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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Melanie Pavlovic, Registered Dietitian:
Phone: 217.546.8537, Email: email@example.com
County Market Blog
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
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