Mexican Meals and Customs

MEALS AND CUSTOMS

Desayuno is breakfast in Mexico and as in many other places, it is eaten early and is usually a light meal. For the countryside farmer or the worker in Mexico City, the first meal may be tortillas with frijoles refritos sprinkled with mild grated cheese and washed down with hot chocolate or cafe con leche (coffee with milk). For the city person, the tortillas may be replaced with fresh bolillas or other breads, the hot drink will be the same, but the morning paper may be the accompaniment. Where time and money are no problem, a more leisurely desayuno may include fresh fruits, eggs (huevos rancheros), tortillas, and frijoles refritos garnished with grated cheese and a few wedges of fresh avocado, together with cafe con leche or hot chocolate.

The main meal of the day is usually the comida lasting a leisurely two or three hours (which may include a rest time), from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. Most people try to take this meal at home with their family.

Mexicans also have a name for a special lunch at about 11:00 a.m. which they call almuerzo. This meal usually consists of one filling dish such as sopa seca or something based on tortillas such as tacos or enchiladas. But if almuerzo is taken, then the comida would be correspondingly a lighter meal.

And if either the almuerzo or the comida left some hunger pangs, there is a type of “sweet break” in the late afternoon that usually consists of sweet rolls or small pastries with coffee or chocolate and this is called merienda.

In spite of the many “official” meals, snacking is a national pastime and many vendors on city streets and along the highways make their living by carefully preparing fresh sliced fruits, fruit drinks like horchata (prepared from melon seeds, sugar, and lime), candied fruits and vegetables, salted and spiced nuts and seeds.

On special occasions, many villages have their own local sweet bakeries and small confections that are prepared in the homes then offered for sale to passers-by. Some of the oldest traditional sweets and baked goods were prepared by nuns in the convents for special holidays. Within minutes a small stand can be set up to make fresh tortillas, and varieties of fillings and bottles of hot spicy sauces to be used to taste. Other stands are specially constructed to bake bananas where they are served hot with a sprinkle of sugar and a dribble of canned milk. Chicarrones (pork cracklings), fried taco chips and crispy-fried cookies all beckon the appetite of anyone walking by.

The evening meal is called the cena. In the rural areas this would, like the other meals, be based on the staples of tortillas and frijoles and may include a cazuela of vegetables, seasoned with a mole of garlic, onions, tomatoes, and chilies. This evening meal is taken very late in the city eight to ten o’clock being a usual time. But this meal would not be a heavy one unless the family is dining out or there is a special occasion. Much entertaining is done out of the home, especially in the city. Home parties are likely to be buffet style.

Borrowed from: http://www.food-links.com/countries/mexico/meals-customs-mexico.php

Viva la Mexico

This week, we will be featuring Mexico on our blog to honor our Mexican followers and anyone who loves Mexican food and culture. Enjoy!

Skinny Fiber Results Online Facebook Trivia Answer

Hello all,

The answer to today’s Skinny Fiber Results Online Facebook Trivia Question is 3.4 ounces.  According to the latest from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the correct answer is 3.4 ounces per day. Of that, 1.8 ounces per day is the average beef consumption. If you want to view the question, click here.

Thanks for playing!!

Health.Fun.Energy

And don’t forget… if you like their page on Facebook between now and August 31 at 11:59 pm, you will be entered to win a great FITNESS JOURNAL!!!

Want to Win a FREE Fitness Journal?

Hello all,

Our friends over at Skinny Fiber Results Online have a fantastic contest for you that they asked us to help them promote.

They have a spectacular Facebook page and they would love to have our followers be a part of it. They have exciting posts about nutrition, health, and fitness that we know you will LOVE! 

So here’s the deal…

Any person who “LIKES” the Facebook Page from now until August 31, 2012 at 11:59 pm EST will be entered in a drawing to win a Fantastic Fitness Journal!!!!

Diet and Fitness Journal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Like” in the page is easy and it can be done in two ways:

  1. Click Here

  2. Click “Like” on the Facebook box on the right side of the Health.Fun.Energy blog page

Need a “Day at the Spa?”

So some of you may know we have partnered with a great blog/Facebook Page called Skinny Fiber Results Online. They are an awesome company that promote the same values that we do here at Health.Fun.Energy and they sponsor a weekly Skinny Cocktail that we are privileged to share with you.

As a follower of our blog, we are giving you a sneak peak of the Skinny Cocktail that will be posted later on their Facebook page. 

It seriously doesn’t get any better than this!!!

Low Calorie Cocktail

Need a day at the Spa?

To locate the liquor, you can go to: http://www.trytyku.com/home.html

8 Surprising Energy Sappers

A large part of our mission here at Health.Fun.Energy is giving you exciting content that will help you feel better about the way you live. We thought this would be perfect because many of us do lead busy (and often exhausting) lifestyles.

Energy sapper: your breakfast menu
Missing a morning meal slows metabolism and depletes your body of the fuel it needs to function optimally, explains nutrition expert Joy Bauer, R.D. But what you eat matters as much as the fact that you eat something. Bauer suggests starting each day with a breakfast that contains at least 5 grams of protein. This nutrient activates the production of norepinephrine, a neurochemical that increases heart rate and alertness. It also digests slowly so blood sugar and energy levels stay stable. Some tasty recipes: a cup of cereal (with 3 g or more of fiber, no more than 120 calories per serving) topped with skim milk, 1/2 cup of blueberries and 1 tablespoon of chopped walnuts (10 g of protein per serving), or an omelet made with 4 egg whites, 1/2 cup chopped broccoli, 1/4 cup chopped onion and 1 ounce lowfat shredded cheese (22 g of protein per serving).

Energy sapper: your outfit
Those killer heels and pencil skirts may look polished and professional, but if you’re sacrificing comfort for fashion, they can also turn you into the office sloth. Workers took an average of 491 fewer steps on days they wore more formal business attire compared with dress-down days, according to research commissioned by the American Council on Exercise in San Diego. And using less energy leads to having less energy, says Cedric Bryant, Ph.D., chief science officer with ACE: “Sitting at your desk all day slows circulation, so less energizing oxygen is delivered to cells throughout your body.” Wear clothes that allow for movement and cushy footwear instead of uncomfortable heels to the office so you’ll be more likely to walk around. If you can’t part with your stilettos, keep them on at work, then slip into flats or low-heeled shoes for a lunch-break walk outdoors and your commute.

Energy sapper: your worrying
Credit card debt, a micromanaging boss—long-term stressors such as these can leave you spent. “Chronic stress increases heart rate and blood pressure, making your body work overtime,” explains Nieca Goldberg, M.D., director of the New York University Langone Medical Center Women’s Heart Program in New York City. “When you’re on edge, you also tend to tighten your muscles, which sets you up for aches and fatigue.” What’s more, worriers often take shallow breaths, so they don’t take in enough oxygen, Dr. Goldberg says. “You’re essentially hyperventilating and building up carbon dioxide in your blood, a waste product that can make you feel tired and dizzy.” When anxiety strikes, take three slow, deep breaths to give your body a big dose of energizing oxygen while slowing down a rapid heart rate. Then, as soon as you have a few minutes of downtime, do something distracting that feels good, like talking to a friend or watching a funny movie.

Energy sapper: your messy desk
Digging through piles of unorganized paperwork is a time and energy stealer in and of itself, but merely the sight of those stacks can stress you out, decrease efficiency and drain your brain, says Carol Landau, Ph.D., clinical professor of psychiatry and medicine at Brown Medical School in Providence, Rhode Island. While a little disarray is OK, in general, your desk should hold only items that you use very frequently—your computer or stapler—and the paperwork you’re working on that day,” notes Laura Stack, author of The Exhaustion Cure (Random House). Nonessential items—a labeler and a three-hole punch—can go in a drawer. Tokeep your desk clear, spend five minutes at the end of each day putting documents you’re working on in a neat pile and filing away the rest.

Energy sapper: your Saturday sleep-ins
“Bingeing on sleep on weekends to catch up on missed zzz’s throws off your circadian rhythm, your body’s 24-hour clock that plays a key role in sleep and wakefulness,” says Amy Wolfson, Ph.D., author of The Woman’s Book of Sleep (New Harbinger Publications). Sleeping in—and hitting the hay that night later than usual as a result—also makes it hard to readjust to your workweek routine, so you start Mondays in a fog. Strive to get up within the same 60-minute range both days: Oversleeping by more than one hour significantly disrupts your body clock. Still wake up with a case of the groggies? Open your bedroom shades as soon as your alarm goes off. The sunlight sends a signal to your brain that it’s time to get up.

Energy sapper: your lack of vitamin C
About 30 percent of women don’t get enough vitamin C, and too-low levels can zap your energy. That’s because vitamin C helps produce carnitine, a molecule that shuttles fatty acids into cells where they’re burned for energy, says Carol Johnston, Ph.D., professor of nutrition at Arizona State University at Mesa. “Lack of carnitine forces the body to use carbs or protein for energy instead. That can cause your body to produce lactic acid, a waste product that builds up in tissue and fatigues muscles.” Aim to get the recommended daily allowance of 75 mg of C daily bynoshing on naturally rich sources such as an orange or a kiwifruit (both have about 70 mg per fruit), broccoli (1 cup chopped: 74 mg) or strawberries (1 cup: 89 mg).

Energy sapper: your stuck-in-a-rut routine
Grandma was right: Variety is the spice of life. “We all crave diversity and challenge,” Steven Berglas, Ph.D and author of Reclaiming the Fire: How Successful People Overcome Burnout says. “When there’s no challenge in completing a task, you go on autopilot—it’s mind-numbing.” If job monotony is dragging you down, ask your boss for more or different responsibilities, or have lunch with someone in another department to find out if her type of job is something you’d like to explore, Berglas suggests. Blasé about your daily regimen? Simple change-ups can deliver some rut-busting benefits. For instance, find an alternate route home (and stop at a park or shop that grabs your eye along the way); sign up for a language, pottery or photography class to get your brain chomping on something new; or trade the treadmill for a fun circuit training class.

Energy sapper: your sluggish thyroid
Found at the base of the throat, this gland secretes hormones that help control metabolism, heart rate and more. “The less active your thyroid is in producing hormones, the slower your metabolism and the less energy you have,” says Stephen Richardson, M.D., an endocrinologist at NYU Langone Medical Center. Other telltale signs of an underactive thyroid include constipation, menstrual irregularities and dry skin, hair and nails. A blood test can reveal whether your levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone are high—a sign that the thyroid isn’t working up to speed. If they are, your M.D. can help pinpoint and treat whatever is elevating them; a viral infection or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (an autoimmune disease) are potential culprits. If your gland can’t do its job, you may need to take a daily synthetic thyroid hormone pill. Fortunately, once those hormones are back in balance, your lethargy will disappear. In the meantime, try relaxation exercises (deep breathing or yoga). “If you have a thyroid problem, stress might add to the drain on your energy levels,” Dr. Richardson says. That’s one more good excuse to take it easy—and save your energy for something fun.

Content borrowed from:

http://health.yahoo.net/experts/healthieryou/8-surprising-energy-sappers

Turkey Reuben Sandwiches

It is almost lunch time on the East Coast. What are you having today?

Smoked turkey stands in for corned beef in this lightened variation of a deli favorite. Serve with a pickle wedge and chips.

Turkey Rueben Sandwich

Lighten up with this Turkey Rueben Sandwich
Borrowed from: http://www.allrecipe.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 8 slices rye bread
  • 4 (1-ounce) slices reduced-fat, reduced-sodium Swiss cheese (such as Alpine Lace)
  • 8 ounces smoked turkey, thinly sliced
  • 2/3 cup sauerkraut, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup fat-free Thousand Island dressing
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil, divided

Preparation

  1. Spread about 3/4 teaspoon mustard over each bread slice.
  2. Place 1 cheese slice on each of 4 bread slices.
  3. Divide turkey evenly over cheese.
  4. Top each serving with 2 1/2 tablespoons sauerkraut and 1 tablespoon dressing.
  5. Top each serving with 1 bread slice, mustard sides down.
  6. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  7. Add 2 sandwiches to pan; top with another heavy skillet.
  8. Cook 3 minutes on each side or until golden; remove sandwiches from pan, and keep warm.
  9. Repeat procedure with remaining oil and sandwiches.

Recipe and Image borrowed from: http://www.allrecipe.com