Smart Kitchen Appliances – The Future of Cooking

The food replicators on Star Trek that produce piping hot, perfectly cooked food in seconds or the thinking, talking kitchen appliances of The Jetsons' family home may seem like science fiction but the truth behind, the smart appliances are not so far fetched.

In fact, home appliance manufacturers including GE, Maytag, Samsung and Whirlpool are now teaming up with the technology giants like Cisco, Microsoft and Sun Microsystems to bring futuristic kitchen appliances into today's homes. These smart appliances can keep notes, generate recipe ideas, calculate cooking times and heat food at warp speed. Oh – and some of these kitchen appliances can even play movies while you wait.

A lot of the prototypes under development will never see the outside of the lab since studies show that homeowners are not quite ready to fork over the big bucks required to bring these smart appliances into their homes. So for now an oven that starts cooking with a telephone call or kitchen appliances that are networked to a laptop computer will not be available to the average consumer.

But do not worry tech-savvy gourmets, there are some kitchen appliances on the market that integrate high-tech gadgetry that can make your time in the kitchen convenient and fun.

Samsung produces a barcode-reading microwave in partnership with a grocery chain in Europe that estimates and sets the proper cooking time automatically when the frozen item is scanned.

They've also developed a wireless-enabled refrigerator that features a removable LCD (liquid crystal display screen) that can be used to leave voice messages, post notes, manage a family calendar and even play TV shows or DVDs.

Tired of having to wash your dishes after they've been through the dishwasher? Those days are over now that the latest dishwashers have built-in sensors that can estimate how dirty the dishes are, select the right water softness and cycles for the types of dies (plastic or china), and dispense the correct amount of detergent to reduce waste.

Wine lovers might like GE's new intelligent wine vault, a free-standing home appliance with cool features programmed at the factory. With a price tag of over $ 30,000, the wine vault tracks details such as the name, vineyard and year and generate barcodes for each bottle. All the data is backed up on a GE server through an online connection.

Induction ovens, which have been found in European kitchens for more than 15 years have finally made their way into Canadian homes. Instead of the burners generating the temperature, induction technology creates an electro-magnetic response in iron or stainless steel cooking vessels so the "burner" stays cool to the touch from start to finish. The technology is reported to be 25 to 30 per cent more energy efficient than a standard stovetop – and it's fast. A large stockpot of water can be brought to a boil in as little as two minutes.

Napa woman battles cancer with holistic treatments | Local News

Two weeks before Christmas, Lilah Lavorico of Napa got bad news. Very bad news. 

After testing some swollen lymph nodes under her neck, doctors told Lavorico, age 43, that she had Follicular Lymphoma – a type of blood cancer. She also had a tumor in her abdomen which was said to be at “stage IV” — an advanced state of growth.

“I was just shocked,” to hear this news, said Lavorico, the married mother of three boys ages 14, 10 and 6.

“I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t think,” she said. “It was rough.”

Lavorico said she considered traditional chemotherapy, but didn’t like the idea of “poisoning” her body. 

“I knew there was a better way,” to fight her cancer, she said. “There had to be.”

After hearing about an alternative cancer treatment offered by a hospital in Tijuana, Mexico, Lavorico made an unusual decision, but one that she feels is best for her.


Lilah Lavorico at CHIPSA

Lilah Lavorico of Napa was diagnosed with Follicular Lymphoma, a type of blood cancer. She traveled to a hospital Mexico to receive a holistic-style treatment for the cancer. 

In mid-December, traveled from Napa to be admitted to the hospital — the Centro Hospitalario Internacional del Pacifico, S.A. (CHIPSA).

According to the hospital’s website, CHIPSA is known for an unconventional treatment of cancer. According to its website, the hospital uses lower doses of conventional oncological medications to damage cancer cells, while at the same time stimulating the immune system “to recognize the danger signals and attack the cancer cells.”

The program also uses the Gerson Therapy.

Each day, a typical patient on the Gerson Therapy for cancer consumes up to 13 glasses of fresh, raw carrot-apple and green leaf juices. The Gerson Therapy is said to activate the body’s ability to heal itself through an organic, plant-based diet, raw juices, coffee enemas and natural supplements.

The only non-holistic treatment Lavorico did agree to use is Rituxan, a drug used to treat certain types of cancer. She’s a Kaiser patient in the U.S. 

Lavorico said that at first, her family wasn’t sure about her choice of this holistic healing plan.

Her sister, Laura Cortez said, “My initial reaction was, ‘Are you sure?’ But she was very passionate,” about her decision, said Cortez.

“They were worried,” she said. But they supported me,” Lavorico said.

“One thing to know about Lilah, her faith is number one,” said Cortez. “She’s a big person of faith, she believes that what God has created for her body is what is going to heal her.”


Lavorico with CAT scan

Lilah Lavorico of Napa has a type of blood cancer. She traveled to Mexico to receive treatment. This photo shows Lavorico reviewing a CAT scan with her doctor in Mexico. 

Treatment at CHIPSA isn’t inexpensive.

Lavorico had to pay about $30,000 for the 21-day treatment. It would cost another $5,000 for a three to four month supply of maintenance supplies and vitamins which she continues to take at home.

At first, she thought there was no way to raise that amount of money, said Lavorico.

But after her sister started a GoFundMe account and the family got a loan, she was able to go to Mexico. 

Those who donated to the GoFundMe account “helped save my life,” she said. “There is no way we could have done it by ourselves.”

Today, three months after being diagnosed, Lavorico said her results are remarkable.

The tumor in her abdomen, originally 6 cm, was now less than 3 cm in size. Tumors under her arms and neck have shrunken or are no longer detectable.

“I’m feeling good,” she said. 

She attributes her change in health to the success of the program and her faith.

“I know it was god that guided us to CHIPSA,” said Lavorico. “Without him I would be in pieces. It was our faith that got us through this crazy time.”

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After coming home, Lavorico has also been able to return — part time — to her job. She teaches a combined second to fifth grade class at the Hopewell Baptist Christian Academy in Napa. 

There are still those that may argue she’s making the wrong decision or wasting her money.

According to the National Cancer Institute few clinical studies of the Gerson therapy, have been published. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved the Gerson therapy for the treatment of cancer or other diseases.


Lavorico family

Lilah Lavorico, her husband, Joe and their three boys; Joseph, Nathaniel and Noah. Lavorico is undergoing a unique treatment for a type of blood cancer. 

But Lavorico said she’s proof that CHIPSA helped her. Her tumors are smaller. She feels great and doesn’t look sick at all. 

“I know it works because I’ve seen it,” she said.

“It is a miraculous place,” said Cortez. “If I didn’t see it with my own eyes, I wouldn’t believe it either,” said Lavorico’s sister. “There is hope.”

In April, Lavorico plans to return to the hospital for another visit.

And she may try traditional chemotherapy in the future, said Lavorico. But since her cancer is not curable, she wanted to start with the holistic treatment first.

“After everything else fails I will do chemo,” she said.

In the meantime, she is still drinking the many daily juices and taking her vitamins.

“It’s a lot,” of work to stay focused on the new eating regimen, which also includes extra doses of vitamins B17 and B12.

And she needs to continue on the treatment for the rest of her life, said Lavorico. 

“I know I can never be cured but I can get it under control so I don’t have to worry about if I’m going to be here for my kids.”

Bodybuilding, Can You Build Muscle On A Low Carb Diet?

One question that often gets asked in the bodybuilding world is whether or not you can effectively build muscle while following a low carb diet approach.

Low carb diets have been all the rage laTLY for those who are wishing to lose weight as they generally help to control hunger levels better and some people find a lot easier to follow.

But what about when it comes to building muscle? Is a low carb muscle building nutrition program a smart approach? Let's look a little further.


One very important thing you must keep in mind is that if you bring carbohydrates low enough while on a low carb diet, you can enter a state called ketosis. This is when the body is going to switch from running off carbohydrates as fuel to running of fat instead.

The big problem with ketosis is that it is also generally associated with being in a catabolic state, hence, will almost always be detrimental to building muscle.

If you are not in ketosis, then this is fine since your body can still be anabolic (building muscle), assuming a calorie surplus is given.

In order to stay out of ketosis on a low carb diet, be sure you consume at least 100 grams of carbohydrates each day (this is what is necessary to fuel the brain while not in ketosis) and then any additional carbohydrates required to keep up your workouts).

Energy And Intense Exercise

The next issue that must be addressed when going on a low carb diet is how it will affect your energy levels. Some people feel fine on a lower carb approach while others do not. Since when you are trying to build muscle you want to be doing very intense workouts, you can not have your energy levels lagging.

Additionally, the body requires carbohydrates in order to lift weight effectively (since fat can not be used as fuel for this time of movement) therefore, you will be required to either eat carbohydrates in the pre and post workout periods (to fill up muscle glycogen) , or do a weekly carb-load in order to give your muscles the carbohydrates that they need to function off during during the week.

Decreased Rate Of Fat Gain

One of the pluses of a lower carb approach though can be your ability to control how much fat is added to the body slightly better.

Since fat and protein have minimal effect on insulin levels, and insulin is the driving hormone that causes fat storage, you may find you gain a greater proportion of muscle on a lower carb muscle building program than if you would have gone higher in carbs.

Do note though that it still does boil down to total calories. You simply can not consume thousands of excess calories per day from fat and expect not to gain fat weight. We still need to look at this realistically.

So, there is definitely a place in bodybuilding for low carb diets assuming that:

1. You are supplying at least 100 grams of carbs per day plus any additional needed to support training

2. You eat carbs in the pre / post workout period or choose to do a large weekly carb-up

3. You find that you do not feel completely drained on this type of diet and are still able to lift weight effectively.

If all of these factors are in line, then yes, you can build muscle while using a low carb diet.

Food Truck Frenzy: The Good and the Bad | Columns

Food trucks have been around since the 1870s when chuckwagons would prepare and serve meals to cowboys on a cattle drive. Today, more food trucks and mobile vendors are appearing everywhere … at parks, festivals and fairs. They are around in urban areas as well as rural areas around the country. Food trucks provide a variety for consumers and have the potential to increase access to nutritious foods in vulnerable communities. Along with the pros that come with the convenience and variety of food trucks, there are also cons that consumers should be aware of. Those concerns revolve around the issues of cleanliness, food safety, healthfulness of food and portion size.

Food trucks must go through initial inspections before they are given permits. They must comply with state and local requirements in order to sell food. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention study identified critical risk factors among food trucks that contribute to foodborne illness, making them more likely to fail health inspections. The top issues cited were lack of hand washing, improper food temperatures, cross contamination between raw foods and ready to eat foods and inadequate or no sanitation solution for sanitizing surfaces. Lack of water also results in the inability to wash produce.

Aside from the cleanliness, most food trucks don’t serve meals that meet the Food and Drug Administration’s nutrition labeling criteria for designation as a “healthy” food. Per serving, qualifying food items would need to blow in fat (3 rams of less ) and saturated fat (1 gram or less), contain limited amounts of sodium and cholesterol , and provide 10 percent of the daily value for vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium, protein or fiber. A number of cities provide incentives through preferential permits to vendors which provide healthier choices or locate their trucks in neighborhoods lacking access to fresh, unprocessed food.

Eating from a food truck can be a fun experience for trying new foods. Here are some recommendations to keep you from over eating. These are the same recommendations that you would follow at any restaurant to cut back on unnecessary calories and less healthy additives and serving safely.

Go with family or friends and share meals. That way you can eat smaller portions while trying a variety of foods.

Hand held foods like tacos, gyros and wraps are popular food truck options. They can include all of your basic food groups.

Choose corn tortillas instead of flour and whole grain wraps and tacos for healthier options.

If you decide to eat a wrap or sandwich, grab a fork and plate and eat the nutrient-filled inside and less of the wrapping. That ways you will be able to taste all the flavors and feel the textures of your foods while cutting back on extra calories.

Choose lean protein such as chicken, fish, lean beef or tofu. Ask that they be grilled, broiled, roasted or baked rather than fried.

Ask for sauces on the side.

Always wash your hands before eating and drinking.

Make sure food workers aren’t touching food with bare hands, that they are wearing gloves, using tongs, wax paper or other methods to prevent contamination.

Source: Rutgers Extension.

The Importance of Food in Our Life

Food is the basic necessity for all of us and we all earn money to get this basic necessity. We need to eat 3 meals a day to keep our body running so that we can manage our daily functions. Many of us "Eat food to live" while there are others who "Live to eat food". In fact, nutrition asserts a special importance in each and everyone's life.

Types of Foodstuff

The food is normally divided into two main categories given below: –

1. Vegetarian food- These include stuffs like milk, fruits and vegetables. These are those stuff that are obtained from plants and trees.

2. Non-Vegetarian food- These include stuffs like meat and meat products, chicken, turkey, fish, squid etc. Non vegetarian foods are generally obtained by killing animals.

Nutrition from Foodstuff

Nutrition from food is necessary and without this daily dose of nutrition animals may not survive for long. It is important to support life as nourishment obtained helps the cells present in our body to carry out its routine functions. Different stuffs provide different levels of nutrition. The nutrients are divided into six classes which are given below: –

1- Carbohydrates- These provide energy to the body and are found in items like rice, bread and other grain products.

2. Fats- It consist of a group of compounds that are generally insoluble in water. These are found in items like butter, ghee, fish oil, lard etc. Fats are stored in the human body for use at a later use for energy.

3. Minerals- These are needed for the maintenance of proper functions in the body like the transport of oxygen throughout the body, stimulating growth, normalizing the nervous system etc. Minerals can be found from a variety of food items such as meat, cereals including cereal products such as bread, fish, milk and dairy foods.

4. Protein- These are important components of muscles, skin and hair. Proteins are helpful in creation of various enzymes in the body that control various important functions. Major sources of protein include milk, meat, fish, egg, and vegetables.

5- Vitamins- They are an essential component of animal body required for good health. It is organic compound required as a nutrient. Good sources of vitamins are fruits, vegetables, cereals, milk and eggs.

6. Water- It is often known as the "elixir of life". The human body enterprises of 55-78% of water. It is required for the essential functioning of the various important parts of the human body.

Thus, these points given above reflect the importance of food and nutrients in our diet. As long as a human is alive, he needs water and foods in the required quantity.

How to know which type of egg is right for you

You know the saying. You have to crack a few eggs to make . . .  some eggs.

But which eggs to crack?

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, Americans consumed a little over 19 pounds of eggs per person in 2015, the most recent year with available statistics. That’s the equivalent of 144 eggs, and sometimes it feels as if there are nearly that many options when you’re staring at the display case in the grocery store.

We want to simplify the process for you. Here’s what you need to consider:


Fun fact: “Peewee” is an actual weight class of egg designated by the USDA. The largest size is jumbo, but for most of us, the staple is the large egg. In many instances, you can use another size in lieu of large if you have to. This chart from the American Egg Board will guide you through the conversion, if necessary.


Sure, brown eggs look so much more rustic and wholesome, but that’s about it: looks. (Same with those colorful ready-made Easter eggs you can get from some farmers.) The color of the egg depends on the breed of hen. There’s no nutritional difference, although brown eggs may be bigger, and therefore cost more, because the hens tend to be larger and eat more.


One of the biggest risks from raw, undercooked or mishandled eggs is salmonella poisoning. Pasteurization kills the bacteria responsible for the nasty intestinal illness, and in many grocery stores you can find at least one brand of eggs that are labeled as pasteurized. They typically cost more than non-pasteurized eggs.

If you’re using a recipe that calls for raw or partially cooked eggs — especially if you’re serving young children, the elderly, pregnant women or immune-compromised individuals — consider going pasteurized. Just keep in mind that the heat used in pasteurizing might cause egg whites to become cloudy and take longer (up to four times as long, according to the American Egg Board) to foam if you are beating them.

How the eggs are raised

This is where you have to decide whether and how much more you are willing to spend based on conditions for the egg-laying hens. The terms “cage-free,” “free-range” and “organic” are regulated by the government, and often these eggs cost more than eggs from conventionally raised hens. Cage-free laying hens have unlimited access to food and water and are free to roam in their space, though that doesn’t require outdoor access. Free-range hens are required to have the same conditions as cage-free but must also have continuous access to the outdoors. Organic eggs must come from uncaged chickens fed an organic diet and given outdoor access (though a Post investigation found some iffy interpretation of that rule).

Choosing between these types of eggs is more of a moral, and financial, rather than culinary decision. A USDA study found no difference in quality among the various types of grocery store eggs, although some other analyses have shown higher levels of certain nutrients, such as vitamins and omega-3 fats, in eggs from hens allowed access to pastures.

As to taste? Post food policy columnist Tamar Haspel pitted eggs from her own free-range chickens against those from factory chickens. No one could tell the difference.

More from Voraciously:

Why you should think big when you buy a cutting board

You don’t need to chop like a TV chef to get the job done

Skip the 18-piece set. A chef’s knife is the one blade you really need.

Blue Apron plans to bring its meal kits in stores

NEW YORK — Blue Apron, which ships boxes of raw food to subscriber’s doorsteps, wants to start selling its meal kits in stores.

The shift comes as more grocers get into the meal-kit business. Walmart, for example, is expanding its easy-to-make dinners in more than 2,000 of its stores.

New York-based Blue Apron confirmed plans of an in-store rollout, but declined to provide details. The move was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Blue Apron Holdings, which charges about $10 a meal, has struggled since it went public in June. Its stock price is down 77 percent since then, and it reported a 15 percent drop in subscribers in its last quarter.

On Thursday morning, its stock rose 6 percent to $2.29.

Why Can not I Stick to a Diet

So you need to lose 10 (or 20 or 30) pounds – or think you do – but we'll get to that later, missy. Well what is so hard about that? All you need is a little self discipline. After all, you only need to eliminate 3,500 calories from your intake, and whoosh – it's gone.
A one time deal and you never have to think about it again, Right? Right ?? Do not I wish !!

Why is it that I do not hear cheers and the sound of high fives from around the room? What I do hear is the sneaky rustle of potato chip bags and Twinkie's wrappings. Ah, you say, I could stick to a diet if it were not for those nasty food cravings.

All right, I hear you, and yes, I'll admit that food cravings are real, and the good news is that there could be medical reasons for these cravings.

o Are you pregnant? If you think you could be, please get tested. Do not wait for nine months to find out, girls. That kid needs to be fed right, and fed right NOW. (You want a pickle? Go for it, mom! Just do not use pregnancy to justify stuffing your tummy with everything you have tried to deny yourself for the past 15 years.)

o Premenstrual? Look at the calendar. Does simply being a woman make want you a candy bar? (Or some candy bars? I'll take two plain chocolate, one with almonds, and a little bag of … but you get the point.)

o Low insulin levels? Yes, lack of insulin could be driving your irrational desire for Real Food, ie, lots of carbohydrates. If you have low blood sugar or if there is diabetes in your family, your body will try to protect itself by storing every calorie within reach. Go to a doctor immediately, and get this checked out, will you? There are also great website loaded with information, check Insulite Labs for a great one.

o Low Serotonin? So your boss hates you, your mom will not get off your back about your messy living room, and your guy is the reason for the messy living room, in the first place. Sure, everyone wants to feel good, and if you are under a lot of stress, your body may start holler for a one pound bag of chocolate chip cookies, fudge-ripple ice cream or three Margaritas. Are you going to give in?

Yes, food desires are out there, but the question is, 'What can you do about them?' Well, apart from the very real medical issues that some women face, you can do a lot.

Now I know that some of you do not want to go the gym, but exercise really helps. Not only does it elevate the level of those natural feel-good chemicals, it tones your muscles (making the body you have look better, even if it weighs the same), it reduces the number of calories that are available for storage on your inner thighs, and gets you out of harm's way (that bag of potato chips can not see you when you are at the gym). Now that's not just a two-fer, it's a four-fer! Of course, you do not have to go to the gym to exercise. You can take long walks with a friend, go bowling, or swim at your local pool – better than watching TV any day.

Meditation and yoga help, too, and yoga helps keep you flexible, as well as calming your nerves (the ones that are frayed because of your guy, your boss, and your mother: see above). Sex and a bath with candles can help, too. The point is that we do have a lot of control over our lives, so let's go girls!

Protein Rich Foods In Your Pantry

Sources of Protein In Protein Rich Foods

Protein rich foods can be found in a variety of our menus. The food groups most often associated with protein to the average person, is foods in the meat category. Within this group, is beef, chicken and pork. Beef is the most common food association within this group. You've heard the term a "meat and potatoes man" he likes beef and lots of it.

Beef is indeed a protein rich food. It contains 22 essential amino acids so is considered complete, however only 20 percent of the protein is usable by weight. So even though it is present and in complete form, the meat is not heavy laden with the protein content. For this reason we can consume quite a large piece of steak to get a high amount of protein. Along with this high amount of protein we seek, we must be careful about the high number of calories we are consuming to get it.

Chicken or poultry is also a high protein source containing 27 grams for a 3 ounce serving compared to beef at 23 grams for a 3 ounce serving. Fish generally will come in at 5 grams of protein per 3 ounce serving.

Protein Rich Foods In The Vegetable Group

Vegetable proteins even though they are not complete proteins containing all 22 essential amino acids, can still fill our protein needs if consumed in the proper combinations with other proteins. Vegetables are also lower in calories and fat than red meats. For this reason they could have a great option especially if you are watching your weight.

You might want to consider a mixture of meat and vegetable proteins to easily cover the needs of your body, if you desire to eat vegan and for go meat, the proper combination of other foods can easily be achieved to complete your body's protein needs.

Soy Protein VS Whey Protein

Soy protein can prevent proper absorption by your body because of the phytates it naturally contains. Some producers of soy protein remove the phytates which makes it more prone to allow proper absorption of important minerals. However soy protein is very high in allergens. Many people using a significant amount of soy protein will develop allergies to it, even if the allergies are not present at the time they begin using it.

Soy contains a higher amount of gas and can in some cases promote problems in the intestinal track including some unfavorable conditions in the pancreas even cancer.

Whey protein is top dog when it comes to your choices in selecting a great protein product. It is quickly absorbed by the body and has a very high biological value of protein, up to 100 percent and even up to 150 percent for whey isolate.

Whey protein, like Soy protein can cause allergy issues with persons allergic to dairy products, however that number is significantly lower than the number who have allergic problems with Soy.

Low Fat Protein Foods

Some food items in this group would include grains, vegetables and even fruits. Beans, legumes and peas are also lower in fat. Nuts although they are higher in fat, contain fats that are better for our bodies than animal fats. Using some of these foods for your protein is an option to avoid consuming meat, but remember these are not complete proteins containing all the necessary amino acids your body needs.