Healthy Holiday Habits from the Spinning Company

The holiday season doesn’t have to equal weight gain. Here are some healthy habits that are easy to follow during the holidays to keep you on the right track to a healthier lifestyle!
Keep a food diary.
If you write down what you eat, it will make you think twice about overindulging.
Be aware of beverages.
Alcoholic drinks are easily 100–300 calories or more per serving. Plus, drinking reduces inhibitions (which will make it harder to resist tempting foods) and can give you a hangover (which will probably lead to not exercising the following day). Eggnog (with or without alcohol) is one of the highest calorie beverages in existence. A better option could be wine spritzers or naturally flavored seltzer water. If you must drink, try drinking a large glass of water between each drink to help you fill up and slow down your rate of drinking.
Snack on produce before you go to a party.
Filling up on produce will boost your diet quality along with keeping you from arriving at a party so hungry that you can’t make healthy choices.
Focus on enjoyable aspects of the holiday season other than eating.
Examples include socializing, dancing, playing a game, etc. You can enjoy foods that you don’t normally have without overstuffing yourself. The truth is that this season is really about enjoying the company of family and friends.
Bring a healthy dish to a party so that you know you will have at least one good food option.
Roasted vegetables pack a lot of flavor without the fat and calories of other traditional holiday staples like mashed potatoes or green bean casserole.
Exercise, exercise, exercise.
It has been proven that people tend to eat healthier when they exercise. Staying active will keep your calorie burning level high and remind you of your health and fitness goals through the holiday season. If you feel like you don’t have time, think about not saying yes to every party, squeezing in a shorter workout and planning when you will fit in exercise the day before. Part of staying consistent with exercise is putting it higher on the priority level.
Think about giving non-food-related gifts.
How many of us have been given a box of chocolates or plate of cookies that ends up at the office because we don’t want to be ‘tempted?’ Great, it’s out of the house, but what about all your co-workers that are trying to eat well too?
Remember, being mindful of your eating habits during this time of year will help you enjoy the holidays without compromising your healthy progress!


Playing is absolutely my favorite activity and I would never trade it for anything else in the world! Besides playing I love lettuce, carrots, and parsley. I like to be petted, and best of all I like to be held! I enjoy bonding with my caretakers, especially when they pet my fur and speak softly to me. You can tell me stories if you like! Stories about rabbits that are living in their forever homes, stories about the wild, and stories about bunnies that have been rescued and saved from danger are my favorites!
As I have mentioned- I love to play, and I hope that soon I will have a loving family that will play with me all day long!  Please come meet me at Animal Friends Today!

TheCarConnection Names the 2011 Hyundai Sonata Its ‘Best Car to Buy 2011

The CarConnection, the easy-to-use car shopping site that reviews cars and the best of the Web, named the 2011 Hyundai Sonata its “Best Car to Buy 2011″ as part of its coverage of the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show, which includes reporting, analysis, photography, as well as real-time Twitter coverage from the show floor.
TheCarConnection’s “Best Car to Buy Award” was chosen from a field of 40 nominees. The winner comes from reviews written by the site’s editors, who road-test nearly every new vehicle introduced each year. Editors rate each new vehicle for performance, styling, utility, features, safety, and assign a green score, then incorporate opinions from the around the Web in each review. The result is a unique, one-stop car rating and review that makes car shopping easier.
The 2011 Hyundai Sonata is a stellar value in all its forms—standard, turbocharged 2.0T, and Hybrid, according to Marty Padgett, editorial director of High Gear Media, and was chosen over finalists such as the 2011 Kia Optima, the 2011 Buick Regal, and the 2011 Ford Explorer.
“The Sonata changes the mid-size sedan game,” Padgett says. “Exceptional safety, fuel economy and standard features make it a must-drive for any new-car shopper.”

Make Holiday Traditions more “Sustain”-able, By Alyson Walls

Sustain: to give support or relief to; to supply with sustenance, nourish; to keep up, prolong
A few weeks ago, I started thinking about writing a post on how to make Thanksgiving more sustainable — buying a locally-raised turkey and organic potatoes, reusing aluminum foil or perhaps donating some extra canned goods to a food bank or soup kitchen.
Sure all those are great ideas. But I didn’t want to sound snobby or preachy. So, I started pondering what the word “sustainable” really means and wondering about other, more personal, ways of having enjoyable and sustainable holidays beyond just buying (or not buying) specific things.
I think most of us can recall happy occasions involving meals with our parents or grandparents. At least, it’s my hope that family dinners and traditions like Dad carving the bird and Aunt Agnes’ Jell-O salad haven’t been completely abandoned. We remember the fine details of special dinners like the delicately crocheted table cloth, the pattern of the china, the fancy linens. It’s these traditions – food that is carefully prepared, a table lovingly set, recipes made year after year – that we remember long after meals are over and gifts are exchanged.
Recently, a good friend of mine decided that this year she will cook Thanksgiving dinner for a large group (both her and her boyfriend’s families) for the first time. Cooking a turkey, mashing pounds of potatoes and timing everything perfectly can seem a daunting task for those of us who scramble home from work praying there’s still a smear of peanut butter in the jar and the bread’s not moldy.
In order to be completely successful and eliminate the potential for any surprises (turkey explodes, ruins oven) she wanted to do a practice run of the entire dinner, complete with all the side dishes, and invite non-judgmental friends over to be the guinea pigs. I should explain that my friend is a researcher by trade who needs empirical evidence and supporting data for personal as well as professional projects. Our circle of friends, which includes a lot of journalists, need free food. It’s a win-win. Also, being diehard Pittsburgh Penguins fans, we couldn’t help ourselves and began referring to the practice dinner as the “Letestube Turkey,” an homage to the team’s new center, Mark Letestu. (We’re nerds. Creative, but nerds none the less.)
When we arrived at our friend’s place for the practice dinner, we found a beautifully decorated table with candles, linens and real china. The smell of the turkey, brined with apple and spices, along with stuffing, mashed potatoes and seasonal Brussels sprouts, filled the home. A great start for Letestube.
As it turns out, the table where we sat once belonged to a relative and the linens were handed down. As I looked around, I recalled the tablecloth my own grandmother (and now mother) uses for holiday dinners and my family gathered around the table telling stories and laughing. I started thinking that making holidays sustainable is about more than just buying organic potatoes or using seasonal vegetables. It’s about carrying on family traditions and creating your own new ones.
Although the word has recently been applied to everything from farming to building, sustainability, in the traditional sense, means to keep up or prolong something that’s worthwhile. In making a wonderful dinner, my friend not only nourished new relationships and traditions (we hope she needs to practice again next year!) but also carried on the memories first nurtured in her own family. Score one for Letestube!
So, if you find yourself making your own “Letestube Turkey” for the first time this year or for the 30th, remember that it’s shared experiences, memories and laughter that sustain us rather than expensive gifts.
Now, about all that plastic wrap you’re using for leftovers…

old-fashioned bread stuffing

•1  cup  chopped celery
•1  cup  sliced fresh mushrooms or one 4-ounce can sliced mushrooms, drained (optional)
•1/2  cup  chopped onion (1 medium)
•1  teaspoon  poultry seasoning or ground sage
•1/4  teaspoon  pepper
•1/8  teaspoon  salt
•8  cups  dry bread cubes*
•1/2  to 3/4 cup  chicken broth or water
•1  10- to 12-pound  turkey
•Cooking oil
•1/3  cup  margarine or butter
1. For stuffing, in a medium saucepan cook celery; fresh mushrooms, if using; and onion in margarine or butter until tender but not brown; remove from heat. Stir in poultry seasoning or sage, pepper, and salt. Place dry bread cubes in a large mixing bowl; add onion mixture and, if using, canned mushrooms. Drizzle with enough broth or water to moisten, tossing lightly.
2. Season body cavity of turkey with salt. Spoon some of the stuffing loosely into neck cavity. Pull the neck skin to the back; fasten with a skewer.
3. Lightly spoon more stuffing into the body cavity. (Place any remaining stuffing in a casserole, cover, and chill. Bake stuffing alongside turkey for 30 to 45 minutes or until heated through.) Tuck the ends of the drumsticks under the band of skin across the tail. If the band of skin is not present, tie the drumsticks securely to the tail. Twist wing tips under the back.
4. Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Brush with oil. Insert a meat thermometer into the center of one of the inside thigh muscles. The thermometer bulb should not touch the bone. Cover turkey loosely with foil.
5. Roast turkey in a 325 degree F oven for 3-1/4 to 3-1/2 hours or until thermometer registers 180 degrees F. The internal temperature of the stuffing should reach 165 degrees F. After 2-1/2 hours, cut band of skin or string between the drumsticks so thighs will cook evenly. When done, drumsticks should move very easily in their sockets and their thickest parts should feel soft when pressed. Uncover the last 30 minutes of roasting.
6. Remove turkey from oven. Cover; let stand 15 to 20 minutes before carving. Use a spoon to remove stuffing from turkey; place in a serving bowl. Carve turkey. Makes 12 to 14 servings.
*Note: To make dry bread cubes for stuffing, cut bread into 1/2-inch square pieces. (You’ll need 12 to 14 slices of bread for 8 cups of dry cubes.) Spread in a single layer in a 15-1/2×10-1/2×2-inch baking pan. Bake in a 300 degree F oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until dry, stirring twice; cool. (Bread will continue to dry as it cools.) Or, let stand, loosely covered, at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours.
Make-Ahead Tip: Prepare stuffing cubes and freeze up to 1 month ahead. (Do not stuff turkey until just before roasting.)
nutrition facts
•Calories392, Total Fat (g)19, Saturated Fat (g)5, Cholesterol (mg)121, Sodium (mg)343, Carbohydrate (g)14, Fiber (g)1, Protein (g)38, Vitamin A (DV%)15, Vitamin C (DV%)2, Calcium (DV%)6, Iron (DV%)23, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

classic roast turkey

You can’t go wrong with this “classic”
•1  8- to 10-pound  turkey
• Salt  (optional)
•Ground black pepper (optional)
• Old-Fashioned Bread Stuffing (optional)
• Vegetable oil
•Turkey Pan Gravy
1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Rinse turkey neck and body cavities; pat dry with paper towels. If desired, sprinkle body cavity with salt and pepper. If desired, spoon stuffing loosely into neck and body cavities. Skewer turkey neck skin to back of turkey.
2. Tuck ends of drumsticks under band of skin across the tail or into wire or nylon leg clamp. If there is no skin or clamp, tie drumsticks to the tail with clean 100-percent-cotton kitchen string. Twist wing tips under the back of turkey.
3. Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Brush with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. If desired, insert an ovenproof meat thermometer into the center of an inside thigh muscle. Thermometer should not touch bone. Cover turkey loosely with foil.
4. Roast turkey for 2-1/4 hours. Remove foil; cut band of skin or kitchen string between drumsticks so thighs cook evenly. Continue roasting for 30 to 45 minutes more (60 to 75 minutes, if turkey is stuffed) or until the meat thermometer registers 180°F and the center of the stuffing (if using) is 165°F. (The juices should run clear and drumsticks should move easily in their sockets.)
5. Remove turkey from oven. Cover loosely with foil; let stand for 15 to 20 minutes before carving. Transfer turkey to a cutting board. Carve turkey. Serve with Turkey Pan Gravy.

This is My Scene

Oh this just about sums it up…..  was talking with an old riding buddy about this topic over Halloween, some of these guys try so hard to be “Different” but they are actually all just doing the same thing….  over and over and over and over again…….


6 year old male boxer mix
Hi there! My name is Tommy. I’m a 6-year-old boxer mix, neutered, and up to date on all of my vaccines!
Another shelter brought me to Animal Friends in September, and boy am I glad they did! I love all of the volunteers here and am very affectionate. I especially love when they take me on car rides to the park! The perfect day for me would include a car ride to the park where I could romp and play with lots of other dogs and chase the occasional chipmunk.
I’m pretty strong though, so Animal Friends would like to see me go home with a family that has older children, ages nine and above. I also love toys, especially rope ones. I could occupy myself all day just gnawing on a rope toy. I’ll need to go home with a family that can provide me with lots of exercise and stimulation. I hope you will stop in at Animal Friends to meet with me and an adoption counselor if I sound like the dog for you!

minted french green beans

This recipe for Green Beans is delicious! A Must try!~
•8  ounces  haricots vert or other small, thin green beans (2 cups)
•1  tablespoon  minced shallot
•2  teaspoons  olive oil
•2  teaspoons  snipped fresh mint
• Freshly ground pepper
1. Rinse beans. Trim tips off beans, if desired. Drain. Place a steamer basket in a large skillet. Add water to just below the bottom of basket.
2. Bring to boiling. Add beans. Cover. Steam for 2 minutes. Drain. Rinse with cold water. (Or, plunge into ice water.) Drain well.
3. In a mixing bowl toss beans with shallot, oil, and mint. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and chill for 2 hours. Serve as a salad or side dish. Makes 4 servings.
nutrition facts
•Servings Per Recipe 4 servings Calories40, Total Fat (g)2, Sodium (mg)39, Carbohydrate (g)5, Fiber (g)2, Protein (g)1, Vitamin A (DV%)4, Vitamin C (DV%)14, Calcium (DV%)2, Iron (DV%)4, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet