Monday, February 29, 2016

Benefits of Physical Activity

The benefits of exercise go far beyond weight management. They also include:

·         A lower risk of anxiety and depression

·         Better sleep, and a boost to your energy, mental sharpness, and creativity

·         Lower risks for hypertension, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and breast and colon cancer

·         Greater muscle mass and bone density, fat reduction, and an improved body image

·         Reduce risk of cardiovascular disease

·         Strengthens bones and muscles

·         Improve your ability to do daily activities and prevent falls, if you’re an older adult

·         Increase your chances of living longer

Check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program, especially if you haven’t exercised for a while or if you have chronic health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, or arthritis. If you want a personalized plan, your primary care provider can help get you started.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Be Physically Active

A physically active lifestyle is fundamental to good health. Regular exercise is one of the best predictors of health, and no matter what you weigh, you can’t afford to be a couch potato. Yet most Utah adults don’t meet the recommended levels of physical activity.

So where do you start? Escaping from a sedentary lifestyle can seem daunting, but it doesn’t need to be. Here are some tips for developing and maintaining a regular physical activity regimen.

·         Just start, no matter how small! The rule with exercise is that none is bad, some is good, and more is better. Don’t worry if you can’t meet the recommendations right away. Be patient, and aim for progress, not perfection.

·         Start with aerobic activities, which have the most substantial health benefits. Use large muscle groups for enough time to raise your heart rate and break a sweat. Later on, you can add balance, flexibility, or strength training for even more benefits.

·         Start slowly and build up slowly. If you’ve been inactive for some time, you might just take a ten-minute walk every couple of days. But schedule a time and make it a part of your routine. Later, you can increase the duration of the exercise, and then the intensity. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate activity each week. (Just 30 minutes, five days a week!)

·         Sit less. Too much time sitting can increase your risk for chronic disease, even if you get the recommended 150 minutes a week. Aim for less than two hours of screen time a day, not including work and school, and try to sit for less than six hours total. If you have to sit a lot, stand up and move around for two or three minutes every half hour.

·         Do what works for YOU. You’re more likely to keep a habit that reflects who you are and what you enjoy. Exercising with a friend or family member can help you stay on a schedule and can make workouts more fun. But listening to music or audiobooks can give you time for solitude and reflection. Find what works for you.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Fresh and Frozen Veggies

Try something new. You may find that you love grilled vegetables or steamed vegetables with an herb you haven't tried like rosemary. You can sauté (panfry) vegetables in a non-stick pan with a small amount of cooking spray. Or try frozen or canned vegetables for a quick side dish — just microwave and serve. When trying canned vegetables, look for vegetables without added salt, butter, or cream sauces. Commit to going to the produce department and trying a new vegetable each week.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Fresh and Frozen Fruits


Don't think just apples or bananas.  Be sure to try some "exotic" fruits, too. How about a mango? Or a juicy pineapple or kiwi fruit!  All fresh, frozen, or canned fruits are great choices.  When your favorite fresh fruits aren't in season, try a frozen, canned, or dried variety of a fresh fruit you enjoy. One caution about canned fruits is that they may contain added sugars or syrups. Be sure and choose canned varieties of fruit packed in water or in their own juice.


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Eat Red!

Valentine's Day is this month; celebrate by being sweet to your heart.

Eat plenty of red fruits and vegetables. Lycopene is an antioxidant that gives red fruits and veggies their bright color. Lycopene also helps reduce the risk of having a heart attack. Great choices are tomatoes and watermelon.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Eat Like an Artist

Paint yourself as the picture of health by eating like an artist! Make your plate beautiful, with life-enhancing colors — eat as many colors in each meal and over the course of the day and week as you can — ​and when possible, eat fruits and vegetables whole, including the skin (wash first, of course)​.

Eating foods in shades of green, orange, yellow, purple and red  is a great way to ensure you are getting a variety of health benefits. Even pale-colored foods (white, yellow, pink) have health-promoting properties.

Why are they so good for you?

These brightly colored foods contain vitamins and other nutrients, as well as plant-based chemicals that help boost immunity and fight disease.  They're also rich in fiber.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Fruit and Veggie Tip - MICROWAVE

  • Any of your favorite chopped veggies in a bowl with an egg or two for a quick, nutritious breakfast.
  • Cranberries and orange zest with a little sugar and water to make a sweet cranberry relish.
  • Frozen or canned vegetables on those busy nights.
  • Spaghetti squash by cutting in half lengthwise and putting face down in a dish with water. Scoop out squash and serve like spaghetti with tomato sauce and/or Parmesan cheese.
  • A potato for lunch and top with low-fat cottage cheese and chives.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Fruit and Veggie Tip - BLANCH

  • Almonds in water for 15 seconds and peel for a new twist on a healthy snack.
  • Basil and parsley leaves. Blend together with olive oil, pine nuts, garlic and a little lemon juice for a great pesto!
  • Broccoli and cauliflower to use on a vegetable platter for snacks and appetizers.
  • Broccoli rabe in salted water to reduce bitterness. Then cook like broccoli.
  • Carrots, cauliflower, green beans, asparagus and broccoli. Marinate in your favorite low-fat vinaigrette and serve cold. If desired, add other veggies like onions, mushrooms and peppers.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Fruit and Veggie Tip - STEW

  • Pears. Peel and core and stew gently in cinnamon, sugar and water until tender. Perfect for an after-dinner treat!
  • Cabbage with tomatoes and garlic to serve over rice for a unique side dish to any meal!
  • Classic stew vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, green beans, celery, onions in canned tomato sauce. Substitute canned beans like kidney beans or black beans for meat.
  • Frozen corn, onions, peppers, celery, and salsa. Serve over rice. Add some red or black beans and call it a meal!
  • Canned tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, and chickpeas. Add oregano and top with sliced olives.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Fruit and Veggie Tip - GRILL

  • Mushrooms, bell peppers, onions and tenderloin for the perfect summer kabobs.
  • Corn on the cob. Peel and coat in a mix of seasonings such as oregano, pepper, onion and chili powders and salt with a touch of butter to help it stick. Wrap in aluminum foil and grill until tender.
  • Pineapple, peaches or mango. Top with a dollop of low-fat ice cream, frozen yogurt or sherbet.
  • Asparagus and add to a salad of mixed greens, roasted peppers and toasted nuts.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Fruit and Veggie Tip - ROAST

  • Red peppers in the oven at 450°, turning every 15 minutes until done (blackened skins). Peel off the skin and slice them, then drizzle in oil and garlic and refrigerate. A Perfect addition to any salad, sandwich or antipasto dish!
  • Whole red potatoes in the oven after tossing them in a mixture of olive oil, garlic and rosemary until tender for a mouth-watering side to any meal!
  • Some winter vegetables cut in large pieces – parsnips, turnips, rutabaga, beets, sweet potato are some good choices. Coat lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with your favorite herbs, and roast at 425° for 30-40 minutes until tender and browned.
  • Brussels sprouts drizzled lightly with olive oil, and sprinkled with salt. Magnifique!
  • Thin slices of sweet potato to make chips.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Fruit and Veggie Tip - SAUTE

  • Pear and apple slices (peeled) in a skillet with a little butter until tender. Add marmalade and orange slices, remove from heat and serve for a fruity dessert.
  • Cauliflower with nutmeg and oil after pre-steaming for a tasty twist on an old veggie.
  • Spinach with garlic and olive oil.
  • Green and yellow summer squash with onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. For a different twist, add chopped tomato and basil.
  • A variety of different colored peppers with onion. Serve as a side dish.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Fruit and Veggie Tip - STIR FRY

  • Pineapple and mango in a honey ginger sauce for a perfect topping to low- or fat-free ice cream.
  • Zucchini, yellow squash, diced tomatoes and mushrooms with olive oil and herbs. Add some diced jalapeno for an extra kick and serve over brown rice.
  • Broccoli in olive oil and chopped garlic. Add some capers for extra zip.
  • Frozen mixed veggies. Add a dash of low sodium soy sauce, or flavor with herbs.
  • Onions, peppers, zucchini, corn and jicama. Throw in some red or black beans. Season with your favorite salsa to give it a Southwestern flair. Serve over rice.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Fruit and Veggie Tip - STEAM

  • Artichokes for a long time (about an hour) to get flavorful leaves perfect for dipping! Try them with a tasty almond pate.
  • Any of your favorite vegetables with citrus juice and zest added to the water to create bold, new flavors. Try lemon juice with spinach, orange with broccoli or grapefruit with carrots!
  • A medley of vegetables and season with some herbs. Serve over couscous.
  • Cabbage, and season with caraway seed, salt and pepper.
  • Green beans with chopped onion. Add a clove of garlic to cooking water.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Fruit and Veggie Tip - BOIL

  • Diced or crushed tomatoes in a vegetable or chicken broth for the base of a homemade tomato soup! Add fresh herbs and spices to make your own unique recipe.
  • Apples with lemon juice and cinnamon. Mash up and serve warm or chilled.
  • Turnips and potatoes. Mash them together and season with salt and pepper.
  • Kale, and add a handful of chopped currants, salt and pepper.
  • Butternut squash and season with salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Fruit and Veggie Tip - BAKE

  • Sweet potato fries by cutting up into slices and seasoning with olive oil, cayenne pepper and a dash of salt.
  • Peaches for a sweet snack. Slice in half, drizzle on some honey and sprinkle with ginger and pecans.
  • Winter squash. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with cinnamon.
  • A potato for lunch. Top with broccoli and a sprinkle of cheese.
  • An apple for dessert. Fill the core with dried fruit and nuts