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EGGScellent Easter

THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE EGGLY

Now is the time when our attention turns to the humble egg.  A simple dietary staple the rest of the year, this is the week when it gets all tarted up in pastel dyes and glitter and gets hidden throughout the house, hopefully to be found by children on Easter instead of in June, putrefying in that too-good-a-hiding-place.  Boiled, fried, scrambled, poached, or emulsified into decadent mayonnaises, hollandaises, and aiolis, the egg is every cook’s best friend.  But these little chicken ova are not without controversy.  For years, nutrition experts have been debating whether the egg is a great, affordable source of protein, or a cholesterol-raising killer.  Take a look at the pluses and minuses of adding eggs to your diet as well as some preparation tips.  Let’s get cracking!

THE GOOD

One of the best things about eggs is you don’t have to shell (ha- get it) out much money.  Eggs can cost as little as pennies on the dollar apiece—one of the least expensive sources of protein around.

A typical whole egg contains only 75 calories and 6 grams of protein, with only 5 grams of fat, 2 of which are saturated.  It is full of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, B6, B12, and E, thiamin, riboflavin, iron, phosphorous, pantothenic acid, and zinc. and the protein is considered to be the most complete and balanced for humans of any protein source other than mother’s milk.

It is one of the rare foods that contains vitamin D.  While the human body can produce vitamin D itself from exposure to sunlight, egg yolks are one of the few dietary sources for the vitamin. (more…)


Gnocchi with Shrimp, Asparagus, and Pesto

Ingredients:

  • 2 quarts plus 1 tablespoon water, divided
  • 1 (16 ounce) package vacuum packed gnocchi
  • 4 cups (1 inch) slices of asparagus (about 1 pound)
  • 1 pound cooked shrimp (thawed)
  • ¼ cup Pesto Sauce of your choice

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Instructions:  Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil and add Gnocchi to cook for several minutes until done (Gnocchi will rise to the surface when cooked).  Remove with a slotted spoon; place in a large bowl.  Add asparagus to the pot of boiling water and boil for 5 minutes or until it’s cooked to your preference.  In the meantime, sauté the shrimp in a pan until heated.  Drain asparagus and place with the cooked Gnocchi in the bowl along with the cooked shrimp.    Add ¼ cup serving of pesto of your choice, stir to coat and serve immediately while hot.  Enjoy!

Makes 4 servings- Nutrients per serving

Calories: 347   Carbohydrates: 36   Protein: 31   Fat: 9


Use It, Before You Lose It!

 

On a typical day at a large medical center, two patients were having toes amputated, another had nerve damage, one was being treated for kidney failure, another for infection, and another was blind. Despite their variety, these problems were due to just one disease: Diabetes. On an average day nearly half of the inpatients at the medical center have diabetes. Every day in the US, 230 people with diabetes enter the final stage of kidney disease; and 55 go blind. A little over a decade ago, these complications which typically develop about 10-15 years after the onset of the disease, were rarely seen in people younger than age 60.  But now, as more and more children are being diagnosed with diabetes, experts are predicting that the typical patient will be more in the 20’s.

In general, people with diabetes should follow many of the same dietary guidelines recommended for those without diabetes.  One difference is that people with diabetes may need to eat less carbohydrate and slightly more fat or protein to help regulate their blood glucose levels. Carbohydrates are still an important part of the diet, but their intake may need to be reduced. Precise nutritional recommendations vary according to each individual’s responses to foods. In addition, people with diabetes should avoid alcoholic beverages, which can cause hypoglycemia.

The facts are we cannot control our family history, but we can eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and maintain and appropriate body weight. Studies show that losing only 10 to 30 pounds can reduce or eliminate the symptoms of type 2 diabetes. Also many cases of type 2 deabetes could be prevented or delayed with a balanced, diet, regular exercise, and achieving and/ or maintaining a healthful body weight.

Shoppers Guide

  • Select breads and cereals that are made with whole grains such as wheat, oats, barley, and rye.
  • Choose foods that have at lease 2 or 3 g of fiber per serving.
  • Buy fresh fruits and vegetables whenever possible. When appropriate, eat them with the skin left on.
  • Buy frozen vegies and fruits when fresh produce is no available. Check frozen selections to make sure there is no extra sugar or salt added.
  • Be careful when buying canned fruits and veggies, as many are high in sodium and added sugar. Foods that are packed in their own juice are more healthful that n=those packed in syrup.
  • Buy plenty of legumes, and eat some every day if possible. add them to soups, casseroles, and other recipes. If you are trying to consume less sodium, rinse canned beans to remove extra salt or choose low-sodium alternatives.

Resources: http://www.diabetes.org


LISTEN YOUR WAY TO FASTER RECOVERY

If you haven’t given it much thought to cooldown playlists in the past, it’s time to reconsider.  Researchers asked fit young men and women who had just completed a six-minute run to spend 15 minutes cooling down- some in silence, others while listening to music.

The results: Listening to music increased the number of cooldown steps they took from 413 to 499, lowered lactate levels further by 28% versus 22.8% for silent recovery, and reduced their rate of perceived exertion further as well.

Music with tempos of at least 140 beats per minute (bpm) enhances recovery by motivating exercisers to move more during their cooldown.  Cooling down at 40% to 50% of your training heart rate range doesn’t just help muscles feel better, it transitions your heart rate back to normal more effectively.


Lemon Dill Wild Salmon With Asparagus

serves 2-4

Ingredients

2-4 pcs Wild Salmon (approx. 6 oz each), skin left on

For Marinade

1 tbsp Olive Oil

1 tsp Dijon Mustard

2 tbsp Lemon Juice

1 tsp Dill (fresh or dried)

2 cloves Garlic, minced

Salt and Pepper

Lemon Slices, if desired

I like to serve the fish over a bed of spinach or greens tossed with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Combine marinade ingredients and pour into a shallow dish large enough for the salmon to fit. Place salmon in the dish skin side up at first to coat the meat, and then turn fish over with skin side down. Place lemon sliced on top. Alternatively, pour marinade into a large ziploc bag, add the fish pieces and lem

on slices, seal the bag and coat all sides of the fish. Marinade for at least 15 minutes and up to two hours prior to cooking (if longer than 15 minutes, place in refrigerator). In a large skillet – prepared with olive oil or cooking spray – and over medium-high heat, cook salmon for about 7 minutes per side or until just cooked through. The center of the fish should no longer be dark pink, but the fish should still be very moist. Serve warm.

Roasted asparagus pairs really nicely with this lemony salmon. To roast,  simply toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and bake for about 10-12 minutes at 350ºF.

Nutrition Information (Approximate Values): 210 Calories, 10.5g Fat, 28g Protein, 0g Fiber, 0g Carbohydrates


Superfood: Lemons

Lemons are among the many superfoods. They contain calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, bioflavonoids(antioxidant), limonene(anti-cancer effects), pectin(fiber), B-complex vitamins, copper, iron and potassium. When you think of lemons you think of just a yellow fruit, but there is so much more that these little yellow fruits do. They do everything from helping to clear acne to helping with digestion to helping to get rid of headaches. Here are just some of the benefits of adding lemons to your everyday diet:

Immune System:

Lemons are high in Vitamin C which is great for fighting off  infections, like the flu or colds. They’re also high in potassium which helps to control blood pressure and increase HDL levels. Lemons have more potassium than apples or grapes.

Cancer Fighting:

Lemons have 22 anti-cancer compounds! Found in lemons, is an oil called Limonene, which can slow or halt the growth of cancer.

Alkaline?

Yep, lemons aren’t acidic. They are actually alkaline inside your body. Adding lemon to your water will help make your water even more alkaline. This helps to restore balance to the body’s pH.

Weight Loss:

Lemons are high in pectin fiber, which is a complex carb. This will help you feel full longer and fight off cravings. (more…)


NO STRUGGLE TO BEGIN

People often start a program with the intention of making a change, but struggle to stick with it.  Remember, it is only when you decide that you are ready to make a real commitment to this change and do it for yourself that you expect results.  Without a real resolution to change, you will likely encounter many obstacles and barriers that will make sticking with the program difficult.  Consider the following tips if you are thinking about starting a program:

  • Ask yourself why you want to make this change an who you are doing it for.
  • Write down a list of all the benefits you foresee with making this change and a list of costs (e.g., time, effort and money) that will be required to do so.  If the balance swings in favor of the benefits, you are likely to stick with the program.
  • Identify a support system.  Find individuals of significance in your life who will support your desire to change and perhaps even join you.
  • Select some rewards for achieving major steps in your program.  Recognize your achievements with treats such as a purchase, attending a function or even taking a trip (Not Food).  Such rewards will help you stay motivated during the beginning of your program. (more…)

Hydration Fat-Loss Effect

Water suppresses the appetite naturally and helps the body metabolize stored fat.  Studies show that a decrease in water intake will cause fat deposits to increase, while an increase in water can actually reduce fat deposits.

Why?  The kidneys can’t function properly without enough water.  When the kidneys don’t function to capacity, some of the work load is taken on by the liver.  The liver’s primary function is to metabolize stored fat into usable energy.  If the liver has to do some of the kidneys work, it can’t function at it’s optimal capacity.  As a result, it metabolizes less fat.  More fat remains stored and weight-loss/fat-loss stops.

The best way to overcome water retention is to give the body more water.  The body will then release the stored water.  Diuretics offer only temporary relief of water retention.  Your body will perceive this as a threat to survival and hold onto every drop.

If you have a constant problem with water retention, excess salt may be your problem.  The more salt you eat the more water your body will hold.  It holds onto water to dilute the salt because the body can only tolerate so much sodium.  To get rid of sodium, drink more water.  Water will remove sodium as it passes through your kidneys.

Water helps to maintain muscle by giving it the natural ability to contract and by preventing dehydration.  Remember, your muscle is primarily made up of water.


Garlic Braised Chicken with Lentils & Asparagus

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 30 mins

Serves 4

Ingredients:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, divided

1 teaspoon minced orange zest, divided

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

10 cloves of garlic, trimmed & bruised with side of knife

2 ½ cup reduced sodium low-fat broth, divided

2/3 cup of brown lentils

1 ½ cup trimmed asparagus pieces

  1. In a large bowl season chicken with 1 teaspoon thyme, ½ teaspoon orange zest, ¼ teaspoon of black pepper.
  2. Heat olive oil in deep 10 inch skillet or sauté pan over medium heat, until it shimmers.  Add chicken and all 10 garlic cloves and cook for 3 minutes.  Turn the chicken over and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add ½ cup of chicken broth. Reduce heat to low.  Cover and cook until chicken is cooked through and the garlic is soft, about 10 mins.  Transfer chicken plate and cover with foil. (more…)

Remember that “guy”?

Ask 10 people for weight loss advice, and you’ll get 10 different answers. Work out constantly, set long-term goals, set short-term goals. Most of us have been following certain rules, or lack thereof, for how to shed pounds our entire lives.  Just how much of what we have been told about weight loss is actually false?  Have you ever met the “I exercise every day, so I can eat whatever I want person?”  Would be nice, right? Unfortunately, that’s not how it works if you’re trying to lose weight.  Even though you burn calories and fat when you exercise, it’s often not as much as you think or what the readout on the cardio equipment tells you.

Let’s move on to the “All calories are equal, so it doesn’t matter what I eat guy.”  Is it realistic to say that 240 calories from a can of pop is the same as 240 calories from chicken? A calorie, by its simplest definition, is a unit of energy.  The kind of calories the body gets will affect how efficiently people burn their body’s energy, which is a key for losing weight and keeping it off.  It’s not that calories don’t matter, but the quality of the calories going in can affect the number of calories going out.

Finally the “Weight gain and abdominal fat are unavoidable person”! (And you know who you are!) Let’s be honest here, you’re not going to wake up on Monday morning with a gut and 10 extra pounds.  Fitness is a lifestyle that reaps many benefits.  Regular physical activity, along with a nutritious diet, is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, there must be a balance between calories consumed and calories expended through metabolic and physical activity.  Fitness does not have a finish line but your lifestyle will take you where you want to go.

 

 


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