27 February 2013

Wordless Wednesday ~ Inside Disney

Focused on the Magic

 Welcome to this week's Wordless Wednesday Pics. They are some of my recent trip to the 
Wilderness Lodge. 

"I" is 4 ~ INTERIOR

 A really BIG THANKS to DEB our Hostess- stop by and Join @http://www.focusedonthemagic.com/

 Thanks for stopping by! Have a MAgiCaL DaY!!

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25 February 2013

Press Release from D23 ~ 1st Ever EXPO in Japan


February 25, 2013

The Official Disney Fan Club’s Signature Event Makes Its International Debut

Meguro-ku, Tokyo, February 25, 2012—The Walt Disney Company Japan announced today that it will stage the first-ever D23 Expo Japan, a special event for Disney fans created by D23: The Official Disney Fan Club. D23 Expo Japan, the first Expo to be held outside the U.S., will feature an array of engaging presentations, hosted by senior Disney creative executives, showcasing what’s on the horizon from across The Walt Disney Company, including theme parks, movies, television, music, and interactive gaming. Fans will enjoy unique experiences; have the opportunity to purchase one-of-a-kind merchandise and collectibles; meet many of their favorite Disney characters; and delight in countless other surprises. 

The D23 Expo Japan will take place October 12–14, 2013, at the Tokyo Disney Resort® in the Maihama area. Expo ticketing and program information will be announced in March.

D23 Expo Japan will also feature two special exhibitions celebrating landmark Disney milestones. 

First, to pay homage to The Walt Disney Company’s 90th Anniversary, D23 and the Walt Disney Archives will present Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives, featuring nine decades of treasures from the Archives’ vast collection. Plus, the Tokyo Disney Resort will celebrate its 30th year with a special retrospective exhibit. This special exhibition, presented by Oriental Land, operator of Tokyo Disney Resort, celebrates this milestone year by making D23 Expo Japan possible. Further details will be posted at http://disney.jp/D23 as they become available.

“We are thrilled to host this extraordinary, three-day event where all the wonderful worlds of Disney come together,” said Paul Candland, president, The Walt Disney Company Japan. “2013 marks The Walt Disney Company’s 90th anniversary, Disney Channel’s 10th, Disney Mobile’s fifth, the Disney–JCB Card’s fifth, Dlife’s first, and Tokyo Disney Resort’s 30th! The D23 Expo Japan allows us to show Disney’s tremendous appreciation to its fans.”

This event is supported by JCB Co., Ltd, and The Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company, Limited as official sponsors.

Disney fans from around the globe flocked to Anaheim, Calif., for the first D23 Expo: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event, in September 2009, followed by a second in August 2011. The next D23 Expo will take place August 9–11, 2013, at the Anaheim Convention Center and will feature: the 2013 Disney Legends Ceremony; a special exhibit from the Walt Disney Archives; the Collectors Forum, where Disney fans can buy, sell, and trade Disney collectibles, memorabilia, and merchandise; an all-new Fan Art Contest themed to the upcoming 50th anniversary of Mary Poppins, and a massive show floor full of special opportunities to see what’s on the horizon for Disney around the world.

About The Walt Disney Company
The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with five business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products, and interactive. Disney is a Dow 30 company and had annual revenues of about $42.3 billion in its last fiscal year.

About D23: The Official Disney Fan Club
D23: The Official Disney Fan Club celebrates the remarkable past, present, and future of Disney, taking its name from 1923, the year Walt Disney founded his world-famous company. D23 unlocks the magic of Disney with a host of exclusive benefits, including a quarterly publication, Disney twenty-three; a rich website at www.D23.com; a weekly e-mail newsletter; an array of discounts and special offers; and free gifts throughout the year; as well as exclusive events created especially for its members.

 Hope you are excited as I am about the news. Have a Magical Day D-Fans !

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22 February 2013

The Land of Oz Garden At Epcot

 The Land Of OZ  Garden is now open and at almost 1/3 of an acre, it’s the largest garden ever created for the festival. The area is based on the new Disney film, “Oz The Great and Powerful which opens in theaters March 8.

Guests enter The Land of Oz Garden guided by a yellow-brick road and soon find themselves in an interactive children’s play area that features carnival-style games. From here, guests walk past a garden filled with a combination of lush, real flowers and fantastical art-glass poppies (I loved these). As kids play in and around a giant custom Oz-themed play structure, parents can enjoy shaded, comfy chairs just a few steps away.
It is beautifully designed with everyone in mind.

Bean Bag Toss

The Land of Oz Garden will appear for the complete run of the 2013 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, through May 19. WDW horticulturists will keep updating the flowers throughout the festival as the weather warms up in late April, keeping the garden in a constant state of growth and color.

20th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival March 6-May 19 

Debuts Illuminated Blooms

Throughout the 75-day garden party, guests will discover festival surprises around every corner including new topiary triumphs, a butterfly bounty, whimsical children’s play areas, HGTV celebrity designers, daily hands-on gardening seminars and a Festival Center packed with events that offer innovative ideas, gardening know-how and design tips.  Weekends, top Flower Power rockers of the 1960s and ’70s will perform.

AND Garden Marketplace Dining

  • Garden Marketplace culinary creations ranging from smokehouse barbecue and shrimp with grits and Zellwood corn to sweet “frushi” made with fresh fruits and coconut rice.  Chefs are perfecting menus for marketplaces that will include Florida Fresh at World Showcase Promenade, Smokehouse Barbecue and Brew at American Adventure courtyard, Primavera Kitchen at Italy showcase, Hanami at Japan showcase and eight others.  Around the World Showcase promenade
  • Garden Marketplace refreshing libations with a kick like Hot Sun Tomato Wine from Florida Orange Groves Winery and Dole Whip with Spiced Rum, as well as non-alcoholic drinks like Frozen Desert Violet Lemonade and Wild Berry Slush.  Beverage specialists will feature brews and beverages at food marketplaces and at Fruits by the Glass and Pineapple Promenade. Around the World Showcase promenade

 This area was amazing and truly magical. I loved seeing all the posters of the movie and the OZ playground for the kids, of all ages. Little touches of OZ were everywhere and the Glass Poppies were my absolute favorite. As a avid gardener this one my favorite time of year at Walt Disney World. There is nothing like the International Flower and Garden Festival. The characters toparies are some of the most amazing pieces I have seen. Lots of pictures will be taken

Info courtesy of Disney.com

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21 February 2013

Disney D23 Exclusive ~ Mickey's Toothache circa 1938

Courtesy of D23
 With the Fanniversary 2013 tour on it's way, we are very anxious to find out all the details of the show. Recently, this picture was released from the Disney Archives showing Mickey and his nemesis Pete in "Mickey's Toothache" cartoon. Right now we will see the picture and hope that the cartoon will follow and be released soon. This is just one of highlights that will be included in the Fanniversary show. This is why I love being a member of D23 because, we get to see a lot of newly discovered things from the Disney Archives.

More than 80 years after his creation, Mickey Mouse continues to surprise.

The Disney archives have released a newly discovered sketch from 1938, “Mickey’s Toothache,” part of an incomplete cartoon that was part of an effort to make Mickey a more complete character.

In “Mickey’s Toothache,” created in April 1938, artist Ferdinand Horvath has the newly adventurous Mickey experiencing something akin to a psychedelic nightmare. In the words of Disney Archives Director Becky Cline, Mickey has traveled to the dentist and fallen under the influence of too much laughing gas. The overdose sends Mickey into a “nightmarish world inhabited by living teeth, dental floss, a psychotic dentist’s chair and a vengeful pair of dental pliers," said Cline.

Mickey’s then-nemesis Pete also makes an appearance in the nightmare scenario. It culminates with Mickey being put on trial led, of course, by a judgmental wisdom tooth, who charges Mickey with tooth neglect.

The previously forgotten piece of artwork was discovered in the Walt Disney Archives, hiding out in a folder lost for more than 74 years. It was unearthed just a few months ago.
http://thewaltdisneycompany.com/sites/default/files/D23Event_Fanniversary2013_Logo_Final_72dpi.jpg“Mickey’s Toothache” is just one of several unveilings being planned as part of this year’s D23 Disney Fanniversary Celebration, an event that began last year as a way to include members of Disney’s official fan club in some of the company’s milestone events. The Horvath image will be included in a 90-minute presentation showcasing some of this year’s other major Disney anniversaries in 10 different U.S. cities (Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Newark, Orlando, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C.).

“Mickey has been a superstar from almost the beginning. He was immediately popular,” Cline told Yahoo News. “By 1938, he was just about to step into a finished version of himself. He was boyish and impish. During this period of his growth he became larger than life in some ways.”

Cline says the artwork showcases the transformation of America's favorite mouse from popular fad to American icon. It's one that can be seen as well in released cartoons of Mickey engaging in various adventures in locales including the deepest jungles of Africa, or in the 1936 cartoon “Through the Mirror.”

“Mickey was kind of growing and stretching. He left the barnyard, and he started to become more adventurous,” Cline said.
Though most people think of Walt Disney himself in relation to his most-famous individual creation, Horvath was a significant part of the early Disney years. Born in 1891 Horvath spent time in a Russian concentration camp where he taught himself to draw before immigrating to America on Armistice Day 1921. He worked for the studio from 1934 through 1944, producing between 70 and 80 animated shorts along the way and working on the production of "Snow White."

Last year, we brought you the story of a newly discovered, 85-year-old Oswald the Rabbit sketch, “Harem Scarem.” Since then, Disney has pushed forward with efforts to bring Oswald, a Mickey prototype of sorts, back into the Disney fold.

So, will we ever see a complete version of “Mickey’s Toothache”?
“It’s possible,” Cline said. "The animation research library still goes back and refers to those older cartoons. ... Even though we’re still discovering some of this material for the first time in decades, they’re not lost.”

 Article courtesy of By


 Click Here ~ For More info on D23

 Thanks for stopping by -- Have  A Magical Day !

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20 February 2013

Wordless Wednesday ~ Disney History ~ Tapestry Of Dreams Parade

 This Week's Theme Is DISNEY HISTORY, and I choose this parade as a moment in Disney History !!!

Focused on the Magic

These pictures were taken at Epcot in January of 2003 ... I loved this parade and wish they would bring it back. It ended in March of 2003.  Read More History about the parade below the pics.


 Thanks for joining me today and don't forget to check out all the other great pics @http://www.focusedonthemagic.com/ And a big thanks to our hostess DEB...
The Tapestry of Nations parade at Epcot went around the World Showcase Lagoon from 1999 to 2001, after which it was re-themed as Tapestry of Dreams. The parade had a unity and world peace theme and featured a variety of large puppets and massive rotating drum units. The puppets were designed by Michael Curry who also designed the puppets for The Lion King on Broadway and a variety of Disney theme park shows. The leader of the parade was the Sage of Time, who was represented as a stilt walker in an elaborate costume featuring alchemy symbols, gold trim on a white robe, a staff, and a headpiece resembling a sun with a face.

The Puppets included:

Reverse Marionette, a large multicolored puppet with a little marionette being held in its arms.
Disc Man, a large character with discs within the body and dreadlocks. This was the heaviest and tallest of all the puppets.
Hammer Man, a humanoid character made of pieces of sheet metal.
The Sprite, a winged character with a three tiered tail.
Angel Girl, a feminine figure with a massive wingspan and human face.
Wiggle Girl, similar to Angel Girl, but had a smaller wingspan and lacked a face, also had movement in the hips.
Bird Man, with a large wingspan and a crane-like face. This puppet was the hardest to control.
Aztec Man, with an Aztec-style head, small wingspan and several flaps at its end, similar to kite tails.

 Thanks for visiting and Have a Magical Day !!!

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18 February 2013

Epcot's Flower & Garden Show -Here's the 411

Epcot is unveiling some all-new food and drink offerings for this year's International Flower and Garden Festival. 
The festival runs March 6 through May 19.
 This is one of my most favorite festivals that Disney puts on and here are some of the details about the festival courtesy of Disney and weshtv.com. I'm very excited this year that I now live in Florida and can get to the festival very often to share some of the greatest toparies and garden pictures. I'm also looking forward to the food which will be featured during the festival similar to the Food and Wine Festival, which will be awesome too. This will be the first time for this feature at the Flower and Garden. And I will be buying lots of souvenirs ~ pins, a shirt and a gnome Mickey perhaps ....

What a natural progression (it is) to go from the garden to the table,” said Michael Jenner, Epcot Park Event Content Development Manager.

There will be several marketplaces that include three to four unique dishes at each.
At the Florida Fresh Marketplace, guests can enjoy watermelon salad with pickled red onions, baby arugula, feta cheese and balsamic reduction; shrimp and stone-ground grits with andouille sausage, Zellwood corn, tomatoes and cilantro; and angel food cake with Florida berries.

Other samplings, which can be paired with wines, beers or other beverages, include:
  • Crab tostadas with chipotle aioli and salsa in the Jardin de Fiestas in Mexico
  • A spring pancake with grilled chicken and green apple at the Lotus House in China
  • Savory bread pudding with spring peas and wild mushroom ragout at the Bauernmarkt in Germany
  • Green asparagus and lobster with a garden cocktail sauce at Primavera Kitchen in Italy
  • Stir-fried veggies and soba noodles served in a bun at Hamai in Japan
  • Spiced lamb kebabs with couscous salad at Taste of Marrakesh in Morocco
  • A pig slider with cole slaw at The Smokehouse at American Adventure
  • A ratatouille tart with goat cheese at L’Orangerie in France
  • Heirloom tomatoes with house-made mozzarella, Minus 8 Vinegar and basil at The Cottage in the United Kingdom
  • Fruits by the Glass Marketplace, with watermelon passion fruit cocktail, non-alcoholic wild berry slush, blueberry beer and wine, mango wine, gluten-free raspberry ale, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir
  • Dole Whip with Florida-made spiced rum at the Pineapple Promenade
Beverages include hot sun tomato wine, frozen desert violet lemonade, wild berry slush, peach bellini and red ale beer.

 Hope to see you there and here's to Magical Flower & Garden Festival...

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16 February 2013

Monsters University Toys ~ 2013 NYC Toy Fair Update

  Monster's University will be out June 21st and I can't wait! I have been a big fan of the first movie ~ Monster's Inc. It was one of the funniest and cutest movies I have ever seen. The concept is hysterical, who would have ever thought we (humans) scare monsters. So when the pre-quel comes out this summer and explains how it all started at college with Mike & Sulley, it should be very funny.

                           Here is the Press Release ~                                                                      Disney Marches Into 2013 American International Toy Fair With Collegiate Marching Band to Unveil New "Monsters University" Toy Line 
  Disney established its university spirit at the 2013 American International Toy Fair today, kicking-off with a marching band to reveal the hottest new toys from the Monsters University product collection, which consists of more than 1,000 products from 125 licensees. The audience of toy-industry insiders was treated to an appearance by Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actor John Goodman, voice of James P. Sullivan, who was presented with a custom-built toy celebrating his beloved character from the film. Pixar veterans, director Dan Scanlon and producer Kori Rae, were also on hand to offer an inside look and screen a never-before-seen trailer.

Inspired by Disney·Pixar's Monsters University, releasing in theaters June 21, 2013, the new toy line delivers hours of imaginative play filled with innovative and interactive features from leading toy companies Spin Master and Fisher-Price. John Lasseter, chief creative officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, joined the event via video (http://bit.ly/JohnLasseterMonstersU) to reveal some of the most innovative toys to the audience.
Since its release in 2001, Monsters, Inc. continues to thrive, generating $525 million in global box office and $1.5 billion in global merchandise retail sales to date. The film also boasts 96 percent awareness among 13-54-year-olds, with 60 percent of parents owning Monsters, Inc. on DVD.

The new toy line includes action figures, vehicles, playsets, plush figures, preschool and remote control items to help kids recreate key moments from the film. Monsters University will also be supported with product lines from stationery, apparel and accessories, home décor, books and a magazine, and food, health and beauty items, along with an exclusive collection from Disney Store and DisneyStore.com. The new products will be available at retail starting this spring.

Monsters University Product Line Highlights:
(For an extended toy line please visit: http://bit.ly/MUProductImages)
Technology & Innovation

Technology is a key feature in the new Monsters University line, with toys featuring sound and light detection, digital apps and facial sync technology to allow for more interactive play than ever before. The resulting line includes new innovations such as:
From Spin Master:
  • Scare-Off Sulley (SRP $79.99, available fall 2013) is the most interactive toy in the Monsters University collection with five different modes of play and the ability to sense its environment, changing play modes automatically to match its current surroundings. Kids can interact directly with Scare Off Sulley by challenging him to a "scare off" - if they scream loud enough, he will fall backwards in fear.
  • 100 percent kid powered, the Sulley Monster Mask (SRP $24.99, available spring 2013) allows kids to move Sulley's eyebrows and lips as they put on the mask and open, close or move their jaws up and down.
  • The Roll-A-Scare Race Playset (SRP $19.99, available spring 2013) allows kids to utilize the Roll-A-Scare™ Monsters Assortment (SRP $6.99 each, available spring 2013) to roll, pop and scare with favorite characters from the movie. The monsters slide down the playset and as they reach the bottom they pop-up for scaring fun. Each figure is uniquely stylized and has a surprise pop-up activation that can also be activated with a Student ID card that springs the monsters open. There are 12 characters to collect in total to recreate favorite scenes from the movie.
From Disney Store:
  • The exclusive Monsters University collection from Disney Store will include toys, action figures, luggage, apparel and more. One of the most unique items is the Monsters University Speak N Scare Action Figures line (SRP $34.95, available June 2013) featuring favorite characters from the film. In tandem with a free digital app, kids can rate their own "roar" or enhance it using different tools. The app can also sync with the action figures to control their scaring actions. Other modes of play include play mode with more than 40 phrases, scare mode with five different sound-activated roars and interactive mode that allows the action figures to converse with one another.
From Disney Interactive:
  • Disney Infinity is a bold new gaming initiative from Disney Interactive that features a new line of collectible figures based on Disney and Pixar's biggest franchises. The characters come to life in a new video game featuring true-to-property Disney adventures in the game worlds of Monsters University, The Incredibles, Pirates of the Caribbean, and more, as well as in a giant virtual "Toy Box" where players can create their own Disney experiences. At this year's American International Toy Fair, attendees were given an opportunity to preview the game and play to solve challenging puzzles, battle enemies and explore iconic locations from Monsters University, while collecting unique characters, vehicles, and gadgets and saving them to a "Toy Box." Disney Infinity will launch in June across all consoles and will have a phased roll out across mobile and online devices throughout 2013 (SRP $4.99 - $74.99).
From Disney Publishing:
I want this
  • The Monsters University publishing program includes over 30 new Monsters University books debuting in the U.S. this spring including novels/readers, illustrated storybooks, a full-color yearbook, a storybook collection with 17 tales, and an oversized board book with flaps featuring illustrations by Pixar talent Harley Jessup. Additionally, Disney Magazines will release a Monsters University special movie magazine featuring Mike and Sulley's college adventures and all-new characters from the film. The 96-page magazine includes exclusive content such as games, activities, comics, puzzles and more, available in June.
From Fisher-Price:
  • Fisher Price will introduce a variety of toys and playsets from the Fisher-Price by Imaginext® line including the Monsters University Row Play set by Imaginext® (SRP $29.99, available spring 2013), which comes with electronics featuring character voices to relive the fun of chasing Archie the scare pig through the quad. The set comes with two figure disks that either spin the bottom floor so you can have the monsters chase Archie in circles or catapult Archie across the set, through a trap door and into his cage.
About Disney·Pixar's Monsters University

Ever since college-bound Mike Wazowski (voice of Billy Crystal) was a little monster, he has dreamed of becoming a scarer—and he knows better than anyone that the best scarers come from Monsters University (MU). But during his first semester at MU, Mike's plans are derailed when he crosses paths with hotshot James P. Sullivan, "Sulley" (voice of John Goodman), a natural-born scarer. The pair's out-of-control competitive spirit gets them both kicked out of the University's elite Scare Program. To make matters worse, they realize they will have to work together, along with an odd bunch of misfit monsters, if they ever hope to make things right. Screaming with laughter and oozing with heart, Disney·Pixar's "Monsters University" is directed by Dan Scanlon ("Cars," "Mater and the Ghostlight," "Tracy"), produced by Kori Rae ("Up," "The Incredibles," "Monsters, Inc.") and features music from future Rock-and-Roll-Hall-of-Fame–inductee and award winning composer Randy Newman ("Monsters, Inc.," "Toy Story 3"). For more information, like us at facebook.com/PixarMonstersUniversity, and follow us on twitter.com/disneypixar. The film opens in U.S. theaters on June 21, 2013, and will be shown in Disney Digital 3D™ in select theaters. 

Disney∙Pixar's Monsters University Makes A Scare At New York Toy Fair at Jacob Javitz Center on February 11, 2013 in New York City. (Photo/Stuart Ramson)

For more information about MU, check out monstersuniversity.com/edu.

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15 February 2013

Driscoll's Berries and Becoming Heart Healthy

Berry Healthy Heart

One of my goals for the new year has been to get more healthy. We started as a family last year by cutting down on junk and processed foods. Our goal this year has been to incorporate more fruits and vegetables in every meal. Since I am a big berry fan, I have been adding berries in every meal for everyone in the family. They contain a lot of great vitamins, fiber and are low in calories. And this is where Driscoll's helps us, their berries have been the only ones I buy Fresh to eat and beautiful to look at!!!    For More Info @Driscolls.com

Wishes for a Berry Healthy Heart!   

By: Elizabeth Somer

One in four. Those are the odds of dying from heart disease. It is the number one cause of death in the U.S. Fortunately, there is much you can do to prevent, slow, and possibly even reverse the progression of heart disease. Here are six simple ways to protect your heart:

1. Think Low-Energy-Dense
Being overweight increases the risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol, factors that raise your risk of developing heart disease. The #1 waist-control tactic is to choose “low-energy-dense” foods. These are low-calorie foods that still fill you up and leave you feeling satisfied. Fruits, vegetables, cooked whole grains, and broth-based soups are great low-energy-dense choices. Have a bowl of oatmeal topped with blueberries for breakfast, a bowl of vegetable soup for lunch, snack on raspberries and add an extra serving of steamed vegetables to dinner.

2. Boost nutrients
A diet filled with minimally-processed foods, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes and fish, is rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and omega-3s, which help keep the heart in tip top shape. Salmon with a side of raspberry blueberry kale salad is a delicious example of a heart-healthy meal.

3. Enjoy Berries
Berries are perfect for weight loss and heart health. They are loaded with B vitamins, vitamin C and potent antioxidants, such as the flavonoids, resveratrol, and more than 40 different anthocyanins. These strengthen tissue defenses against oxidation and inflammation, which are underlying factors in heart disease. Aim for a cup of berries several times a week. Looking for creative ways to add berries to meals? Check out these heart-healthy berry recipes.

4. Choose Lean Protein
If you eat meat, select extra-lean cuts, such as chicken breast without skin. Prepare meats with little or no butter, margarine, or other saturated or trans fats. Choose low-fat milk products. Then, keep an eye on portions; a serving of meat is 3 to 4 ounces, about the size of a deck of cards.

5. Toss the Salt
Too much sodium increases the risk for high blood pressure, a major factor in heart disease. Limit intake to no more than 2,300 milligrams, or about 1 teaspoon of salt per day. Use salt substitutes, spices, and herbs instead. Snack on raspberries instead of chips and you automatically lower sodium intake.

6. Move Every Day
Take the stairs instead of the elevator; wear a pedometer and aim for 10,000 steps a day; opt for a bike ride instead of an afternoon on the couch. For your waistline, blood pressure and heart, aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity almost every day.


And since It's Heart Healthy Month, here is an interesting article and study on Berries and a Healthy Heart from American Heart Association  

Strawberries, blueberries may cut heart attack risk in women

Study Highlights:
  • Women who ate at least three servings of blueberries and strawberries per week had fewer heart attacks.
  • Blueberries and strawberries contain high levels of compounds that have cardiovascular benefits.
DALLAS, Jan. 14, 2013 – Eating three or more servings of blueberries and strawberries per week may help women reduce their risk of a heart attack by as much as one-third, researchers reported in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. Blueberries and strawberries contain high levels of naturally occurring compounds called dietary flavonoids, also found in grapes and wine, blackberries, eggplant, and other fruits and vegetables. A specific sub-class of flavonoids, called anthocyanins, may help dilate arteries, counter the buildup of plaque and provide other cardiovascular benefits, according to the study.

“Blueberries and strawberries can easily be incorporated into what women eat every week,” said Eric Rimm D.Sc., senior author and Associate Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Mass. “This simple dietary change could have a significant impact on prevention efforts.”
Blueberries and strawberries were part of this analysis simply because they are the most-eaten berries in the United States. Thus, it’s possible that other foods could produce the same results, researchers said.
Scientists from the Harvard School of Public Health in the United States and the University of East Anglia, United Kingdom conducted a prospective study among 93,600 women ages 25 to 42 who were registered with the Nurses’ Health Study II. The women completed questionnaires about their diet every four years for 18 years.

During the study, 405 heart attacks occurred. Women who ate the most blueberries and strawberries had a 32-percent reduction in their risk of heart attack compared to women who ate the berries once a month or less – even in women who otherwise ate a diet rich in other fruits and vegetables.

“We have shown that even at an early age, eating more of these fruits may reduce risk of a heart attack later in life,” said Aedín Cassidy, Ph.D., lead author and head of the Department of Nutrition at Norwich Medical School of the University of East Anglia in Norwich, United Kingdom.
The findings were independent of other risk factors, such as age, high blood pressure, family history of heart attack, body mass, exercise, smoking, caffeine or alcohol intake.
The American Heart Association supports eating berries as part of an overall balanced diet that also includes other fruits, vegetables and whole-grain products. Eating a variety of foods is the best way to get the right amounts of nutrients.
Other co-authors are Kenneth J. Mukamal, M.D.; Lydia Liu, M.Sc.; Mary Franz, M.Sc. and A. Heather Eliassen, Sc.D..
Author disclosures are on the manuscript.
The National Institutes of Health and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council of the United Kingdom funded the study.

Thanks for stopping by and Enjoy this berry recipe (courtesy of Driscoll's) to start on your Heart Health...
Let me know what you think !

Mixed Berry Parfait with Steel-Cut Granola

Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook Time:25 minutes plus cooling
Servings:4 servings
Crunchy steel-cut oats are a great addition to this whole-grain-packed homemade granola. The recipe makes 4 cups granola. Use half for parfaits and store the remaining in an airtight container. Layer parfait with a mixture of blackberries, blueberries and raspberries. Make up to 1 hour ahead of serving.



  • 1/4 cups maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup steel-cut oats
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cups wheat germ
  • 1/4 cups flax seeds
  • 1 cup sliced almonds


  • 4 cups low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 2 cups Driscoll's Blackberries, Blueberries and/or Raspberries
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly grease rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Whisk together maple syrup, honey, oil and vanilla in a large bowl. Combine steel-cut oats, old-fashioned oats, wheat germ, flax seeds and almonds in a medium bowl. Add oat mixture to maple syrup mixture and stir until evenly coated. Spread mixture on prepared baking sheet.
  3. Bake about 25 minutes or until crisp and golden, stirring every 10 minutes.
  4. Make 2 layers of 1/2 cup yogurt, 1/4 cup granola and 1/4 cup berries in a parfait or wine glass. Repeat with remaining yogurt, berries and granola.


  1. The granola recipe makes 4 cups granola. Store remaining in air-tight container.
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