Friday, December 9, 2011

Spread the word!

Registration is now open for the 5th Annual West Jordan Weigh Biggest Loser Contest. The Contest Kickoff will begin on January 17th, 2012. More information about the contest can be found under the Events sections on the Healthy West Jordan Facebook Page.

Register Now!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Save the Date: 2012 Weigh Biggest Losers of West Jordan Contest

January 17th: 6:00pm Gene Fullmer Recreation Center (8015 S. 2200 W.)

1st Official Weigh-In and Pre-Assessments:
January 24th: 5:30pm-7:30pm West Jordan City Hall (8000 S. Redwood Rd.)

Weekly Weigh-Ins:
January 31st - April 17th 5:30pm-7:30pm West Jordan City Hall (8000 S. Redwood Rd.)

Final Weigh-In and Post-Assessments:
April 24th: 5:30pm-7:30pm West Jordan City Hall (8000 S. Redwood Rd.)

May 1st: 6:00pm Gene Fullmer Recreation Center (8015 S. 2200 W.)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Weigh Biggest Loser Survey

The survey for the 2011 Weigh Biggest Loser Contest is now available.

We would really appreciate your feedback on the contest this year. The survey will remain open until Sunday, May 8th, 2011 at 11:30pm. Please take a few minutes to gives us your two cents. Thanks!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Final Results

The final results are now posted under the Weekly Weight Loss Totals. We did make the correction with the final weight on Steve Crane so he ended up moving to 4th place and Jim Simpson moved down to 5th place.

Great job everyone! Keep it up!

Watch for the survey in order to provide your feedback on the contest. You will be getting information about the survey in the next couple days.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Replenish your Body and Mind

You are what you eat. As old-fashioned and corny as it sounds, it’s true. If you don’t feed your body and your mind well, the stress and strain of caregiving will take a much greater toll. Here are some tips on getting the best nutrition for the least amount of effort. Once you start eating right, it will be easier to get your loved one started on some heart-healthy, nutritious habits. Set a goal to eat 80 percent healthy. It will be easier to succeed, and you can use the other 20 percent for whatever makes you happy.

Top 10 Food Tips
  1. Eat a wide variety of foods to be sure you get all the nutrients your body needs.
  2. Choose lean meats, poultry without skin, and fish at least twice per week. Prepare them without added saturated and trans fat. Cuts of red meat and pork labeled ‘loin’ and ‘round’ usually have the least amount of fat. Many fish, such as salmon, trout and herring, contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
  3. Switch to whole-grain, high-fiber foods, such as whole wheat, oats/oatmeal, whole rye, whole-grain barley and whole-grain corn. Also try popcorn, brown rice, wild rice, buckwheat, bulgar (cracked wheat), millet, quinoa and sorghum.
  4. Eat vegetables and fruit. They are a “nutrition bargain” because they’re low in calories and high in vitamins, minerals and fiber. Eat a variety, especially deeply colored vegetables and fruit, such as spinach, carrots, peaches and berries.
  5. Select fat-free or low-fat dairy products. Minimize your intake of whole-fat dairy products such as butter and whole milk or full-fat dairy products (yogurt, cheeses).
  6. Cut back on foods containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oils to reduce trans fat in your diet. Use liquid vegetable oils and soft margarines in place of hard margarine or shortening. Limit cakes, cookies, crackers, pastries, pies, muffins, doughnuts and French fries made with partially hydrogenated or saturated fats.
  7. Cut back on foods high in dietary cholesterol. Try to eat less than 300 mg of cholesterol each day. Some cholesterol containing foods include eggs (about 200 mg per yolk) and “organ meats” such as liver (375 mg per 3 oz.)
  8. Cut back on beverages and foods with added sugars. These foods tend to be low in vitamins and minerals, and the calories add up quickly. Examples of added sugars are sucrose, fructose, maltose, dextrose, corn syrups, high-fructose corn syrup, concentrated fruit juice and honey.
  9. Drinking plenty of water every day will keep you “plum” healthy. When you don’t drink enough water, your body is more like a prune. Not a happy thought!
  10. Choose and prepare foods with little or no salt. Choose frozen foods, soups, cereals, baked goods and other processed foods labeled “reduced-sodium.”
American Heart Association

Friday, April 15, 2011

Lemon Green Beans with Parsley and Almonds

Serves: 4 (1/2 cup per serving)
Cooking Time: 10 minutes

The lively taste of lemon and the wonderful crunch of dry-roasted almonds add the perfect accents to fresh green beans.

8 ounces fresh green beans, trimmed, cut into 1 1/2- to 2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
2 Tbsp. sliced almonds, dry-roasted
1 Tbsp. finely snipped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/8 tsp. pepper

In a large saucepan, steam the beans for 10 minutes, or until tender-crisp. Transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with the remaining ingredients. Stir gently to coat. Serve immediately for the best texture.
Cook's Tip:
Dry-roasting nuts brings out their flavor. Put the nuts in a single layer in an ungreased skillet. Dry-roast over medium heat for about 4 minutes, or until just fragrant, stirring frequently and watching carefully so they don't burn. Remove the skillet from the burner so the nuts don't continue to cook.

Nutrition Facts: (per serving)
Calories: 35
Total Fat: 1.5 g
Saturated Fat: 0.0 g
Trans Fat:0.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 1.0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 4 mg
Carbohydrates: 5 g
Fiber: 2 g
Sugar: 1 g
Protein: 2 g

Dietary Exchanges: 1 vegatable, 1/2 fat
Source: American Heart Association

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Finale Details

Come celebrate all your hardwork!

The Weigh Biggest Loser Contest Finale will be held at the Gene Fullmer Recreation Center (8015 S. 2700 W.) at 6:30pm on April 19th (We are planning on the finale being about 1 hour). We will be announcing the winners of the contest as well as giving out tons of awesome prizes! DON'T MISS OUT...I PROMISE YOU WILL WANT TO BE THERE!

We will not be posting results from the final weigh in until after the finale. We wouldn't want to ruin the surprise! You will just have to come next Tuesday, April 19th to find out.

Next week after the finale we will be sending out a survey via email in order to get your feedback on the contest. We want to thank you in advanced for the feedback you will give us to help make the contest even better next year! More details to stay tuned!


Healthy West Jordan Committee

Lemony Tilapia and Asparagus Grill

Serves: 4 (3 ounces tilapia and about 6 asparagus spears per serving)
Cooking Time: 25 minutes from start to finish

Dinner is so quick and easy when you grill tilapia and asparagus side by side. A combination of chili powder and lemon pepper enhances the mild flavor of the fish, and a seasoned vinegar and oil mixture adds flair to the asparagus.

Cooking spray
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt-free lemon pepper
1 lb. fresh asparagus spears (about 24), trimmed
1 1/2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt-free lemon pepper
3/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. cayenne
1/8 tsp. salt
4 tilapia fillets (about 4 ounces each), rinsed and patted dry
1 medium lemon, quartered

Lightly spray the grill rack with cooking spray. Preheat the grill on medium high. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the oil, vinegar, garlic powder, and 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper. Pour into a large shallow casserole dish. Add the asparagus, turning several times to coat. In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, 1 teaspoon lemon pepper, garlic powder, cayenne, and salt. Sprinkle half the mixture over one side of the fish, pressing lightly so the seasonings adhere. Lightly spray with cooking spray. Turn the fish over and repeat. Remove the asparagus from the marinade, discarding the marinade. Place the fish and asparagus lengthwise so they are perpendicular to the grates of the grill. (For the fish, you can also use a grill basket lightly sprayed with cooking spray.) Grill the fish for about 3 minutes on each side, or until it flakes easily when tested with a fork. Grill the asparagus for 4 to 5 minutes, turning frequently. Transfer both to a platter. Squeeze the lemon over the fish.

Nutrition Facts: (per serving)
Total Fat: 2.5 g
Saturated Fat: 1.0 g
Trans Fat: 0.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 1.0 g
Cholesterol: 57 mg
Sodium: 162 mg
Carbohydrates: 7 g
Fiber: 3 g
Sugar: 3 g
Protein: 25 g

Dietary Exchanges: 3 very lean meat, 1/2 carbohydrate

Source: American Heart Association

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

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.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Strawberry Breakfast Mousse

Serves: 4 (1/2 cup per serving)

1 cup quartered strawberries
1/2 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
1/2 cup fat-free vanilla yogurt
2 tablespoons all-fruit strawberry spread
3/4 cup fat-free frozen whipped topping, thawed in refrigerator
4 fresh mint springs (optional)

In a blender, process the strawberries, ricotta, yogurt, and strawberry spread for 20 to 30 seconds, or until smooth, stirring halfway through.Pour into a medium bowl. Gently fold in the whipped topping. Spoon into custard cups or small bowls. Garnish with the mint.

Cook's Tip:
This strawberry mousse is also delicious spooned over fresh berries, such as blueberries. A serving would be a half-cup fresh berries and 2 tablespoons mousse.
Nutrition Facts: (per serving)
Calories: 114
Total Fat: 1.5g
Saturated Fat: 1.0 g
Trans Fat 0.0
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.0
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.5g
Cholesterol: 8mg
Sodium: 58mg
Carbohydrates: 20g
Fiber: 1g
Sugar: 14g
Protein: 4g
Dietary Exchanges: 1 1/2 carbohydrate
Source: American Heart Association

Friday, April 8, 2011

Chicken Rotini Salad with Rosemary

Serves: 4 (1 1/2 cups per serving)

The combination of bright green spinach, rich red tomatoes, and shiny black olives makes this salad pop with color as well as taste.
4 ounces dried multigrain rotini
1 1/2 cups cubed cooked skinless chicken breasts, cooked without salt (about 7 1/2 ounces cooked) (see Cook’s Tip at end of recipe)
1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained, and coarsely chopped
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved (about 5 ounces)
1 cup fresh baby spinach (about 1 ounce)
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
1 2.25-ounce can sliced black olives, drained
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil (extra-virgin preferred)
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 cup crumbled low-fat blue cheese

In a stockpot or large saucepan, prepare the pasta using the package directions, omitting the salt and oil. Drain in a colander. Run under cold water to stop the cooking process and cool the pasta quickly. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients except the blue cheese. Stir in the pasta. Gently fold in the blue cheese.

Cook's Tip:
It is so convenient to prepare extra chicken breasts to keep in the freezer for those hectic nights, but if you don’t have any available for this dish, discard all the visible fat from 10 ounces of skinless, boneless chicken breasts, then cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Remove the skillet from the burner and lightly spray with cooking spray (keeping far from a gas flame). Cook the chicken for 3 to 4 minutes, or until no longer pink in the center, stirring constantly.

Nutrition Facts: (per serving)
Calories: 296
Total Fat: 9.0 g
Saturated Fat: 2.0g
Trans Fat: 0.0
Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.0g
Monounsaturated Fat: 4.5g
Cholesterol: 48mg
Sodium: 444mg
Carbohydrates: 29g
Fiber: 5g
Sugar: 3g
Protein: 25g

Dietary Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 1 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable

Source: American Heart Association

Thursday, April 7, 2011

2011 Linda Buttars Memorial Fun Run

Saturday, May 21, 2010
* 10K-8:30 am * 5K-8:30 am * 1 Mile-9:30 am
Starts at Jordan Landing Court Yard - 3751 W. Center Park Drive

PRE-REGISTRATION (In Person / Mail / or online on

*WBL participants we recommend you sign up in person at the final weigh in next week. If you register online you will have to pay an online registration fee. Print out the Entry Form and bring it with you next week. WBL participants get a free entry into the race.

Pre-Registration deadline is: 5:00 p.m. Friday, May 6th (After this date shirts not guaranteed)
Late registration is an additional $6 per entry

REGISTRATION DAY OF RACE: One hour before the start of the races at the Jordan Landing Court Yard (between Iggy’s and Ruby Tuesday) at 3751 W Center Park Drive.

COST: $6.00 per individual with T-shirt
$20.00 per family (first 5) ($3.00 per additional family member, includes T-shirt)
$25.00 per business team (first 5)

COURSES: All are loop (start/finish at the Jordan Landing Court Yard) with a slight grade. No steep hills.

1 MILE WALK: Includes stroller moms and dogs on a leash

10K & 5K AGE DIVISIONS: (proof of age may be required) 14 & under, 15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60 and over.

For “family” or “business team” please fill out ONE entry form PER PERSON then staple all entry forms together and submit as a single group. Please make check payable to: Healthy West Jordan Committee.


Topping, Oil, Seasoning & Salt Tips

Try different toppings.
  • In recipes that call for sour cream, use buttermilk or plain yogurt instead.
  • On baked potatoes, skip the sour cream and gravy—instead, try plain yogurt or a little butter or trans fat-free margarine.
  • Plain yogurt makes a great topping for fruit and other desserts.
Use less gravy.
  • Make healthier gravy—pour off the fat, thicken the meat juices, and go easy on the salt.
  • Instead of gravy on your meat, try using tomato, barbecue, Worcestershire or steak sauces—Avoid sauces high in salt. Try to buy sauces labeled “no salt added” or “low sodium”.
  • Use a little trans fat-free margarine or gravy on brown rice or mashed potatoes.
Choose trans fat-free margarine.
  • When you use margarine, look for tub or squeeze margarines that say trans fat-free.
  • Don’t use regular stick margarines or shortening, which are high in trans fats.
  • Stay away from lard (high in saturated fat).
Use vegetable oil for frying.
  • Vegetable oils are better for your heart than bacon grease or shortening.
  • When you fry, use vegetable oil—just enough to keep the food from sticking.
Get creative when you bake.
  • Use vegetable oil instead of margarine, lard, butter, or shortening for baking. Two teaspoons of oil can replace one tablespoon of hard shortening.
  • For muffins and cakes, replace some of the margarine or butter with buttermilk, applesauce, or pureed prunes.
Use healthy seasonings for vegetables and salads.
  • Instead of fatback, side meat, or stick margarine, season your vegetables with these:
    • A small amount of lean ham
    • Onions and garlic with vegetable oil
    • Vinegar or lemon juice
    • Low sodium bouillon
    • Fresh or dried herbs
    • A little transfat-free margarine
  • Make your own olive oil and vinegar dressing for tossed salads—stay away from bottled dressings with a lot of salt (sodium) and watch out for dressings with high fructose corn syrup or other sugars.
Go the low salt way.
  • Buy foods that say low or reduced salt (sodium) or no salt added.
  • Eat out less often at restaurants—even healthy restaurant meals often have a lot of salt.
  • Keep the salt shaker away from where you cook and eat.
  • Taste your food before salting it. You’ll get used to the taste of less salt.
  • Use seasonings like pepper, lemon juice, vinegar, herbs, and spices.
Mix your favorite herbs or spices in a handy shaker.
  • Watch out! Packaged meals with noodles can be high in salt (sodium) and trans fats.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Chicken Vegetable Stir Fry

Serves: 4 (1 heaping cup per serving)

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 7-10 minutes

This basic stir-fry recipe gives you many options. You can choose between Asian and Italian flavorings and vary the meat. (See Italian Stir-Fry and Cook's Tip below) Save more time by using precut vegetables or no-salt-added frozen mixed vegetables (no need to thaw). Even if you make only half of this recipe, you'll probably want the entire about of sauce.

2 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. bottled low-sodium stir fry sauce
1 tsp. cornstarch

Stir Fry:
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, all visible fat removed
1 tsp. acceptable vegetable oil
1 cup broccoli florets, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup sliced red bell pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots
1/2 cup no-salt-added canned baby corn, rinsed, drained, and cut into bite-size pieces
2 green onions, sliced (about 1/4 cup)
1 tsp. bottled minced garlic or 2 medium cloves garlic, minced

For sauce, in a small bowl, stir together all ingredients; set aside. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Thinly slice chicken. Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and swirl to coat bottom. Cook chicken for 3-4 minutes, or until no longer pink in center, stirring occasionally. Add remaining ingredients and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until vegetables are tender-crisp, stirring frequently. Push chicken mixture aside, making a will in the center of the wok. Add sauce mixture; stir chicken mixture into sauce. Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until sauce has thickened, stirring occasionally.

Italian Stir-Fry:
Prepare as directed above except replace sauce mixture with 3 Tbsp. low-sodium chicken broth, 1 tsp. cornstarch, and 1/2 tsp. dried oregano, crumbed; replace vegetable oil with olive oil; and replace carrots and corn with 1/2 cup fresh sliced asparagus and 1/2 cup sliced zucchini. Add 1 medium sliced Italian plum tomato when adding sauce mixture. Serves 4 (1 1/4 cups per serving). (Calories: 167; Protein: 26 g; Carbohydrates 6 g; Cholesterol 67 mg; Total Fat 4 g; Saturated 1 g; Polyunsaturated 1 g; Monounsaturated 2 g; Fiber 2 g; Sodium 73 mg)

Cooks Tip:
Substitute 1 lb. of any of the following for chicken (remember to remove all visible fat before slicing): boneless round steak, thinly sliced; pork loin chops or pork tenderloin, thinly sliced; shark, halibut, or other firm-flesh fish, cut into 3/4 inch cubes; bay scallops; or 10 ounces reduced-fat firm tofu, cut into 3/4 inch cubes.

Nutrition Facts: (per serving)
Calories: 171
Protein: 26 g
Carbohydrates: 6 g
Cholesterol: 67 mg
Total Fat: 4 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 1 g
Fiber: 2 g
Sodium: 153 mg

Source: American Heart Association - Meals in Minutes Cookbook pg. 160

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sweets, Snacks & Beverage Tips

Sweets and Snacks

Watch out for sweets.
  • Fill up on healthy foods so that you are not as hungry for sweets.
  • Try fruit for dessert.
  • Save sweets for special occasions (birthdays and holidays), not every day!
  • When you do eat sweets, eat small amounts.
  • Avoid doughnuts, sweet rolls, pies, cakes, cookies, candy bars, milk chocolate, caramel candies, and cream-filled desserts.
  • Small amounts of dark chocolate (more than 50% cacao [cocoa] solids) are okay 2–3 times a week. A small amount is ½–1 oz. (or ¼ of a standardsized candy bar).
  • Avoid foods with added sugar when you can. Many processed foods contain high fructose corn syrup—foods like salad dressings, spaghetti sauces, ketchup, baked goods, and even bread.
Choose cold and frozen desserts with care.
  • For a refreshing summer dessert, have a chilled slice of watermelon or a bowl of fresh berries with plain yogurt.
  • Popsicles can be a tasty treat. Be sure store-bought popsicles are made with 100% fruit juice, or make your own! Freeze 100% fruit juice in small cups with popsicle sticks.
  • Eat a small amount of ice milk, sherbet, or frozen yogurt instead of ice cream, but not too often—they still have added sugar and can be high in calories.
Go easy on snack chips and crackers.
  • Snack chips and crackers can be high in trans fats, which are NOT good for you. Check the ingredients list for partially hydrogenated vegetable oil or look for trans fat on the food label.
  • Choose whole grain crackers with no trans fats.
  • Look for snack foods that are unsalted or only lightly salted.
  • Have raw vegetables or fruit, a small handful of nuts, or unbuttered popcorn.
Beverage Tips

Choose healthy drinks.
  • Stay away from sodas, bottled fruit drinks, sports drinks, and other sugary beverages—they are full of sugar, which means lots of empty calories!
  • Avoid drinks that list high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, or corn sweetener on the ingredients list—these sugars are not good for you.
  • Instead of Kool-Aid™ or sweet tea, drink water with a twist of lemon or lime, sparkling water with a splash of 100% fruit juice, or iced tea with lemon.
  • Try a little skim milk in your hot or cold tea or coffee instead of sugar.
Choose 100% fruit juice, but not too much!
  • Go easy on the fruit juice. Aim for 8 ounces or less each day.
  • Check the label to make sure you drink 100% fruit juice.
  • Choose whole fruit instead of juice whenever possible.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Chicken Pasta

Serves: 4 (3 ounces chicken and 1 cup pasta per serving)
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 12 minutes

This fantastically easy recipe uses bottled sun-dried tomato pesto to cut your prep time.

4 boneless, skinless, chicken breast halves, all visible fat removed (about 4 ounces each)
Vegetable oil spray
1/4 cup bottled sun-dried tomato pesto
2 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. dry red wine (regular or nonalcoholic)
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. plus 1 1/2 tsp. dried basil, crumbled
1/4 tsp. salt
9 ounces refrigerated fat-free angel hair pasta

Put hot tap water for pasta on to boil, covering pan. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and spray with vegetable oil spray. Return to heat and cook chicken for 2 minutes on each side. Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients except pasta. Pour over chicken. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 6-8 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink in center. When water for pasta comes to a boil, cook pasta using package directions, omitting salt and oil; don't overcook. Drain well. To serve, place pasta on serving platter, arrange chicken on top, and spoon sauce over all.

Basil-Parmesan Pesto Chicken and Pasta
Replace sun-dried tomato pesto with basil-Parmesan pesto, dry red wine with dry white wine, and balsamic vinegar with lemon juice. (Calories: 367; Protein: 33 g; Carbohydrates: 37 g; Cholesterol: 67 mg; Total Fat: 9 g; Saturated fat: 2 g; Fiber: 3 g; Sodium 293 mg)

Cook's Tip
If you don't have a tight-fitting lid to use while preparing this dish, tightly cover the skillet with aluminum foil. This will keep the moisture in, helping the sauce get marinara-like consistency.

Cook's Tip on White Meat Chicken
Remember that white meat can overcook quickly. Cook breasts just until they are barely pink in the middle; then remove them from the heat. Residual heat with will cooking the breasts.

Nutrition Facts: (per serving)
Calories: 319
Protein: 32 g
Carbohydrates: 39 g
Cholesterol: 67 mg
Total Fat: 3 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 1 g
Fiber: 3 g
Sodium: 249 mg

Source: American Heart Association - Meals in Minutes Cookbook pg.148

Friday, April 1, 2011

Situational Eating Tips

At parties, picnics, covered dish dinners, and restaurants.
  • Bring a healthy covered dish.
  • Take a friend who will help you stick to your new way of eating,
  • If you eat cake or pie, split a small piece with a friend—3 or 4 bites.
When you’re on the road.
  • Pack healthy snacks to bring along—foods like carrots and celery sticks, fruit, or a small handful of nuts.
  • If you stop at fast food places, stay away from foods with trans fat and try to pick items that do not have lots of salt, sugar, and calories.
  • Drink water or unsweetened iced tea or coffee to keep your mind off food.
When you’re cooking a meal or cleaning up.
  • If you are hungry, eat a small, healthy snack before you start cooking.
  • Fix the same food for everyone—you will spend less time in the kitchen.
  • Have someone else help clean up the leftovers—that way you won’t be tempted to eat them.
When you’re eating meals or snacks at work.
  • Instead of buying snacks at vending machines and snack bars, bring your own healthy snacks from home and keep them handy— small amounts of nuts or fruit are good choices.
  • When a snack bar or vending machine is your only choice, choose fruit, low-fat yogurt, or small amounts of animal crackers or fig bars.
  • If you are bored, get up and stretch or get a drink of water.
When you are stressed out, bored, tired, angry, or depressed.
  • Do something else instead of eating, like:
    • Go for a walk
    • Work on a hobby
    • Read a magazine or book
    • Call a friend
    • Play with your kids or grandkids
When you see unhealthy foods around your home or at work.
  • Don’t bring unhealthy foods into the house.
  • If you must buy some unhealthy foods for your family, choose foods that don’t tempt you. Talk to your family about healthier choices.
  • Keep unhealthy snacks like chips, candy, and cookies out of sight.
  • Put tempting foods in containers you can’t see through in the refrigerator.
  • Avoid the snack food area at work, especially at day’s end when you are tired.
  • Keep healthy snacks like raw vegetables, fruit, nuts, or popcorn handy.
  • If you end up eating unhealthy foods, don’t give up. Try again!
Make good choices when you eat at restaurants.
  • Eat out less often—a lot of restaurant food is unhealthy and costs more.
  • If you eat at fast food places, choose carefully.
  • Choose healthy menu items—for example, grilled or baked red meat, poultry or fish; tossed salads with oil and vinegar dressing; lightly steamed or seasoned vegetables; fruit plates; whole grain breads; and water with a twist of lemon.
  • Stay away from fried foods. Most restaurants use partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (trans fats) for frying.
  • Drink a glass of water before the meal so you are not as hungry. Avoid drinks with lots of sugar.
  • Order small portions, split an order with a friend, or take leftovers home with you.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Baked Chicken with Rice and Herbs

Serves: 4 (1/2 chicken breast per serving)

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour

You can save a few more minutes by purchasing boneless, skinless chicken breast halves and reducing cooking to 35-45 minutes

2 whole medium chicken breasts, halved lengthwise (1 1/2 lbs. total), skinned, all visible fat removed
5 ounce package brown and wild rice or long-grain and wild rice
1 1/2 cups water
9 or 10 ounces package frozen no-salt-added-peas
1/4 cup dry white wine or water
3/4 tsp. dried Italian seasoning.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rinse chicken breasts, pat dry and set aside. In a 2-quart glass baking dish or casserole, combine water and rice. Discard seasoning packet that came with rice. Stir in remaining ingredients and arrange chicken on top. Cover dish and bake about 1 hour or until chicken and rice are tender.

Nutrition Facts: (per serving)
Calories: 292
Protein: 32 g
Carbohydrates: 30 g
Cholesterol: 66 mg
Sodium: 115 mg
Total Fat: 4 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 1 g

Source: American Heart Association - Quick & Easy Cookbook pg.179

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Lemon Cake with Apricot Glaze

Serves: 16 (1 slice per serving)
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 17 minutes

Lemon juice and zest give this cake a refreshing taste. The sweetness of the apricot preserves balances the tartness of the lemon.

Vegetable oil spray
18.25 ounce package lemon-flavored cake mix
6 large egg whites, egg substitute equal to 3 eggs or 3 large eggs
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp. plus 1 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. lemon juice (2 medium lemons)
3/4 cup all-fruit apricot preserves
1 cup frozen fat-free or light whipped topping, thawed

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9x13x2 inch baking pan with vegetable oil spray. In a large mixing bowl, combine cake mix, egg whites, water, zest, and lemon juice. Mix using package directions. Pour batter into pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center come out clean. Put on cooling rack. In a small saucepan, heat preserves over medium-high heat until melted, 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Brush evenly over cake. Serve warm or at room temperature with 1 Tbsp. whipped topping on each piece.

Lemon Cake with Apricot Topping
Beat unheated preserves with a fork, if desired. Fold into 3 cups frozen fat-free or light whipped topping, thawed; spread over completely cooled cake. Refrigerate leftovers. (Calories: 191; Protein: 2 g; Carbohydrates: 39 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Total Fat: 3 g; Saturated fat: 3 g; Polyunsaturated: 0 g; Monounsaturated: 2 g; Fiber: 0 g; Sodium: 211 mg)

Lemon Cupcakes with Apricot Glaze
For cupcakes, pour batter into two 12-cup muffin pans. Follow baking times on package. Brush with glaze. Increase amount of whipped topping to 1 1/2 cups. (Calories: 122; Protein: 1 g; Carbohydrates 25 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Total Fat: 2 g; Saturated: 1 g; Polyunsaturated: 0 g; Monounsaturated: 1 g; Fiber: 0 g; Sodium: 139 mg)

Cooks Tip on Citrus Zest
An implement called a zester make quick work of removing the peel, or zest, of citrus fruit. Use rather firm downward strokes, being careful not to get any of the pith, the bitter white layer just beneath the peel. Measuring and cleanup will be easy if you work over a sheet of wax paper.

Nutrition Facts: (per serving)
Calories: 179
Protein: 2 g
Carbohydrates: 36 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Total Fat: 3 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 2 g
Fiber: 0 g
Sodium: 206 mg

Source: American Heart Association - Meals in Minutes Cookbook pg. 304

Monday, March 28, 2011

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, March 25, 2011

Yogurt Brulee with Blueberries


Preparation Time:
Cooking Time:

This breakfast treat looks so elegant, your family will think it took hours instead of minutes to prepare. You can also serve this dessert, but caution is advised: You may be tempted to eat dessert first!

2 cups fresh or 4 cups unsweetened frozen blueberries, thawed
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
2 (8 ounce) containers fat-free or low-fat vanilla yogurt (2 cups)
2 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. brown sugar

Preheat broiler. Put four 1-cup custard cups or ramekins on a broilerproof baking sheet. In a medium bowl, stir together blueberries and lemon zest. To, assemble, spoon 1/2 cup blueberry mixture into each custard cup. Top each with about 1/2 cup yogurt and 2 tsp. brown sugar. Broil about 4 inches from heat for 2 to 4 minutes, or until brown sugar is melted and bubbly. Watch carefully to keep sugar from burning.

Cook's Tip:
One way to thaw frozen blueberries is in the microwave. Measure them into a microwave safe container. Microwave on 50% power (medium) for 4 to 5 minutes (no stirring needed). This method preserves the juice which you can spoon in with the berries.

Nutrition Facts: (per serving)
Calories: 143
Protein: 5 g
Carbohydrates: 31 g
Cholesterol: 2 mg
Total Fat: 0 g
Saturated Fat: 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0 g
Fiber: 2 g
Sodium: 69 mg

Source: American Heart Association - Meals in Minutes Cookbook pg. 293

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Healthy Weight Tips

Avoid emotional eating.
  • Don’t let strong feelings turn into weight gain.
  • Figure out what your eating triggers are.
  • Pay attention to how much and what you are eating.
Don’t skip meals.
  • Skipping meals does not help you lose weight!
  • Your body needs a certain number of calories every day.
  • If you skip a meal, you will probably snack or eat more later.
  • Try to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day.
Get rid of guilt.
  • Feeling guilty about eating a “bad” food or eating too much isn’t helpful.
  • Guilt is a type of negative thinking, and you can overcome it!
  • Instead, make a list of the foods that you feel most guilty about eating, and replace them with healthier foods or eat them less often and in smaller amounts.
  • Stop buying the foods that make you feel guilty. You can’t eat them if you don’t have them in the house.
Eat when you are hungry and stop eating when you’re full.
  • Sit at a table to eat.
  • Slow down! Eating slowly lets you enjoy your food and gives your brain a chance to figure out when you’re full.
  • Put your fork down between most bites to help you slow down.
  • Pay attention to portion size.
Plan to have healthy snacks.
  • Snacking is not always a bad thing. It just depends on what the snack is.
  • Prepare healthy snacks ahead of time and keep them handy when you’re on the go.
  • Healthy snacks include raw vegetables, fruit, a small handful of nuts, or unbuttered popcorn. Look at snacks as a way to eat more fruits and vegetables.
Understand recent weight gain.
  • Sometimes people gain weight in a short period of time because they are going through hard times (death, divorce, or job changes). They don’t have the time or energy to watch what they eat or to get regular physical activity.
  • Are you gaining weight because you are trying to quit smoking?
Understand how weight loss works.
  • If you have tried losing weight but weren’t able to keep it off, don’t feel bad!
  • Most diets lead to some weight loss, but keeping the weight off is much harder.
  • Think about when you tried to lose weight: what worked and what didn’t work?
Be active while sitting.
  • If you spend a lot of time sitting, either watching TV or working at a desk, get more active!
  • Aim for 2½ hours of physical activity each week.
  • Physical activity not only can help you lose weight or stay at a healthy weight, it can:
    • Improve your blood pressure and cholesterol
    • Lower your risk of developing heart disease, cancer, and diabetes
    • Relieve stress

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Garlic Baked Chicken Breasts

Serves: 4 (one-half breast per serving)
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes

2 whole medium chicken breasts (1 1/2 lbs.) halved lengthwise and skinned, all visible fat removed.
2 tsp. bottled minced garlic

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Arrange on a baking sheet or in a shallow baking pan. Spread 1/2 tsp. garlic over each piece of chicken. Bake, uncovered, about 30 minutes or until chicken is tender and no longer pink.

Nutrition Facts: (per serving)
Calories: 144
Protein: 26 g
Carbohydrates: 1 g
Cholesterol: 66 mg
Sodium: 61 mg
Total Fat: 3 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 1 g

Source: American Heart Association - Quick & Easy Cookbook pg. 117

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Know Your Fats...The Good the Bad and the Ugly!

e all know that we should limit the amount of fat in our diets but do we really understand the different types of fat. Are some fats worse than others?  Is there such a thing as "Good" fats?  The answers are YES!

Even though we should limit fat in our diet we should understand that some fat in our diet is essential.  But more importantly the types of fat we are eating can affect our health greatly.

Types of Fat
There are essentially 4 different types of fat.
  • Trans Fats
  • Saturated Fats
  • Monounsaturated Fats
  • Polyunsaturated Fats

The Good
Both Monosaturated and Polyunsaturated fats are what would be considered "Good Fats".  These types of fat are found mostly in fish, nuts, seeds and oils from plants. Both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats may help lower your blood cholesterol level when you use them in place of saturated and trans fats. But a moderate intake of all types of fat is best.

  • Salmon
  • Trout
  • Herring
  • Avocados
  • Olives
  • Walnuts
  • Liquid vegetable oils such as soybean, corn, safflower, canola, olive and sunflower.
The Bad
Saturated fat is considered to be a "Bad Fat".  A diet high in saturated fat is the main cause for high cholesterol.  You can find saturated fats in animal or diary products and occasionally in some plants. Saturated fat is not the WORST fat out there but should be limited.

  • Animal Products:
    • Beef
    • Beef Fat
    • Veal
    • Lamb
    • Pork
    • Lard
    • Poultry fat
  • Diary Products: 
    • Butter
    • Cream
    • Milk (Mostly your higher percent milks like 2% and Whole)
    • Cheeses and other dairy products made from whole and 2 percent milk.
  • Plants:
    • Coconut
    • Coconut oil
    • Palm oil and palm kernel oil (often called tropical oils)
    • Cocoa butter.
The Ugly
Trans Fats are on "The Ugly" list in regards to fats.  They are classified by some doctors as the worst fat of them all. Trans Fats also known as Trans Fatty Acid should be either consumed very very little if at all. Essentially Trans fats should be less than 1% of your daily calories. Trans Fat used to be more common but are becoming less common due to the "bad rap" they receive.  The biggest concern with Trans Fats is that it raises your "bad" (LDL) cholesterol and lowers your "good" (HDL) cholesterol.
Trans Fats are most commonly found in highly processed foods or commerically baked goods such as:
  • Cookies
  • Cakes
  • Crackers
  • Donuts
  • French Fries
  • Shortenings
  • Some margarines
More commonly now you will find products that say "0 grams of Trans Fat" but you may need to take a closer look to get the full story. In the United States if a food has less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving, the food label can read 0 grams trans fat. Though that's a small amount of trans fat, if you eat multiple servings of foods with less than 0.5 grams of trans fat, you could exceed recommended limits.

As I mentioned before a nutrition label may say "0 grams of Trans Fat" but that may not be the full story.  When looking at the ingredients you want to look for the words "partially hydrogenated" vegetable oil. That's another term for trans fat. The word "shortening" also is a clue: Shortening contains some trans fat.

However, if a food label says "fully" or "completely" hydrogenated oil is does NOT contain Trans Tat. Unlike partially hydrogenated oil, the process used to make fully or completely hydrogenated oil doesn't result in trans-fatty acids. However, if the label says just "hydrogenated" vegetable oil, it could mean the oil contains some trans fat.

The Scoop
  • Limit total fat intake to less than 25–35 percent of your total calories each day;
  • Limit saturated fat intake to less than 7 percent of total daily calories;
  • Limit trans fat intake to less than 1 percent of total daily calories;
  • The remaining fat should come from sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as nuts, seeds, fish and vegetable oils; and
American Heart Association
Mayo Clinic

Monday, March 21, 2011

Marinated Hosin Chicken

Serves: 4 (1 to 2 pieces chicken per serving)
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Marinating Time: 1 to 24 hours
Cooking Time: 45 to 55 minutes

1 1/2 lbs. chicken pieces (breasts, thighs, and drumsticks) skinned, all visible fat removed
2 Tbsp. Hosin sauce
2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar or cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. sesame seeds

Rinse chicken and pat dry. Place in plastic bag with a tight fitting seal. In a small bowl, stir together remaining ingredients. Pour over chicken in bag. Seal and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 to 24 hours, turning bag occasionally to distribute marinade. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Drain chicken and discard marinade. Arrange chicken in a single layer in a glass baking dish. Bake, uncovered for 45-55 minutes or until chicken is tender and no longer pink.

Nutrition Facts: (per serving)
Calories: 141
Protein: 24 g
Carbohydrates: 0 g
Cholesterol: 65 mg
Sodium: 61 mg
Total Fat: 4 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 1 g

Source: American Heart Association - Quick & Easy Cookbook pg. 116

Friday, March 18, 2011


Fiber is best known for helping to keep food moving efficiently through your body. This is only one of the many ways fiber contributes to good health. Fiber helps prevent:
  • Heart disease: Fiber may aid in the prevention of heart disease by lowering your cholesterol.
  • Diabetes: Fiber helps control blood sugar levels for people with diabetes.
  • Digestive Problems: Adequate amounts of fiber from foods can help prevent constipation and hemorrhoids.
  • Weight Gain: A high-fiber eating plan is lower in calories and tends to make you feel full faster.
Consuming enough fiber may be easier than you think. Fiber is found in whole grains, beans and fruits and vegetables. The recommended daily amount of fiber is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. After age 50, your daily fiber needs drops to 21 grams for women and 30 grams for men.

You can meet your daily fiber needs with 2 cups of fruits and 2 ½ cups of vegetables every day, along with whole grains and beans. Add vegetables to stews and casseroles and add oats to meat loaf, breads and cookies. Add fruit to cereal or eat it as a snack and in salads.

American Dietetic Association

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Seven Spice Chicken

Serves: 4 (1/4 lb. chicken per serving)

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hr. - 1 hr. 15 min.

2 1/2 to 3 lb. whole chicken
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Remove giblets and neck and save for other use or discard. Twist wings under back. Place chicken, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. In a small bowl, stir together remaining ingredients. Set aside. Using your fingers and beginning at the neck of the chicken, gently separate the skin from the body across the breast and down the legs. Do not separate the skin near the tail. Reach under the skin and rub the spice mixture over the flesh of the chicken. If  necessary, secure any loose skin to the chicken with toothpicks. Roast in oven 1 hr. to 1 hr. 15 min. or until chicken is tender and no longer pink and drumsticks move easily in their sockets. Before serving, remove skin from chicken, leaving the spice mixture on the meat.

Cooks tip: At the grocery store, pat attention to the date stamped on poultry products, dairy foods, meats, and some packaged products. These are "sell by" or "use by" dates that indicate that these products are fresh up to the date shown on the package.

Nutrition Facts: (per serving)
Calories: 202
Protein: 32 g
Carbohydrates: 1 g
Cholesterol: 90 mg
Sodium: 219 mg
Total Fat: 7 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 2 g

Source: American Heart Association - Quick & Easy Cookbook pg. 113

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Heart Healthy Grocery List

The American Heart Association has a wonderful tool that can help you with your grocery shopping. All the products are certified as heart-healthy foods. Which means it meets the American Heart Association's criteria for saturated fat and cholesterol.

There are a lot of great features to create a shopping list, print it, email it or even add it to your phone.  You can also save your shopping list to use again in the future.  You can even search products by category of manufacturer.

Even if you don't create a grocery list using this unique tool.  Anytime you see this symbol you can be assured that the products are a good healthy choice.

Give it a try! Take one more step to being healthier by making heart healthy choices at the grocery store!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Beef and Bean Enchiladas

Serves: 4 (2 enchiladas per serving)
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes

1/2 cup no salt added tomato sauce
1/2 cup salsa
8 (6 inch) corn tortillas
1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1 cup canned nonfat refried beans
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/2 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese

In a small bowl, stir together tomato sauce and salsa. Using about half the tomato sauce mixture, brush both sides of each tortilla. Stack tortillas on a plate and set aside (This allows tortillas to soften). In a large skillet, cook beef over medium high heat until brown, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Place in colander and rinse under hot water. Drain well. Wipe skillet with a paper towel. Return beef to skillet. Stir in refried beans, chili powder, cumin, and pepper. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until heated through. Preheat broiler. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the mixture in a line down the center of the tortilla. Roll up tortillas and place, seam side down, in a 10x6x2 inch or a 9x9x2 glass baking dish. Top with remaining tomato sauce mixture. Broil4 inches from the heat for 5 minutes or until browned. Sprinkle with cheese. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Facts: (per serving)
Calories: 324
Protein: 25 g
Carbohydrates: 41 g
Cholesterol: 40 mg
Sodium: 643 mg
Total Fat: 7 g
Saturated Fat: 3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 2 g

Source: American Heart Association - Quick & Easy Cookbook pg.154

Monday, March 14, 2011

Adding Physical Activity to a Busy Schedule

If you have a health condition, an old injury, or you have not been active in a while, talk with your doctor first about what level and kinds of activities are safe for you.

When you work, find ways to keep active and put extra moves into your routine.
  • If you sit a lot at work, try to get up and move every hour or two.
  • Stretch at your desk or march in place.
  • Walk up and down stairs, deliver a message, or pick up supplies.
  • Use breaks or part of lunch to walk for 10 minutes.
  • If you stand a lot at work, try walking in place or moving your arms.
  • If you’re stressed, take 5-10 deep breaths and sit up as tall as you can.
  • When you are doing seated activities, stretch your body while youstretch your mind.

When you watch TV, some good ways to move are:

  •  Use an exercise DVD or video for a few minutes before you watch any other TV
  • Use commercials as an exercise break - during a 1-hour show you can get in 10 minutes of movement. Do chair exercises or a few quick stretches.
  • Take exercise breaks while you use a computer, do hobbies, or play games.
  • Walk around while you talk on the phone.
  • Do leg and foot exercises while you’re reading.
  • Take a quick walk after you finish a chapter.

When you do household chores, yard work, gardening, and home repair, think about ways to move and make your chores do double duty!
  • Scrub a little harder and longer. 
  • Put music on and turn cleaning into dance time!
  • Make several trips up the stairs.
  • Spend some extra time gardening.
  •  Don’t use a sprinkler—walk around with the hose or watering can instead.
  • Walk or bike to get to where you need to go more often, and walk or pedal briskly.
  • Do errands or visit people on foot.
  • If you drive, park in the farthest safe parking spot; if you take the bus, get off one stop early.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Steak with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Serves: 4 (1/4 lb. steak per serving)
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 12-14 minutes

4 sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil
1 small carrot, shredded
1 green onion, sliced
2 tsp. chopped fresh basil or 1/2 dried basil, crushed
1 lb. lean boneless top sirloin steak, cut 1 inch thick, all visible fat removed
1 tsp. bottled minced garlic
Directions: Remove as much oil as possible from tomatoes by patting them with paper towels. Coarsely chop the tomatoes. In a small bowl, combine tomatoes, carrot, green onion, and basil. Set aside. Cut the steak in half crosswise. Cut a large slit horizontally in each half to form a pocket. Spoon tomato mixture into the pocket. Secure opening with toothpicks. Preheat broiler. Lightly spread each side of steak with garlic. Place steaks on the unheated rake of a broiler pan. Broil 4 inches from the heat for 6 minutes. Turn and broil 6-8 minutes more or until steak reaches desired doneness. Remove toothpicks and cut each piece of steak in half.

Nutrition Facts: (per serving)
Calories: 197
Protein: 23 g
Carbohydrates: 5 g
Cholesterol: 59 mg
Sodium: 97 mg
Total Fat: 9 g
Saturated Fat: 3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 4 g
Source: American Heart Association - Quick & Easy Cookbook pg. 149

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lemony Blueberry Coffeecake

Serves: 15 (2 1/2 x 3 inch slice per serving)
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 30-38 minutes
Cooling Time: 10-20 minutes

Serve this delicated flavored moist cake warm from teh oven for brunch. If there is any left over, pack it in lunches or serve for dessert, drizzled with fat-free lemon yogurt.

Vegetable spray

1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (small wild blueberries preferred)
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 cup sugar
1 cup fat-free or low-fat plain yogurt (8 ounces)
Egg substitute equivalent to 3 eggs, or 3 larges eggs
1/4 cup fat-free milk
3 Tbsp. acceptable vegetable oil
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. unsweetened applesauce
1 1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Set oven temperature to 350 degrees. Spray 9 x 13 x 2 inch baking pan with vegetable oil spray; set aside. In a small bowl, combine topping ingredients. For cake, in a medium bowl, combine all-purpose flour, pastry flour, baking powder, baking soda, caradamom, and nutmeg. In a large bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients. Add flour mixture, stirring until flour is moistened. Pour batter into baking pan. Sprinkle with topping. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on a cooling rack for 10 to 20 minutes before slicing.

Raspberry Coffeecake
Substitute 1 cup raspberries for blueberries and 1/2 tsp. almond extract for lemon zest and vanilla extract. (Calories 188; 5 g; Carbohydrates 36 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Total Fat 3 g; Saturated 0 g; Polyunsaturated; Monunsaturated; Fiber 2 g; Sodium 93 mg).

Cooks Tip on Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
Whole wheat pastry flour contains less gluten than regular whole wheat flour. Therefore, it is lighter and better in cakes and pastries. It is available in health food and gourmet markets and in some supermarkets.

Nutrition Facts: (per serving)
Calories: 192
Protein: 5 g
Carbohydrates: 37 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Total Fat: 3 g
Saturated Fat: 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat:
Monounsaturated Fat:
Fiber: 2 g
Sodium: 94 mg

Source: American Heart Association - Meals in Minutes Cookbook pg. 290

Friday, March 4, 2011

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.
American Dietetic Association

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sherbet Parfaits

Serves: 4 (6 ounce parfait per serving)

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

2 cups fresh raspberries or blueberries
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 pint frozen rainbow sherbet or a flavor of your choice

In a medium bowl, combine berries and sugar. Using a potato masher or fork, mash berries slightly. Layer the berries wth the sherbet in 4 (6 ounce) parfait or decorative glasses. Serve immediately or freeze until serving time. If frozen, let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Facts: (per serving)
Calories: 187
Protein: 2 g
Carbohydrates: 43 g
Cholesterol: 5 mg
Sodium: 44 mg
Total Fat: 2 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 1 g

Source: American Heart Association - Quick & Easy Cookbook pg. 256

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Most Important Meal of the Day...Breakfast!

Importance of Breakfast

How many of us out there believe that skipping breakfast will help us lose weight? Do we think we are eating fewer calories because we are “skipping” a meal? Well think again. In reality, most of us probably know that breakfast has the reputation of being the most important meal of the day. But do we know why?

There is plenty of sound research available that supports the notion that eating breakfast not only helps to lose weight, but to also keep it off and maintain a healthy weight. Think about it, during the 8 (or so) hours we are sleeping we are generally not eating (if we are, we have other problems to address). Therefore, we are “fasting” sometimes 15-20 hours. When we eat breakfast it prevents us from being ravenous wolves when we FINALLY do eat. Plus, eating breakfast also helps start our metabolism for the day.

A large base of research shows that eating breakfast prevents overeating throughout the day. Eating breakfast helps us to naturally spread out what we eat throughout the day. This is better for our body because we are constantly fueled throughout the day and we also have the time needed to burn the fuel we consume.

Eating Smart for Breakfast

Now that we understand the importance of eating breakfast, what should we eat? Just like eating breakfast is important, it is also important that we make smart choices in what we eat for breakfast.

Fruits and whole grains are a great breakfast option because they have a lot of fiber and are low in fat. They are low in calories but also high in nutrition density. These items are what we could call energy dense. They are foods that we help you feel full and provide high energy without being high in calories. Overall, you get More for Less.

Some examples of great breakfast items could include:
  • A bowl of oatmeal and fruit
  • A bowl of whole grain cold cereal and fruit
  • Multigrain waffles
  • Low-fat yogurt and fruit
  • Whole grain toast and fruit
  • Fruit Smoothie
  • Whole grain toast with peanut butter
Note: If you have not had a high fiber diet, introduce fiber gradually. Too much fiber at once if you are not used to it can cause constipation, diarrhea or an upset stomach.

Web MD

Additional Resources:
American Dietetic Association
American Dietetic Association
American Dietetic Association
More Matters
Mayo Clinic

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Roast Turkey Breast with Cranberry-Jalapeno Sauce

An easy way to enjoy the flavor of fresh cranberry sauce without any effort is by using a container of cranberry-orange sauce. Look for it in your supermarket next to the canned fruits.

Serves: 8 (1/4 lb. turkey 2 Tbsp. sauce per serving)
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 2 1/2 to 3 hours

2 1/2 to 3 lbs. turkey breast half with bone, skinned, all visible fat removed
12-ounce container cranberry-orange sauce
1 Tbsp. snipped fresh cilantro
1 tsp. bottled minced jalapeno peppers

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Rinse turkey and pat dry. Place turkey breast, bone side down on the rack in a shallow roasting pan. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the breast. Cover loosely with foil. Roast in oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, stir together remaining ingredients. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 5 minutes. Keep warm.

Remove foil from turkey and baste with some of the cranberry mixture. Continue to cook turkey, basting frequently, for 30 minutes more or until the meat thermometer registers 165 degrees. Serve turkey with remaining warm cranberry mixture.

Nutrition Facts: (per serving)
Calories: 236
Protein: 30 g
Carbohydrates: 20 g
Cholesterol: 75 mg
Sodium: 87 mg
Total Fat: 4 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat:  1 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 1 g

Source: American Heart Association - Quick & Easy Cookbook pg. 133