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Author Archive » Eating Well

Healthy Recipe: Clean Breeze Smoothie

March 6, 2015

This refreshing smoothie is made with cucumber and kiwi and gets a kick from ginger-flavored kombucha and fresh cilantro.
 

Clean Breeze Smoothie

  • 1 small cucumber, chopped
  • 2 ripe kiwis, peeled
  • 1 cup ginger-flavored kombucha (see Tip)
  • 1/2 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
  • 6 ice cubes

 

Preparation

  1. Combine cucumber, kiwis, kombucha, yogurt, cilantro and ice cubes in blender; blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

 

Tips & Notes

  • Tip: Look for kombucha tea near other refrigerated teas in natural foods stores and well-stocked supermarkets. Kombucha is available in many different flavors—for this smoothie we like the taste of ginger kombucha the best.

 

Nutrition

Per serving: 116 calories; 2 g fat (1 g sat, 0 g mono); 4 mg cholesterol; 21 g carbohydrates; 1 g added sugars; 6 g protein; 3 g fiber; 32 mg sodium; 424 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (101% daily value)

Carbohydrate Servings: 1 1/2

Exchanges: 1 fruit, 1 vegetable, 1/2 reduced-fat milk

© Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. Used with permission




Why Drink Water? How Water and Health are Connected

March 5, 2015

Water accounts for 60 percent of our body—or about 11 gallons or 92 pounds inside a 155-pound person—and is essential to every cell. We use water to cool our body with sweat, to circulate oxygen and fuel to our organs and take away waste products via blood. But how does it impact your breath, muscles, skin—and brain function? Find out here.

Brain

Staying hydrated keeps your memory sharp, your mood stable and your motivation intact. When you’re well-hydrated, you can also think through a problem more easily. Researchers hypothesize that not having enough water could reduce oxygen flow to the brain or temporarily shrink neurons—or being thirsty could simply distract you.

Mouth

Water keeps your throat and lips moist and prevents your mouth from feeling dry. Dry mouth can cause bad breath and/or an unpleasant taste—and can even promote cavities.

Heart

Dehydration lowers your blood volume, so your heart must work harder to pump the reduced amount of blood and get enough oxygen to your cells, which makes everyday activities like walking up stairs—as well as exercise—more difficult.

Bloodstream

Your body releases heat by expanding blood vessels close to the skin’s surface (this is why your face gets red during exercise), resulting in more blood flow and more heat dissipated into the air. When you’re dehydrated, however, it takes a higher environmental temperature to trigger blood vessels to widen, so you stay hotter.

Limbs

When you’re well hydrated, the water inside and outside the cells of contracting muscles provides adequate nutrients and removes waste efficiently so you perform better. Water is also important for lubricating joints. Contrary to popular belief, muscle cramps do not appear to be related to dehydration, but, instead, to muscle fatigue, according to Sam Cheuvront, Ph.D., an exercise physiologist for the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine.

Skin

When a person is severely dehydrated, skin is less elastic. This is different than dry skin, which is usually the result of soap, hot water and exposure to dry air. And, no, unfortunately, drinking lots of water won’t prevent wrinkles.

Kidneys

Your kidneys need water to filter waste from the blood and excrete it in urine. Keeping hydrated may also help prevent urinary tract infections and kidney stones. If you are severely dehydrated, your kidneys may stop working, causing toxins to build up in your body.

© Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. Used with permission




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




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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