Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries

Makes 5 Servings

One 16-ounce carton fresh strawberries
1/2 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips


Remove the stems from the strawberries. Wash the berries under cold water and dry well with paper towels. Set aside.
Place the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir well and repeat 2 to 3 more times, just until the chips are melted. Do not overheat.
Divide the melted chocolate into small individual bowls. Let each family member dip their own strawberries (double dipping allowed)!

Nutrition Information per Serving: 110 calories, 5g fat (3g saturated), 0mg sodium, 18g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 1g protein, 90% vitamin C

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Monday, March 29, 2010

Week 9 Weight Loss Totals

Exercise and Bosu Balls

Have you ever used a Exercise Ball or Bosu Ball?

These two wonderful pieces of equipment are simple, lightweight and provide a large variety of different exercises. These little tools a not only great for strengthening and toning your core muscles but all muscle groups. They are also very effective in improving balance. Another benefit of using a exercise ball and or bosu ball is that the are low impact, meaning they are easy of joints and bones but also provides great results. You can work all major muscle groups using a exercise ball or bosu ball.

Bosu balls in particular are great because you get a lot the same benefits as you would using an exercise ball but you have a little more stability because it has one side that is flat. Another amazing thing about using a bosu is that you can use the bosu to do a lot of the same exercises you can do on an aerboic step bench. I love the bosu ball because it is easier on joints, bones, and feet than a tradional step bench. It is also great for increasing balance. The bosu ball can also be turned over so the flat side is up and you can do an additional variety of exercises that can continue to build muscle and increase stability.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Lean Mean Cheeseburger

Makes 4 Servings

2 tablespoons quick-cooking oats
1 pound ground beef (93% lean or 95% lean)
1/2 teaspoon steak seasoning blend Montreal steak seasoning
4 seeded or whole wheat hamburger buns, split
4 slices lowfat cheese, such as Cheddar or American
Lettuce leaves, optional
Tomato slices, optional

Place the oats in food-safe plastic bag. Seal bag securely, squeezing out excess air. Roll over bag with rolling pin to crush oats to a fine consistency.
Combine the ground beef, oats, and steak seasoning blend in a large bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Lightly shape into four 1/2-inch patties.
Place patties on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, uncovered, 11 to 13 minutes to medium (160°F) doneness, until no longer pink in center and juices show no pink color, turning occasionally.
Line the bottom of each bun with lettuce and tomato, as desired. Top with the burger and cheese slice. Close sandwiches.

Nutrition Information per Serving: 318 calories, 10g fat (4g saturated, 3g monounsaturated), 519 mg sodium, 24g carbohydrate, 3.5g fiber, 33g protein, 15% iron

Lean Mean Cheeseburger

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Grain, Grain, Oh Glorious Grain

Grains are generally divided into 2 subgroups, Whole Grains and Refined Grains. Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel while refined grains have been processed to remove the bran and germ. Grains are processed to give the grain a finer texture and improve their shelf life. However, the processing of the grain removes dietary fiber, iron, and vitamins that are extremely useful to our bodies. Ideally all of our daily grains would be whole grains however that may be somewhat difficult, so the USDA recommends that half of all the grains we eat should be whole grains.

The amount of grains you need depends on your age, gender and level of exercise. The links below may be beneficial in determining the number of servings needed by different individuals. There is also additional information about what counts as a serving of grain. Check out the links for more information about grain, grain, oh glorious grain.

Recommended Daily Grain Intake
Servings of Grain

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

IMPORTANT!!! Weigh In Time Change TONIGHT!

Tonight the weigh in will be held from 5:00pm-6:45pm. We are moving the weigh in time earlier so those wanting to participate in the political caucus meetings tonight at 7:00pm will be able to attend.  See you tonight!


Makes 12 Servings

3 cups quick-cooking oats
2 cups Toasty O’s cereal or Cheerios
1 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup apple juice
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup dried currants or raisins

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly oil or coat a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
Combine the oats, Toasty O’s, almonds, flaxseed, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Whisk together the maple syrup, apple juice, canola oil, brown sugar, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl, then stir into the oat mixture until well coated.
Spread the mixture evenly on the baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. When done, cool for about 10 minutes before adding the currants.
Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

Tip: For a fun breakfast or snack sundae, layer Toasty-O-Granola with lowfat yogurt and fresh berries in a parfait glass.

Nutrition Information per Serving (1/2 cup): 260 calories, 12g fat (1g saturated, 0.9g omega-3), 40mg sodium, 35g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 6g protein

Monday, March 22, 2010

Week 8 Totals

Resistance Bands

There is an abundance of exercise equipment available.  It is difficult to know what will be a worthwhile investment. Exercise equipment can get pretty expensive but there are items out there that won't break your budget and will give you a lot of the same benefit. One piece of equipment I personally love using during my workouts are resistance bands.

You can generally find resistance bands for about $5.00 to $15.00 with a variety of different types and also resistance. Some resistance bands are strips of elastic material and others are tubing with handles for better grip.  Resistance bands also come with a variety of resistance levels. Thicker elastics or tubing (different colors) are going to give you greater resistance.


The beauty about a resistance band is that you can add a resistance band to almost any exercise to add a little more...RESISTANCE! By using a resistance band you make the muscle work a little more and as a result your muscles are stronger and more toned. Resistance bands are great for strength training workouts, increasing coordination and balance, you can them with you when you travel, and they are great for all fitness levels.


Sit in a chair or on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Loop the band around the soles of your feet so that the band is tight. With your palms facing each other, breathe out and bring your shoulder blades together. Bend your elbows and bring your hands to your chest. Repeat.

Stand on the band with knees slightly bent. Keep your elbows to your side and palms up. Curl your arm up toward your chest and lower slowly. Repeat.

Sitting or standing on the band, hold the band in each hand at shoulder height. Extend the arm straight up, but do not lock. Slowly lower arms and return hands to shoulder height. Repeat.

Stand securely on the band with both legs about shoulder width apart. Keeping your head up and the back flat, bend your knees like you were going to sit in a chair. Do not bend the knee past 90 degrees. Make sure that your knees do not extend out past your toes. Repeat.

Triceps Press
Keeping good posture, sit on the band. Place one hand slightly behind your head with your elbow at your ear and palm facing upward. Straighten your arms over your head. The elbow should be slightly bent throughout the exercise and you should lift and lower your arm slowly. Repeat.

Band Pull Down
While sitting, hold the band with your hands about 12 inches apart. Extend your arms over your head. Keeping good posture, pull the band so that your arms are out to your side. Make sure that your elbows are straight and in line with your shoulders. Return under control to the starting position. Repeat.

Chest Press
Sitting or standing, center the band on your upper back and shoulders. Adjust resistance by wrapping band around the hand (palms should face downward). Keeping the elbows slightly bent, pull the band out in front of you. Repeat.

Example images are from the Utah Department of Health's BeWise Program.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Chocolate Pudding with Toppers

Makes 6 Servings

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups 1% lowfat milk
1/2 cup lowfat vanilla yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk together the sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan. Gradually whisk in the milk until well blended.
Place over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat and continue to simmer, stirring gently, until the mixture thickens slightly, about 2 minutes.
Remove from the heat and stir in the yogurt and vanilla. Spoon the mixture into 6 individual serving bowls. Cover with plastic wrap or wax paper (this will prevent a film from forming) and chill for at least 1 hour. Sprinkle with toppings as desired and serve.

Optional Toppings: Crushed Graham crackers, chopped nuts, granola, blueberries, raspberries, sliced bananas, sliced strawberries, light whipped cream

Nutrition Information per Serving (1/2 cup): 160 calories, 1.5g fat (1g saturated), 115g sodium, 31g carbohydrate,1g fiber, 6g protein, 15% calcium

Chocolate Pudding with Toppers

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Lazy Day Beef & Vegetable Soup

Makes 8 servings

2 ½ pounds beef stew meat, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
Two 14-ounce cans ready-to-serve all-natural beef broth
One 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
One 15-ounce can seasoned tomato sauce, or one 14 ½-ounce can diced tomatoes with garlic and onion, undrained
1 cup water
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
1 cup dried ditalini or other small pasta

Place the beef, broth, chickpeas, tomato sauce, water, Italian seasoning and pepper in a 4 to 6-quart slow cooker and mix until well combined. Cover and cook on high for 4 ½ hours or on low for 7 hours.
Stir in the mixed vegetables and the pasta. Continue cooking, covered, until the beef and pasta are tender, 30 minutes to 1 hour. Stir well before serving.

Nutrition Information per Serving: 350 calories, 11g fat (4g saturated), 540mg sodium, 27g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 33g protein, 45% vitamin A, 10% vitamin C, 30% iron

Lazy Day Beef & Vegetable Soup

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Two Weigh In Locations TONIGHT!

The weigh in TONIGHT (Tuesday, March 16th) we will be having 2 weigh in locations (for this week ONLY). The weigh in time will still be from 5:30pm-7:30pm.

West Jordan City Hall (8000 S. Redwood Rd.)
Jordan Valley Medical Center (3580 W. 9000 S.)

We will have two locations for the weigh in this week due to the class being held at Jordan Valley Hospital by the chef who will be discussing Learning to Cook Healthy. The class will be held from 6pm-7pm. The weigh in at Jordan Valley will be held in the Inpatient Building on the 3rd floor. Directions: (Enter Jordan Valley from 9000S. Go down the drive until you get to a "T". Turn right and you'll see the Inpatient Tower Entrance immediately on your left).

At West Jordan City Hall we will also be holding the regular weigh in with the walking group at 6:30pm at the park behind City Hall.

Hope to see you all there! Have a great week!

Barriers to Physical Activity

Do you ever feel like there are are barriers the size of mountains that prevent you from being physically active? Are there too many hurdles to jump over? Do you feel like you have a: lack of time, lack of support from social influences, lack of energy, lack of willpower, fear of injury, lack of skill, and lack of resources?

Find out what your greatest barriers are by taking this short a simple quiz...Take Quiz!

Once you know what your greatest barriers are you will have a greater ability to try and address those individual barriers.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Makes 4 to 5 Servings (about 14 pancakes)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/3 cups 1% lowfat milk
1/2 cup canned pure pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 teaspoons canola oil

Whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, flaxseed, sugar, chocolate chips, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl until well combined. Set aside.
Whisk together the eggs, milk, pumpkin, and vanilla in a separate bowl until well blended. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir until just moistened.
Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Pour the batter onto the hot skillet using a 1/4-cup measuring cup, forming 4-inch pancakes. Cook until bubbles begin to appear on the surface of the pancakes and the bottoms turn golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook until golden brown, an additional 2 to 3 minutes.
Repeat with the remaining oil and batter.

Nutrition Information per Serving: 320 calories, 10g fat (2.5g saturated, 1g omega-3), 400mg sodium, 46g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 11g protein, 80% vitamin A, 25% calcium, 15% iron

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Week 7 Weight Loss Totals

Physical Activity Routine Examples

Here are some suggestions to add more physical activity into your routines.  The chart might be a little small so click on the chart to see a larger chart. Also you can go to the link Physical Activity Chart to take you directly to the website.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Chocolate and Coconut Frozen Banana Popsicles

Makes 6 Servings

3 large Bananas, peeled and halved crosswise 6 ounces semi-sweet or milk chocolate, chopped 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted 6 popsicle sticks

Carefully push a popsicle stick into the cut end of each banana half, leaving about 11/2 inches of the stick poking out. Transfer bananas to a parchment paper-lined sheet tray and freeze until just solid, 30 to 45 minutes. Microwave chocolate in a medium bowl, stirring every 20 to 30 seconds, until chocolate is completely smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. (Or, melt chocolate in the top of a double boiler.) Transfer coconut to a wide, shallow dish and remove bananas from freezer. Working with one banana half at a time, spoon some of the melted chocolate over the banana and spread around with the back of the spoon to cover the surface. Sprinkle banana with some of the coconut, allowing any that doesn’t stick to fall back into the dish. Return banana halves to baking sheet and freeze until chocolate is set, about 10 minutes.

Nutrition Information per Serving (about 4oz/100g-wt.): 210 calories (90 from fat), 10g total fat, 6g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 0mg sodium, 34g total carbohydrate (4g dietary fiber, 24g sugar), 2g protein

Chocolaty Banana Pops

Makes 4 Servings

1 cup 1% lowfat chocolate milk
1 ripe medium banana

DirectionsCombine the chocolate milk and banana in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into four 3-ounce popsicle molds and freeze until firm, about 3 hours. To remove the pops from the molds, run under warm water to loosen. If you don’t have popsicle molds, divide the liquid between four paper cups. Cover each cup with foil, insert one craft stick through the center of each foil, and freeze.

Nutrition Information per Serving: 60 calories, 0g fat (0g saturated), 30mg sodium, 13g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 2g protein

Chocolaty Banana Pops

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Low Down on Fad Diets

As fad diets come and go, the weight goes up and down.
When bathing suit season approaches, there’s always a diet that promises you’ll be thinner in six weeks. The appeal of these diets comes from the hope that we can be slim and trim with as little effort as possible. Most fad diets work in the beginning, usually because the suggested eating regimens help you cut calories in one way or another. But diets that restrict certain food groups or promise unrealistic results are difficult – or unhealthy – to sustain over time. As soon as you go back to your usual eating patterns, the weight comes piling back on. This creates the yo-yo effect of losing and regaining weight.

There is no magic bullet.
No matter which hook a fad diet is using, it isn’t reasonable to expect miraculous weight loss that will last. The trick is to find an everyday eating plan that not only keeps the pounds off but also provides the right balance of calories and nutrition – and that combination requires a lifestyle change.

While most fad diets result in quick weight loss early on, more research is needed on the effectiveness for long-term weight loss. If followed for a long time, these diets may result in potential health problems. To lose weight safely and effectively, you should eat an appropriate number of calories from a balanced diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free dairy products. Also cut back on the nutrient-poor foods, and be physically active.

You’ll know it’s a fad diet if it:
  • Promises magic or miracle foods that burn fat.
  • Requires you to eat unusual quantities of only one food or food type.
  • Requires rigid menus of a limited selection of foods to be eaten at a specific time and day.
  • Requires you to eat specific food combinations in certain sequences or combinations.
  • Promises rapid weight loss of more than two pounds a week.
  • Has no warning for those with diabetes or high blood pressure to seek medical advice before starting the diet.
  • Does not include increased physical activity as part of the plan.
American Heart Association
Check this out: Staying Away from Fad Diets from the American Dietetic Association.  This is another great resource with great information about fad diets.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Last-Minute Black Bean Soup

Makes 4 Servings

One 19-ounce can black beans, undrained
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon bottled or fresh lime juice
1/2 to 1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup preshredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream, optional

In a medium saucepan, combine the beans, corn, salsa, water, lime juice, chili powder, and cumin. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, about 5 minutes.
Serve in individual bowls and top with the cheese and sour cream as desired.

Nutrition Information per Serving: 190 calories, 4g fat (0g saturated), 600mg sodium, 33g carbohydrate, 9g fiber, 11g protein, 15% vitamin C, 10% calcium, 15% iron

Last-Minute Black Bean Soup

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Oatmeal Power Breakfast

Makes 1 Serving

1/4 cup quick-cooking oats
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
2/3 cup 1% lowfat milk
1/4 cup blueberries
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped nuts, optional
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup, optional

Combine the oats, ground flaxseed, and milk in a deep microwave-safe bowl and stir to combine.
Place in the microwave, uncovered, and heat on high for 90 seconds. Remove carefully and stir in the blueberries, and the nuts and maple syrup as desired.

Nutrition Information per Serving: 210 calories, 6g fat (1g saturated, 1.4g omega-3), 70mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 10g protein, 20% calcium

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Physical Activity for a Healthy Weight

Why is physical activity important?
Regular physical activity is important for good health, and it's especially important if you're trying to lose weight or to maintain a healthy weight.
  • When losing weight, more physical activity increases the number of calories your body uses for energy or "burns off." The burning of calories through physical activity, combined with reducing the number of calories you eat, creates a "calorie deficit" that results in weight loss.
  • Most weight loss occurs because of decreased caloric intake. However, evidence shows the only way to maintain weight loss is to be engaged in regular physical activity.
  • Most importantly, physical activity reduces risks of cardiovascular disease and diabetes beyond that produced by weight reduction alone.
Physical activity also helps to–
  • Maintain weight.
  • Reduce high blood pressure.
  • Reduce risk for type 2 diabetes, heart attack, stroke, and several forms of cancer.
  • Reduce arthritis pain and associated disability.
  • Reduce risk for osteoporosis and falls.
  • Reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
How much physical activity do I need?

When it comes to weight management, people vary greatly in how much physical activity they need. Here are some guidelines to follow:

To maintain your weight:
Work your way up to 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, or an equivalent mix of the two each week. Strong scientific evidence shows that physical activity can help you maintain your weight over time. However, the exact amount of physical activity needed to do this is not clear since it varies greatly from person to person. It's possible that you may need to do more than the equivalent of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week to maintain your weight.

To lose weight and keep it off:
You will need a high amount of physical activity unless you also adjust your diet and reduce the amount of calories you're eating and drinking. Getting to and staying at a healthy weight requires both regular physical activity and a healthy eating plan

What do moderate- and vigorous-intensity mean?

Moderate: While performing the physical activity, if your breathing and heart rate is noticeably faster but you can still carry on a conversation — it's probably moderately intense. Examples include—
  • Walking briskly (a 15-minute mile).
  • Light yard work (raking/bagging leaves or using a lawn mower).
  • Light snow shoveling.
  • Actively playing with children.
  • Biking at a casual pace.
Vigorous: Your heart rate is increased substantially and you are breathing too hard and fast to have a conversation, it's probably vigorously intense. Examples include—
  • Jogging/running.
  • Swimming laps.
  • Rollerblading/inline skating at a brisk pace.
  • Cross-country skiing.
  • Most competitive sports (football, basketball, or soccer).
  • Jumping rope.
How many calories are used in typical activities?

The following table shows calories used in common physical activities at both moderate and vigorous levels.