All Posts By Dana Angelo White

How Long Should Your Workouts Be?

by in Fitness, February 27, 2013

exercise
Finding the time to work out can be beyond challenging. Once you do carve out time to hit the gym (or other workout location of choice) – how much time should you spend sweating it out?

How Much?
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, folks should be getting 150 minutes of physical activity each week, including both cardio and strength-training sessions. Cardiovascular exercise should be at a moderate intensity (no lollygagging), something like brisk walking or easy biking counts. If you really ramp up the intensity, the 150-minute recommendation shrinks to 75 minutes but you’d better be working it (examples include running, swimming laps or playing basketball). Two weekly sessions of resistance training (such as lifting weights or yoga) should work all major muscle groups.

Don’t have a large chunk of time to spare everyday? No need to throw in the towel – you can break it up into smaller increments. Even as little as 10 minutes at a time counts.

It really all comes down to intensity. If you’re a runner, hitting the pavement for 75 minutes a week comes out to 15 minutes per day, over 5 days. Walking 25 minutes each day for 6 days a week will also meet the requirements. As you continue to exercise, you’ll gain strength and endurance – making it easier to work harder. Visit the CDC Website for specific guidelines on increased activity.

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What Makes a Heart-Healthy Food?

by in Healthy Tips, February 23, 2013

heart-healthy food
There’s a lot more to heart health than just cutting out junk food. Get to know which foods are good for your heart and share the love with friends and family.

Love Your Heart
Eating for a healthy heart means keeping weight, blood pressure and cholesterol in check. This means cutting back on certain foods and making sure you’re getting enough of others.

Limit These Foods

Saturated Fats – Butter, high-fat meats, fried foods and full-fat dairy products are just some of the places you’ll find saturated fats. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 7 percent of calories should come from these artery cloggers. That’s about 16 grams on a 2,000-calorie diet.

Trans Fats – Processed foods use trans fats to improve texture and increase shelf life but they’re even worse for your heart than saturated fats. Foods with trans fat will have hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils listed on food labels.

Cholesterol – Both dietary cholesterol and saturated fat can increase LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Keep intake from animal-based foods to less than 300 milligrams a day.

High Sodium Foods –  High-sodium foods like salty snacks, restaurant and processed foods can aggravate blood pressure. Keep your intake below 2300 milligrams per day (or 1500 milligrams if you’ve already been diagnosed with high blood pressure).

Learn more about sources of sodium in your diet.

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Facts and Myths About Foods for Colds and Flu

by in Healthy Tips, February 21, 2013

cold and flu facts
It’s been a brutal cold and flu season so far this year! At this point folks would do just about anything to ward off germs. Are the most popular remedies backed by science or nothing but old wives tales?

Myth: Vitamin C prevents illness
You may turn to large doses of vitamin C during the winter months to avoid getting sick, but unfortunately this doesn’t work. Where vitamin C may have some merit is in its ability to shorten the duration of a cold once you’re already under the weather. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant—those anti-inflammatory properties may assist with swollen sinuses.

Read more about vitamin C, including how much is too much

Myth: Zinc boosts your immune system
Much like vitamin C, there’s not enough evidence to support that taking in extra zinc will keep sickness at bay. Meeting daily needs for zinc is important for a healthy immune system, however exceeding these daily requirements can be toxic. Back in 2009, the FDA warned consumers to stay away from zinc nasal sprays after studies found they could damage the sense of smell.

Are you getting enough zinc?

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CrossFit 101

by in Fitness, February 19, 2013

crossfit
There hasn’t been a fitness craze this widespread in decades! Are intense competition-driven workouts what you need to get motivated to exercise? Here’s what you should to know about CrossFit.

Defining CrossFit
The CrossFit brand was established a little more than 10 years ago but has really gained momentum and nationwide popularity over the past few years. While most CrossFit gyms are independently owned and operated, the type of exercise and overall environment is consistent across locations. CrossFit workouts typically include some combination of strength and endurance training, along with plyometrics, power-lifting and even gymnastics (the creator is a former gymnast).

Some locations may specialize in the specific needs of a local group of fitness buffs like boxing or rowing for example. CrossFit branches often follow a Workout of the Day, or WOD that is followed by all members.

Workouts are intense and beginners should be cautioned to take things slow to prevent injury.

CrossFit has stirred up some controversy in recent years. Rumors have swirled of violent trainers pressuring participants to compete against others or exercise beyond their capabilities. Some orthopedic experts and physical therapists complain that the intense nature of the training can subject members to some pretty serious injuries, especially if they have preexisting orthopedic issues.

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Q&A With Jackie Newgent, Author of 1,000 Low-Calorie Recipes

by in Ask the Experts, February 13, 2013

jackie newgent
RD and recipe developer Jackie Newgent has done it again. Read more about her new book (of 1,000, yes 1,000 low-calorie recipes!), get her kitchen secrets and find out her inspiration for creating deliciously healthy recipes.

HE: We love your new book, 1,000 Low-Calorie Recipes! What was your inspiration for creating all of the recipes?
Jackie Newgent: I take inspiration from just about everything. I enjoy reinventing foods that everyone knows and loves to fit with today’s trends. Dining out a lot, I’m often inspired by what accomplished chefs are whipping up. I’m lucky enough to travel, which enables me to bring other local and global influences into my recipes. And growing up with a Lebanese mother (who I was cooking with from the age of 3!), I always find a way to bring Middle Eastern and regional Mediterranean flavors into many of my recipes.

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Spice of the Month: Chipotle Chili Powder

by in Healthy Recipes, February 8, 2013

chipotle chili powder
Liven up your favorite spicy recipes with this alternative to run-of-the-mill chili powder.

Chipotle Basics
“Chili powder” is actually made from a blend of spices. Various types of dried chilies are mixed with other flavors like garlic, cumin and oregano.

Chipotle peppers are red jalapenos that have been smoked so they’re not only spicy, they have a deep, rich and smoky flavor. Grind dried chipotles into a fine powder and you have a butt-kicking spice that will add big flavor with the smallest of sprinkles — that’s chipotle powder.

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Nutrition News: BMI and Your Health

by in Food News, February 6, 2013

scale
By now you’ve heard the long list of health risks associated with packing on extra pounds, but a recent study suggests that a higher BMI may actually lead to a longer life. So now being overweight is good for you? That’s not the whole story!

What is BMI?
Body Mass Index or BMI is a calculation that measures weight while adjusting for height. Here’s the formula for you math lovers:

Weight (kilograms) ÷ [Height (meters)]²

A BMI above 24.9 categorizes someone as overweight, while a BMI over 30 classifies someone as obese. When a less than stellar BMI is paired with other risk factors like smoking, physical inactivity or excessive waist circumference, your risk of chronic disease goes up. As BMI increases so does the risks diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Visit the National Institute of Health website to learn more about BMI.

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Super Bowl Food Frenzy

by in Healthy Recipes, January 31, 2013

mexican layer dip
Football fan or not, you can appreciate all the fabulous food that comes along with Super Bowl Sunday. We’re taking you on a culinary tour of the teams’ hometowns, plus throwing in some goodies from the host city. We’ve got something for every fan, plus a better-for-you escape from regular football party fare.

New Orleans
Sexy, sassy, spicy is what New Orleans is all about. These Creole-inspired recipes will fire up any party.

Shrimp Creole
Cajun Jambalaya
Cajun Rice Pilaf
Creole BBQ Shrimp
Mini Banana Beignets
10 Ways to Use Cajun Seasoning

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8 Ways to Use Leftovers

by in Healthy Recipes, January 31, 2013

macaroni and cheese
Whether it’s following a holiday celebration or just a regular weeknight, there’s leftover stuff in your fridge you don’t know what to do with. Instead of tossing it out, morph the remnants into new creations instead.

Marinara Sauce
Not enough sauce left for spaghetti and meatballs? Instead, use for homemade pizza, calzones or even soup. Combine chicken broth, diced butternut squash and marinara sauce – cook until squash is tender and puree for an amazingly flavorful lunch or dinner.

Recipe: Tomato-Basil Pizza

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Glycemic Index 101

by in Diets & Weight Loss, January 27, 2013

cereal
You’ve most likely heard of it, but do you really know what it’s all about? Get some education about what the glycemic index is and if you can use it to help make better dietary choices.

What is the Glycemic Index?
The glycemic index (GI) is an old-school tool in the nutrition world. Basically, it’s a scale used to measure how quickly blood sugar goes up after a particular food has been digested. The scale is organized from 0 to 100, with quickly digested foods scoring highest. The GI of a particular food can be affected by numerous factors including how much fiber it contains. Since foods with more fiber take longer to break down, they will have a lower GI.

The GI was established back in the early 1980s. Despite its age, it’s still used very commonly as the foundation for diets and meal planning for weight loss, heart heath and diabetes.

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