Win These Chia Seeds!

by in Giveaway, April 10, 2013

chia seeds

Chia seeds, the small crunchy seeds originally made famous by the Chia Pet are full of protein, fiber, calcium, iron and potassium. Use them to make a creamy, tapioca-like pudding or add crunch to a spring salad. Add a spoonful of seeds to a smoothie or mix them in with granola.

You can buy your own Health Warrior Chia Seeds or enter in the comments for a chance to win some. Just let us know, in the comments, how you incorporate chia seeds in to your diet. The contest starts at 10:00 a.m. EST today, and ends on Friday, April 12 at 5 p.m. EST.

We’re giving away one bag of Health Warrior Chia Seeds to two randomly-selected commenters. You must include your email address in the “Email” field when submitting your comment so we can communicate with you if you’re a winner.

You may only comment once to be considered and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S. states, D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 to win. For the first day of the giveaway, all entries (answers) must be entered between 10:00 a.m. EST on April 10 and 5 p.m. EST on April 12, 2013. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of each prize: $12.99. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a Food Network, 9721 Sherrill Blvd, Knoxville, TN 37932.

So tell us, how do you incorporate chia seeds in to your diet?

10 Ways to Cut Back on Salt

by in Healthy Tips, April 9, 2013

salt
A staggering study out of the University of California revealed that if Americans dramatically cut their sodium intake to 1,500 mg per day, up to 1.2 million deaths could be prevented over the next 10 years, deaths largely caused by heart disease or stroke. Despite the American Heart Association’s recommendation that healthy people get 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day, with an upper limit of 2,300 mg (about 1 teaspoon), the average American eats close to 3,600 mg, largely through processed food. Reducing salt intake is important for everyone, not just the small subset of people who are salt sensitive.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Relinquish Processed Foods
Yes, we all rely on processed foods at times. But considering that one slice of wheat bread can have up to 200 mg of sodium, imagine what’s lurking in a prepared meal or side dish. Read labels and opt for lower sodium dishes whenever possible.

2. Become Condiment Savvy
Always embellish your sandwiches and salads yourself so can control the amount of salt and the amount of condiments you use. Vinegar is virtually salt-free (2 mg per 2 teaspoons) while mustard, relish, mayonnaise and ketchup can have up to 100 mg per teaspoon.

Read more

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

by in Robin's Healthy Take, April 8, 2013

red pepper pesto
Traditional pesto is a vibrant blend of basil, pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan or Romano cheese and olive oil. The term “pesto” comes from the Italian word pestare, which means to pound or crush (you might be familiar with the mortar and pestle, the tools often used in the preparation of pesto). Pesto has countless applications in cooking – it can be tossed with warm pasta or gnocchi, swirled into mashed potatoes, added to steamed vegetables, and spooned onto toasted bread (bruschetta). You’ll never run out of ideas and it’s a quick cook’s best friend. Keep basil pesto in your refrigerator-arsenal for last minute meal solutions. Read more

How to Prevent Vitamin Loss When Cooking Vegetables

by in Healthy Tips, April 8, 2013

asparagus
There’s no doubt vegetables have lots of good nutrition to offer, but how you purchase, store, and prepare them can dramatically affect their value.  Here’s what you need to know when cooking up your favorite veggies.

Farm to Table
As soon as vegetables are picked, their nutrient clock beings to tick away. The more time it spends off the plant, the more vitamins will be lost.

For this reason, seeking out local produce when possible is never a bad idea — the less time it takes for the veggies to get to your plate, the more nutrients they’ll retain. Support local agriculture in your community or get your hands dirty by planting some of your own herbs and vegetables – you can’t get more local than that.

Home Storage
Once you get those fresh vegetables home, minimize additional nutrient loss by eating them right away or storing in the refrigerator or freezer. Cold temperatures will limit the degradation of vitamins so use the vegetable drawer in your fridge (where humidity is higher) and store in an air-tight bag or container. Avoid trimming and chopping prior to storage too, this will limit surface area and help lock more of the vitamins inside.

Get tips for the best way to freeze vegetables

Read more

Talking To The Experts: Clean Eating Cookbook Author Michelle Dudash

by in Cookbooks, April 7, 2013

clean eating for busy families
Clean eating has been around since the 1960s but has been gaining popularity recently. Registered dietitian Michelle Dudash author of Clean Eating for Busy Families explains how simple it is to follow.

Q. Could you explain what clean eating is?
Clean eating is the lifestyle of enjoying foods in their most natural and least processed state, including fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, nuts and seeds, lowfat dairy and expeller-pressed oils. For example, instead of eating white bread, seek out sprouted wheat bread, which is a true whole grain. Also, if you can’t pronounce an ingredient on the label, you probably shouldn’t eat it. Instead of components that sound like things from lab experiments, opt for foods with ingredients found in home kitchens. Clean eating to me also means opting for in-season foods—not just produce, but seafood, too—whenever possible.

Q. So many foods marketed to kids are processed — how can you eliminate or minimize processed foods, and how can you tell which packaged foods are clean?
Unfortunately, many foods marketed to kids can be deceiving. You must look past the healthy images on the front of the package and go straight to the ingredient label on the back. If you see sugar in any form (yes, even evaporated cane juice and brown rice syrup) as the first ingredient, put it down. If it’s a grain product like a bar or cereal, whole grains like oats or brown rice should be listed first. If you see more than a few ingredients you can’t pronounce, it’s probably been manipulated and is highly processed. Despite the widespread availability of processed kids’ snacks, remember, kids still love fruits and vegetables or whole-grain crackers paired with dip.

Read more

Ask the Experts: Change a Habit, Change Your Health, Part 2

by in Ask the Experts, April 6, 2013

food journal
“If you could recommend just one habit that someone should start doing to eat, and live, healthier, what would that habit be?”

This is the question I posed to a group of my colleagues – registered dietitians and nutritionists – in the trenches coaching and counseling people in the science, and art, of eating better. So many experts responded with great tips, that I sorted the feedback into categories. In addition to the tips below, you can find additional tips in Change a Habit, Change Your Life, Part 1.

Adjust your portion sizes so you’re satisfied, not stuffed

• “To shrink your waist, shrink your plate! You’ll trick your brain into feeling more satisfied by the generous-looking portions. And if you go back for seconds, your overall portion may still offer fewer calories than if you had served your meal on an oversized platter.” – Jessica Corwin, RD, MPH

• Use smaller plates, bowls, silverware and glasses. Studies show you’ll eat less and you can clean your plate without the guilt. — Multiple experts

• “Gradually get used to being a little hungry between meals. Don’t deprive but eat 10 to 20% less (this may be two less bites at a meal, a half portion less of a side dish or one less piece of bread).” – Roseanne Rust, MS, RD, LDN

• “Eat with your stomach and not your wallet. Just because you paid for something — it doesn’t mean you have to finish it (or you’ll ‘pay for it’ in other ways!)” — Bonnie Taub Dix, MA, RD, CDN

Read more

Curried Quinoa Salad

by in Healthy Recipes, April 5, 2013

quinoa salad
We’ve all heard of the health benefits of quinoa but I love it because it is so easy to prepare. Like rice, you combine 1 part quinoa with 2 parts cooking liquid, boil, cover, simmer for 10-12 minutes and it’s done. Quinoa is naturally nutty and delicious but I love adding spices to the cooking liquid for even more flavor and nutrition. A mix of curry, cumin, mustard, herbs, seeds and beans makes this recipe a nutrient-packed side dish or meal in itself.

Read more

Metabolism: Facts vs. Myths

by in Healthy Tips, April 5, 2013

metabolism
Lifestyle and its impact on metabolism is always a hot topic. Find out what really affects how your body runs.

Myth: Eating at night causes weight gain
There’s no magical evening hour where foods just turn to fat. Once your calorie intake exceeds expenditure you can put on the pounds — no matter what time of day. On the other hand, if you need more calories after dinner, have a light and sensible snack.

Myth: Eat spicy foods to burn calories
There’s an element of some spicy foods (like chili peppers) that may help suppress appetite and create a short-lived increase in body heat. BUT don’t rely on these tactics to shed pounds – they could do more harm than good, especially if you’re prone to heartburn.

Read more

5 Ingredients: Chia Pudding

by in 5-Ingredient Recipes, April 4, 2013

chia pudding
Love chia seeds? This easy-to-make, creamy pudding is bursting with fiber, omega-3 fat and tropical flavors.

What is Chia Pudding?
One of the most magical characteristics of tiny chia seeds is how they can act as an thickening agent. When introduced to liquid such as milk, soy milk, almond milk or coconut milk, the seeds expand and soften, creating a pudding-like concoction. Create a mixture of your favorite flavors and after a few hours in the fridge, indulge in the velvety goodness.

Read more

Strawberry Oatmeal Bars — The New Girl

by in Healthy Recipes, April 4, 2013

I don’t have to tell you how breakfast is the most important meal of the day; you’ve heard it before. And I’m not here with a quick and easy recipe to whip together on the fly because I hardly have time to pour myself a bowl of cereal (and I don’t even have kids). Weekday mornings are rough, but Ree’s Strawberry Oatmeal Bars make them better.

I can’t get enough of The Pioneer Woman these days. Her recipes are both incredibly scrumptious and pleasingly straightforward. This one is no exception; there’s no stress or kitchen mess involved. I had all of the ingredients in my pantry and fridge already, and prep work took no longer than 10 minutes total.

Read more