It’s never too early to protect your heart

It’s never too early to protect your heart: Tips for young adults

Good health habits help protect your heart. And the sooner you start them, the better.
Early in adulthood, the health of your heart may not be something you give a lot of thought to. But cardiologists have a message for you: It should be.

“[Heart disease] is your number one health threat,” says Tracy Stevens, MD, spokesperson for the American Heart Association (AHA). And it doesn’t always wait until later in life to strike.

Some heart problems, like high blood pressure, can affect even children. Others, such as coronary artery disease, typically progress over time, fueled by years of unhealthy habits. But they can become serious even at a young age—and be deadly.

To protect your health both now and later in life, it’s important to start taking heart healthy steps now. Here are eight such steps worth taking now:

1. Choose a doctor.

Do you know if you have risk factors for heart disease?

A doctor will. So it’s good to develop a relationship with one. He or she can educate you and guide you through the steps that can help you change any risk factors you do have. Forming that relationship is likely to be easier now than in the midst of a medical crisis.

A relationship with a doctor will also help ensure that you get routine screening tests—like blood pressure and cholesterol tests—as recommended. That way you’ll be able to spot any unhealthy changes and take action to correct the problem early on.

Ravioli, origin and curiosities

Ravioli, origin and curiosities

There are many ways to cook ravioli and all these recipes are delicious, but do you want to know more about the history of this pasta?

The origin data of ravioli are highly uncertain and any version can be considered completely true. First, there is a document of Guglielmo Malavalle, who died in 1157, and he mentions a paste which is the predecessor of the current ravioli. In contrast to today, those before were rounded and were stuffed with ricotta and turnip greens, along with seasonings to add flavor. In fact, turnip greens were known with the name of rabiola.

There are documents of 1243 that specify that ravioli are a specialty of Cremona, in Lombardia region, but they were spreading in different cities of Italy. The initial name for ravioli was raviolo, which meant that the pasta was wrapped with a filling inside.

Although nowadays ravioli are stuffed with vegetables, ricotta, meat and what you can imagine, even with pasta of different colors; in the past it made for Sunday lunch with the family, women kneading dough and stuffed with ricotta and vegetables.

You can also make ravioli at home stretching thin dough and putting portions of filling in a row, at a distance of 4 cm from each other and then covering them with dough, pressing and cutting around in a square. And if you want to feel like at the past, try to make ricotta and turnip greens!

Did you know all these curiosities Ravioli?

 

Top 25 At-Home Exercises

Experts recommend working out 45 minutes to an hour a day (30 minutes for beginners) for weight loss and fitness. But if you’re like most women, you don’t always have a block of 30 to 60 minutes a day to devote exclusively to doing your workouts.

Lest you think that short bursts of activity have a negligible effect on your fitness program, think again. One study found that women who split their exercise into 10-minute increments were more likely to exercise consistently, and lost more weight after five months, than women who exercised for 20 to 40 minutes at a time.

In a landmark study conducted at the University of Virginia, exercise physiologist Glenn Gaesser, PhD, asked men and women to complete 15 10-minute exercise routines a week. After just 21 days, the volunteers’ aerobic fitness was equal to that of people 10 to 15 years younger. Their strength, muscular endurance, and flexibility were equal to those of people up to 20 years their junior. “It would be useful for people to get out of the all-or-nothing mind-set that unless they exercise for 30 minutes, they’re wasting their time,” says Gaesser.

Breaking exercise into small chunks on your overscheduled days can also keep your confidence up, since skipping it altogether can make you feel tired, guilty, or depressed. Keep in mind, though, that short bursts of exercise are meant to supplement, not replace, your regular fitness routine.

Here are simple, practical ways to work exercise into your day even when you’re short on time:

Around the House

1. When you go outside to pick up your morning newspaper, take a brisk 5-minute power walk up the street in one direction and back in the other.

2. If you’re housebound caring for a sick child or grandchild, hop on an exercise bike or do a treadmill workout while your ailing loved one naps.

3. Try 5 to 10 minutes of jumping jacks. (A 150-pound woman can burn 90 calories in one 10-minute session.)

4. Cooking dinner? Do standing push-ups while you wait for a pot to boil. Stand about an arm’s length from the kitchen counter, and push your arms against the counter. Push in and out to get toned arms and shoulders.

5. After dinner, go outside and play tag or shoot baskets with your kids and their friends.

6. Just before bed or while you’re giving yourself a facial at night, do a few repetitions of some dumbbell exercises, suggests exercise instructor Sheila Cluff, owner and founder of The Oaks at Ojai and The Palms, in Palm Springs, CA, who keeps a set of free weights on a shelf in front of her bathroom sink.

While Waiting

7. Walk around the block several times while you wait for your child to take a music lesson. As your fitness level improves, add 1-minute bursts of jogging to your walks.

8. Walk around medical buildings if you have a long wait for a doctor’s appointment. “I always ask the receptionist to give me an idea of how long I have left to wait,” Cluff says. “Most are usually very willing to tell you.”

9. While your son or daughter plays a soccer game, walk around the field.

10. Turn a trip to a park with your child into a mini-workout for you. Throw a ball back and forth and run for fly balls.

At Work

11. Walk to work if you can. “I walked to work for months, 1½ miles each way,” says Mary Dallman, PhD, professor of physiology at the University of California, San Francisco, and she really saw results.

12. If you dine out on your lunch hour, walk to a restaurant on a route that takes you a little bit out of your way.

13. If you have a meeting in another building, leave 5 or 10 minutes early (or take some time afterward), and do some extra walking.

14. On breaks, spend 5 to 10 minutes climbing stairs.

15. If you’re pressed for time and must wait for an elevator, strengthen your core with ab exercises. Stand with your feet parallel and your knees relaxed. Contract the muscles around your belly button. Then elevate your upper torso, and release. Finally, contract your buttocks for a few seconds.

16. Use a ringing phone as an excuse to stretch your back. Stand with your feet astride. Imagine that you are encased in a plaster cast from your waist to your head. Gently tilt the lower part of your pelvis backward. Contract your abdominal muscles. Then gently tilt your pelvis forward.

When You’re Watching TV

17. Put away your remote and change channels the old-fashioned way—by getting up and walking to the television set.

18. Dance as if you were 16 again. Put on a music program or MTV. Then dance like crazy, advises Peg Jordan, PhD, RN, author of The Fitness Instinct. “Free yourself to think of movement as something that you have a right to do,” she says.

19. During commercials, jog in place. A 150-pound woman can burn up to 45 calories in 5 minutes. Or try our Couch-Potato Workout.

20. Do leg exercises and lifts with small weights while you watch The Weather Channel, cooking shows, movies, or the news.

While Traveling

21. Pack your sneakers and a fitness DVD. Call ahead to make sure your room has a DVD player. If it doesn’t, ask to rent one from the hotel.

22. If you’re traveling by car, stop twice a day for short, brisk walks and some stretching.

23. During layovers at airports, avoid the mechanized “moving carpets” that transport travelers from concourse to concourse. “If you’re in between flights, walk around the concourse as much as you can,” suggests Cluff.

24. Book a hotel room between the fifth and eighth floors, then ignore the elevator. Better yet, take two stairs at a time. (Check with the hotel first because for security reasons some hotels do not allow guests to use stairs except for emergencies.)

25. Do calf stretches while riding in elevators.

Lunch Specials for Wednesday, April 26, $7.99 plus tax for Dine In or Pick Up Only (11:00am-2:00pm)

*Specials are subject to change without prior notice. Please feel free to call and verify specials before coming in (213) 742-0303.

Pasta: Linguini Chicken Fajita

Sandwich: Curry Chicken Sandwich With a Small Garden Salad

Salad: Mix Green Chicken Salad Feta, Walnuts, Raisins, Cherry Tomatoes & Cucumbers

Pizza: Small Hawaiian Pizza

Today’s Chef’s Special ($12.95 plus tax – all day long): Salmon With Arrabiata Sauce

lunch specials, 7.99, pasta, pizza, salad, fish specials, Italian

The trick to perfectly cooked pasta

The formula for pasta seems oh-so-obvious: water + pasta = dinner—right? But sometimes it’s the supposedly simple things that prove to be the trickiest.

It turns out the window for pasta perfection—not too mushy yet not too chewy—is dangerously slim. And then there are all the other factors to consider. Should you add salt to the water? Or oil? What about a cold-water rinse at the end?

If your head is spinning (ours certainly is!), take a deep breath and let go of the pasta panic. We’ve assembled the best (and easiest) tips for excellent pasta every time.

Steps 1. Use a large pot.

Pick a roomy pot that gives the pasta plenty of space to move. As in, don’t reach for the dinky covered pot you use to boil a pair of eggs—it’ll crowd the pasta into a tight ball. Instead, this is a good time to call that eight-or 12-quart stockpot into action.

2. Load up the pot with lots of water.

When you’re hungry and want to get to spaghetti time stat, you might be tempted to use less water so it comes to a boil quicker. Don’t. Just like pasta needs a roomy pot, it also needs plenty of H2O so it can be totally submerged. (Any strand sticking out above water won’t get cooked.) You want five or six quarts for a standard package of pasta.

3. Salt the water.

Then salt, salt, and salt again! Don’t just give a single tap of the shaker—you want to use at least a tablespoon. You know when you get a mouthful of seawater at the beach and it’s disgustingly salty? You want that level of salty. This gives the pasta a flavor boost. Trust us, everything starchy tastes better with a generous hit of salt.

4. Bring the water to a full, rolling boil.

Again, don’t let hanger make you dump in the pasta when the water is at a mere simmer. That could result in a few raw, uncooked pieces—truly heartbreaking for any carb lover.

Don’t stray from the pot to see what people are tweeting or settle in for another episode of House of Cards—you’re on pasta stirring duty! Stand guard and stir the pot at least two or three times during cooking. (Or keep at it the whole time and get a mini biceps workout.) The benefit: Occasionally stirring the pot will keep your pasta from clumping.

6. Test the pasta two minutes before it’s “ready.”

Check the pasta packaging for the cook times, but don’t assume that time is gospel. About two minutes till go time, start checking the pasta’s doneness. Using a slotted spoon (or your utensil of choice), fish out a single strand of pasta, let it cool, then bite into it. In general, you want pasta that’s springy and chewy (but not like a stick of hardened gum). Everyone has different opinions on pasta, though. Italian chef Mario Batali prefers his pasta cooked just past the point of raw, a.k.a. “toothsome.” No matter your preference, it’s better to err on the side of al dente, as overcooked pasta will break down and become carby mush.

7. Save a scoop of pasta water.

Once the pasta is cooked to your liking, take two seconds to do this little step that most home cooks skip: Before you drain the water, save a single cup. This starchy water can work wonders in sauces, binding the sauce and pasta together, and breaking down thicker sauces so they’re less likely to clump at the bottom of your bowl.

8. Drain, stir with sauce, and enjoy.

Place a colander in the kitchen sink and drain your pasta. Put the drained pasta back into the pot with sauce (or into the saucepan if the sauce is still cooking), add your pasta water, toss, and serve.

Tips

  • Cooking times can vary according to pasta shape, amount, and type (whole-wheat, gluten-free, etc.).
  • Unlike dried pasta, fresh pasta takes only two or three minutes to cook, max.
  • Stuffed pasta, like ravioli, will rise to the surface and float when ready.
  • Don’t add any oil to the pasta water. Some cooks are under the false assumption that a glug of olive oil will keep the strands from clumping. But that’s nothing a good stir won’t solve, plus oil could leave your pasta too slick for saucing.
  • Don’t do a cold-water rinse on your pasta when it’s done cooking. That washes away all the happy starches that bind it to the sauce. (And the delicious salty flavor!)