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Fresh fruit and yogurt popsicles

freshfruitpopsicle

If you are looking for a healthy and refreshing treat, look no more. These simple treats are nutritious and delicious.

Ingredients

1 ½ cups of fresh berries of your choice (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries)
½  banana
2 cups plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
¼ cup white sugar
8 small paper cups
8 Popsicle sticks

Preparation

Place berries, banana, yogurt and sugar in a blender. Blend until smooth. You can also use a mix of berries.

Fill paper cups ¾ full with the fruit and yogurt mixture. Cover the top with aluminum foil. Poke a Popsicle stick through the center of the foil of each cup.

Place the cup in the freezer for 5 hours. To serve, remove foil and peel off the paper cup. Continue Reading »

The benefits of eating a healthy breakfast

colorize
You’ve probably heard the saying, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” a million times. You may have heard other claims about breakfast in the media, from health experts and others. So is all this hype about breakfast true? Let’s review the facts.

Breakfast gives you energy to start the day. Breakfast helps regulate blood sugar levels by literally breaking the fast and providing your body with the fuel it needs to function properly throughout the day.

Breakfast improves diet quality. Research shows that people who skip breakfast are less likely to meet the recommended intakes for important nutrients like folic acid and calcium. Studies have demonstrated that if you start your day off with fruit, you are more likely to reach the daily recommended servings for it. Continue Reading »

Workplace wellness tip: got stress? Take a walk!

Stress is one of the biggest threats to your employees’ health. Help decrease their stress by encouraging walking throughout the day! Walking breaks, even for 10 minutes once or twice a day, will help employees increase physical activity and clear their mind from the day’s stress. These short breaks will allow employees to return to their work station rejuvenated and ready to tackle the rest of the day’s tasks.Take it one step further by encouraging meetings on the go! Who says all meetings need to take place in a conference room? Boost your wellness culture by encouraging walk-and-talk meetings.

Find your target heart rate

Running shoes

Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/bayat/14157817/

What’s one of the best ways to boost your heart health? Exercise! But be careful not to over-do it. Pushing too hard can deprive your muscles of needed oxygen, which leads to soreness and fatigue. In order to gain maximum health benefits from working out, the key is to reach–and maintain–your target heart rate.

It’s best to exercise within your target zone for 20 to 60 minutes per session. To find your target heart rate, choose one of two methods:

1. The Talk Test

You’ve found the right intensity if you can carry on a brief conversation while exercising. If you can easily carry on a long conversation, try pushing a little harder. But decrease your intensity if you have trouble getting out a sentence.

2. The Formula

For those who prefer the scientific method, follow this simple formula: 220 minus your age, multiplied by .55 to .85. In other words, your target heart rate is between 55 percent and 85 percent of your maximum heart rate.

Continue Reading »

Delicious (and healthy!) football snacks

Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/globevisions/

Winter marks the season for building snowmen, having snowball fights and Super Bowl parties, where friends and family get together to cheer on their favorite team. Along with the cheering, there is a lot of eating. However, there are many ways to enjoy tasty and healthy snacks as we watch our team move the ball down the field.

 

Think healthy fats.
Consider an assortment of nuts served alongside dried fruit such as apricots, dried pineapple, raisins, cherries, etc. Throw in some dark chocolate dipped nuts, too.

Display a variety of olives on a platter. Consider Greek Kalamata olives, Green Spanish olives, garlic stuffed olives, red pepper stuffed olives and the sort.

Add color to your snacks by making guacamole, or try something new like 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 or low-fat sour cream, chopped avocado (or guacamole). Serve with whole grain tortilla chips.

 

Include fruit.
A fruit salad is not only nutritious, but also tasty and easy to make. Combine apples, pears, pomegranates, watermelon, cantaloupe, mandarin oranges, pineapple, kiwis, or whatever fruit you prefer for a wonderful and colorful sweet snack.

Make a fruit pizza. Use low-fat vanilla yogurt for the sauce and arrange pieces of fruit on top of it on a low-fat pie crust. Sprinkle with unsweetened coconut flakes and enjoy!

Fruit kabobs can be a great hit as well, with fruit such as pineapple and nectarines caramelizing quite nicely when grilled.

 

Don’t forget the veggies.
Place a variety of colorful veggies such as orange baby carrots, white cauliflower florets, and green celery sticks on a platter. Serve with hummus, a chickpea dip.

Bruschetta can be a wonderful addition to any party. Slice up some tomato slices and place on top of pieces of grilled French bread that has been rubbed with garlic and topped with some olive oil. Next place a thin slice of fresh mozzarella cheese. Top with a fresh basil leaf for a wonderful appetizer, Italian style. You can also make a tomato salad with chopped tomatoes, onions, garlic and basil, tossed in light vinaigrette and serve over grilled bread.

Salsa with whole grain tortilla chips is an all-time favorite.

Stuffed mushroom caps.

Kale crisps are unbelievably tasty. Simply remove the washed and dried kale leaves from their stem and tear into bite-size pieces. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place on parchment paper and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

 

Serve protein like a pro.
Serve an assortment of meatballs with a variety of sauces. Use lean ground beef, or white breast ground turkey. Combine with cooked rice or Panko bread crumbs and add spices. For Italian meatballs, use oregano and serve with a tomato-base sauce; for Asian style meatballs, use ginger and sesame seeds or green onions and serve with teriyaki or soy sauce. Experiment with different spices to make your own creation.

Sliders are quite popular and can be made very easily. Once again, consider using ground turkey or lean ground beef. Serve on whole wheat flat bread for an interesting change.

Consider mixing avocado with shredded 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.

 

Don’t forget the beverages.
Smoothies can be a great hit at any party. Simply mix yogurt, a little bit of juice and fruit such as mango, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, bananas, etc. for a healthy and refreshing drink. Kids will love this!

Have pitchers of fruit and vegetable infused water. Earlier in the day, wash and cut up lemon in slices and place in a pitcher full of water. Cover and let stand. You can also use cucumber slices. Do the same with orange slices.

Above all, remind your guests to drink responsibly if you plan to offer alcoholic drinks.

With some planning and creative thinking, you can enjoy delicious and healthy offerings at any Super Bowl party.

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