Once again, families across the U.S. will come together on the fourth Thursday of November to eat mass quantities of turkey and stuffing, share politely strained conversation with rarely-visited relatives, and claim a spot on the couch to indulge in a food coma. There might be a few mumblings about why we should all be thankful, but let's get real-Thanksgiving has become all about the food.
Don't get me wrong; I love Thanksgiving, particularly my grandma's corn casserole. But it feels like the same routine every year. This year, I suggest we spice things up and return to our old school roots-I mean really old school. For a unique and historic take on Thanksgiving, let's ditch the pumpkin pie and borrow a few ideas from our pilgrim predecessors.
Lose the Turkey
Though the information we have for what's considered the first Thanksgiving (which occurred after a successful harvest in 1621) is limited, we do know that the pilgrims ate plenty o' meat. However, whether they ate turkey is
Blog Posts by DivineCaroline
Once again, families across the U.S. will come together on the fourth Thursday of November to eat mass quantities of turkey and stuffing, share politely strained conversation with rarely-visited relatives, and claim a spot on the couch to indulge in a food coma. There might be a few mumblings about why we should all be thankful, but let's get real-Thanksgiving has become all about the food.Read More »from How to Party Like a Pilgrim
During the South Beach/Atkins craze (or as I like to call it, the Great Carb Castigation), carbs of all kinds were given a bad name. That means that many whole grains and vegetables were eschewed in favor of protein alternatives. We've come to our senses somewhat, but there's still confusion about the merits of certain carbs, especially potatoes.Read More »from Spudtacular! In Praise of Sweet Potatoes
The misinformed often put potatoes in the same category as white rice (i.e., the nutrient-deficient one), but all spuds aren't created equal. Some, like the humble sweet potato, have more benefits than many realize. In fact, making sweet potatoes a diet staple is one of the most healthful choices a person can make.
A Primer on Sweet Potatoes
Labels like sweet potatoes and yams are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference. There are numerous types of sweet potatoes, but most of us are familiar with the main two-the yellow, drier variety with lightly tanned skin and the sweeter, darker-skinned kind with orange insides. People
Thanksgiving is all about saying thanks, but what if you want to do something more than that? Lots of people make the holidays a starting point for giving back, donating their money, things, or time.
If you're looking for some ways to give back this Thanksgiving, these ideas may be a good start on your path to making a difference.
Donate a Thanksgiving Meal
In today's rough economic times, some food banks are struggling to make ends meet. With more families coming to them for the basic necessities, it's becoming harder and harder to keep up with the overwhelming demand.
Make Thanksgiving a time to clean out your pantry, and instead of just throwing away those three boxes of mac and cheese that you never got around to eating, give them to a family that needs the food.
Even better, buy supplies for two Thanksgiving meals-one set for your family and one for a local family who otherwise wouldn't have anything. You can locate a local food bank at Feeding America.
By Brie Cadman for DivineCaroline
Thanksgiving is a time for familial tradition, be it the century-old silver turkey platter or the famous gravy recipe passed down through the generations. But sometimes we get so caught up in keeping with the traditions, we forget that they were never all that great to begin with.
For the recipe relics of yore that haven't aged well, a makeover can provide a much needed breath of fresh air. Of course, some dishes needn't be changed a bit. A juicy, well-seasoned turkey rarely needs an update; it's truly a timeless classic. Likewise, a pumpkin pie made by your great grandmother or a recipe gleaned from the original Joy of Cooking is just as good now as it was then.
But for the dishes that haven't kept up with our changing food trends and evolving taste buds, here are some fresh takes, all gussied up for the 21st century. They're simple and straightforward, with an emphasis on fresh, quality ingredients. You won't have to buy cream ofRead More »from Thankgiving Menu Makeover for Modern Tastes
- DivineCaroline | Work + Money – Sat, Oct 31, 2009 2:05 AM EDT
I'm a huge cookie snob. If it's not homemade and perfectly soft, I'm not interested. My coworkers have high expectations about cookies, too, and why shouldn't we? We've been spoiled by a city that offers some of the best baked goods in the world. But all of those delectable cafés and bakeries aren't much help when it's 10 p.m. on a Tuesday and an insatiable chocolate chip cookie craving hits.
Sure, you could wait it out or drink a tall glass of water, but let's get real-you're going to the corner market or nearest 24-hour supermarket to get your fix. But amidst those rows of packaged sweets, which one's the best bet? Luckily, members of the DivineCaroline staff taste-tested various packaged cookies to make sure your next chocolate chip cookie purchase is a well-informed one.
The WinnersRead More »from User post: The Best (and Worst) Packaged Chocolate Chip Cookies
Newman's Own Organics Champion Chip Cookies
True to its name, the chocolate chip version of Newman's Champion Chip Cookie line was the overall winner. Granted, it's nothing like a
- DivineCaroline | Work + Money – Thu, Oct 22, 2009 8:39 PM EDT
Okay, let's just get this out of the way now. The funny bone? Not the least bit humorous. In fact, one might even call it the Steve Urkel of body parts-painfully annoying and undeserving of even the slightest chuckle. Plus, the name is doubly misleading; not only are funny bones not funny, but they aren't even bones! (When will the lies end?) But for all the falsehoods associated with them, there's one universal truth we can count on when it comes to funny bones: when hit in just the right spot, they hurt like nothing else. What causes that numb, tingling pain that's so unique to them? And if they aren't really bones, then what are they?
Calling It a Funny Bone? The Nerve!The origins of the term funny bone are often contested. Some believe it's because the area in question is connected to the humerus, the long upper-arm bone. (Get it? Humerus … humorous! It's about as funny as the funny bone.) Others argue it has to do with how strange the pain feels when you hit the "bone." Read More »from Ouch! Why Hitting Your Funny Bone Is No Laughing Matter
- DivineCaroline | Healthy Living – Mon, Oct 19, 2009 8:23 PM EDT
Our mouths are one of the most high-maintenance parts of our bodies and, strangely enough, one of the most neglected. Many people learn from a young age to brush twice a day, and that sweets cause cavities. We're also aware that flossing should be part of our daily regimen, but how many of us actually do it enough, if at all?
Despite what we profess to our dentists every six months, most of us could stand to floss more. If you understand just how much flossing impacts your health, you'll be less inclined to avoid it. Not only does it keep our teeth bright and cavity-free, but it just might save our lives.
The Perils of PlaqueRead More »from Do You Forget to Floss? It Hurts More Than the Mouth
When you think about it, the mouth is a pretty foul area. It's filled with food bits and loads of bacteria, both good and bad. The bad bacteria is what makes our breath unfavorable and our teeth susceptible to decay. Toothbrushes clean only about 75 percent of our teeth. That's a start, but we need floss to clean between them, where our
Have you ever wondered why people we haven't thought about in years end up in our dreams? Why do we dream about an old boyfriend we haven't seen in ages or a teacher from high school?
Dreams are curious, nebulous phenomena and humans have been trying to make sense of them since we first became aware of ourselves. Great minds from the Hebrew Joseph to Carl Jung have tried to crack the dream code, yet most of us still wake up thinking, "What did that all mean?"
Dream interpretation can offer some clues as to why certain elements and people find their ways into our dreams, but to really crack the code takes some work and thought.
The Unconscious Mind Never Sleeps
Sigmund Freud's pioneering theory of the dream mechanism is still the best one out there. Not only did Freud argue that sane people's dreams are as significant as those of people with mental illnesses, but he posited the theory that dreams are actually what keep us sane.
In order to sleep restfully,Read More »from Why We Dream About People From Our Past
Over the past few decades, portion sizes of everything from muffins to sandwiches have grown considerably. Unfortunately, America's waistbands have reacted accordingly. In the 1970s, around 47 percent of Americans were overweight or obese; now 66 percent of us are. In addition, the number of just obese people has doubled, from 15 percent of our population to 30 percent.
While increased sizes haven't been the sole contributor to our obesity epidemic, large quantities of cheap food have distorted our perceptions of what a typical meal is supposed to look like. These portion comparisons, adapted from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's (NHLBI) Portion Distortion Quiz, give a visual representation of what sizes used to be compared to what they are today.
Two Slices of Pizza
Twenty years ago Today
500 calories 850 calories
Those extra 350 calories, if eaten a two times a month, would put on two extra pounds a year, or forty pounds in the next twoRead More »from Food Portions, Then and Now
No one likes being jolted awake from a deep sleep, especially when what riled you up was an assailant, a snake in the bed, or being engulfed by flames. Bad dreams-or worse, nightmares-aren't just annoying; when reoccurring, they can disrupt a good night's sleep, and sometimes, life.
These six causes of bad dreams can help us to pinpoint why bad things creep into our sleep and what we can do to prevent them. For starters, consider the following:
1. Anxiety and Stress
Anxiety and stress, often as the result of a traumatic life event, are sometimes the cause of nightmares and bad dreams. According to the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD), a major surgery or illness, grieving over the loss of a loved one, and suffering or witnessing an assault or major accident can trigger bad dreams and nightmares. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is also a common cause of recurrent nightmares.
Not all nightmare triggers have to be traumatic, however.Read More »from Why We Have Bad Dreams