Monday, August 29, 2011

A Little Spot Of Wine In Cuenca, Ecuador

A Little Spot Of Wine In Cuenca, Ecuador

Mr. & Mrs. Wine Guy
The fetching Mrs. Wine Guy and I recently returned from a two month stay in Ecuador.  Ecuador is a beautiful, diverse and delightful country.  It, however, is sometimes a challenge to find a proper venue to enjoy a nice glass of wine.  Fortunately, The Wine Guy is persistant in his persuit and we now have a few regular venues in both Quito and Cuenca that we will enjoy upon our return.   (Ecuador is now our chosen target for retirement living....Grapevine readers wanting to learn more about that venture in our life may want to visit

One relaxing venue for us was the Brujas (Witches) Cafe and Bar located along the Rio Tomebamba just adjacent to the historico centro in Ecuador's third largest city, Cuenca.  The high bluff known as the El Barranco insulates the noise of the bustling centro, allowing the rippling water of Rio Tomebamba to provide a backgound of soothing sound in a very scenic setting.  A platform alongside the pathway that accesses the Brujas overlooks the gurling waters and greenbelt and provides a wonderfully staged venue to enjoy appetizers and a glass of wine. We did so on a perfectly beautiful Ecuadorian afternoon and were delighted that we had somewhat impusively decided to try this spot.

It didn't hurt at all that the by the glass or carafe house wine is a little better than the typical Ecuadorian norm.  The house wine here is Concha y Toro and they uniquely will let you choose the varietal.  (Sometimes your house wine choices are simply blanco (white) or tinto (red).  I've often gotten a simple perplexed shrug when I've inquired of a waiter as to whether the house vino tinto is a cabernet, merlot or carmenere  (typically, in Ecuador, it is probably 1 of these 3). I guess it depends on the inventory or perhaps what is open and viable in the back?

In any case, the service and accommodation at Brujas was a step above that.  The fetching Mrs. Wine Guy and I shared appetizer plates of cheese quesadillas and cooked mushrooms along with glasses of Concha y Toro Cabernet Sauvignon.  Perched under shady umbrellas to help protect us from the high UV count (Cuenca's elevation above 8,000 ft makes for intense sunshine) and with a refreshing breeze wafting across the cool waters, we enjoyed a leisurely sojurn and a delightful afternoon.   This will become a regular spot in Cuenca for us to enjoy wine as it's meant to be enjoyed.

We hope you have the opportunity some day to enjoy a glass along the Rio Tomebamba, as well.  Salute!


Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Ideal Healthy Smoothie Recipes For A Perfect Figure

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The Ideal Healthy Smoothie Recipes For A Perfect Figure

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It truly is ideal to include low-fat,skim, soy, almond, or coconut milk to replace regular milk for a smoothie, since milk is frequently amongst the most fattening components of smoothie mixes. This approach may lessen the calorie amount of the smoothie. Mainly because smoothies can easily be satisfying, a number of people who would certainly want to lose weight prefer to drink a smoothie rather than eat solid food..

Fat-free smoothie recipes are great meal substitutes if the plans are to shed pounds or maintain your physique. Fat-free smoothies fill you up, equally with water volume as well as energy therefore helping to make you unlikely to snack on unhealthy foods between daily meals. What’s even better, low fat smoothie recipes tend to be a very good means to eating fruit and veggies which you might not consume otherwise.

The formula of low fat smoothies often calls for fresh fruits and veggies, a little ice, and yogurt, dairy, or perhaps a dairy alternative. If you’re not sensitive to dairy, then fat free yogurt is an excellent component to include, because it contains beneficial micro-organisms that helps your immune system in combating germs and infection. Mixing together a smoothie with various items is a good method to ensure you feel satisfied for hours, so you will not likely require junk foods like potato chips or cookies.

At times, leafy greens are added in to make it a lot more healthy. Various other items such as soy protein powder and chocolate can be combined with the low-fat juice smoothie to make it to taste more pleasing. The fruits typically utilized to prepare smoothies are bananas, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, mangoes, peaches and pineapple. Citrus juice and apple juice tend to be common components as well.

Among the very best qualities of a healthful, reduced fat smoothie mix is definitely that you’re getting the total nutritional benefit of the fruit or veggie, as opposed to just the fruit juice. Also, it is freshly squeezed instead of from concentrate. These complete food will give you the enzymes and fiber content that aren’t integrated in store bought juice.

One of the most well known things to add to a smoothie mix is frozen fresh fruits. You may either buy them frozen, or maybe purchase the fruit fresh and then freeze them afterwards. Freezing will certainly conserve the enzymes as well as various other nutrients. Frozen fruits can help make your smoothie taste just like it ought to – cold and tasty!

To complete the ideal smoothie, the fresh fruits and dairy (or substitute) are mixed with each other. Many people include sugar into the smoothie, though that is one thing that you ought to seriously consider avoiding. Almost all fruits are quite sweet by themselves and you do not require more sugars added. If you do would like to add sweeteners, then usually a bit of natural honey is a great choice. Refined sugar, sugar replacements and sweeteners really should be eliminated; most are certainly not great for your well being.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

3 easy to prepare diet smoothie recipes.

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3 easy to prepare diet smoothie recipes.

July 7, 2011 | Author: jennytburt | Posted in Fitness Equipment

Smoothies are the rage for really some time, however are they really helpful to dieters? Yes!

Smoothies help dieters maintain hydration, offer more dietary fiber as well as nutritional vitamins when compared with most foods, and provide plenty of natural fructose, nutritional vitamins, minerals, as well as antioxidants.

This is because a healthy smoothie provides you everything which you require but in an easily digestible form.

Here are three delicious smoothie recipes that will help you start your morning with a burst of vitality and keep feeling good all day long.

The best green smoothie that you can find.

Green smoothies are great simply because they are full of both chlorophyll as well as antioxidants which boost the immune system.

This one provides several portions of dark green vegetables along with sweet-tasting fruits to please the palate.

It also consists of just the correct quatity of fat so that your body remains healthy.

What You’ll Need:

* 4 leaves of kale, de-stemmed four chard leaves * 1/2 bunch of parsley 1 aloe vera leaf * 1/2 bunch of dandelion greens * 3 pears * 1 ripe banana, peeled * 1 avocado, peeled * 3 cups of water


De-stem the kale and chard leaves. Peel banana and avocado. Make certain that you eliminate the seeds from the avocado too.

Put ingredients in blender. Add 2 1/2 cups of drinking water. Blend for roughly two minutes, or until totally smooth. Drink and enjoy!

The Ascorbic Acid Monster Smoothie

This particular tasty recipe is really a favorite all through cold and winter flu season. It is packed with vitamin C to assist your body deal with illnesses.

The anti-oxidants also help clear your body of toxins that can result in illness.

What You will Need:

* 1 package fresh strawberries, leaves removed * 2 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced up * 1 orange, peeled * 1 cup fresh blueberries * 1 kiwi, peeled and sliced * 1 cup cantaloupe, cubed * 2 ice cubes, crushed


Peel off all fresh fruits and slice as directed. Crush the ice cubes unless you would like chunks of ice in your smoothie.

Put all ingredients in blender and blend on high power for two minutes, or till completely smooth and frothy.

Add a little honey for more sweetness, if preferred. Serve or drink right away.

The Fast Early morning Hunger-Buster Smoothie

This really is a straightforward recipe which can be made in minutes, but it will gratify you for hours ahead. It serves up an astonishing 6 grms of protein as well as 7 grams of dietary fiber per cup!

Silken tofu adds a smooth texture and lots of hunger-fighting proteins, while the fiber from the apples and berries will maintain your digestive system in top form.

The yogurt adds additional protein, plus calcium

What You’ll Require:

1 cup of the berries, the kind you like, and also you may even have different kinds together. * 1/2 banana * 2 sweet apples, cored and sliced * 1/2 cup silken tofu 1 cup of low-fat yogurt

How you can make it

Peel the apples, slice and core them and put them into a food processor with the berries and yogurt.

Blend on high speed for two minutes or until smooth. This smoothie can be placed inside a sealed box and stored in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Make your own smoothie

If you want to experiment you can even make your own healthy smoothie. Here is how:

Custom green smoothies can be made by taking your favorite dark green vegetables (such as spinach, kale, or arugula) and combining them together with your preferred sweet-tasting fruits (such as bananas, pears, or apples).

Add water or some other vegetable or fruit with a high water content, like a melon for added hydration. Just blend it all together till it reaches the texture that you like.

Hunger-busting smoothies can be created by mixing a handful of of one’s favorite fruits which has a protein source (like yogurt or silken tofu). Experiment until you find the mix that works best for you!

Keep in mind: You are able to add powdered supplements to any smoothie recipe for an extra dose of protein or fiber.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Low Calorie Smoothies To Beat The Heat!

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Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Jun 08, 2011 @ 12:09 PM

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Try these low calorie smoothies to cool off in the summer heat!

Berry Burst


  • 1 1/4 cups orange juice, preferably calcium-fortified

  • 1 banana

  • 1 1/4 cups frozen berries, such as raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and/or strawberries

  • 1/2 cup low-fat silken tofu, or low-fat plain yogurt

  • 1 tablespoon sugar, or Splenda Granular (optional)


  1. Combine orange juice, banana, berries, tofu (or yogurt) and sugar (or Splenda), if using, in a blender; cover and blend until creamy. Serve immediately.


3 servings, 1 cup each

Per serving: 157 calories; 2 g fat ( 0 g sat , 0 g mono ); 0 mg cholesterol; 33 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 4 g protein; 4 g fiber; 19 mg sodium; 430 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (110% daily value), Fiber (16% dv).


Hawaiian Smoothie


  • 1 cup chopped fresh pineapple

  • 1/2 cup chopped peeled papaya

  • 1/4 cup guava nectar, (see Ingredient Note)

  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

  • 1 teaspoon grenadine, (see Ingredient Note)

  • 1/2 cup ice


  1. Place ingredients in the order listed in a blender. Pulse three times to chop the fruit, then blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

Tips & Notes

  • Ingredient Notes: Grenadine is a red syrup (originally flavored with pomegranate juice) used to color and flavor drinks. Look for it in the bar-mix section of your supermarket.

  • Guava nectar is available in most markets, with the juices or in the Latin American section.


2 servings, 1 cup each

Per serving: 81 calories; 0 g fat ( 0 g sat , 0 g mono ); 0 mg cholesterol; 21 g carbohydrates; 1 g protein; 2 g fiber; 5 mg sodium; 201 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (100% daily value).


Chocolate lovers

  • ¾ c light chocolate soy milk

  • 1 ¼ cup frozen unsweetened, raspberries

  • ½ banana

  • ¾ cup sorbet

  • 2 tbsp chopped mint



Combine the soy milk, raspberries, and banana in a blender. Add the sorbet and mint. Blend until smooth.


2 servings, 1 cup each

Per serving:  217 calories


Thursday, June 2, 2011

5 Healthy Smoothie Recipes

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5 Healthy Smoothie Recipes

Smoothies are gaining more popularity as people continue to search for healthy drinks and foods. They are often marketed towards health enthusiasts, people trying to lose weight, or people who are physically active. It seems that there is a smoothie establishment on every major street corner and in every major gym. The problem is some of these smoothies being sold over the counter are actually packed with calories, sugar and fat, which helps make them tastier and more addicting. If you're looking for a healthy smoothie, why not make one for yourself? That way, you at least know what you're getting in your drink. Here are five healthy smoothie recipes for you to try:

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1. Wonderful Wheatgrass Smoothie

Wheatgrass is a food that has practically become synonymous with the word "healthy." It's not a huge mystery to see why so many juice bars and smoothie shops include it as an ingredient for their drinks, but the fact of the matter is, it doesn't taste good. Here is a recipe for a wheatgrass smoothie that might taste better than what you're used to, with all the added health benefits:

Nutrients that can be obtained from this smoothie:

2. Blue Broccoli Blast Smoothie

Blueberries and broccoli don't sound like two types of food that should go together...ever! But, that's the great thing about smoothies - you can try all kinds of interesting combinations with healthy foods and if they don't taste good, at least you benefit from all that nutrition. Plus, a bad tasting smoothie is easy to chug down as opposed to an entire meal or dish. Not to worry, this blueberry, broccoli concoction is actually very tasty. Blend the following ingredients for one minute to get a great tasting, healthy smoothie:

  • 1 cup of frozen blueberries

  • ½ cup of strawberries

  • ½ cup of steamed broccoli

  • 1 cup of cranberry or cranberry-apple juice

  • ½ cup of regular, low-fat yogurt

Here are some of the health benefits associated with this smoothie recipe:

3. Super Spinach Smoothie

You may be thinking that a spinach smoothie sounds just as bad as a wheatgrass smoothie, but it's actually quite sweet and tasty like its wheatgrass counterpart. Spinach is known for its many health benefits like improved cardiovascular health and antioxidants. Here is a spinach smoothie recipe that is both tasty and good for you:

  • 2 cups of spinach

  • 2 frozen bananas

  • 1 cup of soy milk

  • ½ teaspoon of cinnamon

  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla

  • 1 tablespoon of sugar or an artificial sweetener like sucralose

More health benefits:

  • Anticoagulant and pain-relief properties from the cinnamon.

  • Abundance of vitamins and nutrients from the bananas and spinach.

  • Can help reduce the risk of: breast, stomach, skin, prostate and ovarian cancer.

4. Amazing Apricot and Pineapple Smoothie

Don't worry, not all of the smoothies on this list are going to be vegetable based. An apricot and pineapple smoothie should bring about a nice change from all those green vegetables, not to mention a nice colored smoothie - the oranges and yellows in your glass are sure to make your mouth water. Apricots and pineapples aren't the only fruits you'll find in this smoothie. The addition of bananas and strawberries will add an extra kick of potassium, vitamin C and antioxidants. Here is the recipe for this fruit filled delight:

  • 1 apricot, chopped

  • ¼ cup of diced pineapples

  • 6 strawberries

  • ½ a banana

  • 1.5 cups of water

  • 1 tablespoon of condensed milk (optional)

  • 1 tablespoon of protein powder (optional)

Here is a list of nutrients that can be found in this healthy smoothie:

  • Beta-carotene

  • Iron

  • Copper

  • Potassium

  • Vitamin A

  • Vitamin C

  • Fiber

  • Protein (If you decide to add protein powder)

5. The Mean Green Tea Smoothie

Fruits - okay; vegetables - maybe; but, green tea in a smoothie? Well, why not? This obviously isn't the steaming hot green tea served in a kettle, which most people are used to. This is taking iced green tea to a whole new level and transforming it into smoothie form. Besides, you've seen, or at least heard of iced green tea, right? How about peach iced green tea? Starting to sound better?

With the addition of the great diet benefits and powerful antioxidants found in green tea, you'll be getting one of the healthiest smoothies you've ever had the pleasure of tasting. Here is the recipe for this amazing take on green tea:

  • 1 peach, diced and without the pit

  • ½ a banana

  • 1 cup of chilled green tea (If you have to, brew a cup of green tea and chill it in the fridge)

  • ½ cup of ice cubes

  • 1 tablespoon of honey

If you're looking for something a little sweeter, and you don't mind sacrificing some of those healthy benefits, try substituting the cup of green tea and ice cubes, for a half cup of low-fat green tea ice cream. This isn't exactly healthy, but it's definitely delicious.


Thursday, May 26, 2011


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Being a cheapskate is my chosen profession, come by honestly from a boyhood in the farmlands of Ohio—where you learn to use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without—and 24 years running nonprofit groups. In the spring of 2008, as the Dow seesawed, I crisscrossed the country on a 30-year-old bicycle to research my second book, The Cheapskate Next Door. I had surveyed more than 300 of my "Miser Advisers"—a network of superthrifty folks I've developed—about their financial habits, and I wanted to take a closer look at them. I met near-millionaires and people who earned so little they could qualify for public assistance but chose not to—they had more than enough to live as they wished. What they all had in common: they've found ways to be wealthy that don't depend on earning more cash or buying more things.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Retire to Prescott...four seasons at a mile high elevation

Retire to Prescott...four seasons at a mile high elevation

Retire to Prescott, and enjoy the four seasons... Even though Prescott is only an hour and a half Phoenix, Phoenix elevation 1100 feet.

The fact that Prescott sits at 5200 feet, means snow in the winter and 15 to 20 degrees cooler in the summertime..

Prescott was the initial capital of the Arizona territory in 1863... Phoenix became the capital in 1889... The initial attraction to

Prescott facts

Prescott it is still a small town, with a population of 42,000.

Prescott is sometimes called, Arizona's Victorian are 700 structures on the national register of historic places...the downtown area, centered around the courthouse square, is a great place for a stroll, shopping, or a fine meal.

Prescott has been recognized by several entities for art and was ranked among the top 50 cities to live in, by National Geographic adventure.
Here is a link to the county website.

Prescott Valley

Stone rdige golf course
When we say retire to Prescott, it also includes Prescott Valley
Prescott Valley 15 miles east of Prescott, has 23,000 residents.

This photo shows the Stoneridge golf course, an excellent course open to the public.

Here is the official city of Prescott Valley link

Why choose Prescott for best Arizona retirement living?

It is close enough to Phoenix, a pleasant drive of an hour and a half, and the big city amenities.

It is also small enough to have a real small town feel...and if you don't mind a little snow in the winter, you should give Prescott and Prescott Valley, a good look when deciding where to retire in Arizona.

Combine a mild climate with all of the historic buildings in Prescott, and it's no wonder that Prescott is finding favor among Arizona retirees.