Sleep issues: Are you getting enough? Should you eat before going to going to sleep?

The latest issue of Roomplanners e-zine is all about sleep. It’s got tips on how to fall asleep faster, create a comfortable bedroom, fight bed bugs, and much more!

This free online magazine also includes an article I wrote on when and what you should eat before sleeping. And there’s a recipe for the Nutri Cookies pictured here.

Nutri Cookies

Check out this issue and subscribe (it’s FREE!) to receive future issues of this fabulous design magazine by visiting Sure, I’m a little biased because Roomplanners is written by my sister, but check it out for yourself and let me know what you think!

Oh my!! So THIS is why so many of us are overweight?

We may have finally discovered why many of us find it so hard to lose weight and why we suffer from serious heart health issues!!

If the food images on the web site below truly reflect what some of us are eating on a regular basis, then I’m guessing it’s what we’re putting into our mouths that’s the problem! DUH!!

I was going to mention some of my favourite images on the site, but they’re all too good….I mean bad….I mean bizarre….I mean REALLY – do people actually eat some of this stuff?

Apparently the creators of the web site now have a book deal and you and your photo of calorie and fat-laden, heart attack-inducing food could be part of it. (A little weight management tip: once you’ve taken the picture of the aforementioned food, try to refrain from eating all of it!)

Check it out…..

6 year old attempts to drive to school for breakfast and gym class

Did you hear about the 6 year old in Virginia who missed the school bus on Monday morning, so he decided to drive the family car the 16 km (10 miles) to school? It was the first day back to school after the Christmas holidays and the young boy was determined not to miss breakfast at school or gym class. His dad had left for work already and, depending on which report you listen to, his mother was either sleeping or busy with the boy’s sibling.

Miraculously, although he got within a mile or so of the school and then crashed the car, he was not seriously hurt. Thankfully, neither was anyone else.

Apparently, the boy had “learned to drive” by playing video games. Enroute to school, he had to cross over a bridge. He also passed other cars on a two lane road.

This really is an amazing story. And a tad sad. Whether the youngster wanted to get to school because he liked the breakfasts served there or because he was hungry, who knows? If the latter, thank goodness there are schools that have breakfast programs. At least the child knew where to go to get breakfast, and some physical activity (i.e. gym class). Just too bad he missed his bus and felt he had no option but to drive himself!

Speaking of breakfast, if you want some ideas for yourself or your family for delicious, nutritious breakfasts (the most important meal of the day!), check out these web sites:




* – breakfast recipes

When size matters: What’s on your plate?

I spent last weekend in New York visiting my sister Loreen. To make this trip I usually drive or fly from Toronto to New York City (NYC), but this time my parents and I drove across the border to Buffalo, then took the train to NYC’s Penn Station, and a train to Huntington on Long Island where Loreen picked us up to drive the short distance to her home.

Rainbow over La Casa Cafe on Crab Meadow Beach in Fort Solonga, Long Island, New York

A rainbow appears over La Casa Cafe on Crab Meadow Beach in Fort Salonga, Long Island, New York.

It was Loreen’s birthday last Sunday and we marked her special day with a dinner at La Casa Cafe, a beachfront restaurant in Fort Salonga. La Casa is one of the few restaurants right on the beach on the North Shore of Long Island. (It is Zagat-reviewed and you can read Zagat members’ reviews online.) The night we were there was apparently the last night the restaurant was open for the season. (I’m not sure when Las Casa re-opens again.)

While the restaurant’s interior is somewhat dated, if you get a seat at a table by the wall of windows, the view of the beach and Long Island Sound will easily distract you from any decor issues you might have. You can see some images of the area surrounding the restaurant by clicking on La Casa Cafe above. I snapped the image to the left mostly to get a picture of the rainbow although I should probably have been concentrating on getting a good picture of the restaurant. In addition to Loreen’s birthday we were celebrating the end of a couple days of rain!

A heaping serving of lasagna for the birthday girl. The portion could probably feed 2 or 3 people.

A heaping serving of lasagna for the birthday girl! The generous portion could feed 2 to 3 people.

The menu is Italian and the portions are huge. You will not go home hungry! The four of us each left with at least half of our meal wrapped up and ready to reheat and enjoy again the next day.

Restaurant portions have been increasing in size for some time. Just think of the mammoth muffins served with uber-sized cups of coffee, the seemingly bottomless portions of soft drinks fast food restaurants offer up, and the mountains of french fries that often accompany burgers and sandwiches. Of course, in the long run, excessive portions mean more calories and fat in your diet than you need. This can lead to serious weight gain and health problems.

If you’ve wondered about serving sizes and just how much food should really be on your plate, consider the advice about portion sizes recently offered by dietitian Leslie Beck.

Here’s what she suggests are some ways to help visualize what a Canada’s Food Guide serving looks like:

  • 3 ounces meat, fish, chicken = 1 deck of cards
  • 4 ounces tofu = 1/2 baseball
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter = 1 golf ball
  • 1.5 ounces cheese = 3 dominoes
  • 1/2 cup pasta or rice = 1/2 baseball or a small fist
  • 1 pancake or waffle = a 4-inch CD
  • 1 small muffin = a large egg
  • 1/2 cup cooked vegetables = 1/2 baseball or a small fist
  • 1 cup salad greens = 1 baseball
  • 1 small baked potato = size of your computer mouse
  • 1 medium-sized fruit = 1 baseball
  • 1 teaspoon butter or margarine = tip of your thumb

To avoid ‘portion distortion’, keep these visuals in mind when you sit down to eat.