Archive for Charlene Cook

Make Any Dessert Diabetic Friendly in 4 Simple Steps

Nano-tattoo for diabeticsControlling your sugar intake is an important part of managing diabetes. A variety of every-day foods already have natural sugar which is why it is important to eliminate any additional sugar from sweet treats. There are plenty of healthy recipes for diabetics online. If you find a recipe that is not diabetic friendly, you can swap out various ingredients to be sugar free without changing the taste too much. Here are four simple steps that you can follow if you want to turn any of your favorite desserts sugar free.

  1. Determine the Best Substitutes – There are many different options for substituting sugar in a recipe. For a long time, the most common choice was to use honey. However, today we have even more options including coconut sugar, sugar-free sweeteners and agave syrup. Unfortunately, not every substitute is suitable for every type of dish. You will discover that the entire process is trial and error. Also, the only time you swap cup for cup is when you are using a sugar-free sweetener in place of regular sugar. The other substitutes will be in lesser portion sizes. For example, you should use half the amount of required sugar in a recipe if you would like to substitute it with honey. Therefore, 1 Cup of Sugar = ½ Cup of Honey in your recipe. Learn more about sugar substitutes and how to use them here.
  2. Learn the “Rules” for Sugar Substitutions – Each sugar substitution will not act the same in every recipe. For example, using honey for cookies that do not contain a hearty grain like oats will yield cookies that do not stick together well. You will also discover that sometimes you need to increase or decrease the liquids of your recipes or change other ingredients such as the flours you are using to accommodate for the moisture or dryness the sugar substitute will create. While there are lots of low carb options for sweets, the best ones come from your very own kitchen.
  3. Test and Retest – There is no easy result when you are attempting to perfect your healthy recipes for diabeticsfavorite recipe in sugar free form. While there are lots of low carb options for sweets, the best ones will come out of your own kitchen. You will need to continue to test and retest your substitutions until you find one that tastes the way you would like. Almond flour and coconut flour are top choices if you want to turn your diabetic snack into a low carb one. Both of these flours are high in protein and virtually fat free. They create rich, moist cookies and cakes without changing the overall density.
  4. Share and Get Feedback – The problem with having a dietary restriction is that it changes your taste buds. Overtime you will start to think that some things taste delicious while those who do not have restrictions think it tastes awful. The best way to avoid this, especially if your sweet treats will be shared with family and friends from time to time, is to have them taste the recipes along the way. Listen to their feedback and check the internet for suggestions on how to make the flavor and texture even better in your treats.

Keep Your Mind Sharp With Physical Training

SHARP MINDWe all know that going to the gym is great for your body, but some find it tedious after a while. For those who need a little more stimulation when working out, there are ways to accomplish this. Training with a tool that you must learn to manipulate can add another level to your workout and flex your muscles as well as your mind. These types of classes may not be available in all towns, but most moderately sized cities should have at least one of these options. Here are some unique ways to get in shape and learn a bit of martial arts while you’re at it.



This sport may seem outdated but fencing it is actually an Olympic sport and has been since the inaugural games in the late 1800s. Traditional fencing is a martial art that focuses on attack and defence with a blade. This type of workout is usually done in a class following the instructor either face to face or in a mirror. Once the lesson portion of the class is over, students usually pair off into partners to practice their new skills. Nowadays rookie students use a blade with a false edge or a blunted tip, so don’t worry, it’s not too dangerous and it will keep your mind and body sharp.


Archery is a classic sport of old that isn’t really a martial art but does teach you hand and eye coordination as well as core body strengthening. Archery is a competitive sport which involves mental focus and clarity to direct the arrow to the desired destination. Archery can be practiced indoors or outdoors and is a great way to calm the mind and build inner strength. Since the Hunger Games books and the Disney Pixar movie Brave, many young girls have taken an interest in the ancient sport of archery. Canada even has a Federation of Canadian Archers organization so it may be old but that doesn’t mean it’s not fun.

 Karate or Hapkido

Karate or hapkido is a more traditional form of martial arts that uses the entire body for attack and defense but also the mind for sparring. Especially in hapkido where much of the focus is on using the force of your opponent against themselves, you need to be mentally centered to react to your opponent’s move. If you are in a foreign country while studying martial arts, you may encounter a language barrier that will also help to strengthen your mind. Without even realizing it you will be more in tune with your instructor as you will be studying their body language more than their words. That being said, you will also be exposing yourself to a new language and over time will learn the key words as you go along. All these things combined will keep you sharp in body and mind.

Once you move along in your studies you’ll start using nun-chucks and other weapons in both karate and hapkido. Archery will supply you with a real bow and arrows and fencing will give you a real blade as well (although dulled). Once you’ve got these tools on hand, consider a safe place to store them with Depending on where you live, you may be able to take the archery or fencing classes outside during part of the year. See where your local martial arts centers are in town and try to get involved. It will pass time much faster than an hour on the treadmill, I promise.


Top Five Elliptical Trainers to Improve Your Health

HEALTHWhen you’re at home and want to work out, there’s no better way that to use an elliptical trainer. These bad boys are a great investment for anyone serious about getting into shape. Get the full benefit of a run without the risk of impact injuries.

Perfect for anyone with joint issues or someone recovering from an accident, too.

–       Schwinn A40 Elliptical Machine (2011)

If you’re in the market for a decent, affordable Elliptical trainer that does the job but doesn’t break the bank, then this one is for you. It can be found for between $3-500, and comes with changeable positions, programme levels and an LCD screen. A great starting kit to get you working out on a budget.

–       Schwinn A40 Elliptical Machine (2013)

The Schwinn A40 is a great mid-range elliptical machine that looks great and won’t cost you the house. It’s normal pricing is $599.00, but if you d a bit of searching you can normally find them cheaper. LCD screen with six different programs to suit your training needs, this guy is perfect for anyone who wants to work out but isn’t looking for the gold-standard edition.

–       Schwinn 430 Elliptical Machine

If you like the look of the A40 but want a few more tricks in your bag, then the 430 is the one for you. It’s got twenty two programmes, a goal tracker, and you can change up your resistance and position to increase that work out session. For that, you’ll pay up to $999.00, which is getting into the higher-end range, but still quite affordable for what you’re getting.

–       Schwinn 450 Elliptical Machine

A step up from the 430, this guy comes with an advances tracking system to monitor and review your progress. There’s no point doing the same routines day in and day out, you want to push yourself every day, and this guy is going to help you do that. It’s $999.00 and comes with a slew of unique add-ons, such as water bottle holder, specially designed foot pedals, and a backlit monitor. A great addition for any serious work-out fanatic.

–       Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine

If you’re looking to pull out all the stops, then the 470 is the one you want. Twenty nine programmes. Twenty two resistance levels. Ten inclinations. This adds up to an almost infinite number of customizable work-out regimes. It comes with a three-speed fan and a specially designed acoustic sound system so you can pump out those beats while you get the cardio going. There’s a USB port so you can upload your data to your laptop and really go to town on those stats. Not only that, but it comes with a ten-year warranty on the frame and two years on parts. If you’re serious about fitness, then you need a serious elliptical trainer. And there is no more serious that the Schwinn 470.




Get Fit with Home Yogurt

YOGURTYogurt has many great health benefits. It’s low in fat and sugar, but high in good bacteria. It’s similar to ice-cream but not as bad for you. Not to mention it goes well in a whole range of add-ons like granola, nuts, and whole fruits. It comes with a range of tasty flavours and, best of all, you can make it at home. Don’t rely on those store bought brands. A lot of them have added sugars and their flavours aren’t naturally sourced. If you’re looking to get in shape with a healthy snack, then you don’t want to buy generic product. Start making your own with a home frozen yogurt machine today and see the difference.

–       Cuisinart ICE-21 Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker.

If you’re serious about your diet and you want to switch to home made yogurt, then you should look to invest in the Cuisinart. This sleek, polished white piece of equipment is designed to meet all your frozen needs. Not only does it make yogurt, but it also does ice-cream for when you want to treat yourself, or sorbet for a delicious, refreshing cool down on a hot day: and all in just twenty minutes. It’s got a maximum volume of one and a half quarts, so you can make that yogurt for the whole family. That said, this brand is a little pricey, with a normal retail sale of $118.00. However, you can often get it cheaper online, and considering it’s a three in one with a good volume capacity, you can be sure you’ll get your money’s worth with the Cuisinart.

–       Hamilton Beach Half Pint Soft Serve Ice Cream Maker

If you’re looking for something a little less fancy or just want to give the frozen yogurt game a try, and then Hamilton Beach is for you. With a regular retail price of just $30.00 you’ll be making yogurt in no time at all. That said, you get what you pay for. The Hamilton Beach is smaller, only a half-pint in size, so you may not be able to make enough for a larger crowd or a bigger family. It also takes more time. You have to store the Hamilton overnight in a freezer to let it work its magic. However so long as you plan a little the day before, you’ll have no problem eating your yogurts. As it’s originally designed to make ice-cream, you’ll be able to enjoy both ice-cream and yogurt, but unfortunately you’ll be hard pressed making sorbet in this.

Whichever product you go for is up to you. The fact still remains that yogurt is a great snack for any health-conscious family. And if you’re making it at home you won’t have to worry about additives or hidden sugars. You’ll see exactly what’s going into your yogurt. Don’t want chocolate? Don’t put it in. Love honey? Throw some on top. Making it at home is the best way to eat, and if you have kids you can be sure they’ll enjoy making it, and eating it, with you.


Get In Shape with an Elliptical Trainer

ELLIPTICAL TRAINERFor many people, getting in shape can seem like a challenge. Where to start? What to work on first? What’s the difference between your biceps and your triceps? It can be a logistical nightmare for newbies, but don’t worry, there’s something everyone should invest in when they want to start working out: an Elliptical Trainer.

Elliptical Trainers are great beginners’ machines. They provide a great work out to your legs and get your heart muscle going, giving you an excellent cardio regime. They fit in any corner of most rooms and look fantastic too, an excellent addition to any basement.

However, the market for Elliptical Trainers is almost as complicated as learning the different muscles. So let’s make things easy for you. If you’re looking for quality, affordability, functionality and stylishness, then the Elliptical Trainer for you is the Schwinn 430.

Sleek, stylish-black, designed for all uses and with an array of programmability and add-ons, this trainer is a great starter pack for beginners, or anyone looking to start a personal gym. It’s light, slim, looks great and only cost around $999.00, though you can often find this model cheaper than that on the internet. The Schwinn 430 has a range of twenty two different programmes, allows you to change your resistance levels and your inclination to give you a new challenge every time you step on. It even has basic Quick Start, Beginner and Advance settings for those who don’t want to tweak their own custom settings. This gives you the duality of the freedom to make your own settings or let the machine dictate what you do, and all from the comfort of your home or office.

The Schwinn 430 has goal tracking capability so you can see yourself improve over time and challenge your own records from the past. Be your own competitions and get active. It comes with an easy to read LCD system so you can track your changes as they happen. You can watch as you power on down the miles, burn off those burgers and all this while your favourite tunes play in the background.

For someone who maybe doesn’t know everything about working out but wants to get in on the game, then an Elliptical Trainer is a great buy. It’s an investment more than anything else. Treat is as something that will stand to you in years to come, and hopefully it’ll merely be the first piece of machinery in an ever growing personal gym. Combine the Schwinn 430 with a rigorous push up, sit up and weight lifting regime and you’ll soon find you are working out most of the major muscles.

How to eat right to get fit

GETTING FITSo you want to be healthy? You want to eat right? But you keep eating things that aren’t healthy or beneficial in any way. This is not a good pattern to get into. Chips for breakfast is not a healthy diet. Five hotdogs at lunch is entirely too many hot dogs. So how do you fix this problem that you have probably adjusted your body to accept over the years?

Portion control

By portion control you can eliminate the amount of food you take in and by choosing the right types of foods you can eat healthier. Vegetables and grilled foods are a healthy option for your diet. Eating the right amounts of each item is essential to losing weight. There are many companies out there that preach about a diet pill that suppresses the appetite but that is not necessarily needed if you eat the right foods at the right time and the right amounts. Smaller meals every two hours can help you to feel fuller longer and prevent from over eating and possibly snacking on the wrong foods. You don’t necessarily have to cut out all your favorite foods just eat in moderation and eat at the right times. Eating food after 6pm. Can cause excess weight to stay on you since you go to bed before the food is digested and processed. So a good rule of thumb is to eat before 6 pm and only drink water after 6 pm.

Drink Lots of water

Drinking lots of water will help your stomach digest the food that you take in. Water doesn’t contain all the sugar and other ingredients that soda, juice, tea, and milk contains. It’s healthier for you and will help you to feel full when in fact you are not. It’s considered a natural appetite suppressant by many nutritionists. Water will also help with your oxygen intake. If you have allergies or are asthmatic then drinking lots of water will reduce the use of a rescue inhaler drastically. Water helps process the foods that you take in and cleans out your kidneys and bladder. The best thing about water is it comes right out of your faucet. You don’t have to buy any fancy drinks at the store and adding just a little bit of the crystal light drops will give it a flavor that will be enjoyable.


Hypnotherapy is another way to help suppress your appetite. Some people believe that you can be hypnotized into believing that you no longer need or like a substance such as cigarettes or snack foods. This is a practice that has been going on for many years. Hypnotherapy may be able to help you to realize when you are full so that you stop eating. By visiting Hypnotherapy in Gateshead you can try for yourself and see what help it will offer you in your quest to suppress your appetite. For some people it has done wonders on helping them quiet many things so what can it hurt to try?

Although doing one of these things will help you with your weight goals doing all of them can really help you out. So don’t give up and get moving, use portion control, eat the right foods, and drink lots of water.

How can you improve your mental health?

MENTAL HEALTHMental health can be a contributing factor to your physical health declining. When you are alone, scared, depressed or anxious you don’t feel like interacting with others. You retreat into yourself, sometimes you even lock yourself in your home for weeks. This is not a healthy way to live. You need companionship to be healthy. Friends and family can help you with recognizing the signs of depression and physical ailments and help you to seek medical help.

Some suggestions to help you cope with being alone at night when your most vulnerable to anxiety, fear, depression, and loneliness are available online but here is a few that are helpful and could mean a world of difference in your life.


Taking medicine for depression, anxiety, paranoia, and feeling helpless can really help improve your moods and your ability to function with the world. Some medicines have side effects that may make it worse and some make it better. Testing the medicine for at least two weeks unless allergic will give you the idea of what it does for you. Some over the counter aids can also help. But if taking prescription medicine consult your doctor before adding any over the counter medicine to your regimen. Something counter act others and could do more harm than good. If you don’t want to go the prescription route some herbs and vitamins have been known to help with these feelings and make it more possible to cope with them.

Having a security blanket

It doesn’t necessarily have to be a blanket it can be a quality flashlight on your bedside table, a favorite picture on your wall, your favorite pair of pajamas, or yes even a certain blanket. These things can add security to your mind when in turmoil. Many people feel safer when using a weighted blanket, it makes them feel secure, safe, and wrapped tightly like in a hug. This gives them a false sense of comfort which can help relax them at night so that they can sleep soundly. Noises at night can scare you and cause anxiety and dreams have a way of terrifying you and increasing your chances of an anxiety attack. Having these things with you will comfort you without having to resort to medicine which is a great way to naturally treat your problems.

Counselor or friend to talk to

A counselor or friend that is trusted is also another way to relieve anxiety, depression, and insecurities. This will help you to get those emotions out of your head and give you a voice. Counselors can be rather pricey without insurance but a trusted friend can do wonders for your health and well-being. But choose someone you can truly trust because not everyone is trustworthy. If you find that you have no one to trust a journal is the next best thing. Keep it by your bed side and when you have a thought that triggers an emotion write it down. When you have a dream that terrifies you write it down. Just write as if you were talking to a counselor and know that it’s helping to give you a voice and release those fears. Keep it away from people so that you don’t loss trust in your journal and friends.

These are just a few ways to keep your mental health in check that will support your over-all well-being. Improving your spiritual and physical health can keep you healthy for years.


Healthy food that you can grill!

HEALTHY GRILLLED FOODThere are many things that you can put on the grill that will increase your health and vitamins. Some of the best meals you can have are grilled meals. They provide nutrients and vitamins that you don’t get when you fry your food. Eating healthy is a great way to be nutritious and keep yourself physically and spiritually fit. A lot of vegetables can be grilled, some fruits and most meats can too. Here is a few items that you can grill that will make you healthier. For more information on ways to grill healthy read more here.

Grilled Asparagus

Asparagus is a great item to throw on the grill. It provides nutrients such as protein, vitamin c, and vitamin e, and many more. It is low in sodium and very low in cholesterol. Grilled asparagus has a great taste to it and pairs well with grilled fish or chicken.

Grilled fish

There are many different types of fish that can be put on the grill, and each one offers different nutrients and flavor. Fish is low in calories and fat but provide a significant amount of omega 3 which most people are deficient in. Doctors and nutritionists have recommended to eat 2 fish meals a week to battle many common illnesses.

Grilled Bananas

Bananas are a great source of potassium, and can be grilled to make a very delicious desert topping. They provide Vitamins b6 and c, and are naturally fat, cholesterol, and sodium free. This makes them one of the healthiest fruits. However, bananas can cause allergic reactions to some people so make sure you are not allergic before you try this delicious food.

Grilled chicken

Grilled chicken is a great source iron, calcium, and vitamin c. Grilled chicken is a delicious meat to add to any meal and very healthy for you. The best chicken is free range chicken since it has no growth hormones injected in to the chickens before processing. The free range chickens are all natural chickens with no chemicals. Grilled chicken is also great to throw in salads. It adds to the flavor and adding an oil and vinegar based dressing you will get all the benefits and none of the calories.

Grilled zucchini

Grilled zucchini can add a delicious flavor to any meal. Pair it with any other vegetables and you will have a medley of vegetables grilled with some balsamic vinegar with brown sugar and it makes for a tasty and sweat meal. You can combine this with any combination of meats to make a perfectly healthy meal full of vitamins and nutrients.

There are many more foods that you can cook on the grill to make a very healthy meal. Vitamins are an essential ingredient to a healthy life, the more vitamins you have the healthier your life will be. So when preparing meals for a healthy lifestyle make sure you cook with all the right ingredients and without all the fat that is unnecessary for healthy living. Some fat is good for you but not all fats are designed to help you. Sugars and fats are best enjoyed in moderation. If you’re interested in learning more about grilling you can read more online.

Back away from the computer slowly. Now stand up and go walk. Seriously.

healthy-livingAre you getting exercise in? Oh, so you say you don’t have time or money to put a health club and that’s the main reasons why. Well that’s not good enough. You already have the best exercise equipment known to man and that’s your two legs. You already have a gym that’s all around you. It’s called “outside”. Now take those two legs for a walk or a jog outside and there you have it, instant gym.

There’s no better way to get in a little exercise that’s healthy for you than using your own two legs to walk or jog, even go running, if that’s your thing. All you need to do is throw on a pair of sneakers and open your door. Great! Now just step outside. Once you’ve done that keep taking steps and walk for at least 20 minutes. You say you don’t have a lot of time, a 20 minute walk 3-4 times a week is getting you a short little workout in and also giving you the benefit of breathing some fresh air and soaking up some sunshine rays. Sunshine gives you something your body needs besides that tan you’ve been wanting to work on. It gives you a healthy natural dose of Vitamin D which is a boost to your immune system.

You can also do little things that help you get in some exercise in ways that might not have crossed your mind but are simple and easy to do. For instance, you may be busy looking to go back to school through sites like and working your regular job and taking care of your household so you don’t have time for a workout. You try doing the 20 minutes of walk time 3-4 days a week, and enjoy it, what else can you squeeze in? Try doing things like when you go to the shopping mall, parking at the back far end of the parking lot and walking from there to the mall. When you’re done shopping you’ll have the walk back. There, just by doing that you added a touch of exercise to your day. Think outside the box and you’re sure to come up with things along that line to do to add a few extra steps to your day.

You want to be healthy, it shows in what you eat and your lifestyle, it’s just being so busy. Is it too much to take time for your health, it’s for your life so you can be around to enjoy it a little longer. Find ways to squeeze exercise in. What was mentioned previously means you don’t have to shell out big bucks for a gym membership that you’ll probably only use for 2 or 3 weeks. You can walk and it’s free! If it’s a rainy day and you want to get a walk in, go window shopping at the mall. A lot of people take their walks indoors to the mall when it’s raining. You have plenty to look at and dream about buying while you’re walking. Keep that healthy lifestyle going and walk. It’s free, and it’s good for your health. Doesn’t get much better than that!

Best Athletic Sites on the Web

EXERCISEWith all the hype about athletics and exercise in the recent years everyone is looking for the right site to follow to stay up to date on new products, exercise programs, and new athletes. There are many product review sites on the web that feature many things from shoes to gear. So how do you know which one to follow? is one of the best review sites for athletes. Not only do they do reviews on shoes, cleats, and other gear but they talk about the best athletes in Crossfit arenas. They focus on what truly makes an athlete strong and where to find the best cross trainers for your needs. They even do some fun posts like the best athletic girls in cross fit.

Athletic Muscle is and informative site that was designed to tell you about strength, training, and supplementation. The articles are designed to help you gain strength, build muscle, and improve performance. The Crossfit community is very large and with Athletic Muscle you can all you need to know to stay healthy and active.

Crossfit is tactical training for police, military, and some hard core athletes. It involves lots of strenuous exercises that consist of WOD, or workout of the day, each day has a different objective. On Monday you may do treadmill running for a mile, then work in around 100 pull ups, then maybe 200 pushups, 300 squats using your body weight as the weight limit, then finish out with another mile run. This would be a full routine for one day. Then on the next day you would change it up with different hard core exercises between mile runs on the treadmill. This helps you to achieve maximum benefit from the workout. It’s not for the weak. However, they have designed workouts for seniors that are interested in Crossfit.

Athletic Muscle is the place to go to read about all the athletes who are excelling in the Crossfit world and to do research on the proper shoes and equipment. Since they research and review the proper attire for Crossfit they are considered the experts in Crossfit necessities. You will be able to get reviews on cross trainers so you know which ones are the best for your feet. They also give recognition to all the athletes that have shown excellence in competitions and training. They talk about the best nutrition for a healthy body and what supplements are great for you to take. You can find all the information you need for Crossfit and what’ necessary to stay in shape with Crossfit.

Athletic Muscle even has a section that will help you understand what Crossfit is and how you can train. It tells you about specific workouts you can do and what result you will get from that specific exercise routine. Crossfit is exploding among the military especially special forces such as Rangers and Marines. Weight lifters and Wrestlers have taken to Crossfit also. They find it helps give them the stamina they need for competitions and matches.

One thing you have to remember when training with Crossfit is that you must start out at an appropriate weight and work yourself up to more strenuous workouts. You can’t just jump right in thinking you can do more than you have trained your body to do. Just remember with Crossfit it’s not meant to crush you it’s meant to build strength and muscle mass.


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