HEALTH / FITNESS
Information about fitness, health, nutrition and weight loss
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In this Section....
- August Recipes
- August Exercise
- Convenience Foods
- Long Weekends and Special Events
August Recipes - Click Here
Check out our great selection of recipes for this month.
We'd love to feature one of your favorite recipes in any one of our monthly issues, just send them on to us at email@example.com. Hope to hear from all of you in the following months!
August Exercises - Click Here
Each month we will feature simple exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home and without buying fancy expensive equipment.
Convenience foods have gotten a bad rap. Simply because they are easy to use and handy to have does not mean that canned and frozen foods cannot be healthy and tasty. However, before you run off and to join the convenience food circus make sure that you are getting the most *bang* for your time and money. Below are a few of your best bets for pantry and fridge timesavers.
Frozen vegetables. Fresh may be best, but frozen vegetables are a handy way to add a quick side dish or to create a stir fry. Not only can you find single vegetables, but a variety of mixes to suit every taste and cuisine. Try to steam them rather than boil in order to retain as many of the nutrients as possible.
Bagged salad greens make for a quick side dish or you can turn it into an entrée by adding tofu or beef or chickent to the mix. Although they are pre-washed it doesn't hurt to rinse one more.
Whole grains. Once upon a time whole grains like quinoa, bulgur, brown rice and wheat berries took forever to cook. Now one can just measure the grain into a rice cooker add water or broth and walk away. Not only healthy and filling, whole grains are delicious and pair well with entrée dishes and can be spiced up with herbs for refreshingly different side dish.
Yogurt. Yes, yogurt is a convenience food. It can not only make a quick snack, but added some fruit and nuts or oatmeal and you have a tasty meal in a cup (or bowl).
Canned beans. Stews, soups, and dips. A whole lot of yummy can come from a can of beans. Add them to salads for a protein boost or grind with spices to create hummus-like variations. You can even make vegan patties from a beans. Quick tip: Rinse a can of beans to remove up to 36 percent of the sodium.
Canned tomatoes. Just a versatile as bean, canned tomatoes can be diced, sliced, left whole peeled, stewed, etc. Add-in like garlic & olive oil or green peppers can add an extra zing to your Italian or Mexican dishes. Stir in a can of diced tomatoes to soups and stews to add a new taste element.
Nuts. Nutrient-rich. Tasty. Handy. Enough said.
Oatmeal. Just like yogurt, oatmeal is not only the perfect solution for a quick breakfast or snack. Be creative: add nuts, dried fruit, and juices to customize your oatmeal. Filling and healthy, don't overlook the convenice of oatmeal.
Jarred Pasta Sauce. Similar to canned tomatoes, but stepped up. All the flavor and spices are included and all you need to do is sauce your pasta! Pasta sauce from a jar has come a long way and their is a flavor profile to suit everyone. To keep it healthier avoid the cream sauces and stick to the tomato-based kind.
Canned Broth. A can of broth can punch up any dish! Replace water with broth for your whole grains, rices, and soups. Vegetable, chicken, and beef broths are available and can be used for gravies and stews. Be sure to adjust for the added sodium or purchase the low-sodium variety. Keep a can on hand for any last minute substitutions. You won't regret it.
Boil in a Bag Brown Rice. Brown rice is a clear nutritional winner: It provides fiber, B vitamins, iron, and vitamin E. A great alternative to white rice, boil-in-bag brown rice has made it more convenient to use this healthy blockbuster! Use it where you would use white rice or look for recipes built around its slightly nuttier taste.
Submitted by: Anita Williams
Long Weekends and Special Events
You have had a good week and feel totally in control. Now you are facing the long weekend with dread. Holidays, parties, and special occasions can present a challenge as quite often the focus is on food. The trick is to be prepared, avoid the anxiety that sometimes comes along with dieting and celebrate at the same time. The following are a few suggestions to help you have fun and still control your eating.
- Planning ahead is important. Try to anticipate what foods might be available and have a general idea of what you might eat.
- Try to eat some protein before you go so you don't arrive hungry.
- If you are unsure of the foods that might be at an event take something you know you can have. Consider taking a vegetable tray for an appetizer.
- Try a bunless burger, sausage or hot dog. Then have all the "fixings" on the side.
- If having an alcoholic beverage, have a glass of water on the side. For every sip of water, have two or three sips of water. It makes the drink last longer.
- Think about having no alcohol. Have some soda water in a wineglass so you feel special but avoid the extra calories.
- Distance yourself from the food table. If you are away from the foods, you are more likely to avoid temptations.
- Focus on the social aspect of the event. Don't make it all about the food. The more you socialize with people, the less likely you are to overeat.
- If you do decide to allow yourself a treat, make sure it is something very special and worth the calories. Potato chips, breads and crackers are foods that you can have any time.
If you do eat more than intended, keep a proper perspective. Don't turn an event into more than it really is: just another day. Chalk it up to a learning experience and then move forward. One day's indiscretion will not ruin your diet. Your reaction to eating is more important than the eating itself. Your attitudes are central to your ability to control your eating both during and after the event. Call it a learning experience and get right back on track.
Don't ever give up!
Written by: Dr Doug