Your kitchen

Did anyone feel like a groundhog who popped up out of the ground on the 2nd? Apparently we are NOT to come out of our hole just yet. We’ll need to spend a while longer in home lockdown.

I’m certainly grateful to have a safe home. And electricity, especially this week! But, on top of those blessings, I am grateful to have a kitchen. There’s both a physical and emotional comfort in one’s kitchen, often the center of the home, right? The psychological comfort that you know you will be fed is another blessing. Nourished is perhaps a better word than fed as it conveys more than just food.

As I think about children (of all ages), who are home, I truly hope the kitchen has been a wonderful educational resource. Measuring with little ones helps explain math application. Heat conduction with metal and glass pans might stir some scientific thought in an older child. Have we taught our children what a balanced healthy meal looks like? Have we taught them how to cook?

And for we slightly older students, we might choose to use our brains in the kitchen! For a birthday cake recipe, I needed to convert metric measurements and temperatures and my immediate default was to use my phone (not to order out but to do the conversions). WAIT! Let’s get that brain exercised. Once we stop thinking for ourselves and solving our own questions we will lose the ability to do so.


  • How many teaspoons in a tablespoon?
  • How many cups in a gallon?
  • How many ounces in a pound?
  • What is the Fahrenheit equivalent of 177 ° Celsius?
  • How many bottles will be filled from a barrel of wine? Now, obviously, we’re getting serious!

Join me and my college students and stretch that brain.

Eat well to be well,


PS Happy birthday to my February birthday boys!

PPS OK, a bit of help – 300 bottles!




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Weird word, right? We might have titled the blog “thermic effect of food” or “specific dynamic action”  but I don’t think either would have helped. Let’s talk.

Starting at the beginning and briefly, the body burns calories in one of three ways:

  • basal calories to keep you alive
  • activity calories that allow you to move
  • diet-induced thermogenesis (DIT) or the calories it takes to ingest, digest and generally manage your food or diet internally

We estimate the calorie burn of DIT to average 10 percent/day above those basal calories.

Let’s use some real numbers. A 50 year old female, 5’4″, 140 lbs. has a basal metabolic rate of 1240 calories/day. Her DIT would add or use up another 124 calories/day. So, before any activity (like sitting up or putting on the coffee), survival will require that woman consume 1364 calories to make it until the next day. Assuming normal activity, her total requirement would be about 1600 calories/day.

The research supports that it matters WHEN those calories are consumed. A recent German study of normal weight individuals suggested a 2.5 times difference between concentrating the calories in the morning (breakfast) or concentrating them in the evening (dinner).

Results were published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Only men were studied which is a shortcoming of the research but it was a single-blind, randomized, crossover study which scientists like. (OK, we really like double blinded studies but when you ask someone to eat a meal, they can see if the meal is big or small, so it was the researchers who were “blinded” in the study.)

Researchers indicated the blood sugar control was better with the morning “concentration” of calories suggesting better overall metabolic health for the individual including less obesity. As always, we say more study is needed but this also seems like common sense.

Eat the calories when you’re going to use them to be well,



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