Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Years!!!

Is YOUR New Years Resolution for 2014 to become a healthier you? The time is fast approaching for the 2014 Weigh Biggest Loser Contest in West Jordan. Don't Delay and Sign Up TODAY!!!

We have some great new additions to the contest this year including 3 new health challenges!

Two ways to sign up:
1- Online at Active.com
2- Fill out the form and submit the completed forms to West Jordan City Hall Administration.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Don't Delay! Sign Up Today! 7th Annual Weigh Biggest Loser Contest

The time is fast approaching for the 2014 Weigh Biggest Loser Contest in West Jordan. Don't Delay and Sign Up TODAY!!!

We have some great new additions to the contest this year including 3 new health challenges!

Two ways to sign up:
1- Online at Active.com
2- Fill out the form and submit the completed forms to West Jordan City Hall Administration.

Spread the word!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

TONIGHT - At Home Challenge Weigh-In


The weigh-in for the At Home Challenge will be TONIGHT from 5:30pm-7:30pm at West Jordan City Hall.

Monday, May 20, 2013

At Home Challenge Weigh-In


The weigh-in for the At Home Challenge will be tomorrow from 5:30pm-7:30pm at West Jordan City Hall.

Improving your Eating Habits Part 8

8. Reinforce your new, healthy habits and be patient with yourself. Habits take time to develop. It doesn't happen overnight. When you do find yourself engaging in an unhealthy habit, stop as quickly as possible and ask yourself: Why do I do this? When did I start doing this? What changes do I need to make? Be careful not to berate yourself or think that one mistake "blows" a whole day's worth of healthy habits. You can do it! It just takes one day at a time!

Improving Your Eating Habits - CDC

Friday, May 17, 2013

Improving your Eating Habits Part 7

7. Replace unhealthy habits with new, healthy ones. For example, in reflecting upon your eating habits, you may realize that you eat too fast when you eat alone. So, make a commitment to share a lunch each week with a colleague, or have a neighbor over for dinner one night a week. Other strategies might include putting your fork down between bites or minimizing other distractions (i.e. watching the news during dinner) that might keep you from paying attention to how quickly — and how much — you're eating.

Here are more ideas to help you replace unhealthy habits:
  • Eat more slowly. If you eat too quickly, you may "clean your plate" instead of paying attention to whether your hunger is satisfied.
  • Eat only when you're truly hungry instead of when you are tired, anxious, or feeling an emotion besides hunger. If you find yourself eating when you are experiencing an emotion besides hunger, such as boredom or anxiety, try to find a non-eating activity to do instead. You may find a quick walk or phone call with a friend helps you feel better.
  • Plan meals ahead of time to ensure that you eat a healthy well-balanced meal.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Chicken Parmesan Wraps


1 cooked chicken breast, cut into strips
1/4 cup marinara or spaghetti sauce
1/8 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/8 cup parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp Italian spice blend
1 large low carb or whole grain wrap
Optional: 1/2 cup baby spinach leaves


1. Cut and warm chicken through in the microwave. Place chicken, sauce, cheese, and spice blend on wrap bread. Wrap bread around filling, and microwave seam side down for 30-60 seconds, or until warmed through and cheese is melted. Enjoy warm!

Source: roomag.com via Ashley on Pinterest

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Improving your Eating Habits Part 6

6. Ask yourself these questions for each "cue" you've circled:
  • Is there anything I can do to avoid the cue or situation? This option works best for cues that don't involve others. For example, could you choose a different route to work to avoid stopping at a fast food restaurant on the way? Is there another place in the break room where you can sit so you're not next to the vending machine?
  • For things I can't avoid, can I do something differently that would be healthier? Obviously, you can't avoid all situations that trigger your unhealthy eating habits, like staff meetings at work. In these situations, evaluate your options. Could you suggest or bring healthier snacks or beverages? Could you offer to take notes to distract your attention? Could you sit farther away from the food so it won't be as easy to grab something? Could you plan ahead and eat a healthy snack before the meeting?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Hummus and Roasted Veggie Pizza

1 soft tortilla shell
Handful of your favorite veggies (try spinach, tomatoes, and zucchini)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
Crumbled goat cheese

1. Roast veggies for about 20 minutes at 350°F with the olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper.
2. Top your favorite type of tortilla with hummus (store-bought or homemade), add the roasted veggies and some goat cheese, then bake for 10 minutes at 350°F.
3. Slice and enjoy!

Source: fitnessmagazine.com via Brooke on Pinterest

Monday, May 13, 2013

Improving your Eating Habits Part 5

5. Circle the "cues" on your list that you face on a daily or weekly basis. Going home for the Thanksgiving holiday may be a trigger for you to overeat, and eventually, you want to have a plan for as many eating cues as you can. But for now, focus on the ones you face more often.

Improving Your Eating Habits - CDC

Friday, May 10, 2013

Improving your Eating Habits Part 4

4. Create a list of "cues" by reviewing your food diary to become more aware of when and where you're "triggered" to eat for reasons other than hunger. Note how you are typically feeling at those times. Often an environmental "cue", or a particular emotional state, is what encourages eating for non-hunger reasons.

Common triggers for eating when not hungry are:
  • Opening up the cabinet and seeing your favorite snack food.
  • Sitting at home watching television.
  • Before or after a stressful meeting or situation at work.
  • Coming home after work and having no idea what's for dinner.
  • Having someone offer you a dish they made "just for you!"
  • Walking past a candy dish on the counter.
  • Sitting in the break room beside the vending machine.
  • Seeing a plate of doughnuts at the morning staff meeting.
  • Swinging through your favorite drive-through every morning.
  • Feeling bored or tired and thinking food might offer a pick-me-up.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Skinny Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, grilled and cut into chunks (about 2 cups)
2 cups roasted broccoli florets
8 ounces fettuccine
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
1/4 cup skim milk
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 pinch ground nutmeg
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is golden, 1 to 2 minutes.
Whisk in the flour until smooth, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the chicken broth, Greek yogurt, milk, pepper and nutmeg. Bring to a low boil, stirring constantly. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring gently, until the mixture thickens, about 3 minutes. Stir in 3/4 cup Parmesan.
Add cooked chicken and broccoli to sauce mixture, followed by the cooked pasta. Toss to combine and serve with more Parmesan, if desired.

Source: celebrations.com via Kimberly on Pinterest

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Improving your Eating Habits Part 3

3. Look at the unhealthy eating habits you've highlighted. Be sure you've identified all the triggers that cause you to engage in those habits. Identify a few you'd like to work on improving first. Don't forget to pat yourself on the back for the things you're doing right. Maybe you almost always eat fruit for dessert, or you drink low-fat or fat-free milk. These are good habits! Recognizing your successes will help encourage you to make more changes.


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Minestrone & Garlic Bruschetta

Serves 6 to 8

Good olive oil
4 ounces pancetta
1/2 -inch-diced
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
2 cups (1/2-inch) diced carrots (3 carrots)
2 cups (1/2-inch) diced celery (3 stalks)
2 1/2 cups (1/2-inch) diced peeled butternut squash
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
26 ounces canned or boxed chopped tomatoes, such as Pomi
6 to 8 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade (page 62)
1 bay leaf Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups cooked small pasta, such as tubetti (see note)
8 to 10 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup good dry white wine
2 tablespoons store-bought pesto
Garlic Bruschetta (recipe follows)
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

To cook the pasta, put 1 cup of pasta into a large pot of boiling salted water. Cook according to the directions on the package, drain, and set aside.

You can make this soup ahead and reheat it before serving. It will need to be re-seasoned.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven. Add the pancetta and cook over medium-low heat for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Add the onions, carrots, celery, squash, garlic, and thyme and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften.

Add the tomatoes, 6 cups of the chicken stock, the bay leaf, 1 table-spoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper to the pot. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

Discard the bay leaf. Add the beans and cooked pasta and heat through. the soup should be quite thick but if it’s too thick, add more chicken stock. Just before serving, reheat the soup, add the spinach,and toss with 2 big spoons (like tossing a salad). Cook just until the leaves are wilted. Stir in the white wine and pesto. Depending on the saltiness of the chicken stock, add another teaspoon or two of salt to taste. Serve large shallow bowls of soup with a bruschetta on top. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, drizzle with olive oil, and serve hot.

Garlic Bruschetta
1 baguette
Good olive oil
1 garlic clove, cut in half lengthwise

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Slice the baguette at a 45-degree angle in 1/2 inch-thick slices. Brushboth sides of the bread with olive oil and bake for 6 minutes, untillightly toasted. Take the slices out of the oven and rub the surface of each one with the cut clove of garlic.

Source: cravebyrandomhouse.ca via Mira on Pinterest

Monday, May 6, 2013

Improving your Eating Habits Part 2

2. Highlight the habits on your list that may be leading you to overeat. Common eating habits that can lead to weight gain are:

  • Eating too fast
  • Always cleaning your plate
  • Eating when not hungry
  • Eating while standing up (may lead to eating mindlessly or too quickly)
  • Always eating dessert
  • Skipping meals (or maybe just breakfast)


Friday, May 3, 2013

Improving your Eating Habits Part 1

When it comes to eating, we have strong habits. Some are good ("I always eat breakfast"), and some are not so good ("I always clean my plate"). Although many of our eating habits were established during childhood, it doesn't mean it's too late to change them.
Making sudden, radical changes to eating habits such as eating nothing but cabbage soup, can lead to short term weight loss. However, such radical changes are neither healthy nor a good idea, and won't be successful in the long run. Permanently improving your eating habits requires a thoughtful approach in which you Reflect, Replace, and Reinforce.
  • REFLECT on all of your specific eating habits, both bad and good; and, your common triggers for unhealthy eating.
  • REPLACE your unhealthy eating habits with healthier ones.
  • REINFORCE your new, healthier eating habits.

Reflect, Replace, Reinforce: A process for improving your eating habits

1. Create a list of your eating habits. Keeping a food diary for a few days, in which you write down everything you eat and the time of day you ate it, will help you uncover your habits. For example, you might discover that you always seek a sweet snack to get you through the mid-afternoon energy slump. It's good to note how you were feeling when you decided to eat, especially if you were eating when not hungry. Were you tired? Stressed out?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Maintaining Weight Loss Tip #8

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!
Source: American Heart Association

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Maintaining Weight Loss Tip #7

Weigh Less. Don’t get on the scales every day. Once a week is fine. Try measuring inches lost instead of pounds.

Source: American Heart Association

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Southwestern Two Bean Chicken (Slow Cooker)

4 raw, boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 8 oz. each)
1 (15 oz.) can pinto beans (rinsed and drained) or 1 1/3 cup home cooked beans
1 (15 oz.) can black beans (rinsed and drained) or 1 1/3 cup home cooked beans
1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes in juice, low sodium is best
1 lb. frozen and thawed organic corn (organic to avoid GMO corn)
1 (12 oz.) jar of your favorite salsa, no sugar added

Step 1 – Place the chicken breasts on the bottom of your slow cooker. Pour the tomatoes and salsa over that and then layer on the beans and corn.
Step 2 – Cook on low for 5-7 hours, or until the chicken easily falls apart when the pot is stirred.
Eat and Enjoy!

Nutritional Content:
1 serving = 1 cup
NOTE: This data does not include salsa. Also, this was figured using home cooked beans without salt. Be careful when purchasing salsa and canned beans as the sodium content can really add up.
Calories: 292
Total Fat: 5 gm
Saturated Fats: 1 gm
Trans Fats: 0 gm
Cholesterol: 42 mg
Sodium: 54 mg
Carbohydrates: 33 gm
Dietary fiber: 9 gm
Sugars: 3 gm
Protein: 30 gm
Estimated Glycemic Load: 12

Nutritional Information estimated at Nutritiondata.com. Data may not be accurate.

Source: thegraciouspantry.com via Brea on Pinterest

Monday, April 29, 2013

Maintaining Weight Loss Tip #6

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.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Strawberry-Spinach Salad

4 medium skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds)
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
Warm Citrus Dressing
6 cups torn fresh spinach and/or watercress
2 cups halved strawberries
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted


1. Sprinkle the chicken breast halves with pepper and salt. Pour chicken broth into a large skillet. Bring broth to boiling. Add chicken; reduce heat. Cover and simmer chicken for 12 to 14 minutes or until chicken is tender and no longer pink, turning chicken once halfway through cooking time. Remove chicken from broth with a slotted spoon; discard broth. Meanwhile, prepare the Warm Citrus Dressing.
2. Thinly slice cooked chicken breast. In a large bowl, toss together the spinach, strawberries, and chicken.
3. To serve, drizzle warm dressing over salad. Sprinkle with nuts. Serve immediately.
4. Warm Citrus Dressing: In a blender container or food processor bowl combine 1/2 cup strawberries, 1/3 cup orange juice, 2 tablespoons canola oil, 2 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (optional), 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Cover; blend or process until smooth. Transfer to a small saucepan. Bring just to boiling. Simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Keep warm until needed. Makes 3/4 cup dressing.

Nutritional Information:
Per serving: Calories 320, Total Fat 14 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Monounsaturated Fat 8 g, Polyunsaturated Fat 4 g, Cholesterol 83 mg, Sodium 394 mg, Carbohydrate 13 g, Total Sugar 8 g, Fiber 4 g, Protein 36 g. Daily Values: Vitamin A 0%, Vitamin C 135%, Calcium 8%, Iron 16%. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Source: recipe.com via Diamond on Pinterest

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Maintaining Weight Loss Tip #5

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.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Asian Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Pineapple

2 lb raw lean pork tenderloin (two 16 oz tenderloins)
6 oz canned pineapple juice
3 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
2 cups fresh pineapple, peeled cubed (1-inch pieces)
8 medium wooden or metal skewers (if using wooden skewers, soak in water for 30 minutes before use to prevent burning)

Place pork tenderloins in a large resealable plastic bag; set aside.
In a small bowl, combine pineapple juice, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, salt, cumin, chili powder and pepper; pour over pork. Seal bag; refrigerate for at least 1 hour to marinate, or up to 24 hours to enhance flavor.
Preheat grill to medium-hot.
When ready to grill, remove pork from marinade and discard marinade. Grill pork, covered, until a thermometer inserted in center of tenderloin reaches 145°F, about 10 minutes per side, followed by a 3-minute rest time.
Meanwhile, thread 1/4 cup pineapple chunks on each skewer; place on grill during the last 6 minutes of pork grilling time and cook, turning once after 3 minutes.
To serve, slice pork into 1/2-inch-thick slices (medallions) and serve with grilled pineapple.
Serving Size: 3 oz cooked pork tenderloin and 2 to 3 slices of pineapple per skewer

Source: weightwatchers.com via Jessica on Pinterest

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Maintaining Weight Loss Tip #4

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.
Source: American Heart Association

Monday, April 22, 2013

Farfalle with Watercress, Cherry Tomatoes, and Feta


8 ounces farfalle pasta
1 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
3 cups watercress leaves (from 2 small bunches)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions. Place the cheese in a large bowl; top with the watercress. Before draining the pasta, take 1/4 cup of the cooking water from the pot and pour it over the watercress. (Watercress will wilt slightly and cheese will get soft.) Place the tomatoes in a colander. Drain the pasta over the tomatoes for a super-quick blanch. Toss with the watercress and cheese; sprinkle with pepper and serve.

Source: fitnessmagazine.com via Macie on Pinterest

Friday, April 19, 2013

Maintaining Weight Loss Tip #3

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!
Source: American Heart Association

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Grilled Chicken Stuffed with Basil and Tomato

Serves 4

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 6 ounces each)
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
For The Stuffing:
12 fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
2 beefsteak tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

Butterfly chicken breasts: Put halves on a cutting board, smooth sides down, with the pointed ends facing you. Starting on one long side, cut breasts almost in half horizontally (stop about 1/2 inch before reaching the opposite side). Open cut breasts like a book. Sprinkle each piece all over with 1/8 teaspoon salt; season with pepper. Transfer to a plate, and coat both sides with garlic and oil. Let stand 30 minutes.

Heat a grill or grill pan until medium-hot. Place 3 basil leaves on the bottom half of each opened chicken breast; top each with 2 slices tomato. Fold over other half of chicken breast, and secure with two toothpicks or short skewers.

Grill chicken breasts, turning once, until golden brown on both sides and no longer pink in the center, about 15 minutes. Place on a clean serving platter; garnish with basil. If desired, remove toothpicks or skewers before serving.

Before grilling, soak the toothpicks or skewers in water for 30 minutes to prevent them from burning. Butterflying the chicken -- splitting each piece in half and fanning it open like a book -- creates two layers. They make tasty "sandwiches" with tomato and basil.

Source: wholeliving.com via Cecilia on Pinterest

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Maintaining Weight Loss Tip #2

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.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Honey Glazed Chicken Sandwich

Boneless chicken breast, olive oil, salt and black pepper
1/2 tbsp honey per chicken breast
Pinch of cayenne pepper for spicy version (optional)

1. Pour a little olive oil into a pan, and add in boneless chicken breast pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Cook on medium heat.
2. When chicken is just about done (should take about 7 minutes per side), drizzle honey on top of the chicken, flip it over, and turn the heat up. Add remaining honey to the other side of the chicken.
3. As the honey caramelizes, keep sliding (and flipping occasionally) the chicken around the pan to absorb all the syrup. You may need to add a little water if syrup becomes too thick. When the color of the chicken is a mix of golden and dark syrup, turn heat off and remove from pan.
4. Make a simple sandwich of honey-glazed chicken with tomato and lettuce. Use remaining honey syrup in pan as a sauce for the sandwich (if sauce is too thick to pour, add a little water and heat up again).

Source: blog.seasonwithspice.com via Dylaina on Pinterest

Monday, April 15, 2013

Maintaining Weight Loss Tip #1

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?
Source: American Heart Association

Friday, April 12, 2013

Healthy Weight Tips #4

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.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Healthy Weight Tips #3

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.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Measuring Success

At the beginning of the contest we discussed how measuring inches lost or gained can be another way to measure success during your weight loss journey. Take some time now to measure yourself again and see what areas you have improved in. You might be surprised with the improvements you have made even if you haven't lost the number of lbs. you had hoped you would during the contest.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Healthy Weight Tips #2

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.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Healthy Weight Tips #1

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.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Carrot Slaw with Cranberries, Toasted Walnuts & Citrus Vinaigrette

1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 pound grated carrots, or 1-1/3 pounds carrots, peeled and grated
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or walnut oil
1 teaspoon lemon zest and 2 tablespoons lemon juice, from one lemon
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice, from one orange
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Set oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place walnuts on baking sheet and bake until toasted and fragrant, 7-10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Combine all remaining ingredients in a large bowl and toss well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Season to taste with salt, pepper, honey or more citrus. Toss in walnuts and serve.

Serving Size: 4-6

Source: onceuponachef.com via laura on Pinterest

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Healthy Meal Tips

10 tips for healthy meals

A healthy meal starts with more vegetables and fruits and smaller portions of protein and grains. Think about how you can adjust the portions on your plate to get more of what you need without too many calories. And don’t forget dairy—make it the beverage with your meal or add fat-free or low-fat dairy products to your plate.
  1. Make half your plate veggies and fruits. Vegetables and fruits are full of nutrients and may help to promote good health. Choose red, orange, and darkgreen vegetables such as tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and broccoli.
  2. Add lean protein. Choose protein foods, such as lean beef and pork, or chicken, turkey, beans, or tofu. Twice a week, make seafood the protein on your plate.
  3. Include whole grains. Aim to make at least half your grains whole grains. Look for the words “100% whole grain” or “100% whole wheat” on the food label. Whole grains provide more nutrients, like fiber, than refined grains.
  4. Don’t forget the dairy. Pair your meal with a cup of fat-free or low-fat milk. They provide the same amount of calcium and other essential nutrients as whole milk, but less fat and calories. Don’t drink milk? Try soymilk (soy beverage) as your beverage or include fat-free or low-fat yogurt in your meal.
  5. Avoid extra fat. Using heavy gravies or sauces will add fat and calories to otherwise healthy choices. For example, steamed broccoli is great, but avoid topping it with cheese sauce. Try other options, like a sprinkling of low-fat parmesan cheese or a squeeze of lemon.
  6. Take your time. Savor your food. Eat slowly, enjoy the taste and textures, and pay attention to how you feel. Be mindful. Eating very quickly may cause you to eat too much. 
  7. Use a smaller plate. Use a smaller plate at meals to help with portion control. That way you can finish your entire plate and feel satisfied without overeating.
  8. Take control of your food. Eat at home more often so you know exactly what you are eating. If you eat out, check and compare the nutrition information. Choose healthier options such as baked instead of fried.
  9. Try new foods. Keep it interesting by picking out new foods you’ve never tried before, like mango, lentils, or kale. You may find a new favorite! Trade fun and tasty recipes with friends or find them online.
  10. Satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthy way. Indulge in a naturally sweet dessert dish—fruit! Serve a fresh fruit cocktail or a fruit parfait made with yogurt. For a hot dessert, bake apples and top with cinnamon.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Vegan Black Garbanzo Bean Curry - Slow Cooker Recipe

1 1/2 cups dried black garbanzo beans (or use regular garbanzo beans, but they will require a few hours longer to cook)
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh tomato (I used cherry tomatoes)
2 tsp. minced ginger root
2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 - 1 tsp. cayenne pepper (I used 1/2 tsp. and it was very hot so I'm not sure I'd recommend using the full amount unless  you really like it spicy!)
1 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. chile powder
2 tsp. salt (or less)
1 can petite dice tomatoes (optional)
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions (optional)
3-4 T chopped fresh cilantro
1 T fresh squeezed lemon juice

Pick over the garbanzo beans, removing any broken ones or debris found in the beans, and wash beans if needed.

Using a food processor or the bowl attachment of an immersion blender, puree together the onion, fresh tomatoes, minced ginger, minced garlic, cayenne, cumin seeds, turmeric, chile powder, and salt.  Put the paste mixture in the slow cooker with the beans and 4 cups of water and cook on high for about 9 hours, or until beans are soft.  (They will still be slightly chewy when they're done.  I would start to check after about 6 hours and see if you want to add more water.)

When beans are done, taste for seasoning.  You can eat the curry at this point, but it was too spicy for me so I added the can of tomatoes and sliced green onions and cooked for about 1 hour more on high.  When it's done to your liking, stir in the chopped cilantro and lemon juice.  Serve hot, over brown rice if desired.

(Makes 4-6 servings, depending on what else you eat it with.  Recipe adapted from The Indian Slow Cooker.) Used a 3.5 quart slow cooker for this recipe, and it could have been slightly smaller.

Source: kalynskitchen.com via Carrie on Pinterest

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A bit of Motivation!

"I'm Done With You!" - Leave Your Old Self Behind.
Remember you are in control and you have the power and the ability to keep going with your healthy lifestyle and weight loss goals. Now is a good time to recommit yourself to work a little harder, and try a little more. You can do this - just take one step at a time!

Back to the Basics of Healthy Weight Loss Part 3

Balance Food and Physical Activity

What you eat is just one part of the energy balance equation. The other is your physical activity. Most of us take in more calories than we spend on our daily activities.

Finding a healthier balance means fitting more activity into your day. The minimum for good health is 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity each day. To reach a healthy weight, you may need to be physically active longer (60 minutes a day) or participate in more intense activities. How much activity do you usually get now? If it's only 15 minutes, try adding a 15- or 20-minute walk during your lunch break.

American Dietetic Association

Monday, April 1, 2013

Salt and Sodium Tips

10 tips to help you cut back on the Salt/Sodium

It’s clear that Americans have a taste for salt, but salt plays a role in high blood pressure. Everyone, including kids, should reduce their sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day (about 1 teaspoon of salt). Adults age 51 and older, African Americans of any age, and individuals with high blood pressure, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease should further reduce their sodium intake to 1,500 mg a day.
  1. Think fresh. Most of the sodium Americans eat is found in processed foods. Eat highly processed foods less often and in smaller portions—especially cheesy foods, such as pizza; cured meats, such as bacon, sausage, hot dogs, and deli/ luncheon meats; and ready-to-eat foods, like canned chili, ravioli, and soups. Fresh foods are generally lower in sodium. 
  2. Enjoy home-prepared foods. Cook more often at home—where you are in control of what’s in your food. Preparing your own foods allows you to limit the amount of salt in them. 
  3. Fill up on veggies and fruits—they are naturally low in sodium. Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits—fresh or frozen. Eat a vegetable or fruit at every meal.
  4. Choose dairy and protein foods that are lower in sodium. Choose more fat-free or low-fat milk and yogurt in place of cheese, which is higher in sodium. Choose fresh beef, pork, poultry, and seafood, rather than those with salt added. Deli or luncheon meats, sausages, and canned products like corned beef are higher in sodium. Choose unsalted nuts and seeds.
  5. Adjust your taste buds. Cut back on salt little by little—and pay attention to the natural tastes of various foods. Your taste for salt will lessen over time.
  6. Skip the salt. Skip adding salt when cooking. Keep salt off the kitchen counter and the dinner table. Use spices, herbs, garlic, vinegar, or lemon juice to season foods or use no-salt seasoning mixes. Try black or red pepper, basil, curry, ginger, or rosemary.
  7. Read the label. Read the Nutrition Facts label and the ingredients statement to find packaged and canned foods lower in sodium. Look for foods labeled “low sodium,” “reduced sodium,” or “no salt added.”
  8. Ask for low-sodium foods when you eat out. Restaurants may prepare lower sodium foods at your request and will serve sauces and salad dressings on the side so you can use less. 
  9. Pay attention to condiments. Foods like soy sauce, ketchup, pickles, olives, salad dressings, and seasoning packets are high in sodium. Choose low-sodium soy sauce and ketchup. Have a carrot or celery stick instead of olives or pickles. Use only a sprinkling of flavoring packets instead of the entire packet.
  10. Boost your potassium intake. Choose foods with potassium, which may help to lower your blood pressure. Potassium is found in vegetables and fruits, such as potatoes, beet greens, tomato juice and sauce, sweet potatoes, beans (white, lima, kidney), and bananas. Other sources of potassium include yogurt, clams, halibut, orange juice, and milk.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Back to the Basics of Healthy Weight Loss Part 2

Get the Most Nutrition from Your Calories

The biggest nutrition problem for most Americans is posed by high-fat, high-sugar foods and drinks, such as snack foods, candies and soft drinks. Eating smarter does not mean you have to immediately go sugar-free and fat-free. You can make a big difference in your calorie intake by just eating and drinking smaller portions and by making empty calorie choices less often.

The key is to moderate, not eliminate. Watching portion sizes is an easy way to cut back without cutting out. If you want to consume less sugar, limit your soft drink intake to one can a day and switch to sparkling water the rest of the time.

American Dietetic Association

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Tortilla Soup

1 cup onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
2 (12 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
4 cups low-fat chicken broth
1/3 cup salsa
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
3-4 celery ribs, chopped
1/3 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon basil
4 tablespoons fat free sour cream
4 tablespoons flour, to thicken (use only 1 Tbsp. if you like your soup thinner)

5 min

35 min

Amount Per Serving
Calories 45Calories from Fat
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0g0%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Trans Fat
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 80mg3%
Potassium 290mg8%
Total Carbohydrate 10g3%
Dietary Fiber 2g8%
Sugars 4g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A20%
Vitamin C40%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Source: yummly.com via Maria on Pinterest

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Back to the Basics of Healthy Weight Loss Part 1

While there are plenty of ways to lose weight, maintaining your weight loss over the long term is often unsuccessful. If you've lost and found the same pounds several times before, it's probably time to go back to the basics of a healthy weight:
  • Prevention of weight gain or stopping recent weight gain can improve your health.
  • Health can improve with relatively minor weight reduction (5 percent to 10 percent of body weight).
  • Adopting a healthy lifestyle – eating smarter and moving more – can improve your health status even if you don't lose any weight at all.
  • If you want to maintain a healthy weight for the rest of your life, it's all about energy balance. Here are three basic steps for success:
Make Smart Choices from Every Food Group

Your body needs the right fuel for your hectic, stress-filled schedule. The best way to get what you need is to enjoy a wide variety of nutrient-rich foods that are packed with energy, protein, vitamins and minerals from all the MyPyramid food groups.

Where can you find these smart choices? When you go shopping, look to the four corners of your supermarket:
  • Fruits and vegetables from the produce aisles
  • Whole grains from the bakery
  • Low-fat milk products from the dairy case
  • Lean proteins from the meat/fish/poultry department.

Here's an easy way to eat more produce: Enjoy one fruit and one vegetable as a snack each day. It's quick, easy, tasty and very nutrient-rich.

American Dietetic Association

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Fruit Salad with Honey-Lime Dressing

Yield: enough for a crowd

1 pt. container strawberries
1 pt. container blueberries
1  bunch (about 1 1/2 lbs.) seedless grapes (green, red or a mixture of both)
1/4 cup honey
juice from 2 limes (about 2-3 tablespoons)

Rinse strawberries, blueberries and grapes.
Gently pat dry the fruit.  Hull strawberries, then cut each in half; if large, cut into quarters.
Remove stems from blueberries, if any.
Remove grapes from stems.
Gently combine  all three in a large bowl or aluminum tray.  Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together honey and lime juice.  Pour over fruit.

Source: ohyoucook.blogspot.com via Amy on Pinterest

Monday, March 25, 2013

Exercise Hydration

Goals of Hydration

  • Begin exercise well hydrated by drinking fluids during the day and within the hour before the exercise session.
  • Replace sweat losses by drinking fluids regularly during exercise.
  • Rehydrate after exercise to replace weight lost as fluid during exercise.
  • Follow a personalized fluid replacement plan to prevent the consequences of excessive (greater than 2% body weight loss) dehydration such as early fatigue, cardiovascular stress, increased risk of heat illness, and decreased performance.
Fluids Surrounding Exercise
  • For short duration (less than 60 minutes), low to moderate intensity activity, water is a good choice to drink before, during, and after exercise.
  • Sport drinks (6-8% carbohydrate) are good options for moderate to high intensity activity lasting longer than 60 minutes, especially when the goal includes replacing carbohydrate and electrolytes.
  • For those who experience high sodium losses during exercise, eat salty foods in a pre-exercise meal or add salt to sports drinks consumed during exercise.
  • Rehydrate following exercise by drinking enough fluid (water or sports drinks) to replace fluid lost during exercise. Replace fluid and sodium losses with watery foods that contain salt (soup, vegetable juice). Replace fluid and potassium losses by consuming fruits and vegetables.
American Dietetic Association

Friday, March 22, 2013

Exercise Tip #4

Other Great Exercise Tips:
• Wear comfortable, properly fitted footwear and comfortable, loose-fitting clothing appropriate for the weather and the activity.
• Find a convenient time and place to do activities. Try to make it a habit, but be flexible. If you miss an exercise opportunity, work activity into your day another way.
• Use music to keep you entertained.
• Surround yourself with supportive people. Decide what kind of support you need. Do you want them to remind you to exercise? Ask about your progress? Participate with you regularly or occasionally? Allow you time to exercise by yourself? Go with you to a special event, such as a 10K walk/run? Be understanding when you get up early to exercise? Spend time with the children while you exercise? Try not to ask you to change your exercise routine? Share your activity time with others. Make a date with a family member, friend or co-worker. Be an active role model for your children.
• Don't overdo it. Do low- to moderate-level activities, especially at first. You can slowly increase the duration and intensity of your activities as you become more fit. Over time, work up to exercising on most days of the week for 30-60 minutes.
• Keep a record of your activities. Reward yourself at special milestones. Nothing motivates like success!

Exercise Tips from the American Heart Association

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Breakfast Burrito Panini

Serves: 2
Cooking Time: 5 min

2 hard-cooked eggs, sliced or chopped
2 (8-inch) whole wheat or white flour tortillas
1/2 cup baby spinach leaves
1/3 cup black bean and corn salsa (see Notes)
1/4 cup shredded Mexican cheese

Heat panini press to medium-high heat according to directions.
Place 1 egg in middle of each tortilla, top evenly with spinach, salsa, and cheese. Fold sides of tortillas over filling, fold up bottom edge, and roll up.
Grill burritos in panini press until tortillas are toasted and filling is heated through, about 3 minutes. Cut and serve immediately.

Burritos can be grilled in a sprayed skillet over medium-high heat, turning once, until toasted and filling is heated through, about 3 to 4 minutes per side.

If you cannot find black bean and corn salsa, mix 1/4 cup each of black beans, corn, and salsa to make your own.

Source: mrfood.com via Mandy on Pinterest

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Exercise Tip #3

When figuring out an exercise plan that works for you make sure you have enough variety in your exercise routine that you won’t get bored. Variety is also important because our bodies are very good at adaptation. If we do the same thing over and over again our body gets used to it and we aren’t getting the same benefit we did when we first started. Adding variety helps to continuously push our bodies to its limits and in doing so makes us stronger. Variety can come in many forms: doing more repetitions, adding more weight, increasing the length of time, changing the type of exercise completely.

Exercise Tips from the American Heart Association