Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ab Exercise

Hip Twist

1) Start exercise by sitting on the floor with your arms behind your body, supporting your weight. Legs should be parallel and raised to a high diagonal position

2) Engage your abdominals and shoulders for stabilization purposes.

3) Begin to bring both legs across the body to the right.

4) Continue to circle your legs across your body and down as low as pelvic stabilization can be maintained.

5) Return your legs to the starting position. Repeat 3-6 times in each direction

Keep in mind: Your legs should remained lengthened as you move from side to side.

Avoid: Tensing your neck and shoulder muscles.

*This exercise is not advisable if you have back pain and or hip instability. *

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Word of the Day...

Whole Grains: They are rich in fiber and slow-burning carbohydrates, which help regulate blood sugar and insulin levels.

Breakfast Idea....

1 toasted Ezekiel muffin    
1 slice of cheese
1 cooked egg
1 handful of baby spinach leaves

Simple, Tasty and Healthy

4 cheese types and their uses

1) Chipotle Cheddar: Chipotle peppers imbue this very popular cheese with a smoky, slightly spicy character: retains some body as it melts. This cheese is perfect for a quesadilla

2) Havarti Herb: A creamy and buttery cheese, gets an Italian accent from oregano, basil and parsley. This cheese melts nicely to enhance omlets and dishes with rice and pasta

3) Monterey Blue: Robust and rich, softened by a subtle touch of creamy Monterey Jack. This cheese works well for pizza, and dips

4) Smoked Gouda: Features a butter and smoky-sweet flavor that mellows to reveal a caramel taste
When this cheese is heated, it becomes creamy and soft, an ideal topper for a hamburger patty

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Asparagus Facts

1) Thin spears tend to have a strong grassy flavor, while the fatter ones are more mellow.

2) Asparagus loses flavor more rapidly than other veggies, therefore it is best used as soon as possible after purchasing, especially if bought from a grocery store.

3) White asparagus owes its lack of color to being cultivated underground. Farmers pile dirt on top of the stalks as they grow so they don't absorb sunlight and produce chlorophyll, the chemical that gives plants their green hue ( in addition to a few extra nutrients).

4) All shades of asparagus can be used interchangeably in recipes. However, some people are of the opinion the white variety taste somewhat sweeter.

5) Asparagus nutrition stat: approx. 1/2 cup , about 4-6 medium spears provides: 13 calories, 1 gram of fiber, 135 grams of potassium and 35 grams of folate

Recipe of the Day

Skillet Pork Chop Saute' with Peaches                   best served over-fast cooking couscous


2 teaspoons olive oil
4 (4-ounce) center-cut boneless pork loin chops, trimmed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons thinly sliced shallots
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
2 peaches, each cut into 8 wedges
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup fat-free, lower sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons of honey
2 teaspoons of butter


Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Sprinkle chops evenly with salt and pepper. Add chops to pan; cook for 3 mins on each side or until done. Remove chops from pan, and keep warm. Add shallots, thyme, and peaches to pan; cook for 2 mins. Stir in wine, scraping pan to loosen browned bits; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 1/3 cup (approx. 2 mins.). Stir in broth and honey; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 1/3 cup (about 2 mins.). Remove from heat; stir in butter. Spoon sauce over chops.

* Provides 4 servings (serving size: 1 chop, 4 peach wedges, and approx. 1 1/2 tablespoons broth mixture).

Nutritional Value per serving:

Calories: 235
Fat: 8.6 grams
Protein: 26.2
Carbs: 13.6
Cholesterol: 83 mg
Sodium:  433 mg


Did you know?

Walnuts are a super nutritious snack, approx. a handful provides 4 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber and a generous amount of selenium, magnesium and vitamin E.

Walnuts are the only nut that contains a significant amount of ALA, the plant based source of Omega-3 fatty acids.

Approx. 12-14 walnuts contain 2.5 grams of ALA.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

9 Citrus Types

1) Kumquat: tiny fruit with an interestingly sweet, pungent peel that adds interest to salads.

2) Lime: hugely aromatic peel; complex tang adds tropical spritz to soups and tacos.

3) Lemon: more neutral than lime, and all purpose acidic brightener

4) Blood Orange: sweet and tangy with hints of raspberry, possesses a remarkable flesh

5) Tangelo: easy to peel like a tangerine, the best tangelos have a tart, grapefruit like zing

6) Red Grapefruit: tart and sweet, possesses a delightful bitter edge.

7) Navel Orange: mildly sweet, juicy fruit- the basic orange that many have grown to love

8) Clementine: small, usually seedless fruit that sweet-tangy and easy to peel

9) Tangerine: Look for firm fruit, a nice balance between sweet and sour, great for salads

Yummy Banana Breakfast Smoothie

This smoothie is tasty and packs a protein punch.

Tip: adding the yogurt at the very end adds a creamy texture to the smoothie


1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk
1/2 cup of crushed ice
1 tablespoon of honey
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 frozen sliced ripe large banana
1 cup plain Greek 2% yogurt


Combine first 5 ingredients in a blender; process 2 mins. or until smooth.
Add yogurt; process just until blended. Serve immediately

Provides 2 servings (serving size 1 cup)

Nutritional Value:

Calories: 212
Fat: 3.6 grams
Protein: 14.2 grams
Carbs: 34.2
Fiber: 2 grams
Sodium: 75 mg

Phrase of the Day!

Get Moving!

Our bodies, like our minds, are designed to be fully engaged in activity!

Book Recommendation

The Happiness Advantage  by Shawn Achor

Monday, July 23, 2012

Healthy Aging Tip

One simple tip your body will appreciate it:

A daily serving of a whole-grain breakfast cereal provides an abundant source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber thus contributing to healthy living and aging!

Bagel enhancement idea...


Spread bagel with light cream cheese or peanut butter and top with any of the following: chopped bananas, dates, nuts, raisins or berries.

Refreshing Grapefruit-Lime Cooler

4 Ingredients!                                         Makes 8 servings

1) 3 tablespoons honey
2) 11/2 cups of lime juice
3) 1 cup of sugar
4) 6 cups Ruby Red grapefruit juice


Place honey in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave until warm. Combine lime juice, sugar, and warm honey in a pitcher. Stir to dissolve sugar. Stir in Ruby Red grapefruit juice.

Refrigerate until chilled: Serve over ice

Nutritional info per serving:

Calories: 206
Carbohydrates:  52 grams
Protein: 2 grams
Sodium: 27 mg

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Did you know...?

A substantial amount of vitamins in foods can be lost from the time a fruit or vegetable is picked until the time it is eaten. Heat, light exposure to the air, cooking in water all contribute to nutrient loss.

The sooner a food is eaten after harvest, the less chance there is of nutrient loss.

The following 6 suggestions will assist you in preserving the vitamins in your food:

1) Go frozen rather than canned when buying vegetables: Freezing helps retain vitamin content much more efficiently than canning. *Frozen vegetables are often as nutrient-rich as fresh picked ones.

2) Keep your fruits and veggies cool: Enzymes in food begin to degrade vitamins once the fruit or vegetable is picked. Refrigerate fresh produce (except for potatoes, tomatoes, onions, and bananas) until consumed

3) Minimize reheating of food: Prolonged reheating reduces vitamin content

4) Microwave or steam: More nutrients are retained when there is less contact with water and a shorter cooking time.

5) Cut, trim, or peel fruits and vegetables minimally : just enough to remove inedible or rotten parts: Oxygen breaks down vitamins faster when more surface is exposed. Potato skins and Apple skins have more vitamins and minerals than their inner parts. Outer leaves of lettuce and other greens posses more vitamins and minerals than the inner, tender leaves or stem portion.

6) Store canned foods in a cool place and use them wisely: Canned foods often vary in the amount of nutrients lost, mostly because of differences in storage time and temperature. To obtain the optimal amount of nutritional value from canned goods, serve any liquid packed with the food whenever possible

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Practical cooking for one...

Just click, please:


Did you know?

Approx. one-third of female adolescents choose diets that are insufficient in calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, folate, and vitamin A, B6, and E.

Half of peak bone mass is accomplished during adolescence. The greatest capacity to absorb calcium occurs during early adolescence, during this time the body can absorb approx. 4 times more calcium than during young adulthood. This being said, calcium consumption decreases as age increases during adolescence.

Summetime Smoothies & Popsicles

Just click, please:


Insight of the Day...

“Our positive images of the future lead to positive actions, creating positive images are one of the most important aspects of any change process.”

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Did you know?

Overall, food contributes 19% of total water intake, beverages contain the remaining 81%.

 The following list is an example of some various foods and water content:

Bagel:  33%

Butter: 16%

Eggs: 75%

Banana: 76%

Watermelon: 91%

Lettuce: 96%

Contributing factors related to Obesity

1) 38% of U.S. adults do not engage in leisure time physical activity.

2) In the U.S. we now have approx. 500 more calories available for consumption, per person per day, than we did in 1970. This combined with sedentary lifestyles contribute to the increasing obesity problem, in the U.S.

3) Food advertising, the availability of high calorie dense snack foods, and larger portions served at most restaurants all contribute to a rising overweight population.

A little info about...

Here are a few facts on Zinc:

1) Zinc is especially important during adolescence due to its role in the synthesis of protein, and its role as a cofactor in over 200 enzymes.

2) Zinc is required for sexual maturation to occur; males who are zinc deficient experience growth impairment and delayed sexual development.

3) Zinc and iron compete for absorption, therefore elevated intakes of one can reduce the absorption of the other.

4) Animal sources are a better source of zinc than plant based sources.

Link of Interest

Just click, please:


Monday, July 16, 2012

6 Hypertension Facts

1) Prevalence  of high blood pressure increases with age, and defers by gender.

2)  Of the adults aged 65 and older, 55% of women and 48% of men have hypertension.

3) Over half of individuals with diagnosed high blood pressure control it by means of prescribed medication.

4) In adults aged 75 years old and older, only one -third of men and one- forth of women do not have hypertension.

5) Salt intake is often an associated factor related to high blood pressure.

6) Hypertension is more prevalent than arthritis.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Recipe of the Day

Grilled Asian Drumsticks            Total prep time: 24 mins.

*This recipe provides 4 servings ( serving size: 2 drumsticks and approx. 3 tablespoons sauce).*


8 chicken  drumsticks (approx. 2 pounds), skinned
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons sambal oelek (ground fresh red chili paste)
Cooking spray

* Sambal oelek is a spicy red chili paste popular in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Southern India. This is often found in Asian markets or the Asian section of your local grocery store. Sambal oelek is recommended for use in any dish that needs a little kick.*


1) Preheat grill
2) Coat chicken and grill rack with cooking spray. Grill chicken approx. 20 mins or until done, turning once.
3) While chicken is grilling, combine vinegar and remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a boil; cook for approx. 4 mins or until reduced to 1/3 cup.
4) Transfer chicken to a large bowl. Pour sauce over chicken, turning to coat.

Nutritional Info per serving:

Calories: 210
Calories from fat: 18%
Carbohydrates: 15.6 grams
Cholesterol: 98 mg
Sodium: 855 mg
Calcium: 18 mg

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Link of Interest

If you have a food allergy or know someone that does, the following link is worth checking out:


Did you know?

In general, older adults eat healthier than younger adults, however they do not consume adequate amounts of Vitamin E, folic acid, calcium, or magnesium to meet recommended intake levels.

Step-by-Step Ab Exercises

Just click....you will find numerous ab exercises at various levels of difficulty, brought to you by one of the leading fitness providers, Amercian Council on Exercise:


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

6 Health Consequences of Obesity

1) Overweight and obesity is closely linked to type 2 diabetes. Approx. 80% of people with diabetes are overweight or obese.

2) For every two pound increase in weight, the risk of developing arthritis is increased by approx. 12 %.

3) Sleep apnea (interrupted breathing while sleeping) is more common in obese/overweight individuals.

4) Individuals who are obese have a 50 to 100% increased risk of premature death from all causes,
compared to those with a healthy weight.

5) Women who gain more than 20 pounds from 18 to midlife double their risk of post-menopauseal breast cancer compared with women whose weight remains stable.

6) High blood pressure is twice as prevalent in adults who are obese than those who are at a healthy weight.

*Small weight losses as low as 5-15 % of total body weight in a person who is overweight or obese reduces risk factors for some diseases, in particular heart disease. *

6 Benefits of Laughter

1) Improves mood

2) Relaxes your muscles

3) Boost Immunity

4) Adds zest to life

5) Lowers stress hormones

6) Strengthens relationships

Monday, July 9, 2012

Weight Trainings Effect on Blood Pressure

Research indicates that standard strength training (for example, sets of 10 repetitions with approx. 75% of maximum resistance) does not raise blood pressure to unsafe levels during exercise performance.

Also, weight lifting alone or in combination with aerobic activity is effective for reducing resting blood pressure for individuals with high blood pressure after two months of consistent training.

However, research suggest that weight lifting to a point of failure has the increased potential of raising blood pressure beyond recommended levels. Therefore, those individuals with high blood pressure should keep this factor in mind when weight training.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Today's Recommendation

Today's recommendation and most days of the week.

Have one of these, one of the many delicious varieties of Apples

Your body will appreciate it and you will be rewarded by the numerous benefits of an Apple!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

6 Tips to Maximize Exercise Consistency

1) Think Positive. Praise your successes. View lapses in your exercise program as learning opportunities.

2) Watch out for barriers: Anticipate barriers to exercise, and develop strategies to make exercise as simple as possible. Anticipate such barriers as: bad weather, fatigue, work, commitments, etc.

3) Get a workout buddy: A lot of people who workout with a partner enjoy it more and are more likely to stick to their workout program.

4) Timing: Exercise at a time of day that is most convenient. Do not exercise on an empty stomach or full stomach to prior to going to bed.

5) Invest in your feet: Invest in a good pair of workout shoes/sneakers. A quality pair of workout shoes is an investment that will reap great rewards!

6) Just do it!: Importantly, choose an activity that you enjoy and stick with it!

Quick and Healthy Pasta Recipes

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Friday, July 6, 2012

6 area of Well-Being and Happiness

1) Energy Level: Energy level throughout the course of a typical day, keeping in mind energy boosters and energy drains

2) Exercise/Physical Activity: Frequency and types of physical activity performed during a typical day

3) Nutrition: Intake frequency of healthy snacks, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, water, soft drinks, alcoholic beverages and trans fats.

4) Health: such as weight management, blood pressure, cholesterol, heart rate, frequency of illness, tobacco use and personal/family medical history.

5) Emotional Fitness: involves coping skills, resilience, stress levels, emotional status, sleep patterns, social activity/support and personal loss

6) Life Satisfaction: involves work satisfaction, personal and relationship satisfaction, gratitude, and a sense of purpose

Phrase of the Day..

" Progress depends on expanding awareness of what is possible"

Recipe of the Day

Ravioli Lasagna

This recipe is very tasty and relatively easy to make.                * This recipe provides 4 servings.


1) 11/4 cups marinara sauce
2) 1 (20-ounce) package refrigerated cheese ravioli
3) 1 (10 ounce) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
4) 8 ounces shredded part-skim mozzarella
5) 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease an 8 inch square baking dish. Spoon 1/4 cup marinara sauce over bottom of dish. Cover with half of ravioli. Spread half of remaining sauce over ravioli. Sprinkle on spinach and half of mozzarella. Repeat with remaining ravioli, marinara, and mozzarella. Sprinkle top with with Parmesan.

Cover dish with foil and bake for 30 mins. Remove foil and bake until bubbling, approx. 10 mins longer. Let cool for approx. 5 mins before slicing.

*This recipe can also be made in a foil pan, thus there is no clean up!

Nutritional info per serving:

Calories: 539
Fat: 22 grams
Protein: 33 grams
Carbs: 51 grams
Fiber 7 grams
Cholesterol: 100 mg
Sodium: 1077 mg

*This recipe is somewhat high in fat content and high in sodium content. However, it is ultimately about total nutrition consumed for the entire day and consuming one serving of this recipe.


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Did you know...?

Watermelon is frequently referred to as a miracle drug.


Because watermelon is an excellent source of Vitamin A, C, B6, fiber and potassium.

Watermelon is approx. 92% water, thus making it a great thirst-quencher.

Hundreds of varieties of watermelon are grown commercially in 96 countries.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Jerk Style Turkey Burgers with Mango Chutney Slaw

Taste Tip about this recipe: The cool, fruity flavor of the slaw offsets the spiciness of the burgers while adding a crunch!

This recipe provides 4 servings


1.5 cups coleslaw mix
1 mango, peeled, seeded and diced
1/2 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
2 tablespoon light mayonnaise
1/4 cup mango chutney, divided
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup peeled, chopped apple
1/4 cup cup, panko  bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 tablespoon Jamaican jerk seasoning
1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound ground turkey
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 ciabatta buns


Combine coleslaw mix, diced mango and red bell pepper. Stir together mayonnaise and 2 tablespoons chutney. Stir into coleslaw mixture; cover and chill in refrigerator, until ready to serve.

In a large mixing bowl, combine egg, apple, bread crumbs, red onion, jerk seasoning, cilantro and salt.
Add ground turkey and mix well. Shape into 4 3/4 inch thick patties. Brush patties with olive oil.

Grease grill rack before cooking. Preheat grill to medium high. Place patties on lightly greased grill rack. Cover and grill approx 14 mins, until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, turning once halfway through grilling. Grill buns, cut-side-down, directly over medium heat about 2 mins or until light brown.

Serve each burger on buns topped with 1/4 cup coleslaw mix. Serve remaining coleslaw on the side.

Nutritional per serving:

430 calories
16 grams fat
1110 mg sodium
60 grams carbs
4 grams of fiber
17 grams of sugar
30 grams of protein

This recipe also provides 35% of daily vitamin A recommendation, 130% vitamin C, and 25% iron

*This is a very tasty recipe; however I do want to point out the high level of sodium. It is ultimately about what you consume throughout the course of a full day.

*Dietary guidelines recommend consuming less than 2, 400 mg of sodium per day.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Mushroom Couscous

For those who are not familiar with couscous, it is a wheat grain that fluffs up like rice when it is cooked. A nice plus to couscous is that takes only 5 minutes to cook.

Prep time: 5 minutes                Cook time: 10 minutes


4 cups sliced fresh mushrooms  (approx. 3/4 pound)
1/2 cup of chopped onions
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
2/3 cup of couscous, uncooked


1) Coat a large saucepan with cooking spray; place over medium high heat, until hot. Add mushrooms, onions, and garlic; sauté until tender. Stir in water, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil. Remove saucepan from heat.

2) Stir in couscous; cover and let stand 5 mins. or until couscous is tender and liquid is absorbed. Fluff couscous with a fork.
Provides: 4 (1 cup) servings.

Nutritional value per serving:   Calories: 143 (5% from fat)  Protein: 6.1 grams
Carbohydrates: 29.5 grams    Fiber: 2.6 grams    Cholesterol: 0 mg   Sodium: 153 mg