We know as a Nation we are facing a serious health crisis and our customers are becoming more aware of this as well. County Market's Live Well team wants our customers to be aware of the role food plays in health and wellness and to understand that health and wellness is a journey and we are here to guide them.
Our Live Well program was developed to be an educational resource for our County Market customers and associates.
Our mission is to motivate & support you on your journey to health & wellness by using our 4 Live Well Principles:
1. It Starts With Your Cart
We want people to fill their shopping cart the same way they should fill their plate: half your cart should be filled with fruits and vegetables, and then add in lean proteins, whole grains, and low fat dairy.
2. Get Back to the Table
The idea behind this principle is that we really want families to be cooking and eating at home more often. It is our job to provide cooking tips, recipe ideas, and meal solutions.
3. Aim for 5
We can't emphasize enough the importance of eating 5 fruits and vegetables a day. Not only 5 fruits and veggies a day, but 5 different colors a week or per day and all forms count: fresh, frozen, canned, dried, and 100% juice.
4. Take Steps in the Right Direction
This principle focuses on the benefits of physical activity. Diet alone is not enough and we really need to increase our daily activity in order to lead a healthier lifestyle.
To learn more about our County Market Live Well program, feel free to contact our Live Well Team!
Hope Danielson, Health and Wellness Advisor:
Phone: 217.221.5629, Email: email@example.com
Melanie Pavlovic, Registered Dietitian:
Phone: 217.546.8537, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
County Market Blog
Wellness Tip of the Week!
Christmas is only 1 week away everyone and if you are like me and want a festive holiday dinner or Christmas morning breakfast recipe then you better get to planning now!
Here is a festive dinner recipe that is easy and inexpensive to make for your Christmas eve meal! Enjoy.
Preparation Time: 25 Number of Servings: 4 servings
o 8 ounces whole-wheat rotini or fusilli
o 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
o 1 onion, chopped
o 3 cloves garlic, minced
o 8 ounces sliced white mushrooms (about 3 1/2 cups)
o 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
o 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
o 1-14-ounce can diced tomatoes with Italian herbs (no salt added, can also add your own Italian herbs)
o 8 cups baby spinach
o 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
o 3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta; cook until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft and beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms release their liquid, 4 to 6 minutes.
3. Add tomatoes, spinach and crushed red pepper. Increase heat to medium-high; cook, stirring once halfway through, until the spinach is wilted, about 4 minutes.
4. Toss the sauce with the pasta and divide among 4 bowls. Dollop each serving with 3 tablespoons of ricotta.
- For a richer flavor you can add fresh mozzarella chunks and some Parmesan to the pasta.
- Serve with a side of roasted broccoli or asparagus or with a garden salad topped with an oil and vinegar salad dressing.
- Add some lean ground sirloin or some cooked and crumbled Italian sausage
Nutrition Facts (per serving), without adding the salt:
Calories: 349 Protein: 19gm Total Carbohydrates: 50gm Fiber: 10gm
Total Fat: 8.5g Cholesterol: 14mg Sodium: 156mg
Recipe courtesy of Eatingwell.com
Simple Christmas Breakfast!
Christmas is almost here and we are all planning our Christmas Day menu. When company is coming why not keep Christmas morning breakfast simple. This recipe can be prepped the night before so that all you need to do is pop it into the oven the next morning. I love these since they are super simple and light. Feel free to substitute ingredients or add other foods you might have on hand. I live to serve these with a fresh fruit salad.
CHRISTMAS MORNING SPINACH AND RED PEPPER QUICHE CUPS
YIELD: 12 QUICHE CUPS
PREP: 10 MINS COOK: 20 MINS TOTAL: 30 MINS
1 (12-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
1 package frozen spinach, drained
1 cup egg substitute
1 cup Italian cheese blend (Whatever type of cheese you prefer)
2/3 cup skim milk (any type of milk you have on hand is fine)
1/2 cup chopped shallots (Could use any type of onion)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare 12 baking cups by spraying with nonstick cooking spray liberally with cooking spray.
Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl until combined. Portion the mixture into the 12 prepared baking cups until they are all nearly full.
Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the eggs are set and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the quiche comes out clean. Serve immediately.
6 Tasty Substitutions for a Healthier Holiday
Who says you cant have your cake and enjoy it, too? Thisholiday season, with these six substitutions, you can ramp up the healthbenefits of some of your favorite dishes, while reducing fat, sugar, sodium andcalories. Now thats a gift to cherish!
1. Flour in brownies
In many brownie recipes, the flour can be swapped out with canned black beans (preferably low- or no-salt). Before using the beans rinse, drain well and pure them. Note: A 15-ounce can is approximately 1-1/2 cups of beans.
This is an easy way to make brownies gluten-free.
For a one-cup measure, this swap provides three times the magnesium, four times the calcium, and five times the potassium.
One cup beans has only 200 calories; one cup flour has 460 calories.
2. White flour
White whole-wheat flour
White whole-wheat flour can be used instead of white flour, in a 1-to-1 ratio, in practically any recipe. White whole wheat has all the nutrition of regular whole wheat, but with a lighter color and milder flavor, making it the perfect choice for baking substitutions.
Note: Whole-wheat pastry flour, made from soft wheat berries, rather than hard wheat berries, is less dense and perfect for cakes and muffins, and provides healthy whole grain goodness.
White whole-wheat flour adds wonderful flavor and texture. It has over three times the fiber, and much higher levels of phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, potassium, and vitamins E, A and K.
An added bonus: whole wheat flour is about 10% lower In calories than all-purpose white flour.
Whole grain rolled oats
Most breads are high in sodium, so using breadcrumbs can add to your daily sodium intake. Use whole grain rolled oats seasoned with herbs in place of breadcrumbs, to add flavor and texture without the extra sodium. Try breading fish in oats, for example, before oven-baking it.
Unlike processed breadcrumbs, whole grain rolled oats offer magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and vitamin E.
A cup of breadcrumbs contains 790mg of sodium, while a cup of rolled oats has only 5mg " thats 785mg less!
4. Sour cream
Plain Greek yogurt
The texture and flavor of Greek yogurt makes it a perfect substitute for sour cream. Add some herbs and a squeeze of lemon juice to pump up the flavor even more.
One cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt has 0g of fat, while sour cream has 45g.
Protein is boosted " one-cup nonfat Greek yogurt has 23g; sour cream has only 5g.
There are fewer calories. In a one-cup serving, nonfat plain Greek yogurt has 130 calories, sour cream has 440 (saving over 300 calories per cup).
Hummus mimics the creamy texture and mouth feel that we love about mayo while its just as delicious and much healthier. Use it instead of mayo as a spread when making sandwiches and wraps.
One tablespoon of mayonnaise has 10 grams of fat; hummus has only 2g.
Youll save calories, too. One tablespoon of hummus has 30 calories, while mayo has 90 " thats over 60 calories saved per spoonful.
Whether baking or cooking, you can switch out butter or margarine with olive oil. (No need for an extra-virgin olive oil; use an olive oil that is neutral in flavor). In general, reduce the amount of oil by of your measure for butter. For example, use tablespoon of oil for every tablespoon of butter.
Olive oil is associated with many health benefits, from reducing blood pressure and inflammation to protecting against heart disease and improving bone health.
Compared to butter, olive oil has more vitamin E and K, and protective polyphenols
Information courtesy of:www.oldwayspt.org
Sweets & Treats for the Holidays!
Its that time of year when everyone, including myself is on board with baking all sorts of sweets & treats for the holidays.
I can honestly say my mom goes a little crazy with her cookie baking " were talking at least 9-12 different types of cookies and bars. However, to be fair her treats have become a little healthier over the years since Im usually looking over her shoulder with my nutrition eye.
Another great way to get most of the cookies and sweets out of your house (so you arent tempted) is to give them to your friends, neighbors and co-workers as gifts.
Here are some tips for making your cookies & sweet treats a little healthier:
Substitute of the all-purpose flour in your recipes with whole-wheat flour " Example: if the recipe calls for 2 cups of all-purpose flour; use 1 cup of whole wheat flour + 1 cup all-purpose flour
Substitute or all of the oil in a brownie recipe or bar recipe with unsweetened applesauce, 100% pumpkin puree or another pureed fruit " Example: if a recipe calls for cup of oil then use cup of unsweetened applesauce
Use dark chocolate chips or 100% dark chocolate bars (such as bakers) instead of milk chocolate " this will make it richer in flavor and you wont need to use as much chocolate (also will cut down on the sugar content in the recipe)
Add 1 Tablespoon of ground flaxseed + 3 Tablespoons of water to replace 1 whole egg in a recipe (you can double or triple it if the recipe calls for 2 or 3 eggs)
Use dried fruit and nuts in the place of part the chocolate chips a recipe calls for " Example: if the recipe calls for 1 cup of chocolate chips, use 1/3 cup unsweetened raisins, 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, and the last 1/3 cup would be dark chocolate chips (this helps increase the fiber, heart healthy fats and reduces the sugar in the recipe)
Now the recipe below is by NO means a Health food, but it is a delicious & easy recipe I like to make during the holidays to share with loved ones and treat myself.
Dark Chocolate Holiday Clusters
Preparation Time: 1 hour Number of Servings: Makes about 40 servings " 1 cluster is a serving
3/4 cup roasted, shelled pistachios, unsalted (3 ounces), coarsely chopped
2/3 cup dried craisins, reduced sugar
24 ounces Bakers Semi Sweet (56%) chocolate (6 bars), finely chopped, divided or 20 ounces Dark Chocolate Ghirardelli chips (about 2 bags)
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest, optional
1. Line a baking sheet or jelly roll pan with aluminum foil. Add chopped pistachios, craisins, and orange zest together in a bowl and toss well to mix.
2. Melt of chopped chocolate in a bowl in the microwave on 50% power for 30 seconds at a time (to prevent it from burning). Stir the chocolate each time until it has melted evenly.
3. Stir in the last of the chopped chocolate and stir until it has completely melted and is smooth (you may need to warm the chocolate for another 30 seconds in the microwave).
4. Add the craisin and pistachio mixture to the melted chocolate and stir well to mix.
5. Quickly scrape out the chocolate mixture with a spoon or small spatula and plop onto the lined baking sheet in small clusters or nuggets."
6. Refrigerate uncovered until it has hardened (about 25-30 minutes).
7. Using a butter knife or with clean hands, pop off the chocolate clusters and store in an airtight container.
Nutrition Facts (per serving):
Calories: 103 Protein: 1.7gm Total Carbohydrates: 13gm Fiber: 2gm
Total Fat: 6.4 gm Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 0mg
Turkey Salad Recipe!
Looking for a way to use up some of that leftover Thanksgiving turkey? Try this delicious turkey salad recipe. We could all probably use something a little bit on the lighter side this week.
4 cups diced cooked turkey
1 cup holiday grapes, cut in half if large
1 cup diced celery
1/4 cup toasted pecans or walnuts
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 cup fat free Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons dill pickle relish
1. Mix all ingredients together in large bowl and refrigerate at least 20 minutes.
2. Serve on a bed of lettuce or your favorite bread.
3. This makes a great Panini as well. Place salad on sour dough bread with a little leftover cranberry sauce and some reduced fat cheese. Toast until golden brown and cheese is melted.
Thanksgiving Food Safety Tips
1. Thaw your turkey in the fridge. While you can thaw a frozen turkey under running water or in the microwave, the best way is in the refrigerator overnight (or longer). Be sure to follow the instructions on the package.
2. Store raw turkey away from ready-to-eat food. Make sure your raw turkey is covered and stored in a leak-proof container on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. You want to keep it away from foods that are ready to eat, such as desserts and salads, to avoid the risk of cross-contamination.
3. Clean and sanitize your sink and counters. After rinsing your raw turkey thoroughly, properly clean and sanitize the sink and surrounding area before starting to prepare any other food.
4. Cook your turkey to safe internal temperature. Use a properly calibrated meat thermometer to check that your turkey has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Insert the thermometer to the dimple on the stem in the thickest part of the breast and thigh for accurate readings.
5. Keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot. Prep salads, cranberries and other colds items first and store them in the fridge until ready to serve. Then prep your hot dishes closer to serving time so they stay hot. Keep all food items outside the "temperature danger zone" (41 to 135 degrees) as much as possible.
6. Safely reheat leftovers. Whether from a meal prepared at home or picked up from a restaurant, leftovers are part of the holiday tradition. Store each dish separately in clean, seal-able, leak-proof containers and reheat to 165 degrees when you're ready to enjoy round two of your Thanksgiving meal.
SOURCE: National Restaurant Association.
Happy Thanksgiving from the Live Well team!!!!
It’s the holidays and “Company Is Coming”.
Here is a quick seasonal dessert to serve for those last minute guests.
2 CUPS PLAIN GREEK NONFAT YOGURT
1/4 CUP OF SPLENDA
1 TSP. VANILLA
DASH OF PUMPKIN PIE SPICE
3/4 CUP CANNED PUMPKIN
3 TABLESPOONS LIGHT WHIPPED CREAM
DASH OF CINNAMON
1. PUT YOGURT IN BOWL. MIX IN PUMPKIN, SPLENDA, VANILLA AND PUMPKIN PIE SPICE.
2. CHILL FOR AT LEAST 15 MINUTES.
3. TAKE GOBLET GLASSES AND LINE BOTTOM WITH GRAHAM CRACKER PIECES, THEN WHIPPED CREAM, THEN CHILLED PUMPKIN YOGURT, THEN WHIPPED CREAM, THEN ONE PIECE OF GRAHAM CRACKER STICKING OUT.
4. DUST WITH CINNAMON.
5. SERVE IMMEDIATELY.
RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: OIKOSYOGURT.COM
7 Sweet Rewards of Sweet Cherries
Most people think that sweet Northwest cherries can only be enjoyed as a summer treat, but they are available year round and are bursting with health benefits that you may be surprised to hear about!
Of course like most all fruits, cherries are packed with fiber and low in calories, but did you know that they help protect you against many harmful diseases?
Here are the top 7 ways that eating cherries can help combat against disease:
1. Protection against Alzheimers: the flavonoids and procyanidin in sweet cherries can help guard neuronal cells, which reduces oxidant stress and fights dementia!
2. Discourages Diabetes: anthocyanin found in sweet cherries may reduce insulin resistance and increase glucose tolerance. Sweet cherries are lower on the glycemic index, which is also better for people who have diabetes.
3. Wards off Cancer: Fiber + Vitamin C + Carotenoids + Anthocyanins = Anti-Cancer Team!
The cyanidin & quercetin found in sweet cherries help by reducing free radicals which are harmful to our bodies.
4. Combat Hypertension & Stroke: the potassium in sweet cherries may reduce these risks and cherries have more potassium (270mg) than strawberries (254mg) or apples (148mg).
5. Reduce Inflammation: the phytochemicals found in sweet cherries reduce inflammation-causing enzymes, reducing pain from arthritis, injury and other ailments.
6. Fights against Cardiovascular Disease: anthocyanin also reduces inflammation, fatty plaque (that can build up in your arteries), and nitric oxide thus keeping your heart strong and healthy.
The quercetin in sweet cherries is what helps fight against free radicals, which in turn helps ward off heart disease.
7. Better Sleep & Battles Jet Lag: sweet cherries contain melatonin, which regulates circadian rhythm thus helping you to get a truly restful night of sleep.
Melatonin can also reduce the tiring effect of jet lag.
The Best Ways to Enjoy Sweet Northwest Cherries:
Right off the stem - just be sure to spit the pits!
In your favorite desserts, salads, savory sauces, as an ice cream topping and more.
Can be dried with a dehydrator and mixed with a low-fat granola and nuts for a healthy trail mix.
Canned for preserved cherries, jams or jellies.
Wash, dry and freeze to enjoy later in pies, smoothies, or even as a frozen treat right out of the freezer!
Information courtesy of Northwest Cherry Growers
Quench your thirst this summer
We all know that its important to keep hydrated, especially as the temperatures start to climb. Unfortunately many of us choose not so healthy beverages to hydrate with throughout the day. Many of these beverages are not only high in sugar but can also have the opposite effect on us leaving us dehydrated. Here are some great choices when looking to quench your thirst this summer:
Water-- I know we hear it all the time but water truly is the best choice. Your body craves water so its super important to get plenty of it throughout the day. Try flavoring your water with fresh mint, lemon and cucumber. You can also make homemade flavored ice cubes by taking a 100% juice and mixing in chopped berries and herbs, pour into ice cube trays and use to help keep your water cool and delicious.
Tea -- Iced tea is especially good in the summer time and tea is loaded with antioxidants. Try buying flavored tea bags such as raspberry, blueberry or lemon. These add a lot of flavor without any calories. If you like sweet tea, try sweetening your own by using a little honey.
Sparkling water - Sparkling water mixed with 100% fruit juice is a great alternative to soda. Try mixing 100% pomegranate juice with sparkling water and a twist of lime. DELICIOUS!!!!
Fruit - Fruits like berries, oranges and watermelon are filled with water and can help keep you hydrated on a hot day. Plus you get all the great nutrients and fiber.
Veggies - Vegetables are filled with water. Try a leafy green salad at lunch or cucumbers and celery for a snack.
Health & Wellness Advisor
Niemann Foods/County Market
Recipe - Strawberry Salsa
I love strawberries!!! They have to be one of my favorite fruits. Not only are they delicious but they are super nutritious and versatile. I love them in smoothies, on top of yogurt, plain or in salads. The possibilities are endless.
I also like putting a new spin on old recipes. Heres a Mediterranean salsa recipe that I swapped out tomatoes for strawberries. This is delicious on top of chicken or pork and can also be used in combination with salad greens. I personally love it on top of baby spinach with grilled chicken strips.
1 1/2 cup strawberries, hulled and quartered
3 scallions, chopped (with greens)
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
2-3 tbsp. crumbled feta cheese
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. honey
Salt and pepper taste
Mix ingredients in medium bowl and let sit for a few hours before serving.
Tips for Meeting Your 3-A-Day: Dairy
Dairy is a very important part of your diet, and the USDA currently recommends that healthy individuals consume at least one serving of dairy at each meal.
They've decided that its so important in the diet that it has its own section on the MyPlate logo. Not only do dairy products contain high amounts of calcium and Vitamin D, but they can also be great sources of protein and potassium. Dairy can be included into the diet by consuming milk, yogurt or cheese.
Some simple ways of including dairy in the diet include:
Drinking a glass of low-fat milk with your meal
Adding fresh berries to a cup of plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
Add milk to oatmeal instead of using water
Using milk in a recipe to make a thickened soup
Making smoothies with low-fat yogurt
Topping casseroles with low-fat cheese
Using milk in your batter to make pancakes and waffles
Make a dipping sauce with yogurt for your fruits and vegetables
Make a healthy homemade Spinach Artichoke dip with fresh parmesan, light sour cream, frozen spinach and canned artichokes
Choosing low-fat options is important, because other choices can contain high amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol which can be bad for your heart health.
Overall, dairy can be a very healthy option and should be included in your diet so that you are getting 3 servings a day.
Check out this tasty recipe for ideas on how to add more dairy into your diet.
Crustless Cheddar and Sun-dried Tomato Mini Quiches
Prep Time: 20 min Cook Time: 35 min Serves 6
Non-stick cooking spray
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1 leek, cleaned and finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1 cup reduced-fat shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
1 cup fat-free milk
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, plus additional for garnish
1/2 teaspoon fresh or dried thyme
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly spray a 12-cup muffin pan* with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook leeks until softened, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Divide leeks among muffin cups and top with 2/3 cup of Cheddar cheese.
3. Blend milk, egg, sun-dried tomatoes and thyme in a blender or food processor for about 20 seconds or until tomato is minced. Pour milk mixture over cheese in muffin cups and top each with remaining cheese. Bake 30 minutes or until tops and edges are browned. Cool in pan for 3 minutes; serve warm or cold. Top with additional pieces of sun-dried tomato, if desired.
*May substitute with aluminum muffin cups or individual custard cups, if desired.
Yield: 2 mini quiches, per serving
Nutrition Facts (per serving):
Calories: 110 Protein: 8gm Total Carbohydrates: 6gm Fiber: less than 1gm
Total Fat: 7gm Cholesterol: 50mg Sodium: 45mg
Recipe courtesy of the National Dairy Council
Illinois State University Graduate Student and Dietetic Intern for County Market
Recipe: Wholly Potato Salad
Memorial Day, graduation parties, and backyard BBQs is what May is all about! You are sure to find the usual dishes like pasta salads, finger foods, hot dogs, and potato salads at these types of social gatherings.
Most of us like to try a little of everything and that's where we can get in to trouble - These types of dishes often are made with heavy sauces, condiments, and full-fat cheeses which can really add up in the calorie department.
Here is a tasty spin on the traditional potato salad recipes we are used to and it provides heart-friendly fats and rich flavors without being too rich in calories!
Wholly Potato Salad
Minutes to Prepare: 25
Number of Servings: 8
-1/3 cup lemon juice
-1 tablespoon minced garlic
- cup olive oil
- cup of Hellman's dijonnaise (or if you like plain Dijon mustard you can use that too)
-2 tablespoons dill pickle relish
- tablespoon dried dill
-6-8 medium sized red potatoes, boiled, diced (or cubed very small), cooled
-1 cup yellow onion, diced
-1 cup celery, diced
-1-8oz container of Wholly Guacamole (classic version)
-1 small bunch of cilantro, coarsely chopped
1. In a medium sized bowl combine the lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, Dijonnaise, dill pickle relish, and dried dill. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl combine the potatoes, onions, and celery and mix well. Add the dijonnaise mixture to the bowl and mix until blended. Chill in the refrigerator 1-2 hours or until you are ready to serve.
3. Gently fold in the chopped cilantro and container of guacamole just before you are ready to serve.
Nutrition Facts (per serving):
Total Carbohydrates: 38gm
Total Fat: 12g
Recipe calculated courtesy of SparkRecipe calculator
Recipe: Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Bars
May is Celiac Disease Awareness Month! Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects about 1% of the population, or 1 in 133 people.
These individuals have a reaction that causes uncomfortable symptoms when they consume the protein gluten that is found in products that contain wheat, barley and rye. Luckily, the treatment for this disease is simple, and just requires gluten to be removed from the diet completely. Even small amounts of gluten " as little as 20 parts per million, or 20 milligrams per 1 kilogram of food " can cause a reaction in some individuals, so it is important to understand which foods are truly gluten-free. Many foods are naturally gluten-free, such as fruits and vegetables, most dairy products, unprocessed meats, and whole-grains such as quinoa, rice, and corn, and gluten-free alternatives to favorites like pasta, cookies, and cake as also widely available. It can still be delicious and affordable to follow a healthy, gluten-free lifestyle. For more information and tips about Celiac disease, and for more gluten-free recipes, visit www.celiac.org or www.celiaccentral.org
Illinois State University Graduate Student and Dietetic Intern for County Market
Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Bars
Total Time: 20 minutes
Number of Servings: 15
-16oz jar of natural peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
-2 teaspoons baking soda
- teaspoon vanilla
- cup honey (make sure it is gluten-free)
-Optional: Semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine ingredients in a medium sized bowl and use a mixer or a wooden spoon to blend all ingredients together except for the semi-sweet chocolate chips (if using).
2. Grease a 9 X 13 baking pan or line it with parchment paper.
3. Place ingredients into the greased pan. If using semi-sweet chocolate chips then sprinkle them on top just before baking.
4. Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes. Once they are a nice golden brown color then you can take them out of the oven.
5. Once they have cooled, cut them into 15 squares using a plastic knife.
Nutrition Facts (per serving):
Total Carbohydrates: 20gm
Total Fat: 16gm
Recipe: Summer Strawberry Salsa
May is National Strawberry Month and with our Meet the Berries Promotion fast approaching in June I thought I would share a fun strawberry recipe that will help you meet your fruit and veggie servings " And remember Fruits & Veggies More Matters ! Enjoy.
Summer Strawberry Salsa
Minutes to Prepare: 15
Number of Servings: 6
-2 cups chopped strawberries
-1/4 cup diced avocado
-1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
-1/2 cup orange or yellow bell pepper, chopped, seeds discarded
-2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
-1 teaspoon grated lime zest
-1 tablespoon lime juice
-1/4 cup Tropicana 50 orange juice
-1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
-Black pepper, optional (to taste)
-Salt, optional (to taste)
1. Combine the chopped strawberries, avocado, onion, bell pepper, cilantro, and lime zest in a bowl. Add black pepper and/or salt to taste (if desired, this is optional).
2. Mix ingredients well. Meanwhile, in another bowl add lime juice, orange juice, and olive oil and whisk until well blended.
3. Drizzle juice and olive oil mixture over the chopped strawberries and vegetables. Toss well to evenly coat.
4. Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.
-Use as a topping on grilled chicken, fish, or pork.
-Pair with pita chips or whole grain tortilla chips.
-Use on top of a mixed green salad to add color and lots of flavor without adding a lot of calories.
-If you want it to have a spicy flavor add 1 small chopped jalapeno pepper to the recipe!
Nutrition Facts (per serving):
Total Carbohydrates: 7gm
Total Fat: 4.6gm
Sodium: 1mg (without adding salt)
Recipe for Asparagus Risotto
Did you know that May is International Mediterranean Diet Month? Here is a delicious recipe to help celebrate one of the worlds most healthiest and delicious diets.
-6 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock, for vegetarian)
-1 1/2 pounds fresh asparagus
-1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
-1 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
-1 teaspoon sea salt
-1 garlic clove, chopped
-2 cups rice for risotto
-1/2 cup dry white wine
-3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
-1 tablespoon unsalted butter freshly ground pepper
1. Heat the stock to a bare simmer and keep it simmering very gently as you prepare the risotto. Break off the heads of asparagus and set aside. Trim the bottoms and break into 2-3 pieces.
2. Add the olive oil to a kettle and set over medium-low heat. Turn the onion, salt, garlic and the asparagus stalk pieces into the oil, and gently cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and the asparagus quite limp.
3. Add the rice and stir well. Cook for several minutes, or until the rice starts to change color and sizzles in the fat. Add the wine, raise the heat slightly, and cook, stirring, until the wine has been absorbed. Now start adding the simmering stock, a half cup or so at a time and stirring after each addition. After 15 minutes, stir in the reserved heads of asparagus.
4. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in about 1/4 cup of the cheese, the butter, and the pepper. Cover the pan and set aside for 10 minutes before serving.
Recipe courtesy of Nancy Harmon Jenkins, The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook, Bantam Books.
Calories: 420, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Sodium: 900mg, Carbohydrate: 60g, Fiber: 4g, Protein: 16g
National Raisin Week
It's National Raisin Week and I would like to clear up some misconceptions about dried fruit!
Many people avoid eating dried fruit such as raisins because they think they are not as healthy as fresh fruit like grapes, but there are a few things that may surprise you about raisins.
-A cup serving of raisins has the least amount of calories when compared to a serving of almonds (1oz), a serving of Chips Ahoy cookies, a serving of potato chips (on average), a granola bar (on average), a serving of pretzels, and a serving of Oreos.
-Plain raisins are fat-free, rich in fiber, have No Added Sugar and are a low sodium snack.
These are all components of having a heart healthy diet.
-Raisins are high in potassium and potassium helps support normal blood pressure, normal muscle function, and normal functioning of the nervous system.
1 small box of plain raisins has more potassium than 1 large orange!
-Raisins contain phytochemicals, which are compounds that have been shown in research studies to lower the risk of nutrition-related diseases.
-They are low on the Glycemic Index due to having equal amounts of fructose and glucose and only a minimal amount of sucrose + having a decent amount of fiber content!
So raisins can also be a part of a healthy diet for people with diabetes.
-One research study showed that people who eat raisins and other dried fruits are less likely to be overweight, have a smaller waist-line and less abdominal fat than those who don't eat fruit (Keast et al., 1999-2004).
Information courtesy of Sunmaid Raisins
Here are some reasons why you should incorporate more raisins in your diet:
-They are easy to store and very portable
-Raisins are non-perishable
-They are available year-round
-Raisins combine well with other foods (like oatmeal, ants-on-a-log, etc.)
-Relatively low cost
-They are a healthy alternative to sugary and salty snacks!
And here is a delicious recipe that uses raisins and is very simple to make!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
*Muesli is a healthy breakfast cereal that was created by a doctor in Switzerland as a hearty breakfast food.
-3 Tablespoons rolled oats
-6 Tablespoons water
-2 Tablespoons lemon juice
-1 Tablespoon raisins
-1 Tablespoon chopped mixed nuts
-7 Tablespoons milk (skim or 1%)
-2 Teaspoons honey
1. At night, before you go to bed, put the rolled oats into a large bowl and pour the water on top.
2. In the morning, peel the apple, cut it in half and then grate it. Add it to the bowl and then stir in the lemon juice.
3. Gently stir the apple, raisins and nuts into the softened oats. Pour a small amount of milk on top of the oats, and then drizzle the honey on the top of the milk.
Muesli is traditionally eaten at room temperature, but feel free to heat it in the microwave for 30 seconds for a warm breakfast treat.
Nutrition Facts (per serving):
Calories: 410 Fat: 8gm Sodium: 65mg Carbohydrates: 78gm
Fiber: 10gm Protein: 11gm
Recipe Courtesy of Fruits and Veggies More Matters TM
Recipe: Spinach Avocado Salad
Happy Cinco de Mayo! How about celebrating with this healthy recipe?
Spinach Avocado Salad
-1 (15-oz.) can no salt added or low sodium corn, drained
-1 (15-oz.) can no salt added or low sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
-1 jalapeo pepper, seeded, finely chopped
-1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
-3 Tbsp. fresh cilantro
-1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
-2 cups finely chopped baby spinach
-1 ripe avocado, seeded, peeled & chopped
-1 lime, juiced
-3Tbsp. olive oil
1. Combine corn, black beans, jalapeno and red pepper in large bowl.
2. Stir in cilantro and garlic.
3. Add spinach and avocado. Toss with lime juice and olive oil. Serve.
* Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.
Recipe adapted from California Avocado
Recipe: Avocado Egg Salad
Here's a delicious way to use up some of those leftover Easter eggs. This salad will keep you going all day long!!!!
-1 ripe, halved avocado, seeded and peeled
-6 hardboiled eggs, peeled and halved
-1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
-1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
-1 teaspoon salt
-3 diced green onion
Remove and discard yolks of two of the eggs; chop remaining whites and eggs; set aside. In a bowl, combine half of the avocado, vinegar, mustard and salt; mash until smooth. Dice remaining avocado and add to mixture along with eggs and onion; mix gently. Serve on bread or crackers.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Nutrition Information per serving: Calories 176; Total Fat 13g (Sat. 3g, Trans 0g, Poly 2g, Mono 8g); Cholesterol 187 mg; Sodium 414mg; Carbohydrates 7g; Dietary Fiber 4g; Sugars 2g; Protein 9g
Recipe adapted from LoveOneToday.com/recipes
Recipe: Silk Parfait
Happy National SoyFoods Month! Celebrate with this delicious recipe.
Silk Parfait Recipe
brought to you by Silk
-4 Tbsp. oatmeal or granola
-1 container of Silk Vanilla cultured soymilk
-Fresh mixed berries
In a parfait dish, layer 2 Tbsp. oatmeal or granola, 1/2 container of Silk Vanilla cultured soymilk, fresh mixed berries, the remaining 1/2 container of Silk Vanilla cultured soymilk, 2 Tbsp. oatmeal or granola, and top with mixed berries.
Makes 1 serving. Nutrition per parfait: 247 calories, 7 g protein, 46 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 4 g fat (0 sat. fat), 23 mg sodium
Recipe: Spinach, Strawberry and Pecan Salad
Hey Everyone! Here is a nice recipe that brings Spring Produce to the table. Enjoy!
Spinach, Strawberry and Pecan Salad
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cups of Fruits & Vegetables per Serving: 2
-1 pound baby spinach, washed and dried
-1 pint strawberries washed and halved
-1/4 cup pecans, toasted
-1/3 cup raspberry vinegar (or you can use any other kind of vinegar such as red wine vinegar)
-1 tsp dried mustard (if you don't have dried mustard, then try using 1 tablespoon yellow mustard or Dijon)
-1/2 tsp salt (optional)
-1/4 cup sugar
-1 cup olive oil
-1 1/2 Tbsp poppy seeds (optional)
1. Combine dressing ingredients except poppy seeds (if using) in a blender. Add poppy seeds and stir dressing by hand. Try using a whisk.
2. Toss dressing with spinach, strawberries and hot pecans. The hot nuts will slightly wilt the greens.
Calories: 230, Carbohydrates: 12gm, Total Fat: 20gm, Cholesterol: 0mg, Saturated Fat: 2.5gm,
Dietary Fiber: 5gm, Sodium: 190 mg, Protein: 4gm
Recipe Credit: Texas A & M AgriLife Extension Services Healthy Living Website, courtesy of Fruits and Veggies More Matters
Wellness Wednesday Tip of the Week (Weight Loss Challenge)
10 Shopping Tips to Help You Lose Weight
1. Buy Pre-Cut Veggies
One of the biggest barriers to eating fresh fruits and veggies for most people is that they are too tired or too rushed and distracted to wash and cut up things like broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots.
Let's face it these aren't just excuses sometimes we really are too tired, don't have time, and forget about the fresh produce we buy and intend to eat.
That is what makes pre-cut veggies like broccoli slaw, baby carrots, cauliflower, and fruit so convenient and if you consider the time it takes to wash, cut, and prepare the vegetables as well as the waste (cutting off the ends and stems), pre-cut veggies and fruit really don't cost that much more to buy.
2. Choose Canned Tuna/Chicken Breast (Packed in Water) or Rotisserie Chicken Breast Rather than Processed Meats
We understand that making a lunch meat sandwich is fast, easy, and can taste pretty good, but many luncheon meats are high in fat, sodium, nitrites and can have a long list of ingredients that most of us have no idea how to decipher unless we look them up.
When you choose canned tuna, chicken breast, low-sodium packaged salmon or tuna, or even shredded rotisserie chicken breast to make a sandwich, you can be sure that it will be an overall healthier choice than most lunch meats you will find. Just remember that the condiments you choose can add up in calories and unwanted fats, so go for mustards, avocado/guacamole instead of mayo, hummus (yes I've tried it and it is a delicious spread on sandwiches) and ketchup made with more natural ingredients and less added sugars.
3. Switch from Regular Bread to Thins or a Whole-Grain Light Bread
Even some of the healthier Whole Grain Breads that appear to be a healthy option because they have multiple grains or even have the whole-grain stamp on the package can have up to 300 calories or more for 2 slices and that doesn't include the meat, cheese, condiments, and sides that you may add to go along with your sandwich.
Choosing the sandwich thins or a light bread such as Healthy Life Original 100% Whole Wheat Bread (only 70 calories for 2 slices, made with whole grains) can help you cut some calories if you are a bread or sandwich fan, without sacrificing the bun altogether (and who really wants to eat a hamburger or sandwich without the bread? ) Fresh multi-grain bakery bread can be a healthier choice too since you can slice it thinner, which will help cut down on the calories.
4. Turn Spinach into Salads
There's many ways to use spinach, but one of my favorites is as a salad! Spinach is a good source of potassium, high in vitamin K and vitamin A and provides almost 3gm of fiber if you make a 3 cup salad and did I mention only 20 calories..Ill say it again " only 20 calories!
Add a variety of chopped fruit and/or veggies to your 3-cup spinach salad for added flavor and fiber and make it a meal with grilled fish, chicken breast, or shrimp! Dinner can be on the table within 15 minutes with this lower-calorie meal and it is filling!
5. Go for Whole-Grain Versions of Cereal
Cereal choices are not lacking and some are better choices than others, but one thing to look for as far as cold cereals go is to choose ones that have less than 8 grams of sugar per serving and at least 3 grams of fiber or more per serving, so that it is more filling and worth the portion or serving size they recommend.
Hot cereals like oatmeal, bulgur, and many other whole grain options are better for you in terms of filling you up because of the fiber content..but they are only better choices if you choose the plain varieties and add fresh fruit, dried fruit, or even unsweetened vanilla almond milk to give it a sweeter taste rather than choosing a fruit flavored one that's packed with sugar and ingredients..and may even be higher in calories!
6. Buy Sliced Mango, Cantaloupe, Pineapple, and Other Fruit for Snacks or Dessert
You will still pay less than you would for a fruit salad at a restaurant! On average a serving of fresh fruit is only 100 calories, so go ahead and go for the fruit and don't listen to anyone that says fruit is high in sugar and will make you gain weight.eating fruit is NOT why 2/3 of our population is overweight or obese!
7. Try a New Vegetable
People who eat a wider variety of vegetables tend to be thinner, according to Susan Roberts the Director of the Energy Metabolism Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging.
It makes sense if you think about it because vegetables are high in volume due to their water and fiber content so it fills up the space in your stomach quicker, which means fuller belly and less room for higher-calorie foods (even if they are small in volume for example a tablespoon of regular cream cheese).
8. Go for Frozen Fruit Smoothies for Breakfast or a Snack
Smoothies are the quickest way to have breakfast in your hand and have you on the way to work or where ever you need to be with a full belly. Were talking only 5 minutes to blend frozen fruit, milk or unsweetened milk alternatives and veggies (like spinach, I promise you won't taste it) and you have breakfast!
Of course you can add natural peanut butter to it for added protein and flavor or you can get real fancy and add ground flax seed or chia seeds for a plant source of omega 3s, just know that the calories can add up with the addition of healthy ingredients like these.
If you aren't a breakfast eater, let me convince you that eating something rather than nothing for breakfast will help when it comes to losing weight! Study after study has shown that people that are trying to lose weight and eat breakfast compared to those that don't eat breakfast and are also trying to lose weight have better success with breakfast! The main finding of these studies showed that breakfast skippers ended up eating more later on in the day at meals and snacks, which often far exceeded the calories that they would have consumed if they had eaten breakfast that morning.
9. Choose Calorie-Free Beverages
When you drink, it is usually because you are thirsty or maybe to help dislodge the food you scarfed down in a hurry to get back to work, but odds are you are not drinking because you want to consume more calories to feel fuller (that's why we eat to feel full). Liquids don't fill us up and can pretty quickly lead to weight gain if you are consuming things like Sweet Tea, Soda, Fruit Drinks, Energy Drinks, Alcohol and even Coffee with added creamer and sugar. Don't be fooled..just because you don't feel full from drinking, doesn't mean the calories aren't there.
Choosing water is always best for our body, but you can add lemon juice, lime juice or, even squished berries to flavor it! Try unsweetened herbal teas " by brewing 6 herbal tea bags in your coffee pot such as the blueberry or cherry flavors and fill up a large pitcher the rest of the way with water), some other calorie-free choices are carbonated water and plain coffee.
10. Make Junk Food Boring
Trying to cut calories and lose some weight? Don't stock your home with 5 kinds of cookies and 3 kinds of ice cream and especially don't buy your favorites because you know they will be gone. Stock your fridge with healthier options like Greek yogurt or something you will actually eat that is better for you.
Research shows the more variety you have.the more you eat, so keep things simple if you want a cookie every now and then or some chips, that is fine but try to find a cookie that is made with whole wheat flour, has more fiber or has more of a nutritional benefit.
For example, an Oatmeal Raisin cookie is likely going to be a better choice than the Triple Chocolate Brownie Fudge cookie (you would be getting more fiber and possibly less calories from the oatmeal cookie). If you have a weakness for a certain food or junk food and you want to lose weight, then it may be helpful to keep it out of your house for a while and find an alternative that you feel safer with having in the house.
Information in part, courtesy of Nutrition Action Health Letter July/August 2011
Good Fats vs. Bad Fats
A lot of time when we think of taking off a few pounds we might think of going on a low fat diet. Unfortunately having a diet too low in fat can cause us to feel hungry which can lead to binge eating and weight gain. Did you know that the USDA recommends Americans consume 20-35% of calories from fat? Here are targets for maximizing good fats within total fat intake:
-At least 10-25% of calories from combined polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids
-Less than 10% of calories from saturated fatty acids
-Less than 1% of calories from trans fats
So what is the difference between good fats and bad fats?
Good fats (POLYUNSATURATED FATS, OMEGA-3, OMEGA-6 and MONOSATURATED FATS, OMEGA-9) have positive health benefits:
-Improve cholesterol levels
-Reduce risk of heart attack and stroke
-Reduce risk of diabetes
-Promote healthy nerve activity
-Improve vitamin absorption
-Maintain healthy immune system
-Promote cell development
Bad fats (Saturated Fat and Trans Fat) may negatively influence your health:
-Increase bad cholesterol (LDL)
-Decrease good cholesterol (HDL)
-Increase the risk for developing coronary heart disease
Good Fats are important for a healthy diet. Here is a list of some good fat foods:
MEAT, POULTRY, AND FISH
Check the nutrition facts panel and the ingredients label for good fats.
NUTS AND SEEDS
Information courtesy of: GOODFATS101.COM
1. Meet the Fats. www.eatright.org. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 25 Oct. 2011. Web. 24 July 2012.
2. Dietary Fatty Acids - Position of the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada. www.eatright.org. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Web. 24 July 2012.
3. What Are Omega-3, 6, & 9s? www.omega-9oils.com. Dow AgroSciences. Web. 24 July 2012.
4. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. www.ars.usda.gov. USDA Agricultural Research Services. Web. 24 July 2012.
5. U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. 7th Edition, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, December 2010.
6. Food Appendix A: Definitions of Nutrient Content Claims. www.fda.gov. U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Oct. 2009. Web. 24 July 2012.
Live Well Tip of the Week
When trying to lead a healthy lifestyle it can sometimes be challenging to plan weeknight meals. One of the best ways to make sure you have healthy options is to keep a well-stocked pantry. Shop our circulars and stock up items that are on sale. Also don't forget about our private label brands which are a great way to save without sacrificing quality.
Stocking Your Pantry
With a well-stocked pantry, you can put together healthy, last-minute meals, even when you walk in the door at 5 pm and wonder, Whats for dinner tonight? In addition to the basics" things like extra virgin olive and canola oils, flour (whole wheat too!), sugar, oatmeal, 1% milk, salt, pepper, and spices"here are a dozen pantry staples that will make dinners quick and easy (and delicious and healthy!):
1. Pasta " Dry pasta or frozen ravioli cooks up in minutes. Pasta meals are a great way to get your family to eat more vegetables, beans, and fish, too! Look for whole wheat or other whole grain choices.
2. Canned Beans " Add them to salads and soups to make every meal more filling. Or mash with a little garlic and oil and cook briefly to make delicious refried beans. Choose low-sodium beans, and rinse thoroughly.
3. Ready-to-Eat Veggies " Baby carrots, pre-washed greens, sliced mushrooms and other already-prepped fresh vegetables save time. Frozen vegetables are handy too.
4. Eggs " They're not just for breakfast. Make a veggie omelet or frittata for dinner!
5. Soups " Freeze a batch of homemade soup in small containers, or add extra veggies and whole grains to store-bought soups for a hearty meal in minutes.
6. Pita Bread or Tortillas (whole wheat) " Either one can be used as a base for homemade pizza; tortillas also can be made into fajitas and quesadillas in no time.
7. Canned or Pouched Fish " The perfect heart-healthy pantry staple, with a three-year shelf life both for cans and for the new pouches, which keep tuna and salmon especially firm and fresh.
8. Pasta Sauce " Great for pasta, but also for homemade pita pizza and dozens of other quick dishes. Choose varieties low in sodium and sugar.
9. Cheese " A small amount of a grated full-flavored cheese like Parmesan or pecorino goes a long way; shredded part-skim mozzarella is also a great choice.
10. Whole Grains " Make a big batch of brown rice, wheat berries, or another grain on the weekend, then freeze in small plastic bags for your own instant grains.
11. Chicken, Turkey or Vegetable Sausage " Chop and brown all-natural pre-cooked sausage, then freeze it so you can easily add a little meaty flavor and texture to soups, omelets, and pasta meals.
12. Nuts and Seeds " With a selection of nuts and seeds (such as sunflower or pumpkin) in your pantry, its easy to toast a few and add as a crunchy garnish on salads, vegetables or stir-fries.
Brought To You By Oldways
Tip of the Week: Know Your Numbers
How Much Are Your Cigarettes Costing You?
Are you really aware of how much it costs you (financially) to smoke? Saving money is just one of the many reasons to QUIT smoking!
If you smoked a 1/2 pack per day of cigarettes it is costing you roughly $1765 per year to smoke, not to mention costing you your health. If you continue to smoke a 1/2 pack per day for 15 years that would be $26,475 gone! If you smoke a pack of cigarettes per day, then you are spending about $3,530 every year on cigarettes..that's surely enough money to take you on a nice vacation with your family every year.
You are probably aware of the risks and have heard or know someone that developed lung cancer from smoking, but did you know that smoking has also been linked to strokes, heart disease, chronic lung diseases, throat & mouth cancers, bladder cancer and many more scary diseases.
Need any more convincing that you should quit?
-Approximately 1 in 5 deaths in America are caused by smoking
-Compared to nonsmokers, smokers on average die 13 to 14 years earlier
-Roughly 18% of adult women and 23% of adult men smoke "That is 41% of the population
-Sadly most of the adult smokers started smoking in their teens, according to the American Heart Association.
-80% of lung cancer found in women is a result of smoking and 90% of lung cancer in men is caused by cigarettes.
-Smoking is the most avoidable cause of death in the U.S.
-Unfortunately 60% of children in America between the ages of 4 to 11 are exposed to secondhand smoke in their own home.
-Now is the time to quit smoking " Not next year, not tomorrow, TODAY!
Melanie Pavlovic, Registered Dietitian
Hope Danielson, Health and Wellness Advisor
Information courtesy of the American Heart Association www.heart.org. Cost of Smoking calculated courtesy of American Heart Smoking Calculator
Type 2 Diabetes
We hope that you are finding our tips and information helpful or at least getting you to think about knowing what your numbers mean and what you can do to improve them!
This week our tip focuses on blood sugars and diabetes because approximately 26 MILLION Americans have diabetes and close to 95% of those 26 Million Americans have Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes has been linked to lifestyle habits like physical inactivity and an unhealthy diet, which are things that you can have control over!
It is estimated that close to 900,000 people will be diagnosed with diabetes this year and whats even more shocking is that 25% of people with Type 2 diabetes are unaware that they have it! That is why we want YOU to know your numbers!
Know Your Numbers-Blood Sugars
Normal Blood Sugar Levels for Someone Without Diabetes:
-Fasting Blood Glucose: < than 100 mg/dl
-2 Hour Blood Glucose (2 hours after a meal): < than 140mg/dl
-Before Lunch, Supper, or Snack: < 110mg/dl
-A1C: < than 5.7%
Diagnosis of Pre-Diabetes:
-Impaired Fasting Glucose (IFG): 100mg/dl to 125mg/dl
-Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT), 2 hour OGTT: 140mg/dl to 199mg/dl
-A1C: 5.7% " 6.4%
Diagnosis of Diabetes:
-Fasting Plasma Glucose: that is > than or equal to 126mg/dl
-2 hour Plasma Glucose: that is > than or equal to 200 mg/dl (during an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) on more than one occasion).
-A1C: > than or equal to 6.5%
Target Blood Sugar Goals for Someone with Diabetes:
-Fasting & Before a Meal (Preprandial Blood Sugar): between 90-130mg/dl
-Tighter Control: between 70-130 mg/dl
-1-2 Hours after beginning of the Meal (Postprandial Blood Sugar): Less than 180 mg/dl
-A1C: < than 7%
-American Diabetes Association: A1C of < 7%, (average glucose of 154 mg/dl)
-American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists: A1C of < 6.5%
-Take Action: A1C > 8%
This information is simply a guide and is NOT intended for self-diagnosis or treatment of diabetes. Please see a Primary Care Physician or Endocrinologist to confirm diagnosis of diabetes and for recommended blood sugar and A1C goals as they can vary depending on many factors such as age and treatment regimen. Information is courtesy of American Diabetes Association www.diabetes.org & the World Health Organization http://www.who.int/en/ REV 9/2013
Know Your Numbers – Cholesterol
As you may know, it is important to keep your cholesterol levels in a healthy range in order to lower your risk for developing heart disease or having a stroke and to keep your heart healthy. There are two types of cholesterol and one of them is actually good for you.
Here is an easy way to remember which one is good and which one is the bad cholesterol:
- HDL Cholesterol ("the Good") - You want to keep it High remember the H in HDL and that you want this type of cholesterol to be high. Having Higher HDL cholesterol is considered to have a protective benefit against heart disease.
- LDL Cholesterol ("the Bad") You want to keep it Low, remember the L in LDL and that you want this type of cholesterol to be low. Having an LDL cholesterol level near the Optimal range (see chart below) is associated with reduced risk for heart disease and stroke.
Total Cholesterol: Less than 200 mg/dL:
Considered a desirable level of cholesterol. This will put you at a lower risk for developing heart disease. A cholesterol level greater than 200mg/dl increases your risk for heart disease.
Total Cholesterol: between 200 to 239 mg/dL:
Considered borderline high cholesterol.
Total Cholesterol: 240 mg/dL and above:
Considered high blood cholesterol. A person with a cholesterol greater than 240mg/dl has greater than 2X the risk of heart disease compared to someone with a cholesterol less than 200mg/dl.
HDL Cholesterol: Less than 40 mg/dL (for men):
Considered low HDL cholesterol, which is a major risk factor for heart disease.
HDL Cholesterol: Less than 50 mg/dL (for women):
Considered low HDL cholesterol, which is a major risk factor for heart disease.
HDL Cholesterol: 60 mg/dL and above:
Considered high HDL cholesterol, which is considered to have a protective benefit against heart disease.
LDL Cholesterol: Less than 100 mg/dL:
Considered optimal, which is associated with reduced risk for heart disease and stroke.
LDL Cholesterol: 100 to 129 mg/dL:
Considered near optimal, slightly elevated.
LDL Cholesterol: 130 to 159 mg/dL:
Considered borderline high.
LDL Cholesterol: 160 to 189 mg/dL:
LDL Cholesterol: 190 mg/dL and above:
Considered very high, which is associated with an increased risk for developing heart disease and having a stroke.
Information courtesy of the American Heart Association www.heart.org REV. 12/10/2012.
Go to: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Cholesterol/AboutCholesterol/What-Your-Cholesterol-Levels-Mean_UCM_305562_Article.jsp to view cholesterol ranges and see what they mean.
Melanie Pavlovic, Registered Dietitian
Hope Danielson, Health & Wellness Advisor
Recipe: Wasabi Scallops with Orange & Honey
With February in full swing and being that this month is American Heart Month.We thought it was appropriate to throw in a seafood recipe!!
Scallops cook quickly and can toughen if overcooked; especially if they are small the key is to cook them until their centers are opaque in color. Making a scallop or any seafood dish is great to make on a night that you are crunched for time because it cooks so quickly!
Seafood such as scallops provides omega-3 fatty acids, which are believed to help reduce inflammation in our bodies (which has been shown to increase cancer risk).
As with most seafood, scallops are a good source of protein, low in calories and low in fat; for example approximately 3oz of steamed scallops packs around 18 grams of protein and only around 1 gram of fat! Enjoy this heart-healthy recipe your heart with thank you!
Wasabi Scallops with Orange & Honey
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Minutes to Cook: 7
Number of Servings: 4
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 pound sea scallops, patted dry
- 1/2 cup orange juice (such as Tropicana 50)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons prepared wasabi paste
- 6 ounces angel hair pasta
- 6 green onions, thinly sliced
- Cilantro, chopped (optional)
1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat and add the minced garlic and cook for about 45 seconds. Add scallops and cook for 2-4 minutes or until they turn opaque in color. Transfer to a bowl and cover them.
2. Pour the orange juice into the pan and scrap the pan with a wooden spoon to free any garlic or particles from the pan. Add the honey, reduced-sodium soy sauce, and wasabi paste to the pan. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 3 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken a little.
3. Cook the angel hair pasta according to the directions on the package, drain it and set aside.
4. Transfer the scallops to the pan with a slotted spoon and gently toss along with the sauce to evenly coat the scallops.
5. Serve scallops with the sauce over the angel hair pasta. Top with sliced green onions and chopped cilantro.
Serve with a side salad or broccoli slaw made with rice vinegar, a little sesame seed oil and lots of chopped veggies.
Serve with hot green tea or lemon tea.
Nutrition Facts (per serving):
Calories: 329 Protein: 24gm Total Carbohydrates: 43gm Fiber: 5gm
Total Fat: 8.5g Cholesterol: 37mg Sodium: 299mg
Find out your BMI
Maintaining or reaching a healthy weight offers many benefits aside from fitting into smaller clothes and having more energy. Losing weight or keeping a healthy weight will almost guarantee a better quality-of-life by:
- Improving your body's regulation of blood pressure & heart function
- Reducing joint and muscle pain
- Decreasing depression
- Improving your body's ability to metabolize sugar & carbohydrates " better blood sugar control
- Decreasing the risk for certain types of cancers and heart disease
- Helping you sleep better
Being at an unhealthy weight increases the work your heart has to do, raises your blood pressure, cholesterol, risk for developing diabetes, and increases triglyceride levels. Your heart disease risk can be reduced by losing as little as 10 pounds.
Knowing your current BMI according to your height and weight on the BMI chart will help you determine whether you are at a healthy or an unhealthy weight.
Here is the link: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/obesity/bmi_tbl.htm
Find your weight (Wt) in pounds along the top (horizontal numbers in top row), then find your height (Ht) in feet/inches (vertical numbers in first column) and using your fingers follow the column with your weight and the row with your height and see where the points meet or intersect.
Note: This chart does not apply to athletes, children, or pregnant/lactating women.
Adapted from Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults: The Evidence Report. NHLBI Obesity Education Initiative. National Institutes of Health, 1998. Table re-created 12/2013.
- Underweight: BMI less than 18.5
- Healthy Weight: BMI 18.5 to 24.9
- Overweight: BMI 25 to 29.9
- Obese: BMI 30 to 39.9
- Morbidly Obese: BMI 40 and above
Note: If you are outside the range of the table, you can multiply your Weight (in pounds) by 703.1 and then divide that number by your Height (in inches) and then divide that number once more by your Height (in inches) to get your BMI.
Information courtesy of the American Heart Association www.heart.org REV. 03/22/2013 and National Institute of Health www.nih.gov
Recipe: Skinny Beer-garitas
Here is a twist on a classic margarita recipe. Perfect for the big game!!!!
- 2 cups frozen limeade (recipe below)
- 2 bottles of light beer
- cup white tequila
- 1 cup fresh lime juice + 2 limes for zesting
- 1 cups of water
- cup Splenda sugar blend
To make the limeade:
Zest two limes. In a large saucepan, combine water, Splenda and lime zest and heat until Splenda is completely dissolved.
Remove from heat and allow to cool at room temperature.
Stir in lime juice and freeze your limeade concentrate until ready to use.
To make the beer-garitas:
In a pitcher, combine frozen limeade, 2 beers and cup of tequila. Place pitcher in the freezer overnight until frozen through, then mix so that it is in slushy form and serve. Enjoy!!!!!
1 (6 oz.) serving= 231 calories; 0g fat; 6.2g carbs;
Recipe courtesy of: Eat Yourself Skinny
Recipe: Salmon, Fresh Chilean Blueberries and Lemon Salad with Chive Vinaigrette
Blueberries are one of my favorite fruits. High in fiber, low in sugar and only 83 calories per cup. These little blue jewels are also an excellent source of vitamin C. I love them in smoothies, on top of oatmeal and in muffins.
Here is a delicious recipe that would be great for lunch or a light dinner.
Salmon, Fresh Chilean Blueberries and Lemon Salad with Chive Vinaigrette
8 cups salad greens, in small pieces
1 lb salmon fillet, poached
11/2 cups fresh blueberries
lemon zest to garnish
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. fresh chives
Divide salad greens on four salad plates. Tear salmon into medium pieces and arrange on greens.
Sprinkle on blueberries. Top with lemon zest. In a jar with a lid, add all vinaigrette ingredients. Shake well. Serve salads chilled with the dressing alongside.
NUTRIENTS PER SERVING
493 calories, 315 calories from fat, 35 gms fat, 5 gms saturated fat, 64 mg cholesterol, 212 mg sodium, 4 mgs dietary fiber, 31 gms protein
Recipe from the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association
There is a growing concern with the obesity epidemic in the United States. Currently 70% of adults in the U.S. are considered either overweight or obese and these numbers only continue to climb.
Obesity has been shown to increase the risk of serious conditions and diseases like type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and many others. We all want to lead a healthy life; however our daily lives may make it seem difficult to do so.
There are numerous amounts of factors that could be contributing to these diseases and health problems, but the biggest factor is the change in our lifestyles over the last several decades.
-Children & adults used to walk to school or work every day, children had more time in gym class, more time running around at recess, and playing outside rather than sitting in front of their TV, computer, cell phone, or playing on other electronic devices.
-We snack anywhere from 3-5X more than we did 30 years ago and our typical snack foods/beverages have increased dramatically in size, calories, sugar, fat, sodium, and ingredients over the years.
*Studies have shown that the average person in America eats an additional 15 pounds more of sugar every year compared to the sugar consumed in 1970.
-We have become a convenience society and are encouraged to eat anytime, anyplace, anywhere with gas stations providing food options from hotdogs to doughnuts, our fast food restaurants staying open even later, movie theaters providing full meals rather than the standard popcorn and beverages, and the list goes on and on.
-Our daily lives have become so busy with long hours, shuttling the kids to and from multiple activities, & working more than one job to keep up with all of the bills and expenses. Healthy eating and getting the daily recommended amount of physical activity has become a way of the past and to some may even seem far out of reach.
*For most, exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet is thought to be too time consuming, challenging, and just another task to complete that day.
-"Mindless Eating" - because we are so pressed for time and frequently multitasking, we are all guilty of eating a snack or meal during a TV show, while we are working, or scarfing down our food to get back to work. This has created a huge disconnect with our relationship with food and it is almost as if we forgotten that we even ate.
We have to get back to a healthier lifestyle that promotes physical activity, cooking and eating more meals at home, and making the healthy choice the easy one.
Start with a small, realistic goal such as "I will eat at least 3 fruits and vegetables every day of the week" and make sure you set yourself up for success by asking these types of questions:
-How many fruits and vegetables do I need in my shopping cart to last me and the family until I grocery shop again?
-What is on sale this week to get the most for my money?
-What vegetable will I cook or have for dinner each night?
-What fruits and/or veggies will I take to work to snack on today?
-What will I season my veggies with so that it doesn't add a lot of calories, but still tastes good?
Anyone can lose weight with the many diets that are out there, but the safest and most effective way to lose weight, keep the weight off, and lead a healthier life is by starting with a few simple and realistic goals that will be achievable for you.
Ask yourself what are your weaknesses and what you will do or not do to prevent those weaknesses from getting in the way of your goals. You are the key to your own success because you know yourself the best!!
Remember that change doesn't happen overnight, may not always reflect a number on the scale (may come in the form of lower blood pressure, better cholesterol, or a smaller waist circumference), and this is a "Marathon" NOT a "Mile".
If you haven't already started making positive changes to your lifestyle, then now is the best time!
Nutrient Content Claims & Percent (%) Daily Value
Ever wonder what the difference is between fat free, saturated fat free, low fat, reduced and less fat? The government has defined certain claims that can be used on food packaging. For example, you'll see the claim "less sodium" on some brands of canned foods. This means the product has at least 25% less sodium than the regular version.
Some of the popular claims are listed here:
Claims for calories
Calories free: less than 5 calories per serving
Low calorie: 40 calories or less per serving
Claims for fat
Fat free: less than 0.5 g of fat or saturated fat per serving
Saturated fat free: less than 0.5 g of saturated fat and less than 0.5 g of trans fatty acids
Low fat: 3 g or less of total fat
Low saturated fat: 1 g or less of saturated fat
Reduced fat or less fat: at least 25% less fat than the regular version
Trans fat free: less than 0 .5 g of trans fat per serving
Claims for sodium
Sodium free or salt free: less than 5 mg of sodium per serving
Very low sodium: 35 mg of sodium or less
Low sodium: 140 mg of sodium or less
Reduced sodium or less sodium: at least 25% less sodium than the regular version
Claims for cholesterol
Cholesterol free: less than 2 mg per serving
Low cholesterol: 20 mg or less
Reduced cholesterol or less cholesterol: at least 25% less cholesterol than the regular version
Claims for sugar
Sugar free: less than 0.5 grams (g) of sugar per serving
Reduced sugar: at least 25% less sugar per serving than the regular version
Claims for fiber
High fiber: 5 g or more of fiber per serving
Good source of fiber: 2.5 g to 4.9 g of fiber per serving
Percent (%) Daily Value
The Percent (%) Daily Value indicates how much of a specific nutrient one serving of food contains compared to recommendations for the whole day. The percentage is based on a 2000-calorie diet. If you need more or fewer calories, then your Daily Values would be different.
The Percent (%) Daily Value is a useful tool to check whether a food is high or low in a certain nutrient such as fat or fiber. A product is:
- A good source of a particular nutrient is if one serving provides 10 to 19% of the Daily Value
- High in a given nutrient if it contains 20% or more of the Daily Value
- Low in that nutrient if the Daily Value is 5% or less
Recipe: Gingered Pork and Vegetable Stir-Fry
This time of year I frequently hear the question: "What is the best way to lose weight?". It's not quick weight loss pills; it's not starvation diets; it's not hitting the gym 7 days a week.
In my opinion, the best thing anyone can do to keep their weight in check is to cook at home more. Not only will you shave pounds off your body but also dollars off your food bill. Cooking at home enables you to control your own food. You decide what goes into your food and what does not. You also will have better control over your portion sizes. Many healthy meals can be prepared in less than 30 minutes so you definitely have the time.
Get some cook books, go online to find some great recipes (mycountymarket.com has great recipes), or email Melanie or myself for some suggestions. The more cooking you do in your own home, the better you'll feel and look.
Here's a great recipe to get you started?
Gingered Pork and Vegetable Stir-Fry
This healthy half-hour supper is way better than takeout!
By Quick & Simple Staff
Yields: 4 servings
Total Fat: 8g
Saturated Fat: 2g
Total Carbohydrate: 10g
Dietary Fiber: 2g
- 1 (whole ) pork tenderloin, about 12 ounces, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoon(s) (grated peeled) fresh ginger
- 1 cup(s) (reduced-sodium) chicken broth
- 2 tablespoon(s) teriyaki sauce
- 2 teaspoon(s) cornstarch
- 2 teaspoon(s) canola oil
- 8 ounce(s) snow peas, strings removed, fresh or frozen
- 1 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise , and thinly sliced crosswise
- 3 onions, cut into 3-inch pieces
1. Toss pork with ginger in a bowl. Mix broth, teriyaki sauce and cornstarch in a cup; set aside.
2. In a nonstick 12-inch skillet, warm 1 teaspoon oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add snow peas, zucchini and onions, and stir-fry until lightly browned and tender-crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer vegetables to large bowl.
3. In same skillet, heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil; add pork mixture and stir-fry until pork just loses its pink color, about 3 minutes. Transfer pork to bowl with vegetables.
4. Stir cornstarch mixture to blend; add to skillet and heat to boiling. Boil until sauce thickens slightly, about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Return pork and vegetables to skillet, stir to combine with sauce and heat through. Serve with brown rice, if you like.
Top 10 Healthy Resolutions For 2014
Happy New Year!
Top 10 Healthy Resolutions For 2014
1. Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables-consumption of fruits and vegetables can cut the risk of certain cancers and other diseases.
2. Eat more whole grains-they work well at stabilizing your blood sugar which will keep you feeling full longer. They also help reduce cholesterol and heart disease.
3. Eat more lean protein like lean turkey, fish, chicken and lean beef. Beans are a great source of protein and also count as a vegetable. Aim for 3 cups per week.
4. Eat more healthy fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) and less bad fats (saturated and trans fats)"healthy fats help you stay full longer and aid in the absorption of certain fat soluble vitamins. Examples are avocados, salmon, olive oil and nuts.
5. Try to eat low fat dairy products"calcium has been shown to reduce hypertension and obesity. Look for low fat or fat free yogurt, milk and cheese.
6. Exercise every day for overall health"it increases energy, increases your immunity, helps you manage stress, improves good cholesterol, reduces the risk of diabetes and high blood pressure, helps you sleep better, improves your self-esteem and keeps your bones healthy. Aim for five 30 minute sessions per week.
7. Get adequate sleep"sleep helps boost your immune system, improves your mood, reduces stress, and can help with weight control. Aim for 7-8 hours per night.
8. Maintain a healthy weight"as your weight increases so does your risk for certain diseases. Refer to the USDA myplate guidelines.
9. Manage stress. Meditation and relaxation exercises such as yoga and deep breathing can be very helpful.
10. Enjoy life and have fun-It is important to find something that makes you happy each day. Enjoy a hobby, read a favorite book, spend time with children/pets and/or enjoy time with friends.
Have a happy and healthy 2014.
Recipe: Holiday Couscous
Red foods like apples, pomegranate, cherries, beets, red bell peppers, and tomatoes may help reduce your risk of developing cancer, help boost your immune system and can even help support a healthy heart!
Green foods like green grapes, green apples, kiwi, asparagus, broccoli, and green bell peppers may help to lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels, and help with digestion. Be sure to fill your cart up with plenty of red and green fruits and vegetables to get in the spirit!
Here's a colorful recipe that sings Have a Holly Jolly Christmas!
Minutes to Prepare: 5 Minutes to Cook: 5 Number of Servings: 4
- 6oz couscous (quick cooking style)
- red bell pepper, diced
- green bell pepper, diced
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cups of water
1. Bring water to a boil in a large sauce pan. Add olive oil.
2. Meanwhile, place uncooked couscous, red and green bell peppers, garlic, and Parmesan cheese in a bowl and mix well.
3. Add couscous mixture to boiling water, reduce heat to a simmer and keep covered for 5 minutes.
4. Fluff couscous with a spoon and serve.
-Add some fresh chopped cilantro for garnish
-If you like your food a little spicy, add some crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper
Nutrition Facts (per serving):
Calories: 212 Protein: 7.5gm Total Carbohydrates: 34gm Fiber: 2.3gm
Total Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 4mg Sodium: 106mg
Recipe: Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Here's a healthy take on an old classic. I love this dip so much that I could eat the whole thing. The addition of roasted red peppers makes this a seasonal green and red color. Enjoy!!!!
Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Minutes to Prepare: 5 Minutes to Cook: 20 Number of Servings: 8
- 1 (14 oz.) can artichoke hearts packed in water, drained and finely chopped
- 1 (10 oz.) frozen spinach, thawed and drained well
- cup roasted red peppers, chopped
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 cup fat free Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
- 2/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
- Salt and fresh pepper to taste (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl.
3. Place in a 9-inch pie plate and bake for 20 minutes or until hot and cheese is melted. Serve right away.
-Serve with pretzel crisps or pita chips
-Pairs great with veggies
Nutrition Facts (per serving):
Calories: 139 Protein: 8.6gm Total Carbohydrates: 8.5gm Fiber: 2gm
Total Fat: 7.8g Cholesterol: 15mg Sodium: 480mg
Recipe: Orange, Blueberry & Onion Salad
With the holidays among us we are seeing a lot of recipes with cranberries, pomegranates, and pears, which are all fun and festive fruits this time of year. One of my favorites has to be citrus fruits like clementines and oranges. I just love the smell of freshly peeled oranges! Here is a recipe that combines tangy, sweet, and salty flavors all in to one and makes a colorful dish sure to brighten any dinner table.
Orange, Blueberry & Onion Salad
Minutes to Prepare: 10 Total Time: 40 minutes Number of Servings: 6
-1 red onion, thinly sliced
- cup sliced kalamata olives (or any sliced black olives)
- cup blueberries
- cup sliced green onions
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
1. Peel the oranges and then slice each one into 4 or 5 slices (crosswise). Once sliced, place them in a shallow serving dish and sprinkle them with the vinegar, olive oil, and black pepper. Toss gently, cover, and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
2. Toss the oranges again; arrange the sliced red onion, blueberries, and kalamata olives over the top of the oranges in a decorative fashion.
3. Top with sliced green onions and additional black pepper (optional).
- Use a mandolin slicer to slice the red onion extra thin
- Top with freshly chopped herbs such as oregano or cilantro
Nutrition Facts (per serving):
Calories: 188 Protein: 2gm Total Carbohydrates: 26gm Fiber: 5gm
Total Fat: 9.7g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 85mg
Recipe: Crock Pot Balsamic Chicken
With all the craziness of holiday shopping and planning for family gatherings this time of year " it seems as though there is never enough time in the day. Coming up with something to make for dinner when we are already exhausted can be a bit of a challenge.
Some of you may have forgotten about the ease and convenience of a Crock Pot..So let me remind you that it can and should be used for things other than family reunions, potlucks, and picnics.
The Crock Pot is probably the most underused cooking device in everyone's kitchen, but it is one of the best ways I can think of to get dinner on the table in a flash! Most Crock Pot recipes involve a meat (preferably a lean meat like boneless skinless chicken breast or turkey breast tenderloin), vegetables, seasonings, herbs, and maybe some broth or heart healthy fats for flavor.
The best part is all you have to do is dump the ingredients into the pot and turn on the heat (that is of course once the prep work is done; chopping, slicing vegetables, meat, etc.)!
Yes it does require a little planning ahead like getting up an extra 5-10 minutes earlier than what you normally do to get everything into the pot and ready to go, but it makes a stress-free and quick family dinner for busy nights.
The recipe below has only a few ingredients.and you guessed it, just one simple step for cooking instructions! Enjoy.
Crock Pot Balsamic Chicken with Pears, Onions & Mushrooms
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
-4 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts (3oz to 4oz each)
-2 medium-sized pears, cored and sliced (thick slices)
-8oz portabella mushrooms, sliced thick
-1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
-1 yellow onion, diced
-1/2 tsp black pepper
-1 tsp salt (optional)
1. Put all the ingredients into the crock pot and let it cook for 4-6 hours on low, or until chicken is tender and will fall apart easily.
-Optional: top with sliced green onions
-Serve with a steamed bag of mixed vegetables and a side salad with red wine vinaigrette dressing
Recipe: Eggplant Peper Pasta
Feeling stuffed like a turkey today? Maybe had a little too much Thanksgiving yummies? How about going meatless tonight? Here's a hearty and delicious dinner.
Eggplant Pepper Pasta
Cooking cheese tortellini in vegetable broth and spices infuses a depth of flavor to this dish. The extra-tasty pasta showcases the eggplants and peppers, which are sauteed until zesty with garlic and red pepper flakes.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/2 pieces
2 bell peppers, cut into 1/2 pieces
1 pint of cherry tomatoes
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 pound cheese tortellini (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Add the eggplant, bell peppers, tomatoes, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally for 6-8 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften.
3. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
4. Add the broth and tortellini. Cover and simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 12-15 minutes, or until the tortellini are cooked through and most of the broth is absorbed.
5. Fold in the parsley and 1/4 cup of the parmesan. Spoon into bowls and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of parmesan on top.
Eggplant Pepper Pasta
Servings per Recipe: 4
Amount per Serving
Calories from Fat: 181
Total Fat: 20.2g
Saturated Fat: 7.6g
Total Carbohydrates: 71.2g
Dietary Fiber: 9.1g
Recipe Courtesy of meatlessmonday.com
Recipe: Baby Bella Mushroom and Onion Quinoa Stuffing
As you know Thanksgiving is about a week away and I wanted to share with you a delicious Stuffing recipe that is quick and inexpensive to make. Instead of the traditional way of making stuffing with bread crumbs or using a mix, this recipe below is made with quinoa, which has double the amount of protein compared to rice and is a good source of iron and a high quality protein. Quinoa is a great alternative because of its nutritional characteristics and can be cooked just like rice.
Food Safety Experts recommend cooking the stuffing (even if you are making the traditional kind) outside of the turkey rather than inside to make sure the stuffing reaches the proper temperature (around 165 degrees), which is often hard to achieve when it is inside the birds cavity and usually results in getting an overcooked turkey. Give this recipe a try and you wont be disappointed. :)
Baby Bella Mushroom and Onion Quinoa Stuffing
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Total Cook Time: 20 minutes
Number of Servings: 4-6 servings
-1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed well
- 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small white onion, diced
- 3/4 cup green onion, diced
- 1/2 cup celery, diced
- 1/2 cup carrots, diced
- 8 oz sliced fresh baby portabella mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
1. Cook the rinsed quinoa in broth according to the package directions.
2. Meanwhile, in a large saute pan add the olive oil, white onion, garlic, and green onion and saute approximately one minute on medium heat.
3. Add the diced celery and carrots, salt (optional) and black pepper to taste and cook about 12-15 minutes over medium heat, until vegetables are tender.
4. Add the mushrooms to the pan along with more black pepper if desired and cook for another 5 minutes while stirring and then cover for another 2 minutes, just until the mushrooms shrink and are cooked through.
5. Add the cooked quinoa to the pan and mix until evenly distributed. Enjoy!
- You can use any Mrs. Dash (salt-free) seasonings you like in the place of salt such as onion and garlic, or tomato basil for added flavor!
- Add a little freshly grated parmesan cheese to the top of the stuffing while its still hot.
Nutrition Facts (per serving):
Calories: 160 Protein: 6gm Total Carbohydrates: 25gm Fiber: 3.2gm
Total Fat: 4.3g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 160mg
Tips for Better Blood Sugar Control
Here are a dozen ideas anyone can use to easily bring the science of glycemic index, glycemic load and glycemic response to their everyday meals and snacks.
1. In general, whole and minimally-processed foods are better choices than highly-processed foods, for keeping blood sugar steady.
2. Choose traditional muesli, or hot oatmeal or porridge (not instant) instead of processed flakes or puffs.
3. Favor whole fruits over fruit juice, and enjoy juice in small quantities or mixed with sparkling water.
4. Skip the fluffy, light breads. Traditional dense grainy bread has a much lower glycemic index.
5. Pasta has a low glycemic index, especially when its cooked al dente. Enjoy pasta with plenty of vegetables and beans or fish for a healthy pasta meal.
6. Enjoy balanced meals and snacks. Eating healthy fats and lean protein with carbohydrates lowers the overall glycemic load of a meal or snack.
7. Eat legumes. Serve lentil soup, a bean-filled chili, or a chickpea salad. Add beans to soups, salads, pasta and other dishes"or try mashing white beans with your potatoes.
8. Certain fibers, including resistant starch (found in foods including beans, bananas, cold pasta and potato salads), lower your bodys glycemic response. A mostly-plant-based diet provides a good variety of different types of fiber.
9. Eat a variety of intact whole grains, and be sure not to overcook them. Intact grains such as barley, wheatberries and ryeberries have a low glycemic index, especially when theyre cooked al dente.
10. Add zest. Acidic foods lower your glycemic response, so squeeze lemon juice on your broccoli, eat your breakfast cereal with yogurt, and add a salad with vinaigrette dressing to your dinner.
11. Enjoy healthy snacks such as carrots with hummus, apple slices with nut butter, or plain yogurt with fresh or frozen berries.
12. Practice portion control. Too much of even a healthy food is, well, too much. Serve yourself a modest portion, eat slowly and mindfully, and reflect before you reach for more.
The refreshing news is that reaping the benefits of a low-glycemic diet doesnt mean only looking at numbers. The principle of glycemic health is important, and traditional eating patterns such as the Mediterranean Diet offer a good example of how to enjoy delicious food while safe-guarding your good health.
Information courtesy of Oldways: http://oldwayspt.org/
Recipe: Kiwi Chicken Tostadas
Here is a Diabetes Friendly recipe in celebration of National Diabetes Month that you dont have to feel guilty about.with only 19gm of carbohydrates per serving you can get by with going back for seconds! Serve with a side of guacamole to get your heart-healthy fats and fill half your plate with grilled fajita-style vegetables to help you meet your 5 fruits & vegetables per day!
Kiwi Chicken Tostadas
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8-1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon salt (optional)
- 8 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 2 small chicken breasts)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 4, 6-inch corn tortillas, warmed (or even toasted in oven)
- 2 cups shredded romaine
- 3 kiwifruit, peeled and chopped, and/or plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese or Pepper Jack (2 ounces)
1. In a small bowl, combine cumin, crushed red pepper, and salt. Brush all sides of chicken with oil; sprinkle evenly with cumin mixture.
2. Place chicken on the rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals. Grill for 12 to 15 minutes or until no longer pink (170 degrees F), turning once halfway through grilling.
Note: as an alternative you can bake the chicken (cut into strips first) in the oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until juices run clear.
3. Cut chicken into bite-size strips. Arrange romaine on warmed tortillas. Top with kiwifruit and/or tomatoes, chicken, and cheese.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition Facts (Per Serving):
Calories: 199, Total Fat: 6gm, Cholesterol: 43mg, Sodium: 239 mg, Carbohydrate: 19gm Fiber: 4gm, Protein: 19gm
Recipe Courtesy of DiabeticLivingOnline.com
Has anyone noticed things getting a little "hairy" lately. Whether it's NFL players, celebrities or just some regular "Joe", a lot of men are sporting some extra facial hair this month. Why is this? Well November actually is the time to grow moustaches for charity!!!
Movember is an annual, month-long event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of Men's health issues, such as prostate cancer and other male cancers; and associated charities. The Movember Foundation runs the Movember charity event, housed at Movember.com. The goal of Movember is to "change the face of men's health." By encouraging men (which the charity refers to as "Mo Bros") to get involved, Movember aims to increase early cancer detection, diagnosis and effective treatments, and ultimately reduce the number of preventable deaths. Besides getting an annual check-up, the Movember Foundation encourages men to be aware of any family history of cancer, and to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
(information courtesy ofhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Movember)
Here are some healthy lifestyle tips for men:
1. Annual wellness check-ups: Get a colonoscopy after the age of 50, know your blood pressure, get your Hemoglobin A1c tested (for pre-diabetes/diabetes), keep tabs on your blood pressure and get your cholesterol checked (including LDL and triglycerides).
2. Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables
3. Move more. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise 5 days/week.
4. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Many studies have linked lack of sleep to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
5. Heart disease is the number one killer of men. It's important to maintain healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Limit saturated fat (found in animal products like beef and dairy) and trans fats; increase heart-healthy mono-unsaturated fats such as avocado and nuts; aim for 25 of fiber per day; reduce sodium to 2300mg/day or less.
6. Manage stress
7. Decrease your risk of prostate cancer through healthy eating. Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men. There is evidence that a healthy diet and regular exercise will decrease your risk.
Recipe: Tilapia with Mushrooms, Olives, and Tomatoes
Most people with diabetes know they need to portion control their carbohydrate-containing foods like pasta, rice, beans, corn, peas, potatoes, snack foods, sweets, fruit and sugar-sweetened beverages..... However, this does NOT mean that eating an abundance of meats and fats, which do not contain carbohydrates, is the way to fill up your plate!
People with diabetes need to be especially careful with how much unhealthy saturated and Trans-fats are coming into their diet, because they are at a higher risk of developing heart disease compared to someone without diabetes.
While Trans-fat primarily come from processed foods and fried foods like French fries and pastries, saturated fats can be found in any animal product and is found in much larger amounts in some animals compared to others. Stick to filling no more than of your plate with protein!
One easy way to remember which meats have higher or lower amounts of saturated fats is: "The Less Legs the Better."
- 4 legged animals such as cows and pigs have a higher content of saturated fats compared to animals with less legs.. (they also contain more calories per ounce, which is why your doctor and dietitians say to limit your portion to 3 to 4oz in size).
- 2 legged animals such as chicken and turkey have less saturated fat compared to 4 legged animals, but still contain saturated fat (especially in the dark meat, which is why chicken breast and turkey breast are better choices)
- Fish have 0 legs and have little to no saturated fat at all..not only that but they have the least amount of calories per ounce compared to any other meat and are a source of heart-healthy fats, which makes fish one of the BEST choices!
-If you are choosing a white fish then you can usually eat more (around 5 to 6oz rather than 3 to 4oz).
-If it is a fish like salmon that is higher in fat content, you should still limit to the size of a deck of cards (although it is a healthy fat, because it contains more fat it also contains more calories).
Now remember, I am not saying that red meat is bad for you..I am saying that when you are at the grocery store trying to decide on which meat is worth spending a little extra money on so that you are decreasing the amount of saturated fat in your diet. Look for the leaner cuts such as round or loin or least amount of % of fat (such as 97% lean ground sirloin or lean ground turkey breast).
This will help save you calories and save your heart from some of the extra saturated fat that is naturally present in these types of meat, so in the end it is money well spent!
Try this heart-healthy and diabetes-friendly recipe below!
Tilapia with Mushrooms, Olives and Tomatoes
Makes 4 servings
- 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
- 1 pound (16 ounces) button mushrooms, quartered
- 1/4 cup pitted green olives with juice, halved
- 2 cups halved grape tomatoes
- 4 skinless tilapia filets
- teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- Salt to taste (optional)
1. Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and a single layer of mushrooms and cook, without stirring, for about 5 minutes or until mushrooms become red-brown on one side. Flip and cook about 5 minutes more, until other side is same color.
2. Add olives, tomatoes and herbs and heat for another 2 minutes, until juice is evaporated. Remove from heat, place in a bowl and cover with foil to keep warm.
3. In the same saute pan, heat remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium heat. Season the tilapia filets with salt (optional) and pepper on both sides and place in the pan. Cook for 3 minutes until nicely browned. Gently turn and cook another 3 minutes. Return vegetables and herbs to skillet briefly to warm, then serve.
- Serve with brown rice, roasted diced potatoes, or quinoa and a garden salad
- If you don't like olives, then substitute the olives with 1 Tablespoons capers (they look similar to peas, but have a salty taste).
- Add a side of canned fruit packed in water or 100% fruit juice (drained)
Nutrition Facts (per serving): 196 calories; 7.5g fat; 2g fiber
Recipe courtesy of Giorgio Foods.com
Photo courtesy of cdkitchen.com
November: National Diabetes Month
November is National Diabetes Month. According to the National Diabetes Education Program nearly 21 million Americans have diabetes, and at least 54 million people over the age of 20 have pre-diabetes. If you already have diabetes, are at risk or have pre-diabetes (a condition that occurs when a person's blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of TYPE 2 DIABETES). Here are some small steps you can take to prevent or control the disease.
Helpful tip: Studies show that people at high risk for TYPE 2 DIABETES can prevent or delay the onset of the disease by losing 5 to 7 percent of their body weight. For example, a man weighing 200 lbs. would need to lose 10 lbs. to lose 5% of his bodyweight.
Take in fewer Calories.
Here are some suggestions:
-Replace regular mayonnaise with lighter versions, non-fat plain Greek yogurt or mustard.
-Snack on fruits or vegetables during the day instead of high calorie items like cookies, cakes, candy and chips.
-Sip on water throughout the day. Flavor with fresh fruit like lemons, limes, oranges and cucumber.
-Replace big bags of snacks with portion controlled sizes
-Stick to a diet of mainly lean meats, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains 90% of the time. Indulge on less healthy selections 10% of the time.
Control your portions.
Visit choosemyplate.gov for recommended portion sizes.
-Fill up on fiber. Fiber helps us to feel fuller longer and assist with management of blood sugar levels and cholesterol reduction. Fiber is only found in plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole rains, and canned beans and lentils. Flaxseed is an excellent source of fiber and heart healthy fats. Try grinding it up and sprinkling over cereal or yogurt.
-Limit saturated fat to less than 10 percent of daily calories.
-Try to completely eliminate trans fats
-Limit sodium to less than 2300mg per day (approximately 1 tsp. of salt).
Exercise at least 30 minutes a day.
You can break this 30 minutes into three 10 minute sessions of an activity you enjoy such as bike riding or walking.
Some other great ways to incorporate fitness are:
-Taking a walk during a lunch hour or after and evening meal.
-Taking the stairs as opposed to elevators
-Getting up from your desk to talk to a coworker as opposed to the phone or email
-Parking further in the parking lot
-Walking a dog
-Playing catch or another activity with your kids.
-Investing in a pedometer and track your steps. Aim for 10,000/day
-Making exercise fun by working out with a buddy
-Trying to stretch a little each morning
-Trying to incorporate a little strength training. Exercise bands and free weights are great to use. They can even be used while watching television
-Doing something you enjoy so you will stick to it.
Other helpful tips:
-Learn to manage stress. Yoga and meditation are two ways that can help.
-Keep your blood glucose in check.
-Take prescribed medicines as directed by your healthcare provider
-Get your vision checked regularly.
-Monitor your feet for any blisters, cuts, swelling or red spots.
-Develop the best plan to help manage your Diabetes with your healthcare providers.
-Be sure to get an annual physical. Make sure you check your cholesterol and blood pressure.
-Always ask your doctor for your blood glucose numbers. This is important since early detection can lead to early treatment.
It may seem hard to make all of these changes, but don't think of it as one huge task. Take small steps every day and you will notice a change. Tell yourself each day that you are going to do something to make your lifestyle healthier (take a walk, drink more water, eat a healthier breakfast, etc.). All of these steps will add up and result in a healthier lifestyle, which means a healthier YOU!!!!
Recipe: Apple & Walnut Dijon Kale Salad
Kale this Kale that.....what is the deal with the Kale Kraze (yes I meant to spell it with a K)?! I was starting to feel a little left out since up until recently I had not tried kale before and just because I am a dietitian it does not mean that I've tried every "Superfood" out there.
Now first just let me say that I do know a little bit about Kale: it is naturally low in fat, saturated fat free, cholesterol free, low in sodium, a good source of calcium and potassium, and an excellent source of antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin K, and vitamin C!
Research has identified well over 45 different flavonoids found in kale, which combat certain kinds of cancers and help to reduce inflammation in the body, so obviously with all these health promoting benefits I had to try it!
If you are new to kale like me then ease yourself into it with trying a milder (less of a bite) baby kale like in the recipe I have below. Enjoy!
Apple & Walnut Dijon Kale Salad
Minutes to Prepare: 10 Number of Servings: 4 salads (divided evenly onto 4 plates)
- 5 oz (1 container) Organic Girl I Love Baby Kale
- 1 medium sized Granny Smith Apple
- 1/4 cup Ocean Spray Reduced Sugar Craisens
- 1/8 cup of chopped walnuts (can buy already pre-chopped)
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 10-15 cranks of freshly ground Black pepper
- Salt to taste (optional)
1. Rinse the entire 5oz container of baby kale leaves in a colander under cool water and allow to drain while preparing the other ingredients.
2. In a small bowl (or even a blender) combine the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, garlic, & black pepper. Whisk together until the dressing looks smooth & evenly combined.
3. Wash the Granny Smith apple and chop it into chunks for sprinkling.
4. Once the baby kale is dry (you can toss with a paper towel in colander to remove additional moisture) place leaves in a large bowl and add the apple chunks, chopped walnuts, and craisens to it and lightly toss to mix.
5. Pour about half of the the dressing over the top and toss to coat with salad tongs or utensils. Divide the salad evenly on to 4 plates.
6. If additional dressing is desired then add the rest to the salads.
- Try using a bosc pear in the place of the Granny Smith apple for added fiber and a "honey" sweet taste rather than a tart taste.
- To even further reduce calories, lightly sprinkle slivered almonds rather than the full 1/8 cup of walnuts to still provide a nice crunch!
- You can save 4-5 pieces of each of the apples, walnuts, and craisens (for all 4 salad plates) for topping at the very end to make the ingredients more noticeable and an eye catching effect.
Nutrition Facts (per serving):
Calories: 179 Protein: 1.3gm Total Carbohydrates: 17gm Fiber: 4.4gm
Total Fat: 12.8g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 155mg
National Oatmeal Day
Did you know tomorrow is National Oatmeal Day?
Not only is oatmeal healthy but it's also versatile. You can use it in meatloaf, granola bars, muffins, smoothies and my favorite.....cookies. It's full of heart healthy fiber and is low in calories to boot!!! Here is a delicious breakfast idea that is sure to bring the whole family to the table!!!
Overnight Steel Cut Oats
YIELD: SERVES ABOUT 4
I love to set up an oatmeal bar and let everyone choose their favorite toppings. This is a great way to get the whole family to eat a healthy breakfast.
- 4 cups unsweetened almond milk or whatever kind of milk you prefer ( you can also use 1/2 water if you'd like)
- 1 cup steel cut oats
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1. Bring the milk to a boil in a medium or large saucepan (big enough to accommodate about four cups of cooked oatmeal with a bit of room to spare).
2. When it reaches a rolling boil, stir in the oats and salt. Boil for one minute (watching closely so it doesn't boil over).
3. Remove from the heat and stir. Cover the pot and let it sit overnight, 8-12 hours.
4. In the morning before serving, stir the oatmeal to recombine the oats with any residual liquid and heat over medium for 1-2 minutes until the oatmeal is heated through.
Serve with your favorite oatmeal toppings: dried cranberries, raisins, fresh fruit, frozen fruit, nut butters, cinnamon, pumpkin, almonds, the possibilities are endless.......one of my families favorite is Nutella and banana. It's almost like eating dessert for breakfast :-)
Recipe: Pumpkin and Black Bean Stew
Hey everyone! Did you know that "pumpkin" is the new black? Pumpkin is everywhere! It's in coffee, muffins, candy, even potato chips. I absolutely love it but sometimes I don't always have time for cleaning and baking a fresh pumpkin, so I turn to the convenient canned pumpkin option. For about 40 calories per 1/2 cup and 5 grams of fiber, you can't go wrong.
Here is a delicious seasonal pumpkin stew that would be great to serve on these chilly fall evenings.
Pumpkin and Black Bean Stew
- 1 15oz can pure pumpkin
- 1 15oz can low sodium sweet corn, drained
- 1 15oz can low sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups of mild to hot salsa depending on your preference
- 4 cups Swanson Mexican Tortilla flavor Infused Broth
Combine all ingredients in large pot and bring to a boil.Simmer for 10 minutes and then enjoy. Makes 6 large servings.
I like to serve this stew with a dollop of plain non-fat Greek yogurt, fresh cilantro, and tortilla strips. You could also add chicken, beef, or pork.
Options: If you only have plain chicken broth on hand you can use that and add 1 tsp. of chili powder and tsp. cumin.
Recipe: Mediterranean "Spaghetti"
How many times have you walked down the produce aisles during fall and stopped to look at all the varieties of beautiful squash, but didn't buy any because you didn't have a clue what to do with it or what to make with it for dinner? I know I have and I decided to give it a go. This was a first time for me making a recipe using Spaghetti squash and I have to say it was quite simple!!
The recipe below is delicious and simple and is one that the whole family will love. If you are spaghetti fan, then this is a nice alternative that doesn't leave you feeling miserable if you eat too much of it!! If you're not a fan of Greek food then make the squash as directed below and add your favorite spaghetti sauce and lean ground meat (such as 90% or above lean ground beef or turkey) to it! Hope you enjoy.
Number of Servings: 4
Servings: makes approximately 4, 1 1/2 cup servings
- 1 large spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise with seeds removed (you can cook it in the microwave whole for 3 minutes prior to cutting in half to make it easier)
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 4 Tablespoons kalamata olives sliced
- 2 Tablespoons fresh basil (and extra for garnish)
- Non-stick cooking spray
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Place spaghetti squash halves cut side down on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until a sharp knife can be inserted with only a little resistance.
3. Remove squash from oven and set aside to cool for handling later.
4. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and add the onion. Cook until it is tender and opaque in color.
5. Add the minced garlic to the skillet and stir in for another 1-2 minutes. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes are warmed through.
7. Using a large spoon, scoop out the squash and collect the "spaghetti-like" strands from each of the halves of squash and add to the skillet.
8. Toss until evenly mixed and coated with the other ingredients and serve warm topped with fresh slices of basil (optional).
-Add diced cooked chicken or pre-cooked shrimp to the dish for added protein or even cannellini beans for a vegetarian dish!
-This is a nice alternative to the carbohydrate-heavy traditional spaghetti pasta that you don't have to feel guilty about going back for seconds!
-You can use black olives if you have trouble finding kalamata olives.
-If you are crunched for time then you can cook the spaghetti squash in the microwave: 3-4 minutes (on high) then cut in half and add 1 tablespoon of water to the center of the squash and put the other half back on top and cook for another 3-4 minutes (the scoop out the seeds and slimy strings before scooping out the squash strands).
Healthy School Lunch Ideas
It's National School Lunch Week! Boost your child's brainpower with these healthy school lunch ideas.
Back To School with Fruits & Vegetables
What better way to boost that brain power than to fuel those bodies with healthy fruits and vegetables. Here are a few tips to make your kids the envy of the lunchroom!
-Covert yogurt: In your child's lunch, pack a container of plain yogurt and fruit chunks. Encourage him or her to play detective and identify which fruits you included. Give a small prize for the right answer!
-Thermos fusions: Help your child experiment weekly with new 100% fruit and vegetable beverages in their thermos for school.
-Color your crunch for lunch: Have your child choose from a rainbow of colors to brighten up his or her lunch. Carrots or celery with light ranch dressing or apples with peanut butter are a fun way to crunch.
-Get sporty: Pre-portion energy snacks for your kids as they head to sporting events, such as their favorite dried fruits and nuts.
-Let them play with their food: For a little lunch bag fun, slice apples into boats (cut apples into eighths), try red pepper butterflies (slice red peppers crosswise), or cucumber hearts (slice with a paring knife)!
-Crock pot creations: Add carrots, potatoes, onions, celery and all your favorite veggies together in the crock pot for a hearty stew that cooks while you help with homework.
Information courtesy of: fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org
Recipe: Seared Scallops with Snow Peas and Orange Zest
Did you know that October is also National Seafood Month?! Not only is seafood one of my favorite things to eat and cook, but it is typically lower in calories, total fat, and saturated fat compared to any other protein (such as beef, pork, chicken, and turkey).
One of the biggest mistakes people tend to make is overcooking seafood and fish, which spoils the flavor and texture of the fish/seafood. If you are a little intimidated to cook seafood because maybe you have never cooked a certain type before, you will be shocked to find that seafood is really quite simple because it cooks faster than almost any other protein and if you are a seafood fan, it is GREAT for busy weeknights!
The best cooking methods for fish and seafood are grilling, baking, steaming, and microwaving as a general guide. However, it is important to keep in mind that fish/seafood that has a high moisture or oil content (such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, etc.) are better for baking, grilling, barbecuing, and microwaving and fish/seafood with a low moisture or oil content such as tilapia, cod, swai are better for poaching, steaming, or lightly pan frying.
This recipe has very few ingredients, cooks fast, and is an easy recipe if you have never made scallops before!
Seared Scallops with Snow Peas & Orange Zest
Total Time to Prepare and Cook: 25 minutes
- 1 cup couscous (or quinoa, brown rice, etc.)
- 2 teaspoons + 1 tablespoon olive oil (or sesame seed oil)
- 16 sea scallops (about 1 1/2 pounds), can be fresh or thawed frozen scallops
- Black pepper and Salt (optional, or any salt-free seasoning)
- 1 orange (for the zest)
- 3/4 pound snow peas, halved lengthwise
1. Cook the couscous according to the package directions.
2. Meanwhile, heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
3. Pat the scallops dry and season with teaspoon each salt (if using) and pepper. Cook until opaque throughout and golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side (using tongs to pull scallop free from pan). Transfer to a plate and cover.
4. Using a vegetable peeler, remove 4 strips of zest from the orange. Thinly slice them.
5. Wipe out the skillet. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the snow peas, orange zest, and teaspoon each salt (if using) and pepper.
6. Cook, tossing, until the snow peas are just tender, about 2 minutes. Serve with the scallops and couscous.
-Shrimp can be used in this dish in place of scallops. Or, since the orange zest complements any green vegetable, try green beans, asparagus, or sugar snap peas (cooking times will vary).
-Serve with a side salad (with canned, drained mandarin oranges, cherry tomatoes, water chestnuts, and Kraft Lite Asian Sesame dressing)
-Serve with fresh or frozen (no sugar added) mixed fruit
Nutritional Information (per serving)
Calories: 343; Fat: 7g; Cholesterol: 43mg; Sodium: 455mg; Protein: 27g;
Carbohydrates: 45g; Sugar 4g; Fiber: 4g; Iron: 4mg; Calcium: 78mg
Photo & Recipe Courtesy of RealSimple.com
Reducing Risk of Breast Cancer
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It's important to remember to take steps to help prevent breast cancer.
Breast cancer prevention starts with healthy habits such as limiting alcohol and staying physically active. Understand what you can do to reduce your breast cancer risk.
What can I do to reduce my risk of breast cancer?
Lifestyle changes have been shown in studies to decrease breast cancer risk even in high-risk women. The following are steps you can take to lower your risk:
-Limit alcohol. The more alcohol you drink, the greater your risk of developing breast cancer. If you choose to drink alcohol -including beer, wine or liquor- limit yourself to no more than one drink a day.
-Don't smoke. Accumulating evidence suggests a link between smoking and breast cancer risk, particularly in premenopausal women. In addition, not smoking is one of the best things you can do for your overall health.
-Control your weight. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of breast cancer. This is especially true if obesity occurs later in life, particularly after menopause.
-Be physically active. Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight, which, in turn, helps prevent breast cancer. For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity weekly, plus strength training at least twice a week
Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables hasn't been consistently shown to offer protection from breast cancer. In addition, a low-fat diet appears to offer only a slight reduction in the risk of breast cancer.
However, eating a healthy diet may decrease your risk of other types of cancer, as well as diabetes, heart disease and stroke. A healthy diet can also help you maintain a healthy weight a key factor in breast cancer prevention.
What else can I do?
Be vigilant about breast cancer detection. If you notice any changes in your breasts, such as a new lump or skin changes, consult your doctor. Also, ask your doctor when to begin mammograms and other screenings.
Information provided by: Mayo Clinic
Tailgating Gone Healthy
One of the best parts of game days is of course the food, but it isn't always the friendliest for your waistline. Not all tailgating foods have to be off limits. Score big with these delicious and nutritious game day picks!
-Chicken and veggie kabobs
-Lean ground turkey burgers and turkey brats
-Low sodium or salt-free seasonings and marinades
-Skinless chicken tenderloins as a substitute for chicken wings
-Cut fruits and veggies into fun shapes or use a hollowed out watermelon as the bowl for fruit
-Use carrot chips instead of chips paired with a low fat dip
-Choose healthy dips like salsa, bean dip, guacamole, hummus, and low-fat yogurt
-Baked chips, whole grain tortilla chips, air popped pop corn
-Bring a fresh fruit salad made with low-fat or non-fat Greek yogurt
-Cookies made with whole wheat flour, flax seed, or oatmeal
-Dark chocolate covered strawberries
-Try fruit like peaches, cantaloupe, or strawberries on the grill
-Choose water and unsweetened naturally flavored iced teas
-Low-calorie or calorie-free beverages
-100% fruit juice mixed with sparkling water
-Choose a lite beer, wine spritzer and/or drink a large glass of iced water in between each beverage if drinking alcoholic beverages
With these choices you can feel free to snack guilt-free while cheering on your favorite team!
Hope Danielson, Health and Wellness Advisor
Melanie Pavlovic, Registered Dietitian
County Market Videos
- County Market's Live Well Team
- County Market's Live Well Program
- Halloween Health Tip
- Fall Produce Health Tip
- Holiday Health Tip
- Health Tip: Grocery shopping
- Heart Health Tip
- Tips for Healthy Eating
- Adding Flavor to Fruits and Vegetables
- Avoiding the Holiday Season Weight Gain
- Holiday Season Meal Solutions
- Holiday Season Food Ideas
- Holiday Artichoke & Spinach Dip
Live Well Team
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