Foods that promote a healthy heart

Taking care of your heart is important. It’s the primary organ that decides if you’ll live until 104 or 64. Much like your brain, the heart is the life organ. Without it beating each day, we are as good as gone. But when it beats a healthy rhythm, we are at the top of our game. As your prepare food each day, think of your heart and how to keep it healthy. It’s your partner in crime that’s going to be with you during your whole life.

Salmon, tuna, and walnuts all have one ingredient in common: omega-3 fatty acids. This is a powerhouse food that’s going to help all of your body. It helps prevent arthritis, for instance, relieving stiffness from your joints. It also helps to relieve any pain that surrounds the joints. Omega-3, too, has an enormous boost for mental health. It’s been suggested that those with Alzheimer’s may have a boost in their gradual memory loss, while it may help ADHD sufferers think more clearly. It’s possible, as well, that this could lighten some depressive symptoms of bi-polar disorder.

Strawberries are another food that’s healthy for the heart. This food helps you to lower your blood pressure and reduce stress. Likewise, strawberries contribute to reducing your risk of a heart attack. It’s also a cancer-fighting food. Adding this food to your diet will improve your weight loss and has the potential to beautify your skin. Also, it can keep your bones strong and healthy. This particular berry has much more vitamin C than oranges, due to its seeds being located on the outside.

Apples, another heart-healthy food, works to reduce your weight and fight cancer. This fruit is around 85 percent water, which means it’s going to hydrate you and boost your immune system. Likewise, it’s a fruit that’s low in cholesterol. While it has natural sugar, it does not contain much sugar at all. It’s going to promote healthy hair and keep your bones strong. Apples are packed with fiber and vitamin C as well, making this a healthy snack for any time of day.

Dark chocolate is another great food to eat for the heart. It’s loaded with antioxidants and has the potential to reduce your blood pressure. These antioxidants help to fight heart disease. Similarly, dark chocolate has been proven to sharpen cognitive abilities. The flavonoids within the chocolate help to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and stroke. It can also improve your eyesight, increasing blood flow to your brain and retina.

Finally, garlic has shown to improve heart health. It has few calories but is a powerhouse for manganese and vitamin B6. It also has a great deal of calcium and potassium. This is a superfood that can boost the immune system. It reduces your chances of contracting the flu or cold. Likewise, adding garlic to your daily meal prep has the potential to reduce your blood pressure. Over time this is going to reduce your chances of a stroke or heart attack. It also reduces the likeliness that you’ll encounter high blood pressure or hypertension. Taking care of your heart has never been so easy. Incorporate these foods into your diet, and you’ll soon reap the benefits.


Steps to take for a healthy heart


Think cardio when you think about cardiovascular health. It’s much more than getting on a treadmill or stationary bike. Our hearts beat over 100,000 times per day. If this were to cease, our lives would be over. But none of us pay attention until our doctors mention high blood pressure or say we’re at greater risk for a heart attack. Why is that? If you want to better your heart health, try the steps below. They’re going to be a fantastic first step.


First and foremost, stop eating anything loaded in sugar, salt or fat. These foods work against your heart, making it work much harder to pump blood to your body. They store as fat within the body if you do not burn it off right away. This fat builds up in the arteries and around the heart, putting stress on the organ that doesn’t have to be there. Rather, eat a high protein diet. Eat fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. Most of these foods are low in fat and low in sodium. On the contrary, they’re what’s called superfoods. So if you eat salmon, for instance, you’re getting healthy omega-3 fat that assists in lowering blood pressure and reduces the risk of a heart attack.


Exercise is also important. If you have a gym membership, you have the opportunity to mix up your exercise routine. For instance, you may walk the treadmill and then do weights next time. If your gym has a track or pool, these are other great exercise options. Doing laps in the pool works every muscle in your body. It’s the equivalent of doing the rowing machine in the gym. But don’t keep up with the Joneses with your exercise. Just because your neighbor goes to the gym doesn’t mean it’s right for you. Maybe an exercise class is more your fit, where you work out with a group of people. Walking or running outdoors may also be your style. Or, home exercise (if you are self-motivated) may also be an option. It doesn’t matter how you put the shoe on, just do it.


Likewise, if you lead a stressful life, you must leave it behind. Stress is a leading factor in heart attack and strokes. And it’s easy to see why this is. When we yell and scream, our blood pressure rises. We feel our chest get tight and our heart beats fast; maybe it feels like it’s beating out of our chest. You are more at risk for heart disease or a heart attack at this moment then all the other times you stay calm. It’s vital that you find ways to keep stress under control. Maybe scream into a pillow or go outside for a walk. Get away from everyone and everything to think things over.


You should also stop focusing on the past. All of us have ghosts in our past. We believe back to certain times, running scenarios of how we would have acted differently. But, unfortunately, time travel has not been invented yet. We cannot go back and change anything. So why put stress on your heart with excessive worrying? The past is gone; you can’t control or change it. So why are you anchoring yourself in it? Instead, move forward. Focus on the positive. Realize that you are in control of your future choices. Hold your head high and have confidence. Learn to laugh—every day. This is going to reduce your stress. And, maybe take life on a lighter note.


Finally, kick those bad habits to the curb. What destructive habits are putting you at risk for heart disease? Smoking is the leading cause of heart-related deaths, causing 1 in 5 deaths in the United States each year. It not only attacks the heart but every organ within your body. Smoking too much will cause a condition known as atherosclerosis. This is where plaque builds up in the heart’s arteries. This not only puts you at risk for a heart attack, but at risk for coronary heart disease. Learn to take care of your heart, and this vital organ is going to return the favor. After all, it controls when your flame burns out of the world.


Jeter’s Career-High 29 leads Pitt to 80-66 Upset over Florida State


All season I have made this statement: “As Pitt Panthers Senior F Mike Young goes, so does Pitt.” And to be honest, Mike has proven me correct most of the season. When he has scored 20-30 points, the Panthers have won (see last week’s game vs. Syracuse), and when he has scored under 10-20  points and didn’t play his best, the Panthers would usually lose. And It didn’t even matter what Senior G Jamel Artis did,(and he did a lot) it was Young who was the ‘Straw that Stirred the Panthers Drink.’


Well, Michael, you proved me wrong.


As Pitt welcomed 17th ranked Florida State to a sold-out Petersen Events Center and pulled off a huge 80-66 upset over the Seminoles, surprisingly it wasn’t because of what Young did as he scored 11 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists, it really wasn’t Artis although he added 16 points on three-pointers, but it was the third Senior who led the Panthers in this game: Sheldon Davon Theodore Jeter.


Jeter had a career day, leading all scorers with 29 points and 8 rebounds as the Panthers improved to 15-12 and improved to 4-10 in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) it was another example of how good this team can be when they show up to play, and for the second straight Saturday, the Panthers did just that. Yes, the Panthers lost to Virginia Tech on Valentine’s Day, but that was a game that they should’ve won, especially after they led 40-29 at halftime. It’s very possible that the Panthers could be on a 4-game losing streak, but instead, they’ve won 3 out of their last 4, which is just as impressive after an 8-game losing streak.


But back to Jeter. He was fantastic. Ever since the Panthers signed him from Vanderbilt, I have admired his game. He’s proven to be a valuable player off the bench and occasional starter, but in his senior year, he’s been mostly a starter and hasn’t disappointed. He’s averaging just under 8 points a game, but he had a 21-point effort earlier in the season vs. Marshall and is averaging a career-high 7.5 rebounds. It’s been a good year for the young man.


But this game for Jeter was also a motivating one as he had to bury his grandfather earlier this week. It’s no surprise that he played this game for him. And make no mistake, his grandfather would’ve been proud as Jeter also hit 4 of 5 three-pointers and was truly a force on both sides of the court. The Beaver Falls native filled in admirably for Young and made it seem like they didn’t even need him, especially in the first half when Young only scored 2 points, as Jeter scored 11.


As a team, the Panthers didn’t look intimidated by the much larger and much-bigger (Ex: 7-1 C Michael Ojo and 7-4 C Christ Koumadje) Seminoles,  who have proven their mettle this season after upsetting a superb Louisville team 73-68, and an 88-72 win vs. Duke. So the Panthers knew what they were about to get into, with their most impressive victory coming against nationally-ranked Virginia and a near-upset over top-ranked North Carolina.


It certainly didn’t look promising for the Panthers at the beginning of the game as they opened with a 10-5 lead. But there was something different about this Panthers team as they didn’t faint under pressure, it honestly seemed like they embraced it as they stormed back and eventually tied it 13-13 and 15-15 midway through the first half. And who led the way? Jeter, of course. And he also had a little ‘help’ from his friends as G Chris Jones added a few free throws and Artis and G Cam Johnson also contributed. Jeter then gave the Panthers their first lead of the game on a jumper that gave them a 21-20 lead, then after the Seminoles took a 25-22 lead, Young and Artis helped tie the game at 25, and then Pitt HC Kevin Stallings made an unexpected move: he sat most of the starters (except Young) and brought in the reserves, and one of them gave Pitt back the lead redshirt J Jonathan Milligan’s 3-pointer gave the Panthers a 28-25 lead.


But Florida State just wouldn’t let up as they eventually took a 32-29 lead with over 3 minutes left in the first half, but then back came the Panthers as they eventually took a 35-34 lead thanks to timely free throws by Johnson and Jones. It’s amazing that Jones finished the game with only 7 points as it seemed like he was always at the free-throw line, as he finished the day going 5-6. Amazingly, when the Panthers took that 35-34 lead, they never trailed again.


Johnson hit a huge 3-pointer to give the Panthers a 39-36 lead, and they went into the locker room leading 41-37.


I’m sure many folks wondered if the Panthers would suffer another second-half meltdown like they did vs. Virginia Tech, but they did not. In fact, they stepped up their game even more as they stormed to 51-41 lead to open the second half. Jeter and Johnson led the way with the major 3-pointers. On defense, the Panthers were getting rebounds as Jeter, Freshman G Corey Manigault and Big Man Rozelle Nix each grabbed Florida State’s misses, which the team turned into points on offense.


With over 10 minutes left, Pitt led 60-48 when the Panthers that we’ve seen began to show up. You know, the team that has been a bit clumsy at times as they would turn the ball over, miss baskets and lack defense. Such a thing took place, and Pitt suddenly saw their huge lead dwindle to 61-58 with over 8 minutes left.


After a timeout by Stallings, the Panthers refused to give in as they once again stepped it up against Florida State. A basket by Jones and a huge 3-pointer by Jeter helped extend Pitt’s lead to 70-62, but they weren’t done. Young and Artis added to the mix and Pitt eventually regained their 10-point lead en-route to the 80-66 victory, bringing the Pete capacity crowd to their feet as they celebrated the effort of their team.


This win was also special because Pitt wore their retro uniforms, which paid tribute to the 1980’s Pitt teams that were led by Charles Smith, Jerome Lane, Sean Miller and HC Paul Evans. I honestly think that Pitt should make those sweet unis as their permanent one’s next season.


For the Seminoles, G Xavier Rathan-Mayes led with 12 points, and six assists and G Terance Mann led with seven rebounds. Florida State is now 21-6 and 9-5 in ACC Play.


“When we concentrate, focus & play w/ energy & urgency for 40 minutes, we’re capable of being a pretty good basketball team,” Said Stallings “That was fun. I’m proud of them.”


On Jeter Stallings said “”Sheldon was unbelievable. That was as good a performance as we’ve had this year.” I totally agree with Coach.


With the season down to 4 games, the Panthers will travel to play Wake Forest on Wednesday before returning for their final home game of the season in a rematch with North Carolina next Saturday. It will also be the Senior night for Young, Artis and the Star of the Day, Jeter. Here’s hoping they can finish what they started when they played the Tar Heels the first time around.


The Panthers may not have had a good season, but they’ve had some excellent moments, and this game was one of them.


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Ray Jr. on Sports

  1. Pitt basketball gets back into action as they face 17th ranked Florida State (21-5, 9-4 ACC) Saturday at the Petersen Events Center. The game will begin at 4 pm. This will be the week that the Panthers will wear those sharp throwback uniforms which are a tribute to the 80’s teams.
  2. Unfortunately, those unis may be the only bright spot left in the Panthers 2016-17 season. It’s been a long time since they’ve had a worse conference record. Pitt is 3-10 in Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) play (14-12), and any talk about them having a chance of making the NCAA Tournament is about as much of a chance of me picking up my car, and throwing it.
  3. Yes, the Panthers can still win the ACC Tournament, but let’s be real Panther fans, that’s certainly not a guarantee. Sure, they may get a win, possibly two but they’ve struggled in this conference in the regular season, I can’t see that changing in the postseason.
  4. In their two wins vs. Boston College and Syracuse, the Panthers played like a hungry team. They kept Virginia Tech close and probably should’ve beaten them too, but their lack of hunger late in the game is what hurt them as they fell to the Hokes 66-63. The best thing for this team to do is finish their remaining games with hunger, urgency, and pride.
  5. It isn’t fair to blame this all on new HC Kevin Stallings. After all, there were some folks that wanted a change in style and offense and were tired of the ‘boring’ offense that former HC Jaime Dixon has had since he took over from Ben Howard in 2003. But when Jaime took over from Ben, he honestly had better talent than what Kevin had when he took over from Jaime. The results confirm that.
  6. Speaking of Jaime, his TCU Horned Frogs are 17-6, (6-7 Big 12) They may not be overly impressive in conference play, but they will have an outside shot at the Big Dance.
  7. It’s also unfortunate that Stallings will lose both Mike Young and Jamel Artis after this season. It’s almost scary to see what this team will look like next year. But Stallings will get to implement his talent and recruits so that it will be interesting.
  8. Speaking of Young, once again he under-performs and the Panthers lose. I’ve said it all season, and I’ll say it once more: As Mike Young goes, so does the Panthers. Not Young and Artis, just Mike Young.
  9. As for the rest of the ACC, apparently, the cream of the crop is once again North Carolina (10-3, 22-5) who headed for the #1 seed in the tournament. They’re ranked #10 in the nation and will probably wrap up the regular season conference title. And this was the team that Pitt almost Go figure. But both teams play Feb 25th again at the Pete.
  10. In other ACC news, the NC State Wolfpack announced that they’d fired HC Mark Gottfried, but will allow him to finish the season. I guess there’s some honor in that with the season winding down, but that’s weird in my opinion. Why not just fire him after the season? Anyway, the Wolfpack (14-13, 3-11) are the reason why the Panthers aren’t in the last place in the ACC, but somehow they still managed to beat Pitt earlier in the season.
  11. As for the CBB AP Top 5, Gonzaga is still at #1 and the only undefeated team in the country. Followed by defending National Champ Villanova, Kansas, Baylor, and Arizona who is coached by former Pitt player Sean Miller. And folks honestly thought Miller would give up what he has at Arizona to coach at Pitt? Please.
  12. Now onto the NFL, as the news Pittsburgh Steelers news continues to buzz around them locking up All-Pro WR Antonio Brown to a long-term deal. It will happen soon folks, just a matter of when. Does he want $16.7 million a year? I can see the Steelers giving him that in a 5-year deal worth $83 million. And of course, most of that can go in that signing bonus.
  13. As for RB Le’Veon Bell, the Steelers will give him the Franchise Tag, which is $12 million for running backs. Franchising Bell will give the sides an opportunity to work out a long-term deal. Smart move by the Steelers.
  14. Now, what about LB Lawrence Timmons? I honestly would not be surprised if he left because he’s a free agent. The Steelers signed Timmons to 2 deals since he was drafted in 2007 and reportedly, the Steelers are in contract talks with him. But here’s what GM Kevin Colbert said about #94: “He has to see what his market is. He’s never been a free agent, and we have nothing against him finding out.” And that’s why I won’t be surprised if he left. Stay tuned.
  15. The Steelers did make news Wednesday when they announced that they’d signed LB Stevie Johnson to a 1-year deal. Johnson played primarily on Special Teams until his season ended when he hurt his knee vs. the Cowboys.
  16. The Dallas Cowboys finally said what we expected them to say, that they will either release QB Tony Romo or trade him. He’s 36, but he’s a good A team like the Broncos should snatch that dude up. QB Dak Prescott is the Cowboy’s future.
  17. There are reports that NY Jets (and former Panther )Darrelle Revis was involved in an altercation in Pittsburgh’s South Side over the weekend. He does face multiple charges, but his attorney states that he was the victim. It’s never good when an athlete is involved in issues like this.
  18. As for the NBA, the defending champion Cleveland Cavilers suffered a massive blow when F Kevin Love will be injured for 6 to 8 weeks. He’s replaced in the All-Star Game by NY Knicks F Carmelo Anthony. I think that should be a reality now that Love is out.
  19. As for the NBA Standings, the Golden State Warriors 47-9 are still the best in the NBA; the San Antonio Spurs are #2 at 43-18 and the Houston Rockets (wow!) are 3rd best at 40-18. The Eastern Conference-leading Cavs are 4th best at 39-18.
  20. Wow, MLB is back in full swing as Pitchers and Catchers have reported. And the Pittsburgh Pirates have already made news as they ‘won’ their Arbitration case with close Tony Watson. He wanted $6 million, and the Pirates offered $5.6 million. The judge ruled in the Pirates favor. I fell sorry for Watson. #not.


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2017 NBA All Star Weekend is Here !

This weekend the NBA All-Star festivities will take place in  New Orleans.  All of the action tips off tonight with the “Rising Stars Challenge,” But there is going to be plenty of fun before that game tips off as the “Celebrity Game” will take place before the NBAs’ young superstars taking the court.
I’m interested in the Celebrity game this year because, in my opinion, one team is loaded.I know its all in fun, but when I look at Michael Smith’s team, it appears to be stacked. First, there is Baron Davis who was not only a star in his playing days at UCLA But also an NBA Star with the Charlotte Hornets and four other teams before ending his career. Then there are the Millers’ Percy Aka ” Master P” and Romeo  Aka ” Lil Romeo.” They are better known for their musical talents, but both are pretty good players, as a matter of fact, the younger Miller (Romeo) played basketball for USC. Then there are  WNBA stars Nneka Ogwumike and Candace Parker who’s outstanding performances this season lead the Los Angeles Sparks to the WNBA Title. So even though  I’m a Jamele Hill fan and she does have NBA legend Jason Williams on her squad, and Nick Cannon may be able to ball a little bit, if things get serious her East team has no chance.
That brings me to the  “Rising Stars Challenge.” This game is going to be loads of fun. The U.S. Team features the “Big Kat” Karl-Anthony Towns who is averaging 23 points per game and 11 rebounds. He is flanked by Jahlil Okafor, D’ Angelo Russell, and Brandon Ingram. Okafor and Russell are averaging double figures in scoring this season and Ingram as you know was the number two overall pick in this years NBA Draft. The World team roster has some gems as well in the form of Dante’ Exum, Buddy Hield, Kristap Porzingis and former Kentucky Wildcat Jamal Murray. All my money is on the “Big Kat” and his supporting cast. Because Mr. Towns is a beast with many skills for a big man and he can dominate in the paint.
Saturday is the day that many people anticipate because the day’s festivities wrap up with the NBA Slam Dunk Contest.  The day begins with the Hall of Fame Announcement followed later by the NBA D-League All-Stars mixing it up. Then the three events of the night take center stage. First, there is the  “Taco Bell Skills Challenge” an event that brings out the best or worst of the stars as they manipulate a skills course that measures speed and efficiency. Don’t be surprised when you see big men Anthonys Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans or DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins out there competing against the little guys. Both Davis and Cousins are over 6’9″ tall and will face the likes of  Washington Wizards’ Guard  John Wall ( 6’4″) or even  Boston Celtics’ Point guard  Isaiah Thomas (5’9″). My money is not on the Big men in this one especially when you have someone with the ball handling skills of a John Wall competing, By the way, did you notice a pattern in the type of players involved in the All-star weekend?  I will give you a hint Wall, Towns, Murray, Davis and Cousins all went to this school. It appears to be an NBA version of the Kentucky Wildcats basketball program totally involved in the All-Star festivities.
The Three point contest follows the skills challenge. The name that stands out in this eight-man field is defending three-point shooting champ  Klay Thompson aka Golden State Warriors Splash Brother number two. Thompson may get competition from Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving, but I think the three point crown is his to lose and I don’t think that will happen. The highlight of the night is anticipated to be the Verizon Slam Dunk contest. Two-time defending champion Zach LaVine of the Minnesota Timberwolves decided not to compete this year, but runner-up Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic is back. Last year LaVine and Gordon put on a show that many NBA fans say took the contest to another level. Gordon will be challenged by L.A. Clippers big man DeAndre Jordan, Derrick Jones Jr. of the Phoenix Suns and Glenn Robinson III of the Indiana Pacers. I think the Slam Dunk crown this time will belong to Gordon.
The weekend wraps up Sunday with the main event pitting the East All-Stars against the West All-Stars. My Heart says the East,  led by Lebron James, Kyrie Irving along with  Giannis  Antetokoumpo, DeMar DeRozan, Carmelo Anthony and Jimmy Butler will win. But my head is telling me that the Western All-Stars have all the fire power they need to beat up on the East. The West is led by Steph Curry, James Harden, Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard and Kevin Durant. Then there is Russell Westbrook the league’s leading scorer who was not voted as an All-Star starter.Westbrook may play as if he has something to prove, which we know is the last thing he needs to do. Since he already has 27 triple-double performances in the first half of this season., I’m going with my head on this one and pick the West to win, and  I’m also going to enjoy watching them fighting off the East to do it. I also think Russell Westbrook gets the nod as MVP.
Trevin A Jones
Follow me on Twitter: @UMTsportsreport

Stop Letting Your Kitchen Intimidate You! Learn How To Cook Today With These Simple Tips

Maybe you have tried cooking before with the result of burnt, unrecognizable food or maybe, you simply don’t have the patience to wait on a slow cooker to cook your meals. Do not give up on cooking! Below are some tips to help you make a variety delicious meals to share with family and friends!

Freezing meat slightly before cutting it will help you to get a nice, even thin slice. This works great when you are cutting steak thin for philly’s or if you need to cut pancetta into thin slices or strips. Do not freeze it solid; freeze it just enough that it is slightly firm.

When you are cutting garlic, one of the things that you can do is to put it in a plastic bag before you cut. Then, slice the garlic cloves inside the bag to protect your board from smelling. This will help to reduce the pungent odor that garlic can give off.

To reduce the fat and calories in a recipe that calls for a lot of mayonnaise, simply replace half the mayonnaise with sour cream. Since mayonnaise serves primarily a textural purpose in many of these recipes, replacing it with similarly textured sour cream gives you the same texture with a lighter, healthier taste.

One fun part of learning to cook is showing off your new-found skills. If you are cooking for someone special, though, leave the experimentation for another day. Do not try new recipes or new ingredients (or, worse, both at the same time) when you are cooking a meal for someone you really want to impress.

Even the humble sandwich can benefit from a little cooking expertise. Mayonnaise, mustard, and other condiments should be spread evenly from edge to edge of the sandwich bread. This improves consistency and ensures that every bite of the sandwich gets the benefit of the condiments. Even spreading produces superior sandwich results every time.

When freezing meat it is important to use freezer bags. Meat will get freezer burn if it is not properly stored. Meat that has freezer burn will not taste good when it is cooked, and it often has to be thrown away instead of being eaten. This can be very costly, but can also be easily avoided.

If you are making mashed potatoes, return them to the pot after you have drained them cover the pot tightly and then let it steam for about 5 minutes. By doing this, the potatoes are able to dry out, which will make them mash into the perfect texture. It will also soak up butter and cream easier.

When you have taken enough celery off the stalk for your recipe, place the rest of it in aluminum foil and then place it in the refrigerator. The celery will stay fresh for at least a week by following this method and it will still have the same taste as when it was first bought.

Make the best of your baking adventures by leaving eggs and butter out at room temperature the night before. Then you do not have to go through the frustration of softening the butter to the right consistency. Also, warm eggs whisk to a greater volume, which allows the cake to rise evenly.

If you want to pan sear a nice tuna steak, you want to do it right! Make a baste for the tuna that is comprised of ginger, cilantro, soy sauce, pepper, and salt. Put oil on the pan and heat it, sear for one minute on each side. The middle of the fish should still be pink.

Get all your prep work done the night before you plan to cook a big meal. Getting the most time-consuming part out of the way helps alleviate stress during the actual meal preparation. In addition, your family or friends are sure to be impressed with the speed with which you whip up a culinary masterpiece!

Stock up on ingredients at your local farmers’ market. This fresh, healthy food pretty much prepares itself. The flavors of natural foods dress up the taste of any dish. Avoid over preparing these foods to preserve the natural flavor, and follow your instinct when it says to leave an ingredient out. Sometimes, the most simple dishes are the best.

Here’s Top Cooking Advice For Dinner Tonight!

Is cooking a scary frontier for you? Are you nervous about entering your kitchen, remembering a previous disaster? If this is you, never fear! Plenty of people have trouble with cooking, and all it takes is a little practice and proper education to cook like a pro! Read on to find out how.

If you are cooking for someone important, such as a new boss or for a dinner party, don’t use a new recipe and a new ingredient. Make sure you practice the dish first for your own family. Play around with it to make sure it is how you want it.

Make sure that you defrost your vegetables before you put them in the microwave if you are planning to cook them this way. This will allow you to achieve the best texture, while not sacrificing the taste of your vegetables. After cooking, add your vegetables to the main plate as a side dish.

If you feel that a piece of food you are about to cook does not look right or may be rotten, always error on the side of caution and throw it away. It is better to lose a few dollars than to cost yourself the next couple of weeks from food poisoning.

When you are seasoning a salad, add a small dose of olive oil in addition to natural sea salt. This will help to give your salad a crunchy appeal even after you add the dressing. Keeping your salad as crunchy as possible will create a feeling of freshness upon consumption.

One of the things that you can do if you are cooking cauliflower is to add milk, which will help to brighten your vegetable. This will add to the aesthetic appeal of your food and will also maintain the freshness until you decide to serve it to your friends or family.

You want to cook healthier meals, and one place to consider with regard to changing your menus is in sauces and dressings. Rich, creamy dressings and sauces tend to be extremely unhealthy. You do not need to eliminate these meal-toppers entirely; simply learn how to make lighter, healthier alternatives. Healthier sauces and dressings can go a long way towards making your entire diet healthier.

You can make a lot of preparations when you are cooking to make it easy and fast. Look at your recipes before starting and clue in on the steps that can be done ahead of time without having any spoilage issues. There is a lot of preparation that you can take care of a day in advance. More complex recipes become quicker and more fun this way.

Instead of approaching cooking as an analytic process, you should try to maximize the amount of fun that you have in the kitchen. Put the music on loud and dance from time to time to enjoy what you are doing. Keeping something fun and casual will reduce errors from anxiety.

To discover when oil is really hot enough and ready for the food, look to its’ surface. If it is no longer completely smooth and appears to be shimmering it is hot enough. When oil is allowed to overheat it actually starts breaking down and releasing unpleasant compounds and will begin to smoke, so know when to say when!

Sometimes it can seem like a good idea to pile on all of your ingredients into the pan to save you time from having to cook them all separately. However, this can only prolong the cooking process since most foods need room to breathe in the pan to cook properly while soaking up the spices. Take the extra bit of time to cook them spaced out properly in the pan and you’ll have a better tasting dish.

Do a little research and find out if there is a farmers’ market within shopping distance. These markets – usually held on a weekly basis – are your ticket to purchasing the very freshest ingredients available. Treat food from a farmers’ market with respect; usually, the less cooking you do to such ingredients, the better-tasting the results will be.

One useful tool to use when chopping herbs into smaller sizes is the cutting board. Often while cutting, herbs move around instead of staying in place. To stop this from happening, simply apply a little salt to the cutting board before you begin cutting your herbs. This will keep them in place and make your cooking much easier.

When baking, here is a tip for eggs and butter. Let your eggs and butter set out overnight at room temperature. Doing so will soften the butter which will make it easier to spread, melt, and mix with other ingredients. The eggs will be easier to beat, and foaming egg whites will be easier as well.

When shopping for meat, always get the freshest cuts available. If you are shopping for meat at the butcher shop the meat is being fresh cut or ground. However, when shopping at the grocery store try to find out when the store typically cuts meat for the day and try to arrive near that time. Otherwise, ask at the meat counter for a fresh cut or grind if you do not know the time of the last cut.

To make perfect deviled eggs, ensure the yolk is evenly centered within the egg by spinning the egg on a flat surface before boiling. Place an egg, lengthwise, on the top of the kitchen counter and gently spin it a couple of times. The spinning action helps center the yolk within the shell. This method helps create perfectly-formed deviled eggs.

A great way to save money by cooking is to substitute similar items. For example, let’s say that you want steamed green beans at dinner. Fresh green beans cost about $1.50 a pound even during the season, but frozen green beans, which have much the same color and texture, cost less than a dollar a pound.

As was said in the beginning of this article, cooking is all about education and practice. This article has given you the building blocks to become a better cook, now all you have to do is practice, practice, practice! Soon you’ll be making great food that you’ll love to eat!

Virginia Tech 66 Pittsburgh 63

Have you ever been to the Pete ( Peterson Convention Center ) to watch a Panthers Basketball game? Let me be the first to tell you watching the game on TV does not compare to being there. As  I walked into the Pit shaped arena, the first thing that came to my mind was the coziness of the arena. The seating is almost as snug as being inside a honeycomb, and you can feel the energy from the crowd no matter how large or small. I couldn’ t help but notice the student section affectionately called ” The Oakland Zoo,” it was a sea of gold as the majority of the young ones filling that section wore their gold t-shirts with pride.

Immediately from the opening tip. The  Pitt Panthers looked like a version of the NFL s Carolina Panthers using good defense to set up scoring opportunities. As the Hokies of Virginia Tech and the Panthers got going many of their first scoring attempts were unsuccessful, but within seconds  Cameron  Johnson, Jamel Artis, and  Michael Young found their rhythm and range raining three-point shots down on their visitors from Virginia.  The  trio powered Pittsburgh out to a 12 to 3 lead in the first four and a half minutes of action. Then Panthers guard Chris Jones got involved knocking down a shot from beyond the arc forcing coach Buzz Williams to call a much needed time out as the Panthers lead  reached double digits  10 points (18 to 8).

As the first half continued both teams fought back and forth protecting the ball as Panthers  6′ 8″  210-pound  Sophomore Guard  Cam Johnson was letting the game come to him knocking down three-pointers and using his muscle on the defensive boards. His teammate 6′ 9″ Junior  Michael Young found his groove as well, and  during the early run, Pitt scored five more points as Virginia Tech could only muster three more points.

During the first half, the Panthers showed lots of toughness inside as 6′ 11″ 300-pound center Rozelle Nix and 6′ 8″ Senior Sheldon Jeter battled underneath giving the Hokies problems. As the half wore on the Hokies, cut into the Pittsburgh lead as Justin Robinson nailed a jumper reducing the Pitt lead to just seven. At this point, Virginia Tech Appeared to be settled and finding their rhythm, but height and strength of the Panthers underneath the hoop was proving to be a challenge.

The pace of the game seemed to favor the Panthers as they ran their offense this time with two men low just outside the key and three men outside of the three point line. Cam Johnson who had been making it rain all night to this point knocked down another Trey to restore the Panthers double-digit lead.Meanwhile, Virginia Tech Guards Justin Bibs and Ahmed Hill tried to keep up with the three-point marksmanship of Pittsburgh, but at this point, that was not happening.

The Hokies coming off a double overtime win over Virginia on Saturday appeared to be a little off on this night as their shots would not fall. This allowed  Pittsburgh to go into the locker room up by eleven.

At the beginning of the second half, there was a noticeable change in the pace of the game as both teams once again appeared to search for their comfort zone. Virginia Tech started first as the combination of Justin  Robinson,  Ty Outlaw and Justin Bibbs converted on buckets cutting the deficit they were facing down to seven (45-39 ). Then Pittsburgh Sheldon Jeter was sent to the foul line where he converted one of two shots.  At this Point, the Hokies backcourt of Bibbs and Robinson was clicking as Robinson drove to the hole for a Hokies layup. On the ensuing Panther possession, Jamel Artis knocked down a  Panther’s three-pointer putting  Pittsburgh up by 9 points.

As the game moved under the 10 minutes mark the Panthers maintained at least a six-point lead. Then it happened the proverbial turning point of the game! Virginia Tech’s Ahmad Hill stole the ball and raced to the other end of the court only to be fouled by Young. The bucket went in and the official called a flagrant and one foul putting Hill on the line for two shots (which he converted ), and the Hokies got the ball back. Bibbs nailed a trey on that possession, and the Hokies were up for the first time 53-52. That did not last long as Jeter came right back and nailed a go-ahead jumper.

Then Mr. Johnson (Cameron) went back at it again knocking down his 17th point on the night with another three-pointer extending the Panthers lead to four. But Techs Robinson and  Zach LeDay would not give in as they both converted field goals to tie the game at 57. Once again the Hokies paid a visit to the hole courtesy of Robinson who dropped in 2 points and put the Hokies up 59-57.  Then  Pittsburg’s Michael Young showed power and grace with a spin move on the baseline for a bucket and after Jeter’s 2 points, and the Panthers once again were up by two.

With two minutes left in the game, the Panthers went inside to Jeter again who was fouled. As he stepped to the line, he  effortlessly sank both shots putting Pitt up 63-59. Tech roared back down the court going inside to LeDay who was fouled by Jeter and now faced two shots with a full honeycomb buzzing. LeDay knocked down both and cut the Panthers lead to two (63-61). LeDay then stole, and errant pass and Ahmed Hill confidently sank a shot from beyond the arc putting  Tech up 64-63 with 54 seconds left in Regulation.

After the Panthers, Timeout Pitt inbound the ball at halfcourt and looked to set up their offense. After an errant pass went out of bounds off  a Virginia Tech defender Panthers head coach Kevin Stallings called a timeout to calm his troops. Coming out of the break with 37 seconds left the clock Pitts-Young took a three-point shot from the top of the key and missed. Rebound Tech and Justin Robinson was fouled as he went to the line to shot a one and one. He ignored the raucous crowds and sank them both  putting Tech up by three . But the excitement did not stop there the Panthers had three looks at the bucket from behind the three-point line as time wound down  missing all three attempts and losing the game 66-63.

The win improves Virginia Techs record to 18 wins against seven losses on the season, leadWhile the Panthers fall to 14-12. Ahmed Heads the Tech Scoring with 17 points as he lead four Hokies scoring in double figures. Cameron Johnson and Michael Young had Double Doubles  for the Panthers in Losing efforts. Johnson finished with 17 points and 11 boards , while Young finished the night with 14 points and 10 rebounds. The Panthers next game is Saturday at home against Florida State.

Trevin A Jones

“100” And Counting

Monday night the ladies of the University of Connecticut continued their dominance on the basketball court. The top-ranked team in the land beat South Carolina 66-55 and won their 100th consecutive game. Their winning streak is the longest in sports history and the last time the lady Huskies lost was in 2014, As I think about that fact, I am amazed by the dominance Connecticut has had in women’s’ college basketball.

Coach Geno Auriemma has had previous winning streaks in his 31-year coaching career at UConn. Before his arrival, the lady Huskies had only one winning season and have only experienced one losing season since Auriemma took hold of the head coaching reins. Since 1985  the women’s basketball program has 43 regular season and tournament titles while advancing to 17 final fours. Under the direction of coach Auriemma, the lady huskies captured 11 national championships while maneuvering their way through six perfect seasons. After Mondays win over South Carolina, Connecticut only has four games left in the regular season and only one of the teams on the schedule are in the top 25. So, it appears as though there may be a seventh perfect season in the Huskies near future.
That being said we could see victories 101 through 104 by the end of this month. It is amazing to think that the last time Connecticut lost a women’s basketball game was two years ago and even at that time UConn was on a 47 game winning streak… As a matter of fact, the ladies from Connecticut had at one point been on a 90 game winning streak before the 47 game streak and Stanford also put an end to that streak. So when I think of dominance the Infamous UCLA Bruins run under legendary coach John Wooden comes to mind. The Bruins  88 game winning streak stood out among all winning streaks. Well, the ladies of Connecticut have now done better than that on two separate occasions.
The last 139 games the university of Connecticut women have played they only stumbled one time. It appears that the only weakness UConn may have is Stanford. The last two losses suffered by Connecticut were to the Cardinals The first in 2010 when the Stanford beat the Huskies 53-47 in the NCAA Tournament Championship game and then in the second game of the 2014-15 season when UConn fell again to the team from the West coast 88-86.
That is why I say 100 and counting Unless Geno Auriemma and his  Huskies are on the court against Stanford they appear to be unbeatable.
Trevin A  Jones


It is the desire of everyone to retire into a good and healthy living. And the environment or place we live contributes immensely to our health and living, which is especially of great concern to senior citizens of the country. As a U.S senior you might be wondering which of the cities can serve the purpose of standard living and a moderate rate.


Well, just take a rest and relax while I give some careful analysis of things to watch out for before making a choice for the place the best place to live. Also in this article, I will list the top cities which best serve that purpose of satisfactory living for senior citizens in US and at low cost.


Top 10 Cities:


Aurora, Colorado. This city is indeed awesome for a senior citizen, it possesses features like; parks, large acres of open space hiking, fishing as well as biking. Not to forget is the Aurora Center for Active Adults, this center has equipment for exercises and fitness which seniors can use at a token of $18 monthly, and interestingly, when the purchase is for retired couple, a discount is attached. The cost of housing lies in the cradle of $1,623 for retirees with a mortgage and $904 for renters.


Cleveland. This appealing site of a city lies on the Lake Erie shore, with a reasonable housing price especially for retirees, $1,278, $652, and $478 monthly. Respectively for retirees with the monthly mortgage, for rent, and paid off house. Also in this city is the Case Western Reserve University offering an audit program designed for senior above the ages of 65 at a reduced or subsidized tuition fee.



Dallas.  The exciting characteristics of this city is the fact that, Texas is exempted from paying state income tax, however, do well to analyze the tax bill before buying a property (or home). Dallas also has Retired Volunteer program which is managed by the seniors in the city which also another way to improve the health of active seniors. Arboretum and Botanical Garden also organize events on a weekly basis for the senior ages 65 and above, this event also goes with discounts for the seniors


Durham, North Carolina. In this spectacular city, seniors ages 65 and older are privileged to ride the Triangle Transit system of the bus without a fee. Durham also houses the renowned Duke University, and by extension Duke Hospital. The average rent for retirees is $857 monthly.


Jacksonville, Florida. Another wonderful city with mild winters and is not far off from the white-sand Atlantic Ocean beaches. Prices of houses in this region of Florida is far less compared to other parts of Florida


Kansas City, Kansas. The average rent in this city is $772 monthly. Also in this city is the Kansas Hospital which has maintained a national ranking for its exception caregiving.


Madison, Wisconsin. The capital of this prestigious city houses the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where seniors are granted free audit classes. Madison is located near five lakes as well; these are Mendota, Waubesa, Monona, Kegonsa and Wingra. These centers are well known for its boating and recreation.


Minneapolis. For those longing to retire in water region, Minneapolis is the best place to be, as this city house the renowned Mississippi River as well as other families of lakes. Adequate health care is also available nearby in Rochester, Minnesota with top notch clinic and hospitals.



Phoenix.  This is the capital of Arizona State with the adequate sunny weather for seniors who desire such hot summers and mild winters. Professional sport of a different kind is another enjoyable feature of this city.



Pittsburgh. Seniors in the age range of 65 and older are privileged of free bus riding or Monongahela Incline for free. The rent fee here is also moderate. For seniors who are sports fans have a variety of professional teams to place on their scale of preference. With teams like Pirates, Steelers and the Penguins.