Friday, November 30, 2012

Recipe of the Day

Barley "Risotto" with Mushrooms

Barley's earthy flavor pairs very well with portobello mushrooms.

This recipe provides 4 servings


1) 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2) 2 teaspoons Olive oil
3) 2 onions, finely chopped
4) 2 portobello mushrooms, diced
5) 2 garlic cloves, minced
6) 1/2 cup pearl barley
7) 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
8) 1/4 teaspoon minced thyme


1) In a medium saucepan, bring broth to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer.

2) In a nonstick saucepan, heat the oil. Add the onions; cook stirring as needed, until softened, approx. 5 mins. Add the garlic and mushrooms; cook, stirring as needed, until the mushrooms are wilted, approx. 10 mins. Add barley; cook, stirring to coat, approx. 1 min.

3) Stir in 1 cup of broth; reduce the heat and simmer, covered, approx. 5 mins. Stir in another 1/2 cup of the broth; simmer, covered, 10 mins longer. Continue adding broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring, while the broth is absorbed, until the barley is just tender. The total cooking time should be approx. 40 mins. Stir in cheese and thyme; serve immediately.

Nutritional value per serving:

Calories: 180
Fat: 2 grams
Fiber: 5 grams
Protein: 6 grams
Calcium: 43 mg
Carbs: 32 grams
Sodium: 100 mg

Crock Pot Recipe 12

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Substitution idea: Pork tenderloin may be substituted  in place of chicken thighs

This recipe provides 6 servings.

                                                                 Serving Size: 2/3 cup chicken mixture and a 1/2 cup rice


1) 1 1/4 cup chopped onion
2) 1/3 cup sugar
3) 1/3 cup ketchup
4) 1/4 cup of orange juice
5) 3 tablespoons cornstarch
6) 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
7) 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
8) 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
9) 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces
10) 2 (8-ounce) cans pineapple chunks in juice, drained
11) 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
12) 1 large green bell pepper, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
13) 3 cups hot cooked white rice


 Combine first 12 ingredients in a crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 4 hours. Serve over rice.

Nutritional value per serving:

Calories:  335
Fat. 3.5 grams
Protein: 18 grams
Carbs: 56 grams
Fiber: 2 grams
Sodium: 350 mg
Calcium: 38 mg

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Concept of Detraining

Detraining is the complete cessation of training, or a substantial reduction in frequency, intensity, or volume that results in performance reductions and a loss of some of the benefits derived from physiological adaptations associated with training.

The length of the detraining period and the training status of the individual dictate the amount of performance loss.

Reductions in performance can occur in as little as 2 weeks, it is for this reason, staying on the path of fitness is important.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Crock Pot Recipe 11

Chicken with Carrots and Potatoes

This recipe sounds pretty basic however it is healthy, full of flavor and easy to prepare!

This recipe provides 6 servings.


1) 3 cups of baby carrots
2) 1 3/4 cups vertically sliced onion
3) 8 small round red potatoes, cut into 1/4 inch slices
4) 1/2 cup fat free, lower sodium chicken broth
5) 1/2 cup dry white wine
6) 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
7) 1 teaspoon minced garlic
8) 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
9) 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
10) 1 teaspoon paprika
11) 6 (6-ounce) bone-in chicken thighs, skinned
12) 1 teaspoon olive oil
13) Cooking Spray
14) Chopped fresh thyme (optional)


1) Place onion in a crock pot coated with cooking spray; top with carrots and potatoes.

2) Combine broth, next 3 ingredients, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, then pour over vegetables.

3) Combine paprika, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, rub over chicken. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat then add chicken. Cook approx. 3 mins. on each side or until browned. Arrange chicken on top of vegetables.

4) Cover and cook on low for 3 1/2 hours or until chicken is done and vegetables are tender. Garnish with additional thyme, optional.

Nutritional value per serving:

Calories: 250 calories
Fat: 5 grams
Protein: 22 grams
Carbs: 22
Fiber: 4 grams
Cholesterol: 80 mg Sodium: 455 mg
Calcium: 52 mg

Work-Out Insight

So...what is progressive overload?

Progressive overload refers to the gradual increase in stress placed on the human body during physical activity/training. This concept is not new, it dates back a few thousand years to the ancient Greek strong-man and Olympic wrestling champion Milo of Crotona. The human body has no need to become stronger or more physically fit unless it is forced to meet higher physical demands. The lack of progressive overload in a training program is a leading factor for stagnate work-out programs.

The use of progressive overload can overcome the staleness resulting from a lack in change in one's training program. Progressive overload is accomplished by manipulating such factors as exercise selection, amount of weight being lifted, the number of repetitions, lifting velocity, rest intervals, work-out volume, etc.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Onion Info

There are over 1000 different varieties of onions ranging from subtle and sweet to sharp and pungent.

There are 2 categories of dry onions, storage and sweet. Storage onions, better known as yellow, white and red onions which are firm, have thick papery skin and last for months from harvest.
Sweet onions such as Vidalia, Walla and Maui are softer to the touch and best refrigerated. These onions are milder than storage onions but will not last as long.

And, there a green onions, such as scallions, welsh and chives, all of which need to be refrigerated.

The following are a list of onions and their various uses:

Vidalia: sweet and mild, use raw or cooked; in salads or sandwiches, grilled and in chutneys or relishes.

Red: slightly sweet, may be used raw or cooked; good on turkey or veggie burgers and salads

Shallot: garlic like, sweet and delicate, works well in sauces and salad dressings.

Pearl (Red and White): flavor varies by variety; milder and more delicate than mature onions, good uses: on kebabs, for pickling or roasting whole

Welsh: bright, tangy and sharp, works well when served raw or adding in the last few mins of cooking: perfect for finishing and garnishing; brushed with olive oil and grilled whole, also Asian cuisine.

Yellow: Strong pungent flavor and aroma; most versatile; best when cooked, very strong when raw; considered classic onion flavor. This onion works well in soups, stews, braises, grated in burgers, stir-frys and diced in stuffing.

White: milder and sweeter than the yellow onion, may be used raw or cooked; good in stir-frys, salsas, sandwiches or stews, in spicy dishes to sweetness, in particular Mexican cuisine.

Good to Know Info

About weight lifting belts....

Many different types of lifting belts are sold on the market. People use belts for support and for lowering the risk of back injuries. Belts reduce compressive forces on the back by approx. 6%. The effectiveness of such belts depends on the type and tightness, tighter belts tend to be more supportive.
Quadriceps muscle activity increases during the squat exercise when belts are utilized. However, core muscle activation is lower with belt use.

It is important to be aware of the fact that belts should not be overused as they limit potential core strength development. It is recommended that lifting belts be used only during exercises such as squats, bent over row and dead lift with maximal or near maximal weight.

Also, lifting belts should only be used during a set and should be loosened or removed between sets as they reduce blood flow back to the heart and increase blood pressure.

Recipe of the Day

A Healthy, Delicious Monte Cristo Sandwich

The Monte Cristo scoop: This sandwich is typically assembled with ham, turkey or chicken and loaded with full-fat cheese between 2 slices of white bread, then dipped in a beaten whole egg and fried in butter.

This recipe is a healthier version of this classic sandwich and better on taste!

This sandwich is piled high with saute'ed turkey, baby spinach, pear and low-fat Swiss before being dipped in egg white and saute'ed for a lighter, making for a more nutritious tasty sandwich.

This recipe provides 4 servings.


1) 1 lb turkey breast, thinly sliced, cut into 4-oz pieces
2) 2 tsp olive oil, divided
3) 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
4) 1/2 cup of egg whites
5) A pinch of sea salt and fresh ground pepper
6) 2 tablespoons skim milk
7) A pinch of cayenne pepper
8) 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
9) 1 1/4 cup baby spinach leaves
10) 1 pear, thinly sliced
11) 8 slices whole-grain bread
12) 4  one ounce slices low fat


1) In a small bowl, season turkey with 1 tsp oil, oregano, salt and black pepper.

2) Heat a nonstick saute' pan over medium-high heat. Add turkey and saute' until light golden at edges and fully cooked throughout, approx. 3 mins. per side. Remove from heat and set aside.

3) In a shallow dish, whisk together egg whites and milk. Season with salt, black pepper and cayenne. Set aside.

4) Spread approx. 1 tsp Dijon mustard on one side of each bread slice and place Dijon-side-up, onto a flat surface. Layer equal parts spinach, turkey and pear onto 4 slices of bread. Top each stack with 1 slice of cheese and another slice of bread, Dijon side down, pressing gently.

5) In a medium nonstick saute' pan, heat remaining tsp oil over medium heat.

6) Using a spatula, carefully dip 1 side of a sandwich into egg mixture (egg mixture should go approx. halfway up the bread slice when immersed). With your hand on top of the sandwich and spatula underneath, carefully flip to immerse the other side in egg, then carefully transfer to hot pan. Saute' sandwich, turning once, until golden brown and crisp, approx. 4 mins. Remove from pan. Repeat this process with remaining sandwiches. Cut sandwiches in half and serve.

*Cooking tip for this recipe: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and use it to transfer dipped sandwiches to saute' pan.

Nutritional value per sandwich:

Calories: 425
Total Fat: 7 grams
Carbs: 35 grams
Fiber: 6 grams
Protein: 53 grams
Sodium: 750 mg
Cholesterol: 105 mg

The Benefits of Supersets

Supersets provide a great way to completely change up a workout program. Supersetting is a training method in which you do 2 exercises, one directly after the other, with no rest in between. The exercises may be for the same muscle group or 2 different muscle groups, depending on your goals.

Types of Supersets:

1) Opposing Muscle Groups: 2 exercises that target opposing muscle groups, one muscle gets to rest while the opposite muscle groups. For example: back and chest, biceps and triceps, hamstrings and quadriceps, etc.

2) Isolation Supersets: Combine 2 isolation exercises, for example dumbbells flies followed by a cable crossover.

3) Pre-Exhaustion Supersets: This type of superset involves 2 exercises for the same muscle group. The first is an isolation move, which targets one muscle group, and the second is a compound movement, which targets multiple muscles, for example, leg extension which targets quads, followed by squats. In this manner, the quads are tired, but the other muscles used in squats (glutes, hamstrings and inner thighs) are not fatigued.

4) Post-Exhaustion Supersets: This type of supersetting is the opposite of pre-exhaustion. In this method, you start with compound movement and follow with the isolation exercise, for example, bench press followed by dumbbell flies.

5) Staggered Supersets: In this method, you perform an exercise for a different muscle between sets. For example, during a straight set of chest presses, you can throw in a set of stability ball crunches or calf raises while you rest your chest muscles. This method saves time, thus allowing you to work smaller muscle groups while the larger ones rest.

6) Tri-Sets: This method is the same as a superset, except you are performing three exercises rather than two.

7) Cardio and Strength Supersets: Another option for supersetting involves pairing a cardio exercise with a strength exercise. Paring these together in a certain way can add intensity to your workouts, thus overloading your muscles and forcing them to adapt and grow stronger. For optimal results, try working the same muscles for both exercises.
For example, Cycling uses the quads a fair amount, pair with leg presses. The elliptical targets the glute muscles a fair amount, pair with squats.

Supersetting saves time, makes things interesting, incorporates more variety into your workouts and is easy to set up!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Crock Pot Recipe 10

Pork Carnitas

Serving Suggestion: Serve with black beans and rice

This recipe provides 10 servings


1) (3-pound) boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt), trimmed
2) 10 garlic cloves, sliced
3) 1 teaspoon dried oregano
4) 2 teaspoons ground cumin
5) 3/4 teaspoon salt
6) 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
7) 3/4 cup orange juice
8) 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
9) 2 chipotle chiles canned in adobo sauce, drained and chopped
10) 20 (6-inch) flour or corn tortillas
11) 1 medium onion, chopped
12) 2/3 cup bottled salsa
13) 2/3 cup fresh cilantro
14) lime wedges


1) Make 1/2-inch-deep slits on outside of roast; stuff with garlic. Combine cumin, oregano, salt and pepper in a bowl. Place roast in crock pot. Sprinkle pork on all sides with spice mixture.

2) Combine juices and chipotle chiles. Pour juice mixture over pork. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, until pork is tender.

3) Remove pork from crock pot; shred with 2 forks. Skim fat from cooking liquid. Combine shredded pork and 1/2 cup cooking liquid and toss well.

4) Spoon 1 1/2 ounces pork mixture onto each tortilla; top each with 1 1/2 teaspoons onion, 1 1/2 teaspoons salsa, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

Serving Size: 3 ounces pork, 2 tortillas, 1 tablespoon onion, 1 tablespoon salsa, 1 tablespoon cilantro, and 1 lime wedge

Nutritional value per serving:

Calories: 335
Fat: 12.6 grams
Protein: 30 grams
Carbs: 27 grams
Sodium: 425 mg
Fiber: 3 grams
Calcium: 81 mg

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Recipe of the Day

Greek Fish Florentine

This recipe provides 2 servings


1) 2  5 -oz tilapia fillets
2) 8 grape tomatoes, sliced
3) 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
4)  1 tbsp lemon juice
5) 1 tbsp chopped fresh Italian-leaf parsley
6) 2 large shallots, diced
7) 1 tbsp. olive oil
8) 8 oz baby spinach
9) 1/4 cup low-fat feta cheese


1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place fillets and tomatoes in a glass baking dish. Sprinkle garlic and parsley over top and finish with lemon juice. Cover with foil and bake for approx. 18 mins, until fish is opaque and flakes easily with fork.

2) In a medium skillet over medium high heat, saute' shallots in oil for one min. Reduce heat to medium and add spinach, cook until wilted, approx. 5 mins. Stir in feta and heat until melted and evenly distributed.

3) Place 3/4 cup spinach-feta mixture on each plate and lay 1 fillet over top, finishing with half of tomatoes. Ready to serve.

Nutritional value per serving ( 5 oz fillet, 4 tomatoes, 3/4 cup spinach-feta mixture):

Calories: 315
Total Fat: 12 grams
Protein: 36 grams
Carbs: 20 grams
Sodium: 491 mg
Cholesterol: 75 mg

Did you know?

Turkey bacon has 1/4 the saturated fat of that of pork bacon.

 When choosing bacon choose turkey bacon, nitrate free thus saving 7 grams of fat per ounce.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Recipe of the Day

Chicken, Snow Pea and Cashew Fried Rice


1) 4 scallions, finely chopped
2) 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3) 1 Tbsp. finely chopped ginger
4) 8 oz snow peas, trimmed
5) 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
6) 1 lb boneless, skinless breast, thinly sliced
7) 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
8) 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
9) 4 cups cooked white rice
10) 3 Tbsp. chopped roasted cashews


1) Combine chicken and 2 Tbsp. teriyaki sauce in a bowl and set aside. Warm 1 1/2 Tbsp. vegetable oil in a wok or large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring, until no linger pink, approx. 5 mins. Transfer to a clean bowl.

2) Add scallions, garlic, and ginger and remaining vegetable oil to wok and cook, stirring, for 1-2 mins. Add snow peas and chicken broth, cover and cook until tender, approx. 3 mins. Stir in rice, chicken and remaining 2Tbsp. teriyaki sauce and cook, stirring until rice is heated through, 1 to 2 mins. Top with cashews and serve.

Nutritional value per serving:

Calories: 480
Fat: 11.5 grams
Cholesterol: 66 mg
Carbs: 56 grams
Protein: 35 grams
Fiber: 3 grams

Easy Sitting Exercise

Sitting Side Crunch

Sit on a chair or workout bench with your hands behind your head. Press elbows straight back to stretch your chest, then bend sideways at the waist to crunch to your right. Come back up and repeat crunch to the left. This equals 1 repetition.

Perform 2 sets of 10-15 reps each side.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Did you know?

Cayenne pepper can assist in promoting weight loss naturally. The fiery red powder can fuel weight loss by curbing appetite and increasing calorie burn during digestion.

Dynamic Stretching Defined

Dynamic stretching entails actively moving a joint through its full range of motion without any relaxation or holding of joint positions. These stretches are functional in nature and often replicate sport-specific movements.  Movements are emphasized rather than individual muscle groups.Examples include forward and backward arm circles and walking knee lifts. Dynamic stretching offers the advantage of warming up several muscle groups at the same time, which may potentially increase the efficiency of the warm-up. Dynamic stretches may be performed as repetitions in place or in a series covering a specific distance. In either example, the progression should proceed from light, gradual movements to  more intense, faster movements when preparing for strength and power activities. Dynamic stretches offer similar physiological responses that help in preparing the body for exercise.

Recipe of the Day

Quinoa, Apple & Walnut Salad with Turkey Sausage

This recipe provides 2 servings.     Total Prep Time:    Approx.   30 mins.


1) 1/4 cup quinoa
2) 1.2 cup water
3) 4 oz lean turkey sausage (or soy/veggie sausage)
4) 1 1/4 cup diced apple
5) 1/4 cup walnuts, crushed
6) 3 cups spinach


1) Bring water to a boil in a small pot on high heat then add quinoa. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for approx. 12 mins. Remove from heat, drain and set aside to cool.

2) Cook sausage in a large pot of simmering water for approx. 15 mins, depending on thickness of sausage. Remove from water and preheat a nonstick pan on medium heat. Lightly coat with spray and add sausage. Saute' sausage until lightly browned. Set aside to cool, then slice into 1/4  inch

3) Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle the dressing of your choice on the salad and serve.   *Possible dressing choice: Spicy Apple Vinaigrette

Nutritional value per serving:

Calories: 300
Fat: 13 grams
Fiber: 7 grams
Carbs: 38 grams
Protein: 11 grams
Sodium: 515 mg
Cholesterol: 12 mg

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Good to know Info...

Poor posture and repetitive movements have the potential to create dysfunctions in connective tissue, thus initiating an injury cycle. Trauma to muscle tissue creates inflammation, which leads to microspasms and decreases normal elasticity of the soft muscle tissue.

Soft tissue rebuilds itself in a random fashion with an inelastic collagen matrix that typically does not run in the same direction as the muscle fibers. If the muscle fibers are lengthened, these inelastic connective tissue fibers act as roadblocks, creating alterations in normal muscle tissue extensibility and causing relative flexibility.

Flexibility training has the benefits of improving muscle imbalances, increasing joint range of motion and extensibility and relieving excessive tension of muscles and joint stress.

In today's society is seeing many people with postural imbalances, primarily due to sedentary lifestyles. a contributing factor is the overall advancement in technology. Alot of people are spending long hours in office related jobs, which leads to muscle tension.

Flexibility training decreases the likelihood of muscle imbalances, joint dysfunctions, and over-use injuries.

Flexibility training is another essential piece of the exercise puzzle!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Healthy Breakfast for One

Asian Style Scrambled Eggs


1) 1 clove garlic, chopped
2) 1 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, chopped
3) 1 tsp peanut oil
4) 3/4 cup mushrooms, chopped
5) 6 snow peas, quartered
6) 1/4 red bell pepper, chopped
7) 3 scallions, chopped
8) 1 1/2 tsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
9) 3 egg whites and 1 whole egg, beaten


1) In a skillet or wok on medium-high heat, brown garlic and ginger in half of the oil. After a couple of minutes, add mushrooms, snow peas and pepper.

2) Stir-fry until mushrooms begin to brown and lose most of their moisture. Add chopped scallions. Stir-fry for another couple of  mins. while drizzling half of the soy sauce over the mixture; remove vegetables from skillet.

3) Add remaining oil, then eggs. When eggs begin to bubble around the edges, stir them with a spatula until scrambled. Just before eggs are completely cooked, add vegetables and mix thoroughly.

4) Serve warm, with remaining soy sauce drizzled over top eggs after cooking.

Nutritional value:

Calories: 210
Total Fat: 10 grams
Carbs: 12 grams
Fiber: 3 grams
Protein: 22 grams
Sodium: 580 mg
Cholesterol: 230 mg

Book Recommendation

The Thrive Diet, by Brendan Brazier

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Healthy Thanksgiving Day Mashed Potatoes

Golden Mashed Potatoes

*This recipe provides 9 servings, 4 1/2 cups*


4 large Yukon Gold Potatoes (approx. 2 1/2 pounds)
1 1/2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and mashed
1/2 cup light sour cream
1/4 cup skim milk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 tablespoon thyme
1/2 tablespoon chopped chives


1) Scrub potatoes but do not peel them. Cut into halves and place in a large, wide saucepan/pot. Add garlic. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, partially cover and simmer until fork tender, approx. 20 mins.

2) Drain potatoes and garlic. Return to sauce pan or pot, set to low heat. Using a potato masher, coarsely mash. Add sour cream, milk, mustard and salt. Mash to desired consistency. Stir in thyme and chives.

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Nutritional value per serving:

Calories: 120
Fat: 2 grams
Carbs: 22 grams
Sodium: 100 mg
Cholesterol: 60 mg

The light sour cream and skim milk in this recipe are very good sources of calcium.

Crock Pot Recipe 9

Classic Beef Stew

This is an easy to prepare recipe.

 It is a flavorful classic.

This recipe provides 6 servings (serving size: approx. 1 3/4 cups)


1) 2 tablespoons uncooked granulated tapioca
2) 1 tablespoon sugar
3) 1 tablespoon garlic powder
4) 1/4 teaspoon salt
5) 3 (5.5-ounce) cans tomato juice
6) 4 cups chopped onion
7) 3 1/2 cups chopped celery
8) 3 cups (1/4-inch-thick) slices carrot
9) 2 (8-ounce) packages pre-sliced mushrooms
10) 2 pounds beef stew meat
11) Chopped fresh parsley (optional)


*Use a blender to dissolve the tapioca completely.*

1) Place tapioca, sugar, garlic powder, salt, and tomato juice in a blender; process until smooth.

2) Combine onion, celery, carrot, mushrooms, and beef in crock pot; add juice mixture, stirring well. Cover and cook on high for 4.5 hours, until beef is tender. Sprinkle with parsley is desired.

Nutritional value per serving:

Calories: 360
Fat: 12 grams
Protein: 33 grams
Carbs: 28 grams
Fiber: 4 grams
Sodium: 520
Calcium: 90 mg

Good Info to Know!

You can assist in preventing disease and diabetes with a few easy and quick meal plan modifications.

1) Limit your intake of saturated fat to less than 10 % of your total calories.

2) Set a goal to consume a minimum of 5 servings of whole vegetables and fruits daily.

3) Choose high fiber, unrefined and whole foods over starchy, refined carbohydrates.

4) Set a goal of eating 5 to 6 small meals throughout the day.

5) Include beans, dried peas or lentils in most meals.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Good Bean Info!

Beans are a very good source of protein, carbohydrates, fiber, B vitamins, calcium and iron. The majority of beans are low in fat and high in soluble fiber, which can assist in lowering cholesterol levels.

The following are a list of various beans and their uses:

Anasazi Beans: originally grown by Native Americans, are red and white speckled beans similar in size to pinto beans. Anasazi beans are excellent in Mexican dishes and posses a sweet, full flavor.

Black Beans: Sometimes referred to as "turtle" beans. These beans are especially popular in Mexican, South American and Cuban cuisines. They are considered a change of pace from pinto beans in Southwestern specialties like tacos and tostados.

Black Eyed Peas: They are more closely related to beans than to peas, however like peas they do not require presoaking. This bean works well added to dishes with strong greens such as spinach, chard or kale.

Fava Beans: These beans are large and brown, extensively used in Mediterranean cuisine and may be available fresh, canned or dried. Their strong flavor is delicious accompanied by herb tomato-based sauces. Fava beans go well in soups and stews. Fresh fava beans come in pods, and need to be removed before eating or cooking.

Garbanzo Beans: Also known as chick-peas, these beans are very versatile and unique with a mild nutty flavor. This bean is the main ingredient in popular Middle Eastern dishes like hummus, or falafel. They also go well in salads with fresh herbs and garlic and onion. You can save cooking time by utilizing precooked canned beans.

Great Northern White Beans: Classic soup beans, with a mild flavor and creamy texture. They puree well to thicken soups and milk based chowders.

Kidney Beans: They are the slightly smaller red bean. Kidney beans are very popular in the United States. This bean goes well in chili, soups and marinated bean salads.

Lima Beans: They are often called butter beans, come in large, small and "baby" sizes. Lima beans go well with corn in succotash, or cooked with tomatoes and herbs for a simple side dish.

Lentils: Known for making hearty soups. Lentils are fast cooking and do not require pre-soaking. Red lentils are often used in Indian cuisine. Brown lentils go well in salads and serve as the foundation for vegetarian burgers.

Mung Beans: They are very popular in Asian and Indian cuisine. Their flavor is complemented by chilies, curries and ginger. These beans may be substituted for lentils or peas in many recipes.

Pinto Beans: They are full bodied with an earthy flavor and go well in casseroles, rolled into a tortilla, or re fried. They are served in many of the spicy Southwestern dishes. Pinto beans are speckled pink and brown when dry, fading to brown when cooked.

Soybeans: This small round bean native to China has more protein than any above the beans mentioned. Soybeans are slow to cook, but a very versatile. Soybeans are often processed into other foods, such as soymilk or tofu. Edamame is the crunchy green variety of soybean.

Split Peas: They become a soft pulp when cooked and are used mostly for stews and soups. Both green and yellow split peas go well with tomatoes, potatoes and rice.

*Storage Suggestion.*

Cooked beans freeze very well. Cook a quantity at once and freeze them to use for last minute bean dishes.

Dried beans are best stored in airtight containers, in a cool environment away from light. They are best used within a year, also older beans can take longer to cook.

Healthy Thanksgiving Day Recipes!

Just click, please!

Healthy Thanksgiving Day Recipes

Quote of the Day!

“Mistakes are the bridges between inexperience and mastery!”

"Mistakes" are lessons in disguise that we can learn from, thus getting us closer to reaching our goals!

Recipe of the Day

Beef Sweet-Potato Stir-Fry                           *This recipe provides 4 servings.*

Nutritional insight about this recipe:

Sweet potatoes give this Asian inspired dish and interesting flavor and a nutritional boost. Their deep orange color is thanks to beta-carotene which is an antioxidant that contributes to your heart and eyes functioning at top form.


1 lb eye round beef steak, sliced 1/8 inch thick, then cut into 1 inch strips
1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
1 tablespoon unsweetened apple butter
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 1/2 cups green beans
1  1/2-inch slice fresh ginger, crushed
2 cups sweet potato, diced into 1-inch chunks
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced


1) In a large bowl, mix beef with sesame seed oil, apple butter, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, garlic and ginger. Set aside.

2) Bring 3 cups water to boil in a medium pot over high heat. Add sweet potato, cook for approx. 7 mins, until soft but still firm. Remove sweet potato with strainer or slotted spoon; do not drain water. Return water to boil. Add beans and boil for approx. 5 mins, until soft but still firm. Drain.

3) Add olive oil to a large wok or skillet- high heat. Once hot, add beef mixture and onion, stirring/tossing quickly until done, approx. 4 mins. Then toss in sweet potatoes and beans and cook for 1 more minute. Serve.

Nutritional value per serving (1 cup per serving):

Calories: 340
Total Fat: 9 grams
Protein: 38 grams
Carbs: 29 grams
Sodium: 180 mg
Cholesterol: 65 mg

Did you know?

1) Watching TV while eating serves as a distraction that often promotes overeating.

2) Using smaller plates, bowls and drink glasses can reduce how much we eat.

3) Cutting food into smaller can assist you in eating less.

4) "Low fat" foods frequently boost flavor with extra sugar, making calorie savings minimal if at all.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Breakfast Idea

Cottage Cheese with Apple Butter

1 serving


1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1/2 banana sliced
1 tablespoon apple butter, unsweetened or no sugar added
2 teaspoons sunflower seeds


Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

Nutritional value per serving:

Calories: 210
Carbs: 22
Fat: 7 grams
Protein: 17 grams
Sodium: 465 mg
Cholesterol: 5 grams

*Tip about this recipe*

The apple butter has none of the added sugar found in alot of jams. Sunflower seeds are full of the antioxidant vitamin E, which is essential for a healthy cardiovascular system and may be effective at reducing symptoms associated with allergies.

Did you know?

Did you know that Sunflower seeds assist in preventing the following: asthma, high blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis, colon cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

Sunflower seeds are packed full of heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats and magnesium, and vitamin E.

Sunflower seeds have 4 grams of fiber per ounce, a reasonable amount of fiber in a small serving.

Sunflower seeds do not need to be limited to trail mix; add them to salads (chicken, tuna, mixed greens) baked goods, stir fries.

Omega-3 Fatty Acid Facts

Omega-3 fatty acid helps reduce inflammation a primary cause of many autoimmune and digestive diseases that tend to afflict women more than men, such as multiple sclerosis, lupus and irritable bowl syndrome.

Omega-3 reduces chronic mild levels of inflammation and is also an important nutrient for mental functioning.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Recipe of the Day

Quinoa Black Bean Salad

*This recipe provides 6 servings.*


1) 1 cup quinoa, washed and drained
2) 2 cups water
3) 1/4 cup olive oil
4) Juice of 2 limes
5) 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
6) 1 tsp cumin
7) 1 can black beans, rinsed
8) 1 3/4 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
9) 5 green onions, finely chopped
10) 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Pinch of salt and pepper to desired taste


1) Wash and rinse quinoa. In a saucepan, bring quinoa and water to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook until all water is absorbed, approx. 12 mins. Let cool.

2) In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, cumin and red pepper flakes.

3) Combine cooled quinoa, beans, tomatoes and onions in a large bowl.

4) Drizzle dressing over salad and toss in cilantro. Lightly season with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Nutritional value per serving:

Calories: 300
Total Fat: 10 grams
Protein: 6 grams
Sodium: 86 mg
Carbs: 27 grams

Quinoa Facts

Although Quinoa is considered an "ancient grain," quinoa (pronounced "keen-wah" is actually a cousin of leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard. It differs from its green and grain counterparts as a protein source. One cup of quinoa has 20 grams of protein. Quinoa is a gluten-free grainlike substance which also contains B-vitamins, magnesium, iron, and potassium.

Quinoa assist in preventing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, migraine headaches and breast cancer.

Some of the many benefits of Garlic!

Just click, please:

The many benefits of Garlic

Its a Kale idea!

Have you ever tried Kale Chips ?

If you have not, try this easy recipe!


1) 1 head of kale
2) 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3)  a pinch of sea salt
4) sprinkle with fresh ground pepper


Remove the ribs from the kale and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces. Place in mixing bowl, gently toss.mix with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Bake at 275 degrees for approx. 30 mins, until crisp, turning the leaves half-way through cooking process.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Crock Pot Recipe 8

Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

*This recipe provides 8 servings.*


1) 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2) 3 cups thinly sliced onion
3) 1 cup ketchup
4) 1 teaspoon canola oil
5) 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
6) 2 tablespoons molasses
7) 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
8) 1 teaspoon ground cumin
9) 1 teaspoon onion powder
10) 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
11) 3/4 teaspoon hot sauce
12) 8 whole-wheat hamburger buns, toasted


1) Place onion in crock pot. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add half of chicken, cook approx. 4 mins. on each side, until golden brown. Place chicken in a single layer on top of onion. Repeat this procedure with remaining chicken.

2) Combine ketchup and the next 7 ingredients (through hot sauce); then pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours until chicken is tender and sauce is thick.

3) Remove chicken from crock pot. Shred chicken with 2 forks (more efficient for pulling apart), and stir into sauce. Spoon 3/4 cup chicken mixture onto bottom of each bun; then cover with bun tops!

*Serving Size:  1 sandwich*

Nutritional value per serving:

Calories: 270
Fat: 4 grams
Protein: 27 grams
Carbs: 34 grams
Sodium: 615 mg
Calcium: 76 mg

Good Info to Know..

Research has demonstrated that men who performed at least 150 mins. of weight training per week also participated in more cardiovascular exercise, drank less alcohol, watched less t.v. were less likely to smoke and had a healthier diet than those participating in no weight training.

 All of the above mentioned factors were associated with a reduced risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

Even a small amount of time engaged in weight training is beneficial in taking positive steps to minimize the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Recipe of the Day

Scalloped Potatoes


1) 2.5 lb. red potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8-inch thick
2) 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
3) 1 1/4 cups of milk
4) 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
5) 1 tsp. salt
6) 1 tsp. pepper
7) 1 cup shredded Gruyere


1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a 9-inch round baking dish.

2) Arrange half of onion slices in a circular pattern in dish, overlapping just slightly. Top with a third of potato slices, then sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper and 1/2 cup shredded Gruyere. Drizzle with 2 Tbsp. melted. butter. Repeat layers and add a top layer of potato slices.

3) Bring milk to a boil and pour over potato slices in baking dish. Bake until tender and of a golden color, approx. 45 mins.

*This recipe provides 8 servings.*

Nutritional value per serving:

Calories: 241
Fat: 12 grams
Cholesterol: 36 mg
Protein:  8 grams
Carbs: 27 grams
Sodium: 366 mg

4 Questions and Answers about Cholesterol

1) Does smoking affect cholesterol?

Yes, smoking tends to lower high density lipoprotein cholesterol and elevate triglycerides

2) Do omega-3 fatty acids lower low density lipoprotein cholesterol?

Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and some plants, do not directly lower low density lipoprotein cholesterol, however they do reduce the risk of heart disease.

3) Is high low density lipoprotein cholesterol genetically determined?

Genetics partially determine the amount of low density lipoprotein the body makes and how quickly it is removed.

4) Which gender tends to have higher cholesterol levels?

Prior to the age 50, men tend to have higher cholesterol levels. After age 50, because of menopause, women have higher cholesterol.

Good Info to Know...

The health benefits derived from leafy green vegetables go beyond their concentrated sources of nutrition. Leafy green vegetables are the source of vitamin K, C, E folate, fiber, the minerals calcium and iron.

It seems the darker the leaf, the better it is for you, due to their phytonutrient component. These so-called nutrients are components found in plants that are believed to promote health but cannot be labeled as nutrients because they are not essential for life. We do not necessarily need them to live but we can take advantage of their health promoting proprieties!

Dark greens vary in flavor from mild (spinach, escarole) to peppery (arugula, mustard greens) to mildly bitter (kale). In terms of texture: crunchy (escarole), chewy (kale) or soft (spinach).

Storage suggestion:

When storing your green vegetables, wrap in a slightly damp paper towel and place them inside a plastic bag before storing them in the refrigerator. This prevents your green vegetables from drying out and wilting in the fridge and increases storage life!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Crock Pot Recipe 7

Curried Pork over Basmati Rice

Recipe Insight: Madras curry powder contributes a little dash of spice without being overpowering. Coconut stirred in at the end of the cooking time counters the hotness with a sweet creaminess. Similar to many Indian-inspired dishes, this recipe depends on slow cooking to develop its richness.

*This recipe provides 6 servings.          Serving size: approx. 1 cup pork mixture and a 1/2 cup rice


1) 1.5 pounds boneless pork loin, cut into 1 inch cubes
2) 1 teaspoon canola oil
3) 3.5 cups cubed red potatoes
4) 1 cup chopped onion
5) 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
6) 1/4 cup fat free, lower sodium chicken broth
7) 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
8) 1 tablespoon sugar
9) 2 tablespoons tomato paste
10) 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
11) 1 teaspoon salt
12) 1 teaspoon Madras curry powder
13) 1 teaspoon ground cumin
14) 2 garlic gloves, minced
15) 1/2 cup coconut milk
16) 3 cups hot cooked basmati rice


1) Heat a large skillet. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add pork; cook approx. 4 mins, browning on all sides.

2) Combine potato and the next 11 ingredients (through garlic) in a crock pot; stir well to dissolve flour. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, until pork and potatoes are tender. Stir in coconut milk. Serve pork over rice.

Nutritional value per serving: 

Calories: 371
Fat: 6 grams
Protein: 30 grams
Carbs: 47 grams
Sodium: 682
Calcium: 29 mg

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Recipe of the Day

Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Saut'eed  Apples


1) 1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut crosswise into 12 pieces
2) Cooking Spray
3) 1/3 teaspoon salt
4) 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
5) 1/3 teaspoon black pepper
6) 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
7) 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
8) 2 tablespoons butter
9) 2 cups thinly sliced unpeeled Braeburn or Gala apple
10) 1/3 cup thinly sliced shallots
11) 1/8 teaspoon salt
12) 1/4 cup apple cider
13) 1 teaspoon thyme


Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Combine 1/3 teaspoon salt, coriander, pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl; sprinkle spice mixture evenly over pork, gently patting surface to coat. Coat skillet with cooking spray. Add pork to pan; cook approx 3 mins on each side, until desired degree of doneness. Remove pork from pan and keep warm.

Melt butter in skillet, swirling to coat pan. Add apple slices, sliced shallots, in addition to 1/8 teaspoon of salt. Cook approx. 4 mins, until apple starts to brown, stirring occasionally. Add apple cider to pan; cook approx. 2 mins, until apple slices are tender. Stir in thyme. Serve apple mixture with pork

Serving Size: 3 pork medallions and approx. 1/2 cup apple mixture

*This recipe provides 4 servings.*

Nutritional value per serving:

Calories: 234
Fat: 10 grams
Protein: 24 grams
Carbs: 12 grams
Fiber:  15 grams
Cholesterol: 90 mg
Sodium: 394

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Recipe of the Day

Quinoa Pilaf


 2 cups water
 1 cup quinoa
 1 tablespoon olive oil
 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions, white and green parts
 1/2 cup dried cranberries
 1 1/3 teaspoon lemon zest

 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  Juice of 1 lemon
 2 teaspoons honey
 1/3 teaspoon salt
 1/3 teaspoon pepper
 1/2 cup pecan halves, toasted


1) In a medium saucepan, bring the quinoa and water to a boil over medium high heat. Lower heat and simmer, covered, until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender, approx. 18 mins. Fluff quinoa with a fork and light cool slightly.

2) Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the oil, cranberries, scallions, parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice and honey. Stir in quinoa. Season with salt and pepper. Top with the toasted pecans.

*This recipe provides 4 servings.*

Nutritional value per serving:

Calories: 326
Protein:  7 grams
Carbs:   43 grams
Fat:       16 grams
Fiber:  5 grams

Friday, November 2, 2012

Did you know?

Recently, scientists in the United States have been studying hot peppers as  possible remedy for the common cold. The capsaicin in hot pepper is chemically similar to the active ingredient in Robitussin. Peppers also contain several vitamins, the most important being vitamin C.

Green bell peppers contain more vitamin C than citrus fruits.

Crock Pot Recipe 6

Classic Chili

*This recipe provides 8 servings.*


3 pounds lean ground beef, cooked and drained
1/2 cup low-sodium beef broth
2 large onions, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, minced
2 14 ounce can red, black, or white beans, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
2 green peppers, chopped


1) Add all ingredients to crock pot.

2) Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.