May 31, 2006
Zetacap is the latest craze on the Internet touting itself as the world's first and only "gastric bypass pill." The plan promises to transform your body in 90 days.
The company claims the pill contains a super thick, non-digestible fiber with a secret ingredient that when combined with water forms a filling gel, like a balloon in the stomach, and within minutes the user feels like they've just eaten a big meal.
The idea may seem outrageous but the company says 200,000 users have collectively lost more than a million pounds. Zetacap's web site claims it works for 90 percent of its users.
Dietary experts say buyer beware. "I don't know that anybody can ever be transformed in any way, and that's also after gastric surgery. You still have to do the hard work -- eating smaller portions, eating a healthy diet," says Cathy Nonas, American Dietetic Association.
Zetacap has not been evaluated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
May 27, 2006
A New Personal Best
I shaved 15 more seconds off of my 5K time this brisk morning as I ran in the Modesto Classic at Tuolumne Park. I've been running 3 days/week for the past 3 months, mostly on the treadmil doing a lot of speedwork. I ventured outside only the past few weeks trying to maintain that same speed while adding in some hills (or inclines is more like it). I think I meant to take it easy after the last race but that didn't seem to happen. Maybe this time I'll actually take at least a week off. However, I am entertaining the idea of a marathon in Vegas in 2007.
May 24, 2006
A Different Kind of Salad
Tired of the same old lettuce salad over and over again? Try this recipe for a different kind of salad.
Serves 6; 1/2 cup per serving
A sprinkling of crumbled feta tops this mix of fresh spinach, sweet grape tomatoes, artichokes and basil.
7 ounces grape tomatoes, halved (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 ounce fresh spinach leaves, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
1/2 14-ounce can quartered artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves (about 1/3 ounce)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 ounce fat-free or reduced-fat feta cheese, rinsed and drained, crumbled
In a large bowl, toss together all the ingredients except the feta. Sprinkle with the feta.
Nutrition Analysis (per serving)
Total Fat 0.0 g
Saturated 0.0 g
Polyunsaturated 0.0 g
Monounsaturated 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 232 mg
Carbohydrates 6 g
Fiber 1 g
Sugar 3 g
Protein 2 g
May 23, 2006
School Food Fight
School food has become a national obsession. And no place is the fixation more evident than in the Bay Area, where activists are determined to put an end to obesity and teach kids how to eat right.
They're filling school yards with edible gardens, applying for grants to put salad bars in cafeterias, teaching students and parents how to cook healthful meals and replacing cookies with strawberries at school dances.
All agree that schools need to clean up their nutritional act, but there is bitter dissent over how it should be done and how far it should go.
In recent years, California has passed some of the most stringent school food laws in the country. The state, concerned that it has the second highest rate of overweight children in the nation, passed legislation introduced by Sen. Martha Escutia, D-Whittier (Los Angeles County), that would heighten nutritional standards at schools.
The law, which goes into effect July 1, 2007 , says vending machine snacks sold on campus during school hours and a half hour before and after, must meet certain requirements -- no more than 35 percent of its calories can come from fat, no more than 10 percent can come from saturated fat, and no more than 35 percent of its weight can be sugar.
Entrees prepared in school cafeterias must have no more than four grams of fat per 100 calories with a 400 calorie cap.
But Marion Nestle, a nutrition professor, one of the food industry's loudest critics and author of "What to Eat,'' says the junk food manufacturers are probably already looking for ways to circumvent the requirements.
"I don't like this kind of criteria," she said, adding that although the new rules will rid schools of candy bars, they will also knock out most salad dressings. "It's a slippery slope, and there are always exceptions. Why not just get rid of highly processed foods and use the Marion Nestle method -- only serve foods with no more than five ingredients on the label."
May 21, 2006
2 cups coarsely chopped peeled ripe papaya or mango (about 1 large)
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped peeled kiwifruit (about 3 kiwifruit)
3/4 cup fresh corn kernels (about 1 ear)
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon minced seeded jalapeño pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl; cover and chill.
Yield: 4 cups
Eat with baked tortilla chips or pita chips.
May 18, 2006
Pork Tenderloin with Fresh Mango Salsa
I tried a mango salsa last night atop a pork chop. Definitely a different taste. I felt like I was in Hawaii. The oragne juice was a nice touch to the salsa. We grilled the pork chops (instead of the tenderloin) and omitted the cardomen because we didn't have any.
By the way - I was sent 4 more mangos and a papaya yesterday. I was supposed to get 2.5 oz oz each of mango and papaya last week but the papaya shipment was rotten so I just got mangos. So I now have 5 mangos left!
Help! Eating it by itself is actually growing on me and I often blend some along with frozen berries in my yogurt.
Pork Tenderloin with Fresh Mango Salsa
2 (1-pound) pork tenderloins, trimmed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups diced peeled mango (about 2 large)
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
3 tablespoons diagonally sliced green onions
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 tablespoon olive oil
Cut each tenderloin crosswise into 8 pieces. Place plastic wrap over pork; pound to an even thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper.
Combine mango and next 6 ingredients (mango through cardamom).
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of pork; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from pan; repeat procedure with remaining pork. Serve with mango salsa.
Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 2 pork medallions and about 3 tablespoons salsa)
CALORIES 195(22% from fat); FAT 4.7g (sat 1.3g,mono 2.6g,poly 0.5g); PROTEIN 27.5g; CHOLESTEROL 67mg; CALCIUM 15mg; SODIUM 349mg; FIBER 1.2g; IRON 1.6mg; CARBOHYDRATE 9.9g
May 17, 2006
'Proper' mango method doesn't cut it
J.M. HIRSCH of THE ASSOCIATED PRESS writes:
There is a right way and a wrong way to prepare a mango. I favor the wrong way.
That's because virtually every food expert and cookbook I have consulted advocates using the "right" method, a process I consider stupid, wasteful and dangerous.
But before delving into the ontology of mango preparation, let's talk about the fruit itself.
I concede that getting at the flesh of a mango isn't easy. Most mangoes sold in the United States resemble large green and red eggs with a thick, bitter skin. Inside, tender yellow flesh surrounds (and firmly attaches itself to) a large, oblong pit.
To free the flesh from the skin and pit, most experts suggest cutting the mango into three pieces lengthwise so that the pit is contained in the middle piece. This leaves you with two sections that are flat on one side and rounded on the other. Discard the pit.
Next, use a paring knife to score (in a crosshatch pattern) the flesh of the two remaining sections. Be sure to cut down to, but not through, the skin.
Now flip each section inside out so that the scored mango flesh is jutting outward and the skin side forms a shallow bowl.
Still with me? This is where it gets dangerous.
Holding one of the inverted (and slippery) sections in one hand, use the paring knife to carefully cut the cubes of mango flesh (and perhaps your own) from the skin. You won't get it all. Don't bother trying.
You'll now have a pile of oddly shaped mango cubes and will have little choice but to throw out about a third of the fruit.
If you'll pardon the expression, what were those people smoking when they came up with that technique? So here's my way. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin from the entire mango. Go a bit deeper than you normally would, as the skin is thick. Stand the mango on end and use a knife to cut the sides away from the pit.
This should leave you with two large chunks of flesh. Now use a paring knife to trim the flesh away from the ends of the mango pit.
It's that easy. You're left with large slabs of mango flesh that can be cubed, sliced or otherwise prepped as you like, and with little to no waste.
To make life even easier, consider investing in one of the new mango splitters. These great little gadgets resemble those round apple corer-slicers that you push down over the apple.
The mango version carefully cleaves the flesh from the pit.
Follow my directions for peeling, then use the mango splitter instead of the knife. Wonderful invention.
May 16, 2006
Next, I tried adding mango to a salad. Great combination with the sweet strawberries, crunchy pistachios and slightly bitter greens. I used olive oil and romaine lettuce. So good, I'm having it again today!
The fresh, fruity flavors of this salad pair well with a spicy shrimp, chicken, or pork dish. In place of pistachios, you could substitute toasted almonds, pine nuts, macadamia nuts, or hazelnuts.
1 cup cubed peeled ripe mango, divided
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups gourmet salad greens
1/2 cup sliced strawberries
1 tablespoon chopped pistachios
Place 3/4 cup mango in a food processor; process until finely chopped. Add lime juice, oil, coriander, and salt; process until smooth, scraping sides of bowl once.
Combine 1/4 cup mango, greens, and strawberries in a large bowl. Divide salad between 2 serving dishes, and sprinkle with nuts. Serve with dressing.
Yield: 2 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)
CALORIES 114(28% from fat); FAT 3.6g (sat 0.5g,mono 1.8g,poly 3.7g); PROTEIN 2.9g; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 52mg; SODIUM 150mg; FIBER 4g; IRON 1.5mg; CARBOHYDRATE 20.4g
May 15, 2006
I'm trying something new....Mangos!
Being a proud member of the fruit of the month club, delivered to my doorstep this month were 5 large mangos. I’m not a huge mango lover, mainly due to lack of exposure. I can’t remember seeing a mongo in my childhood years and probably tasted one for the first time a year or so ago. I’ve never purchased one before and I now I have 4 (one did not survive the shipping) sitting in my fruit bowl waiting for me to experiment before they rot.
Keep unripe mangoes at room temperature to ripen, which may take up to 1 week. A paper bag might help them ripen sooner, but they will not ripen at temperatures below 55 degrees F. Mangoes that gently yield to pressure and smell fruity are ripe. Ripe mangoes can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or they can frozen, dried, cooked in syrup or puréed.
This is the first recipe I tried with my mangos. I thought it was pretty good. Very smooth, nice consistency. Maybe too vanilla - tasting. I also added ice cubes to make it more frosty.
You can freeze the cubed mango overnight in an airtight container to make this smoothie a snap to throw together (for variety, try substituting frozen berries for the mango). Remember to let frozen mango thaw for 15 minutes to soften slightly. The dry milk is optional, but one tablespoon provides about 100 milligrams of calcium.
1 cup cubed peeled ripe mango
3/4 cup sliced ripe banana (about 1 medium)
2/3 cup fat-free milk
1 tablespoon nonfat dry milk (optional)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Arrange the mango cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet; freeze until firm (about 1 hour). Place frozen mango and the remaining ingredients in a blender. Process until smooth.
Yield: 2 servings (serving size: 1 cup)
CALORIES 160(4% from fat); FAT 0.7g (sat 0.3g,mono 0.2g,poly 0.1g); PROTEIN 5.1g; CHOLESTEROL 2mg; CALCIUM 160mg; SODIUM 65mg; FIBER 2.6g; IRON 0.3mg; CARBOHYDRATE 36.1g
May 12, 2006
This week, I'm going to eat more...blueberries.
Looking for a small change to make in your diet? Trying to eat more fruits? Give blueberries a try this week! Fresh or frozen, they make a great topping for yogurt, cereal, oatmeal or add them to a smoothie with yogurt and milk. This low calorie, nutrient rich food is also a great snack in itself. Try these recipes too.
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
Dash of salt
1 3/4 cups skim milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
1 egg, lightly beaten
Vegetable cooking spray
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
Additional blueberries (optional)
Combine first 3 ingredients in a medium bowl; stir well. Combine milk, oil, egg whites, and egg in a small bowl; stir well. Add to flour mixture, stirring until well-blended.
Coat a waffle iron with cooking spray, and preheat. Spoon about 1/3 cup of batter per waffle onto hot waffle iron, spreading batter to edges. Spoon 2 tablespoons blueberries per waffle evenly over batter. Cook 6 to 7 minutes or until steaming stops; repeat procedure with remaining batter and blueberries. Serve with syrup. Garnish with additional blueberries, if desired.
Note: If you are using frozen blueberries, do not thaw them before adding to batter.
Yield: 8 (4-inch) waffles (serving size: 1 waffle)
CALORIES 189(30% from fat); FAT 6.3g (sat 1.2g,mono 1.8g,poly 2.7g); PROTEIN 6.4g; CHOLESTEROL 29mg; CALCIUM 176mg; SODIUM 86mg; FIBER 1.6g; IRON 1.6mg; CARBOHYDRATE 26.7g
Breakfast Salad with Warm Pine Nuts
2 cups cubed Fuji apple (about 3/4 pound)
1 1/2 cups cubed Asian pear or ripe pear (about 1 medium)
1 cup coarsely chopped orange sections (about 1 large)
1/2 cup cubed peeled kiwifruit
1 tablespoon dried blueberries
1 tablespoon dried cranberries
1 tablespoon roasted sunflower seed kernels
1 tablespoon unsalted pumpkinseed kernels
2 tablespoons pine nuts
Combine the first 8 ingredients in a medium bowl.
Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pine nuts to pan; cook for 3 minutes or until lightly browned, shaking pan frequently. Add pine nuts to salad; toss gently to combine. Serve immediately.
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup)
CALORIES 178(28% from fat); FAT 5.5g (sat 0.5g,mono 1.3g,poly 2.6g); PROTEIN 2.8g; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 43mg; SODIUM 1mg; FIBER 6.6g; IRON 1mg; CARBOHYDRATE 34.3g
May 10, 2006
Weight Loss Woes
Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, LD hits it on the nose with this quote:
The problem is most diets suggest radical changes from usual dietary habits, and as a result, dieters only last a few weeks to months before throwing in the towel and returning to their old eating habits. Being ravenous all the time, spending an hour a day at the gym, or feeling deprived of favorite foods are triggers that put an end to conventional diets.
So What Works?
It is not sexy, and to some it borders on utterly boring, but the real secret to weight loss is making slow and gradual changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors. Experts recommend trimming 500 calories a day by reducing calories and increasing exercise to result in a 1-2 pound weekly weight loss. Holding the mayo on your sandwich, eating a side salad instead of french fries at lunch, walking 45 minutes, reducing portion sizes, and piling on the veggies at dinner are examples of simple ways to trim 500 calories in a day.
May 8, 2006
Laugh a little...or a lot!
Good news! Laughter reduces stress. Having a good laugh relaxes muscles and stimulates the production of stress-relieving chemicals in the brain. Watch a favorite comedy movie or television show. Find time to talk with a friend you find entertaining. Laugh at your own jokes - it's good for you!
May 5, 2006
For most people, time is limited. Here are some suggestions to maximize this limited resource.
Keep a calendar. Write down you tasks and activities so that you know what you need to get done and where you need to be. You can also look back at the previous week or month and get an idea of where you spend most of your time. Are you overcommitted? Do your tasks and activities coincide with your values?
Learn to say no. Next time you’re asked to help out with a function or volunteer time on a certain day, think about your values and goals. It’s ok to say no to something you’re not fully committed to. Maybe you can recommend someone who could better fit those shoes?
Multi-task. Some things are meant to be done on their own – driving, for example. Some people attempt to drive their car, talk on the phone and drink coffee all at the same time. This can lead to a major disaster. However, other things done together are a little less dangerous. Try folding laundry while watching your favorite TV show or use a headset or speakerphone and talk to a friend while you pack a healthy lunch for the next day.
Unpile your papers. Junk mail, bills, memos, reports – whatever paper you have in your hand, act on it. Don’t let it pile up and think you’ll get to it later. The first time it hits your hand – file it, pay it, delegate it to someone else or throw it away (my favorite!).
May 3, 2006
Quote of the Day
Losing weight is inconvenient and intentional. Gaining weight is convenient and unintentional.
It is truly a matter of mind over matter. Wellness is a conscious choice every day, all day. Eat, exercise and eliminate; these are the mandates of wellness. There is no pill for that. Man is the only living thing with the power to make rational choices. We are not animals!
As Americans, we have gotten so accustomed to other people doing our thinking for us, that we are literally eating ourselves to death.
Ivory Dorsey, Mableton, Ga.
May 1, 2006
Fruits and vegetables make great snacks, but sometimes storage and freshness can make keeping produce around the house a hassle. Here are some simple ways to keep fruits and vegetables at their best:
• Prevent potatoes from sprouting by storing an apple with them. The ethylene gas in the apple retards the growth.
• Keep avocados green by soaking peeled avocado halves in cool water — just a minute or two will prevent discoloration.
• Stone fruits, like peaches and plums, will ripen quickly if stored in a paper bag, out of direct sunlight and at room temperature. A banana added to the bag will speed up the ripening process even more.
• Spinach often has a gritty taste that comes from small amounts of dirt trapped in the leaves. Washing them in warm water will loosen the dirt better than cool water.
• Fresh berries are a delight, but they go bad quickly. When you bring berries home, spread them over a paper towel and pick out the bruised and rotten ones. Then store the others in an aerated plastic bag.