Spices to use (instead of salt)

Today’s women, whether stay at home moms, working moms, working childless wives, or retired women, all of us run into a common dilemma around 4 p.m. What’s for dinner? There’s our old standby meals, spaghetti or sandwiches;  there’s endless choices of drive-thrus, offering WONDERFUL nutrients; there’s eating out in a sit down restaurant (more expensive & annoying people to watch or listen to), or cooking at home.

I generally use a meal plan for the week. Main dish & sides for supper, main dish for breakfast & lunch. This helps save the time & headache. And something changes EVERY week, so not every night goes according to plan. Life happens.

A year ago, I had to radically change my diet to leave out as much salt as I could.  Let’s face it, salt tastes good. Combine salt with bad fats and sugars, and ta da! You have every restaurant chains’ secret on good food. Good tasting food, bad long term results.

I completed 18 sessions of card rehab, and 2 nutrition classes. They gave out handouts & the one that has made a huge difference is my spices chart. Spices give flavor that salt can’t. It opened your taste buds to different avenues you might not have had before. It can change your children’s taste buds before they even get the “I want McDonalds & I want it NOW!” taste buds.

Try using this chart if you are interested — it helps me! An when people taste my food, women generally compliment it, where men usually say it’s not that bad.  Except for my husband & dad…. these men know better and they are kinder to me than the average Joe.


Allspice Lean ground meats Stews
Cranberry sauce Gravies Lean meat
Almond Extract Puddings Fruits
Basil Fish Lamb Lean ground meats Stews Poultry Soups Sauces Fish
Bay Leaves Lean meats Stews Poultry Soups Tomatoes
Caraway Seeds Lean meats Stews,  soups Salads Breads Cabbage Asparagus Noodles
Chives Salads Sauces Soups Lean meats Veggies
Cider Vinegar Salads Veggies Sauces
Cinnamon Fruits Breads Pie crusts
Curry Powder Lean meats Lamb Chicken fish Tomatoes T. Soup Mayo
Dill Fish sauces Soups Tomatoes Veggies Salads Mac & Cheese Chicken fish Potatoes
Garlic (garlic salt) Lean meats Fish Soup Salads Veggies Tomatoes Potatoes
Ginger Cicken Fruits
Lemon Juice Lean meats Fish
Salads Veggies
Mustard (dry) Lean gr
Lean meats Chicken
Salads Asparagus Broccoli
Nutmeg Fish Piecrusts Lemonade Potatoes Chicken
Lean meat loaf Pudding
Onion Lean meats Stews Veggies Salads Soups
Paprika Lean meats Fish Soups
Sauces Veggies
Parsley Lean meats Fish Soups
Sauces Veggies
Peppermint extract Puddings Fruits
Pimiento Salads Veggies Casseroles
Rosemary Chicken
Lean beef
Lean pork
Sauces Stuffings Peas Lima beans
Sage Lean meats Stews Biscuits Tomatoes Green beans Fish Lima beans Lean pork
Savory Salads Lean pork Lean meats Soups Green beans Lima beans Peas
Thyme Lean meat Sauces Soups Onions Peas Tomatoes Salads
Turmeric Lean meat Fish Sauces Rice

Medication Mistakes

I feel so sorry for the 19 years old Texan mom to be who took an abortion pill, thinking she was taking an antibiotic her physician prescribed. (She used Safeway Groceries for her pharmacy). Her doctors are waiting & watching what will happen to the baby & the mom is on bed rest. They expect deformities & mental slowness. Safeway apologized & are paying her medical bills.

Across the country, there are needless medication related mistakes. From the manufacturer, physician, or anyone on the pharmacy team.

Always question the physician about the medicine is, possible side effects, interaction with other medications or vitamins/ supplements. When to take it, whether or not you should eat beforehand, etc.

In the case of the Texas mom to be, her medicine was mixed up because she was given the wrong medicine from the pharmacy team. She received another woman’s medicine who HAD THE SAME FIRST NAME. The worker didn’t check the correct name, but the patient didn’t read it.

READ IT! Just read the name, med, dosage, etc. It’s not hard. I’m not putting the entire blame on this mom to be, but she is partially to blame. Some mistakes have small consequences, but some have a huge impact. Unfortunately, it’s the child that will suffer.


Hypertension ( or high blood pressure) is common in America. Way too common.
Per “Everyday Health” . . .

[Hypertension occurs when the pressure inside the blood vessels is too high. When your heart pumps, it sends blood out through the arteries. The force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries causes pressure. Every time your heart beats, it forces more blood into the arteries, causing the pressure to rise. Between beats, when the heart is resting, the pressure lowers.

They read the numbers based on when your heart beats, called the systolic pressure, and when your heart is at rest between beats, called the diastolic pressure. A normal blood pressure reading is below 120 mm HG systolic and 80 mm Hg diastolic — this blood pressure would be written as 120/80. A blood pressure reading of 140/90 or higher may be an indication of hypertension.]

So, after the technical info, what does this mean to you? You want to have a BP under 140/90, and optimally even lower. There are genetic predispositions as risk factors: heredity, race (African Americans tend to have more problems with hypertension), age (women over 45, men over 55).

There are also risk factors you can influence — don’t smoke, refuse to be a couch potato, no no on the salt shaker, and my personal favorite – lower the stress level.

My blogs may just get old or repetitive to you, but it’s like some people are sitting on the railroad tracks daydreaming, and there really is a train coming towards you someday. If you take care of your body before you have any health problem arise, you will have a bigger shot at living longer with your family.

The #1 Item on Food Labelling

Assuming we read the food labels on grocery items, restaurant menus, or recipes, what is the most important item to read?

A typical food item tells us the ingredients, serving size, calories, fat, saturated fat, mono saturated fat, carbs, protein, sodium, potassium, vitamin or RDA of vitamins & elements, or the overall nutrition of the food. Let’s face it, we all concentrate on one or more of these. You might be surprised by what I feel is THE MOST IMPORTANT one to read.

It’s the serving size. Not sodium, as you would expect me to say 🙂

If we don’t pay attention to the serving size, the rest is irrelevant. Based on research of February’s Cooking Light, the serving size is the key to understanding your food. A piece or 2 of pizza can be fine for dinner with some veggies or salad on the side, but the heart patient I was next to yesterday at Dr. B’s office who ate 3 ENTIRE pizzas is committing nutritional suicide.

No joke… This adult man with congenital heart disease ate 3 whole pizzas and is wondering why he had to return to see the doctor. Um… Serving size, mr.?

Read and heed the serving size, not matter what you are concentrating on for nutrition. Or… You could be that idiot at the hospital.

Traffic Jam

There are many good elements that make up a horror film. The mysterious mansion, terrifying monster, erie graveyard, menacing music that is going to speed up your heart rate. But after living through yesterday afternoon, I think movie producers of B films have not tapped into the Traffic Jam.

Now this was no ordinary I-85 traffic jam where five lanes of automobiles are crawling at a 2 mph pace, horns are blaring, profanity is prevalent. Noooo…. (Erie music is playing, softly with a steady Hitchcock like sound)…. The hospital patient & caregiver walk out to their car. Quickly hurry into their seats, automatically lock the doors, and carefully back out of the parking spot. After gears change from reverse to drive, they slowly drive 8 feet.
And that’s the beginning of… Traffic Jam!!!!

One hour and twenty minutes from the top of the Emory parking garage to Clifton Road. There are terrifying moments of horns blaring, people yelling for their lives, and the cliff hanging ending…..did we have to pay the entire day of parking? You’ll have to watch to find out!