Affiliate Ad

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Baltic Amber Necklaces - Holistic or Hype?

Chances are, you or someone you know has jumped on the amber necklace train. The question is, do they actually work or is it the placebo effect? Well, today, I am doing my best to answer that question.

The science behind the medicinal use of Baltic amber is grounded in succinic acid. Baltic amber has the highest concentrations of succinic acid found in nature. This acid is released by your body heat and absorbed by your skin as a natural pain reliever. It is referred to as an antispasmodic and anti-fever by homeopathic doctors. You can find more information on succinic acid here.

Common medicinal uses for Baltic amber are relief from teething, headaches, inflammation of throat, ears, and stomach, rashes, stomach aches, earaches, fevers, colds, arthritis, carpal tunnel, and fighting infections and respiratory diseases.

I can personally attest to the effectiveness of Baltic amber for teething as well as aches and pains. I have used an amber teething necklace for my daughter ever since she started teething. There has always been a night and day difference between the days she wears it and the days she doesn't. I think its safe to say that toddlers are immune to the placebo effect.

I know so many families that have had wonderful results with these necklaces. It is important to note that when buying, make sure to get a certified authentic Baltic amber necklace, bracelet, etc. You'll want to use a reputable dealer and they generally run about $25 for a child's necklace, although the price can vary greatly.

Do you use Baltic amber? Please share pics on Twitter using #alacuisinellc or comment below.

***This information is not intended to diagnose or treat and illness or disease. Please consult your (preferably homeopathic) medical practitioner before starting any new health regimen. As with most natural remedies, this information has not been approved by the FDA.***

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Beauty Berry - Nature's Insect Repellant

Beauty Berry is a relatively hardy shrub located in the southeastern woods. It has purple berries that ripen in the fall. This bush was traditionally used by farmers who would use the branches to protect their horses. They would put the branches in between the saddles and the horses' backs and as the oils were released, the horses were protected.

It has since been used for ages on humans as well. Simply crushing the leaves by hand releases the natural oils. The oils can then be applied to the skin giving protection from harmful insects.

In 2006, the US Department of Agriculture's Natural Products Utilization Research Unit in Oxford, MS concluded that the extract matches DEET in effectiveness against mosquitoes, ticks, fire ants, and more for three hours at a time. Science, it seems, caught up with what people already knew.

Have you ever used beauty berry as an insect repellent? Did you know about beauty berry? Please share your experiences on Twitter using #alacuisinellc.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Lammas - the Turning Point of the Year

Lammas is a special holiday (aren't they all), that is shared by many belief systems and paths. It is generally celebrated on August 1st, although some start the celebration the day before.

Lammas is centered on the beginning of the wheat harvest with loaves of bread from the first harvest being baked and blessed for the celebration. It is also the time when Summer metaphorically dies in preparation for Winter. You can read a very basic description of Lammas here.

This time is looked upon as a time of reflection and new beginnings. The first chills of the change in seasons can sometimes be felt. It is bittersweet. Focusing on the future while acknowledging the past is a wonderful way to celebrate this beautiful time of the year.

Traditionally, several cultures will make corn dollys during this celebration in preparation for Spring. It represents the promise of future seed for the next harvest and is typically a shape made of wheat fibers that is filled with seeds from this first harvest. This can be an exceptionally fun activity when there are children present!

Corn Dolly

Corn Husks
Wheat or seeded pieces of grain
Rope to secure
(Plant fibers can be used in place of rope)

1. Choose the final shape intended, this could be the shape of a person, wheel, or anything that speaks to you. It can be as large or as small as you want.

2. Create the shape, securing pieces as needed with fibers or rope.

3. Fill with additional seeds (optional). You can also add papers with prayer requests into your dolly if you feel led to do so.

4. Feel free to display your Lammas Dolly during your celebration and even for a few days after. Then, safely store it until Spring, where I will have a fun activity suggestion for you to do with it!

Have you ever heard of Lammas? Do you celebrate it? If not, do you plan to now? I would love to see pictures of your Lammas celebrations, so please share on Twitter using #alacuisinellc

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Exciting News!!!

It has been a huge process that involved a lot of personal searching, but I am excited to announce that A La Cuisine will be going in a different direction!

My goal has always been to help others and I am feeling led to do that in a different and more meaningful way. This is Going to be an exciting time for all of us and I am so thankful to be sharing this journey with each and every one of you!

A La Cuisine will now be featuring natural healing information, recipes, and insights. There will also be personal development techniques and support, as well as coaching on common issues as well as some unique struggles.

If there is some topic in this range that speaks to you, or help that you would like with a specific manner, I can be reached at

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Elf Matte Lipstick Review!

I have taken some time to test out Elf's Matte lipstick and it performs extremely well! In using this lipstick for the past month, I can now accurately share my experience.

The color that I chose was Berry Sorbet. For the three dollars that I spent on it, I have to say that I didn't expect very much. But, I have used other elf products and I have been very happy with them, so it was worth a shot.

The color was so vibrant and rich. It went on very smoothly. It is not a dull matte and it didn't dry out my lips either. Because of the shape, I was able to use it to line my lips before filling them in. That was definitely an added bonus.

Now, this is not a lip stain, so it will transfer to things like napkins, but I knew that going into this. As far as the transfer, it wasn't bad when it came to things like glasses and cups. It did leave a little mark, but not some huge layer that ends up smearing your lipstick on the second sip.

Overall, I would say that this lipstick performs well when dining. The color is true and it lasts for quite some time, even with the mild transferring. And, for a few dollars, you really can't beat the price. I look forward to reviewing more products in the future.

I would love to hear your experiences with Elf lipsticks, so please comment below and share your photos on Twitter using #alacuisinellc.

***this is not a sponsored post, all opinions are my own.***

Don't forget to subscribe to receive all of the relevant news when it comes to food.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Kale Chips - the Ultimate Superfood Snack

If you've ever dealt with trying to find a healthy snack that actually tastes good or an "out of the norm" new vegetable side, this recipe is for you! Kale is often overlooked, but it is a superfood suited for many uses!

This amazing vegetable has many health benefits including the fact that it is high in iron, vitamin K, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, calcium, and fiber; easily making kale a guilt-free, superfood addition to your diet. You can add it to smooties, stirfrys, egg scrambles, burgers, salads, as well as many other things, including these delicious chips.

Kale chips are incredibly easy to make and only require three ingredients. The are light and crispy, absolutely delicious. If you buy kale already chopped, this recipe becomes even simpler, but it can be done with a bunch of kale with minimal effort.

Kale Chips Recipe
3 Cups of Chopped Kale (stalks removed)
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1 or 2 Pinches of Sea Salt

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper.
2. Combine all ingredients in large bowl and toss to coat.
3. Pour coated kale on cookie sheet, spreading the pieces out as much as possible.
4. Cook for 10-15 min. until crispy and brown around edges.
5. Enjoy!

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. Beware that they are very addictive! Please share your experiences in the comments below and if you take photos, I would love to see them on Twitter, using #alacuisinellc.

Don't forget to subscribe to receive all of the news when it comes to food.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Fun and Romantic Foods Ideas for a Valentines' Night In

Going out to dinner can be a wonderful way to celebrate Valentines' day, but it can also be a hassle. Poor food or inattentive waitstaff, even heavy traffic can really put a damper on the mood. Here are some ideas to help you celebrate with your love while staying in.

Few things beat the romance of a picnic at home, preferably in front of the fireplace. The coziness and intimacy of it can create the perfect atmosphere. Put on a romantic movie or music in the background, pour some wine, and you've got the right foundation for a special night.

Cooking together can be an activity filled with affection and anticipation. Think creativity, such as making a thin crust pizza together. (You don't want anything too heavy.) Keep it simple and buy the crust, sauce, and toppings. That way you can jump right in to assembling it together.

If you're looking for something sweeter, you can get a variety of fruit and some chocolate chips. You can cut up the fruit and melt the chocolate together. Its up to you if you coat the fruit and let it set or if you dip as you go. Think bananas, strawberries, apples.

If cooking together really isn't your thing, have no fear. Pick out some shrimp cocktail or a deli tray together. You could even do mini appetizers if you prefer. Assemble it in pretty serving dishes and you're good to go.

Make sure to lay out blankets, pillows, and candles. You want to be as comfortable as possible. Even if you don't on a daily basis, break out the China plates and cloth napkins. Show each other how much you care!

I hope that these ideas help you to have a special Valentines' day full of romance. I would love to hear about your picnic experiences below.

Don't forget to subscribe to receive all of the relevant news when it comes to food.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Find Your Specialty Recipes at the Library

The library is an often overlooked, yet vital asset to each and every one of us. Thousands upon thousands of books and videos at your fingertips for free. So, how can this help your cooking?

Public libraries have an astounding number of books on cooking techniques, recipes, and entertaining guidelines. You can find books on every cooking style, older traditional recipes, newer fusion recipes. All the information for your next culinary adventure at your fingertips!

There is nothing wrong with buying books that interest you. My motto is that "you can never have too many books". But, why not try out your public libraries' selection first. That way you can find the books that truly speak to you and then you can buy those. This helps ensure that you don't end up with a plethora of books you'll never use.

Most libraries have websites where you can search by title or topic ahead of time. You can peruse the variety of choices and place holds on the books that interest you. The library will send notifications when the selections are ready.

Or, if you have a little time to spare, you can search the selections in person. Sometimes a book will catch your attention that you might not ordinarily choose. You can also request books that your library may not have yet.

Throughout this year, when you're trying to find that favorite new recipe or trying to track down that old family recipe that was lost, think of your library first. You will most certainly be pleasantly surprised.

Do you use your public library? Please share your experiences with cookbooks from your public library below! If you get a cookbook from your local library, share on Twitter using #alacuisinellc.

Don't forget to subscribe to receive all of the relevant news when it comes to food.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Are you getting the most use out of your flatware?

Flatware used to be very coveted tools that were considered a luxury. In modern times, it seems that a single fork on the table at each place setting is accepted as adequate. This is an injustice that has led to sloppy eating habits and a loss of etiquette as well as manners.

At the absolute minimum, a place setting should have a knife and fork. Preferably a bread knife on a bread plate as well if the meal so dictates. Having a dinner knife allows you a "pusher" for getting smaller bites of food onto your fork. This eliminates the need to shovel bites of food off of your plate and into your mouth.

Having a separate bread knife ensures that your butter stays clean and that guests can access the butter as needed. Its terrible to use your dinner knife on your dinner only to find out that you were expected to use it on the butter first. If you will not have bread knives, ensure that your guests have access to the butter before soiling their dinner knives.

If you have a salad or vegetable course, you should utilize a salad fork and knife. The smaller fork is specifically designed for salads and the knife ensures that larger pieces can be cut into manageable bites.

The larger spoon in your flatware set is the soup spoon. The smaller one is the tea or dessert spoon. If you have one of the modern sets, it is generally a five-piece set. A small fork and spoon, a large fork and spoon, and a dinner knife. To fully utilize this set, you can use the smaller fork and the dinner knife for the salad, the larger fork and a steak knife for the entree, the larger spoon for soup, and the smaller spoon for dessert.

Ensuring that you use the proper utensils for your meals will empower you to have an enriched dining experience. You and your guests will be able to have more control over the food on the plates giving confidence and enjoyment to all.

Do you utilize multiple pieces of flatware for your meals? Please comment below with your thoughts and experiences.

Bringing you all of the relevant news when it comes to food.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Teach Patience and Build Your Toddlers Confidence with this Easy Yogurt Cake

Children can learn so much from making things in the kitchen. Not only does it teach them patience and how to follow instructions, but it also teaches science and builds confidence. The younger that you start allowing children to help in the kitchen, the better.

In France, it is customary for children to bake on the weekends. They start at around three years old. They will bake in the morning and enjoy the treats for their afternoon snack. This helps teach patience. It also breaks the cycle of instant gratification. This is a wonderful approach that sets children up for success throughout their lives.

One of the earliest recipes that children delve into is the yogurt cake. This cake is perfect for small hands. It uses two 6 oz. yogurt containers that then become the measuring cups for most of the other ingredients. This recipe is very forgiving, so if a cup is overflowing or not filled all the way to the top, the cake will still turn out well.

You can allow children to get creative with this cake by adding frozen berries or chocolate chips. You can top it with powdered sugar to serve. Use icing, whatever you and your children would like. The possibilities are endless and this is a great way to allow their creativity to shine!

Yogurt Cake (Gâteau au Yaourt)

2 - 6 oz containers of plain yogurt
2 containers Sugar
4 containers Flour
1 container Vegetable Oil
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 container Frozen Fruit or Chocolate Chips (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375°F
2. Spray large loaf pan or 9" cake pan
3. Combine yogurt, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and oil.
4. In a separate bowl, combine flour and baking powder.
5. Combine wet and dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Add any additions.
6. Pour into baking pan and bake 35-45 minutes, until butter knife inserted in center comes out clean.
7. Allow to cool on cooling rack.
8. Enjoy as an afternoon snack!

I hope that you enjoy this recipe as much as we do! If you make this cake, please share on Twitter using #alacuisinellc. I would love to hear about your experiences, so please comment below.

I first learned of this recipe when I was reading a book called Bringing Up Bèbè and then again here.

Don't forget to subscribe to receive all of the relevant news when it comes to food.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Make Meal Times Easier with this Simple Habit

Have you ever had that moment where you just finished cooking dinner after a stressful, hectic, crazy day, and its much later than your family's normal dinner time, and as you triumphantly announce that its ready, you realize that the table has not been set? Now dinner is getting cold while everyone pitches in, grabbing the plates, saucers, flatware, glasses, napkins, and condiments. Dinner is now cold. What's the solution?

Everyone knows that I am a big planner. I am a firm believer that meal planning can make life so much easier. And meal planning is crucial for this habit to work. Its best if you know what the next meal is going to be, or at least have a basic idea of what it will consist. You can find more information on meal planning and prep here.

After you clear the table following a meal, set it for the next meal. Simple right? At minimum, put out the plates, saucers, and cloth napkins. Then, if you have children they can put out the flatware and condiments while you make the glasses.
There are several ways that you can modify this habit to suit your needs.

In my home, I like to put out the plates, saucers, glassware and napkins every single time. I will add the flatware sometimes as well. Tables look very pretty when they're set. And its so warm and inviting to sit down at a set table without all of the hustle and bustle beforehand.

You can easily add or remove a place setting if you have an unexpected guest or a guest who cancelled. One of the biggest benefits of utilizing this habit is in the mornings. To wake up to a set table and coffee already brewing is amazing!

This easy tip has helped our meals to run much smoother and helps me to be just a little more prepared throughout the day. I would love to see your set tables on Twitter using #alacuisinellc! Do you set your table for the next meal? Please comment below and share your stories. Your comment could be a featured comment of the week!

Don't forget to subscribe to receive all of the relevant news when it comes to food.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Younique Cosmetics Interview with Traci!

We have probably all experienced that moment when our makeup is perfectly applied, only to have it ruined during a dinner party or special occasion. What is a woman to do? I was fortunate enough to get to interview the woman who has all of the answers, Traci with Younique cosmetics!

Tracie has been with Younique for about eighteen months now. She has a large number of devoted clients and she improves women's lives on a daily basis. Here are her answers to our most pressing questions.


1. When was Younique founded and what sets Younique apart from other companies?

Younique has been around for less than four and a half years. It was founded with the purpose of funding the Younique Foundation to uplift, empower, and validate women.

The Younique Foundations serves to provide women and children that are victims of sexual abuse with resources, counciling, and education.

2. What is some advice that you would give women when it comes to choosing the right cosmetics line for themselves?

Research! Look at the ingredients and endorsements. Talk to presenters. Look at their pictures. Ask tons of questions!

3. Tips for helping makeup last throughout the day?

Good skin care! It puts skin at its optimal health to better receive makeup application. Use a primer before and set your makeup after applying.

4. What is the best product that you have for dinner parties and special events?

Our lipstain! Its lasts all day with no smudges, smears, or residue. You don't have to worry about it leaving lip prints on your glass, silverware, cloth napkins, or your teeth. It comes in a variety of beautiful shades and takes the anxiety out of special occasions.

5. How can we buy your products?

You can go to my website at

Such wonderful information! From a wonderful woman! You can see a segment of the interview on my YouTube channel here. I hope that you found this information as helpful as I did. It was truly a pleasure to do this interview and to learn about this amazing company. I have tried the lip stain and it really does last all day through multiple meals. Definitely worth checking out!

Do you use Younique cosmetics? If not, do you plan to start? I would love to hear about your experiences below.

*This is not a sponsored post*

Don't forget to subscribe to receive all of the relevant news when it comes to food.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Why Dressing Presentable Always Will Change Your Life

Its so easy to get caught up in the social norm of wearing yoga pants or tattered clothes everywhere you go. And, who cares? Your friends should accept you just the way that you are and no one else matters, right? Wrong. Here's a basic explanation of why.

When you dress well, you should first and foremost be doing it for yourself. If you regularly wear workout clothes everywhere, have you noticed the profound change that you feel when you dress for an occasion? You will normally feel better, have more confidence, and be mindful of what you're doing.

When you take pride in your appearance, you are practicing self-love. And when you practice self-love, you tend to take pride in your appearance. It shows that we respect ourselves and are worth the effort. It also shows others that we respect them. We are treated better by others because we make the effort to treat ourselves well. We are setting the standard for how the world interacts with us.

Now, I'm not suggesting that you wear a cocktail dress to buy groceries. But, dress in your nice clothes. Throw out the tattered, stained items. Whatever you prefer, nice jeans, skirts and blouses, dresses, that's what you should wear. Utilize aprons to protect your clothes when cooking or doing messy projects. If you love doing your makeup, then go for it! If not, then find out the minimal routine that makes you feel put together and stick with that. The same rules apply for hair.

The routine that works best for me is to immediately upon waking up, get ready. Then I have my coffee and breakfast. As the mother of a toddler, this has been the best way for me to ensure that I am presentable always. I'm ready for whatever comes my way, errands, unexpected guests, spills, messes. This is why aprons are so important, more on that here.

And, regarding children, I know that it can be really difficult to hold yourself to the presentable always standard. But, the extra ten minutes to do it will make all the difference. I think that it sets a good example for them as well. Our children are little sponges who love to copy us. By setting the example of self-love, we are teaching them to love themselves and take pride in their appearance. A great way to help set them up for success in the future!

I hope that you enjoyed this insight. Do you make it a point to dress well every day? If not, do you plan to start?

Don't forget to subscribe to receive all of the relevant news when it comes to food.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Plan your Starbucks Dates Carefully

That moment when you're having an amazing date night with your husband. The anticipation. The joy of making yourself extra pretty. You have your Starbucks gift card and you are ready to go! This is a tale of planning ahead and knowing thy limits.

When we arrived at Starbucks, we were so excited that it was actually slow. There were maybe four or five people inside, a few others enjoying the seating on the patio. Did I mention that it was seven at night.

We were both optimistic that we would be able to enjoy our highly caffeinated delights with no late-night repercussions. My husband got a chocolatey frappacinno and I ordered the smoked caramel. We got them almost immediately and they were amazing.

We sipped them slowly in the peace and quiet, enjoying our view of the moon from the window. It was peaceful, romantic, delicious. We finished our drinks and decided to get refills. This one time, frugality was not on our side.

I ordered an iced coffee and my husband got sweetened tea. More caffeine, more sugar. We took a few sips and loaded up in the car to head home. We enjoyed our refills all the way home. It was late by then and my bedtime for the night.

We got our sweet daughter settled in and then I went to bed myself. I laid there peacefully for the next THREE hours trying to lull myself to sleep! Yes, I know, if you can't sleep, you're supposed to get up and try later. Try that advice when you're absolutely exhausted and hyped up on caffeine and sugar at the same time.

I finally went to sleep that night, and when I did, it was a peaceful sleep. When I woke up, part of me was totally saying "worth it!", but the rest of me realized that perhaps, Starbucks dates should be reserved for mornings and afternoons. So, it was a valuable lesson learned. Beware when Starbucks beckons you with its amazing coffees, and be aware of the time of day. And, although I had a wonderful, romantic time with the man of my dreams, if we go in the evening again, I will be exploring decaf options.

I hope that you enjoyed this little adventure that I had. Have you had a similar experience? Has your body informed you of new limits lately?

Don't forget to subscribe to receive all of the relevant news when it comes to food.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Aprons - Not Just for Previous Generations

We all have those fond memories if our grandmothers or great-grandmothers going about their housework and cooking in their aprons. Somehow, aprons started becoming less important and it stopped being normal for women to make them a priority. This is a big mistake and I'll explain why.

Now, you might be thinking that there's really no point in wearing aprons because you're just wearing your "house clothes" anyway. Well, this is the point where you stop selling yourself short. I'm a big advocate of dressing well at all times. It doesn't matter if I have a million errands that day or I'm staying home. This has several beneficial effects.

By dressing well, I feel better about myself. I'm more motivated to accomplish things throughout the day. I don't have to worry about unexpected guests. I don't have to worry about the fact that we just ran out if milk and now I have to get dressed and do makeup and hair to leave the house. I'm ready for anything. There have been other unexpected results from this approach, but I will save that for another day. Back to aprons.

As the mother of a toddler, I experience a lot of messes. And sticky hands. All the fun that comes with small children learning to navigate the world. My aprons protect my clothes. They allow me to go about my day fully experiencing life without having to worry about ruining my clothes. I can cook, clean, and do crafts fearlessly!

There are so many gorgeous aprons available that you can find ones for any taste and style. I suggest having at least a few so that you can change into a fresh one if your gets really soiled. And, you'll have more available while others are being laundered.

So, give yourself the freedom to wear your nice clothes and know that they're protected with aprons. You will see such a big difference. Especially if you are the mother of young children. It is an absolute game-changer!

I hope that this gives you the confidence to be able to dress nicely for yourself and be able to protect your clothes at the same time. Do you already use aprons? Please share your apron pics on Twitter using #alacuisinellc. If not, do you plan to start now? Check out my video where I talk about the importance of aprons!

Don't forget to subscribe to receive all of the relevant news when it comes to food.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Look Your Best With this Easy Dinner Party Tip!

When you're hosting a dinner party and you're the cook, jewelry can become a challenge. You want to look your best, but rings and bracelets can get caked in ingredients. And, necklaces can take unintentional dives in that perfect casserole as you're checking it in the oven. What is a woman to do?

I was recently reading an amazing book on entertaining. The Charleston Academy of Domestic Pursuits is a treasure trove of amazing insights to entertaining. One gem from the book that I want to share is the secret jewelry tip that is a must for hostesses. Earrings!

Yes, earrings. Big, statement earrings. When you're cooking for a special event, this is the one jewelry item that is safe from all things cooking. They add to your glamour and will dress up your outfit without getting caked in sauces and flour. They are your safe choice to be a dazzling chef while serving up that traditional secret family recipe to all of your guests.

Pick the earrings that you don't wear often because they're a statement piece all their own and don't pair well with your necklaces and other jewelry. Now is their time to shine! Skip everything else and let them have their day.

You can dress to impress and be neat and clean while cooking. With just a little planning and forethought, you can let your inner diva reign and utilize those special jewelry pieces that don't get to shine on a regular basis.

Hopefully this tip helps you at your next party! What is your go-to jewelry when you host dinners? You can purchase The Charleston Academy of Domestic Pursuits here.

*this is not a sponsored post, allviews and opinions are my own.*

Don't forget to subscribe to receive all of the relevant news when it comes to food.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Are Your Portion Sizes Out of Control?

We all know that when we go out to eat, we are given ridiculous portion sizes. Quanity has topped quality and our health and waist lines are suffering. The good news is that we don't have to let our out of control portion sizes dictate our lives as long as we exercise some proper planning.

The key to correct portions is developing those habits at home. When you plate your food, don't pile it high, covering every inch of your plate. In fact, no food should ever go around the rim of your plate. You should be able to see your plate through your food. It should be delicately placed, preferably in a way that's aesthetically pleasing.

We have all heard the ratio that half of the plate should be vegetables, one quarter starch, and one quarter protein. But, what about the fact that there are a multitude of plate sizes on the market. The ratio is not to be taken literally. It means that out of the proper portion sizes, you should aim for twice as much vegetables as starch and protein.

You may need to measure out your food at first to be sure that your portions are correct. After it becomes a habit, you can measure once a month or every other month, just to be sure that your portion sizes aren't creeping back up. After everyone makes their plates, put the food away if you are tempted to go back for seconds.

When you go out to eat, its easy to feel like you deserve that huge serving, especially if you don't go out often. But going out to eat should not be an excuse to jeopardize your health and well-being. Skip appetizers and share an entree with someone. If sharing isn't an option, ask for a to-go container and put half of your entree in it. Its understandable not to want to waste food that you've paid for, but there's no need to eat it all in one sitting either.

You may notice that you are hungry after meals when you first start utilizing proper portion sizes. It is very temporary and worth it to be able to maintain a healthier you. Don't give up, you can do it.

Proper Portion Sizes

2-3 oz. Meat
1/2 cup Rice or Pasta
1 cup Vegetables
1 1/2 oz. Cheese
1 cup Milk or Yogurt
3/4 cup Fruit Juice
1 small Fruit
1 slice Bread
2 Tbsp Salad Dressing
1 Tbsp Mayonnaise
1 tsp Butter

I hope that this information on portion sizes helps inspire you to put consideration into your own meals. Were you already aware of proper portion sizes? Do you already exercise proper portions?

Don't forget to subscribe to receive all of the relevant news when it comes to food.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Sweatman's Barbecue, Eutawville, South Carolina

It was an overcast, cold day as I pulled into the dirt parking lot of Sweatman's Barbecue. The solid white, pig-shaped sign is simple and tells you everything you need to know. As I walked up to the front door, across the historic front porch, I was transported back to a simpler time. The smell of barbecue creating a spark of excitement in the anticipation of the meal to come.

The restaurant is comprised of additions to an old house. You can still admire the rugged construction and smaller doorways in certain dining rooms. As you enter through the front door, there is a guest book filled with signatures from all over the world.

The menu consists of an all-you-can-eat option, a one-time-though option, as well as to-go plates, and meats, hashes, and other delights sold in various quantities. The buffet consists of baked macaroni and cheese, baked beans, green beans, skins, rice, hash, chicken, white and dark meat pork, ribs, coleslaw, dill and bread and butter pickles, bread, and of course, banana pudding. Drink options include sweet and unsweet tea and lemonade.

When you get to the table, there are three sauces available. All made fresh with Sweatman's own recipe, there is mustard, ketchup, and vinegar-based sauces. Various antique and rustic decor line the walls adding to the charm of this quaint southern treasure. Everything is located for maximum convenience with an effortlessness that only the South can accomplish.

The food is amazing. The pork is so tender and juicy. The macaroni is perfectly cooked with plenty of cheese, showing that the owners value quality over scrimping on costs. The skins are light and flaky, the ribs tender enough to fall off of the bone. The coleslaw is sweetened just enough to cut the tartness of the cabbage, making it perfectly balanced. The banana pudding is loaded with wafers and banana pieces, once again displaying the emphasis on quality. A perfect dessert after such wonderful barbecue.

It quickly becomes quite clear why so many others have visited this local wonder and have chosen to write about it. The original methods and recipes have been perfected and are here to stand the test of time.

If you're in Eutawville, SC on a Friday or Saturday, I suggest you stop in at Sweatman's and enjoy some of the best barbecue in the state, if not the country. Perhaps, you'll be lucky enough to go when Nums Nums and Knick Knacks is having a bake sale and you can experience two treasures in one day! Have you ever been to Sweatman's Barbecue? If not, do you plan to go?

***This is not a sponsored post and all views expressed are solely my own.***

Don't forget to subscribe to receive all of the relevant news when it comes to food.