eyes and nasal drip, chances are good that you are reacting to the presence of either dust mites, cockroaches, animal dander, or mold somewhere in your home, office or school,” said Lehach, integrative medicine physician specializing in allergy, asthma and clinical immunology at Montefiore Medical Center in New York. “Many times, and especially in the inner city where populations are dense, all four of these allergens are present and must be addressed.”
Dr. Lehach offer tips for controlling your indoor allergy symptoms:
Cockroach hunt: Studies have found cockroach allergens to be present in at least half of inner city homes and in nearly three-quarters of inner city schools. Cockroaches do not have to be alive to trigger respiratory problems. Dust containing molecules of crushed carcasses can still cause problems for humans. Professionals can be consulted to discover and clean out hidden colonies. Nesting areas and pathways where cockroaches may have been traveling should be thoroughly cleaned.
Dry up dust mites: Keep your indoor humidity at 50 percent or lower, as higher humidity will breed dust mites. A humidity gauge can be purchased for about $5.
4. Filter out animal dander: If you have a pet allergy, you probably are going to need to be on allergy medications until you can consult with an allergist and see if you want to be desensitized or not. Meanwhile, a small HEPA air purifier placed in each room will keep airborne dander from spreading throughout the house. Mice or other fur-bearing pests living under the house or in the attic must be searched for and removed.
5. Get symptom relief: A mixture of sinus-friendly Chinese herbs, like Rootology, can temporarily halt most allergy symptoms in less than 20 minutes. Rootology can also be used to control winter cold and flu symptoms.
6. Start an immune-building diet: Eliminate foods that are weakening your immune system, like processed and packaged foods, and start eating immune boosting, allergy fighting foods, like blackberries and blueberries. Also important are multivitamin supplements and digestive enzymes to help you access more of the nutrients in the food you consume.
7. Get sufficient sleep: Our immune system is very “sleep-driven”, and allergies are precipitated by weakened immunity.
8. Stay hydrated: When you become dehydrated you get dry nasal mucous and can develop microscopic cracks in the nasal lining, making it easier for allergens to enter your bloodstream.
9. Use the “hot” setting: Wash your bedding in hot water (at least 130 degrees) to properly neutralize allergens.
10. Wash your face and hands: Not only to maintain popularity with family, friends, and co-workers, but if there is dander, mold, or dust on your face or hands, chances are good that you will end up inhaling it.