March 31, 2006
Quote of the Day
Instead of waiting for the perfect opportunity,
I should work toward a realization
that every opportunity is perfect.
March 29, 2006
Peanut Butter and Banana Anytime!
For those of you who think peanut butter and banana is the greatest food combination ever, you now can take it with you anywhere! Here’s how:
1. Keeping the peel on the banana, use a sharp knife to cut through the peel into the banana lengthwise. Be careful not to slice completely through the banana.
2. Spread 1 tsp of peanut butter into the opening.
3. In addition, add your choice of toppings into the opening: sunflower seeds, raisins, dried cranberries, granola, chopped nuts, chopped strawberries or raspberries.
4. Close the banana, place in a zip-close bag. Banana should not brown. Enjoy.
March 28, 2006
Quote of the Day
If you don't know where you are going,
you might wind up someplace else.
March 27, 2006
Try Something New : Pilates
“Physical fitness can neither be achieved by wishful thinking nor outright purchase.��? Joseph Pilates
Pilates is a series of stretching and strengthening exercises designed to improve posture, strength, flexibility, balance and well being. It was developed over 90 years ago by Joseph Pilates. Pilates can be done on a mat in your living room, in a class setting or even a hotel room. To get started – check out local health clubs for a pilates class, rent a dvd or video or buy a good book to learn the movements.
March 24, 2006
The cost of good health.
What if a banana cost less than a chocolate bar? Or a cereal bar cost less than a donut? Or an entrée salad cost less than a cheeseburger and French fry meal? Would you choose the less expensive food item, simply because of the price? What’s more important – money or your health? The junk food tax is being proposed to help combat the rising rates of obesity. Complaints have been made that eating healthy is too expensive. What if the tables were turned and now it was more expensive to eat junk food? The idea is that if healthy food was more readily available and less expensive than junk food alternatives – people will choose to eat more healthfully.
The problem is with obesity, if you eat too much of anything, you can gain weight. If it takes 3 cereal bars to fill you up, you may have been better off eating the donut. Again, it’s all about balance (I feel like a broken record). Daily donuts could turn into an unhealthy habit. If you like donuts, eating a donut every now and then, balanced out with other healthy foods and an active lifestyle could fit into your healthy lifestyle. Consider what you eat for the whole day, the whole week and work on finding a balance.
March 23, 2006
Did you know:
You can gain 1 pound by consuming an extra 10 calories each day for 1 year?
You can gain 10 pounds by consuming an extra 100 calories each day for 1 year?
Luckily most people do not eat the same amount of calories each and every day. Sometimes you eat more, sometimes you eat less. It’s all about balance. If one day you eat a little (or a lot) more than usual, most people tend to eat less the next day. But – you have to be able to tune into your hunger and satiety signals. When you’re able to recognize these signals – you’ll find that your body is trying to tell you something.
The same thing happens during any given day. You eat a big breakfast and you probably won’t feel hungry for awhile - compared to a day when you just had a piece of fruit for breakfast. That’s why you shouldn’t let one particular meal or day ruin your healthy lifestyle plan. Enjoy what you ate, forget about it and move on. It will balance out if you’re eating out of true hunger and stopping eating before you get stuffed. Give it a try one day. Pick a relatively normal activity day (whatever that means) when you can have a balanced breakfast and try not eating again until you can feel the hunger. Eat slowly and try to feel those fullness signals coming on. You might be surprised that there’s actually food left on your plate and you don’t want to finish it. Save it for the next time you feel hungry.
March 22, 2006
Light and Easy Mexican Food
Slow Braised Carnitas
18 ounces lean boneless pork loin, trimmed of all visible fat and roughly chopped
28 ounces red enchilada sauce
14 ounces beef broth
1 Anaheim chile pepper, roughly chopped
1 green bell pepper, roughly chopped
1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, roughly chopped
4 Roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
6 whole-wheat pita breads
Place chopped pork in a slow cooker. Top with enchilada sauce, beef broth, peppers, tomatoes, and about half of the cilantro. Cover pot and simmer on low for 4 hours or until pork is tender.
Scoop 3 ounces of the pork mixture onto each of the 6 pita breads and gently fold over each bread. Garnish with remaining cilantro and serve warm.
Calories 279, Fat 9 grams, Saturated Fat 3 grams
Carbohydrates 30 grams, Fiber 5 grams
Tequila Steak Fajita
3 lemons, juiced
1/8 cup tequila
1/2 tablespoon red chili pepper flakes
1 teaspoon chili powder
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2/3 pound flank steak
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
1/2 red onion, sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 (6-inch) corn tortillas, warmed
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Mix the lemon juice, tequila, pepper flakes, chili powder, and garlic in a medium-sized plastic container. Place the steak in the container, cover, and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 45 minutes.
Heat canola oil in a large nonstick saute pan over medium heat. Add bell peppers and onion and saute until crisp tender. Remove from pan, set aside, and keep warm. Remove steak from marinade and discard marinade. Saute steak in the saute pan for about 5 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Remove steak from the pan and slice into thin strips. Return steak strips, bell peppers, and onion to pan and warm through for about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Divide steak mixture evenly among the warmed tortillas. Garnish each with 1/4 cup cilantro and serve.
Calories 221, Fat 9 grams, Saturated Fat 3 grams
Carbohydrates 18 grams, Fiber 3 grams
March 21, 2006
The Japanese have long snacked on edamame (eh-dah-MAH-meh), or fresh soybeans. But Americans are just now catching on to their charms.
Not least among their merits is a buttery, nutty flavor and wonderfully crisp texture that makes edamame a fun snack food that's addictive to eat. You simply use your teeth to squeeze the beans out of the salted pods, which are picked while young and look like large, fuzzy sugar snap peas. The beans themselves are similar in color to fresh fava or lima beans.
Thanks to edamame's new-found popularity, the beans -- which are sold frozen as well as fully cooked and ready to eat, in or out of the pods -- are now available at many grocery stores.
Even in America's soybean belt, where farmers are more accustomed to feeding soy crops to farm animals than to their families, edamame now appears as a featured ingredient in some of the region's top restaurants. .
Try these recipes and see for yourself what all the fuss is about.
Sesame Beef and Asian Vegetable Stir-Fry
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce, divided
1/4 cup Chinese black (Chinkiang) vinegar or rice vinegar, divided
4 teaspoons dark sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
3/4 pound top round, cut into1/4-inch strips
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons peanut oil, divided
3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted and divided
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups red bell pepper strips
1 1/2 cups frozen blanched shelled edamame (green soybeans), thawed
1 cup sliced shiitake mushroom caps
1 (15-ounce) can whole baby corn, drained
1/2 cup diagonally cut green onions
3 cups cooked jasmine rice
Combine 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons vinegar, sesame oil, and five-spice powder in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add beef; toss to coat. Let stand 10 minutes. Remove beef from bowl; discard marinade.
Combine 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons vinegar, water, and cornstarch, stirring with a whisk.
Heat 1 teaspoon peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef; stir-fry 1 minute. Remove beef from pan. Add 1 teaspoon peanut oil, 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, ginger, and garlic to pan; stir-fry 30 seconds. Add bell pepper, edamame, mushrooms, and corn; stir-fry 2 minutes. Add beef and cornstarch mixture; stir-fry 3 minutes or until sauce thickens. Remove from heat; stir in 1 tablespoon sesame seeds and onions. Serve over rice.
Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 cup stir-fry and 1/2 cup rice)
CALORIES 434(30% from fat); FAT 14.4g (sat 3.3g,mono 4.8g,poly 3.5g); PROTEIN 21.7g; CHOLESTEROL 36mg; CALCIUM 62mg; SODIUM 318mg; FIBER 6.3g; IRON 3.7mg; CARBOHYDRATE 55.9g
Soba-Edamame Salad with Flank Steak
You can substitute whole wheat spaghetti for soba, if desired.
2 quarts water
12 ounces uncooked soba (buckwheat noodles)
2 cups frozen shelled edamame (green soybeans), thawed
2 cups thinly sliced Basic Grilled Flank Steak (about 8 ounces)
1 cup (2-inch) julienne-cut red bell pepper
1 cup shredded carrot
1 cup (1-inch) slices green onions
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce (such as Lee Kum Kee)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Bring 2 quarts water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add soba; cook 4 minutes. Add edamame; cook 2 minutes or until soba is done. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain. Place soba mixture in a large bowl. Add Basic Grilled Flank Steak, bell pepper, carrot, and onions; toss well to combine.
Combine vinegar and remaining ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle over soba mixture; toss gently to coat. Cover and chill.
Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 1/3 cups)
CALORIES 389(25% from fat); FAT 10.8g (sat 1.6g,mono 4.2g,poly 2.4g); PROTEIN 22.8g; CHOLESTEROL 20mg; CALCIUM 60mg; SODIUM 417mg; FIBER 5.4g; IRON 4.5mg; CARBOHYDRATE 48.3g
Sesame Chicken Edamame Bowl
Frozen stir-fry mixes and frozen shelled edamame save prep time and don't require thawing. The slightly sweet and nutty stir-fried vegetables complement the delicately flavored chicken. You can serve this over udon noodles or rice stick noodles instead of rice.
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh lemongrass
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 cups frozen shelled edamame (green soybeans)
2 cups frozen bell pepper stir-fry mix
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin (sweet rice wine)
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 cup (1/4-inch) diagonally cut green onions
2 teaspoons dark sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups hot cooked brown rice
Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add ginger, lemongrass, and garlic; sauté 1 minute or just until mixture begins to brown. Add chicken; sauté 2 minutes. Add edamame and stir-fry mix; sauté 3 minutes. Combine soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil, and cornstarch, stirring with a whisk. Add to pan; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in onions, sesame seeds, and salt. Serve over rice.
Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 2/3 cup chicken mixture and 1/3 cup rice)
CALORIES 277(21% from fat); FAT 6.5g (sat 0.7g,mono 2.3g,poly 2.6g); PROTEIN 25.5g; CHOLESTEROL 44mg; CALCIUM 72mg; SODIUM 452mg; FIBER 5.4g; IRON 2.4mg; CARBOHYDRATE 27.1g
March 20, 2006
A Different Kind of Nut
SOY BUTTER: Although technically not a nut, soy beans can be roasted and whipped into a nut-butter type product. Soy butter has both a roasted and a nutty flavor that fits well on sandwiches, in sauces and where you would usually use peanut butter.
March 15, 2006
Have you heard that optimists live longer than pessimists? The good news is that it’s not too late for pessimists to make a few changes and still reap some benefits. Here are a few ideas:
*Every job has its good and bad parts – try to find the joy in your work.
*Surround yourself with positive people.
*Deal with the situations you can control and try to accept those that you can’t.
*Put things in perspective and realize that setbacks are only temporary.
*Write down three positive things that happen each day.
March 14, 2006
Omega-3s: Don't like fish? Try walnuts!
Cranberry Walnut Cabbage Salad
This salad offers a unique taste of sweet, bitter and crunchy. You also get some omega-3 fatty acids from the walnuts and some sulforaphane from the cruciferous vegetable cabbage. And, it’s a great way to fit in more vegetable servings to your day. The bonus is that it tastes so good!
1 Cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 Cup dried cranberries
4 Cups Coleslaw mix
¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
½ cup cider vinegar
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup water
1 tsp celery seed
Mix the dressing ingredients together. Put the salad ingredients into a bowl and toss with the dressing. Cover and refrigerate for about 3 hours before serving. Stir and drain off all liquid before serving.
March 13, 2006
Got Breakfast? is the new school program encouraging kids to eat breakfast. Many kids don’t have time (or make time?) in the morning to eat anything. They rush out the door and start the day on an empty stomach. Research suggests this can hinder their learning ability, concentration levels and it’s hard to get all the nutrients you need with just 2 meals/day. This program is sponsored by Share Our Strength, the Alliance to End Hunger, the National Dairy Council and breakfast Breaks. Visit www.gotbreakfast.org for more information.
March 10, 2006
Try Something New: Almond Butter
Almond butter is mild and creamy. Most almond butter is processed without preservatives, so refrigerate it when you bring it home. Almond butter can accent the flavors of soups, stronger-tasting vegetables, such as broccoli, and vinaigrette salad dressings. Almond butter is a good source of protein and vitamin E.
In the Area: Nutrition Fuels Fitness
The Northern Area Dietetic Association is sponsoring a race and nutrition education fair to celebrate Nutrition Month. It will be held on March 26, 2006 in Elk Grove , CA from 8am to noon. The day includes a Kids Half Mile Fun Run, 5K/10K run or walk, free breakfast for participants, nutrition games, diaper derby, massages and lots more! Go to www.nutritionfuelsfitness.org for more information.
March 9, 2006
New drink guidelines
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has just published healthy beverage guidelines. Think of it as a food pyramid for drinks. It covers everything from water to alcohol and how much you should drink of each every day.
The guidelines are designed to educating people to make healthier selections among the beverages they drink every day because most people get about 20% of their daily calories from something in a glass.
Level one of the healthy beverage guidelines is water. Women should drink nine glasses a day. Men need 13. Level two is unsweetened coffee or tea which has some health benefits. Level three is low-fat milk or soy milk; you need about two cups a day. The guidelines also stress that no one over the age of two should be drinking whole milk. Diet drinks make up level four. You can have about four cups a day of those. Level five is reserved for artificially-sweetened beverages that have some nutritional value, such as fruit or vegetable juice. The guidelines stress drinking just four to eight ounces a day of these types of drinks. You'll also find alcohol in this group. And finally, level six is made up of sweetened drinks with no nutritional value, such as regular soda and sweetened sports drinks.
As you've probably figured out, beverages are ranked based on the number of calories and whether they have any health benefits.
* Unsweetened tea or coffee, up to 40 ounces.
* Low-fat or skim milk and soy beverages, up to 16 ounces.
* Diet soda and other non-caloric sweet drinks, up to 32 ounces.
* Beverages with some nutrients, such as juice, up to 8 ounces.
* Alcoholic beverages, one drink a day for women and two for men.
A drink equals 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces
* Sugar-sweetened drinks like soda, no more than 8 ounces.
(Standard soft drink cans are 12 ounces.)
March 7, 2006
March is National Nutrition Month
National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education and information campaign sponsored annually by the American Dietetic Association. The campaign is designed to focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. NNM also promotes ADA and its members to the public and the media as the most valuable and credible source of timely, scientifically based food and nutrition information. Check out www.eatright.org.
March 6, 2006
Relax, stretch, laugh and rest
People with diabetes who took a five-part series of stress-management and diabetes classes at Duke University had significantly lower blood sugar levels than those who took classes on diabetes alone.
Some Indian research showed that doing 30 to 40 minutes of yoga a day reduced blood sugar by 50 to 75 points throughout the day.
And a Japanese study showed that six months of "laughter therapy" improved kidney function in people with diabetes. While this doesn't take the place of medicine, it's certainly fun to tell jokes, watch funny movies and read the comics.
Sleep also is important. Pulling all-nighters can cause higher than average blood sugar levels even in healthy adults. And frequently sleeping less than five or six hours nightly has been linked to a greater risk of diabetes, according to research in America, Germany, Finland and Sweden.
Heat Things Up: Garlic-chili sauce
This Asian condiment is a mixture of ground chilies, garlic and vinegar. It can add a lot of heat to food, so use sparingly! You can add it to stir-fries, marinades, base sauces or even soups. Try this:
Fresh Spring Rolls with Dipping Sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon garlic chili sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
12 (8-inch) round sheets rice paper
3 green leaf lettuce leaves, quartered
3 cups fresh broccoli sprouts or alfalfa sprouts
36 (2-inch) julienne-cut carrot strips
36 (2-inch) julienne-cut cucumber strips
36 (2-inch) julienne-cut yellow bell pepper strips
24 medium shrimp, cooked, peeled, and halved lengthwise
36 fresh mint leaves
To prepare sauce, combine first 7 ingredients, stirring with a whisk until sugar dissolves; set aside.
To prepare spring rolls, add hot water to a large, shallow dish to a depth of 1 inch. Place 1 rice paper sheet in dish; let stand 30 seconds or just until soft. Place rice paper sheet on a flat surface. Arrange 1 lettuce piece in center of sheet. Top with 1/4 cup sprouts, 3 carrot strips, 3 cucumber strips, 3 bell pepper strips, 4 shrimp halves, and 3 mint leaves. Fold sides of sheet over filling; roll up jelly-roll fashion. Gently press seam to seal. Place spring roll, seam side down, on a serving platter (cover to prevent drying).
Repeat procedure with remaining rice paper, lettuce, sprouts, carrot, cucumber, bell pepper, shrimp, and mint. Serve with dipping sauce.
Yield: 6 appetizer servings (serving size: 2 rolls and 2 teaspoons sauce)
CALORIES 101(7% from fat); FAT 0.8g (sat 0.2g,mono 0.1g,poly 0.3g); PROTEIN 7.8g; CHOLESTEROL 44mg; CALCIUM 40mg; SODIUM 418mg; FIBER 2.1g; IRON 1.7mg; CARBOHYDRATE 16.8g
March 3, 2006
Even More Flavor: Red pepper spread
Roasted red peppers provide the zesty flavor in this spread. Dip raw veggies in it for an alternative to the usual creamy dips. Spread on a turkey sandwich instead of mayonnaise. Even try it on a pizza crust topped with a little feta and caramelized onions. Be open to something different. It’s all about exploring new flavors!
March 2, 2006
Adding Flavor: Mustard
Coming in all different flavors like yellow, Dijon, brown, and spicy, mustard adds that little extra zing to foods that can make a boring turkey sandwich into a gourmet feast.
Try these recipes too.
Apple Nut Salad
Seared Beef Tenderloin Mini Sandwiches
March 1, 2006
Try Something New: Balsamic Vinegar
Many of you may have had this before, but think of all the possibilities with this intense flavored vinegar. It has a long shelf life, few calories and lots of flavor. Make a simple oil-and-vinegar salad dressing using 3-to-1 oil to vinegar combination. Try a good-quality extra-virgin olive oil for the best taste on salads. Also add herbs, salt and pepper to taste. One of my favorites is dipping crusty bread into a mixture of olive oil and vinegar. Season with herbs and garlic as well. Saute vegetables like mushrooms or zucchini in a little balsamic vinegar for a bold taste. Also try sherry, white wine and red wine vinegar and cider vinegar for a different flavor. Add a splash of red wine vinegar to a finished pasta dish.