What a wintery December it has been so far! With all the snow and ice we have had recently, many people have been housebound and now struggling to finish last-minute holiday gift buying. If you are shopping for someone who loves to dabble in the kitchen but you don’t know what to buy, consider these:
1. Titan Peeler™ and Julienne Tool with Garnishing Feature
Who thought a peeler could be so awesome? I purchased this at Bed Bath and Beyond for $14.99 a few months ago, and I instantly fell in love with it! It is extremely easy to use. It peels in both forward and backward motion, and the blade’s tiny teeth easily grip the food, so very little pressure is needed. These two items provide the ability to peel, slice, grate, and shave, as well as garnish!
2. Fortune Prod 001 AccuSharp Knife and Tool Sharpener
I have heard America’s Test Kitchen mention this many times on their TV and radio shows. Even though I have an expensive electric knife sharpener, I thought this would be great to have on hand for a quick, simple use. Despite the cheap plastic look that it displays, it is made of diamond-honed tungsten carbide, and it really does do a fantastic job in renewing your edges in an instant. These can be purchased in hardware stores, as well as online. Amazon sells them for about $8, and with 1,453 customer reviews of 4.5 stars, how can you go wrong?
3. Scrub Daddy Scratch Free Scrubber
I first saw this product on the TV show Shark Tank, then later again during an episode where they recapped successful items that went to market. The amazing thing about this scrubber is that it transforms into a fairly stiff and firm texture when in cold water and then softens when exposed to warm water. It does not scratch surfaces, is odor resistant and lasts up to two months … and it’s just plain cute! I gave it as a gift during my last ladies luncheon and it was a hit! These can be purchased at Bed Bath and Beyond or online for about $3.50 each. It is also one of Amazon’s best seller items.
4. Aerolatte compact milk frother
For the past 30 years I have had a morning ritual of making myself a delicious coffee latte with freshly steamed milk. I have purchased many renditions of frothers, and this is my favorite. For my latte I pour ~1/3 cup low-fat milk in my cup, froth it with the Aerolatte, microwave for 45 seconds, then add coffee and garnish it with a drizzle of honey and sprinkles of chocolate powder. In less than a minute I have the perfect latte. This also works well for cappuccino and hot chocolate. This gadget is very easy to use and clean. The whisk is made of 18/8 stainless steel and is battery powered. It also comes with a traveling case and can be purchased at Bed Bath and Beyond or online for about $17.00.
5. Crinkle cut knife
Anyone who knows me certainly has heard me say, “Presentation is everything!”… and this tool is one way to get there. It is a staple in my kitchen, and I use it for cutting fruits and vegetables. It is an easy way to transform the ordinary into extraordinary when dazzling your guests. I like the large size made of heavy gauge aluminum along with a comfortable handle, which can easily be found online or in specialty stores.
So, whether you are in search for that special cook in your family, or maybe a little something to drop into your own stocking. … these little gadgets are sure to put a smile on the faces of many.
Until next time, here’s to healthy eating!
Lori Dodds, RD, LD, is a Registered Dietitian at The Corvallis Clinic Nutrition Services Department.
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The background work that I must do to screen a volunteer for a study is extensive. But as I’ll explain below, the time and effort can be worth it, even if the patient doesn’t qualify for the study.
First, I’ll set the stage for you. The volunteer has the condition that the clinical study is researching and really wants to be in the study. With regard to the study requirements, the volunteer looks like a great candidate. The volunteer has fully participated in the Informed Consent process, so the next step is to complete the “screening” visit. Typically, the
screening visit will include a doctor visit, blood work and an EKG (a painless cardiac test) and perhaps additional more specialized testing as required to ascertain if the volunteer is appropriate for the study and that the volunteer can safely participate.. Basically, the screening visit is where the rubber hits the road in terms of the volunteer continuing on in the study. It sometimes happens that volunteers don’t meet all the study entry criteria and are therefore a “screen failure.” Failure! Really? Not so fast.
I once had a volunteer who looked like a great candidate for a study but at the screening visit he had an abnormal EKG that ultimately disqualified him. I had to inform the volunteer he could not continue, and the study doctor referred him back to primary care for follow-up. I saw the patient a week or so later, and he looked me right in the eyes and said “you saved my life.” Now, I’m not sure if the situation was actually quite this dramatic, but the screening process had uncovered a potentially serious cardiac problem for which the patient was now receiving treatment. So, was this really a screen failure? Not at all.
Here’s another example. I was screening a volunteer for a research study; he was really struggling with his health and was just not doing well. During the course of screening for the study, I determined that, for whatever reason, the volunteer was not using prescribed medications as directed. I spent as much time as necessary to educate this patient on the proper use of medications. Evenually, this volunteer also screen failed for entry into the study. But, we later found out the patient was doing much better than he was before screening for the study because he was using his medications appropriately. So, was this truly a screen failure? Nope.
The moral of my blog today is that sometimes failing is … good!
- Julie Carrico is Associate Coordinator of The Corvallis Clinic Clinical Research Center
By Deborah Bella, PhD
If you’ve ever become frustrated with your efforts to lose weight and keep it off, there’s a good chance that some lifestyle patterns are getting in your way. If you’ve ever said to yourself, “I know what to do, but just can’t seem to make it happen,” then recognizing and overcoming your troublesome patterns will create a lifestyle that’s conducive for a healthy weight.
Here are some typical patterns that may limit successful weight loss from the Personality Type Diet by Robert Kuschner, M.D.
Are you a Nighttime Nibbler?
Nighttime Nibblers tend to eat little during the day and typically eat most of their daily calories in the evening. This pattern can set people up for overeating in the evening and consuming even more calories than if they had eaten throughout the day. In addition, Nighttime Nibblers may not be hungry when they wake up, eat less during the day, and have a ravenous appetite again in the evening.
How can Nighttime Nibblers succeed at weight loss?
Distribute calories evenly throughout the day to decrease hunger in the evening.
Remove unhealthy snacks from home. The chance of consuming high calorie snacks is greater if they are available.
Reset your nighttime routine by changing the way you use your time in the evening. Unhealthy eating is often paired with certain activities, such as watching TV. Changing your evening routine can help you change your eating habits.
Are you an Uneasy Exerciser?
Uneasy exercisers are not comfortable exercising around others, which keeps them from going to a gym or pool. They may be embarrassed about their body size and how out of shape they are. They are concerned that people will stare at them and make judgements about their weight or fitness level.
How can an Uneasy Exerciser succeed at weight loss?
No spandex required! Wear loose fitting clothing that feels comfortable to you.
Sneak in exercise. Take a walk. Take the stairs. Wash your car.
Work out at home with an exercise DVD or home aerobic/strength-training equipment.
Are you a Fast Pacer?
Fast Pacers are known for their multitasking and juggling skills. Their pace is so fast that they don’t have time to make a plan for weight loss or if they do have a plan, they don’t have the time to follow through with it. A hectic schedule leaves a person frazzled and they often seek energy boosts through food and beverages. Inadequate sleep has also been associated with weight gain and obesity.
How can a Fast Pacer succeed at weight loss?
Stay aware in the present. Mindfulness is hard to accomplish in our world of “time-saving” technology. If your pace is so fast and your habits are unconscious, awareness will help you make the needed changes.
Slow down! Take stock of your life choices. What activities/situations trigger unhealthy eating or interfere with exercise? Which ones encourage you to make healthier choices?
Get a good night of sleep. People make better lifestyle choices when they are well rested.
Keys to Successful Weight Loss
Interested in learning more about weight loss? The Corvallis Clinic Nutrition Services Department is gathering feedback about upcoming weight loss education opportunities. Take our short online survey to let us know what type of class works best for you or call 541-754-1370.
Kushner, Robert and Nancy Kushner. Dr. Kushner’s Personality Type Diet. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2003.