Thursday, April 29, 2010

Weigh Biggest Loser Survey

On behalf of the Healthy West Jordan Committee I want to thank all of you that participated in the 2010 Weigh Biggest Loser Contest. In order to make the competition better each year it is vital that we receive YOUR feedback.

Please take a few minutes to complete the survey about the contest. The survey is less than 20 questions and will close on Wednesday, May 12th, at 11:45pm. Take the survey now by following the link: Weigh Biggest Loser Survey or follow the link located in the right hand column of the blog.

Thanks again!

Healthy West Jordan Committee - Weigh Biggest Loser Contest 2010

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

And the Winners Are...All of YOU!

Congratulations to all of you that completed the full 13 Week Weigh Biggest Loser Contest! 

We started out with 111 participants and 62 of you were able to stick it out all the way to the end. You should all be proud of your accomplishments over the last 13 weeks. I will post some stats a little later, but in the meantime here are the final results.

Week 13 Totals

Monday, April 26, 2010

Weigh Biggest Losers Finale!


Tuesday, April 27th from 6:30pm-8:00pm for the Weigh Biggest Loser Finale! The evening will be packed with excitement. We will announce the winners and also give away TONS of prizes through the prize drawings. We will also be conducting your final testing. We will test your cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure, waist circumference, and body composition. It will be great to see the improvements you have made over the last 13 Weeks! We will also hand out your Before and After Photos. It will a fun evening full of celebration in honor of all your hard work! We hope you can all join us!

*This is not just a quick drop by thing. We want to you plan on being there at 6:30pm and then stay until after you have completed your final testing.

Location: Gene Fullmer Recreation Center (8015 S. 2200 W.)
Time: 6:30-8:00pm

Friday, April 23, 2010

Linda Buttars Memorial Fun Run

Come celebrate your accomplishments achieved during the Weigh Biggest Losers of West Jordan Contest. Show off your new fitness skills and participate in the Linda Buttars Memorial Fun Run. The Run will take place on Saturday, May 1st, 2010 at Jordan Landing (3751 W. Center Park Dr.)

There are 3 different race options:
  • 1 Mile
  • 5K
  • 10K
The 5K and 10K will start at 8:30am and the 1 Mile will begin at 9:30am.

Pre-Registration for the race has already passed but you can still sign up the day of the race. Registration will be begin 1 hour before the race starts at the Jordan Landing Court Yard (between Iggy’s and Ruby Tuesday) at 3751 W Center Park Drive.
COST: $5.00 per individual with T-shirt
$15.00 per family (first 5) ($3.00 per additional family member, includes T-shirt)
$20.00 per business team (first 5)

You can find a copy of the Entry Form here or on the West Jordan Website

Lets show our camaraderie and wear the Weigh Biggest Loser T-Shirt during the Fun Run!

Again, we congratulate you all for your hard work during the contest and hope to see you at the Fun Run.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Peanut Butter Power Cookies

Makes Three Dozen 2-inch Cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 large eggs
1/4 cup 1% milk
1/4 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly oil or coat two large baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
Whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, flaxseed, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
Combine the sugar, peanut butter, eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla in a large bowl and beat on medium speed until well blended, about 2 minutes.
At low speed, gradually beat in the flour mixture until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Roll the dough by rounded tablespoons into balls. Place on the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart, and flatten slightly with the palm of your hand. Bake for 12 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and cool for 5 minutes before serving. Repeat with the remaining batter.

Nutrition Information per Serving: 120 calories, 6g fat (1g saturated, 3g monounsaturated, 0.3g omega-3), 90mg sodium, 15g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 3g protein

Peanut Butter Power Cookies

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

How Do You Maintain Weight Loss?

Get your head working and the middle will take care of itself!
The key to losing weight and keeping it off is to understand what really motivates you. Once you’ve felt the initial excitement of losing the first few pounds, you must find a way to turn that enthusiasm into the willpower to stick with your eating plan. You will encounter both ups and downs as you learn to maintain your weight. To help you through the downs, you need coping strategies. Think about what you really want to achieve. That desire will help you turn your eating and exercise strategies into a lifestyle that leads to lifelong weight control.
  • Ask Questions. What gives you the strength to resist temptation? Can you form new habits that you can live with forever? What are the rewards of weight loss for you? How much do you want those rewards?
  • Get Real. Losing 1 to 2 pounds a week is a realistic goal. Don’t burden yourself with unrealistic expectations. Talk with your healthcare professional to determine a healthy goal weight.
  • Stay Balanced. To maintain your weight, you must balance your intake of calories with the energy you burn. Just the difference of one 12-ounce soda (150 calories) versus at least 30 minutes of brisk walking on most days can add or subtract about 10 pounds to your weight each year!
  • Step Up to the Challenge. Strap on a pedometer and find out how many steps you take each day. Gradually add just 250 steps per day averaged out over the week. That will give you a good start on a healthy routine of physical activity. Most sedentary adults take only 2,500 to 3,500 steps a day. Aim to add between 4,000 to 6,000 to whatever you are doing now, for a total of 10,000 or more each day. The more steps you take, the better.
  • Shop Smart. Start your food control at the grocery store. Shop on a full stomach, use a list, read the labels on every food you buy, and skip any food that is not part of your chosen eating plan.
  • Take Notes. As you plan your eating and activity strategies, keep records. What types of foods are you eating? How do the calories add up? How much are you moving? As you lose weight, record what works for you and what doesn't. Review your notes so you can change strategies if needed.
  • Weigh Less. Don’t get on the scales every day. Once a week is fine. Try measuring inches lost instead of pounds.
  • Plan Ahead. Plan your meals, plan for ups and downs, plan for holidays and plan to feel great when you’ve made health a daily habit. If you can do what’s right 75 percent of the time, you’re going to succeed in the long run!
American Heart Association

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Weigh Biggest Loser Finale!

Tonight is the FINAL weigh in for the contest! You have all done SO well with your weight loss goals during the contest and we want to congratulate you for your accomplishments. We hope that you will join us next Tuesday, April 27th from 6:30pm-8:00pm for the Weigh Biggest Loser Finale!  The evening will be packed with excitement. We will announce the winners and also give away TONS of prizes through the prize drawings. We will also be conducting your final testing. We will test your cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure, waist circumference, and body composition.  It will a fun evening full of celebration in honor of all your hard work!  We hope you can all join us!

Location: Gene Fullmer Recreation Center (8015 S. 2200 W.)
Time: 6:30-8:00pm

Eat More...Chicken? Low Fat Chicken Recipes

Oven Fried Chicken
Cook Time: 25 minutes

  • 1 1/4 pounds chicken breasts, cut into four pieces
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 cups crushed cornflakes
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp dried mixed herbs
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place egg whites in a shallow bowl, and crushed cornflake crumbs, paprika and mixed herbs in another shallow bowl. Dip chicken into egg whites, then into cornflake crumbs.

Place dipped chicken on a baking tray coated with nonstick cooking spray. Cook for 20-25 minutes, turning the chicken halfway through.

Serves 4

Per Serving: Calories: 207, Calories from Fat 17, Total Fat 1.9g (sat 0.5g), Cholesterol 82mg, Sodium 269mg, Carbohydrate 12.3g, Fiber 0.4g,

Apricot Chicken
Cook Time: 22 minutes

  • 4 (5 ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves
  • 1/2 cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp reduced sodium soy or tamari sauce

Sprinkle flour on a plate. Dredge chicken breasts in flour. Heat oil on medium heat in a large skillet. Brown chicken for 3-4 minutes per side. Reduce heat to low.

Combine apricot preserves, chicken broth and soy sauce in a small bowl and add to skillet. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, until chicken is cooked through (juices should run clear).

Remove chicken, cover loosely with foil and keep warm. Turn up heat and cook sauce until slightly reduced and thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Serve chicken with pan sauce.

Serves 4

Per Serving Calories: 292, Calories from Fat 18, Total Fat 1.9g (sat 0.5g), Cholesterol 82mg, Sodium 249mg, Carbohydrate 34.2g, Fiber 0.8g, Protein 34.4g


Monday, April 19, 2010

Added Sugar: Don't Get Sabotaged By Sweeteners

Do you know how much sugar is in your diet? See why added sugar is a concern and how you can cut back.
By Mayo Clinic staff

If you're like many people, you may be eating and drinking more sugar than ever because it's added to so many foods and beverages. But this added sugar may be one of the factors in the rise in obesity and other health problems.
Does that mean you can or should avoid all sugar? Not necessarily. Sugar occurs naturally in some healthy foods. But other foods and beverages, especially sweetened soft drinks, may be high in added sugar — and low in nutritional value. Added sugar does little more than add extra calories to your diet and set the stage for potential health problems.

Learn more about added sugar, including the types of added sugar, where it's most commonly found and how you can cut back on added sugar in your diet. When you know more about added sugar, you can be a savvy consumer — and maybe a healthier one, too.

Why added sugar is in so many foods

All sugar, whether natural or processed, is a type of simple carbohydrate that your body uses for energy. Sugar occurs naturally in some unprocessed foods that are staples of a healthy diet — fruits, vegetables, milk and some grains. Various forms of processed sugars and syrups also are added to foods and beverages, especially nondiet soft drinks — these are known as added sugar.

While added sugar has no nutritional value, it serves many functions in food manufacturing. Added sugar:
  • Boosts flavor
  • Gives baked goods texture and color
  • Helps preserve foods such as jams and jellies
  • Fuels fermentation, which produces alcohol and enables bread to rise
  • Serves as a bulking agent in baked goods and ice cream
  • Balances the acidity of foods containing vinegar and tomatoes
In some cases, adding a small amount of sugar may be helpful. For instance, adding a small amount of sugar to healthy breakfast cereals and reduced-fat milk products can make these healthy options more appealing to children who might otherwise avoid them.

Why added sugar can be a problem

Added sugar probably isn't harmful in small amounts. But there's no health advantage to consuming any amount of added sugar. And too much added sugar, and in some cases naturally occurring sugar, can lead to such health problems as:
  • Tooth decay. All forms of sugar promote tooth decay by allowing bacteria to grow. The more often and longer you snack on foods and beverages with either natural sugar or added sugar, the more likely you are to develop cavities, especially if you don't practice good oral hygiene.
  • Poor nutrition. If you fill up on foods laden with added sugar, you may skimp on nutritious foods, which means you could miss out on important nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Regular soda plays an especially big role. It's easy to fill up on sweetened soft drinks and skip low-fat milk and even water — giving you lots of extra sugar and calories and no nutritional value.
  • Weight gain. There's usually no single cause for being overweight or obese. But added sugar likely contributes to the problem. One reason is that added sugar helps makes food taste better, and that may encourage you to keep eating even when you don't need to or aren't actually hungry. Sugar is also very energy dense, which means a small amount of food or drink with added sugar has a large amount of calories.
  • Increased triglycerides. Some evidence suggests that eating an excessive amount of added sugar can increase triglyceride levels, boosting your risk of heart disease.
Recommendations for consuming added sugar

So how much added sugar should you eat? Unfortunately, it's not necessarily clear-cut. Health experts do agree that the calories you get from foods and drinks with added sugar are discretionary — you can have them, but it's not recommended. Discretionary calories are calories from sweets, fats and alcohol that should be included in your diet only if you have calories to spare after eating nutritious meals during the day, including plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and lean proteins.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which provides recommendations on good dietary habits to promote health and reduce the risk of diseases, doesn't spell out how much added sugar you should get. But the guidelines do suggest the number of discretionary calories you can have based on your situation, such as age and physical activity level. For example, if you should consume 2,000 calories a day for a healthy diet, 267 of those calories would be discretionary calories that you could "spend" on food or drinks that contain added sugar, solid fats and alcohol. The more you have of one, the less you can have of another. For instance, you could consume all of your discretionary calories either by eating one sugary snack or by having a couple of alcoholic drinks.

The American Heart Association (AHA), however, is so concerned about health problems related to the excess consumption of added sugar that in August 2009 it issued specific recommendations. These recommendations go beyond the guidance from the USDA. The AHA recommends that no more than half of your discretionary allowance of calories come from added sugar.

In general, the AHA says that most American women should consume no more than 100 calories a day from added sugar, and that most American men should consume no more than 150 calories a day from added sugar — and that even less is better. That's about 6 teaspoons of added sugar for women and 9 for men. Your age and activity level help determine the specific amount of added sugar suitable for you. To put things into perspective, one 12-ounce can of a sweetened soft drink contains 8 teaspoons of added sugar, or about 130 calories.

Most Americans get more than 22 teaspoons a day of added sugar — or 355 calories — far exceeding both USDA guidelines and American Heart Association recommendations.

How to reduce added sugar in your diet

If you want to reduce the added sugar in your diet, follow these tips:
  • Cut out sugary, nondiet sodas.
  • Limit candy, gum and other sweets that are high in added sugar.
  • Choose breakfast cereals carefully. Although healthy breakfast cereals can contain added sugar to make them more appealing to children, skip the non-nutritious, sugary and frosted cereals.
  • Have fresh fruit for dessert instead of cakes, cookies, pies and other sweets.
  • If you choose canned fruit, make sure it's packed in water or juice, not syrup.
  • Have your children drink more milk or water and less fruit juice and fruit drinks — and yourself, too. Even 100 percent fruit juice has a high concentration of sugar.
  • Eat fewer added-sugar processed foods, such as sweetened grains like honey-nut waffles and some microwaveable meals.
  • Go easy on the condiments — sugar is added to salad dressings and ketchup.
  • Opt for reduced-sugar varieties of syrups, jams, jellies and preserves.
  • Be aware that dairy-based desserts and processed milk products, such as ice cream and sweetened yogurt, can contain lots of added sugar.
  • Avoid blended coffee drinks with flavored syrup and sweet toppings.
  • Drink alcohol only in moderation, since it contains sugar.
  • Snack on vegetables, fruit, low-fat cheese, whole-grain crackers, and low-fat, low-calorie yogurt instead of candy, pastries and cookies.
  • Recognizing added sugar
  • If you're not sure which foods and beverages contain added sugar, don't despair. First, know that among the biggest culprits behind excessive amounts of added sugar are soft drinks and sugary fruit drinks.
  • Ways to spot added sugar:
  • Read the front of the food package. Some, but not all packages, state whether an item is sugar-free or contains no added sugar. But be aware that some sugar-free products may contain sugar substitutes, and some of these can cause stomach or digestive upset.
  • Check the ingredient list. Ingredients are listed in descending order by weight. So if you see sugar listed among the first few ingredients, the product might be high in added sugar. Know that sugar goes by many different names, though — it may not be easy to spot added sugar even in the ingredient list. And natural sugars generally aren't included in the ingredient list.
  • Read the Nutrition Facts label. The label is required to list an item's total amount of sugar per serving. However, it doesn't distinguish between added sugar and naturally occurring sugar.
  • Check for grocery store nutrition rating systems. These nutrition rating systems, such as Guiding Stars and NuVal, use symbols, scores or colors to indicate how a product rates in terms of calories, fiber, fat, sodium, and sometimes sugar and other nutrients.
  • Different names for added sugar
  • Sugar goes by many different names, depending on its source and how it was made. This can make it confusing to identify added sugar, even when you read ingredient lists and food labels. One easy way: Check for ingredients ending in "ose" &mdsah; that's the chemical name for many types of sugar, such as fructose.
Here's a look at common types of sugar and added sugar:
  • Brown sugar. Granulated white sugar with added molasses for flavor and color, commonly used in baking.
  • Cane juice and cane syrup. Sugar from processed sugar cane. Further processing produces brown or white solid cane sugar.
  • Confectioners' sugar. Granulated white sugar that has been ground into a fine powder, sometimes with a small amount of cornstarch. Commonly used in icings and whipped toppings.
  • Corn sweeteners and corn syrup. Corn sugars and corn syrups made from corn and processed cornstarch.
  • Dextrose. Another name for glucose.
  • Fructose. Sugar that occurs naturally in fruits, vegetables and honey.
  • Fruit juice concentrate. A form of sugar made when water is removed from whole juice to make it more concentrated.
  • Glucose. A simple sugar that provides your body's main source of energy. Also called blood sugar because it circulates in your blood.
  • Granulated white sugar. This is table sugar, or pure crystallized sucrose, made by processing raw sugar from sugar cane or sugar beets. It's commonly used in baking or to sweeten tea or coffee.
  • High fructose corn syrup. The most common sweetener in processed foods and beverages, this is a combination of fructose and glucose made by processing corn syrup.
  • Honey. A mix of glucose, fructose and sucrose created from nectar made by bees.
  • Invert sugar. Used as a food additive to preserve freshness and prevent shrinkage, this is a mix of fructose and glucose made by processing sucrose.
  • Lactose. Sugar that occurs naturally in milk.
  • Maltose. Starch and malt broken down into simple sugars and used commonly in beer, bread and baby food.
  • Malt syrup. A grain syrup made from evaporated corn mash and sprouted barley.
  • Molasses. The thick, dark syrup that's left after sugar beets or sugar cane is processed for table sugar.
  • Sucrose. The chemical name for granulated white sugar (table sugar).
  • Syrup. Sugar comes in many forms of syrup, a thick, sweet liquid that can be made from the processing of sugar or from sugar cane, grains such as corn or rice, maple sap, and other sources.
  • White sugar. Same as granulated white sugar (table sugar).

Friday, April 16, 2010

Fruity Chicken Kebabs

Makes 4 Servings

8 ounces roasted deli chicken or turkey, sliced 3/4-inch thick
Eight 8-inch wooden skewers
16 green grapes
12 strawberries, cut in half lengthwise

Cut the chicken into 3/4-inch cubes. To make the kebabs, thread 3 pieces of cubed chicken, 2 grapes, and 3 strawberry halves on to each skewer in any order that you and your children choose. Be sure to leave enough space at the bottom so the kids can hold the skewers comfortably.
To wrap, lay 2 skewers on a sheet of aluminum foil and fold the foil loosely over the kebabs.

Tip: Pack with an all-natural fruit smoothie and a mini whole wheat bagel with light cream cheese to round out the lunch.

Nutrition Information per Serving: 90 calories, 1g fat (0g saturated), 340mg sodium, 8g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 13g protein, 60% vitamin C

Fruity Chicken Kebabs

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tips for Eating Out

Food choices away from home are important to your health and weight because many of us are eating more meals away from home. Fortunately, making healthful and delicious choices in restaurants is also easier today. Restaurants of all types are responding to customers’ desires with more options in portion sizes, preparation methods and menu items:
  • More appetizer-size portions of popular entrées
  • More baked and broiled choices in meat, fish and poultry
  • More fruit and vegetables side orders to substitute for fries.
Hit the Bricks
Make physical activity part of dining out. All you need is a comfortable pair of shoes:

  • Walk from Home or the Office. Pick a restaurant that’s a 10- or 15-minute walk away. You'll get your meal and 30 minutes of physical activity and avoid the parking hassles.
  • Walk with Family or Friends. Get moving as a group before or after eating. A brisk walk before a meal gives you time to chat. A stroll afterward helps your digestion.
  • Walk Up Instead of Driving Thru. Park your car in the lot and walk inside to get your fast food order. And make fast food an occasional treat rather than a daily habit.
Right-Size Your Serving Sizes
Becoming sensible about serving sizes is an important way to maintain a healthy weight and it’s good for your wallet too.
  • Instead of a large entrée, order an appetizer and a leafy green salad or choose two appetizers for a meal.
  • Start with a small serving like a cup of soup, a junior burger or a small order of fries. If you are still hungry, order something else.
  • Indulge your inner child: Order a kid’s meal at a fast-food restaurant. Many now offer a choice of low-fat milk and fruits or vegetables instead of fries.
  • Savor your steak twice as much. Eat half at the restaurant, then take the other half home to enjoy sliced onto a green salad or as a sandwich on whole-grain bread.
  • Ask for a to-go box as soon as your meal is served. Put half your food into the container for a second meal. That’s two meals for the price of one.
  • Share from start to finish. Order one appetizer for the whole table and then order one dessert with multiple forks. Sometimes, just a bite or two is perfect.
  • Share an entrée. You can ask your server to split the meal in the kitchen or divide it up yourselves at the table.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Double Strawberry Smoothie Pie

Makes 8 Servings

Pie Crust:1 ¼ cups Graham Cracker crumbs (or enough crushed Graham crackers to equal 1 ¼ cups)
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 egg white, beaten
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 tablespoon canola oil

Pie Filling:
1 ½ cups frozen strawberries, thawed
1 cup cranberry strawberry juice, divided
2 envelopes unflavored gelatine
3/4 cup strawberry lowfat yogurt
3 tablespoons granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, stir together the Graham cracker crumbs, flaxseed, sugar, egg white, butter, and canola oil until well combined.
Using the back of a large spoon, press the crumb mixture firmly on the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes. Cool before filling.
Meanwhile, in a blender, blend together the strawberries and ½ cup of the juice until smooth. Pour into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir occasionally to break up any frothy bubbles
Place the remaining ½ cup juice in a large bowl. Sprinkle the gelatine over the juice and let stand 1 minute. Add the hot juice mixture and stir or gently whisk until the gelatine completely dissolves, about 5 minutes. Stir in the yogurt and sugar.
Pour the mixture into the pie plate. Refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours. Serve with whipped cream as desired.

Nutrition Information per Serving: 180 calories, 6g fat (1.5g saturated, 0.5g omega-3), 130mg sodium, 28g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 4g protein, 20% vitamin C

Double Strawberry Smoothie Pie

Monday, April 12, 2010

Walking...Marvelously Inexpensive

Walking is a wonderful thing!  It is free and can be done ultimately anywhere, not to mention it is for most people an easy form of physical activity.

Benefits of walking could include but are not limited to:
  • Help you feel rejuvinated and give yourself a boost of energy
  • Reduce stress and help you relax
  • Increase muscle tone
  • Help your body burn more calories
  • Strengthen your muscles and bones
  • Increase your fitness level and endurance
  • Give you a chance to spend time with friends and family. This is a great socializing time.
  • Help maintain a healthy body weight.
Walking and moderate physical activity for 30 mins a day can help reduce your risk for multiple chronic conditions.
  • Reduce Risk for Heart Disease
  • Reduce Risk or Improve Type II Diabetes
    • Lower blood sugar levels (glucose)
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Lower blood sugar
  • Reduce risk of osteoporosis
  • Reduce risk of breast and colon cancer
Location, Location, Location
The possibility of walking locations is endless and that is the beauty of walking.  It can be done almost anywhere.  Places you could take a walk could include:
  • Neighborhoods
  • Local Parks
  • The High School Track
  • Shopping Centers / Malls
  • Recreation Centers
  • The Jordan Parkway or Local Walking Trails

Friday, April 9, 2010

Weigh Biggest Loser Poll

Hey Everyone,
Last night the Healthy West Jordan Committee met and discussed the possibility of doing a few follow up weigh ins after the contest ends. We want to encourage all the participants in the Weigh Biggest Loser contest to either maintain or continue to lose weight after the contest ends. Therefore, we are considering holding three follow up weigh ins: one at 3 months, one at 6 months and one at 9 months. We would like your feedback to know if this is something the participants in the contest are interested in. We have also discussed the possibility of offering prizes to participants that maintain or lose more weight after the contest ends. We have placed a poll on the blog and would like you to all vote. The poll is located in the lefthand column above the weekly prize winners. The poll will close on 4/27/10 at 8:00am. So, cast your vote now! You can also post comments and feedback at the bottom of this blog post!


Also...Make sure you wear your Weigh Biggest Loser T-Shirt during the Linda Buttars Memorial Fun Run on May 1st. 

Szechuan Beef Stir-Fry

Makes 4 Servings

1 package (10 ounces) fresh vegetable stir-fry blend (broccoli, carrots, snow peas)
3 tablespoons water
2 beef shoulder center steaks (Ranch Steaks), cut 3/4 inch thick (about 8 ounces each)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup prepared sesame-ginger stir-fry sauce
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 cups hot cooked rice or brown rice, prepared without butter or salt
1/4 cup dry-roasted peanut

DirectionsCombine vegetables and water in large nonstick skillet; cover and cook over medium-high heat 4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove and drain vegetables. Set aside.
Meanwhile cut beef steaks into 1/4-inch thick strips.
Heat the same skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add half of beef and half of the garlic; stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes or until outside surface of beef is no longer pink. Remove from skillet; keep warm. Repeat with remaining beef and garlic.
Return all beef and vegetables to skillet. Add stir-fry sauce and red pepper; cook and stir 1 to 2 minutes or until heated through. Spoon over rice. Sprinkle with peanuts.

Nutrition Information per Serving: 351 calories; 11 g fat (3 g saturated fat; 5 g monounsaturated fat); 64 mg cholesterol; 1147 mg sodium; 29 g carbohydrate; 3.0 g fiber; 32 g protein; 5.4 mg niacin; 0.3 mg vitamin B6; 2.9 mcg vitamin B12; 4.1 mg iron; 33.0 mcg selenium; 6.6 mg zinc

Szechuan Beef Stir-Fry

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Eating Right Means Drinking Right

The human body is made up of 50 to 75 percent water, or about 10 to 12 gallons, so replenishing your body’s water supply is crucial for proper function.
Staying well-hydrated may seem like a simple task, but you actually may not be consuming enough fluid. At minimum, the average adult female should consume 9 (8 oz) glasses of water or water-based beverages every day. Men need about 13 glasses. The actual amount you should consume may be higher based on your physical activity level, body muscle mass and exterior temperature.

According to the American Dietetic Association’s Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, the average adult loses about 2½ quarts or about 10 cups of water daily. To maintain your body fluid balance, you need to replace it each day.

Some great ways to make sure you're drinking enough each day are to take a water break instead of a coffee break, keep a cup or bottle of water handy at your desk, take a drink whenever you walk by a water fountain and keep a bottle of water in your backpack or tote bag. All fluids like juice, tea, soup and even coffee count, so drink up.

“Although there are many theories about the amount to drink, a safe bet is to drink at least eight cups of water each day to make sure you are properly hydrated,” says registered dietitian and American Dietetic Association spokesperson Dee Sandquist. “If you’re working out regularly, you should ideally drink even more than eight cups.”

Sandquist offers ways to make sure you’re drinking enough water each day: "Take a water break instead of a coffee break, keep a cup or bottle of water handy at your desk, take a drink whenever you walk by a water fountain and keep a bottle of water in your backpack or tote bag. All fluids like juice, tea, soup and even coffee count, so drink up.”

Sandquist notes that many foods have a high water content, too:


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Chocolaty Coconut Mini Tortes

Makes 2 Dozen

8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (about 1 ¼ cups)
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
5 large eggs, beaten
Confectioners’ sugar


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil or coat 24 mini muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
Stir the chocolate chips and canola oil in a medium saucepan over low heat until the chips melt, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, and coconut in a large bowl until well combined. Whisk in the eggs until well blended. Add the melted chocolate mixture and stir to combine.
Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared muffin cups (depending on the size of your muffin cups, you may need to fill them 3/4 of the way full or completely to the top, so be sure to spray the pan well). Bake about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool for 5 minutes. Remove the tortes and cool. To add “snow” to the tops of each torte, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.

Nutrition Information per Serving (1 torte): 150 calories, 9g fat (3g saturated, 0.5g omega-3), 15mg sodium, 18g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 2g protein

Monday, April 5, 2010

Workouts On The Web

Have you ever heard of Workouts on the Web? It is a program run through the Utah Department of Health's Physical Activity, Nutrition and Obesity Program and KUTV 2 Check Your Health.  This resource has a lot of information about exercise that may be helpful.  Check it out!

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also has a couple videos for exercises you can do in your own home.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Pesto Pizza

Makes 10 to 12 Servings

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ to 2 pounds onions
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
One 5 to 6-ounce bag baby spinach, about 4 packed cups
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup pesto
2 large partially baked, thin pizza crusts (we use Boboli)
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, baked and thinly sliced widthwise *
One 8-ounce package 25% reduced fat mozzarella cheese slices (we use Alpine Lace)

Peel the onions, cut in half lengthwise, and slice into very thin, 1/8-inch half-moons.
Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until caramelized - they’ll be very soft and golden brown - about 30 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and spinach and cook until the spinach wilts, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Meanwhile, spread the pesto evenly over the two pizza crust. Top evenly with the onion mixture. Arrange the chicken over the onion mixture; then place the cheese slices evenly on top.
Bake according to package directions until the cheese melts, 8 to 10 minutes. Slice and serve.

* To bake the chicken, arrange the breast halves in a baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Bake at 350ºF until the chicken is no longer pink, 35 minutes.

Nutrition Information per Serving: 330 calories, 13g fat (4g saturated), 530mg sodium, 34g carbohydrate, 93 fiber, 20g protein, 15% vitamin A, 10% vitamin C, 20% calcium, 15% iron

Pesto Pizza

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Smart Fruit and Veggie Snacks

You probably already know fruits and vegetables are good for health. However, you may not know just how good produce is for your kids. Naturally nutrient-rich and mostly fat-free, fruit and veggie snacks help children close critical nutrient gaps without adding extra calories.
Produce helps kids get the potassium, magnesium and fiber most American youth are missing. Fruits and vegetables are also rich sources of the antioxidants that help in the prevention of cancer, diabetes and heart disease. For children and adults alike, eating more fruit and vegetable snacks is one of the smartest food moves you can make.

Place Fresh Produce in Sight

It’s no secret fresh fruit and vegetables provide a nutrition boost for everyone in your family. But, how can you get kids to eat more for snacks?

The answer is in plain sight. That’s right; just keep bright, colorful produce where everyone can easily grab something for a snack-on-the-run. Keep a bowl of fresh, just ripe whole fruit in the center of your kitchen or dining table. Keep small bags of fresh veggie snacks (carrots, celery sticks and broccoli florets) at eye level in the fridge.

Try Dried Variations

Dried fruit is the perfect snack for on-the-go kids. It doesn’t need refrigeration and it never makes a squishy mess in backpacks. Choose dried fruit with little or no added sugar: apples, apricots, blueberries and raisins are often dried with just their own natural sweetness. Add dried fruit to trail mix or to fresh fruit salads for a splash of color and a healthy dose of nutrients. Dried beans and peas count as vegetables, so look for crunchy dried soybean, pea and chickpea snacks.

Stock Your Pantry with Canned Choices

Canned fruits make appealing, quick and inexpensive snacks. Enjoy fruits canned in juice or, like natural applesauce, made without added sugar. Divide larger cans into smaller portions in reusable plastic containers or buy the convenient single-serve containers of canned fruits, such as mandarin oranges, pineapple chunks and applesauce.

Convenient, inexpensive and packed with nutrition, canned beans make zesty snack dips when mixed with other vegetables, such as canned corn and spicy salsa.

Cut Costs with Frozen Options

Frozen fruits are often less expensive but just as nutritious as the fresh varieties. Purchase frozen strawberries, raspberries and blueberries in large bags; then use small handfuls for yogurt toppings or as smoothie ingredients. Kids love frozen bars made from 100 percent fruit and juice (buy commercial or make-your-own) as a sweet and refreshing treat on hot days. Like their canned cousins, frozen vegetables are delicious. Try microwaving quickly and adding to bean and salsa dip combinations.

Top 10 Reasons to Eat MORE Fruits & Vegetables

Why eat MORE fruits and veggies?
  1. Color & Texture. Fruits and veggies add color, texture … and appeal … to your plate.
  2. Convenience. Nutritious in any form - fresh, frozen, canned, dried and 100% juice, so they’re ready when you are!
  3. Fiber. Fruits and veggies provide fiber that helps fill you up and keeps your digestive system happy.
  4. Low in Calories. Fruits and veggies are naturally low in calories.
  5. May Reduce Disease Risk. Eating plenty of fruits and veggies may help reduce the risk of many diseases, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and some cancers.
  6. Vitamins & Minerals. Fruits and veggies are rich in vitamins and minerals that help you feel healthy and energized.
  7. Variety. Fruits and veggies are available in an almost infinite variety…there’s always something new to try!
  8. Quick, Natural Snack. Fruits and veggies are nature’s treat and easy to grab for a snack.
  9. Fun to Eat! Some crunch, some squirt, some you peel … some you don’t, and some grow right in your own backyard!
  10. Taste Great!

Additional Resources:

Week 10 Weight Loss Totals