Sunday, December 25, 2011

Peppermint Experiment Results

The results are in on my peppermint experiment. (Drum roll please).  My conclusion is that it did not curb my appetite at all and although I did lose weight it had nothing to do with sniffing peppermint oil.  Actually, at times I felt like that peppermint made me feel hungry.  It was like it activated my senses and made my body feel the urge to eat. 

The oil is not easy to find but I did end up locating a small bottle at a local health store.  It cost me $8.99.  I would place a small dab on my wrist and occasionally sniff it.  Let me just say that people were giving me weird looks when I kept putting my wrist to my nose.....wonder what they were thinking.  More than anything I think I am officially sick of the smell of peppermint.

Overall, I think that the peppermint oil theory is a big FLOP!!!!  It was definitely fun to experiment with what to do with all that peppermint oil?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Pepperment: Helps with Weight Loss?

I found an article from my local paper about the benefits of sniffing (yes, I said sniffing) peppermint.  Psychologist Bryan Raudenbush says that peppermint, when sniffed, can reduce the urge to eat. 

When the participants in his study sniffed peppermint every 2 hours they were not as hungry as non-sniffers.  The best part was in one week they consumed 2,800 less calories then their counterparts.  (That's almost a pound)!

Raudenbush study also showed that athletes performed better.  They worked out at the gym longer, pushed themselves harder, were more motivated and less fatigued.

The participants used peppermint inhalers that can be purchased at health stores but peppermint oil can also be used.  An easy way would be putting a small amount on a wristband. 

So how well does peppermint work?  I don't know......yet.  I think that I will be a test dummy and give it a try.  I figure there are three things that could happen:

1.  I could lose weight.  (Yah)

2.  I could gain weight because the smell will make me want peppermint icecream or other peppermint desserts.  

3.  I could get sick from constantly smelling it.

There is only one way to find out, so you'll be hearing my results in a couple of weeks.  If you decide to become a test dummy too, let me know how well you did.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Homemade Tomato Soup

I, personally, do not like any kind of soup.  I don't know exactly why but maybe because I don't like my food combined together.  Maybe I am weird, who really knows?  Anyways, this is a recipe my friend emailed me and she says it great.  I'm taking her word on it so give it a try.  
Total Time: 2 hr 50 min.
Prep Time:  20 min.
Cook Time: 2 hr 30 min.
Yields:         4 servings

8 Roma tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise ( I use 10)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Salt and ground black pepper
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon water, divided
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried herbs de provence
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock ( I buy the organic low sodium and only chicken stock so far)
Sour cream or olive oil, for garnish, (This is optional, I use 1 Tsp of the low-fat sour cream.  It presents nicely and slightly thickens the soup- creamy)
Side Note
If you do not have pre-made herbs de provence you can make your owe combine the following:

            2 tablespoons dried savory
            2 tablespoons dried rosemary
            2 tablespoons dried thyme
            2 tablespoons dried oregano
            2 tablespoons dried basil
            2 tablespoons dried marjoram
            2 tablespoons dried fennel seed
            put in airtight container


Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a bowl, toss the tomatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place the tomatoes, cut side down, on the prepared baking sheet and drizzle 1 tablespoon water over the tomatoes. Bake in the oven for 1 hour.
Remove from the oven. Carefully peel off the skins and discard. Flip tomatoes over, cut side up, and place back in the oven until the tomatoes are shriveled but not dry, another 30 to 60 minutes. 
Remove the tomatoes from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, saute the onion in the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over low heat until very soft, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the garlic and herbes de provence and cook until fragrant, another 1 to 2 minutes. Add the stock and remaining 1/2 cup water and bring to a simmer. Simmer 15 minutes. Cool slightly.
In a blender, puree the tomatoes (including any cooking liquid on the baking sheet) and the stock mixture until very smooth. You may need to work in batches. Strain through a fine sieve if a very smooth texture is desired. ( I prefer it to have tiny chunks so I blend a bit less)  Pour the soup back into the saucepan, season with salt and pepper, and heat gently.

To serve, ladle into cups or bowls and top with either a swirl of olive oil or a little sour cream, if desired.