Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Having a healthy diet doesn't have to mean swearing off alcohol, staying home, and eating salads.
You can have your cake and eat it too.
The key to sticking to a healthy diet when away from home is being savvy. You need to learn what types of dishes are healthy options and how to avoid those that are heavy, fatty, or high sodium.
Check out HealthyDiningFinder.com. It will aid you in sussing out the good choices. After a bit of research you'll be able to eat away from home with confidence. That's a skill worth having.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Here's an easy, yummy breakfast for those who stumble through the morning listlessly until they've had at least two cups of coffee: drizzle warm farro with honey, then top with chopped walnuts and blueberries.
What is farro? It is an ancient grain high in fiber and protein. Prepare as a side and serve with fish, chicken, and shellfish for dinner. Then, the next morning, heat it up for breakfast. Nothing gets easier than that.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
You want to improve your health, so you decide to increase your physical activity and cut snacks out of your diet. Sounds logical, right?
Researchers say not so fast: you ought to think twice before nixing your between meal nosh.
Why? A study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association suggests snackers have healthier diets than their 3-meal-a-day counterparts. Study participants who snacked consumed more fruits, milk, and whole grains than non-snackers. They also consumed less sodium and ate healthier regular meals.
I know. This is good news. I mean, who doesn't love snacks?
The only wrinkle? Both snackers and non-snackers were deficient in vegetable intake.
Sugar snap peas anyone? They're my new favorite snack. (I eat them straight out of the bag).
Monday, February 13, 2012
The discovery of FTO, which predisposes people toward obesity, created a defeatist attitude among many who struggle with weight. Why waste time exercising if you were born to be fat?
It's a good question, and researchers now have a good answer. A study published in the scientific journal PLoS Medicine indicates that exercising, even with the FTO gene, reduces the chances one will become obese by nearly 30%. The researchers analyzed data from 45 studies including 218,000 adults living in North America, Asia, and Europe and found that exercise influenced both body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference in adults.
No more excuses, ladies. Lace up those sneakers and get moving. Your body will respond, and it will feel great. I promise.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Chicken is a dinner staple for millions of Americans, and why not? It is lean, healthy, inexpensive, easy to prepare and kid-friendly.
So why are so many of us bored to death with our chicken dinners?
Despite chicken's versatility, most of us find ourselves in a chicken rut. I'd guess you have a few chicken recipes that you could whip up in your sleep. And you make them over and over and over again. I understand: by the time you wander into the kitchen to make dinner you are exhausted from the day's activities. Quick, easy, prep that requires little thought is paramount.
But chicken's mild flavor makes it a great meat to experiment and get creative with. Feel like something sweet, mild, spicy or crunchy? You can do it with chicken. With that idea in mind, this week I went foraging in my refrigerator to see what I could throw together. I hope it will inspire you to create your own culinary masterpiece.
All the ingredients came from within my house. No extra trips to the grocery store. No fancy stuff.
Chicken smothered with tomatoes, olives, and nuts:
Serves 4 adults
Prep and cook time: 25 minutes
- Season chicken tenderloins with salt and pepper. (I usually bake 2 tenderloins for women and 3 for men). Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes.
- Prepare farro (or another grain) according to package directions. (Farro is an ancient grain high in protein and fiber. I read about its virtues recently and stumbled upon it at Costco last weekend. It is good. It has a nutty flavor and a consistency similar to barley).
- While the chicken and farro are cooking, prepare tomato and olive topping:
- Cut one pint of cherry or grape tomatoes in quarters. Place in bowl and set aside.
- In another bowl combine:
- Six colossal green olives, chopped
- 1/3 cup chopped hazel nuts
- 1/4 cup of raisins
- Put 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add tomatoes. Cover, stirring often until they are soft.
- Add bowl of olives, hazel nuts, and raisins. Cook until raisins are soft.
- Create beds of farro on each plate. Top with chicken. Lay topping on chicken. Sprinkle with pecorino romano, if desired. Add a green vegetable to each plate.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Somebody (hint: powerful food companies) waged a great campaign. They told us fast food was cheaper than whole food, and we believed it. Thoroughly convinced, we began to choose McDonald's, Wendy's or Hardee's over healthier, home-cooked meals. It was certainly easier than slaving away in the kitchen. If it were cheaper, too, why not?
But time always reveals the truth eventually, and we've learned junk food is not cheaper than real food. Slow food USA, a global organization whose goal is to encourage people to discover that eating whole foods is good for one's health, community, and the environment, has the proof. The organization recently launched a program called the $5 challenge. Here, Americans were asked to submit healthy meal ideas that would feed an individual for $5 or less.
Guess what? There are thousands of ideas and recipes listed there. Check it out.