Thursday, May 18, 2017

Avocado salad with ginger-miso dressing

By Mayo Clinic Staff
Four classic soy foods — tofu, soy milk, miso and soy sauce — flavor this creamy dressing. A perfect complement to the avocado in this salad, the dressing is equally delicious on sliced tomatoes or grilled salmon  


    For the dressing
  1. 1/3 cup plain silken tofu
  2. 1/3 cup low-fat plain soy milk (soya milk)
  3. 1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  5. 1 teaspoon light miso
  6. 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  7. 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro (fresh coriander)
  8. 1 tablespoon chopped green (spring) onion, including tender green top
  9. 1 small avocado, pitted, peeled and cut into 12 thin slices
  10. 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  11. 12 ounces mixed baby lettuces
  12. 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  13. 1 green (spring) onion, including tender green top, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  14. 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro (fresh coriander)


To make the dressing, combine tofu, soy milk, ginger, soy sauce, miso and mustard in a blender or food processor. Process just until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the cilantro and green onion. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
In a small bowl, toss the avocado slices in the lemon juice to prevent browning. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine the lettuces, red and green onions, and cilantro and toss to mix.
Add 2/3 of the dressing and toss lightly to coat. Divide the salad among individual plates. Arrange 2 avocado slices on top of each portion in a crisscross pattern. Top each avocado cross with a dollop of the remaining dressing. Serve immediately.

Nutritional analysis per serving

  • Total carbohydrate 7 g
  • Dietary fiber 3 g
  • Sodium 131 mg
  • Saturated fat 1 g
  • Total fat 5 g
  • Cholesterol 0 mg
  • Protein 3 g
  • Monounsaturated fat 3 g
  • Calories

Track your eating habits





learn how to track your eating habits

Food records bring awareness to eating habits and help identify weight loss roadblocks. Get one started with these suggestions.

Research suggests that one of the best ways to change unhealthy eating habits is to first keep track of them, which makes sense considering most of us underestimate what we actually eat in a day. By identifying patterns of unhealthy eating choices in the record you keep, you can begin to change them.
Create a food record that includes the following items:
  • Date and day of the week. Also note the exact time or the general time of day — such as morning, lunchtime or evening.
  • All foods you eat and drink. Be specific on the types and amounts, and include details such as added fats, sugars — like butter, honey and other sweeteners — and beverages.
  • Portion sizes. Measure or estimate the size in volume, weight or number of items.
  • Your location when you eat. Write down where you are, whether it’s in your car, at your desk or on the couch — and whether you’re eating alone or with someone else.
  • What you’re doing while you eat. Pay attention to what else you may be focused on, such as watching TV or socializing at a restaurant.
  • Your mood. How do you feel — happy, sad, stressed out?

To make your food record worthwhile, be honest and record every bite of food you eat. If you don’t record everything, you won’t have an accurate picture of your intake. For the most accurate results, try to record your food intake within 15 minutes of the time you eat. Use a daily food journal to help keep you accountable.
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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Sodium: How to tame your salt habit

Find out how much sodium you really need, what high-sodium foods to avoid, and ways to prepare and serve foods without adding sodium.By Mayo Clinic Staff
If you're like many people, you're getting far more sodium than is recommended, and that could lead to serious health problems.
You probably aren't even aware of just how much sodium is in your diet. Consider that a single teaspoon of table salt, which is a combination of sodium and chloride, has 2,325 milligrams (mg) of sodium – more than the daily amount recommended in the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet.
And it's not just table salt you have to worry about. Many processed and prepared foods contain sodium.
See how sodium sneaks into your diet and ways you can shake the habit.

Sodium: Essential in small amounts

Your body needs some sodium to function properly because it:
  • Helps maintain the right balance of fluids in your body
  • Helps transmit nerve impulses
  • Influences the contraction and relaxation of muscles
Your kidneys naturally balance the amount of sodium stored in your body for optimal health. When your body sodium is low, your kidneys essentially hold on to the sodium. When body sodium is high, your kidneys excrete the excess in urine.
But if for some reason your kidneys can't eliminate enough sodium, the sodium starts to build up in your blood. Because sodium attracts and holds water, your blood volume increases, which makes your heart work harder and increases pressure in your arteries. Such diseases as congestive heart failure, cirrhosis, and chronic kidney disease can make it hard for your kidneys to keep sodium levels balanced.
Some people's bodies are more sensitive to the effects of sodium than are others. If you're sodium sensitive, you retain sodium more easily, leading to fluid retention and increased blood pressure. If this becomes chronic, it can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and congestive heart failure.

Sodium: How much do you need?

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting sodium to less than 2,300 mg a day.
Keep in mind that these are upper limits, and less is usually best, especially if you're sensitive to the effects of sodium. If you aren't sure how much sodium your diet should include, talk to your doctor or dietitian.

Sodium: What are the major dietary sources?

The average American gets about 3,400 mg of sodium a day — much more than recommended. Here are the main sources of sodium in a typical diet:
  • Processed and prepared foods. The vast majority of sodium in the typical American diet comes from foods that are processed and prepared. These foods are typically high in salt and additives that contain sodium. Processed foods include bread, pizza, cold cuts and bacon, cheese, soups, fast foods, and prepared dinners, such as pasta, meat and egg dishes.
  • Natural sources. Some foods naturally contain sodium. These include all vegetables and dairy products, meat, and shellfish. While they don't have an abundance of sodium, eating these foods does add to your overall body sodium content. For example, 1 cup (237 milliliters) of low-fat milk has about 100 mg of sodium.
  • In the kitchen and at the table. Many recipes call for salt, and many people also salt their food at the table. Condiments also may contain sodium. One tablespoon (15 milliliters) of soy sauce, for example, has about 1,000 mg of sodium.

tips for cutting back on sodium

Virtually all Americans can benefit from reducing the sodium in their diets. Here are more ways you can cut back on sodium:
  • Eat more fresh foods. Most fresh fruits and vegetables are naturally low in sodium. Also, fresh meat is lower in sodium than are luncheon meat, bacon, hot dogs, sausage and ham. Buy fresh or frozen poultry or meat that hasn't been injected with a sodium-containing solution. Look on the label or ask your butcher.
  • Opt for low-sodium products. If you do buy processed foods, choose those that are labeled "low sodium." Better yet, buy plain whole-grain rice and pasta instead of products that have added seasonings.
  • Remove salt from recipes whenever possible. You can leave out the salt in many recipes, including casseroles, soups, stews and other main dishes that you cook. Look for cookbooks that focus on lowering risks of high blood pressure and heart disease.
  • Limit use of sodium-laden condiments. Soy sauce, salad dressings, sauces, dips, ketchup, mustard and relish all contain sodium.
  • Use herbs, spices and other flavorings to season foods. Use fresh or dried herbs, spices, zest and juice from citrus fruit to jazz up your meals. Sea salt, however, isn't a good substitute. It has about the same amount of sodium as table salt.
  • Use salt substitutes wisely. Some salt substitutes or light salts contain a mixture of table salt and other compounds. To achieve that familiar salty taste, you may use too much of the substitute — and get too much sodium. Also, many salt substitutes contain potassium chloride. Although potassium can lessen some of the problems from excess sodium, too much potassium can be harmful especially if you have kidney problems or if you're taking medications for congestive heart failure or high blood pressure that cause potassium retention.

Sodium: Be a savvy shopper

Taste alone may not tell you which foods are high in sodium. For example, you may not think a bagel tastes salty, but a typical 4-inch (10-centimeter) oat-bran bagel has about 600 mg of sodium, and even a slice of whole-wheat bread contains about 100 mg of sodium.
So how can you tell which foods are high in sodium? Read food labels. The Nutrition Facts label found on most packaged and processed foods lists the amount of sodium in each serving. It also lists whether the ingredients include salt or sodium-containing compounds, such as:
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • Baking soda (also called sodium bicarbonate)
  • Baking powder
  • Disodium phosphate
  • Sodium alginate
  • Sodium citrate
  • Sodium nitrite
Try to avoid products with more than 200 mg of sodium per serving. And be sure you know how many servings are in a package — that information is also on the Nutrition Facts label.

Know the label lingo

The supermarket is full of foods labeled "reduced sodium" or "light in sodium." But don't assume that means they're low in sodium. For example, a can of chicken noodle soup that claims to have 25 percent less sodium still has a whopping 524 mg in 1 cup. It's only lower in salt compared with regular chicken noodle soup, which has more than 790 mg of sodium in a cup.
Here's a rundown on common sodium claims and what they really mean:

Best choices

  • Sodium-free or salt-free. Each serving in this product contains less than 5 mg of sodium.
  • Very low sodium. Each serving contains 35 mg of sodium or less.
  • Low sodium. Each serving contains 140 mg of sodium or less.

What the other sodium label claims mean

  • Reduced or less sodium. The product contains at least 25 percent less sodium than the regular version.
  • Lite or light in sodium. The sodium content has been reduced by at least 50 percent from the regular version.
  • Unsalted or no salt added. No salt is added during processing of a food that normally contains salt. However, some foods with these labels may still be high in sodium because some of the ingredients may be high in sodium.

Go low and take it slow

Your taste for salt is acquired, so you can learn to enjoy less. Decrease your use of salt gradually and your taste buds will adjust. Consider using salt-free seasonings to help with the transition.
After a few weeks of cutting back on salt, you probably won't miss it, and some foods may even taste too salty. Start by using no more than 1/4 teaspoon of salt daily — at the table and in cooking. Then throw away the saltshaker. As you use less salt, your preference for it diminishes, allowing you to enjoy the taste of the food itself, with heart-healthy benefits.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Improve Your Workout

Canyon Ranch has released a list of four simple tips to improve a workout routine, as recommended by their fitness professi­onals. If you offer fitness in your spa or have active clients, you may want to pass on the following.

1. Mix It Up.

If you aren’t seeing the results that you are looking for, it might be a good time to change things up. Try something new like a dance, yoga or pilate’s class. For a more intense workout, try aerial yoga or a strength and cardio combo workout.

2. Don’t Go Solo.

Working out with a partner will help you stay motivated and focused. Additionally, you can challenge yourself and a friend to a little friendly competition.

3. Tech it Up. 

Fitness apps and trackers make organizing your workouts and progress easier. It can also help you pinpoint where you might be lacking in your workouts.

4. When in Doubt, Ask for Help.

Simply stumped on why you aren’t progressing? Or, need a little guidance? Find a personal trainer. They can help you create a personalized workout routine that fits your lifestyle.
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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Podcast For The Weight Plateau


This inability to lose weight is known as a weight loss plateau or stall, and it can be frustrating and discouraging.

  your weight loss progress stalled for reasons you can’t figure out, the feeling then becomes one of discouragement. you have feelings of being stuck and unmotivated. So many people hit a plateau after successful weight loss. When that happens, it can be just the excuse some need to give up and go back to the days of fast food and opting for the couch instead of the great outdoors. I know because I’ve been there


 It’s Time To Make A Change (Tip Below)

Here's Today's Tip... Boost your metabolism.
Today I want to share a “neat” little trick that can help boost your metabolism and increase your calorie burn.
Many folks who are trying to lose fat tend to think that they’re “cursed” with a slow, sluggish metabolism; on the other hand, they might think that lean individuals are just born that way—they’re “blessed” with a fast metabolism.
While it’s true that metabolism is influenced by genetics, the great news is that there are a number of factors—well within your control—that you can use to your advantage to help boost your metabolic rate. One of them is the “neat” trick that I mentioned earlier.
You see, NEAT refers to a component of metabolic rate called “non-exercise activity thermogenesis.” As the name suggests, NEAT encompasses the number of calories burned during all daily movement and activities (except formal exercise).
In one study published in the journal Science, a Mayo Clinic research team led by endocrinologist Dr. James Levine examined the role of NEAT in weight management. Astonishingly, the researchers found, on average, obese folks sit for 2 ½ hours longer (each day) than lean individuals, who spend an equivalent amount of time upright (moving around) daily.
What does these mean in terms of metabolism and weight loss? According to Dr. Levine, “If obese individuals adopted the NEAT-enhanced behaviors of their lean counterparts, they might expend an additional 350 calories per day.” That’s a pound of fat in just 10 days!
Use this NEAT metabolism-boosting weapon to your advantage by including more of the following activities:
  • Standing more throughout the day (e.g., stand-up desk)
  • Taking the stairs
  • Parking further away (at the store) and walking
  • Being active with kids
  • Taking your dog for a walk
  • Doing chores
  • Doing some bodyweight exercises
  • Fidgeting
To Burning Those Calories,
Change That Up

AVAILABLE NOW! Meal Plans & Recipes To Eat Great And Lose Weight! Shop now for a limited time!

 Today's Lifestyle Tip
Healthy habits do get easier
With time and regular reinforcement, your new healthy behaviors will become habits. Eventually you'll know how to identify healthy foods, how many servings a day meet your needs and what makes a single serving. You'll look forward to physical activity that's a routine part of your day. Be patient — you're on your way to maintaining a healthy weight for life.
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Polenta and vegetables



Dietitian's tip:

This creamy polenta has added flavor because of the Parmesan cheese. It's topped with lightly steamed and sauteed vegetables. Try any combination of vegetables, including leafy greens.


  1. 1 cup coarsely ground cornmeal (polenta)
  2. 4 cups water
  3. 1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
  4. 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  5. 1 cup sliced onions
  6. 1 cup broccoli florets
  7. 1 cup sliced zucchini
  8. 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  9. Chopped fresh oregano, basil or rosemary, to taste


Heat the oven to 350 F. Lightly coat a 3-quart ovenproof dish with cooking spray.
Combine the polenta, water and garlic in the prepared dish. Bake uncovered until the polenta pulls away from the sides of the baking dish, about 40 minutes. The polenta should be moist.
While the polenta is cooking, spray a nonstick frying pan with cooking spray. Add the mushrooms and onions. Saute over medium heat until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
In a pot fitted with a steamer basket, bring 1 inch of water to a boil. Add the broccoli and zucchini. Cover and steam until tender-crisp, 2 to 3 minutes.
When the polenta is done, top with the cooked vegetables. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and herbs, to taste. Serve immediately.

Nutritional analysis per serving

Serving size :1 cup polenta and 1 cup of vegetables

  • Calories 178
  • Total fat 1 g
  • Saturated fat Trace
  • Trans fat 0 g
  • Monounsaturated fat Trace
  • Cholesterol 2 mg
  • Sodium 55 mg
  • Total carbohydrate 34 g
  • Dietary fiber 3 g
  • Total sugars 3 g
  • Added sugars 0 g
  • Protein 6 g
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Friday, May 5, 2017

Delicious coffee smoothie

This incredibly delicious coffee smoothie is topped with toasted coconut.  It tastes like an indulgent dessert, but it’s actually loaded with protein, vitamins, and minerals to keep your metabolism working at its best.  Enjoy one instead of your usual breakfast to feel full for hours.  Because of the caffeine content, I recommend having this one no later than 12:00 p.m.
Toasted Coconut Coffee Smoothie
Serves: 1
Prep. Time: 10 minutes
1 cup coffee, brewed and cooled
1 banana
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup kale
1 serving Science-Smart SuperCharged Hot Base Mix
Use a small frying pan to toast the coconut over medium heat.  Use a wooden spoon to keep it moving constantly to prevent burning.  The coconut should turn golden brown and fragrant within 1-2 minutes.  Turn off heat and remove coconut from pan.  Place all other ingredients in a blender, liquids first.  Blend until smooth.  Pour smoothie into a small saucepan and heat, but do not boil.  Sprinkle the toasted coconut on top of the smoothie just prior to drinking.
Calories: 327  Fat: 8 g  Protein: 23 g  Dietary Fiber: 5.8 g
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