Girl Scout Cookie Recipes

Girl Scout cookie sales have recently drawn to a close, but have no fear! Your Girl Scout cookie addiction will continue to be satiated with these delicious home made Girl Scout cookie recipes. There are a few in here I was not previously aware of, but they all sound delicious! Enjoy!

The following text and images are courtesy of Kitchen Daily and The Daily Meal. The article can be found here and slideshow of recipes here.

HOW TO MAKE GIRL SCOUT COOKIES AT HOME

The Girl Scouts began selling their famous cookies in 1917, and these baked treats have become an American icon ever since. When the Girl Scouts started their cookie-selling program, troop members baked the cookies in their homes, and sold them door-to-door. This practice taught troop members invaluable lessons in business, and also helped fund troop activities. Since 1936, the task of baking these cookies has been outsourced, but the national affection for them has never stopped. Over the years, a number of different cookie variations have come and gone, but some favorites have lasted throughout the decades.

Do-Si-Dos Recipe

These peanut butter sandwich cookies with a peanut butter filling are the perfect treat.

INGREDIENTS

For the cookies :

  • 1/2 cup plus 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

For the peanut butter filling :

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS

For the cookies :

Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add oats and cook, stirring, until toasted, around 4 minutes. Be careful, as oats begin to toast quickly. Spread oat mixture onto a plate and let cool.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a separate medium bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together remaining ½ cup butter, granulated and brown sugars. Add peanut butter and mix until well combined.

Add oat mixture and flour mixture; mix until combined. Turn dough out onto a piece of parchment paper. Cover dough with another piece of parchment paper and roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick over the upper parchment paper. Transfer to a refrigerator until chilled, about 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Remove top layer of parchment paper. Cut out cookies using a 2-inch round cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets; sprinkle with sugar.

Bake until golden, rotating baking sheets at 5-minute mark, halfway through baking, 10 minutes. Let cool completely on baking sheets.

For the peanut butter filling :

In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients together with an electric mixer on medium speed.

Assemble the sandwich cookies:

When cookies have cooled completely, use a spatula to spread peanut butter filling onto half of the underside of cookies. Top with other half of cookies to make sandwiches.

Lemonades Recipe

These tasty Girl Scout cookies are shortbread cookies with a lemon icing filling.

INGREDIENTS

For the cookies :

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

For the icing :

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

DIRECTIONS

For the cookies :

In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter and granulated sugar until fluffy. Add egg yolks, vanilla, and salt. Beat to combine. Gradually add the flour, mixing until just incorporated. Divide the dough in half and shape into 1 inch-diameter logs. Wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Slice the dough logs into ¼-inch-thick pieces and place 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until lightly golden, around 18 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets, then transfer to cooling racks.

For the icing :

In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and zest until it forms a thick icing. Spread the icing onto half of cookies, and sandwich with other half of cookies.

Samoas Recipe

These popular coconut and chocolate cookies are fun and easy to make at home.

INGREDIENTS

For the cookies :

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the coconut topping :

  • 3 cups shredded sweetened coconut
  • 15 ounces store-bought or homemade soft caramels
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the chocolate drizzle :

  • 8 ounces dark chocolate

DIRECTIONS

For the cookies :

In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In 3 increments, add the flour mixture to the creamed butter, making sure that all the batter is incorporated. Add the milk and vanilla extract, blending until combined. The dough should come together in large pieces.

Divide the dough in half, pressing it together into 2 disks. Wrap the dough disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate them until firm, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Once the dough has chilled, roll each disk out onto a lightly floured surface until it is 1/8-inch thick. Cut out cookies using two round cookie cutters: one 2-inch, and the other smaller to form donut-like shapes. Place the cutout cookies on parchment paper-lined baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.

Bake for 10 minutes, rotating the baking sheet at 5-minute mark until the cookies are pale golden brown. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the coconut topping :

Spread the coconut flakes onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake the coconut for 10 minutes in a 350-degree oven until toasted, stirring frequently for even browning. Be careful: coconut can burn easily. Remove the toasted coconut from the oven and set aside.

Melt the caramels, milk, and salt by placing all 3 ingredients in a medium sauce pot set over a large pot of simmering water. Cook, stirring, until mixture is fully melted. Remove the sauce pot from heat and combine ¾ of the caramel with the toasted coconut in a large bowl.

Spread the remaining ¼-cup of caramel onto the cooled cookies and then press on a portion of the coconut mixture with hands or a spatula. Let the cookies cool for 30 minutes.

For the chocolate drizzle :

Melt chocolate in the microwave. Dip the bottoms of each cookie in the chocolate and place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Drizzle the tops with chocolate, using a fork. Let the cookies sit until the chocolate hardens fully.

Savannah Smiles Recipe

You don’t have to be a Girl Scout to love these lemon cookie with powdered sugar.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup icing sugar, for dusting

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the butter, shortening, and sugar. Mix in lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the baking power and baking soda with the flour. Slowly beat in the dry ingredients with the wet mixture. The dough should come away from the sides of the bowl. Roll the dough into a log, and wrap it with plastic wrap to place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Slice ¼-inch cookies, and shape into half-circle “smiles.” Place cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake for around 9 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Dust the cookies with icing sugar before serving.

Tagalongs Recipe

If you love peanut butter and chocolate together, try making these Girl Scout Peanut Butter Patties at home.

INGREDIENTS

For the cookies :

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, plus 2 teaspoons
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter

For the chocolate dip :

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 4-5 tablespoons warm water

DIRECTIONS

For the cookies :

Place ½ cup powdered sugar and butter in a medium bowl, and cream with an electric mixer on medium until light and creamy. Add 1 tablespoon vanilla and flour, and beat until combined. Wrap dough in plastic, and place in refrigerator for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Roll out dough to a ¼-inch thickness. Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter, shape cookies. Create a medium-shallow well with the back of a spoon (it will later be filled with peanut butter). Bake for about 10 minutes. Cool cookies on a wire rack.

Place peanut butter with 2 teaspoons vanilla extract in a saucepan and heat on low until it becomes soft. Stir to combine. Watch the peanut butter so it doesn’t cook or burn.

For the chocolate dip :

Place the chocolate and heavy cream in a bowl over simmering water. Slowly stir to combine. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing after each addition until mixture becomes pourable. Set aside.

Assemble the cookies:

Spoon the peanut butter filling into shallow cookie wells. Place the cookies in refrigerator for 1 hour for peanut butter filling to harden.

Remove cookies from refrigerator. Pour chocolate on the top of each cookie, or use a spatula to spread.

Thanks-a-Lots Recipe

These Girl Scout cookies are shortbread cookies with a layer of chocolate on the bottom.

INGREDIENTS

For the shortbread cookies :

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Pinch of salt

For the chocolate dipping sauce :

  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted

DIRECTIONS

For the shortbread cookies :

In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, mix and scrape down the sides of the bowl. In a separate medium bowl, combine the flour and salt. With the mixer on low, begin adding the flour to butter mixture. Keep mixing until dough just comes together. Wrap dough into a disc and chill for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly flour a clean surface and roll dough out dough until 1/8 inch thick. Use a 2-inch round cookie cutter to form cookies.

Place cookies onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Bake cookies for 20 minutes or until the cookies begin to brown. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack.

For the chocolate dipping sauce :

Melt chocolate in the microwave or in a double-boiler. Dip one side of each cookie in the melted chocolate and place onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, chocolate side up. Allow chocolate to set, about 1 hour.

Easy Thin Mints Recipe

It’s easier than you think to make these popular minty cookies at home.

INGREDIENTS

For the cookies :

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

For the chocolate coating :

  • 10 ounces dark or semisweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature

DIRECTIONS

For the cookies :

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, cocoa powder, and salt until combined. In a separate large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. With an electric mixer on low, add milk and both extracts. Mixture should look curdled. Gradually, add flour mixture until fully incorporated. Shape dough into 2 logs, 2 inches in diameter, and wrap in plastic to freeze for 1-2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Slice dough into ¼-inch thick rounds and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 12 minutes, until cookies are firm at the edges. Cool cookies completely on a wire rack before dipping in chocolate coating.

For the chocolate coating :

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate and butter. Melt in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds, until chocolate is smooth. Dip each cookie in melted chocolate, turn with a fork to coat, then transfer to parchment paper to set for 30 minutes, or until chocolate is firm. Reheat chocolate as needed to keep smooth for dipping.

Trefoils Recipe

These classic Girl Scout cookies are a simple shortbread cookie with a hint of vanilla flavoring.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS

In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the butter and 1 cup of sugar, then add the vanilla. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt, then add to the butter and sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Transfer onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic to place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Roll the dough 1/2-inch thick and cut with a 2-inch round cookie cutter. Place the cookies on a baking sheet, and sprinkle with sugar. Optional: press with a cookie stamp of your choice.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until they to brown.

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Today, two licensed bakers make Girl Scout cookies: ABC Bakers and Little Brownie Bakers. Regardless of which baker makes the cookies, they turn out looking and tasting very similar. What does change, however, are the names of the cookies. To give you an example, one troop may be selling Samoas, and another Caramel deLites, but they are in fact the same cookie.

Eight varieties of Girl Scout cookies are produced every year, and each troop is required to sell three favorites: Thin Mints, Do-si-dos, and Trefoils. All three cookies were introduced in 1951 and remain their best-sellers today. The other five varieties are decided upon by the bakers and by Girls Scouts of the USA.

Savannah Smiles, a half-moon lemon cookie with powdered sugar, is one if the latest cookie variations to be released. It was created to honor the 100th anniversary of Juliette Gordon Low founding the Girl Scouts. Most of the cookies, including Samoas, Tagalongs, Lemonades, and Thanks-A-Lots, are shortbread-based. They vary by either adding a combination of caramel, coconut, and chocolate, or by simply dipping the base cookie in fudge.

Girl Scout cookies have been such an integral part of American culinary history that there are even hundreds of recipes for desserts that use Girl Scout cookies as an ingredient. We want to share how to make Girl Scout cookies at home, just like they were made in early Girl Scout history: in the kitchens of young troop members. The most popular cookies sold today include: Thin Mints, Samoas, Tagalongs, Do-si-dos, Lemonades, Savannah Smiles, Thanks-A-Lots, and Trefoils.

While we recommend buying these cookies from your local Girl Scouts, you can also make these classic treats at home whenever the craving strikes.

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Workout Like an Olympian

Want to work out like an Olympian? Thanks Huffington Post for this great article of signature workout moves from the best of the best. Enjoy! 
The following text is courtesy of Huffington Post. 

Work Out Like an Olympian

This February, the world will look on as the opening ceremonies for the 2014 Winter Olympics commence. As top notch athletes give it their all and compete for the chance of a lifetime, it’s practically impossible not to be motivated as we cheer them on. So, channel that feeling, and go for the gold with these Olympian-inspired workout moves that will sculpt your legs, abs, arms and shoulders.

Drop Lunges:

Ask any pro skier about a drop lunge and they’ll know what you’re talking about. To prepare for steep and unwieldy terrain, every athlete needs to have good balance and flexibility. By integrating drop lunges into your exercise regimen, you will improve your balance and flexibility through increased hip mobility and also reduce the chance of injury to your knees and lower back. It’s a movement that is performed in nearly every sport so is very functional and core to any training!

To perform a drop lunge, stand with feet at shoulder width. Step with the right leg behind the left leg and drop into a squat position. You will only lunge as far across with your right leg as your legs and hip mobility will allow. The heels will be off the ground and will force you to come up onto the balls of your feet. Keep your torso tall and your abs engaged while performing the movement. Return to start and repeat on the other side.

Lateral Ski Jumps:

Just like the name sounds, lateral ski jumps are a great way to get you one step closer to the gold. Lateral ski jumps blend heart pumping cardio with a functional leg workout that will get you ready for any terrain or athletic pursuit. By combining explosive movements with leg strengthening activities, this is one move you should not miss!

To perform lateral ski jumps, stand with feet shoulder width apart and have toes facing forward. Bend your arms slightly at the elbow and then hold your elbows near the sides of your body. Have top of head aligned with your spine and focus on a point directly in front of you. Bend your knees and lower yourself into a squat, hinging forward slightly from the hips while maintaining a straight spine. Engage your core and push off from both feet equally. Jump laterally to the right, landing on both feet with knees bent. Push off again immediately and jump to your left. Pump your arms upward with every lift off and lower them as you land. Continue to repeat for three to five minutes.

Standing Splits:

Whether you have dreams of pirouetting on the ice or getting big air, you need to have incredible balance. One of our favorite ways to train like an Olympian is to incorporate balance poses like the standing splits into your routine. Standing splits will not only challenge your balance but also help lengthen and tone your legs and help activate your core muscles. To perform standing splits, inhale and bend forward at your hips. Place your hands on the floor just in front you. Keep your knees slightly bent. Shift your weight into your left leg and hold your left calf with your left hand. Keep your right palm on the floor just in front of you. Inhale and lift your right leg up as high as you can on the wall. Keep your leg as straight and active as possible. Hold and repeat on the other side.

Russian Twist:

Every Olympic sport requires strong abs. For a great twist on getting those abs of steel, try a Russian twist. It not only targets your abdominals but also your obliques and back for an all over core workout. To perform the Russian twist, sit on the ground with your knees bent and heels about a foot from your butt. Lean slightly back without rounding your spine at all. Whatever you do, don’t let your back curve! Place your arms straight out in front of you with your hands one on top of the other. Hands should be level with bottom of rib cage. Pull your navel to your spine and twist slowly to the left. The movement should not be large and mainly comes from the ribs rotations, not your arms swinging. Inhale through center and rotate to the right. Repeat.

Side Plank with Crunch:

Side planks with crunches not only target your abdominals and obliques but also tone your shoulders and back. Plus they help you get ready for your best performance by increasing your balance. To perform a side plank with crunch, lie on your left side with your left hand on the floor beneath your left shoulder; let the inside of your right foot rest on the floor in front of your left foot. Engage your core and then push into your left hand to lift your body so it forms a diagonal line from head to heels. Crunch forward and down, bringing right elbow to left elbow and then return to starting position. Repeat at least 10 times; switch sides and repeat.

Dumbbell Alternating Shoulder Press & Twist:

If you want strong, lean and powerful arms, try dumbbell alternating shoulder press and twist. This movement is great because it provides core strengthening and toning in one! To perform dumbbell alternating shoulder press & twist, stand holding a pair of dumbbells just outside your shoulders, with your elbows bent and palms facing each other. Rotate your torso to the right as you press the dumbbell up in your left hand above your shoulder. Reverse the movement back to the starting position, rotate to your left and then press the dumbbell in your right hand upward. Repeat.

Incline Push-Up:

Incline push-ups will strengthen the chest, triceps and shoulders for longer, leaner and meaner arms. This move is great for sculpting arms, working on core strength and increasing stamina. To perform an incline push-up, place your hands on a box, bench, step — or anything else sturdy and steady above the floor to give yourself a natural lift. Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the bench. Pause at the bottom and then push yourself back to the starting position as quickly as possible. Repeat at least 10 times. For extra challenge, you can add in a hop after you come back to start each time (like a modified burpee).

Follow Jamie Walker on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jamiewalker19

Causes of Heart Illness

This is a very interesting read finally telling the truth behind the causes heart disease and heart illness. The climate and mindset around heart illness has changed dramatically over the past few years shifting from a cholesterol based ideology to that of inflammation. Study after study has shows this to be true. This is a must read! See the article in full here. The following text and images are courtesy of Tuned Body.

Heart surgeon declares on what really causes heart illness

Dec 8, 2013

We physicians with all our experience, know how and authority often acquire a rather large selfishness that tends to make it hard to accept we are wrong. So, here it is. I openly admit to being mistaken. As a heart surgeon with 25 years experience, having done more than 5,000 open-heart surgeries, today is my day to right the wrong with medical and scientific proof.

I trained for many years with other prominent physicians labelled “opinion makers.” Bombarded with scientific literature, continually attending education seminars, we opinion makers insisted heart disease resulted from the simple fact of elevated blood cholesterol.

The only accepted therapy was prescribing medications to lower cholesterol and a diet that severely restricted fat intake. The latter of course we insisted would lower cholesterol and heart disease. Deviations from these recommendations were considered heresy and could quite possibly result in malpractice.

It Is Not Working!

These recommendations are no longer scientifically or morally defensible. The discovery a few years ago that inflammation in the artery wall is the real cause of heart disease is slowly leading to a paradigm shift in how heart disease and other chronic ailments will be treated.

The long-established dietary recommendations have created epidemics of obesity and diabetes, the consequences of which dwarf any historical plague in terms of mortality, human suffering and dire economic consequences.

Despite the fact that 25% of the population takes expensive statin medications and despite the fact we have reduced the fat content of our diets, more Americans will die this year of heart disease than ever before.

Statistics from the American Heart Association show that 75 million Americans currently suffer from heart disease, 20 million have diabetes and 57 million have pre-diabetes. These disorders are affecting younger and younger people in greater numbers every year.

Simply stated, without inflammation being present in the body, there is no way that cholesterol would accumulate in the wall of the blood vessel and cause heart disease and strokes. Without inflammation, cholesterol would move freely throughout the body as nature intended. It is inflammation that causes cholesterol to become trapped.

Inflammation is not complicated — it is quite simply your body’s natural defence to a foreign invader such as a bacteria, toxin or virus. The cycle of inflammation is perfect in how it protects your body from these bacterial and viral invaders. However, if we chronically expose the body to injury by toxins or foods the human body was never designed to process,a condition occurs called chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is just as harmful as acute inflammation is beneficial.

What thoughtful person would willfully expose himself repeatedly to foods or other substances that are known to cause injury to the body? Well, smokers perhaps, but at least they made that choice willfully.

The rest of us have simply followed the recommended mainstream diet that is low in fat and high in polyunsaturated fats and carbohydrates, not knowing we were causing repeated injury to our blood vessels. This repeated injury creates chronic inflammation leading to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity.

Let me repeat that: The injury and inflammation in our blood vessels is caused by the low fat diet recommended for years by mainstream medicine.

What are the biggest culprits of chronic inflammation? Quite simply, they are the overload of simple, highly processed carbohydrates (sugar, flour and all the products made from them) and the excess consumption of omega-6 vegetable oils like soybean, corn and sunflower that are found in many processed foods.

Take a moment to visualize rubbing a stiff brush repeatedly over soft skin until it becomes quite red and nearly bleeding. you kept this up several times a day, every day for five years. If you could tolerate this painful brushing, you would have a bleeding, swollen infected area that became worse with each repeated injury. This is a good way to visualize the inflammatory process that could be going on in your body right now.

Regardless of where the inflammatory process occurs, externally or internally, it is the same. I have peered inside thousands upon thousands of arteries. A diseased artery looks as if someone took a brush and scrubbed repeatedly against its wall. Several times a day, every day, the foods we eat create small injuries compounding into more injuries, causing the body to respond continuously and appropriately with inflammation.

While we savor the tantalizing taste of a sweet roll, our bodies respond alarmingly as if a foreign invader arrived declaring war. Foods loaded with sugars and simple carbohydrates, or processed with omega-6 oils for long shelf life have been the mainstay of the American diet for six decades. These foods have been slowly poisoning everyone.

How does eating a simple sweet roll create a cascade of inflammation to make you sick?

Imagine spilling syrup on your keyboard and you have a visual of what occurs inside the cell. When we consume simple carbohydrates such as sugar, blood sugar rises rapidly. In response, your pancreas secretes insulin whose primary purpose is to drive sugar into each cell where it is stored for energy. If the cell is full and does not need glucose, it is rejected to avoid extra sugar gumming up the works.

When your full cells reject the extra glucose, blood sugar rises producing more insulin and the glucose converts to stored fat.

What does all this have to do with inflammation? Blood sugar is controlled in a very narrow range. Extra sugar molecules attach to a variety of proteins that in turn injure the blood vessel wall. This repeated injury to the blood vessel wall sets off inflammation. When you spike your blood sugar level several times a day, every day, it is exactly like taking sandpaper to the inside of your delicate blood vessels.

While you may not be able to see it, rest assured it is there. I saw it in over 5,000 surgical patients spanning 25 years who all shared one common denominator — inflammation in their arteries.

Let’s get back to the sweet roll. That innocent looking goody not only contains sugars, it is baked in one of many omega-6 oils such as soybean. Chips and fries are soaked in soybean oil; processed foods are manufactured with omega-6 oils for longer shelf life. While omega-6′s are essential -they are part of every cell membrane controlling what goes in and out of the cell — they must be in the correct balance with omega-3′s.

If the balance shifts by consuming excessive omega-6, the cell membrane produces chemicals called cytokines that directly cause inflammation.

Today’s mainstream American diet has produced an extreme imbalance of these two fats. The ratio of imbalance ranges from 15:1 to as high as 30:1 in favor of omega-6. That’s a tremendous amount of cytokines causing inflammation. In today’s food environment, a 3:1 ratio would be optimal and healthy.

To make matters worse, the excess weight you are carrying from eating these foods creates overloaded fat cells that pour out large quantities of pro-inflammatory chemicals that add to the injury caused by having high blood sugar. The process that began with a sweet roll turns into a vicious cycle over time that creates heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and finally, Alzheimer’s disease, as the inflammatory process continues unabated.

There is no escaping the fact that the more we consume prepared and processed foods, the more we trip the inflammation switch little by little each day. The human body cannot process, nor was it designed to consume, foods packed with sugars and soaked in omega-6 oils.

There is but one answer to quieting inflammation, and that is returning to foods closer to their natural state. To build muscle, eat more protein. Choose carbohydrates that are very complex such as colorful fruits and vegetables. Cut down on or eliminate inflammation- causing omega-6 fats like corn and soybean oil and the processed foods that are made from them.

One tablespoon of corn oil contains 7,280 mg of omega-6; soybean contains 6,940 mg. Instead, use olive oil or butter from grass-fed beef.

Animal fats contain less than 20% omega-6 and are much less likely to cause inflammation than the supposedly healthy oils labelled polyunsaturated. Forget the “science” that has been drummed into your head for decades. The science that saturated fat alone causes heart disease is non-existent. The science that saturated fat raises blood cholesterol is also very weak. Since we now know that cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease, the concern about saturated fat is even more absurd today.

The cholesterol theory led to the no-fat, low-fat recommendations that in turn created the very foods now causing an epidemic of inflammation. Mainstream medicine made a terrible mistake when it advised people to avoid saturated fat in favor of foods high in omega-6 fats. We now have an epidemic of arterial inflammation leading to heart disease and other silent killers.

What you can do is choose whole foods your grandmother served and not those your mom turned to as grocery store aisles filled with manufactured foods. By eliminating inflammatory foods and adding essential nutrients from fresh unprocessed food, you will reverse years of damage in your arteries and throughout your body from consuming the typical American diet.
by Dr. Dwight Lundell – from: PreventDisease

A Makeup Artists Perspective on Beauty

We all criticize and judge ourselves and others, women especially. Society has brainwashed us into believing in this false ideal of beauty that in unattainable and unhealthy. We look in the mirror and criticize every flaw, ignoring the beauty and strengths within us all. Oftentimes it is the most beautiful who judges the harshest. It is time to change. Time to recognize the positive and focus on loving ourselves and others for what we truly are and offer the world.

Baked Onion Rings

Onion rings are my guilty pleasure. Especially with big, sweet vidalia onions and a delicious beer batter crunch. This baked recipe from Vegetarian Time is delicious!! I’ve also swapped out the plain bread crumbs for panko bread crumbs, absolutely delicious! Also try adding some seasoning. I really love red pepper flakes and cumin. Play around and enjoy these onion rings almost guilt free! The following images and text are courtesy of Vegetarian Times. Enjoy! 

Baked Onion Rings

Baked Onion Rings

Serves 4

Nutritional Information

Per Serving (6 onion rings):

  • Calories: 321
  • Protein: 8 g
  • Total Fat: 5 g
  • Saturated Fat: <1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 60 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 650 mg
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Sugar: 15 g
Crunchy on the outside, tender and sweet on the inside, these battered and baked onion rings have a fraction of the calories of their deep-fried cousins.
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp. salt, divided
  • ¾ cup tonic water
  • 1 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 2 medium sweet onions, cut into ½-inch-thick slices

1. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Whisk together flour and 1/2 tsp. salt in bowl. Whisk in tonic water, adding more, if necessary, to make pancake-like batter.

2. Combine breadcrumbs, oil, and remaining 1/4 tsp. salt in shallow bowl.

3. Separate onions into rings. Dip each onion ring into batter, shaking off excess, then dip into breadcrumbs, coating completely. Place on prepared baking sheet, then place baking sheet in freezer 20 minutes to set batter on rings.

4. Preheat oven to 450°F. Bake onion rings 7 to 10 minutes, or until they begin to brown on bottoms. Flip, and bake 7 to 10 minutes more, or until golden. Season with salt, if desired.