Tuesday, February 16, 2021


Visit our Website and Try our Virtual Vending Machine! 

Use Coupon Code RUSH for 45% OFF Any Of These Items!

Monday, February 1, 2021




Eat Well
A vegan diet contains only plants (such as vegetables, grains, nuts and fruits) and foods made from plants.

Vegans do not eat foods that come from animals, including dairy products and eggs.

Healthy Eating As A Vegan

You can get most of the nutrients you need from eating a varied and balanced vegan diet. 

For a healthy vegan diet:

  • eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day
  • base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates (choose wholegrain where possible)
  • have some dairy alternatives, such as soya drinks and yoghurts (choose lower-fat and lower-sugar options)
  • eat some beans, pulses and other proteins
  • choose unsaturated oils and spreads, and eat in small amounts
  • drink plenty of fluids (the government recommends 6 to 8 cups or glasses a day)

If you choose to include foods and drinks that are high in fat, salt or sugar, have them less often and in small amounts.

See the Eatwell Guide for more information about a healthy diet. 

The Eatwell Guide applies to vegetarians, vegans, people of all ethnic origins and those who are a healthy weight for their height, as well as those who are overweight.

The only group the Eatwell Guide is not suitable for is children under the age of 2, as they have different needs.

Getting The Right Nutrients From A Vegan Diet

With good planning and an understanding of what makes up a healthy, balanced vegan diet, you can get all the nutrients your body needs.

If you do not plan your diet properly, you could miss out on essential nutrients, such as calcium, iron and vitamin B12.

Vegans Who Are Pregnant or Breastfeeding

During pregnancy and when breastfeeding, women who follow a vegan diet need to make sure they get enough vitamins and minerals for their child to develop healthily.

Find out more about a vegetarian and vegan diet for mums-to-be.

If you're bringing up your baby or child on a vegan diet, you need to ensure they get a wide variety of foods to provide the energy and vitamins they need for growth.

Find out about vegetarian and vegan diets for babies and children.

Vegan Sources of Calcium and Vitamin D

Calcium is needed to maintain healthy bones and teeth.

Non-vegans get most of their calcium from dairy foods (milk, cheese and yoghurt), but vegans can get it from other foods.

Good sources of calcium for vegans include:

  • green, leafy vegetables – such as broccoli, cabbage and okra, but not spinach
  • fortified unsweetened soya, rice and oat drinks
  • calcium-set tofu
  • sesame seeds and tahini
  • pulses
  • brown and white bread (in the UK, calcium is added to white and brown flour by law)
  • dried fruit, such as raisins, prunes, figs and dried apricots

A 30g portion of dried fruit counts as 1 of your 5 A Day, but should be eaten at mealtimes, not as a snack between meals, to reduce the impact of sugar on teeth.

The body needs vitamin D to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. These nutrients help keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy.

Good sources of vitamin D for vegans include:

  • exposure to sunlight, particularly from late March/early April to the end of September – remember to cover up or protect your skin before it starts to turn red or burn (see vitamin D and sunlight)
  • fortified fat spreads, breakfast cereals and unsweetened soya drinks (with vitamin D added)
  • vitamin D supplements

Read the label to ensure the vitamin D used in a product is not of animal origin.

Vegan Sources of Iron

Iron is essential for the production of red blood cells.

A vegan diet can be high in iron, although iron from plant-based food is absorbed by the body less well than iron from meat.

Good sources of iron for vegans are:

  • pulses
  • wholemeal bread and flour
  • breakfast cereals fortified with iron
  • dark green, leafy vegetables, such as watercress, broccoli and spring greens
  • nuts
  • dried fruits, such as apricots, prunes and figs

Vegan Sources of Vitamin B12

The body needs vitamin B12 to maintain healthy blood and a healthy nervous system.

Many people get vitamin B12 from animal sources, such as meat, fish and dairy products. Sources for vegans are limited and a vitamin B12 supplement may be needed.

Sources of vitamin B12 for vegans include:

  • breakfast cereals fortified with B12
  • unsweetened soya drinks fortified with vitamin B12
  • yeast extract, such as Marmite, which is fortified with vitamin B12

Vegan Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids, primarily those found in oily fish, can help maintain a healthy heart and reduce the risk of heart disease when eaten as part of a healthy diet.

Sources of omega-3 fatty acids suitable for vegans include: 

  • flaxseed (linseed) oil
  • rapeseed oil
  • soya oil and soya-based foods, such as tofu
  • walnuts

Evidence suggests that plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids may not have the same benefits in reducing the risk of heart disease as those in oily fish.

But if you follow a vegan diet, you can still look after your heart by eating at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day, cutting down on food that's high in saturated fat, and watching how much salt you eat.


Friday, January 22, 2021

When was the last time you saw a Snail 🐌?

They are going extinct!!

Here is a pick of one we captured in Manhattan Beach on The Strand on January 2021

Fun Fact: Snails have the most teeth of any animal.

Snails teeth are not like regular teeth. A snail’s teeth are arranged in rows on its TONGUE. A garden snail has about 14,000 teeth while other species can have over 20,000! But that’s not even the most shocking part: The teeth of an aquatic snail called the limpet are the strongest known biological material on Earth, even stronger than titanium!

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Vitamin D Can Help Reduce COVID-19 Risks: Here’s How

Vitamin D Can Help Reduce COVID-19 Risks: Here’s How

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Vitamin D Can Help Reduce COVID-19 Risks: Here’s How

Experts say vitamin D can help bolster the immune system, allowing it to better combat illnesses such as COVID-19.

-A new study concludes that people with prediabetes who take vitamin D supplements can lower their risk of type 2 diabetes.

-Past research indicates that vitamin D can positively affect blood sugar levels, inflammation, and insulin production.

-It can be difficult to obtain enough vitamin D through your diet, so sunshine and supplements can be options.

People with prediabetes who supplement with at least 1,000 units per day of vitamin D may significantly reduce their risk of progressing to a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.

That’s the conclusion of recent research published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

The meta-analysis included nearly 45,000 participants from nine previous clinical trials. Those participating had an average age of 65 years.

With the large sample size, the researchers said they were striving to determine more clearly if a deficiency in vitamin D increases the risk of type 2 diabetes and if supplements taken by people with prediabetes could prevent further progression of the disease.

Past research has determined that about 41 percentTrusted Source of the U.S. population has lower than normal vitamin D levels.

When focusing on specific ethnicities, nearly 82 percent of African American adults and 62 percent of Hispanic adults were found to be deficient in vitamin D. The factors for those percentages included obesity, lack of college education, and lack of daily milk consumption.

Dr. Zachary Bloomgarden, a professor at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City specializing in endocrine and diabetes care, says the association between vitamin D and type 2 diabetes has been studied many times.

“The random controlled trials have not convincingly showed that vitamin D prevents diabetes, but subset analogies suggest that the group of individuals with low vitamin D levels are protected from diabetes by taking a vitamin D supplement,” Bloomgarden told Healthline.

A 2017 studyTrusted Source posed theories that vitamin D affects blood sugar levels and reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes in three ways: insulin production, insulin sensitivity, and overall inflammation.

And this doesn’t just apply to adults.

In a studyTrusted Source focused on Swedish youth who have obesity, vitamin D deficiency and prediabetes were identified in 33 percent of the participants.

“Vitamin D is really a prohormone,” explained Bloomgarden. “Chemically, it’s a steroid hormone.”

The fact that insulin is also a hormone convinces some experts that there is a relationship between insulin and vitamin D. Many people with low vitamin D levels have also been found to have overall immune deficiencies.

Bloomgarden adds, however, that while vitamin D deficiency is common in people with obesity and type 2 diabetes, it’s difficult to say what causes what.


Vitamin D levels: What’s normal?

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means it can be stored in fat cells like vitamins A, E, and K.

The storage factor means a person can consume too much of any fat-soluble vitamin and experience negative effects.

Other vitamins are water-soluble, which means that consuming too much will prompt the body to excrete the excess material through the urine.

Unlike most other vitamins, it’s difficult to obtain vitamin D from your diet. Instead, sunlight exposure triggers the synthesis of vitamin D in the human body.

“Vitamin D deficiency is common in the general population, but mild degrees of vitamin D deficiency is not associated with any noticeable symptoms or issues,” explained Bloomgarden.

At his practice, Bloomgarden says he measures vitamin D levels in all patients. Anyone with a deficiency is treated with a supplement.

He says that in people with obesity, vitamin D deficiency is significant and common.

Bloomgarden classifies his patients’ vitamin D levels as the following:

  • Normal: 30 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL)
  • Mild deficiency: 20 to 30 ng/mL
  • Moderate deficiency: 10 to 20 ng/mL
  • Severe deficiency: below 10 ng/mL

“I don’t always treat someone with a mild deficiency,” explained Bloomgarden, adding there doesn’t seem to be any noticeable benefit for those people.

Bloomgarden recommends the following replacement doses based on your vitamin D levels:

  •  25 ng/mL and above: 1,000 units per day
  • 20 to 25 ng/mL: 2,000 units per day
  • 15 to 20 ng/mL: 2,000 units per day
  • 10 to 15 ng/mL: 3,000 units per day
  • Below 10 ng/mL: 4,000 units per day for 1 month, then reduce

Bloomgarden said that older theories on vitamin D replacement and supplementation recommended only 400 units per day, but newer research shows that isn’t enough.

“I’d only measure a patient’s levels again if they were severely low in the initial testing,” explained Bloomgarden. “After a month or several months of supplementation, I’d measure again. I’d also measure calcium levels to ensure we’re not overdosing vitamin D.”

Taking too much vitamin D can significantly increase the amount of calcium you absorb from the foods you eat. While this may sound like a good thing, it can become dangerous at high enough levels.

“Elevated blood calcium leads to a number of issues, including kidney stones,” said Bloomgarden.

There have been recommendations of up to 10,000 units per day, which Bloomgarden feels isn’t necessary or safe.

“One thousand units per day for most people is plenty,” said Bloomgarden. “Very few people need more than that.”

Monday, December 14, 2020

Workout Routines

How to Build Your Own Workout Routines – Advice From a Two-Time Olympian

Why Should You Listen To Me?
After almost a decade as a full time, elite athlete, it’s safe to say that I have built up a pretty good bank of knowledge when it comes to training. Whether it be aerobic conditioning, circuits, sprint or strength training, a career as an international hockey player has, at one point or another, covered it all.

During that time frame, with the help of some of the most knowledgeable fitness professionals in the world, my approach to training has evolved and adapted, particularly in the gym. With that comes a practical experience of how best to build muscle and increase strength and power.

There are huge health and fitness benefits to engaging in long lasting and steady state aerobic activity like running and cycling. If you enjoy that type of exercise then by all means keep it up, it certainly isn’t doing you any harm.

If, however, you’re anything like me, and the thought of clocking up the K’s on the road day in day out leaves you yearning for something a little more exciting, then what follows could be for you!

Benefits of Strength Training
Performed sustainably, a well balanced strength training programme can have numerous health and fitness benefits beyond those obvious positives associated with regular exercise of any nature. These include improved flexibility, body composition (boosted metabolism means burning more calories at rest!!) and better posture.

What’s more, from a purely physical perspective, increases in muscle strength and capacity can have significant performance enhancing effects. Play team sports like football, rugby or hockey…? Want to improve your middle and long distance running and cycling times…? Or just simply looking to develop an aesthetic looking physique…? Strength training could be the missing ingredient…

Gym Based Workouts
Generally, I like to break my workouts down into different component parts. Not only does it help me structure my sessions but also ensures that I’m ticking off all the areas that I want to.

#Warm Up (Click to view video demonstration)
First things first, a decent warm up. I will spend a good 20-30 minutes foam rolling and stretching as well as 5-10 minutes on a treadmill or bike before I do any kind of resistance training. This gives me the opportunity to iron out any niggles and tight spots as well as raise my heart rate sufficiently so that my body is ready to engage in short bursts of high intensity efforts.

If you crack on with your session from a resting heart rate, you’ll tend to find that you spend the first 10 minutes or so waiting for your heart to catch up with your arms and legs! 

The video in the link above, takes you through some of my go to foam rolling and stretching exercises, hitting most of the large muscle groups and common problem areas (for me at least).

Spend as much or as little time on this as you feel necessary and for those smaller more awkward areas where a cumbersome roller doesn’t seem to quite work, try using a tennis or golf ball.

I would definitely advise buying your own roller. It’s something you can do at home and the ones provided at public gyms are often a little dilapidated. Be sure to go for one with a hard plastic inner cylinder as opposed to solid foam. Not only will it prove more effective at what it’s designed to do (no pain no gain here I’m afraid) it will also last a lot longer.

#Power Based Exercises (Click to view video demonstration)
Any activity with the intention of improving your power output, i.e. the ability to move with significant speed or force, should take place at the beginning of your workout. There is little point in tackling these exercises when your muscles are fatigued as you simply won’t be able to perform the actions maximally. This is a must if you are actually going to see any improvements in the power department!

Power Clean
The power clean is one of my all time favorite gym exercises. Requiring a unique combination of strength, speed and coordination, it is a movement which takes time and practice to master. There are, however, few better vehicles for improving your ability to produce power. An attribute which is a key ingredient to sprinting, particularly from a standing start.

With feet hip width apart and hands gripping the bar either side of your legs, bend your knees so that the bar is in contact with your shins. Pull your shoulders back and push your chest out to help create a flat back.

The movement which follows can be broken down into 3 phases:

  1. First Pull– Lift the bar by straightening your knees and pushing your hips forward whilst maintaining a nice flat back and keeping the bar as close to your legs as possible.
  2. Second Pull– this second phase begins when the bar is in contact with your middle thigh. By forcefully extending the hips (pushing them forwards) and standing tall, the bar will naturally travel upwards. Bend your arms at the elbow to keep the bar close to the body and prevent it moving outwards.
  3. Catch– when the bar reaches its highest point after the second pull, you must drop under it as quickly as possible in order to catch it. As the load increases this may require significant bending of the knees and the adoption of a front squat position.

Box Jumps
An infinitely simpler, but perhaps less effective way of training power is the Box Jump. This can be undertaken from a standing or walking start depending on the height of the box. From a standing start (approximately half a meter in front of the box), place your feet hip width apart, bend your knees so that your are in a slight squat position before immediately extending them in order to jump. Land on two feet on top of the box.

With a walking/ running start you may wish to take off a little earlier than when jumping from a standing start as a result of your extra forward momentum. A small skip step immediately before jumping should give you some extra force and therefore a little more height.

In order to achieve maximum clearance on your jump it is vitally important to bend the knees rapidly on take off. If not you’re likely to clip your toes on the front edge of the box and end up flat on your face.

Pick one of these exercises to begin your session, concentrating on quality not quantity. I would normally go for something like 4 sets of 4 or 5 repetitions on the power clean, or 3 sets of 3 repetitions on the box jump, with plenty of rest between sets.

#Compound Lifts (Click to view video demonstration)
Two fundamental barbell exercises entirely about building strength in the legs. Incorporate one of these into regular gym sessions and no one is going to be accusing you of skipping leg day 🙂

1. Deadlift
Basically the first stage of the Power Clean explained above. The emphasis here, however, is less about moving the bar quickly and more about a slow controlled lift with plenty of time under tension. Remember again to keep the back as flat as possible throughout the action.

2. Back Squat
With the bar resting across your shoulders and behind your neck place your feet somewhere between hip and shoulder width apart toes facing forwards. Keeping a nice flat back (there’s a common theme here) bend the knees and fold at the hip pushing your bottom back. When you reach the bottom of your range, somewhere around 90 degree knee bend, stand up again by straightening your knees and extending your hips. To really maintain control throughout the lift and maximize its benefits, imagine you are trying to rip a piece of paper in half with your feet as you bend your knees and when you get back to the top of the movement stand tall and squeeze your glutes together.

If you want to build muscle (hypertrophy), then you need to be completing somewhere between 3 and 6 sets of 8-12 reps at a weight you can really feel the burn by the end of each set. For pure strength gains, reduce the reps to around 5 and the sets to 3 but ramp up the load to close to your maximum.

#Single Leg Exercises (Click to view video demonstration)
Single leg resistance exercises are a great way to improve leg strength without having to continually load your spine, as with squats. They are also really useful if you can’t make it to the gym.

Depending on how I am feeling physically on any given day, I will either replace the above compound lift with a couple of single leg variations, or bolt one on after I have finished squatting or deadlifting.

1. Lateral Lunges
Great for working the often neglected adductors ( the muscles than run along the inside of your thigh), this exercise can be done with dumbbells to increase resistance without putting undue load through the spine. Or if you’re just starting out then ditch the weights and just concentrate on your form. This is a particularly beneficial exercise if you’re involved in sports which involve any kind of change of direction.

2. Forward Lunges
Much like the lateral lunge, add or takeaway dumbbells depending on your level of training experience. This is an exercise in which you will see improvements quickly so don’t worry if you feel a little wobbly to start with.

3. Pistol Squat
This is a brilliant replacement for the more traditional loaded Back Squat. It allows you to make significant strength gains without compressing the spine.

4. Bulgarian Jump Squat
Perfect if you want to feel the burn whilst elevating your heart rate slightly more than normal strength based exercises.

5. Single Leg Step Up
Concentrate on only just touching the floor with your toes at the bottom of the movement. The idea is to work only the standing leg and not generate any extra momentum as you make contact with the ground with your other leg.

These exercises are particularly useful in addressing any muscle imbalances between left and right leg. Something which bilateral exercises such as squats and deadlifts may not achieve. If you’re just starting out, they can also be a perfect introduction to strength training. Improvements are normally rapid, and there is much less chance of hurting yourself if there aren’t any significant weights involved.

#Hamstring Maintenance (Click to view video demonstration)
The posterior chain (muscles running along the back of the body) is absolutely an area which your training should target. Too many people, even the most experienced trainers, neglect these muscles in favour of the ones they can see in the mirror more readily.

If you play any sport involving repetitive sprinting or high speed running then you need to spend time in the gym looking after your hamstrings in particular.

How many people in your football, hockey or rugby team spend long spells on the side line because of hamstring strains of varying severity?

I imagine the answer is quite a few. Why? because they neglect hamstring maintenance work in their gym sessions.

The 2 simple exercises demonstrated in the video above should help keep you off the physio table and on the field of play.

#Upper Body (Click to view video demonstration)
Whether you want to build upper body strength to protect you on the rugby field, make it harder for opponents to push you off the ball in football or hockey or simply because you want to look good on the beach, this next section will be of particular interest to you.

One of the most common mistakes people make in their approach to upper body training is a lack of balance. Push push push seems to be the motto of most of the gym monkeys I see on a regular basis. If you want to look daft and have terrible posture to boot, then by all means just do chest and guns.

But if you would rather have a well rounded upper body physique which is functional and looks good then I’m afraid you’re going to have to commit, as much, if not more time to pulling than you are pushing.

Push Exercises
There are a plethora of different options out there to choose from. To help you maximize the time you spend on this area I have picked my 3 go to exercises:

  1. Dumbbell Bench Press: Why dumbbells? Because they require you to use more muscles to stabilize the movement than a barbell. Not only does this mean you have to work harder during your set but it also means you can’t rely on the dominant strength of one side of your body to get the job done.
  2. Dumbbell special: A slightly unorthodox looking exercise which works a wider group of muscles and requires more control than a traditional chest press machine or barbell bench press.
  3. Weighted press ups: A great way of making traditional press ups a little tougher and more about improving strength rather than muscle endurance.

Pull Exercises
DO NOT NEGLECT THE POSTERIOR CHAIN. This next collection of exercises are the key to a balanced looking physique. They will help prevent your shoulders rolling forward and your back from hunching.

  1. Disc pull
  2. Wide Grip Pull ups
  3. Seated cable row
  4. Dumbbell reverse fly
  5. Single arm dumbbell row
These movements focus heavily on groups of muscles which make up the back and shoulders, including: the Trapezius, Deltoid, Rhomboid and Latissimus dorsi groups. They will all help to counteract some of the negative postural effects of push exercises.

In a normal full body gym session I try to aim for 2 push and 2 pull upper body exercises, with 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps in each.

#Core (Click to view video demonstration)
Whilst pretty much all of the exercises that we’ve been through so far should engage your core if performed correctly, there is no harm in finishing your session with 2 or 3 more target specific exercises.

I really enjoy a challenge when it comes to this area of my gym routine and like to experiment with loads of different exercises. Most tend to be variations on a theme and involve hanging from a pull up bar.

The video in the link above, shows 4 of my favorite hanging leg raise combinations which increase in difficulty with each exercise.

The knee raise is a great place to start. You will need to be able to do at least 3 sets of 10 before you move onto the straight leg raise, but progress can be quick if you really commit.

There are obviously plenty of other core exercises which you can include in your programme, including front and side plank variations, double leg lowers, and the roll-outs demonstrated in the video. Don’t be afraid to experiment and have a go. Half the battle is having enough imagination to keep your work out fresh and motivating.

Training Efficiency
In my experience, one of the major complaints of people leading busy lives when it comes to the gym is that they haven’t got enough time in the day to complete meaningful sessions. Let’s be honest, who really wants to be spending over an hour in the gym before they’ve even started their working day, or worse still when they’ve been on the go all day?

The solution? Supersets. By combining sets of exercises which use different muscle groups or focus on different areas of the body, you can effectively complete the same session twice as quickly. What exactly do I mean?

Say for instance, you get to the upper body section of your gym workout and you have 4 sets of dumbbell bench press (a push exercise) and 4 sets of seated cable row (a pull exercise) to complete.

Ordinarily you may look to finish the 4 sets of push exercise with ample rest between each set before moving on to the pull exercise. In reality these two movements use antagonistic muscle groups. Consequently, if you move back and forth between one set of bench press and one set of cable row until 4 sets of each have occurred then you are effectively allowing one group of muscles to rest whilst the opposite muscles work.

This allows the muscles you use in each exercise to be sufficiently rested in between each set without wasting time sat scrolling through your Instagram feed.

At Home Workouts
Don’t have the time, money or inclination to join a gym? I can definitely appreciate that. It doesn’t, however, mean you have to miss out on the benefits of strength based activity. The following 2 sessions are some of my favourite routines to do in the house, in the garden, or even whilst I’m away travelling and can’t get access to a gym.

They require zero equipment and a maximum of 30 minutes of your time 🙂

#Upper Body & Core Circuit (Click to view video demonstration)

This is a great session to keep the chest, arms and core ticking over at home. I normally aim for 3 rounds and it should take between 20 and 30 minutes.

#House Of Pain Circuit (Click to view video demonstration)

If you’re looking for a great way of combining cardio and muscle conditioning into one half- hour session which you can do in your lounge or garden, then this is the for you. A whole body workout, which will almost certainly leave you flat on your back in a world of discomfort! The name speaks for  itself!

I normally aim for between 4 and 6 sets with 3 minutes rest between each. You should be trying to complete each set as fast as you possibly can so keep an eye on your time and be sure to record your progress.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

DIY Peppermint Patty Recipe

Easy Peppermint Patty Recipe

Jessica Marcy

Everyone loves candy. I mean, sure, we all might have our different preferences, but there’s something out there for everyone. Learning to make candies at home can prove to be a fun and easy way to make serving them or giving them as gifts just a little more special. After all, who wouldn’t be happy to receive some homemade candies?

If you’ve ever been interested in making your own candies, this easy peppermint patty recipe is a great place to start. Even if you don’t like peppermint, this recipe can very easily be changed for a different flavor of filling, making it adaptable to nearly everyone’s tastes.

Easy Peppermint Patty Recipe

What we love about this recipe is how approachable it is. It comes together with just a handful of ingredients and a little bit of time. Chances are that you already have nearly everything you need to make these candies right in your pantry. What’s even better is that they don’t contain all the corn syrups, artificial flavors, or preservatives of the store-bought versions.

If you’re not interested in the mint flavoring you can just swap it out for something else that you prefer. Most grocery stores carry a variety of different flavorings right in the baking aisle. Some great flavors to start with are lemon, coconut, walnut, vanilla, strawberry, or even lavender. Luckily, chocolate is one of those things that just goes wonderfully with most flavors, so you can feel free to try anything.

Easy Peppermint Patty Recipe

Another option to add flavoring to the filling is by infusing the butter or cream used to make the filling with a flavoring such as tea. A strong-flavored tea such as Plum Deluxe’s “After Dinner Mint” herbal blend or the Comfort Blend black tea would be great options to try out.

A little tip to prevent the filling from flattening out too much while resting in the fridge: Place it inside a paper towel tube before placing it in the fridge. The rounding of the tube will help keep the bottom round.

Easy Peppermint Patty Recipe

Easy Peppermint Patty Recipe


  • 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons peppermint flavored extract
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • 12 oz melting chocolate wafers


In a mixing bowl, combine the powdered sugar, butter, extract, and cream until well blended and crumbly. If the mixture remains sticky, add powdered sugar 1 tablespoon at a time until it becomes smooth to the touch.

Transfer the mixture to a large piece of cling wrap, and using your hands form it into a thin tube about 1 to 2 inches in diameter. Wrap it in the cling wrap, sealing the ends, and place it in the fridge until firm, about 45 minutes.

Once firm, use a sharp knife to cut 1/4-inch thick rounds and set aside.

Melt the chocolate wafers in the microwave in 30-second increments, stirring between each heating.

Using a fork, carefully dip the rounds into the chocolate until well coated. Allow the excess to drip off and transfer to a piece of wax paper. Repeat this process until each round is well coated.

Let stand until the coating has set completely.

Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Easy Peppermint Patty Recipe


Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Remarkable Women Veterans

Unwilling to accept the conventions of their day, they broke the mold. Left to right: Sarah Emma Edmonds, Cathay Williams, Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, Irene Kinne Englund, Eileen Collins 

Sarah Emma Edmonds joined the United States Army to “fight for her country” in the Civil War. She disguised her sex and used the name Frank Thompson. A nurse in the Second Volunteers of the United States Army, she was unique because she able to remain in the army for several years and was successful as a Union spy, while impersonating a man.

Cathay Williams, born in Independence Mo., was the first African American female to enlist, serving in the United States Army as William Cathay. She was a Buffalo Soldier, passing herself off as a man. She survived smallpox and several other illnesses. She was one of the first women to enlist in the Army and was the first African American woman to do so.

Dr. Mary Edwards Walker volunteered for the Union Army as a civilian nurse, as the Army had no female surgeons. She was finally awarded a commission as a “Contract Acting Assistant Surgeon,” becoming the first-ever female U.S Army surgeon. She often crossed battle lines to treat the injured civilians and was captured by Confederate troops and arrested as a spy. She was released and went on to supervise orphanages, become a writer and lecturer, advocating for women’s rights. Walker is the only woman to receive the Medal of Honor.

Eileen Collins: an inspiration to many young women reaching for the stars.

Irene Kinne Englund was born in El Paso, Texas. She piloted military aircraft during World War II as a member of the Women Air Force Service Pilots. She transported medical patients, ferried military aircraft and towed aerial gunnery targets. Because she was such a skilled pilot, she was one of the few women to be awarded Veteran status by the military.

Eileen Collins grew up reading about famous pilots such as Amelia Earhart and other women pilots who inspired her to earn a pilot’s license. During Operation Grenada in 1983, she flew evacuated medical students and their families out of Grenada. In 1998, Eileen Collins became the first Woman Space Shuttle Commander. She is an inspiration to many young women who are also reaching for the stars.