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How many times did you eat out last week? Or pick up take-out pizza or Chinese food? Sometimes it feels like there isn’t enough time to prepare meals at home. Let me offer tips to make cooking at home easier. You’ll be able to save both money and calories, fat and sodium!!
Try planning your leftovers…
Think of convenience items to get your meal started…
Think breakfast for dinner…
Preparing more meals at home gives you control of the ingredients – so you consume less sodium, saturated fat and sugar. And it provides the opportunity for your children to lend a hand during meal preparation and to learn cooking techniques.
The Super Bowl is next Sunday, and although my favorite team will not be playing, I still plan to watch what will hopefully be a great game… Perhaps this week you and your family can decide on your Super Bowl menu, and then look over the recipes to see if they can be a bit healthier. It is very easy to make substitute a few ingredients for a lighter version – saving calories, sodium and fat!
For your favorite Super Bowl dip, start with fat-free or reduced-fat sour cream, cream cheese or Greek yogurt rather than the higher-fat versions. Add texture with chopped green or red onions and roasted peppers. Add flavor with fresh parsley, cilantro or basil.
Along side your favorite Super Bowl dip, make sure you have plenty of healthy dippers. Raw veggies are a favorite in my family: cherry tomatoes, green beans, zucchini strips, cucumber slices, bell pepper chunks and mushrooms. You could also use baked corn or potato chips, whole-grain crackers (such as Triscuits) or pieces of whole wheat pita bread.
Looking for something a bit more substantial on your Super Bowl menu? Try steamed spicy shrimp, mini turkey meatballs or mini whole-grain subs stuffed with marinated veggies or chicken salad. End the night with a colorful fresh fruit platter with cinnamon-yogurt dip.
Recipe substitutions can save you calories – and they add up quickly after a nighttime of munching! For example:
Thinking of a sweet ending to the Super Bowl evening? Try some delicious, chocolate cookies with a hint of mint frosting. The ingredients include no-trans-fat margarine, egg substitutes, elimination of salt, brown-sugar-substitute blend… full recipe at www.marthajefferson.org; click on Healthy Bites with Rita Smith.
I continually receive questions about celiac disease and a gluten-free diet. Since celiac disease affects 1 in133 Americans, this is not surprising. In celiac disease, the body is “allergic” to the protein gluten and the lining of the intestinal walls become inflamed and irritated if gluten-containing foods are eaten.
Typical symptoms of untreated celiac disease:
Dermatitis herpetiformis is when the skin has an allergic reaction to gluten. The skin becomes very itchy and develops blistering skin lesions, typically on the elbows, knees and shoulders.
The only treatment for celiac disease is a gluten-free diet. Those with celiac disease should avoid all forms of
Look for gluten-free products from Arrowhead Mills (www.arrowheadmills.com) and Bob’s Red Mill (www.bobsredmill.com).
Although those with celiac disease must avoid certain foods, there are many grains and starches that are still okay, such as rice, corn, legumes, millet, quinoa and potatoes. Also, many healthy foods are still okay to eat too: fruits and vegetables; dairy products (low fat milk, yogurt and cheese); nuts and seeds; eggs, fish, poultry and red meats; oils; and herbs and spices.
New Year’s Eve parties are going to be in full swing. Parties and gatherings usually feature special foods, and often they are made with rich, fatty, calorie-laden ingredients. How to survive without gaining weight or seeing your blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol go off the charts? Moderation in everything is a pretty good rule of thumb.
Here are some holiday party survival tips to save calories:
New Year’s Eve parties are lots of fun, and you don’t want to spend your time fretting about your food intake. It is a special time with family and friends but you can maintain reasonable eating even at the merriest of gatherings. Other tips:
I seem to always talk about lightening-up your favorite recipes. With two major holidays still ahead, let’s review what this means. To lighten-up means you prepare the recipe to cut down on calories, fat, sugar and/or salt. Which ingredients you focus on will depend upon your health needs. For example, if you have diabetes, you might try to lower the sugar content or if you have high blood pressure, you will want to reduce the salty ingredients.
Lower the Salt/Sodium:
Lower the Fat:
Lower the Sugar:
Many of your favorite recipes can have small ingredient adjustments but with a big health pay-off. Before you automatically make your holiday favorites the same ole way, glance over the ingredient listing to see where you can lighten-up.
So many possible changes.
October is National Celiac Disease Awareness Month. Celiac Disease is an inherited autoimmune disorder that affects about 1 person out of every 133. Researchers at the U. of Maryland School of Medicine have found it is on the rise in the elderly. Since 1972 Celiac Disease in the U.S has doubled every 15 years.
In Celiac Disease, the body cannot digest the protein gluten. Classic symptoms of Celiac Disease include
Gluten is found in wheat, wheat bran & wheat germ; barley and rye. This includes farina, most pasta & couscous, many cereals (Raisin Bran, Wheaties, Total, Grapenuts & Shredded Wheat).
Plan meals and snacks around gluten-free foods:
Thicken soups, stews, etc. with tapioca, cornstarch & potato starch rather than flour.
Keeping a gluten-free kitchen means reading ingredient labels thoroughly.
Have on hand healthy snacks for all family members:
Young adults should watch their diet! A study from U of CA looked at LDL-cholesterol in >3,200 adults ages 18 to 30 years. (CARDI, Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adult study). Those with a high LDL-cholesterol were more likely to have health troubles down the road. There were increased calcium deposits build-up in coronary arteries as soon as 20 year later. This could be an early indicator of heart disease.
Natural cholesterol reducers are best to lower LDL-cholesterol in young adults rather than resorting to medications:
Family Health Tip: Raise your children with healthy foods prepared in healthy ways.
More information: www.nhlbi.gov.
These are turkey subs that all young folks will enjoy: whole wheat sub rolls, low-fat turkey breast, light herb&gralic spread rather than mayonnaise, reduced-fat cheese slices, fresh tomatoes, green onions and roasted red peppers.
Pediatric overweight and obesity is a huge problem in the U.S. This excess weight puts kids at increased risk for chronic diseases at young ages. A 10-year National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) of >4,300 children and >5,300 adolescents showed that that breakfast skippers had more weight problems. (Source: Jl Amer Dietetic Assoc., June 2010)
Breakfast Skippers took in less of vitamins (Vitamins A, E, C, and B-6), minerals (iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium), and fiber.
Breakfast Skippers ate fewer fruits & veggies, and more sugar and fat!
Breakfast skippers were often adolescent girls or kids who were rushed in the morning – they didn’t fit in breakfast.
This survey leaves us with some good lessons.
Make breakfast happen:
On the weekend make fruit or veggie quick breads or muffins for an easy reheat on a school day. Add a glass of reduced-fat milk and a piece of fruit, and you have a balanced breakfast. Here is a picture of banana bread made with oats, nonfat buttermilk, egg whites and LOTS of mashed bananas. Delicious!!!
Bring your kitchen to the out-of-doors this summer. You will have the opportunity to lighten up most of your dishes and save hundreds of calories: Read the rest of this entry…