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Archive for February, 2015

Help Out Your Heart

February 27, 2015

Your heart works hard to keep your body working and in motion, so it’s only fair that you help it out along the way. In honor of Heart Month, we’ve put together an with important facts and prevention tips.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for men and women, making prevention extremely important. At Life Line Screening we value the power of prevention, and offer a comprehensive heart disease screening to assess your personal risk.

LLS_Heart Month_Infographic_v2 (2)




The Secret to Diet Success? Your Spouse

February 27, 2015

Research shows your partner can help you succeed or undo your efforts. Here are 3 tips to get—and give—support in your relationship.

Discuss your goals

The first step in almost any diet plan is to make a goal, but it’s equally crucial to talk about those goals with the important people in your life. If your partner reacts negatively to your new diet, try to find middle ground. Ask questions about small changes he or she may be willing to start with, says Toni Coleman, LCSW, CMC, a psychotherapist and relationship coach in Virginia: “Could we eat at 7 p.m. instead of 8? Could we go for a walk together? Could we try eating some different foods together?”

Don’t be bossy

Research shows when one spouse makes positive health changes, the other is more inclined to do the same. However, you can’t force your partner into making changes he or she may not be ready to make, says Coleman—and doing so may backfire. Case in point: women aged 20 to 31 whose significant others encouraged them to diet to lose weight were almost twice as likely to binge eat than those with partners who didn’t exert diet pressure, according to an American Journal of Health Promotion study. So let your partner see the positive physical and attitude changes in you—and he or she may naturally follow suit.

Reach out to friends

Even if your mate is supportive—but especially if he or she isn’t—reach out to other people in your social circle. Perhaps not surprisingly, we tend to eat the same way as our peers do, reports a Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics study, so connect with people who share your vision for healthy eating. Then, find non-food-focused activities to enjoy with those who may not be as supportive.

 

© Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. Used with permission.




Healthy Recipe: Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken with Marsala Sauce

February 23, 2015

Paper-thin slices of prosciutto are turned into a salty, crispy “crust” in this quick chicken thigh recipe with mushroom sauce that serves two. Serve with mashed potatoes and steamed greens.
 

Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken with Marsala Sauce

  • 4 large boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1 1/4 pounds), trimmed
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 4 thin slices prosciutto (about 2 ounces)
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 large shallot, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano plus 1 teaspoon, divided
  • 8 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup Marsala (see Tip) or dry sherry
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

 

Preparation

  1. Sprinkle chicken thighs with 1/4 teaspoon pepper and wrap each with a slice of prosciutto.
  2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides and cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate; tent with foil to keep warm.
  3. Reduce heat to medium and add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil, shallot and 1 tablespoon oregano to the pan. Cook, stirring, until the shallot is beginning to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until browned in spots, 4 to 6 minutes. Add Marsala (or sherry), return heat to medium-high and cook 2 minutes.
  4. Whisk broth, cornstarch and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a measuring cup; add to the pan, stirring. Return to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thickened and glossy, about 4 minutes. Serve the chicken with the mushroom sauce, sprinkled with the remaining 1 teaspoon oregano.

 

Tips & Notes

  • Tip: Marsala, a fortified wine from Sicily, is a flavorful addition to many sauces. Don’t use the “cooking Marsala” sold in many supermarkets—it can be surprisingly high in sodium. Instead, purchase Marsala that’s sold with other fortified wines in your wine or liquor store. An opened bottle can be stored in a cool, dry place for months.

 

Nutrition

Per serving: 310 calories; 15 g fat (3 g sat, 7 g mono); 87 mg cholesterol; 10 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 28 g protein; 0 g fiber; 588 mg sodium; 513 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Zinc (19% daily value)

Carbohydrate Servings: 1/2

Exchanges: 1/2 vegetables, 3 1/2 lean meat, 1 fat

© Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. Used with permission




Are You Following the Right Diet for Your Heart?

February 16, 2015

When it comes to taking care of your cardiovascular health, make sure your heart is in the right place.
More than fifty percent of Americans have dieted within the past year in an effort to improve their overall hear health, but are those diets doing the best they can for your heart? The only diet that has been proven to improve cardiovascular health is the Mediterranean diet, but very few people have adopted this method.

So why aren’t more people following this? Unhealthy choices that we make are from all of the confusing “fad” diets that exist, and the convenience of unhealthy foods.

Confusion About Dieting

There are plenty of diets that all say different messaging. Some focus on cutting out carbs, while others insist that fat is the unhealthy aspect in our diets.

However, not all fat is bad fat. Olive oil, which is high in monounsaturated fat, is a staple in the Mediterranean diet.

The PREDIMED study found that for people at high cardiovascular risk, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts reduced the incidence of major cardiovascular events by 30 percent.

Convenience Foods Make Heart Health Inconvenient

While we may want to follow a heart healthy diet, we often stray from our diet for convenience reasons. Whether it’s grabbing something on the run, or making a quick visit to the vending machine at work, unhealthy foods are all around us.

Change Your Diet

After you cut through the clutter, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Finding ways to substitute healthier, Mediterranean style foods for unhealthier ones is actually very easy to do. A Mediterranean diet consists of vegetables, fish, fruit, nuts, olive oil, lesser amounts of meat, and moderate wine consumption as well as consumption of whole grains. Repeatedly this combination of foods has shown to protect the heart and arteries.




Healthy Recipe: Asparagus Topped with Creamy Tarragon Sauce

February 13, 2015

This sauce is like a luscious, creamy bearnaise sauce without all the calories and fat.
 

Asparagus Topped with Creamy Tarragon Sauce

  • 2 bunches asparagus, tough ends trimmed
  • 1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • 6 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 4 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste

 

Preparation

  1. Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Put asparagus in a steamer basket, cover and steam until tender-crisp, about 4 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk yogurt, mayonnaise, tarragon, lemon juice, water, mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Drizzle the sauce over the asparagus. Serve warm or cold.

 

Tips & Notes

Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the sauce for up to 3 days.
 

Nutrition

Per serving: 114 calories; 7 g fat (1 g sat, 2 g mono); 8 mg cholesterol; 10 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 4 g protein; 2 g fiber; 350 mg sodium; 336 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Folate (42% daily value), Vitamin A (25% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 1/2

Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 1/2 fat

© Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. Used with permission




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