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Friday, November 21, 2008

Food For Sleep Deprived

Sleep is golden. Study shows that sleep deprivation is bad for women and can have real impacts on a person's overall health. If you are sleep deprived because of blogging ;-) here are some food that can help you regulate your sleep as well as food that should be avoided for they will keep you awake.

Do eat bananas or starchy foods such as potatoes or cereal and eat them four hours before bedtime. Some people say pasta helps them sleep better when they are stressed, which makes sense because carbs can raise serotonin.

Also, combine unsweetened carbs with protein. High carbs and low protein snacks seem to help the brain use tryptophan, which you may recognize from your Thanksgiving turkey coma. The combination produces more sedating serotonin.

Other good snacks for sleep include: apple slices with peanut butter; small bowl of oatmeal with low-fat milk; and crackers topped with turkey slivers.

Not all foods will cart you off to Dreamland. Some, like rich or spicy foods, can give you insomnia. They can give you heartburn when you lie down. Also, sweets are a stimulant, so you shouldn't eat them within four hours of bedtime. And while decaf sounds innocent, almost all decaf has enough "caf" left in it to keep you up. Go for herbal tea instead.

Exercising at Night is bad
False: If you do it in the early evening, for example between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. about three times a week, exercise actually can help you sleep. If you go to bed a bit later than most folks, just remember to get your workout within three hours of bedtime.

Eating dinner by candlelight will help you sleep.
True: Not only is it romantic, but it does make you drowsy. You need to spend more time in dim light before bed in order to prepare for sleep.

Drinking alcohol at night helps put you to sleep.
False: This is a bad idea because while the alcohol may make you sleepy at first, it can wake you up later in the evening

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Honey Walnut Shrimps

Honey Walnut Shrimps is one of the favorite dishes I love to order in a Chinese restaurant. The very first time I had this dish was during our vacation in Washington state in 2005. I have tried making it once, and it was pretty good. Every time we go to Boston, we usually eat at Jumbo Seafood and of course I never fail to order this entree.

1 cup water
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup walnuts
4 egg whites
2/3 cup mochiko (glutinous rice flour)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 lb. large shrimps, peeled and deveined
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp canned sweetened condensed milk
1 cup vegetable oil for frying
Broccoli florets for garnish, steamed

1. Stir together the water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and add the walnuts. Boil for 2 minutes, then drain and place walnuts on a cookie sheet to dry.
2. Whip egg whites in a medium bowl until foamy. Stir in the mochiko until it has a pasty consistency. Heat the oil in a heavy deep skillet over medium-high heat. Dip shrimps into the mochiko batter, and then fry in the hot oil until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
3. In a medium serving bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, honey and sweetened condensed milk. Add shrimp and toss to coat with the sauce. Sprinkle the candied walnuts on top and serve.