Earth Day fell this past week on April 22nd, 2011. To celebrate today and every day, here are Jackie Newgent’s “8 Eco-Rules” and tips for simply and painlessly becoming a greener eater-or an “ecotarian:”

1.     Prepare plant-based meals. Try to include a fresh fruit or vegetable in every recipe. Fill half of your plate with produce when possible.

2.     Be an energy-wise cook. Let small appliances rule. A toaster oven works just like a regular oven, but more energy efficiently-using only about half of the energy of a conventional oven. And due mainly to faster cooking times, the microwave oven can reduce energy use by about 2/3 (maybe more!) compared with the conventional oven.

3.     Eat by season. The United States is a big place, so aim to mostly use produce that’s in-season in your own local area (or, better yet, your own garden!) for the greenest fruit and veggie experience. If a fruit or vegetable is available at your local farmers’ market, that’s a good sign of seasonality.

4.     Enjoy the great taste of fresh foods naturally. Try “earth-style” on for size, too. Use every edible produce part-skin, seeds, and all-whenever possible to create less waste and add eco-flair. Make sure to scrub skins and outer peels well first. And when you want to boost flavor of your cuisine, reach first for fresh ingredients, like grated citrus zest, fresh herbs, even mushrooms (or truffles, if you’re lucky!).

5.     Go organic and eco-conscious when you can. Going organic is an investment into your health-and the health of the planet. It means fewer pesticides and other possibly toxic chemicals end up in the food that you eat-and in the surrounding ecosystem and environment as a whole. To help you decide which foods are most important to choose wisely, check out Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch and the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen produce list.

6.     Buy locally when logical. To get to your table, foods use fossil fuels, contributing to climate changing pollution. Keep this in mind: The average distance a food needs to travel to get to a farmers’ market is less than 60 miles. That’s quite a difference from what the average food travels from farm to plate … about 1500 miles!

7.     Practice the 4R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, and Recycle. Buy and use only what you need. Wash and reuse what you can-as long as it’s safe to do so. Consider other ways to use something other than how it was originally used. (For instance, a used can of soup may be repurposed as a chopstick holder or pencil container.) Recycle everything allowable … but don’t try to recycle what’s not recyclable. (Ask your local municipality for recycling guidelines for your area.)

8.     Be realistic. Being a 100% sustainable eater is not sustainable. Find your own sustainable “sweet spot.” If you think you’re about 75% green, shoot for 80% as your next goal. Small steps do make a difference.

How do you go green in your kitchen?

Source: Jackie Newgent, RD, CDN, culinary nutritionist and author of Big Green Cookbook.

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Today Show nutritionist Joy Bauer was kind enough to share two scrumptious recipes–one for Chicken Lettuce Wraps, and one for Frozen Hot Chocolate–from her recent cookbook, Slim and Scrumptious. Can you say Yum?!

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

“My kids jump at the chance to order chicken lettuce wraps from restaurant menus, so I was thrilled when I perfected this scrumptious version that I can make at home for less. It has all the punch of the original but with a lot fewer calories, less fat and sodium, and still a hearty dose of protein. Loaded with vegetables and chicken and spiced with ginger, garlic, cilantro, soy sauce, and rice vinegar, it’s sure to please kids and adults alike. When I discovered how a manual food chopper made quick work of chopping all the veggies, I was amazed — and a true convert to this handy kitchen device.  (Carefully pulsing the ingredients in a food processor works equally well.)  Be sure you use soft, pliable butterhead lettuce, such as Boston or Bibb, for the lettuce cups.  I promise, everyone will have fun scooping the chicken mixture into the lettuce and eating this out of hand — it makes for a perfect kid-friendly meal!” ~Joy Bauer

4 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced

2 stalks celery, finely diced

1 large red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced

1 (8-ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and finely diced

3 scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced

2 tablespoons grated or finely minced fresh ginger

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound ground chicken (at least 90% lean)

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1/3 cup bottled Chinese plum sauce

2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 teaspoon hot chili paste, such as sriracha (or to taste)

¼ cup unsalted roasted cashews, chopped

¼ cup minced fresh cilantro, plus extra for garnish (optional)

1 head Boston or Bibb lettuce

1.     Liberally coat a large skillet with oil spray, and preheat it over medium-high heat.

2.     Add the carrots, celery, bell pepper, water chestnuts, scallions, ginger, and garlic.  Sauté, stirring occasionally, until veggies soften slightly, about 5 minutes, adding a tablespoon of water at a time as necessary to prevent scorching.

3.     Reapply oil spray if necessary, and add the ground chicken to the skillet.  Cook until the chicken is no longer pink, breaking the meat into a fine crumble with a wooden spoon as it cooks.  Season with the salt and pepper.

4.     Add the plum sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, and chili paste and stir to coat.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer until heated through.

5.     Remove the skillet from the heat, and stir in the cashews and cilantro.  Allow mixture to cool slightly, about 5 minutes.

6.     Clean the lettuce and break off 12 individual leaves (trim away stem end of leaves if they are tough).  Fill each lettuce cup with roughly ½ cup of the chicken mixture.  Garnish with additional cilantro if desired.

Serves 4.  Serving Size: 3 lettuce wraps

Nutrition Information

Calories – 298

Protein – 27 g

Total Fat – 9 g

Saturated Fat – 2 g

Cholesterol – 80 mg

Sodium – 610 mg

Carbohydrate – 34 g

Fiber – 5 g

Frozen Hot Chocolate

“Serendipity is a stylish ice cream parlor on the Upper East Side of Manhattan that has been in business for decades and is known for its over-the-top Frozen Hot Chocolate. By my own calculation, each overflowing glass of Serendipity’s “fro-ho” packs in 925 calories, 48 grams of fat, and 100 grams of sugar.  (Clearly I was slurping this up before making a career in nutrition!)  I was determined that this cookbook should include a slimmed-down version of this NYC classic…and here it is!  This sweet, frothy treat will satisfy your chocolate cravings for only 150 calories and with virtually no fat.  Don’t forget to try the variations, as they’re equally indulgent (the peppermint version tastes like mint chocolate chip ice cream!).” ~Joy Bauer

½ cup chocolate syrup

1 cup nonfat evaporated milk

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups ice cubes

Reduced-fat whipped topping or dark chocolate shavings (for garnish; optional)

1.     Combine the chocolate syrup, evaporated milk, vanilla, and ice in a blender and blend until completely smooth.

2.     Pour into glasses, and garnish with a dollop of whipped topping or a sprinkling of chocolate shavings if desired.

VARIATONS:

Mexican Hot Chocolate: Add ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate: Substitute ¼ teaspoon mint extract for the vanilla extract.

Serves 4.  Serving Size: 1 generous cup

Nutrition Information

Calories – 150

Protein – 5 g

Total Fat – 0 g

Saturated Fat – 0 g

Cholesterol – 3 mg

Sodium – 85 mg

Carbohydrate – 32 g

Fiber – 0 g

Source: Slim & Scrumptious: More Than 75 Delicious, Healthy Meals Your Family Will Love by Joy Bauer.

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My blog on food addiction called Might As Well Face It, You’re Addicted to Food…Or Are You? recently posted caloriecount.com. I had to keep it short, of course, but would be remiss if I didn’t share more on the topic from the oh so brilliant David Katz, MD, Director, Yale University Prevention Research Center and Editor in Chief, Childhood Obesity.

When asked if he believes in the actual concept of ‘food addiction,’ Katz said “I don’t think it matters whether or not food addiction formally qualifies as a ‘physiologic’ addiction.” He went on to describe ‘addiction’ as “A word we invented to describe a particular experience that involves 1) wanting something very badly; 2) wanting or needing more of something the more of it you get; and 3) developing withdrawal symptoms when you stop getting the thing you want or need.” According to Katz, “The common experience with food is that it can certainly satisfy the first two and possibly the third. People want, need, and crave sugar, salt, perhaps fat, and starch. The more sweet and/or salty food people consume, the more they tend to want, need, and crave it.” He adds “While there’s no clear withdrawal ‘syndrome’ per se, many people do experience unpleasant effects when they wean off the food elements we most associate with addiction.”

Katz then went on to say “If there’s clear evidence that dietary elements are being manipulated in a way that exploits an ‘addiction’ comparable to that with nicotine,  it might serve—like in the case of tobacco—as an iron clad argument for more regulation. Findings from brain imaging studies can certainly contribute to the idea that people can become addicted to food.

Katz says we know too well that our diets pack in too much sugar and too much salt. He adds “We already know that people like/want/crave sugar and salt, and that the more people have, the more they tend to prefer it.” He feels we don’t really need brain imaging studies to establish a robust basis for action and that the mandate is already there.

Katz says some people might benefit from knowing if, in fact, they have an actual ‘food addiction’ –but for those who want to improve your diet, and don’t find doing so to be too tough a challenge, knowing whether or not they have a food addiction is irrelevant. Katz believes the true value in defining ‘food addiction’ is the role that may play in advancing public policy—not personal progress.

That being said, for those who think they may be addicted to food, Katz offers a few suggestions. He encourages people to use ‘skill power’ instead of ‘will power’ to dial down exposure to food components—like sugar and salt—that may someday prove to be addictive; reading food labels to identify stealth sources of added sugar and sodium and to replace usual picks with lower sugar, lower sodium options. Katz adds “When you systematically remove sugar or sodium from your diet, it won’t be long before you find the taste of things you used to love to be too sweet or too salty.” He recommends you ask yourself if you turn to food to fight stress, boredom, loneliness, or anxiety. If you find the answer is yes, he recommends finding non-food ways to manage stress or seeking out a stress management to empower yourself.

He sums things up by saying “A food ‘addiction’ must be viewed in the context of what else is going on in your life.” He adds “We are not helpless victims—we can direct our behaviors where we want them to go.” Says Katz. He says we can practice more healthful habits, get used to them—we may even find that health and vitality can be addictive too! The better you feel, the more positive reinforcement you have to take better care of yourself. Smart words from a smart man, I’d say.

Your thoughts?

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Here are some terrific recipes to help you eat when your expecting in style! They’re from the great book, Feed the Belly: The Pregnant Mom’s Healthy Eating Guide by Frances Largeman-Roth, RD.

Mornin’ Sunshine Parfait

I love parfaits because they are ridiculously easy to make, but they’re pretty enough and girly enough to feel like a special treat. I like making them for weekend guests, or just for myself when I need a little pick-me-up. You’ll need parfait glasses or wine glasses for serving.

Prep: 5 minutes

Makes 4 servings

Baby Bonus: It tastes like you’re having dessert for breakfast, but it has a healthy 13 g of protein to build Baby’s muscles.

Momma Must-Have: Cool, creamy, and delightful. An easy way to entertain for brunch if the in-laws happen to visit.

1½ cups fresh berries, preferably a mix of blueberries,

raspberries, and blackberries

2 cups low-fat Greek yogurt

½ cup Hippie-Chick Granola or your favorite granola

4 teaspoons honey

1. Place about 1 tablespoon of berries in the bottoms of 4 glasses

(enough to cover bottom of glass). Then, spoon about ¼ cup of

the yogurt into each glass. Top with a little of the granola.

2. Repeat layering the fruit and yogurt. Drizzle 1 teaspoon honey

over the yogurt layer, and top each parfait with the remaining

granola. Grab a spoon and dig in!

Calories 202; Fat 4 g (Sat 1 g, Mono 0 g, Poly 0 g); Cholesterol 5 mg; Protein 13 g;

Carbohydrate 29 g; Sugars 20 g; Fiber 3 g; Iron 1 mg; Sodium 46 mg; Calcium 93 mg

Hippie-Chick Granola

This packed-full-of-goodies granola is wickedly tasty, but has all the goodness you’d expect from your local health food co-op. It’s great as a topper for less tasty cereal, and it’s perfect for adding a bit of crunch to yogurt or ice cream. Pack some up for on-the-go treats in snack-size zip-lock bags.

Prep: 8 minutes

Cook: 23 minutes

Makes 6 cups of granola (12 1/3-cup servings)

Momma Must-Have: Skip the high-fructose corn syrup, tropical

oils, and preservatives that you’ll find in many commercial brands

of granola. This one gives you 3 g fiber per serving, plus heart healthy almonds and pumpkin seeds.

½ cup oat bran flakes

2 cups old-fashioned oats

¼ cup slivered almonds

¼ cup roasted pumpkin seeds

¼ cup dried currants or raisins

¼ cup dried cranberries

½ cup dried tart cherries

¼ cup flax seeds

½ cup honey

1/3 cup (5 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat a baking sheet or jelly roll pan with

cooking spray; set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the bran flakes, oats, almonds,

pumpkin seeds, currants, cranberries, cherries, and flax seeds.

Set aside.

3. In a small bowl, combine the honey and melted butter, and pour over the oat and fruit mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until combined.

4. Spread mixture onto the prepared pan, and bake for 23 minutes or until golden. Cool on the pan, and break into pieces

with a spatula. Store in an airtight container (I like a glass jar)

for up to a week.

Calories 228; Fat 10 g (Sat 4 g, Mono 1 g, Poly 0 g); Cholesterol 13 mg; Protein 5 g;

Carbohydrate 30 g; Sugars 16 g; Fiber 3 g; Iron 1 mg; Sodium 7 mg; Calcium 22 mg;

Folate 3 mcg; Beta-Carotene 104 mcg; Potassium 21 mg

Love That Bump Lemonade

Many women told me that they couldn’t get enough lemonade during their pregnancies, so I wanted to develop a lemonade recipe that was easy and not overly sugary. First, you’ve got to use fresh lemon juice: the concentrate just doesn’t cut it. Then you’ve got to sweeten it. This one’s made with agave nectar, which I find really delicious. If you prefer sugar, heat the same amount of natural sugar with a cup of water on the stove until you get a syrup. This “simple syrup” then gets mixed with the

lemon juice and water.

Prep: 10 minutes

Makes 8 8-ounce servings

Momma Must-Have: This tart beverage may just help nix your

morning sickness—at least for a while.

8 ounces fresh lemon juice (about 5 lemons)

½ cup agave nectar

64 ounces of cold water (8 cups)

Mint sprigs (optional)

1. After you’ve juiced all the lemons, set them aside. Place the agave in a heatproof container, and microwave it for 30 seconds. It should be nice and liquidy. If not, put it back in for another 10 seconds (don’t do it for a full minute, or else it will get scalding hot).

2. Whisk the warm agave nectar into the lemon juice. At this point, you can use the honey-agave mixture as a concentrate, making aserving at a time and keeping the rest in a covered container in the fridge. Add ¼ cup of the concentrate to either cold water and ice for lemonade—sparkling water is a nice twist—or hot water for a soothing lemony beverage. Or you can add it to a big pitcher (filled up the rest of the way with the cold water), add a mint sprig (optional), and pour yourself a refreshing glass.

Calories 71; Fat 0 g (Sat 0 g, Mono 0 g, Poly 0 g); Cholesterol 0 mg; Protein 0 g;

Carbohydrate 20 g; Sugars 17 g; Fiber 0 g; Iron 0 mg; Sodium 1 mg; Calcium 10 mg;

Folate 7 mcg; Vitamin C 14 mg

What are your favorite pregnancy recipes? Do share!!

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In last week’s ZIED GUIDE blog, I reviewed Food: The Good Girl’s Drug by Sunny Sea Gold. The book chronicles Gold’s escape from binge eating disorder and charts a healthful path young women can follow, based on Gold’s experience and expert recommendations, to overcome their food-related struggles.

In this week’s blog, I wanted to answer the following question by a ZIED GUIDE reader, Mindy B., mother of 3, from New Orleans, Louisiana:

“How can we raise our growing daughters to overcome the media messages they’re bombarded with to feel good about their bodies?”

I think the best way to raise daughters to feel good about their bodies is to treat our own bodies with respect and speak positively about them. We also need to speak in a positive way about other people’s bodies, especially those around us and those in the media. Most importantly, we need to find a way to focus more on the inside of growing girls than on the outside so that they see there’s more than meets the eye and that what’s most important about a person is the kind of person you are, and how you treat others. I’d also like to answer Mindy B’s question by making a recommendation for a great new book. While this book is meant to be read by young girls, I think it would make for a great read for women everywhere who raise daughters. They can read it on their own to get a sense of how to speak to their young daughters, but they can also read it with their growing girls as a point of reference and as a way to start a discussion about what many girls are likely thinking and feeling as they grow up.

Diet Drama is a timely new book penned by Nancy Redd, a New York Times best selling author of Body Drama, Harvard graduate, and former Miss America contestant (and winner of the swim suit competition, no less). It takes young readers on a journey towards accepting their bodies, and ultimately learning to feed and use their bodies in a more positive and healthful way.

In Part 1 called “Feed Your Body,” Redd provides an overview of why girls may feel badly about their bodies, and how pressure to conform to so-called “ideals”–being thin and beautiful, for example–contribute to the problem.  Redd discusses 5 common ‘love your body’ dramas and provides suggestions for how to deal with them. For example, for readers who think “I can’t enjoy my life until my body is better,” Redd suggests you to stop blaming your body for all your woes, to start saying yes to social events and invitations (like going for a swim where you’ll have to bare all in a bathing suit), and to be positive about your body instead of bashing it and being overly critical about yourself.

In Part 2 called “Move Your Body,” Redd discusses the importance of movement in helping teen girls have energy and feel good about themselves. She provides tons of practical tips about what to do, how to do it, and how to sidestep excuses that prevent girls from exercising. I especially love that throughout the book, Redd used photos of teen girls with different body shapes and sizes as a way to illustrate we all look unique and different and should feel good about whatever skin we’re in. Redd also outlines 5 ‘move your body dramas’ to help girls become and stay active and feel motivated to continue no matter what time of the month it is or how busy they get.

In Part 3 called “Feed Your Body,” Redd outlines the basics of a healthy, balanced diet. She highlights why it’s critical to eat regularly and to not skip meals, and why girls should never ever take diet pills. She also provides descriptions of common eating disorders and provides helpful references at the end of the book.

Overall, Diet Drama is refreshing, inspiring, and motivating. It provides great guidance and information about food, body image, fitness, and so much more. Redd has done a great job delivering wonderful, sensible, real-world advice and wisdom to girls, and her voice throughout is sure to resonate with girls everywhere. Diet Drama makes a wonderful, empowering gift for any tween or teen girl.

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Teen girls and young women everywhere have something to celebrate. Two new books are just what this dietitian has ordered to help you (or someone you know) feel better about the skin you’re in, get sane about food, and nourish your body.

This week’s blog highlights one of the book– a great one called Food: The Good Girl’s Drug: How to Stop Using Food to Control Your Feelings by Sunny Sea Gold, deputy editor at Redbook magazine and founder of HealthyGirl.org, a support site for girls and women who emotionally overeat, binge eat, or yo-yo diet.  Sunny and I first met about 6 years ago when I was a contributing editor for Seventeen magazine. Having overcome a 15-year battle with binge-eating disorder, Sunny has bared all in her book, revealing her personal struggles, and rounding up advice from top experts to help young women everywhere know they’re not alone, and that, they too, can overcome their food demons.

Through sharing her own story and those of others who have suffered with binge eating disorder, Sunny helps teen girls and young women identify the causes of their disorder, recognize and understand their eating problems, and relearn how to use food as fuel instead of using it to soothe their feelings.

The book is divided into three parts:

Part 1: Understanding What’s Going on Between You and Food

Part 2: Let the Healing Begin: How to Start Getting Sane About Food

Part 3: Living Your Life Without Relying on the Good Girl’s Drug

Helpful exercises that encourage readers to ponder their irrational thoughts, start a food and hunger journal, and track negative body thoughts are sprinkled throughout the book to help readers identify what the real problem is and how to work towards making healthful changes in their attitudes and behaviors that relate to food and their bodies.

Food: The Good Girl’s Drug ends with a helpful resource list that includes information about support groups, books, reputable online resources, and eating disorder treatment centers.

As a registered dietitian who works with women and children, I find Sunny’s book to be an invaluable resource and think it can be an extremely useful tool to help young women realize they’re not alone when it comes to food, body, and self-esteem struggles. Readers will likely feel they don’t need to surrender to their struggles and that, like Sunny and so many others, they too can get more sane about food, feel better about themselves and the bodies they live in, and have a more healthful, balanced, and fulfilled life.

In next week’s blog (Part Two), you’ll learn about another book designed to help younger girls overcome their diet dramas, so stay tuned!

Have you overcome an eating disorder or food struggle? Please share your story here.

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With Earth Day fast approaching (it’s on April 22nd), here’s a terrific recipe adapted with permission from Jackie Newgent’s Big Green Cookbook. It’s sure to help you ease into going green and keep the fire alive in your kitchen (not to mention in your belly). Is your mouth watering?

Watercress Salad with White French Salad Dressing

Makes 4 servings: 1 1/2 cups each

Sure, you can open up a bottle of chemical-laden salad dressing and dump it on some lettuce. (Sorry, I’ll pass on that dinner invitation!) But there’s a fresher, tastier way in this very simple, elegant salad made with dark, peppery greens and a homemade dressing that’s rich in heart-healthful fat and pure decadence. (Please, invite me to that dinner!) It gets even simpler because you can make and serve the dressing and salad all in one bowl.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon canola or soybean oil

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

3 tablespoons mild floral honey

1 small shallot, minced
1 large clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

3/4 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste

2 large bunches watercress, thick stems trimmed (6 cups)

1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion

Directions:

1.     Whisk together the oil, vinegar, honey, shallot, garlic, mustard, and salt in a large serving bowl.

2.     Add the watercress and onion. Gently toss and serve.

Nutrition Info Per Serving: 220 calories, 18 g total fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 490 mg sodium, 17 g total carbohydrate, 1 g dietary fiber, 1 g protein

Little Green Cooking Tip: Use a silicone whisk so as not to scratch a nice serving bowl. That way, it’ll allow you to prep and serve all in the same bowl. And that means less clean up-less soap, less water, less energy, and less time.

Use It, Don’t Lose It: Instead of tossing some parsley onto a plate for a garnish, finely chop leftover watercress stems and sprinkle onto other dishes served at the same meal as a watercress salad.

What are your favorite GREEN recipes?

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Spring is in the air…can you feel it? What will you do to stay healthy and fit now that the weather is on the up and up?

As I just mentioned in my ZIED GUIDE weekly newsletter, a friend and I had planned to sign up for the Fitness/More half marathon in NYC this upcoming weekend. Unfortunately, despite our plan, life got in the way and by the time we tried to sign up, we were shut out!! To keep my motivation and inspire others to usher in spring with a little more step, I decided to set a goal to walk the distance of a marathon—26.2 miles—each week during the month of April. Starting on Friday, April 2, I will walk an average of about 4 miles each day—of course I’ll get less or more on any given day depending on the weather, and my schedule. My goal is to accumulate a total of more than 100 miles for the month. For each mile I walk, I will donate at least $1 to Live Light, Live Right, an amazing childhood obesity prevention program based in Brooklyn, New York.

I’d love you to challenge yourself with me. I already have some friends who are along for the ride. If you’d like to get involved, please do the following:

  1. Email me at elisa@elisazied.com or tweet me at @elisazied or post a message on my facebook wall at http://on.fb.me/dUTKqv to say you’d like to join.
  2. Post how many steps you take or miles you walk once a day or once a week (whatever keeps you motivated to continue) on Twitter or on Facebook;  please use #walkamarathon with every post. If you’re not on Twitter or Facebook, post your progress at the end of this blog post to stay motivated and encourage others to get involved.
  3. If you’d like to commit to donate to a charity of your choice, feel free to post that as well to make yourself accountable and inspire others to be charitable as well.
  4. Remember that EACH AND EVERY STEP YOU TAKE counts towards your total, so be sure to strap on that pedometer or do whatever it will take, rain or shine, indoors or out, to count every step you take. 20 blocks counts as one mile. You can walk solo, or grab a friend or even a group of friends to walk. Most importantly, and to avoid injury, be sure to set weekly/monthly goals that are healthful and realistic for you. No matter what distance you cover this month, even if you don’t meet your goal, every step you take will help you stay fit, inspire others, and potentially even help a cause or charity close to your heart.
  5. Please share this post with your colleagues, friends, and family. The more we can spread the word, the more motivated we will each be to challenge ourselves and at the same time, help others.

Thank you for your support! Are you in?

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Here are two delicious recipes–one for breakfast, and one for a tasty lunch or dinner– from the brand new book, Hungry Girl 300 Under 300. This latest book by Lisa Lillien, star of the Hungry Girl tv show on The Cooking Channel, and creator of hungry-girl.com, is sure to be a best seller, and is likely to be a great tool to help you and your family prepare and eat smaller portions of great tasting food. Enjoy!

Super-Sized Berry-nana Oatmeal Parfait

PER SERVING (entire recipe): 285 calories, 4.5 g fat, 359 mg sodium, 54 g carbs, 6.5 g fiber, 21.5 g sugars, 9 g protein

Ingredients:

Oatmeal

1/3 cup old-fashioned oats

3/4 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze

1 no-calorie sweetener packet

1/8 tsp. cinnamon

1/8 tsp. vanilla extract

Dash salt

Parfait

1/2 cup fat-free vanilla yogurt

1/2 cup sliced strawberries

1/2 banana, sliced

Directions:

Combine all ingredients for oatmeal in a small nonstick pot on the stove. Add 3⁄4 cup water and mix well. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 9 minutes, stirring often, until somewhat thick and creamy. (It will thicken more upon chilling.)

Allow to cool slightly. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 1/2 hours.

Stir oatmeal thoroughly until uniform in texture. Spoon half of the oatmeal into a glass, and top with 1/4 cup yogurt, 1/4 cup sliced strawberries, and 1/4 sliced banana. Repeat with remaining oatmeal, yogurt, strawberries, and banana.

Serve and enjoy!

MAKES 1 SERVING

Sweet Coconut Crunch Shrimp

PER SERVING (1/4th of recipe, about 5 shrimp): 164 calories, 4.5 g fat, 266 mg sodium, 12 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 3.5 g sugars, 19.5 g protein

Ingredients:

1/4 cup Fiber One Original bran cereal

1/3 cup shredded sweetened coconut

3 tbsp. panko breadcrumbs

1/4 tsp. chili powder

1/8 tsp. garlic powder

1/8 tsp. black pepper

Dash salt

12 oz. (about 20) raw large shrimp, peeled, tails removed, deveined

3 tbsp. fat-free liquid egg substitute

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place cereal in a sealable plastic bag and, removing as much air as possible, seal. Using a meat mallet, carefully crush cereal through the bag. Add sweetened coconut, panko breadcrumbs, chili powder, garlic powder, black pepper, and salt to the bag; seal and shake to mix. Transfer mixture to a large plate and set aside.

Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick spray and set aside. Pat shrimp with paper towels to ensure they are completely dry.

Combine shrimp with egg substitute in a bowl and toss lightly to coat. One at a time, shake excess egg from shrimp and transfer to the coconut-crumb mixture, gently patting and flipping to coat. Evenly place coated shrimp on the baking sheet.

Bake in the oven until outsides are crispy and lightly browned and insides are cooked through, 10 – 12 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

MAKES 4 SERVINGS

Source: Reprinted with permission from Hungry Girl 300 Under 300: 300 Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Dishes Under 300 Calories.

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Baked Chimichangas

Mexican food lovers can rejoice with this delicious chimichanga recipe that not only feeds a family right, but makes a great on-the-go next day lunch.

Makes 4 Servings.

Ingredients:

4 (8-inch) or 8 (6-inch) whole-wheat tortillas

Filling:

1 1/2 cups cooked and cubed chicken
3/4 cup salsa, thick and chunky (extra salsa = optional)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated, reduced-fat cheddar or Mexican blend cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix filling ingredients in a medium bowl. Warm tortillas until pliable (about 5 seconds each in microwave or in a nonstick skillet). Wet one side of tortilla and place wet side down. Spoon on filling ingredients. Fold to hold in filling. Spray baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Lay chimichangas, seam side down, on baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes.

Cook’s tip: You can replace the chicken with ground or diced beef, pork, or turkey.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 260
Total fat 5g
Saturated fat 2g
Cholesterol 50mg
Sodium 544mg
Total carbohydrate 27g
Dietary fiber 2g
Sugars 5g
Protein 24g

Source: Quick & Healthy Recipes and Ideas, 3rd Edition, © 2008 Brenda J. Ponichtera, R.D. (www.QuickandHealthy.net), Published by Small Steps Press, publishing health conscious books for the general public, an imprint of the American Diabetes Association.

Chicken Chili

Here’s a chili recipe to keep things hot in your kitchen & in your mouth! This thick and tasty chili is not only simple to prepare, but it packs in lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and fiber to fill you up and keep you satisfied at lunch, dinner or beyond! If you double the recipe, you can freeze leftovers in small containers.

Makes 5 servings (one serving = approximately 1 and 1/4 cups)

Ingredients:

1/2 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
2 cans (15 ounces each) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, not drained*
1 can (4 ounces) diced green chiles
1 cup water
1 tablespoon dried cilantro
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Directions:

Cut chicken into bite-size pieces. Brown chicken in a saucepan that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until chicken is tender.

*Sodium is figured for no added salt.

Nutrition information per serving:
Calories 236
Total fat 2g
Saturated fat 0g
Cholesterol 28mg
Sodium 64mg
Total carbohydrate 33g
Dietary fiber 10g
Sugars 3g
Protein 21g

Source: Quick & Healthy Volume II, 2nd Edition, © 2009 Brenda J. Ponichtera, R.D. (www.QuickandHealthy.net), Published by Small Steps Press, publishing health conscious books for the general public, an imprint of the American Diabetes Association.

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