Rita Ora

•07/21/2012 • Leave a Comment

8 Simple Chicken Breast Recipes

•07/20/2012 • Leave a Comment

1/2 cup of shredded Gouda cheese
2 tablespoons of chopped scallion
1 tablespoon of sliced pimientos
1 teaspoon of paprika
4small boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of
freshly ground pepper
1tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil



Chicken Breasts with Roasted Lemons

Tangy roasted lemons harmonize beautifully with chicken. They are also delicious chopped and sprinkled over fish.

Per serving: 196 calories; 8 g fat (2 g sat, 4 g mono); 68 mg cholesterol; 6 g carbohydrate; 24 g protein; 2 g fiber; 502 mg sodium; 329 mg potassium; 0 g added sugars

Carbohydrate Servings: 1/2

Exchanges: 1/2 fruit, 3 lean meat, 1 fat

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (37% daily value)

Maple-Glazed Chicken Breasts

Here’s an easy main dish that’s sure to set you on your own quest for the best syrup. Start the chicken breasts marinating on a Saturday afternoon for a quick meal later in the day, just about the time you come in from raking the last of the winter leaves off the garden.

Tip: Wrap and freeze the chicken tenders. When you have gathered enough, use them in a stir-fry—they are the perfect size.

Per serving: 187 calories; 1 g fat (0 g sat, 0 g mono); 66 mg cholesterol; 15 g carbohydrate; 27 g protein; 0 g fiber; 271 mg sodium; 367 mg potassium; added sugars…

Chicken Breasts with Mushroom Cream Sauce

The secret to a good cream sauce is always the same: not too much cream or it can be overpowering, masking the more delicate flavors. Here it contains a bountiful amount of mushrooms and is served over chicken breasts.

Tip: It’s difficult to find an individual chicken breast small enough for one portion. Removing the thin strip of meat from the underside of a 5-ounce breast—the “tender”—removes about 1 ounce of meat and yields a perfect 4-ounce portion. Wrap and freeze the tenders and when you have gathered enough, use them in a stir-fry or for oven-baked chicken…

Ham-&-Cheese-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Making a pocket in the chicken breast to hold the stuffing is easy with a good, sharp, thin-bladed knife. Browning the chicken in a skillet before baking gives it a beautiful golden color, and finishing in the oven ensures that it cooks evenly throughout.

Per serving: 236 calories; 7 g fat (2 g sat, 3 g mono); 74 mg cholesterol; 10 g carbohydrate; 31 g protein; 1 g fiber; 287 mg sodium; 346 mg potassium; added sugars

Carbohydrate Servings: 1/2

Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 4 lean meat

Chicken Breasts with Green Chile-Almond Cream Sauce

Here we topped seared chicken breasts with a green chile cream sauce that was inspired by green mole. A touch of cream adds an extra smoothness to the sauce, but it can be omitted if you avoid dairy. Serve with brown rice and a tossed green salad with mango and red onion slices.

Tips: Look for almond milk near other shelf-stable or refrigerated dairy-free milks, such as soymilk and rice milk. Pacific and Blue Diamond make unsweetened varieties. Try the leftovers in a fruit smoothie.

If you can’t find chicken cutlets or fillets, purchase six 5-ounce chicken breasts….

Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Creamy Chive Sauce

Here’s a sauce so delicious, it’s missing only one thing: a little crunchy bread to dip in it. Make It a Meal: Serve with steamed asparagus or cauliflower, mashed potatoes or orzo pasta, and a glass of Vinho Verde.

Per serving: 257 calories; 9 g fat (3 g sat, 4 g mono); 70 mg cholesterol; 12 g carbohydrate; 26 g protein; 0 g fiber; 624 mg sodium; 390 mg potassium; 0 g added sugars

Carbohydrate Servings: 1

Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 4 very lean meat, 1 fat


Provolone & Olive Stuffed Chicken Breasts

This is an elegant dish. Making a pocket in the chicken breast to hold the stuffing is easy, particularly if you use a good, sharp, thin-bladed knife. Browning the chicken in a skillet before baking gives it a beautiful golden color. Finishing it in the oven ensures that it cooks evenly throughout.

Per serving: 241 calories; 9 g fat (2 g sat, 3 g mono); 68 mg cholesterol; 11 g carbohydrate; 27 g protein; 1 g fiber; 572 mg sodium; 229 mg potassium; 0 g added sugars

Carbohydrate Servings: 1

Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 3 lean meat, 1 fat

50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

•07/19/2012 • 1 Comment

Egg e1312464909157 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

Breakfast is by far,(when sleeping in!) my favorite meal of the day. Being German, I of course love cheese and wursts for breakfast, but having adapted to my American lifestyle I also love bacon and eggs and having so many different friends from different countries I love pretty much everything:)) Check out all the different kinds of breakfasts here :) Amazing!:)

English breakfast 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

1. A full English Breakfast – it must have beans, sausages, bacon, eggs, mushrooms, hash browns and toast. Of course, it should all be knocked back with a cup of tea, but black pudding is optional as far as I’m concerned. Thank you LunaMoth16.

Iran 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

2. Breakfast in Iran – it usually features some sort of naan bread with butter and jam. When a light breakfast just isn’t going to hit the spot Iranians eat halim. Halim is a mixture of wheat, cinnamon, butter and sugar cooked with shredded meat in huge pots. You can eat it hot or cold. You can also see the Iranian version of an omelet here too. Mamnoon ams kamshots.

Cuban coffee and bread 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

3. A Cuban wake up meal – usually consists of sweetened coffee with milk with a pinch of salt thrown in. The unique Cuban bread is toasted and buttered and cut into lengths to dunk in the coffee. Gracias DareDevel7.

Poland1 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

4. Polish Breakfast – known locally as Jajecznica, a traditional Polish breakfast consists of scrambled eggs covered with slices of custom-made kielbasa and joined by two potato pancakes. Dziękuję Kitchen Chick.

Spain Pan a la Catalana 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

5. Quick Spanish breakfast – Pan a la Catalana, or Pan con Tomate, in Spain is simple but really delicious. Just rub some bread with fresh garlic and plenty of ripe tomato, then drizzle with olive oil and salt. Top with cheese, ham or sausage for an extra bit. Gracias jlatras.

Morocco breakfast1 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

6. A yummy Moroccan breakfast - usually consists of different breads with some chutney, jam, cheese or butter. They have a really delicious crumpet-style bread which they make in huge slabs for you to tear a bit off, and a semolina pancake bread called Baghir – both are really tasty. Barak llahu fik Michael Osmenda.

Hawaii breakfast 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

7. A healthy Hawaiian breakfast – I couldn’t imagine Hawaiians eating anything but fruit to be honest. Of course, there’s the bagel but I’m sure they’d burn the energy from that off in a few minutes on their surf board anyway. Mahalo â nui Kimubert.

Swedish pancakes 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

8. Swedish breakfast – often involves a Swedish pancake, known as a Pannkakor. It’s a thin flat cake made from batter and fried on both sides – much like a crepe. It’s usually served with a sweet, fruity filling. Tack terren in Virginia.

Iceland 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

9. Icelandic breakfast cuisine – a hearty and hot breakfast to fight off the dark, icy mornings is what’s needed here. Hafragrautur, or oatmeal, is served with a sprinkle of brown sugar with a few raisins or nuts on top, perfect. Tack Guðrún Ingimundardóttir from seriouseats.com.

Portuguese breakfast 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

10. Breakfast in Portugal – a delicious and simple affair with stuffed croissants and plenty of coffee served in the sun. Obrigada retinafunk.

Australian 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

11. Breakfast in Australia – there’s only one crucial ingredient here, Vegemite. Travelling Aussies are often found with a sneaky pot of the sticky, salty brown stuff in their backpack. Just don’t get in the Vegemite vs Marmite war – everybody knows Marmite is better, but let them have their fun. Thanks s2art.

Brazilian Breakfast 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

12. A Brazilian breakfast - mmmm a delicious selection of meats, cheeses and bread is the normal breakfast fare here. Jazzy rosething crafted out of I don’t know what, optional. Obrigada Ewan-M.

Italiano 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

13. An Italian breakfast – a nation too fabulous for heavy breakfasts me thinks. Or maybe they’re saving themselves for a big cheesy pizza lunch and a pesto pasta dinner? (Although there’s nothing wrong with having them for breakfast you know) Either way an Italian eats on the run with a ‘cappuccino e cornetto’ aka a cappuccino and croissant. Grazie blog.libero.it.

Welsh rarebit1 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

14. A Welsh breakfast – errrm is it just me or is that cheesy toast flashing me a smile? Welsh Rarebit aka cheese on toast is a truly, truly delicious breakfast. Just the sight of that bubbling cheese makes me want to smother it in Worcestershire Sauce and chow down, mmmmm. Anyway, 36 left, must dash… Diolch yn fawr Remy Sharp.

Danish breakfast 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

15. Breakfast in Denmark - top marks for presentation here. On a Dane’s breakfast plate you’ll often find rye bread, cheeses, salami, ham, pâté, honey, jam and sometimes even thin ‘plates’ of chocolate. It came as a bit of a shock to me but my research has shown that bacon is not actually that popular! Dun dun durrrh. How can this be? Apparently they send in all to the UK.Tak adactico.

Philippines e1312474301538 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

16. A Philippines breakfast – it’s all about the local fruits here. Mangoes are popular fare to keep you regular. As for keeping your energy up rice is the top choice, or the little sausages, known as longganisa, you can see above. When fried with salt and garlic cloves it’s known as sinangag. The sinangag is then combined with eggs, meats and beans and bob’s your uncle, fanny’s your aunt, a delicious Philippine breakfast is born. Salamat Supafly.

Alaska breakfast 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

17. An Alaskan breakfast – featuring reindeer meat and an egg nestled on a pancake. Poor old Rudolph, he won’t be able to join in any reindeer games now, will he? Qaĝaasakung adactio.

German1 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

18. A traditional German breakfast – wursts, local cheeses and freshly baked bread is the normal fare for a German breakfast. All washed back with a delicious coffee. Guten tag withassociates

amerifca 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

19. The famous American breakfast – home made thick pancakes with syrup and blueberries, topped off with a few rashers of bacon. Anyone not wishing for a coronary usually opts for a bowl of muesli, so I’m told. Pancakes all the way for me! Thanks JenCooks.

French breakfast 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

20. The French breakfast – ah, le croissant, le croissant, how I love le croissant! Pack them with crushed almonds, butter, chocolate or cream, they always taste good. Thanks Pierre Oliver.

indian breakfast 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

21. Breakfast in India – here we have rosemary roasted potatoes, Indian tofu scramble, lentils, veggie sausage and banana pepper toast. Breakfast cuisine in India varies hugely depending on the region but if you think of your Indian breakfast somewhere along these lines, you would be correct. Shukriya arvindgrover.

Scottish breakfast 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

22. A hearty Scottish breakfast - much like a full English and a full Irish, but the country’s USP is the ‘sumptuous’ slab of haggis served alongside every fat-fried egg. Don’t know what haggis is? Scroll down quick if your animal eating habits err on the queasy side. It’s sheep’s heart, liver and lungs minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, salt and stock... Thenk ye david.nikonvscanon.

Thai breakfast 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

23. Thailand’s breakfast offering – you’ll find this dish at stalls throughout Thailand. It’s a minty spicy fish with a sweet & spicy pork, served with rice. By all accounts it tastes excellent, and it’s cheap at only 30 Bhat. Thai breakfast fare isn’t all that different from what you’d eat for lunch and dinner. Khawp khun Kojach.

Argentinina 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

24. An Argentinian breakfast -usually consists of “mate” (an infusion drink made with leaves of “yerba”) or dulce de leche with “facturas,”a croissant-like typical pastry. Thanks Elena Okada for the tip!

Irish breakfast 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

25. An Irish breakfast - you’ve had English and Scottish, now it’s time to learn the Irish USP. That would be white pudding and soda bread. Go raibh maith ‘ad joelogon.

Canada 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

26. A Canadian breakfast – that eggy looking section is actually perogies. Perogies are boiled, baked or fried dumplings made from unleavened dough and traditionally stuffed with potato filling, sauerkraut, ground meat, cheese, or fruit. Then you’ve got some sausages and toast to mop it all up. Thanks Calgary Reviews.

Mexico 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

27. Breakfast in Mexico – the delightful plate above consists of beef tips, chilequiles and other assorted goodies eaten in Manzanillo. Nachos, cheese and beans always feature heavily and a delicious, spicy breakfast is the norm. Gracias Jeff K.

Russian 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

28. A Russian breakfast - oladi is the breakfast of choice in Russia. They’re sort of like pancakes and kind of like Yorkshire puddings, hot, just fried, soft inside and with a crispy edge! They’re best enjoyed with soured cream, honey, jam or fresh berries.Spasibo Olga from Tasterussian.com.

Vietnam 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

29. Breakfast in Vietnam – usually consists of some meaty treat dropped in a semolina/porridge mixture. What you see above is pork porridge. It features Chinese doughnuts, beansprouts, pork intestine stuffed with peppery pork mince, sliced pork heart, stomach slivers and blood pudding. A bit more interesting than toast and jam anyway. Cám ón avlxyz.

Peru breakfast 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

30. Breakfast in Peru – ceviche is popular whatever time of day, breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s a seafood dish made from fresh raw fish marinated in citrus juices such as lemon or lime and spiced with chilli peppers. What a feast. Gracias Adrimcim.

Bolivia breakfast 1024x768 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

31. Breakfast in Bolivia – saltenas are a bit like empanadas crossed with Cornish pasties. They’re the traditional option for a Bolivian breakfast and usually filled with meat and vegetables, and slightly sweetened with sugar. Gracias Whatscookinginyourworld.

Egypt breakfast 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

32. An Egyptian breakfast - the breakfast of choice here is Foul Madamas. It’s made from fava beans, chickpeas, garlic and lemon. Above you’ll see the dish topped with olive oil, cayenne, tahini sauce, a hard boiled egg, and some diced green veggies. SaHHa goblinbox (queen of ad hoc bento)

Japanese1 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

33. Breakfast in Japan - what do you mean you’ve never had tofu for breakfast? It’s a popular choice in Japan, along with fish and rice. Soak it in soya sauce and you’ve got yourself one delicious, and semi-healthy breakfast. Arigato avlxyz.

Chinese 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

34. Breakfast in China – a lot like lunch and dinner in China. Expect noodles, rice, sticky coated chicken and fried veggies. Thanks Prince Roy.

Malaysia 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

35. Malaysian breakfast – A hot bowl of Mee – noodles mixed with egg, vegetable and tasty spices. Tirja Dusun ~MVI~ (shooting with a busted kit lens).

Mongolia e1313672949231 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

36. Breakfast in Mongolia – it generally consists of boiled mutton with lots of fat and flour and maybe some dairy products or rice. In western Mongolia they add variety to their diets with horsemeat. Bayarlalaa clgregor.

Belize 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

37. Breakfast in Belize - fry jacks are a staple in Belize breakfast cuisine. They’re deep-fried pieces of dough that are often accompanied by beans and eggs, or jam and honey. Gracias Kelly from Travellious.com.

Pogácsa 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

38. A Hungarian breakfast – always consists of Pogácsa. Well, nearly always anyway. Throughout the year there are festivals dedicated to it and the recipe changes region to region. They have a scone-like consistency and as well as a popular breakfast item, they’re also used to bulk up goulash meals. Köszönöm robot-girl.

Korea 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

39. A Korean breakfast – breakfast is similar to lunch and dinner in Korea. You’ll get a small plate of kimchi, a bowl of rice and a bowl of clear vegetable soup.  A good old-fashioned slice of toast is also a popular choice, but that doesn’t make for nearly as good a picture. Komapsumnida avlxyz.

Pakistan 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

40. Breakfast in Pakistan - in Pakistan you’ll get Aloo Paratha for your breakfast. It’ s an Indian unleavened flatbread made by pan frying, wholewheat dough on a tava. The dough contains ghee and the bread is usually stuffed with vegetables. It’s best eaten with butter, chutney or some other spicy sauce. It’s not uncommon to roll it up and dip it in your tea. Shukriya rosemilkinabottle.

Estonia 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

41. An Estonian breakfast – curd cheese on a wheat bloomer – known locally as ‘cheese on toast’. The creamy topping can be supplemented with ricotta or fromage fraiche instead, if you prefer. Tänan Nami-Nami.

Jordan 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

42. Breakfast in Jordan – the choice varies depending on the are and upbringing you’re from. Labneh, hummous and falafel are all popular choices and are usually served alongside olive oil, lamb sausage, jam and butter, turkey or beef mortadella. Shukran FivePrime.

Venezuala 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

43. Breakfast in Venezuela - empenadas are the order of the day. Fill the little pastries with fresh cheese, minced meat or any combination of veggies and beans. Gracias stu_spivack.

Colombia 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

44. Breakfast in Colombia - there are  a variety of regional staples to keep your stomach grumbles at bay throughout the day. In Cundinamarca this changua dish is very popular. It’s made from milk, scallions and cheese. Gracias manuela y daniel.

Ghana 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

45. Breakfast in Ghana - the most popular breakfast item in this African country is waakye. It’s basically rice cooked in beans and is found at all the street stalls in Ghana.Thanks Robboppy.

Uganda 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

46. Breakfast in Uganda - like a lot of large countries the typical breakfasts vary region by region. But a popular dish across the country is katogo – it’s a combination of green cooking bananas mixed in a stew from beef or in a sauce from vegetables. The picture above is banana with cow organs. Thanks Wong Li Lhen.

Bahamas 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

47. A Bahamas breakfast – to be a Bahamian breakfast it must contain grits. Grits are dried ground hominy, or corn, for anyone not in the loop. You mix it with boiling water and the grits becomes a porridge. Its popularity came from slavery times when it’s all the slaves had to eat. Nowadays it’s topped with fat prawns and meat to spice it up a bit. Thanks lolaredblog.

Costa Rica 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

48. Breakfast in Costa Rica – Gallo Pinto is the standard breakfast fare in Costa Rica. It’s made from black beans, rice, optional soured cream, salsa and a corn tortilla. Costa Ricans will often have a bit of avocado, fried ripe plantain or cold meat on the side. Gracias arvindgrover.

Dominican Rep1 e1313680269976 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

49. Breakfast in the Dominican Republic – you need to try the mangu. Mangu is made from mashing boiled plantains with butter and either salami, cheese or eggs. Top it off with a hot chocolate and you’ve got yourself some traditional Dominican Republic fare. Gracias Yuca Diaries.

Turkey breakfast 50 of the World’s Best Breakfasts

50. A Turkish breakfast – the full Turkish treatment usually consists of a few varieties of cheese, butter, olives, eggs, tomatoes, cucumbers, jam, honey, and spicy meat. Tesekkür ederim pocketcultures.

Top 14 Foods You Should Buy Organic

•07/18/2012 • 1 Comment


Apple picking season is September through November and yet they’re available year-round. How? They’re sprayed with a fungicide to prevent spoilage and then coated with a food-grade wax before being put into cold storage, says Christopher Campbell, EWG’s Vice President for Information Technology. “They only pick them one time a year, so that apple you eat in August was picked the previous year,” says Campbell.

This grants them the top spot in the Dirty Dozen list.



Like apples, you can’t peel or wash your way out of this one. Because pesticides need to be diluted before being added to crops, they’re water soluble, says Campbell. Since celery has a high water content, the toxins are sucked directly into the stalk, making it virtually impossible to get around ingesting the pesticides unless you buy organic.








Sweet bell peppers

Similar to apples, bell peppers are also coated in food-grade wax, which seals in pesticides and toxins.








Peaches, strawberries, imported nectarines and domestic blueberries

Because these fruits are sweet, bugs (just like us) love to feast on them, which means they get a heavy dose of pesticides that can’t be easily removed by washing or scrubbing. Case in point: Every single nectarine USDA tested had measurable pesticide residues, according to EWG.





As a category, grapes have more types of pesticides than any other fruit, with 64 different chemicals, according to EWG.





Spinach and lettuce

Seventy-eight different pesticides were found on lettuce samples, according to EWG.Since they’re grown close to the ground, one might think that they experience a higher degree of pesticides to keep pests away, but the reality is that ground proximity does not make these foods significantly more vulnerable to insects and animals, according to Chuck Benbrook of the Organic Center.




Cucumbers are coated in food-grade wax to keep them fresh. Like apples and red peppers, the wax encases any pesticides,making them difficult to remove.









To prevent potatoes from sprouting “eyes” or roots, farmers spray them with toxic compounds, such as lectins, and growth inhibitors, which slow down the growing process and keep potatoesfrom needing to be refrigerated during storage.




Green Beans and Kale

Green beans and the latest “it” food kale, are new additions to this year’s Dirty Dozen. The pesticides used on these crops are toxic to the nervous system. Even though they have been largely removed from agriculture over the past decade, according to EWG, they aren’t banned.





Global Food Disparity: A Photo Diary

•07/17/2012 • Leave a Comment

In an increasingly globalized world, it’s still sometimes shocking to see just how disparate our lives are compared with other human beings around the world. A book of photographs by Peter Menzel called “Hungry Planet: What the World Eats” (“©Peter Menzel http://www.menzelphoto.com. Ten Speed Press, published in 2005) makes a relevant point with great irony: at a time when hundreds of millions of people don’t have enough to eat, hundreds of millions more are eating too much and are overweight or obese. In observing what six billion eat for dinner the authors note,

“Today, more people are overweight than underweight.”

It is these cultural differences, emphasized and reinforced by the author, which exemplifies the lifestyles and dietary habits of people around the world. In the United States, processed foods are par for course. In the Philippines, fresh fruit and vegetables play a far more significant role. In the  harsh Chad sun, a family of six exists on a measly $1.23 per week.


You may have seen some of these photographs from the book as it been widely circulating on the net, if not, I urge you to purchase it and as one of my friends said via email: “I don’t know about you, but I’m counting my blessings.” Traveling to 24 countries, from Greenland, Chad, and Japan to Germany, Guatemala, and the United States, Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio photographed 30 families accompanied by a careful display of a week’s worth of food. Chronicling the enormous differences in eating habits between industrial and developing countries, each section includes a family portrait, along with their groceries, and a listing of how much was spent in each food group. In the tradition of MATERIAL WORLD, this timely, fascinating photography book illustrates not only the growth of fast food consumption worldwide, but also the transformation of diets across the planet. One notes that except where poverty is the most extreme, packaged cookies and candies have gripped the world as have soft drinks, primarily coca-colas. I found it both encouraging that there is so much local food culture left in the world, and deeply depressing that our processed food culture has spread so far and wide. If you look closely at the types of food being purchased you can see the difference between “eating to live” and “living to eat.”

Meet the The Manzo family of Sicily. Their weekly expenditure is 214.36 Euros or $260.11. Note the copious amount of bread.
Germany: The Melander family of Bargteheide
Food expenditure for one week: 375.39 Euros or $500.07.
United States: The Revis family of North Carolina (I hope most American families eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and less junk food than this family.)Food expenditure for one week $341.98
Mexico: The Casales family of Cuernavaca
Food expenditure for one week: 1,862.78 Mexican Pesos or $189.09. Note the profusion of fruits & vegetables.
Poland: The Sobczynscy family of Konstancin-Jeziorna
Food expenditure for one week: 582.48 Zlotys or $151.27
Egypt: The Ahmed family of Cairo
Food expenditure for one week: 387.85 Egyptian Pounds or $68.53
Ecuador: The Ayme family of Tingo
Food expenditure for one week: $31.55
Bhutan: The Namgay family of Shingkhey Village
Food expenditure for one week: 224.93 ngultrum or $5.03. This feeds a family of 11! Remarkable.
Chad: The Aboubakar family of Breidjing Camp
Food expenditure for one week: 685 CFA Francs or $1.23. No comment.
Kuwait: The Al Haggan family of Kuwait City
Food expenditure for one week: 63.63 dinar or $221.45. Most foodstuffs in this State is subsidized.
Mongolia: The Batsuuri family of Ulaanbaatar
Food expenditure for one week: 41,985.85 togrogs or $40.06
China: The Dong family of Beijing
Food expenditure for one week: 1,233.76 Yuan or $175
Japan: The Ukita family of Kodaira City
Food expenditure for one week: 37,699 Yen or $317.25

10 French Beauty Secrets That Don’t Require Dieting

•07/16/2012 • 3 Comments

When it comes to beauty (and diet, and fashion – damn them!) French women are known the world over for looking gorgeous all day, every day. How do they achieve this? By figuring out that less is fabulously more. Which means they spend more effort taking care of the basics – like the health of their skin– rather than slathering on pounds of foundation and concealers to fake a glow. And how do they do this? On my last visit to France, I convinced mademoiselles from Paris to Provence to tell me their secret stories, which have been handed down through the centuries.

French, Paris, beauty, skincare, tomato, Provence, grapes, traditional, recipes, cold water, ice bath1. The French love their grapes and not just poured into a bottle of wine. These juicy fruits contain loads of antioxidants, vitamins, oligo-elements and essential oils to improve circulation and step up hydration. And nothing could be simpler: Just slice a few grapes in half and rub the fleshy part over your face for a few minutes. Let the juice dry, then rinse off thoroughly.

2. French women stick to a scrupulous and preventive skin and body care routine – this means regular facials and massages. Don’t have time for a spa visit? Do like the Gallics: Mash a handful of cherries and pomegranate seeds, then apply them as a face pack for 10 minutes. Rinse off with warm water. Their natural enzymes will help brighten and firm the skin.

3. Harsh cleansers are an absolute French no-no. Instead swab off eye makeup with sweet almond oil, which will gently remove residue while also softening the skin.

4. French woman know that hydration is important. So, in addition to drinking water throughout the day, they advise downing a glass as you get up and another before you go to bed. Why? It keeps skin and hair hydrated, flushes out toxins from the body and curbs appetite.

5. These radiant-skinned mademoiselles know that circulation is integral to beauty as it makes the skin glow. And for this, they religiously splash ice cold water on their face every morning. This gives the complexion an icy boost, making it glow and feel super-fresh.

6. Another way to bring home the je ne sais quoi? Splash breasts with cold water to improve circulation in this fragile area as well!

French, Paris, beauty, skincare, tomato, Provence, grapes, traditional, recipes, cold water, ice bath

Illustration by Izak Zenou

7. Since centuries, French women (and men!) have known that  the essential oils of lavender, geranium, neroli, rosemary and rose are unbeatable anti-aging ingredients. Similarly, they also know that jasmine, frankincense, myrrh and carrot seed rejuvenate the skin by encouraging new cell growth. And the simplest way to use them? Add 50 to 60 drops of one or two of these oils – my favourites are jasmine and lavender – to 4 oz jojoba oil and store in a pretty glass bottle. Massage this fragrant concoction into your skin every day (or night) for a gorgeously youthful appearance.

French, Paris, beauty, skincare, tomato, Provence, grapes, traditional, recipes, cold water, ice bath8. Then there are tomatoes, which are chock-full with anti-oxidants such as lycopene. Women in the South of France wipe the juice from fresh tomatoes on to their skin to cool down during the long hot summers. Sounds divine, doesn’t it?

9. The Parisian Beauty Editor of Marie Claire – my former workplace – has super-smooth hands with glossy nails and not a dark spot in sight. So I pestered and pestered and pestered her for the secret, which turned out to be a traditional French hand-bath made from cold water, coarse sea salt granules and a little olive oil. Scrub your hands in this for 5-10 minutes, then dab some almond oil on the nails – I have been doing this for the past two months and my hands have never looked softer or lovelier!

10. Finally, for something truly luxe and historic, try this historic French recipe that dates way back to the 1600s: Take 4 ounces almond oil, 3 ounces of extra virgin olive oil, 1 ounce of shaved candle wax (preferably beeswax), two tablespoons of onion juice and 10 drops of vanilla essential oil. Put the almond oil, olive oil and wax in a heavy bottomed pan and warm just enough to melt the wax. Then add the onion juice and vanilla essential oil. You will have to keep stirring the mixture to keep the ingredients from separating; and be especially careful about the onion juice because it will start lumping if the mixture gets too hot. Cool this creamy concoction and massage it into your face, neck, arms and feet at bedtime. Leave on overnight, then use a gentle face wash, toner or moisturiser in the morning. The result? Buttery soft skin like you wouldn’t believe!

What is your acne telling you?

•07/15/2012 • 1 Comment

Face mapping, which is fast taking centre stage at most clinics nowadays, combines Ayurveda and ancient Chinese medicine with cutting edge dermatologists’ prescriptions to explain how certain parts of your face are connected to other areas of your body. Put simply, think of your face as a map and blemishes as X’s on that landscape. Spots in different zones correspond to different problems. So, with this “map” as your guide, you can address the underlying causes of blemishes and not only make the unsightly zits vanish but also treat the underlying health problem in time.

Pretty awesome, right? Try it out: Here is how to decode breakouts in the basic areas.

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1 & 2: Digestive System — Eat less processed or junk food, reduce the amount of fat in your diet, step up water intake and opt for cooling things like cucumbers.

3: Liver — Cut out the alcohol, greasy food and dairy. This is the zone where food allergies also show up first, so take a look at your ingredients. Besides all this, do 30 minutes of light exercise every day and get adequate sleep so your liver can rest.

4 & 5: Kidneys — Anything around the eyes (including dark circles) point to dehydration. Drink up!

6: Heart — Check your blood pressure (mine was slightly high) and Vitamin B levels. Decrease the intake of spicy or pungent food, cut down on meat and get more fresh air. Besides this, look into ways to lower cholesterol, like replacing “bad fats” with “good fats” such as Omegas 3 and 6 found in nuts, avocados, fish and flax seed. Also, since this area is chock-full of dilated pores, check that your makeup is not past its expiry date or is skin-clogging.

7 & 8: Kidneys — Again, drink up! And cut down on aerated drinks, coffee and alcohol as these will cause further dehydration.

Zone 9 & 10: Respiratory system — Do you smoke? Have allergies? This is your problem area for both. If neither of these is the issue, don’t let your body overheat, eat more cooling foods, cut down on sugar and get more fresh air. Also keep the body more alkaline by avoiding foods that make the body acidic (meat, dairy, alcohol, caffeine, sugar) and adding more alkalizing foods like green veggies and wheatgrass juice. Another thing that most of forget – dirty cell phones and pillow cases are two of the top acne culprits and this area is what they affect the most!

Zone 11 & 12: Hormones — This is the signature zone for stress and hormonal changes. And while both are sometimes unavoidable, you can decrease their effect by getting adequate sleep, drinking enough water, eating leafy veggies and keeping skin scrupulously clean. Another interesting point: breakouts in this area indicate when you are ovulating (and on which side).

Zone 13: Stomach — Step up the fibre intake, reduce the toxin overload and drink herbal teas to help with digestion.

14: Illness — Zits here can be a sign that your body is fighting bacteria to avoid illness. Give it a break, take a yoga class, take a nap, take time to breathe deeply, drink plenty of water and know that everything always works out!

So the next time you break out or notice dark under-eye circles, look to your face map: your skin is probably trying to communicate on behalf of the internal organs. However, do remember that, as with all medical issues, it is always best to see your doctor or dermotologist for a proper prognosis. This is just a general guide to head you off in the right investigative direction – just becuase you break out between the brows doesn’t always mean you have a bad liver!


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