All Posts By Dana Angelo White

Pedometers 101

by in Fitness, April 21, 2012

pedometer
Counting individual steps may seem like a silly way to get some exercise but every little bit helps. Using a pedometer can be a fabulous motivational tool to get you to move more; use our tips and get stepping!

What is a Pedometer?
A pedometer is a pocket-sized device that senses movement and registers each step you take. Some units require a belt loop attachment while others can be carried in your pocket or worn around your neck. Some models may also have settings to estimate calories burned while walking, but these are often inaccurate unless there is an option to adjust for additional details like weight, age and gender.

Pedometers range in price from $6.00 to more than $30.00 – the higher pricing is typically associated with extra features like distance tracking and calorie counting.  Smartphone lovers will be pleased to know that there are quite a few pedometer apps – many of which are free or less than $3.00. Using the GPS already loaded in a Smartphone, many offer accurate distance tracking for less than a hand-held pedometer. Arawella Pedometer and Pedometer Pro GPS as well as Palm Shadow Footsteps Pedometer all carry high ratings.

Many fitness-centric wrist watches also come with built-in pedometers and heart rate monitors (more about heart rate monitors in an upcoming post).

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Healthy Microwave Cooking

by in Healthy Recipes, April 16, 2012

microwaveWe’re not talking about zapping frozen entrees; how about real ingredients and healthy meals straight out of the microwave oven!?

Nuke It
You might already rely on the microwave for quick snacks or a cozy mug of hot chocolate, but how about breakfast, lunch and dinner in the microwave? There’s a right and wrong way to use your microwave — use our tips before you get nuking.

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Frozen French Fries: Good or Bad?

by in Healthy Tips, April 13, 2012
french fries
Are frozen fries healthy?

Think a box of frozen taters are a healthier option? We’ll fill you in on the pros and cons, plus give you a homemade alternative.

Good?
Frozen fries offer convenience – pop ‘em on a cookie sheet and toss in the oven. Your grocer’s freezer is bursting with a wide array of options in different shapes, sizes and flavorings. You can also find certified organic and sweet potato varieties.

Frozen sacks are easy to store and may be able to help with portion control – you can take out a moderate-sized portion (about 200 calories worth per person) and tuck the rest back in the freezer.

Bad?
Frozen fries are still fried! Even worse, many brands use trans fats and palm oil which aren’t ideal for heart health. While fries do need a sprinkle of salt, many bagged brands have at least 15% of the daily recommendation of sodium per serving.

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Nutrition News: Pink Slime

by in Food News, Food Safety, April 12, 2012
ground beef
Is there pink slime in this beef?

A microbiologist who worked for the USDA let the cat out of the bag about something the food industry has been doing for years. What’s your take on the food issue everyone’s talking about: pink slime?

What is Pink Slime?
Tiny traces of meat left on beef carcasses are heated, picked, then bathed in ammonia to kill off any bacteria. These meat scraps dubbed “lean finely textured beef” (aka pink slime) are then mixed with ground beef prior to packaging to bulk up portions. Until recently, pink slimed beef was gobbled down by anyone who consumed ground beef from a fast food joint, grocery store or school cafeteria.

The meat industry defends that pink slime is in fact meat. The government says these ammonia-sprayed foods are safe to eat, but that doesn’t make the chemical-treated meat any more appetizing to many consumers.

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5 Ingredients: Blackened Salmon With Mango Salsa

by in 5-Ingredient Recipes, April 11, 2012
blackened salmon
Blackened Salmon With Mango Salsa

I wish I liked salmon more than I actually do, but I have to admit, I often get bored with it. I know it’s good for me so I’m always looking for new ways to prepare it. Meet my new salmon obsession …. blackened and topped with a super fresh salsa!

Good Catch
Salmon is a smart pick all around. It’s a low-mercury fish bursting with healthy omega-3 fats. It can also be a sustainable pick. According to the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, wild Alaskan or tank farmed operations within the U.S are best.

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Hard-Boiled Eggs 5 Ways

by in Uncategorized, April 8, 2012
lead
Food Network Magazine's Green Bean and Egg Salad With Goat Cheese Dressing

Your kids have talked you into coloring dozens of Easter eggs, but once the egg hunt is over, what should you do with all of those pretty eggs? Think beyond the egg salad sandwich and try one of these 5 recipes.

Food Safety Tip
I’m all for Easter egg hunts, but if you’re going to eat the leftovers just make sure they haven’t sit been sitting out too long. If they’ve been sitting out for more than 2 hours (1 hour if outside in the heat) then trash them.

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Taste Test: Gluten-Free Breads

by in Gluten-Free, Taste Test, April 6, 2012
gluten-free bread
Is your favorite gluten-free bread on our list?

The gluten-free phenomenon has lead to dozens of new products on store shelves. Breads and baked goods are some of the hardest foods to make tasty and sans gluten. We polled our readers and took their favorite brands for a test drive.

The Criteria
For this taste test, we rated breads based on taste, texture, nutrition and cost. Each variety was rated on a 5-point scale (5 being the highest). Gluten-free breads are famously higher in calories so we tried hard to find some smart and tasty options. Most of the brands recommended toasting for best taste –this was definitely the preferable way for just about all of the options.

Food for Life – Millet Bread
Rating: 3.5
Cost: $5.99
Nutrition Info (per slice): 100 calories; 21 grams carbohydrates; 0.5 gram fiber
Our Take: The millet gave this bread a pleasant nutty and sweet flavor. While many GF breads are dry and crumbly, this was almost too chewy. The slices are tiny and overall, not worth the price.

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Energy Drinks: Good or Bad?

by in Healthy Tips, April 4, 2012

energy drinks
Not to be confused with sports drinks, these trendy beverages are a dangerous mix of sugar, chemicals and stimulants. We won’t keep you in suspense – they’re no good!

Why They Look Good
The promise of popping open a can and slurping immediate energy sure is appealing. Too bad it’s too good to be true. With names like Rocktstar, Monster, Red Bull and Amp they appeal to adolescents, college students and anyone who could use a boost. Celebrity endorsements and sponsorship of athletic teams also adds to the appeal. Flashy packaging and the fact that you can buy them at any grocery store or gas station further leads consumers to believe that they must be safe.

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Have You Tried: Artichoke Hearts?

by in Have You Tried, March 31, 2012

artichoke hearts
Fresh artichokes are a classic spring treat, but you can enjoy artichoke hearts all year long.

What Are Artichoke Hearts?
Buried within the rough leaves of an artichoke, is the sweet and tender “heart.” These little treasures have a buttery texture and earthy flavor that you can deepen with olive oil and garlic or liven up with a squirt of fresh lemon. You can find them bagged and frozen, canned in water or jarred, marinated in olive oil and spices. The oil-packed ones are a little higher in healthy fat but draining the oil will help save some calories.

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Easter Desserts for Everyone

by in Easter, March 30, 2012
easter cupcakes
Make festive, portion controlled cupcakes for kids and grown-up kids.

Whenever a crowd gathers for a holiday celebration, there are bound to be guests with various dietary considerations or food allergies. Accommodate everyone on your Easter celebration guest list this year with these seasonal treats.

Gluten Free
Creamy rice pudding is teamed up with sweet cherries for a magical (and gluten free) combination.

Recipe: Rice Pudding with Cherries (*see note)

Heart Healthy
Low in saturated fat and cholesterol, this down-sized classic will make your guests swoon.

Recipe: Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes

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