Food as Medicine

Your mother was right!  You should eat your vegetables (and a few other foods).  Studies are showing if we eat the right foods we might live longer, have healthier skin, and add protection from illnesses.

We found this interesting, helpful and sometimes amusing.  Enjoy!



Pectin lowers cholesterol, controls diabetes by regulating blood sugar and relieves diarrhea.
Bananabanana Vitamin B6



increases immunity to infection, colds, and the flu and reduces inflammation.

controls hypertension and alleviates muscle cramps and stomach distress.

Beansbeans Vitamin E

Vitamin B

 (in soybeans and lima beans) fights heart disease.

(in white and red beans, soybeans, lima beans) prevents some birth defects, including spina bifida.

 Branbran Soluble fiber


fights colon cancer and lowers LDL.

prevents convulsions, regulates heartbeat and lessens the risk of heart attack.

 Carrotcarrot  Beta-carotene

Calcium Pectate

fights carcinogens, lowers cholesterol and boosts immune system.

lowers cholesterol and relieves diarrhea.

 Celerycelery 3-Butylphthalide

Insoluble fiber

 lowers blood pressure by preventing vessel constriction.

maintains digestive system, preventing constipation and gallstones.

 Coffeecoffee Caffeine relieves asthma, prevents water retention, relieves constipation and increases energy.
 Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower) veggies  Vitamin C, Beta Carotene, Indoles and Monoterpene  slow cancer-cell growth.
Fatty Fish/oil (herring, mackerel, salmon, tunafish  Omega 3 Fatty Acids  reduce risk of heart desease, guard against blood clots, control hypertension, reduce inflammation and relieve asthma.
 Garlicgarlic Adenosine


Diallyl Sulfides, Phenolic Acid, and Quercetin

lowers blood pressure

prevents blood clots

fight carcinogens and lower cholesterol.

Gingerginger fights nausea, relieves headaches, and arthritis, reduces inflammation and guards against blood clots.
Green Teagreen tea Catechins

Streptococcus Mutans

protects against cancer, fights viral infection and lower LDL.

prevents cavities

Licoricelicorice Triterpenoids


slow cancer-cell growth.

guards against blood clots and ulcers and fights cavities

Oniononion Ajoene

Daillyl Sulfides and QUercetin

prevents heart desease and lowers cholesterol.

fight carcinogens and reduce inflammation and pain.

Orangeorange Vitamin C

Phenolic Acid

helps produce healthysperm and increases fertility.

fight carcinogens and heart disease.

Pepperpepper Vitamin C (in red peppers)


fights respiratory disease and cancer and maintains healthy sperm.

fights heart disease and some forms of cancer.



Reduces gas pains.
Pumpkin seedspumpkin Amino Acids


reduces prostate enlargement and regulates testosterone levels.

prevents prostate enlargement and testosterone levels.

Spinachspinach Beta-Carotene



protects against cancer and boosts immune system.

alleviates migraines.

regulates blood pressure.

Strawberriesstrawberry Ellagic Acid

Vitamin C


fights carcinogens.

maintains healthy sperm and lowers cholesterol.

protects against colon and rectal cancer.

Yogurtyogurt Lactobacillus


stimulates good bacteria growth, reduces cold symptoms, relieves diarrhea and boost immune system.



Mix one up with whatever’s in your pantry using this simple formula!

one   EGGS

Beat 8 eggs in a large bowl.  Season with salt and pepper. Now whisk in…

two   Vegetables

Add up to 2 veggies (your favorites, or suggestions below) to eggs; use 1 1/2 cups total.

  • Sautéed mushrooms
  • Frozen Corn
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Roasted sliced potatoes
  • Sautéed onions or leeks
  • Roasted broccoli
  • Roasted red peppers

three   Protein

Add 1, use 3/4 cup

  • Chopped smoked salmon
  • Cooked sausage crumbles
  • Canned beans
  • Diced ham or bacon

four    Cheese

Add 1 or 2; use up to 1 cup total (unless noted).

  • Grated Parmesan
  • Crumbled blue cheese or feta (use up to 1/2 cup)
  • Grated cheddar
  • Diced mozzarella
  • Sour cream or ricotta

five   Herbs

Add 1; use up to 3/4 cup, chopped.  For stronger herbs, like rosemary or dill, use 2 Tbsp, chopped.

  • Basil
  • Chives
  • Cilantro
  • Tarragon
  • Mint

six   Flavor Boost

Add 1; use 1 Tbsp.

  • Dijon mustard
  • Capers or tapenade
  • Grated citrus zest
  • Sriracha or pesto


Warm 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium-high heat in a 10 inch ovenproof nonstick skillet.  Add egg mixture and immediately pull set edges toward the center to allow uncooked egg to run underneath.  Cook until edges set again, 1 to 2 minutes, then bake in a preheated 350F degree oven until top is just set, about 15 minutes; do not overcook.

Let cool 5 minutes in pan before inverting onto a plate.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Bon Appetite!


Five night getaway in Panama City, Panama


Hi all!

Just got back from a 5 night, 4 day getaway to Panama City, Panama for my birthday.  Thank you John!

Panama had been on the bucket list for a while.  The thinking was sooner or later we’d get there on a cruise through the canal but for no particular reason that never materialized.

First impression


It’s a big sprawling city of over 1 million inhabitants.  The preferred housing seems to be high rise apartments or condos preferably on or near the coast.  Other areas mix residential with commercial towers in the city center.  That said, there are also extensive low income and impoverished neighborhoods tucked into the cities nooks and crannies.

A big surprise was NO BUGS.  No flies, no mosquitoes!  Who knew, especially in a hot humid climate.  Another surprise was the US Dollar is the national currency.  Even better, prices are 20% to 30% lower than much of the US.


Getting around is relatively easy.  Taxis, and Uber, are plentiful and most trips are between $5 and $10.  The taxi from the airport to the city center is a flat rate of $30.  But the trip back to the airport was $39.  We noticed tolls and assumed that caused the variance.  (That said, we were told there was an exit tax of $20 per person but upon check in and immigration no such tax was collected.)


There is a short subway system with one line.  It is clean, modern, fast and popular.  It will take you from the City Center (two blocks from our hotel) to the Albrook Mall and the Regional Bus terminal.  You must purchase a card for $2 and then add money to the card (same machine, English or Spanish).  Each ride is $.35 and can be used by more than one person.


We chose the Marriott Hotel in the city center for its location in the center of town.  The city center is also the Banking district.  What we didn’t know was after banking hours and on weekends, the area is pretty devoid of a street scene.

We arrived about 9:30 PM to discover the room we booked was not available.  Good news, we were upgraded to a large Executive room with lounge access for breakfast, snacks and beverages.  The hotel had been recently remodeled and offered a great restaurant at reasonable prices, an even better bar, and the usually trappings of an international hotel franchise.

Marriott Panama


Marriott Panama, Calle 52 y Ricardo Arias, Area Bancaria, Apdo. Postal 832-0498 W.T.C. Panama, Republica de Panama, Tel. (507) 210-9100.  E-mail Concierge:

Across the street from the hotel is a wonderful Lebanese restaurant and bar, Restaurante Beirut.  There is a huge covered outdoor patio that is popular for people watching.  The food is authentic and excellent. It is a bit expensive but worth the splurge.

Things to see and places to go! 

We decided the best way to get the lay of the land was the Hop On-Hop Off City and Canal Tour bus.  One day 24 hours, $29 Adults (our tickets were good for 30 hours which meant 3 PM the next day!), 48 hours for $39, or 72 hours for $50.  Buses ran every 45 minutes to every hour depending on the day.  The lower level is fully air conditioned.  The upper level is covered and generally preferred.  Headsets in multiple languages are at every seat.


There are only 6 stops but some how manage to cover most of the City Center, the waterfront, the Albrook Mall, the Miraflores locks of the Panama Canal, the Biodiversity Museum, the Causeway islands, and the old town. Details below.

Multicentro Shopping Center

A large part of the local culture centers on the many Shopping Centers in Panama City.  Hotels, and residential towers tend to use these shopping centers for shopping, dining and entertainment.  The Multicentro is a large indoor/outdoor multi level facility with a little bit of everything.  Local, regional and international brands can be found here.

Canal de Panama (Miraflores Locks)


This is a MUST DO attraction.  There is a $15 admission charge to the Miraflores visitor center.  This allows access to the museum, viewing terraces, gift shop, restaurant and bar.  Plan at least an hour or two.



This museum was designed by Frank Gehry and is surrounded by parklands and the South entrance to the Canal and overlooks the Puente De Las Americas (the Bridge of the Americas).

It is a world class facility with stunning views of the bay, the canal, the old quarter, and the modern city. It also covers 40 million years of history as the land bridge created the link between North and South America.

It is a semi guided journey starting with the gallery of local Biodiversity, what is extinct, endangered and thriving.  There is also a stunning 10 screen visual presentation of Panama’s natural wonder in the air, on the land and in the sea.

There is a great display of fossils dating back millions of years and a gallery of the ancient ancestors of todays animals and mankind.

There is  a great little café, a nice gift shop, and space for new and temporary exhibits.  Plan at least 1 or two hours.  Admission is $16.

Casco Antiguo Old Quarters


This is the old town of Panama City where you can easily spend a half day or evening.  The area is slowly being restored to its old glory with many more buildings waiting for their turn.

It is a peninsula surrounded by water on three sides.  It is loaded with places to dine, shop or explore.  Sadly, the most important Catedral Metropolitana was closed under massive reconstruction during our visit.  The picturesque Plaza Catedral and the adjacent Museo del Canal Interoceanico stand next door.


Don’t miss the Inglesia de San Jose o Altar de Oro with its gold alter.  Another must is the Plaza de Francia and the oblisk.


Also worth a look is the Iglesia Nuestra Senora de la Merced dating back to 1680 with its Virgen de la Merced brought from Spain in 1722.



The Mercado del Marisco is just down the main road where the best fresh ceviche and seafood cocktails are popular in the restaurant upstairs.

A local stop for lunch, beer, wine try Super G Casco Viejo, Ave A y Calla Cta for gourmet deli sandwiches, home made soups and salads at reasonable prices.

Albrook Mall

The subway will get you to the Albrook Mall and the Regional Bus Terminal.  The Mall has over 650 stores.  It is considered the largest Mall in the country.  Filled with large stores and small shops of every variety and description.  The two level complex stretches on seemingly forever.  There are several huge food courts that attract mammoth crowds from midday into the evening.  We found a multiplex movie theater where one movie was showing in “version originale” (English).  Stadium seating, we could have been in Santa Monica!


Located a 5 minute walk from our hotel, this upscale mall is part of a three tower commercial, Ritz Carlton Hotel and a residential tower.  The shopping complex hosts all high end designer stores:  Chanel, Dior, Prada, Ferragamo, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren and such.

There is an upmarket cinema, seven theaters, all premium stadium seating with butler service, full menu and bar service delivered to your electric reclining seat.  Cinepolis SOHO, Calle 50 EDIF, SOHO Mall, Piso 2.  Admission $8.50.


There is a collection of nice restaurants as well.  We tried Ciao Bella Gourmet.  It was superb.  White wine, Caprese salad, house made fresh pastas, chocolate pistachio desert, and cappuccinos.  Great view of the skyline.  The place was packed.


“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step”

Lao Tzu, ancient Chinese philosopher and writer

Jarlsberg Vegetable Bisque

It seems we have been a bit remiss sharing Food postings.  While references to food and restaurants appear in many of the travel posts, we decided to share some of our favorite recipes.  Enjoy.


3 tbsp. butter

3 tbsp. flour

4 cups chicken broth (I prefer organic low sodium)

2 cups coarsely chopped broccoli

3/4 cup chopped carrots

1/2 cup chopped celery

1 small onion

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 tsp. thyme, crushed

1/2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. pepper

1 cup heavy cream (substitute 1/2 and 1/2 or whole milk but the bisque will not be as silky or rich)

1 egg yolk

1 1/2 cups Jarlsberg Cheese

In a large heavy saucepan, melt butter over medium high heat.  Add flour and cook several minutes, stirring constantly not to burn the flour.  Remove from heat.  Gradually blend in the broth.  Bring to boil, stirring.  Add the next 8 ingredients.  Cover; simmer for 8 minutes until vegetables are tender.  Blend cream and egg yolk in separate bowl.  Gradually blend in several tablespoons of the hot stock into the cream mixture (to temper the cream/yolk).  Slowly add to the soup and cook stirring until thickened.  Blend in cheese stirring until fully melted.

Serve.  Makes 6-8 servings.

Notes:  You can mix up the veggies here and there as you like.  Occasionally I will add three pieces of bacon cooked well, crushed and added just before serving or sprinkled at the table.

You can also sauté the vegetables in butter and/or olive oil first, set aside and deglaze the pot with a splash of white wine. Then make the butter flour roux and continue the recipe.  It adds just another subtle layer of flavor.

Serve this with a nice bread of your choice, a salad for a satisfying meal.  White wines work especially well with this soup.

Bon Appetite!


Let’s talk food, London, United Kingdom

It has been a few years since our last visit to London so we were anxious to see if some of our favorites were still there and thriving.


wagamamaSeveral locations in London.  A trailblazer a decade ago and still excellent, now a Global sensation.  Big bowls of Udon and Soba noodle soup with a variety of ingredient options.  Affordable and one of our favorites for lunch but also open continuously. $

Konaki Greek Restaurant

5 Coptic Street, London. WCIA INH

Konaki A block away from the British Museum we try to visit this at least once a visit just to check in.  We are happy to report it is still there and still authentic, and still a good value.  Charming dining room, nice menu and the 3 course menu is a great bargain at 13.95 pounds not including beverage.   We have only been for dinner. Check website for hours. $$

Al Hamra

31/33 Shepherd Market, Mayfair, London W1Y7HR

al hamraWe make it a point to get to Al Hamra on every visit though in recent years their ‘Holiday Closure’ seems to get longer each year.  Authentic Lebanese cuisine is among the best we have enjoyed anywhere in the World.  We typically will order our favorite small dishes and add a grilled meat dish to round out the menu.  Everything we have ever ordered is excellent.  Service is excellent.  Clientele tend to dress above average.  It is not inexpensive but worth the splurg.  Open daily 11 AM continuously.  Reservations are recommended.  $$$

Bombay Palace

50 Cannaught Street, London W2 2AA

Bombay PalaceAmong the best Indian food anywhere with 10 locations around the world, three in the US (New York, Beverly Hills, and Washington DC). The quality classic dishes are prepared with the best ingredients and the spice to your taste.  We think the lunch represents the best value. Service is consistent with the quality.  Reservations suggested.  $$$

Norfolk Arms

Corner of Leigh and Sandwich, Saint Pancras, London WC1H 9EP

norfolk_armsThis neighborhood pub reinvented itself with all the trappings of a typical pub but with a whole lot more.  Upgraded artisan brews and other libations include an impressive wine list and several daily offerings from an authentic sangria to Grappas and beyond.

The menu changes daily offering Spanish style tapas prepared to perfection.  On this visit we sampled bruschetta with Spanish blue cheese, toasted walnuts and wild honey.  It was awesome!  Their version of saganaki featured a Greek cheese blended into a spread served with toasted pita bread wedges. We also sampled amazing fried pork bellies and killer chicken wings.  $$



Our Favorite Travel Destinations on water, Part 2

Fjords of Norway

What are fjords?  They were created by massive glaciers that carved massive u-shaped canyons of rock over 3 million years ago.Bergen2                                                                  Bergen.

There are several ways to experience the 100s of fjords in Norway.  By land, Oslo is the Capital with international flights, and is worthy of a few days touring.  Then travel by car or better yet, train to Bergen, Norway’s second city and gateway to the biggest and most impressive of the big three fjords.  Don’t miss the charming city of Flam.

There are driving and train itineraries that combine one or many daytrips.  The road system is well developed and offers extensive access to many fjords while the big ships tend to focus on a few of the best.  The benefit is more time to explore village life, the spectacular scenery away from the fjords and of course a slower viewing experience of the fjords themselves.

The best way to experience these incredibly beautiful ocean canyons is best seen by water. The range of options vary from the large ocean cruise liners to small intimate local watercrafts.

fjordDo not miss the “king of the fjords”, Sognefjord.  At 127 miles long and the deepest at 4,294 feet deep, the sheer rock walls may blot out the sun or the many waterfalls fall hundreds of feet to the sea.  The mighty Geirangerfjord and Naereyfjord are Unesco Hertitage sights with waterfalls and little Bays with villages of typical red buildings and charming white churches.  On land there are many touring options.  One of the most popular is skiing world class slopes with 30 feet of snow in the middle of summer.cliff

The best time to go is May to September during the longest days of sunshine.  Winter is also possible offering a stormy and unique look without the crowds.


Stockholm Archipelago stockholm

There are over 24,000 islands that make up the Stockholm Archipelago.  Start your journey with any itinerary that includes Stockholm, the capital of Sweden.  We suggest at least three days, the more days the better.  Stockholm will not disappoint.

stockholm archipeligo 2At anytime, carve out some time for one or more day trips to the more popular islands of  Finnhamm, Grinda, Nattaro or Uto.  There are one to five day passes if you would like to use public transportation.  All have quaint villages for lunch, snacks or fishing supplies.

Just wander or hire a guide to take you to places of your particular interest.  There are dozens of islands with bright red summer homes, historic palaces and castles.  There are also expansive forests, fields of flowers and long sandy beach

If you are traveling by cruise ship, do check out the time of the sailing into or out of the Archipeligo.  Find the best upper deck in the front of the ship for a bird’s eye view from above the islands.  Alternatively, local Steamboat cruises run all Summer and Fall.

stockholm steamshipYou will be enchanted what ever your choice.  Best time to go is May to September for the long warm Summer/Fall days


St. Petersburg from the Neva River

St. Petersburg bridgeThis journey can be done in just a few hours and may be the highlight of a trip to St. Petersburg.  It was such a memorable experience, it had to make this list, especially now that all the major sites have been restored to their original glory.  Plan at least a few additional days for the must see sights you should first see from this water journey.

St. Petersburg churchDepending on the service provider, your boat will most likely begin on the Moika Canal, St.Petersburg primary commercial corridor before sailing into the broad Neva River where you will be greeted by two bridges with bronzed lions, griffins and chariots. To the left bank will be a skyline of churches and palaces.  To the right will be the expansive baroque Winter Palace, formerly the residence of the tsars, now part of the Hermitage Museum.  This will be one of the ‘must see’ list, plan a half day just for this museum.

st_petersburg winter palaceNow, across the river again will be the gleaming white Stock Exchange (now a navel museum and on you ‘must do’ list) and the Peter and Paul Cathedral, another ‘must tour’ sometime in your trip along with a visit to the Peter and Paul Fortress and a day trip to the Peterhof Palace and its fantastic gardens.

Peterhof palacePlan to travel between May and July to experience the ‘White Nights’.  Book everything in advance, the local bureaucracy is inconsistent and often unreliable.  Another note, do NOT drink the water anywhere.  Remember good bug spray as it will be peak season for those critters too.


Danube, Budapest to the Black Sea

The more popular route for sailing the Danube is Passau, Germany to Budapest adding Vienna and Bratislava along the way.  It is a great trip, but alternatively sailing from Budapest to the Black Sea reveals a very different face of the Danube and much of Southeastern Europe.

budapestYou can cruise this route in reverse but we liked the progressively intriguing stops going West to East.  Add a few days in Budapest in the beginning because there is a lot to explore.  We also added four days in Transylvania at the end just because it was close by and we may not be back in that part of the world anytime soon.  Transylvania, by the way, was one of the highpoints of this trip.  Think Swiss Alps but at bargain prices for five star touring, food and lodging.

transylvaniaOur stops in Croatia and Serbia included small towns of Osijek, Vukovar and Novi Sad each with access to town centers and historical sites, ancient and not so ancient wars after the collapse of Yugoslavia.

belgradeBelgrade was an impressive stop.  Lots of history and culture but the agro tourism was the highlight for the day.  New and savory farm to table food and super affordable local wines.  The scenery just got better and better the farther into the trip.  The mountains just kept getting closer and closer until it became a canyon, completely unexpected.

Constanza, Romania was our last port on the river cruise.  A beguiling seaport, a mix of East and West, a mix of cultures and civilivations.  On the other hand, Bucharest was the bustling, thriving capital of Romania with all the trappings of Western Europe.  This trip was a pleasant surprise and a lot of fun.



Dalmation Coast

There are many tour operators and ferries that offer sailings around the Adriactic coast.  Many of our favorite stops are listed below.  Many folks make a whole vacation at just one or two destinations.  The area is blessed with a long sunny, warm season from May through October, August can be quite crowded.  There are plenty of hotels, resorts and tour operators.  We spent 3 weeks island and town hopping, and we are ready to do it all over again but perhaps longer and slower.

The Dalmation coast today consists of the coast lines of Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, and Albania.  It’s history dates back to pre-Grecian times.  It is generally unknown to Western travelers.  Those who like the coastal areas of Greece, Italy or most of the Mediterranean are likely to love this region on the Adriactic Sea.

The island of Hvar is famous for its lavender fields, pine covered hills, quaint villages and Venetian styled buildings on the harbor.


The island town of Vis is proud of its scenery, excellent wine, national park and diving sites.

visThe isle of Brac is world famous for its stone quarry (used extensively for the US White House) and its Golden Cape, a haven for sun worshippers and wind surfers.

bracEven the little village of Zadar boosts an awesome sea organ that is linked to a state of the art computer system.  As you listen to the sea organ and walk on the plaza, the computer responds to your footstep with a stunning light show underfoot.zadar

Kotor sits at the end of a fjord-like inlet guarded by a tiny manmade islet Our Lady of the Rocks and its charming church.  The town itself is nestled between the sea and the mountains.  it is a vibrant town of 13,000 +/- people, a lively town center with lots of places to eat, drink and relax.  An ancient wall still survives the ages.

kotor The village of Korcula is connected to larger island famous for its beaches.  The town is known for its medieval walls and towers.  Central square is home to the Cathedral of St. Mark dating back to the 14th Century.  It feels like a bit of a time warp with its narrow lanes and pathways, tiny shops, and medieval everything.

korculaThe Old City of Dubrovnik is one of the most outstanding cities in the world.  It’s history and perserverance have helped the City to become a UNESCO World Heritage site.  It is truly a walled city with an incredible setting and port.  It seamlessly housed Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque churches, monasteries, palaces, courtyards, squares and fountains.  It is alive with its residences and visitors alike.  Do walk the walls of the City for the breathtaking views and overlooks.  Oh, the food and wine is exceptional almost everywhere.

dubrovnikLast but not least, is the charming city of Split.  It has an impressive harbor location with a wonderful promenade, a Roman palace dating to the 4th century, an array of bars, cafes, restaurants, galleries, cathedrals, hotels, beaches and overlooks with fantastic views.