Friday, March 31, 2017

Avocados, Weight Loss/Management

The Skinny on Avocados and Weight Maintenance

If you're on a diet or want to drop a few pounds, avocados are all right to incorporate into your diet. Losing weight requires eating fewer calories than you burn off. A 50g serving of avocados contains 80 calories, so you can easily fit them into a calorie-reduced eating plan. Just look for ways to substitute avocados for foods that do not deliver lots of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.

Choose Avocados for Your Weight Management or Type 2 Diabetes Diet

  • Avocados contain 80 calories per 50g serving.
  • When used instead of other fats avocados can be part of a calorie-reduced diet.
  • Avocados make a great nutrient-boosting breakfast item, when combined with eggs they also make a great post-workout snack. Avocados contribute good, unsaturated fat and are a good source of fiber, while the eggs provide high-quality protein that encourages muscle tissue repair and growth.
  • Avocados are sugar-free; moreover they have the least amount of sugar per serving than any other fresh fruit.
  • Plus, over 75% of the fat in an avocado is unsaturated fat, making them a great substitute for foods high in saturated fat.
You may find that the rich, creamy texture of avocados makes your resolution to eat healthier easier to follow. They make a satisfying snack - one serving of fresh avocado, about one-third of the medium fruit, provides a good source of fiber (3g, 11% of the DV). Fiber adds bulk to your diet and can help keep you feeling full faster and longer.
Working out? Potassium can help. Potassium is an electrolyte. Your body loses electrolytes as you sweat that need to be replaced. You also need potassium to help build muscle, break down and use carbohydrates. Avocados contain 250 mg of potassium per 50g serving. In addition, avocados are a good source of fiber with 6g of naturally good fats to help you stay full and energized for all your activities throughout the day.


Pick & Buy Fresh Avocados

How to Pick the Perfect Avocado - How to Know When a Fresh Avocado is Ripe


Fresh avocados do not ripen on the tree, they ripen or "soften" after they have been harvested. Fresh Hass avocados are unique from some of the other varieties of avocados because they can change from a dark-green color to a deep purplish almost black hue when ripe. Although skin color can help in the initial visual selection of fresh Hass avocados it is not always the best indicator for ripeness. Ripeness is ultimately determined by consistency. Color can sometimes be misleading as avocado "softening" can occur at a varying rate, independent of the color.

Indicators of Ripeness



Let Sam the Cooking Guy explain - watch the video

Here's how to pick the best fresh Hass avocados - Step by Step:

Step 1 - Take a look at the chart below. When comparing a group of Hass avocados, check the outside color of the skin of the avocados for any that are darker in color than the others. These may be riper than Hass avocados with lighter skin. Check the outer skin of the avocado for any large indentations as this may be a sign that the fruit has been bruised.

Note: Avocado color does not always indicate ripeness. Ripe avocados will yield to firm gentle pressure in the palm of your hand.
Step 2 - Place the avocado in the palm of your hand.
Step 3 - Gently squeeze without applying your fingertips as this can cause bruising and feel.
Ripe: If the avocado yields to firm gentle pressure you know it's ripe and ready-to-eat.

Unripe: If the avocado does not yield to gentle pressure it is considered still "firm" and will be ripe in a couple of days.
Overripe: If the avocado feels mushy or very soft to the touch it may be very ripe to overripe. Learn more about how to tell if an avocado is overripe or unsafe to eat.
Practice makes perfect - if it's your first time selecting avocados, try choosing a couple of avocados that yield to gentle pressure to see how they differ in taste. Or try purchasing an unripe avocado, checking it every day for 2 - 3 days as it softens. Practice will help you learn what to look for when you're in the store.

How to Buy Avocados Ahead of Time for an Event

Unripe, firm green avocados can be purchased 4-5 days ahead of an event

 Ripe Hass avocados that yield to gentle pressure should be eaten within a day or two. For events a couple days out, purchase firm avocados instead. Unripe, firm or green fruit can take four to five days to ripen at room temperature, perfect for celebrations that are a few days out. Just be careful to watch the fruit to make sure the temperature in your kitchen does not cause them to ripen too quickly. If they begin to yield to gentle pressure, place them in the refrigerator to slow the ripening process.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Stretch your way to better health

Believe it or not, stretching is a critical part of

    any exercise program. Relaxed muscles

 and flexible limbs help you maximize

 workouts, live pain-free and keep injuries at

 bay. Read on to learn how you can

 incorporate more stretching into your regular

 routine. Pretty soon you'll see that the effort

 will be worth the reward.

   Keep your body healthy with these pointers for a good stretch.


6 key benefits of stretching

You might be thinking that it's hard to carve out time in your schedule for exercise, let alone stretching. But most cardio and strength-training programs cause your muscles to tighten. That's why it's important to stretch regularly to keep your body functioning well.
Regular stretching:
  • Increases flexibility, which makes daily tasks easier
  • Improves range of motion of your joints, which helps keep you mobile
  • Improves circulation
  • Promotes better posture
  • Helps relieve stress by relaxing tense muscles
  • Helps prevent injury, especially if your muscles or joints are tight

Stretching essentials
Keep these key points in mind:
  • Target major muscle groups. When you're stretching, focus on your calves, thighs, hips, lower back, neck and shoulders. Also stretch muscles and joints that you routinely use at work or play.
  • Warm up first. Stretching muscles when they're cold increases your risk of injury, including pulled muscles. Warm up by walking while gently pumping your arms, or do a favorite exercise at low intensity for five minutes. If you only have time to stretch once, do it after you exercise — when your muscles are warm and more receptive to stretching. And when you do stretch, start slowly.
  • Hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds. It takes time to lengthen tissues safely. Hold your stretches for at least 30 seconds — and up to 60 seconds for a really tight muscle or problem area. Then repeat the stretch on the other side. For most muscle groups, a single stretch is usually sufficient.
  • Don't bounce. Bouncing as you stretch repeatedly gets your muscles out of the stretch position and doesn’t allow them to relax, making you less flexible and more prone to pain.
  • Focus on a pain-free stretch. Expect to feel tension while you're stretching. If it hurts, you've gone too far. Back off to the point where you don't feel any pain, then hold the stretch.
  • Relax and breathe freely.
  • Don't hold your breath while you're stretching.

Fit stretching into your schedule
As a general rule, stretch whenever you exercise. If you don't exercise regularly, you may want to stretch at least three times a week to maintain flexibility. If you have a problem area, such as tightness in the back of your leg, you may want to stretch every day or even twice a day.
Think about ways you can fit stretching into your daily schedule. For example:
  • Do some stretches after your morning shower or bath. That way, you can shorten your warm-up routine because the warm water will raise muscle temperature and prepare your muscles for stretching.
  • Stretch before getting out of bed. Try a few gentle head-to-toe stretches by reaching your arms above your head and pointing your toes.
  • Sign up for a yoga or tai chi class. You're more likely to stick with a program if you're registered for a class.

What you should know before you stretch
You can stretch anytime, anywhere — in your home, at work or when you're traveling. But if you have a chronic condition or an injury, you may need to alter your approach. For example, if you have a strained muscle, stretching it as you usually do may cause further harm. Talk with your doctor or a physical therapist about the best way for you to stretch.


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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Yogurt with Walnuts and Honey

  •   Omega-3 fatty acids appear to help with the reduction of risk of heart disease and may help fight inflammation, though more research is needed in that area. They are essential fatty acids, meaning the body cannot produce them and has to get them through food sources to provide the body what it needs. Marine sources (EPA/DHA) are found in oily fish and plant-based sources (ALA) are in flaxseeds and flax oil, canola oil and walnuts. Walnuts are the only nut that contain a significant source of ALA, at 2.5 grams per ounce.


  • 4 cups Greek yogurt, fat-free, plain or vanilla
  • 1/2 cup California walnuts, toasted, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons honey or agave nectar
  • Fresh fruit, chopped or granola, low-fat (both optional)


  1. Spoon yogurt into 4 individual cups.
  2. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of walnuts over each and drizzle 2 teaspoons honey over each.
  3. Top with fruit or granola, if desired. 
For More Healthy Walnut Recipes Download Your free copy  HERE
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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Your Defense Against Cancer

                                                                        READ NEXT ARTICLE

Cancer is a 4-letter word. Yes, there are 6 letters, yet it has become known as "the c-word," too scary to be called by its real name.
While food is a daily behavior we can leverage for health, fewer than 1 in 10 consumers in the U.S. associate specific foods with cancer risk reduction, according to a survey of U.S. consumers conducted by the International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC) in 2014.
In contrast, the American Institute for Cancer Research has estimated that one-third of the cancers that occur in the U.S. could be prevented through healthful eating, physical activity, and maintaining a healthful body weight. Another interesting development uncovered by IFIC Foundation in 2013 is that consumers increasingly prioritize health when making food decisions. In fact, consumers now assert that healthfulness is as important as price,  while it used to trail behind both price and taste.
We want to improve our chances against cancer, and we can.
  • Start with the basics of healthful eating throughout the lifespan. Cancer, like heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic diseases, develops over a lifetime. Whether you are a mother, mother-to-be, or in a position to support new moms, know that eating well during pregnancy, breastfeeding during infancy, and encouraging healthful habits throughout childhood are critical to a good start in life.
From childhood throughout life, eat enough, neither too much nor too little. Focus on nutrient-packed foods, such as walnuts, to satisfy hunger.
A well-rounded plant-based diet means that vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and fruits are a priority. There is room on the plate for low fat dairy, fish, eggs, and lean meats as an accompaniment rather than the focus of the meal. With a plant-based diet, get enough omega-3 fats by including walnuts and fatty fish such as salmon weekly. Protein recommendations can be met even if meat portions are kept small by adding nuts, legumes, fish, and low-fat dairy.
  • Think big when it comes to your health. Don’t do one good thing (exercise) so that you can justify another bad thing (smoking for example). Make healthful lifestyle choices and indulge yourself with care and respect.
Seek to understand your individual cancer risk. Cancer is actually a set of diseases that differ tremendously in terms of how they develop and what increases or decreases risk, based to an extent on the part of the body that is affected. There are risk questionnaires, such as the ones created by National Cancer Institute ( and MD Anderson Cancer Center ( Then talk with your doctor and a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) about specific dietary changes that relate to cancers that are relevant to your health.
As you nudge habits to a healthier place, remember that taste and health can go hand-in-hand. A handful of walnuts, a sprinkling of cinnamon, or an added walk in the afternoon are each unique ways to help reduce your risk of cancer. There are no magic bullets, just handfuls, sprinklings, and small steps that together build your defense against cancer. 

 International Food Information Council Foundation. 2014 Food and Health Survey. April 1, 2014.
 American Institute for Cancer Research. Reduce Your Cancer Risk Web Site. May 17, 2013.
International Food Information Council Foundation. 2013 Food and Health Survey. April 1, 2013.
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Hunger and cravings: What's the difference?


A better understanding of these potential food triggers will help you stay on track.


Have you noticed that when food temptations strike, it often has more to do with your mood than when you last ate? You may crave food to relax, relieve stress or boredom, soothe anger, or cope with loneliness, sadness or anxiety. Indulging in cravings during these emotional times may lead you to eat too many high-calorie, sweet, fatty foods.
Everyone has a food craving at times — and yes, chocolate is at the top of most people's list. The first step to managing your cravings is being able to identify when you’re truly hungry. Learn how to recognize the difference between a craving and hunger.
  • Are usually for comfort foods, such as chocolate, sweets and fatty foods
  • Are often caused by negative feelings
  • Lead to eating that makes you feel good at first, but then guilty
  • Increase during a woman's pregnancy and menstrual cycle
  • May be stronger when you're dieting, especially if you're giving up your favorite foods
  • Can occur even after you've recently eaten
  • Pass with time

  • Usually occurs when you haven't eaten for a few hours or more
  • Results in a rumbling stomach, headache or feeling of weakness
  • Doesn't pass with time
  • Isn't just for one specific food
  • Can be satisfied by a healthy snack or meal

If you have a craving, distract yourself. Try calling a friend, listening to music, taking a walk or bike ride, reading, or writing. If a negative feeling is causing your craving, use positive self-talk, exercise or a fun activity to improve your mood.
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Monday, March 27, 2017

Berry Good Whole-Grain Coffee Cake

  Next time you're on dessert duty for a social gathering, skip the cookies and serve up

 this healthy fruit & cake recipe 

tasty, easy to prepare and even more fun to


1/2 cup skim milk
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup frozen mixed berries, such as blueberries, raspberries and blackberries (do not thaw)
1/4 cup low-fat granola, slightly crushed
Heat oven to 350 F. Spray an 8-inch round cake pan with cooking spray and coat with flour.
In large bowl, mix the milk, vinegar, oil, vanilla, egg and brown sugar until smooth. Stir in flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt just until moistened. Gently fold half the berries into the batter. Spoon into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with remaining berries and top with the granola.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown and top springs back when touched in center. Cool in pan on cooling rack 10 minutes. Serve warm.
Serves 8.
Nutritional Information
Amount per serving
Calories: 160
Cholesterol: 25 mg
Total fat: 5 g
Saturated fat: 0 g
Trans fat: 0 g
Sodium: 140 mg
Total carbohydrate: 26 g
Dietary fiber: 3 g



whole-grain coffee cake

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Healthy Vegetable Dip


  Whether you have a social gathering to attend or simply need a tasty snack to have on hand this weekend — we've got you covered. Impress friends or family with this super simple dip served with fresh veggies. The pretty presentation will be a hit with any guest, and loved ones will appreciate having something healthy to munch on.


3 garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half
3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, oil-packed, drained and patted dry
1 cup 1% fat cottage cheese
1/3 cup fat-free plain yogurt
1/3 cup light mayonnaise
Place ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight and serve with your favorite vegetables.
Serving size: 2 tablespoons
Serves 16.

Nutritional Information
Amount per serving
Calories: 40
Total fat: 2.5 g
Saturated fat: 0 g
Sodium: 115 mg
Total carbohydrate: 3 g
Dietary fiber: 0 g
Protein: 2 g
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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Fruit Gratin

1 pounds cherries, pitted and halved
4 cup(s) mixed stone fruit, such as nectarines, peaches and apricots, peeled, pitted and sliced
3 tablespoon whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup(s) old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup(s) almonds, sliced
2 tablespoon sugar, turbinado (raw) or firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon walnut oil or canola oil
1 tablespoon dark honey
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly coat a 9-inch (23-cm) square baking dish with cooking spray. In a bowl, combine the cherries and stone fruits. Sprinkle with the flour and turbinado sugar and toss gently to mix.
To make the topping, in another bowl, combine the oats, almonds, flour, turbinado sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Whisk to blend. Stir in the oil and honey and mix until well blended.
Spread the fruit mixture evenly in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the oat-almond mixture evenly over the fruit. Bake until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is lightly browned, 45-55 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Serves 6.
Nutritional Information
Amount per serving
Calories: 224
Total fat: 8 g
Saturated fat: 1 g
Sodium: 52 mg
Total carbohydrate: 38 g
Dietary fiber: 5 g
Protein: 4 g
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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Turkey Sloppy Joes

Healthy Recipe Makeover 
  Say goodbye to winter on a delicious note with a comfort-food favorite. This sloppy joe recipe offers a healthy twist on the traditional version because it skips ingredients that provide added sugar, and includes lean ground turkey meat, spices and plenty of veggies — such as zucchini, bell peppers and carrots. You can't go wrong with this crowd-pleasing dish that everyone can feel good about eating!
1 pound lean ground turkey breast meat (or 12 ounces soy-based crumbles)
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1/2 medium green bell pepper, chopped
1 1/2 cups zucchini, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 can low-sodium tomato paste (6 ounces) 1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon mild chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
5 ounces reduced-fat cheddar cheese, thinly sliced 10 whole-wheat hamburger buns
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté ground turkey until browned, about 7 minutes. Add onion and sauté 2 minutes. Add carrot and green pepper and sauté 2 minutes. Add zucchini and garlic and sauté 2 minutes more.
Add tomato paste and water, stirring until the paste has dissolved. Add chili powder, paprika, oregano and pepper. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until the mixture has thickened, about 10 minutes.
Preheat broiler. Divide cheese among the bottom halves of the hamburger buns. Transfer both halves of the buns to the broiler, open-faced, and toast until the cheese has melted and the buns are toasted.
Remove buns from the broiler and fill each sandwich with the meat-vegetable mixture. Serve immediately.
Serves 10.
Serving size: 1 sandwich
Mayo clinic
Nutritional Information
Amount per serving
Calories: 230
Total fat: 5 g
Saturated fat: 2 g
Sodium: 340 mg
Total carbohydrate: 29 g
Dietary fiber: 5 g
Protein: 20 g
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Monday, March 20, 2017

Meatless Meal Ideas

7 meatless meal ideas Have you hopped on the "Meatless Monday" bandwagon? Here's why you should. Built around vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, eggs and grains, meatless meals offer many nutrients, including protein. Eating a variety of these foods throughout the day can give you all the essential amino acids — the building blocks of protein — that your body needs. So instead of focusing on meat as the center of your meal, think about the colorful and satisfying meals you can create with vegetables and whole grains. Use these ideas to get started.
 Think beyond the butcher section and try these tasty and satisfying food ideas.
  Meat doesn't have to be the only source of protein in your diet. In fact, studies show that eating red meat and processed meat can increase your risk of developing heart disease and cancer.
Since meatless meals are built around vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds and grains, they offer many nutrients, including protein. Eggs and low-fat dairy foods also are good protein sources. Eating a variety of these foods throughout the day can give you all the essential amino acids — the building blocks of protein — that your body needs. In addition, protein from meatless sources can be just as filling. Another bonus: Buying less meat can also help you spend less on food, as meat usually costs more than its healthy alternatives.
Meatless recipes can offer a world of enjoyable possibilities, including some fun ethnic meals. Start exploring your meatless options — and your cooking creativity — with these ideas:
  • Substitute part or all of the meat with extra vegetables when making lasagna, pasta and stews.
  • Order mushroom and cheese or veggie pizza.
  • Stir-fry vegetables with tofu instead of meat.
  • Make vegetable kebabs.
  • Choose bean burritos or tacos.
  • Make chili or spaghetti sauce with soy-based vegetable crumbles instead of ground meat.
  • Grill portobello mushrooms in place of hamburgers.

Instead of building your meals by focusing on meat, think about the colorful and satisfying meals you can create by starting with vegetables and whole grains.
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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

How To Meal Plan

  • Make a list of everything you like to cook or everything you have eaten in the last month. This will give you a start on your list of meals and you can add to it when you find new things. The planner gives you a starter list that you can add to or amend to fit your needs.
  • Your meal plan can be reused from month to month or week to week. You can make three months worth of planners and then rotate them throughout the year. Or, at the end of the month or week, file the planner away until the next year. Then, you can bring it out a year later and have something to work from. I like this method, because then I can incorporate seasonal foods and my menus for July are distinctly different from the ones for December.
  • Plan to use left-overs. You can vary the sides or the appearance, but left-overs save time and money. For example, BBQ chicken on Wednesday can become BBQ chicken pizza on Friday. Or Meatballs can be used for Sweet and Sour and then later in the week for Hoagies. You can serve Lemon Chicken twice, but the second time, serve it with potatoes instead of rice pilaf.
  • Add recipes that you want to try to your planner. I am constantly printing or tearing out pages of new recipes, but if I don't put them on my meal plan, I never make them.
  • Put your menu plan where you will see it. Save it on your desktop or print it out and put it on the fridge or the inside of a cupboard.
  • Be flexible. If you order pizza, move the planned meal to the first week of the next month. If you don't feel like making Hamburgers, switch them with another night. The purpose of a meal plan is to make the dinner decision time less agonizing and to help you with your grocery shopping.
  • Create a recipe file. When you create your planner, spend some time collecting the recipes or write down the page numbers. That way you don’t spend all of your prep time searching for that fabulous recipe.
  • Involve your family. Ask for suggestions from your family for meals they want to eat for the month. There may be fewer complaints if they know they had a say in a few of the meals.
Get more health and weight-loss tips Join The network

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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Black bean burgers with chipotle ketchup

Both vegetarians and meat-eaters will be fans of these tasty black bean burgers. You'll get the satisfaction of eating the real thing for just a fraction of the cholesterol and saturated fat. Plus, these high-fiber patties can be prepared ahead of time and frozen for later meals. Add a baked sweet potato or mixed salad on the side and you're all set! Yum.  
 higher in fiber and lower in saturated fat and cholesterol, so they make an excellent stand-in for regular hamburgers.
Looks like a lot of ingredients However, most are spices you already have in your pantry.


  • 1 1/4 cup(s) beans, black, dried
    picked over and rinsed, soaked overnight, and drained
  • 3 cup(s) water
  • 1 whole bay leaf
  • 2 whole tomato(es), roma
    peeled and seeded then diced
  • 1 whole onion(s), yellow
  • 4 clove(s) garlic
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar, wine
  • 1 whole pepper(s), chipotle chiles, in adobo sauce
  • 1 3/4 teaspoon cumin, ground
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon oil, canola
  • 1/2 whole pepper(s), red, bell
    seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cup(s) rice, brown, cooked
  • 1/4 cup(s) nuts, pecans
  • 1 whole onion(s), green
    thinly sliced
  • 1 egg(s)
    lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup(s) bread crumbs, whole-wheat, coarse, dried
  • 6 whole hamburger buns, whole-wheat
  • 6 slice(s) tomato(es)
  • 6 slice(s) onion(s), red
  • 3 leaves lettuce, bibb


      Serves 6
      In a large saucepan over high heat, combine the beans, water and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover partially, and simmer until the beans are tender, 60 to 70 minutes. Drain and discard the bay leaf.While the beans are cooking, combine the tomatoes, half the yellow onion, half the garlic, the tomato paste, vinegar, chipotle chili, 3/4 teaspoon of the cumin and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced and the mixture is a thick sauce, about 5 minutes. Set the chipotle ketchup aside to cool.
      In a frying pan, heat 1/2 tablespoon of the canola oil over medium heat. Add the remaining yellow onion and saute until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the bell pepper and the remaining garlic and saute until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, transfer the mixture to a bowl and let cool. Set the pan aside.
      In a food processor, combine the drained beans, onion mixture, brown rice, pecans, green onion, the remaining 1 teaspoon cumin and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Pulse several times until the mixture is coarsely pureed. Fold in the beaten egg and bread crumbs. Form the mixture into 6 patties, each about 3/4-inch thick.
      In the same pan used for the onion mixture, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the patties and cook, turning once, until nicely browned on both sides and heated through, 7 to 9 minutes total.
      Serve each burger on a bun topped with 1 tomato slice, 1 onion slice, 1/2 lettuce leaf and a dollop of the ketchup.
      Serving size: 1 prepared burger
      Source: This recipe is one of 150 recipes collected in The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook, published by Mayo Clinic Health Information and Oxmoor House, and winner of the 2005 James Beard award.
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Almond Milk and Your Protein Goals

By Lucas Duppler M.S., CISSN
Within the last couple of years, a trip down the dairy aisle at your local grocery store has evolved into a glimpse at consumer demand for alternatives to actual dairy products. According to Mintel, non-dairy milk sales are up 30 percent since 2011, and represent a $2 billion category.
There’s an important distinction that needs to be made before we go any further, that being that these products are not actually ‘milk.’ The FDA defines milk as a “lacteal secretion obtained by milking one or more healthy cows.” Of course, products such as soy and almond milks do not fit this definition, so I prefer to refer to them as milk-like products. While a plant-based diet has plenty of benefits, including obesity reduction, diabetes management, and blood pressure lowering, we’re here to discuss our main staple, protein, with which most milk-like products tend to be low in.
For instance, the average serving of almond milk tends to contain just one gram of protein. Compared to most dairy-based milk products, which contain on average 9 grams of protein, almond-based products fall short of packing a protein punch. However, almond milks tend to be lower in calories (hence the positive effect on obesity reduction), while also being lower in sugar content.
Yet, as it relates to protein, almond-based milk-like products will be awfully costly from a caloric standpoint with regards to your protein goals. As we’ve touted before, most people should be aiming to consume at least 25-30g of protein with each meal. To obtain the same amount of protein that comes from dairy-based products, you’d have to drink 9 servings of almond milk, which equates to 540 calories, roughly 440 calories higher than a single serving of skim milk. If you’ve chosen a plant-based diet for some of the positive outcomes outlined above, a much easier option would be to implement soy milk into your daily regimen. While still slightly lower in protein, these products are often fortified with both calcium and vitamin D and are lactose free, which is an obvious advantage for those whom are lactose-intolerant.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

find healthy dishes for any type of cuisine Ethnic cuisine

 Salud! Chin-chin! You can find healthy dishes for any type of cuisine — you just have to know what to look for.t — you just need to be smart about your choices. These suggestions will help you savor a range of cuisines, while keeping calories, fat, cholesterol and sodium under control. Consider these pointers the next time you get takeout or go out to eat at a restaurant.


Look for: Stir-fried or steamed dishes with lots of vegetables. Ask to have your stir-fried dishes prepared in little or no oil. Steamed rice, poached fish, and hot and sour soups are also good choices.
Avoid: Fatty spareribs, fried wontons, egg rolls, shrimp toast and fried rice. To limit sodium, ask that your food be prepared without salt or monosodium glutamate (MSG). Request soy sauce — which is high in sodium — or other sauces on the side. You could also ask your server if low-sodium soy sauce is available.


Look for: Steamed shellfish, roasted poultry or salad with dressing on the side. Entrees with sauces made from a wine or tomato base — such as Bordelaise or à la Provençal — are also healthy choices.
Avoid: French onion soup — it's high in sodium and high in fat if it has cheese. Also steer clear of croissants, pâté, and high-fat sauces — such as béchamel, hollandaise and béarnaise.


Look for: A Greek salad or fish cooked with tomatoes, onions and garlic (plaki). Also consider chicken kebabs — which are broiled on a spit, often with tomatoes, onions and peppers.
Avoid: Dishes with large amounts of butter or oil, such as eggplant appetizers (baba ghanoush) and desserts made with phyllo dough, butter, nuts and honey (baklava). To limit sodium, avoid olives, anchovies and feta cheese.



Look for: Tomato sauce with garlic and onions (aka marinara), sauce based in wine (Marsala), clam sauce and pasta primavera with fresh vegetables and a small amount of oil. Simply prepared fish and chicken dishes are also good choices.
Avoid: Pasta stuffed with cheese or fatty meat and dishes with cream or butter sauces. Veal scaloppini and parmigiana (cooked with Parmesan cheese) contain added fat.


Look for: Steamed rice, soba or udon noodles, stir-fried noodles (yakisoba), chicken teriyaki (yakitori), steamed dumplings (shumai), tofu, sukiyaki, and vegetables and rice (kayaku gohan).
Avoid: Shrimp or vegetable tempura, chicken katsu, fried pork (tonkatsu), shrimp agemono and fried tofu.



Look for: Grilled fish, shrimp and chicken with salsa made of tomato, chilies and onion. Order corn tortillas — they're lower in fat and calories than are flour tortillas — as long as they aren't deep fried. For a side dish, order rice or beans. Make sure your side dishes aren't cooked with fat or lard — ask your server about this.
Avoid: Dishes with large amounts of cheese, sour cream and guacamole. Chips also add a lot of fat and calories.

Mayo Clinic
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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

8 ways to beat your food cravings


Beat your food cravings: 8 effective techniques


 Don't let a sweet tooth or carb craving prevent you from reaching your goals. Keep cravings in check with these practical methods.


The foods you crave are likely to be high in sugar, fats and carbohydrates — such as pizza, chocolate, cake, chips and ice cream. Cravings can derail your efforts at weight control and may lead to binge eating, but you can learn how to manage them and stay on course with these tips.
  • Enjoy a small portion. Don't give up these foods. In your overall healthy diet, include a small portion of the less healthy foods you crave. Better to enjoy a square of chocolate than to avoid it altogether.
  • Eat something healthy first. It's often easier to eat less of the food you're craving if you're not ravenously hungry.
  • Keep the food you crave out of the house. Buy the item only when you plan to eat it, or order it at a restaurant.
  • Change your mental picture. When you experience a craving, replace the image of the food with a picture of yourself doing your favorite activity or some other pleasant image.
  • Distract yourself. Food cravings usually pass after 20 minutes. Try taking a walk or talking to a friend.
  • Chew gum. Chewing sugarless gum reduces hunger and cravings for sweet and salty snacks.
  • Get enough sleep and exercise. These habits help lower your levels of the hormone ghrelin, which stimulates appetite. Lack of sleep can lead to food cravings and overeating.
  • Substitute a healthier option. Satisfy your craving for something smooth and creamy with something low-fat or fat-free, such as yogurt, pureed fruit or buttermilk. Eat a piece of fruit as a healthy sweet snack.

Experiment to see which strategies work best for you so that you can control your cravings — not the other way around.


Monday, March 6, 2017

Dietary fats


 Get the skinny on dietary fats, including the healthy types to eat and the ones to avoid.



Your body needs some fat to function normally. But it's wise to choose the healthier types of dietary fat and then enjoy them — in moderation.
Fats: The good and the bad
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are the best choices. Look for products with little or no saturated fats, and avoid trans fats: Both increase blood-cholesterol levels and can increase your risk of heart disease. And keep in mind that all fats — the good stuff as well as the bad — are high in calories, so measuring and moderation are key.

The good:
  • Monounsaturated fats are found in olive, canola and peanut oils, as well as in avocados and most nuts.
  • Polyunsaturated fats are found in other plant-based oils, such as safflower, corn, sunflower, soybean, sesame and cottonseed oils. Omega-3 fats are polyunsaturated fats that help your cells function.

The bad:
  • Saturated fats are found in animal-based foods, such as meats, poultry, lard, egg yolks and whole-fat dairy products, including butter and cheese. They're also in cocoa butter and coconut, palm and other tropical oils, which are used in many coffee lighteners, snack crackers, baked goods and other processed foods.
  • Trans fats — also called hydrogenated vegetable oils — are found in hardened vegetable fats, such as stick margarine and vegetable shortening. Lots of foods contain these unhealthy ingredients as well, including crackers, cookies, cakes, pies and other baked goods, as well as many candies, snack foods and french fries.

Tips for choosing foods with the best types of dietary fat
First, focus on reducing foods high in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol. Then emphasize food choices that include plenty of monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) and polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs). But a word of caution — don't go overboard even on healthy fats. All fats, including the healthy ones, are high in calories. So consume MUFA-rich and PUFA-rich foods instead of other fatty foods, not in addition to them.
Here are some tips to help you make over the fat in your diet:
  • Use the Nutrition Facts label and ingredient list when selecting foods. Look for the amount of trans fat listed. By law a serving of food containing less than 0.5 grams of trans fat can be labeled as 0 grams. Therefore, it is important to also check the ingredient list rather than just the Nutrition Facts label for the terms trans fat and partially hydrogenated.
  • Prepare fish, such as salmon and mackerel, instead of meat at least twice a week to get a source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Limit sizes to 4 ounces of cooked seafood a serving, and bake or broil seafood instead of frying.
  • Use liquid vegetable oil instead of solid fats. For example, saute with olive oil instead of butter, and use canola oil when baking.
  • Use olive oil in salad dressings and marinades.
  • Use egg substitutes instead of whole eggs when possible to cut back on the cholesterol in yolks.
  • Select milk and dairy products that are low in fat.

    The Mayo Clinic Diet

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Sunday, March 5, 2017

Best Berry For Your Skin



This berry is even more interesting because it belongs to a class of herbs known as “adaptogenic herbs” or “superherbs.” Adaptogenic substances possess the following essential qualifying criteria:
  • – Non toxic regardless of dosage
  • Safe for daily use – A naturally occurring substance
  • Have an anti-stress response
  • Have a balancing effect on the body’s organ systems, promoting homeostasis
  • They have a dual directional response on the body, meaning that they do not have only one specific function. Dual directional function enables it to change what it does based on what it brings to the body for it’s state of greatest optimum functioning and homeostasis.


Consider a few of the key benefits associated with this potent superherb class berry:

Cleanses the Liver

We are exposed to toxins and pollutants on a daily basis, which we must process. We ingest unnatural chemicals in food and water, and end up storing heavy metals or metabolizing synthetic drugs and alcohol. The amount of exposure we undergo and the efficiency in which these toxins are processed has a significant impact on the health and quality of our skin. Our liver is one of the primary organs used by the body to detoxify foreign pollutants that make their way in. Taken daily, schizandra can protect the liver from harmful toxin buildup. Schizandra is safe for daily use, even for people with sensitive digestive systems and a low tolerance to supplements.

Cleanses the Blood

Schizandra has a unique capacity to not only cleanse the liver of toxins, but also to cleanse the blood once the waste from the liver has been removed. Some liver detox formulas put the user into a state of toxic overload as the body is cleansing itself (known as a Herxheimer Reaction), which comes with symptoms ranging from headache, diarrhea and flu-like symptoms. The bloodstream receives a tune up with this superherb, allowing for nutrients to flow more readily to organs and skin throughout the body.

Promotes Beautiful Skin

Packed with loads of antioxidants including key vitamins C and E, schizandra is a great superherb for skin wellness and protection. Schizandra’s strong astringent qualities enable the skin to hold in moisture for more fullness and beauty. It has always been popular amongst wealthy individuals in China, due to its ability to preserve youth in both physiology and appearance. The superherb has shown efficacy through countless dynasties, wherein the skin is said to glow, becoming clearer and finer after one imbibes it consistently for several months. Schizandra may also protect against UVB induced skin damage, and is still used as an important botanical in many Eastern skin formulas.

Lowers Stress

Like many herbs in the adaptogenic category, schizandra may support adrenal function by maintaining normalized levels of hormones in the body. Experiments done with adaptogenic herbs have shown notable reduction of cortisol levels due to the stress protective qualities of these herbs. With the strong correlation between one’s stress hormone levels and their capacity to deal with aging more efficiently, lowering stress is helpful for maintaining skin health. Furthermore, research has shown that schizandra helps slow the process of oxidative stress, which contributes to nearly every disease there is and results in the maintenance of healthy cells, tissues and organs.

Lowers Inflammation

High concentrations of antioxidant compounds allow schizandra to fight off free radical damage and lower inflammation response. Schizandra also has the capacity to improve and repair tissue via its ability to release leukocytes, which are anti-inflammatory.
Quality sources for high grade schizandra include dragon herbs, surthrival, Lost Empire Herbs and jing herbs.
BRAIN BONUS! Schizandra is also noted to improve mental clarity and focus in addition to increasing levels of bio-available energy, promoting feelings of calm and fighting off fatigue.



So, what is the best method to incorporate this little berry powerhouse into a diet tailored to achieve healthier skin and overall system health? Administration can take various forms. One can ingest it as a tincture, mix the powdered or fruit extract form in water, take it as an encapsulated supplement or drink it in a tea or tonic. As a true adaptogenic superherb, only one to three grams of the dried berry are necessary per day!
The recipe below is perfect for those who are sensitive to pungent tastes. It can be enjoyed at room temperature or warm:
  • 8-12 oz. water
  • ¼ -1/2 teaspoon schizandra berry powder
  • Sweetener of your choice (optional)
Combine the ingredients above and then add in supportive herbs of your choice (ginger, lemon, goji powder, noni, turmeric, etc.). Stir and serve to your clients.
Urge your clients to take the challenge of taking schizandra for 100 days to upgrade their physiology!
Note: As with most herbs, one should not imbibe schizandra during pregnancy or when nursing.


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Friday, March 3, 2017

Breakfast eggs



  • 6 whole tortilla(s), corn
    whole-grain, 6-inch diameter
  • 1 can(s) beans, black, no-salt-added
  • 1 teaspoon cumin, ground
  • 6 large egg(s)
    or 1 1/2 cups egg substitute
  • 1/2 cup(s) cheese, cheddar, reduced-fat
    and Monterey Jack, grated
  • 6 tablespoon salsa, fresh



    Serves 6
    Preheat oven to 350 F. Generously spray 6 8-oz. custard cups with cooking spray and place on a cookie sheet. Place the tortillas in the microwave and heat for about 25 seconds or until they are warm and flexible. Gently press a tortilla into each cup. Spray the tops of the tortillas with cooking spray. Place the beans in a small bowl and mash coarsely with a fork or potato masher. Add cumin and stir until combined.
    Spoon the bean mixture into the bottom of tortilla cups, dividing evenly. Crack 1 egg into each tortilla cup on top of the beans. Place the cookie sheet with the egg cups into the oven and bake for about 24 to 27 minutes or until the egg whites are set and the yolks are soft. Sprinkle each egg with grated cheese and place back in the oven for an additional minute or until the cheese is melted.
    Remove the eggs from the oven and run a table knife around the tortillas to loosen them from the custard cups and transfer onto plates. Top the eggs with fresh salsa and serve immediately.
    Fron the Mayo Clinic
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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Natural Anxiety Relief


                                                                             Read next Article

Try to drink three cups of chamomile tea a day when you're feeling anxious.

why: Chamomile contains two chemicals that promote relaxation, apigenin and luteolin. A study at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center found that patients with generalized anxiety disorder who took chamomile supplements for eight weeks had a significant decrease in anxiety symptoms compared to patients who were given a placebo 

Try to get between 1 and 3 grams of omega-3s a day.

Why: There is some evidence that omega-3 fatty acids may ease anxiety symptoms and lift your mood by lowering levels of stress chemicals such as adrenaline and cortisol in the body. Caned fatty fish, such as tuna and salmon, walnuts, and flax seeds are all great sources of omega-3 fatty acids. An Israeli study found that students given fish oil supplements had less test anxiety as measured by their eating and sleeping habits, cortisol levels, and mental states. 

Breathe in lavender.

 Why: One study found that people who received a massage with lavender oil were more upbeat and had less anxiety than people who had a lavender-free massage. Another found lavender massage can even lower systolic pressure the top blood pressure number that’s associated with stress. Try putting a few drops of lavender essential oil on your pillow or in your bath, or add a few drops to a cup of boiling water and inhale for a quick calm-me-down. You can even dab a few drops right on your skin—it’s one of the few essential oils that can be applied directly. The scent of vanilla has also been shown to alleviate symptoms of anxiety. In a study done at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, patients undergoing MRIs who breathed vanilla-scented air had 63% less anxiety than those who breathed unscented air.



Add L-lysine to your diet.

 Why: L-lysine is an amino acid and one of the building blocks of your brain's chemical messengers called neurotransmitters. Studies have shown that people taking L-lysine supplements had reduced symptoms of anxiety and reduced levels of stress hormones. L-lysine is commonly found in meat, fish, and beans, and is also sold as an oral supplement.



Try to get outside in natural sunlight for 15 minutes a day.

 Why: This is the best way to naturally increase your vitamin-D levels, which can decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety. A short 15 minute break will not only take your mind of stress, but also let you reap the benefits of outdoor activity. And the greener the better—one Japanese study found that people who walked through a forest for 20 minutes had lower stress hormone levels after their walk than those who took a comparable walk in an urban area. If you're stuck in an urban area, look for parks or quiet tree-lined streets to take a stroll.



Studies show 21 minutes is all it takes for exercise to reliably reduce symptoms of anxiety.

 Why: Exercise will not only make you feel better about yourself, but will flood your body with feel-good endorphins. Some researchers even believe that increasing your body heat, a natural result of exercise, may alter neural circuits controlling cognitive function and mood, including those that affect the neurotransmitter serotonin. Researchers believe this response can boost your mood, increase relaxation, and alleviate anxiety.


Take a hot bath with Epsom salts.

 Why: A soothing hot bath is always calming, and raising your body heat may help regulate mood and anxiety. For added benefits, stir in some Epsom salts. The magnesium sulfate in the salts has been shown to calm anxiety and lower blood pressure. You can also try adding lavender or vanilla essential oils to your bathwater, to reap the benefits of these calming scents


Cut out (or down) caffeine.

 Why: Caffeine boosts your energy, and can make you jittery and anxious. If you can't go cold turkey, try reducing by a cup a day and see if you notice any decrease in your anxiety symptoms. You can also try switching to a drink with less caffeine and more health benefits, such as green tea. Be aware of other sources of caffeine that may be in your diet such as soda, chocolate, tea, and some over-the-counter medications like Excedrin or Midol.


Examine your diet, and watch for:

  Caffeine, alcohol, and added sugars, which have all been shown to increase anxiety. • Deficiencies in magnesium, vitamin B12, and zinc have been linked to symptoms of anxiety. Vegans and vegetarians in particular should watch their B12 intake, as the vitamin is only found in animal products. • Studies link an unhappy gut with an unhappy mind, so avoid eating difficult to digest foods like processed meals, foods high in saturated fats, and fried foods. • Finally, don't let yourself become so hungry that your blood sugar drops, which can lead to an anxiety attack.


Eat these foods to help provide anxiety relief:

• Blueberries and peaches contain nutrients that relieve stress and have a calming effect. • Whole grains are rich in magnesium and tryptophan, an amino acid that your body converts to serotonin which is known to calm and improve your mood. • Oats also increase serotonin production and are high in fiber, which helps prevent blood sugar spikes that affect mood. • Avocados, eggs, milk, and meat are all packed with B vitamins that can help prevent anxiety. • Foods that help regulate and lower the stress hormone cortisol include foods rich in vitamin C, like oranges, omega-3 fatty acids, and magnesium rich foods like spinach and other dark leafy greens. Indulge every once in a while in dark chocolate, which also helps lower cortisol.

Reader's Digest








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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

A healthy way to Indulge your sweet tooth


Sweets like cake, cookies, candy and doughnuts are loaded with "empty calories" — mostly from sugar and fat — because they are not very filling and offer very little (if any) nutritional value. But don't worry, you don't have to give up these foods entirely. Just be smart about your choices and portion sizes and pay attention to all the grams of sugar you are consuming in your cereal, coffee and other beverages. It adds up!
The Mayo Clinic Diet recommends limiting sweets to 75 calories a day. You can have your daily allowance or save up those calories for a special occasion, like a slice of birthday cake or a treat at the movies. Small amounts of dark chocolate or low-fat frozen yogurt are good choices for satisfying a sweet tooth, and you can also opt for other treats with some nutritional value, such as fresh fruit or smoothies.
Try this sweet and healthy milkshake recipe:
Strawberry-banana milkshake
Serves 2

6 frozen strawberries, chopped
1 medium banana
1⁄2 cup soy milk
1 cup fat-free vanilla frozen yogurt, no sugar added
2 fresh strawberries, sliced
In a blender, combine frozen strawberries, banana, soy milk and frozen yogurt. Blend until smooth. Pour into tall, frosty glasses and garnish each with fresh strawberry slices.
Nutrition analysis per serving: 200 calories, 1 g total fat (trace of saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 1 g monounsaturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 1179 mg sodium, 284 mg potassium, 285 mg calcium, 42 g total carbohydrate (7 g fiber, 18g sugars*), 7 g protein
*Note – all sugar in this recipe is natural; there is no added sugar.
Over time, you just may start preferring healthier sweets over high-calorie, packaged goods. Don't assume you need a decadent dessert to satisfy a craving!
from the Mayo Clinic
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