Home » Posts tagged "Healthy Eating" (Page 4)

Think green: celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in a healthy way!


You know it is almost St. Patrick’s Day when McDonald’s starts advertising the return of its highly anticipated Shamrock Shake and stores start changing their decor to highlight different shades of green. After a long, seemingly never-ending winter, March 17 brings a rush of excitement, not only for the celebration of the patron saint of Ireland, but for the feeling that spring weather is upon us.

St. Patrick’s Day is full of tradition: parades, leprechauns, shamrocks, and corned beef and cabbage, just to name a few. But don’t use the celebration as an excuse to forget all the healthy habits we vowed to make when that ball dropped in Times Square just a few short months ago!

Give yourself a push to get your daily servings of fruits and vegetables. The latest dietary guidelines from the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion recommend 1 ½ -2 cups of fruit and 2 ½-3 cups of vegetables per day for the average adult. It is important to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, which is why the guidelines also recommend at least 1-2 cups of dark green vegetables per week. Dark green vegetables include broccoli, spinach, bok choy, kale and turnips. So, fill up half of that St. Patrick’s Day plate with green fruits and vegetables!

Here are some ideas on how you can think green this St. Patrick’s Day and make some healthy swaps. Continue Reading »

Chia: not just your average seed


When it comes to recent food trends, it is almost impossible to ignore the increased use and popularity of Salvia hispanica L.

Salvia hispani… what?

Salvia hispanica L. is popularly known as chia seeds. This mint-related plant is leaving its mark on the food industry and is ever so prevalent on the Internet. If you do a quick Google search you will find plenty of recipes using chia seeds, and you are likely see people raving about this gluten-free seed on Pinterest and other social media networks, too.

Chia seeds, which date back to the ancient Aztecs, have shot to the top of the “superfood” lists, creating a craze with consumers. Perhaps it is their versatility that is so appealing. You can use chia seeds to make beverages, desserts, crackers, breading and more.

The seed can be consumed whole or ground, and may be easily added to foods such as yogurts, smoothies, oatmeal and other cereals. A unique property of the seed is its ability to turn gelatinous or gummy when soaked, allowing it to be used as a thickening agent in recipes.

This feature comes in handy when using chia seeds as a substitute for eggs in baking. To use chia seeds instead of eggs, soak one tablespoon of ground chia seeds in three tablespoons of water for five to 10 minutes. This is usually the equivalent of one egg. In a study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, it was found that 25 percent of eggs or oil in a recipe could be replaced with the chia gel without affecting the functional or sensory properties of the result. By using chia seeds instead of oil or eggs, it decreases the caloric and fat content of the final product. Continue Reading »

Nutritional benefits of Navy beans


Navy beans, you know them, those small off-white colored beans that look… well, pretty plain. Did you know they pack a nutritional punch?

Navy beans, like most beans, are high in fiber and low in fat – perfect for folks who want to eat healthier or who are watching their waistlines. These beans are high in potassium, which plays a role in blood pressure regulation. They are also high in protein, which is great news for anyone wanting to increase their intake of plant-based foods. They are a good source of iron, too.

Interesting fact: Navy beans got their name because they were a staple food in the US Navy during the 19th century. They are also referred to as the white pea bean, but Navy bean is its more popular name.

It is the bean most commonly used to make baked beans. They have a mild taste and this allows them to pair well with other foods. They can be used to make spreads or dips and take on the flavor of spices used in those recipes. Continue Reading »

Super (healthy) Bowl Party!


Well, the Packers are not going to the Super Bowl this year. However, many folks will be watching the game anyway – which means Super Bowl parties! This is a time when friends and family get together to cheer on their favorite team. Along with all the cheering, there is a lot of eating! Super Bowl weekend is a good time to enjoy tasty and healthy snacks as you watch your favorite team move the ball down the field.

Go Mediterranean
Data suggests that the Mediterranean way of eating, which includes fish, seafood, nuts, seeds, olive oil, beans, other legumes, fruits and vegetables can be very beneficial. For your party, arrange a platter with a variety of olives (green, Kalamata, stuffed), along with hummus and toasted whole wheat pita chips. Or try babaganoush (an eggplant based dip) with chopped vegetables such as carrots, celery and cauliflower florets. Instead of wings try offering shrimp with a dip made from Greek yogurt. This dip could also be used for chopped vegetables. Using Greek yogurt instead of sour cream cuts down on the calories and fat. Speaking of fats…

Think healthy fats
Consider putting out an assortment of nuts, served alongside dried fruit like apricots, dried pineapple, raisins and cherries. Throw in some dark chocolate dipped nuts, too.

Serve guacamole along corn chips or toasted pita chips. Try making a Mexican layer dip, which incorporates layers of black beans (or refried beans), shredded low fat cheddar cheese, chopped tomatoes with green chilis, Greek plain yogurt, chopped avocado (or guacamole). Serve with whole grain tortilla chips. Speaking of avocados…

Consider mixing avocado with shredded cooked chicken and sautéed onions for a variation on the classic chicken salad. The avocado adds healthy fat to this traditional salad and allows you to cut down on the amount of mayonnaise used. Serve with whole wheat pita bread for some delicious mini sandwiches. Continue Reading »

Happy no-resolution New Year: plan for success


Many folks view the New Year as a chance to start new habits. Interestingly, many resolutions revolve around issues of wellness—losing weight tops the list of the 10 most popular resolutions. Getting more exercise or staying fit, quitting smoking, spending less, getting more organized and spending more time with family are other popular resolutions.

However, even though about 45 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, less than 10 percent actually succeed in achieving their goal. Unfortunately, resolutions tend to be abandoned quickly. So if resolutions fail, why make them?

Resolutions fail for various reasons: they are too vague, they did not include a detailed plan to actually accomplish the goal, folks did not have a support network to assist in the journey of reaching their goals, they did not have a deadline, etc. So this year, skip resolutions, and instead focus on creating a plan.

The difference? A plan outlines the steps you have to take. Take for instance the desire to eat healthier this year. A resolution would end there, and attempts to achieve this would probably fail a few weeks into the New Year. However, by focusing on planning to make this happen, you can emphasize the specific steps that need to be in place to be successful. What would these steps be? Perhaps the following: Continue Reading »

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