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Why Food Makes Us sleep?

You just finish eating. And you are feeling sleepy. You wonder what is wrong with you? You have been feeling this way for a long time. You may have even decided to reduce the amount of food you are eating.

Do you think there is a problem with you? You do not have a problem. You are normal.

It is perfectly normal to feel sleepy after eating. A lot of people feel this way, especially after finishing their lunch. Why food makes us sleep? Food makes us sleep because of the digestive process. So getting a good night rest on a mattress that supports you after eating is a key! We suggest on using bed discounts such as purple mattress promo codes which the main thing is to give you promos!

The following are the reasons why food makes us sleep.

Energy Consumption

Our bodies need the energy to function and survive. And we get this energy from the food we consume. But the digestive process consumes most of the energy. So, we feel sleepy because the body uses most of its energy to digest the food.

During digestion, the food is converted into glucose, or fuel, and then macronutrients that provide energy to the body.

Without the energy from the food, you will not function properly.

Insulin Production

Another reason why food makes us sleep that certain meals trigger insulin production. If you eat these meals, your body may produce a large amount of insulin. And the insulin triggers our sleep hormones.

For example, when you eat sugary foods, your pancreas produces insulin that converts glucose circulating in your bloodstream into glycogen.

When insulin is produced in excess in your body, it causes amino acid tryptophan to move into your brain. The amino acid increases the production of melatonin and serotonin.

Melatonin and serotonin have a calming effect. And they regulate sleep.

Carbohydrates

The carbohydrates you eat affect how sleepy you feel afterward. Potatoes, rice, pasta, and bread contain carbohydrates that boost the production of serotonin.

Serotonin boosts your mood. It makes you feel content, happy and sleepy.

Eating Too Much Food

When you eat too much food you may feel sleepy. Why? Because you feel uncomfortable and sluggish. So, listen to your hunger signals. And stop eating when you are completely satisfied.

Do not overeat? Because your body will take a long time to digest the food. Your body spends a lot of energy breaking down the food you consume. So, you will feel sleepy because your body is using all the energy to digest the extra food you ate.

Food Allergy and Intolerance

Are you suffering from food allergies and intolerance? If yes, know that they contribute to drowsiness after eating. And they are associated with digestive problems such as lethargy, diarrhea, constipation, indigestion, reflux, gas, and bloating.

Why food makes us sleep? Food makes sleep because the body uses its energy to digest this food. We need this energy to function normally. But when the body is using this energy to digest food, you will feel sleepy.

That is why you need to avoid overeating. If you overeat, your body will spend more time and energy on digestion. If you want to avoid feeling sleepy after a meal, avoid certain types of food that release a large amount of insulin in your body.

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Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

Let classic recipes inspire your own Christmas treat-making party 

 

Sugar Cookies

Makes 24 cookies

 

Prep time: 10 minutes

 

Cook time: 10-12 minutes

 

Note: Dough must be refrigerated 2 hours before cutting into shapes. These sugar cookies are topped with rolled fondant (purchase store-bought) and embellished with Wilton’s Royal Icing, sanding sugar, silver dragees and white nonpareils.

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Christmas Countdown

Craft one of these sweet Advent calendars.

Lollipop Tree

This will be a “pop”-ular way to count down to Christmas! Tissue-covered Dum Dum Pops or similar lollipops are disguised as colorful ornaments on this Advent calendar that pulls double-duty as festive holiday décor.

• To create the textured tree, cut green paper napkins into approximately 2 ½-inch squares.
• Press three napkin squares at a time into a Styrofoam craft cone at their center using the blunt end of a bamboo skewer (adults only, please). Press them in twice for security. Begin along the bottom and continue up in rows to the top.
• Once the tree is completely covered, insert 24 pops. Remove one pop each day until Christmas.

Paper Cone Tree

Hide a small, wrapped candy or other goodie under each paper tree for a fun “tree”-t. The large group of trees makes dramatic holiday décor on a fireplace mantel, buffet, entry table or windowsill.

• Trace different sizes of plates (circles) onto the back of assorted-patterned papers and/or cardstocks. You’ll need 12 circles.
• Cut each circle in half and roll into a cone. Tape or glue closed to secure.
• Punch out 24 stars using a star paper punch or scissors, number them 1-24, and
adhere to tree tops.

Punch-out Countdown

This Advent calendar has the fun of a carnival game. Kids will enjoy poking through the tissue paper each day for a surprise treat.

• Use small (2-ounce) condiment cups to create punch-out treats for this interactive calendar. These are usually found near the disposable paper products in the grocery store or you can use clean,
recycled ones for this project. For example, save up small fruit or applesauce cups to use for larger punch-out cups.
• Sand the rims of 24 cups for good adhesion. Place a small, wrapped candy in each cup. Then, using a small paintbrush, coat each rim with white glue and place a square of tissue paper on top.
• Once dry, trim excess tissue paper with scissors and adhere each cup to a tree-shaped base (craft foam, felt, poster board, foam board, etc.) with a low-temp hot glue gun.

Written and photographed by Lisa Storms

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A D.I.Y. Hanukkah

This year, skip the ready-made decorations and treats and show your children how to make the holiday beautiful—and delicious!

When my children were little, Hanukkah was a joyous time of bountiful presents and homemade latkes (potato pancakes). I can still remember the looks on their faces as they tore the gold foil off their chocolate gelt (gold foil-wrapped candy) and gleefully devoured it. Now that they’re grown, my three grandchildren have become the center of the festivities, and each year they eagerly await the surprises their savta (grandmother) will bring them.

The story of Hanukkah is a rich and inspiring one: More than 21 centuries ago, the Holy Land was ruled by the Syrian-Greeks, who tried to forcefully Hellenize the people of Israel. Against all odds, a small band of faithful Jews defeated one of the mightiest armies on earth, driving the Greeks from the land and reclaiming the holy temple in Jerusalem.
When the Israelites sought to light the temple’s menorah (the seven-branched candelabrum), they found only a single cruse of olive oil had escaped contamination. Miraculously, that one-day supply burned for eight days, until new oil could be prepared. Celebrate this miracle with your kids with these fun projects based on familiar traditions.

Remember, Hanukkah starts this year on Sunday night, December 8.

DECORATE
You can use these decorations year after year.

• This menorah is just for the kids; it uses battery-operated votives found at any party store. The kids love to turn the switch on themselves and the lights last for hours.
• Use wooden pieces found at most crafts stores, glue and silver spray paint. The candles are actually plastic hair rollers covered in colored paper!
• The fun hanging “gelt” are plastic coins found at a party store. Hot glue them, back to back onto kite string, and hang them from the ceiling.

Pockets Full of Gifts
Many families give small gifts to children each night of the eight nights of Hanukkah after candle lighting. The kids will be so excited to see their gifts hanging on the wall in this
clever holder.

• Use an over-the-door canvas shoe bag (found at any bed and bath store) and cut in half with scissors.
• Use your computer to print out the numbers then trace them onto the canvas pockets with carbon paper. Color in the numbers with a Sharpie or similar marker.

Pretzel Stars
• Melt a 12-ounce bag of chocolate chips in the microwave, taking care not to scorch. Stir until smooth.
• Use the melted chocolate as “glue” to hold the pretzel sticks together in Star of David shapes.
• Dip in more chocolate and sprinkle with blue sugar pearls.

Doughnuts

Makes 1 ½ dozen doughnuts
Prep time: 2 hours (includes 1 hour for dough to rise)
Cook time: 15 minutes

7 teaspoons dry yeast
¼ cup warm water
2 teaspoons sugar
1 egg
½ cup water
1⁄3 cup orange juice
Pinch salt
3 Tablespoons melted butter or margarine
1 Tablespoon oil
4 ¼ cups flour
½ cup sugar
Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
Confectioners’ sugar, honey, chocolate glaze or cinnamon-sugar as desired (recipes follow)

1. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast and 2 teaspoons sugar in warm water; let stand a few minutes until bubbly, then add the remaining ingredients. Knead about 15-20 minutes then
cover bowl and let rest until dough doubles—approximately 1 hour.
2. Roll out dough on a floured surface to ½-inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with a cookie or doughnut cutter. Allow dough to rise again until doubled, approximately 30 minutes.
3. Heat 4 inches of oil in a 4-quart pot (see note above). Fry the dough; covering the pot will make the doughnuts expand. When the dough is golden brown, turn doughnuts over and brown on other side, uncovered. Remove with a slotted spoon to cool on a paper towel-lined platter. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar or drizzle with other glazes if desired.

Written and styled by Rita brownstein
Photographed by Curt Henderson

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Cupcake Rainbow

Create a Cupcake Rainbow for a sunny St. Patrick’s Day treat.

You’ll need at least 24 cupcakes frosted the colors of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet (ROY-G-BIV). Use white frosting and food coloring. Decorate with sprinkles, gumdrops, candy-coated chocolates or whatever you have on hand. Scatter gold-colored coins or gold foil-covered candies under the rainbow. Remember ROY-G-BIV!

To get this look, use pastry tip #1M to apply frosting and then sprinkle with edible glitter.

Recipe and photo by Karen Cook,
Cake artist, KarensCakeShoppe.com

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Holiday Veggie Trays

For a nutritious option on your holiday table, try cute-as-can-be Holiday Veggie Trays for kids.

Getting kids excited about eating veggies can be a difficult endeavor—especially during the holidays when sweet treats abound. But, if you make eating healthy fun, all it takes is a little extra time to whip up a veggie tray that will entice even the pickiest of eaters. Or get the kids involved and have them create a veggie tray work of art that they will want to dig into. Cheers to a healthy and happy holiday season!

Tip: Try cutting these recipes in half for a smaller serving or adjust the amounts to fit the platter you are using.

Nutritious Turkey Tray

Serves 8
Prep time: 15 minutes

2 red bell peppers, cut widthwise into strips and cut in half again
2 green peppers, cut widthwise into strips and cut in half again
1 orange bell pepper, cut widthwise into strips and cut in half again
1 yellow bell pepper, cut widthwise into strips and cut in half again
6-8 celery stalks, cut into thirds
6-9 baby carrots, thinly sliced
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
1 small squash
2 candy eyes or capers
½ cup black olives

1. Arrange the vegetables in layers. Start with the outer layer of red bell peppers and work your way in until you have the peppers fanned out. Set aside half of a red bell pepper slice.
2. Next, place a layer of celery, and then carrots on top.
3. Place a layer of cucumbers next, leaving a few extra to cover the bottom portion of the squash.
4. For the “head,” cut a small portion off the bottom of a small squash at a slant so the “head” rests nicely on the cucumbers. Place either the candy eyes or capers onto the squash for “eyes.” Arrange the olives around the top of the cucumber slices.
5. Cut a baby carrot in half, and then cut it into two “legs” with a paring knife (have an adult complete this step).
6. Cover the bottom part of the squash and carrots with the remaining cucumbers.
7. Place the reserved piece of red bell pepper onto the turkey’s “head” for a “wattle.”

Christmas Tree Tray

Serves 8
Prep time: 15 minutes

3 cups broccoli florets
3-4 celery stalks, cut into thirds
¼-½ red bell pepper, cut widthwise into strips and cut in half again
¼-½ yellow bell pepper, cut widthwise into strips and cut in half again
¼-½ orange bell pepper, cut widthwise into strips and cut in half again
½ cup cherry tomatoes
¼ cup black olives
¼ cup green olives

1. Arrange broccoli florets into a tree shape.
2. Arrange celery for the “trunk.”
3. Place the rest of the ingredients on top of the broccoli to look like strings of lights and ornaments.
4. For the “star,” use a mini star cookie cutter to cut out the shape from a piece of yellow pepper, or use a paring knife (an adult should complete this step if using a knife). Serve immediately with a side of dressing for dipping.

Veggie Wreath Tray

Serves 8
Prep time: 15 minutes

4 cups broccoli florets
1 red bell pepper
¼-½ yellow pepper, cut widthwise into strips and cut in half again
1-2 radishes, thinly sliced
¼ cup cherry tomatoes
¼ cup black olives
2-3 baby carrots, thinly sliced
¼ cucumber, thinly sliced
Ranch dressing, to serve

1. Place a small bowl in the center of a platter.
2. Arrange broccoli florets into a wreath shape around the bowl.
3. Arrange the rest of the ingredients on top to look like the wreath’s decorations.
4. For a “bow,” use a paring knife to cut the pepper into 5 pieces, one for each part of the “bow” (have an adult complete this step).
5. Fill bowl with ranch dressing and serve immediately.

Written and photographed by Kendra Arch, Stop Lookin’ Get Cookin’

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Healthy Eating Habits

Find fun ways to help your family discover fresh food, its origins and get on the path to having healthy eating habits.

by Jessica Corwin, RD

Teaching nutrition, healthy eating habits and cooking classes at farmers’ markets, I find kids watching my every move, perhaps wondering what the heck the purple plant is in my hand. It seems that there are countless children who have no clue that food comes from anywhere but the supermarket shelves. Without this awareness, they don’t recognize the relationship between eating healthful foods and having the energy to run and play. It’s up to us, as parents and caregivers, to teach them where their food comes from.

Research has found that the more involved kids become in the mealtime process (grocery shopping, gardening, harvesting and cooking), the more likely they are to try the new food and (gasp!) enjoy it.

Take a family trip to a farmers’ market, visit a fruit farm where you can pick your own treats, or plant a kitchen garden (see below). Then together, plan meals and create recipes with your bounty while also teaching your kids healthy eating habits. Your kids will feel proud as they become more involved in the process. You will not only be helping your children develop a healthy relationship with their food, you will likely reduce their risk of obesity and chronic diseases such as diabetes.

Easy Kitchen Garden

Reuse household containers to grow a moveable feast and teach kids healthy eating habits.

by Hillary Black

• Salad greens and spinach are fast growing and so tasty fresh from the garden. Even if you have just a small deck, porch or windowsill, try your hand at a mini kitchen garden and you’ll never run out of fresh greens again. Perfect containers include plastic water or vinegar bottles (cut a hole in the side but leave the handle) or large tin cans. Make a few holes in the bottom for drainage and a layer of stones or gravel helps, too. Potting soil, seeds, sunshine and water will transform into ingredients for salads, sauces and more in no time.
• Fresh herbs such as Italian parsley, cilantro, sage, oregano and thyme dress up salads, steamed vegetables, soups and omelets.
• Use fresh spinach for an easy sauté in a touch of olive oil with minced garlic and a splash of lemon juice.
• Buy a head of organically grown garlic from the grocery store, plant a few cloves and when the greens appear, snip them to add a mild garlic touch to salads and egg dishes.
• Experiment with different types of greens such as romaine, mache or mesclun—a mix of baby lettuces that may include endive, arugula and red oakleaf, for example. You’ll never run out of salad greens or lettuce for sandwiches.

Teach kids these healthy eating habits that they can use for a lifetime!

Photography by Hillary Black

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Greek-style Yogurt

Learn the importance of protein and make Greek-style Yogurt at home.

Think of protein as the building blocks of our bodies. Needed by all of our cells, protein helps build cells when we are growing and helps repair cells that are damaged. Proteins are essential to our body’s healthy growth and development, particularly for children. Whether your family gets their protein from lean meats, fish, beans, tofu or nuts, try to include a taste of protein with each and every snack or meal.

Thinkstock Photo

Balance your plate. Divide your plate in half, and fill one half with fruits and veggies. Next, divide the second half again, filling one quarter with whole grains and the other with lean protein. Now you have a balanced plate according to the latest tool from the USDA known as MyPlate. (Visit myplate.gov.)

This may seem fairly straightforward, yet as many families are making the switch to meatless meals, not everyone knows how to add protein in a nutritious manner. For a vegetarian option, replace the 3-4-ounce portion of meat, poultry or fish with beans, tofu, tempeh, seitan, edamame, nuts or seeds. All of these protein-rich foods are free from cholesterol and unhealthy fats.

Go Greek. Greek-style yogurt seems to be one of the trendiest foods on the market, and for good reason: Greek-style yogurt contains more protein than most other yogurts. If you’re not willing to pay the extra cost for this protein-rich version, you can make your own at home simply by draining off the liquid of your usual yogurt with cheesecloth (recipe follows).

Stock up. Keep protein-rich snacks such as boiled eggs, nutty trail mix or hummus on hand, and your entire family will be more likely to eat them.

Thinkstock Photo

Greek-style Yogurt

Makes approximately 2 cups

1 quart plain yogurt
Cheesecloth, coffee filter or clean
dish towel
Large bowl

1. Line bowl with cheesecloth or towel.
2. Pour yogurt onto the cloth.
3. Wrap the yogurt up by bringing the corners of the cloth together. Twist and squeeze the cloth around the yogurt to drain off as much liquid as possible into the bowl.
4. Once most of the liquid has been removed, tie the ends of the cloth together to prevent the yogurt from pouring out. Use a rubber band or string to close the ends.
5. Set the wrapped yogurt into a colander, place the colander over a bowl and set in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours or overnight.
6. Remove yogurt from the refrigerator and squeeze to remove any remaining liquids. Tip: It should have the consistency of sour cream.
7. Untie the cloth and scrape the thickened yogurt into a clean bowl and serve or refrigerate.

By Bridgett Hurely and Jessica Corwin, RD

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Healthy Pasta Taste Test

We conducted a healthy pasta taste test and discovered that not all noodles are equal. Here are the results.

Ah, comfort food. Whether it’s your grandmother’s chicken noodle soup or your Aunt Susan’s famous mashed potatoes, certain foods bring back memories of family traditions and good times. Growing up, my comfort food was pasta topped with my father’s tomato sauce. Pasta is still a staple in my home; my children love to help make my father’s sauce recipe, and of course, choose the pasta.

It used to be that the familiar options for pasta were homemade (great if you had the time) or store-bought pasta made from refined flour. Today, the choices for healthful and fortified pasta are abundant, but choosing one can be overwhelming.

The Taste Testers:

Since spaghetti is the most popular pasta shape in my home, that’s what we used in the healthy pasta taste test. I decided to conduct the healthy pasta taste test sampling five of the healthier-option pasta brands widely available. All pastas were either whole wheat, whole grain or fortified. In a blind healthy pasta taste test, nine children ages 6-11 tried all five pastas, rating them on taste and texture. We asked them to rate from 0 to 10, 0 being the least favorite and 10 being the best. The results of the healthy pasta taste test were surprising!

 

Healthy Pasta Taste Test Results:

#1 Favorite Overall Winner

Barilla PLUS Multi-grain Thin Spaghetti
This pasta received either a 9 or 10 from all of the children.

“Yummy from beginning to end.” Lillianne H.
“I loved everything about it.” Megan M.
“I loved it so, so much; there was nothing bad about it.” Paige S.

Nutrition Facts: 2-ounce serving; 210 calories; 10g protein (the highest of all pastas sampled); 4g dietary fiber; 38g carbohydrate (the least of all pastas sampled). Visit barillaus.com.

Runner-up

Ronzoni Smart Taste Thin Spaghetti
These noodles received a rating between 8-9.

“Delicious!” Alys G.
“Very good.” Carter R.

Nutrition Facts: 2-ounce serving; 170 calories; 6g protein; 5g dietary fiber; 40g carbohydrate. Visit ronzoni.newworldpasta.com.

The lowest-rated pasta of the group received comments such as:

“Yuck!” Jane M.
“Eww!” Owen R.
“Not very good at all.” Kennedy C
“Icky and grainy.” Landon G

If you’ve tried whole-grain pasta and given up because your kids didn’t like it, try again. Your kids don’t have to give up taste to get healthy fiber. Start out by trying the pastas that won in our taste test, and conduct a healthy pasta taste test of your own for your kids.

Nonno (Grandpa) Russo’s Simple Tomato Sauce

Makes approximately 7 cups
Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Cook time: 30-40 minutes

1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes in tomato puree
1 (28-ounce) can plum tomatoes
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
½ large can (14 ounces) water
½ cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons kosher salt
½ medium white onion, minced
4 fresh basil leaves, rolled and cut into ribbons, or 3⁄4 teaspoon dried basil
2 Tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

1. Pour crushed and plum tomatoes, tomato paste and water into a medium stock pot and mix until combined.
2. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes.

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Variety is the Sauce of Life!
Use the basic recipe (above) and try these two variations.

Meat Sauce

1 lb. of your favorite ground meat (ground sirloin works well as does ground turkey breast)
3 Tablespoons olive oil

1. Brown meat in olive oil; drain off fat and add meat to tomato sauce.
2. Cook an additional 30 minutes.

Veggie Sauce

1 lb. mushrooms, any variety (I use baby portabellas, also called crimini or brown mushrooms)
¼ small white onion, roughly chopped
1 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise then sliced
1 ½ Tablespoons olive oil

1. Lightly sauté all veggies in olive oil then add to sauce.
2. Cook an additional 20 minutes.

Written and photographed by Cathy McConville

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Spring-time Treats (Part 1)

Cute spring eats are on the menu, and these look almost too good to devour—almost.

Carrot Flower

Recipe and photography by Heather Holly, welovebeingmoms.blogspot.com

Serves 4

Prep time: 5 minutes

1 celery stick

1 package baby carrots (about 40)

½ cup ranch dressing

  1. Put ½ cup of ranch dressing in a ramekin or small bowl.
  2. Arrange the baby carrots so they surround the bowl, and place a celery stalk “flower stem.�? A leafy piece of celery works best to mimic leaves.

 

Bunny Pops

Recipe and photography by Paula Biggs, frogpricepaperie.com

1 package white gum paste

1 bag white candy melts or candy coating

1 bag large marshmallows (one per pop)

1 bag pink triangle candies

  1. Remove a small amount of gum paste from the bag, roll into a ball and flatten to approximately 1/8-inch thickness.
  2. Use a knife to cut bunny “ear�? shapes out of the gum paste. Make them pointy at the bottom to help them stick into the marshmallow. Set aside to harden.
  3. Insert lollipop sticks halfway into the bottom of each marshmallow.
  4. Once the gum paste “ears�? have hardened, follow package directions on bag of candy melts to heat until melted to a smooth consistency.
  5. Dip a marshmallow in melted candy until coated.
  6. Add a candy triangle “nose.�?
  7. Insert the hardened gum paste “ears,�? pressing slightly into the marshmallow.
  8. Place the bunny pop into Styrofoam while the candy coating sets.
  9. Repeat steps 6-9 until you have made the desired number of bunny pops. You may need to adjust the “ears�? as the candy coating hardens.

Try these spring time treats and stay tuned for part 2!