Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Recipe Wednesday - Muy Bueno!

Black Bean Soft Tacos
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes and green chilies
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies
1 T chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 T Italian seasonings
1/4 tsp garlic powder
8 whole wheat tortillas
1/2 cup shredded cheese
In a nonstick skillet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, saute onion and garlic until tender. Stir in beans, tomatoes, chilies, and seasonings. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 3-5 minutes. Spoon about 1/2 cup onto each tortilla and sprinkle with cheese.
Nutritional Info for 1 Taco:
249 calories, 5 grams fat, 15 grams fiber

Chicken Fajitas

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Combine in a bag with chicken:
2 T. lemon Juice
1 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt 1 1/2 tsp. oregano
1 1/2 tsp. cumin 1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. chili 1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper (optional)
4 whole wheat tortillas
Over medium high heat, cook 1 sliced red
Pepper, 1 green pepper, and 1 onion. Remove
from heat. Cook chicken and seasonings until
no longer pink. Return veggies to pan. Serve over tortillas.
Nutritional Info for 1 Fajita:
279 calories, 4 grams fat, 6 grams fiber

These recipes also vary depending on the tortilla you choose. You can get some with 180 calories and more or you can get one for 90 calories. Just look around and find a lower calorie option. Don Pancho has a great whole wheat tortilla wrap that is yummy for both these recipes.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Fitness - 8 Minute Abs

This is a wonderful workout for your abs. An old roommate of mine used to do it and it really helps a lot. It is all very basic abdominal moves but it really works every section from beginning to end. After 8 minutes your tummy will be on fire..FEEL THE BURN!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Family Health - How to Get Your HUSBAND Healthy

Today's family health topic is focused on husbands or man in your life. I must admit, I definitely struggle getting my husband to be healthy. I really try to motivate him and cook healthy for him, but I can't force him to take care of himself. He and and some of my in-laws are doing a weight loss competition and I think the word "competition" is motivating..whatever works. I do think wives can really prompt changes toward healthier behavior. Since we are with more than most people, there is clearly a role and responsibility to help them look after their health. Here are some tips I found that can help save your husbands health.
1. Know the warnings signs of bad health (i.e. fatigue, weight loss or gain, chest pain)
2. Learn his blood pressure
3. Promote healthy diet (portion control, 5 servings of veggies and fruit, less fat, calorie control)
4. Stop Smoking and Reduce Alcohol Intake
5. Exercise Regularly (give him encouragement and exercise together)
6. Be realistic about weight: be honest with your husband or partner about whether he needs to lose weight and how much he needs to lose. The best way to do this is to follow a healthy low fat diet and regular gentle exercise.
7. Reduce his cholesterol - get him to have his cholesterol levels checked and take appropriate steps to reduce it. If he is over 45 ask your pharmacist if he should take an OTC statin.
8. Be Patient - the goal of taking a more active role in men’s health care is to get your husband to take better care of himself, and to get the next generation of men to start building good habits. A small change can make a big difference.

Also, here is a list of healthy foods for men that can do their body good from Men's Health Magazine.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Friday - Eating Out and Looking Good

Restaurant: Romano's Macaroni Grill
This week's restaurant is so yummy and delish and it also is the best atmosphere ever. I love the charming dimmed lights and festive Italian feel. However, some of MG's menu items can be a disaster. Here are some, not all, of the dangerous digs:
Capellini Pomodoro (pasta dish) = 1000 calories and 41 grams of fat
Chicken Parmigiano (chicken and pasta) = 1490 calories and 68 grams of fat
BBQ Pizza = 960 calories and 27 grams of fat
Chicken Marsala (chicken and pasta) = 1130 calories and 70 grams of fat
Chicken Calzonettos = 1540 calories and 84 grams of fat

Yipes Stripes! If you are going to order a pasta dish I would recommend sharing it or eating just half of the plate.

For some health friendly options I would shoot for a veggie salad without all the crazy calorie packed fixins. They also have a section of their menu called "Sensible Fare" which features lots of healthier options. Including a Sausage Tomato Soup, Steak Salad, Skinny Chicken and Salmon...gotta love that. I love the Chicken Florentine...minus the orzo and nuts and dressing on the side equates to 500 calories.

One more comment go easy on the bread too..which boasts 2140 calories per loaf!!!

Again, I will say it again, if you love something from hear and rarely go, you should splurge. Try to reduce your portion size and just enjoy yourselves. You can also balance out your calories throughout your day and relax and enjoy. But there are lots of healthy yummy options and it really is great place to go. You can't beat kids being able to color on the table. Genius!!
Have a great weekend !

Looking Good

Swimsuit season is upon us..ahhh! Dreadful thought. Well we should at least try to look great and feel cute if we have to suit up. Here are a few I thought were super fun and flattering.

Victoria's Secret Miracle Bra Push Up Tankini $98
(I hate it when they use someone else's face on my body without my permission)

Target Striped Tankini $17.99 for top

Down East Basics Redondo Bandeaux Top $24.99

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thursday - Product Review

Product: Western Alternative Bagel

Western Bagel Company in California has created bagels that will knock your socks off. Honestly, I expected the bagels to be dry or cardboard-ish, but these are awesome. And even better news is the nutritional information on these babies:
1 bagel = 110 calories, 8 grams fiber, fat free, and sugar free
compared to a standard bagel:
1 bagel = 290 calories, 2 grams fiber, 2 grams fat
You can get these bagels at any Wal-Mart stores or check out their website here for a store near you. They are usually found in the refrigerator section by the cheese and butter.

Pizza Recipe with this product...that me and my family Love!

Bagels, Roasted Onion or Sweet Wheat
Spaghetti Sauce
grated low fat mozzarella cheese
toppings: pepperoni, veggies, or whatever you like.

Separate bagels into halves and put on a baking sheet. Spread desired amount of spaghetti sauce on top bagels. Sprinkle with grated cheese and add whatever toppings you would like. Bake at 350 for 5 minutes and broil for 1 minute until all the cheese is melted. So simple and yummy!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Recipe Wednesday

Soup Du Jour..."it's the soup of the day", ha, ha - that line never gets old right!

Quick Tortilla Soup

28 oz. prepared fresh salsa
32 oz. chicken broth
24 oz. frozen corn
1 cup frozen sliced carrots
1 4 oz. cooked shredded chicken breast

Toppings (optional):
light sour cream
tortilla strips

Put prepared salsa in a saucepan. Add chicken broth; bring to a boil. Add frozen corn, carrots and chicken and simmer for 8 minutes. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a few tortilla strips on top and add a twist of lime.
Nutritional Info: 150 calories, 1 gr. fat, 3 grams fiber
I serve with a side of cheese quesedillas made with whole wheat tortillas (at least 5 grams fiber) and shredded cheese.

Minestrone, just like Olive Garden's
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup zucchini
1/2 cup frozen green beans, Italian-cut
1/4 cup celery, minced
4 teaspoons garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable broth
30 ounces canned red kidney beans, drained
30 ounces canned white beans, drained
14 ounces diced tomatoes, canned
1/2 cup carrots, julienned or shredded
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
3 cups hot water
4 cups fresh spinach, small leaves
1/2 cup shell pasta

1. Heat three tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot.

2. Saute onion, celery, garlic, green beans, and zucchini in the oil for 5 minutes or until onions begin to turn translucent. 3. Add vegetable broth to pot, plus drained tomatoes, beans, carrot, hot water, and spices. 4. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. 5. Add spinach leaves and pasta and cook for an additional 20 minutes or until desired consistency. Makes about eight 1 1/2 cup servings.
Nutritional Info: 164 calories, 1 gram fat, 5 grams fiber

Tuesday - Fitness

Interval Training

An effective and fun way to advance a workout is Interval Training. Interval training is simply alternating bursts of intense activity (60 seconds to 3 minutes) with intervals of lighter activity. Interval Training increases performance, caloric burn in shorter time spans and increases aerobic capacity while working out. It also helps a lot with speed training for races. And I personally think it can help with boredom.

Take walking. If you're in good shape, you might incorporate short bursts of jogging into your regular brisk walks. Or running, fit in sprints every 4 minutes. For example, if you're running outdoors, you could run faster between certain mailboxes, trees or other landmarks or go up hills.

During intense exercise, muscles produce waste products that can contribute to muscle soreness. Too many accumulated waste products can make exercise painful and exhausting. But by alternating bursts of intense exercise with easier intervals, you'll help reduce the buildup of waste products in your muscles. The result is more comfortable exercise.

Some more example of interval training include:
increase incline on treadmill or run uphill
increase resistance on elliptical training
mix anaerobic burst of cardio with weight lifting
include short burst of speed walking in a walking routine

If anyone has any tips or personal experience with the benefits of interval training let me know.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Monday - Family Health

I don't know about the rest of the world, but I definitely have a very difficult time getting my kids to eat a wide variety of healthy food, let alone sit down for five minutes and actually eat a meal. This nutritionist, Julie Burns, who is a mother of 7 year old triplets gives her tried and true tips for getting your kids to eat healthy.

1. Make a schedule. Children need to eat every three to four hours: three meals, two snacks, and lots of fluids. If you plan for these, your child's diet will be much more balanced and he'll be less cranky, because he won't be famished.
2. Plan dinners. If thinking about a weekly menu is too daunting, start with two or three days at a time. A good dinner doesn't have to be fancy, but it should be balanced: whole-grain bread, rice, or pasta; a fruit or a vegetable; and a protein source like lean meat, cheese, or beans.
3. Don't become a short-order cook. Prepare one meal for everybody and serve it family style so the kids can pick and choose what they want.
4. Bite your tongue. As hard as this may be, try not to comment on what or how much your kids are eating. Be as neutral as possible. Remember, you've done your job as a parent by serving balanced meals; your kids are responsible for eating them. If you play food enforcer -- saying things like "Eat your vegetables" -- your child will only resist.
5.Introduce new foods slowly. Children are new-food-phobic by nature. I tell my kids that their taste buds sometimes have to get used to a flavor before they'll like the taste. A little hero worship can work wonders too. My son refused to even try peas until I told him that Michael Jordan eats his to stay big and strong. Now he eats pees all the time.
6. Dip it. If your kids won't eat vegetables, experiment with dips. Ketchup, hummus, ranch, etc.
7. Make mornings count.
8. Sneak in soy. Even if your kids don't have milk allergies, soy milk is a terrific source of healthy phytochemicals. I use the low-fat, calcium-fortified kind in some recipes that call for milk, such as oatmeal, mashed potatoes, and sauces.
9. Sprinkle some sugar. make cooked carrots with a bit of brown sugar, and mix a little root beer into prune juice to make prune-juice soda or sprinkle of sugar on their fruit. I know that they'll eventually outgrow this need for extra sweetness, but in the meantime, they're eating fruits and vegetables.
10. Get kids cooking. If your children become involved in choosing or preparing meals, they'll be more interested in eating what they've created. Take them to the store, and let them choose produce for you. If they're old enough, allow them to cut up vegetables and mix them into a salad.
11. Cut back on junk. Remember, you -- not your kids -- are in charge of the foods that enter the house. By having fewer junk foods around, you'll force your children to eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and dairy products.
12. Allow treats. Having less healthy foods occasionally keeps them from becoming forbidden -- and thus even more appealing. We call candy, soda, and cookies "sometimes" foods. I generally buy only healthy cereals such as Cheerios and Raisin Bran, but I let my kids have sugary cereals when they visit their grandparents or when we're on vacation. And I treat them to McDonald's for lunch every so often.
13. Have fun. The more creative the meal is, the greater the variety of foods my kids eat. We make smiley-face pancakes and give foods silly names. (Broccoli florets are "baby trees" or "dinosaur food.") Anything mini is always a hit too. I often use cookie cutters to turn toast into hearts and stars, which the children love.
14. Be a role model. If you're constantly on a diet or have erratic eating habits, your children will grow up thinking that this sort of behavior is normal. Be honest with yourself about the kinds of food messages you're sending. Trust your body to tell you when you're hungry and when you're full, and your kids will learn to do the same.
15. Adjust your attitude. Realize that what your kids eat over time is what matters. Having popcorn at the movies or eating an ice-cream sundae are some of life's real pleasures. As long as you balance these times with smart food choices and physical activity, your children will be fine.

Featured in Parents Magazine 2001.

And for a great way to get active Target has these cute 3 wheel scooters on sale for $19 this week. I doubt they will last long so hurry in. They come in princess, barbie, cars and a few more. Have a great Monday!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Friday - Eating Out and Looking Good

Restaurant of the Day: Applebees
On Fridays I will be focusing on one restaurant to find out healthy options for eating out. My family often eats out on Fridays and it is always a mystery what is healthy and what is loaded with fat and calories. If you have any suggestions on restaurants you would like me to research please let me know. Also, if you absolutely love - can't live without - dream for - a certain not so healthy menu item..splurge once in a while. Allowing yourself to splurge every so often keeps you more on track so you don't feel deprived. Happy Eating!
Applebees has a great Weight Watchers menu in which all of the items are super healthy and filling. I have tried most of them and think they are all great. Also, my most favorite thing at Applebees is the Oriental Chicken Salad. However, when I order I get the dressing on the side with grilled chicken and eat a minimal amount of the toppings. Fabulous! With the modifications this salad has around 380 calories.. Not bad at all!

Also, when we go out it feels so great to get a little dolled I right? So here are some fun items for SUPER DOOPER cheap from Forever 21!
Dina Jean $30
Hoops $4.80

Ruffle Top

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Healthy Product Review

Deliciously simple. With 14 grams of fiber and 60 calories in 1/2 cup you cannot beat this original stuff. I am an avid believer that if you include this in your diet you can lose and maintain your weight easier. I also love their new line of bars and yogurt and hear buzz that they are coming out with a bread line..Woohoo!! So that is my positive report from Fiber One.

Negative: Their newest cereal - Caramel Delight - Yikes!!!
This is definitely not to my liking. It has a strange sweet and old cardboard taste. The box makes the product appear similar to Golden Grahams but oh how the taste is lacking. And it is kinda high in calories for not being tasty. 180 calories for 1 cup, so not worth it to me. I will stick with Original!
Sorry Fiber One, Work it Mama loves you, but not C.D.!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Recipe Wednesday

Herb Barbecued Chicken

2 T olive oil
2 T soy sauce
2 T Worchestire sauce
1 tsp minced garlic
1 T Italian seasonings
1/2 tsp rosemary
dash pepper
4 Boneless skinless chicken breasts (4 oz each)

In large resealable bag, combine first 10 ingredients; add chicken. Seal bag and turn to coat.

Coat grill rack with nonstick cooking spray. Drain and discard marinade. Grill chicken until juices run clear.
You could also bake this at 375 for 30 minutes.
Yummy!! Makes 4 Servings
159 calories, 6 grams fat, 63 mg. cholesterol, 248 mg. sodium, trace fiber.
Recipe provided by Taste of Home's Light and Healthy magazine.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Get the jiggle out

Ever feel that when you wave your underarm continues to flap. Self Magazine has some exercises to get sculpted arms without the jiggle.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Family Fitness Activities

I have compiled a list of activities to do with your family where you can burn some calories. And we love to burn as many as we can right! This list is based on 30 minutes of doing the activity*.
Football - playing catch74
Frisbee playing90
Bicycling - leisure117
Walking 3 mph129
Washing car133
Basketball - shooting baskets133
Golf - carry clubs179
Shovel Snow179
Sledding, toboganning203
Soccer casual207
* Based on a 130 lb. woman from Health Status.