Love chili, but want it be be a little healthier? I found this awesome recipe that uses lean chicken instead of beef and has white beans. I’m sure all the beans area healthy, but I like a little variety sometimes. I tried this recipe and was pretty happy with the results. The chili has 190 calories per serving, only 5 grams of fat, and has 5 grams of fiber. Here’s the recipe:
Ingredients: 1 TBS olive oil, 2 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated, 1 clove garlic, ¼ tsp chili powder, ½ tsp ground cumin, 1 can 15oz white beans, rinsed and drained, 1 can 14.5 oz salt free diced tomatoes with juice, ¼ cup chicken broth, 4 oz cooked chicken breast meat shredded (about ¾ cup) and hot pepper sauce to taste.
Directions: Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add scallions, saving some greens for garnish, and add garlic. Cook, stirring until golden.
Add chili powder, cumin, and continue to cook. Stir one minute longer. Add white beans, tomatoes, and their juice and broth. Simmer until liquid is slightly reduced, about 15 minutes. Stir in chicken, and simmer 5 minutes longer.
Divide chili among 4 bowls, and garnish with scallion greens. Serve with hot pepper sauce if you want an extra kick!

More Vitamin D for Osteoporosis

August 31st, 2009

A great article from the editors of Prevention Magazine tell how we can get more benefit from Vitamin D, combined with calcium, to help with preventing osteoporosis. With osteoporosis, “calcium doesn’t work alone. In fact, it can’t even get into your bones without help from other nutrients, especially vitamin D. ‘Without vitamin D, you absorb very little of the dietary calcium’, says Daniel Baran, MD, professor of medicine, orthopedics, and cell biology at the University of Massachusetts Mecial Center. You can get some vitamin D by eating salmon and other fatty fish, but fortified foods such as milk and breakfast cereals are often the best sources, says Baran. Coffee and colas are bone robbers too. They contain caffeine, which can substantially reduce the amount of calcium you’re able to absorb. To keep bones storng, doctors often advise having no more than two or three servings of coffee, or cola a day says Elaine Feldman, MD, professor emeritus of medicine, physiology, and endocrinology at the Medical College of Georgia. When you do have coffee, it’s a good idea to pour in a bit of milk. Milk essentially blocks the effects of caffeine, preventing it from pulling calcium from your bones.” I think these are great ideas, and I know that I need to start drinking more milk during the day. Even just adding it to my dinner will help get me in the habit of getting more calcium and vitamin D every day.

Minerals for Your Headache

August 29th, 2009

Magnesium, found in ready to eat breakfast cereals may help with a headache or migraine. Some cereal brands have more than 100 mg, or 30%, of the DV in an ounce serving. Nuts, seeds, and dark green leafy vegetables are rich in magnesium too. Because nuts have a lot of fat, eat them in moderation and try to get most of it in other places. Another thing to help with the headache is calcium. One study found that women consuming 200 mg of calcium each day, which is 20% of the DV, had fewer headaches than women who consumed less. Dairy foods are the best way to get the calcium. 1 cup of fat free milk has 302 mg, or around 30% of the DV. Iron is something that helps because when you don’t get enough iron in your diet, the blood vessels dilate to admit more blood. The dilation compresses the nerves in the vessel walls which will cause head pain. The brain also uses vitamin B6 to increase serotonin levels, so a good intake of B6 might help to relieve migraines, even if you’re not deficient in it. One medium potato or one banana contains .7 mg of B6. A 3 ounce serving of baked or broiled swordfish has .3 mg. But don’t take B6 supplements unless a doctor prescribes them to you.

Burn the Fat

August 27th, 2009

Who needs a slimquick review or to go searching for diet pills? Marie Clair magazine has given a great list of things you can do to burn fat. I’m always looking for great new ways to get a good workout and things that I can do throughout the day. Here are a couple of their recommendations:

Slumping over the handlebars on a stationary bike inhibits the amount of oxygen your body can take in — and slows your fat-burning process, says Fitzgerald. The bars and handles are there to help you balance, not to support you. If you can’t move without holding on, slow down.

The best way to burn fat is to work out as hard as you can for as long as you can, says Malick Diop, a trainer at Equinox Gyms in New York. But, if you’re just starting to exercise, interval training’s your ticket. Two minutes on the treadmill at, say, 7 mph, followed by two minutes at 5 mph, then back to 7 mph (and so on) for 20 to 45 minutes will whittle away pounds and build your endurance. Eventually, you’ll be able to extend the high-intensity periods (and decrease the low ones) until your whole workout is done at top speed.

Interesting Notes on Diabetes

August 24th, 2009

I found this interesting article that talked about Diabetes. It seems that the doctors had a pretty set list of foods and instructions for those who were diagnosed with diabetes. Including, no sugar. But recently research has altered the “one-size-fits-all” diet for diabetes. Even though it’s best to not eat a lot of sugar, it’s no longer completely forbidden for those with diabetes. You may be advised to cut back on fat and eat more carbohydrates, but others may be told the opposite. Two people who are the same age and weight, may have completely different diets to control it now. Maintaining a healthy weight, getting regular exercise and eating right are all things that will help keep blood sugar and fats at a steady level, one of the keys to keeping problems under control, and stopping high blood sugar from turning into diabetes. Here is a list of known foods that are good for this predicament. Chromium rich foods (barley, broccoli, fortified breakfast cereals), grapefruit, complex carbs (beans, pasta, potato, rice), insoluble fiber (dark leafy greens, fruit skins, green beans, nuts, root vegetable skins, seeds, whole grains), low-fat dairy, foods rich in magnesium (halibut, long-grain brown rice, spinach), Vitamin C, cantaloupe, grapefruit, kiwifruit, oranges, red bell peppers, strawberries, tomato, corn, soybean, and sunflower oils, wheat germ and whole grain.

Flaxseed on Cancer

August 21st, 2009

Flaxseed has been talked about a lot recently, in health food circles. Flaxseed is a very rich source of compounds called lignans. It has a slightly sweet and nutty taste. Of all the foods with lignans, flaxseed has the most by far, at least 75 times more than any other plant food. You would have to eat about 60 cups of fresh broccoli or 100 slices of whole wheat bread to get the amount of lignans found in ¼ cup of flaxseed. These lignans are thought to fight changes in the body that can lead to cancer. Lilian Thompson PhD, professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Toronto says, “Lignans subdue cancerous changes once they’ve occurred, rendering them less likely to race out of control and develop into full-blown cancer.” Lignans may also help to battle certain types of cancer like breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and endometrial cancers. The research is still inconclusive at this point. One study looked at flaxseed’s effects on breast cancer. There were 16 women eating around 1 TBS of flaxseed every day for 2 months. After the study was over, women had a 31% improvement in the ratio of chemicals that protect against breast cancer over chemicals that promote breast cancer in their blood.

My Multi-Vitamin

August 20th, 2009

My friend and I were in the store the other day. She was looking for the best weight loss supplements. I kept telling her that I think the best supplements you can buy for your money are probably good vitamins. I really like all the different formulas from New Chapter Organics. They have a probiotic multi vitamin called “Every Woman” Nourishing fulfillment of every woman’s needs. The pills are kind of large, which make it kind of hard for me to swallow, but I think they definitely work the best. I can take them every day and they give me a bit of extra energy. I’ve also noticed that I don’t seem to get sick as often when I am on these vitamins as when I am on others, or on nothing. I have kids that come home from school with every germ imaginable. Before they even get to the sink to wash their hands, they have touched the door knobs, the walls, the closet, the kitchen, and usually me! Its nice to have something that can give you a bit of a healthy barrier against all these viruses that run around. Also, I think that when I’m trying to lose weight it really helps to take a vitamin supplement. If your body is getting all the vitamins and minerals it needs, then you won’t be craving extra foods to try and get everything in.

How Much TV is Too Much?

August 17th, 2009

OK, I am the first to admit that I have a problem! When I need some quiet time, I turn on the TV for my little ones. When I need to work, I turn on a show. If I’m driving in the car and it’s too loud, I’ll turn on the DVD player. And when the kids get home from school, I don’t mind when they run to the TV and have a little break, it keeps it quiet. But how much TV is too much for the kids? And will it harm them in the long run? While some TV is a source of learning for kids, other shows can be violent or just a plain old waste of time. Too much TV can make kids develop obesity, or aggressive behaviors. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that older kids only watch 1-2 hours a day, and kids under 2 not watch any television at all! Another important recommendation is for parents to monitor the shows being watched by your children. I mean we don’t want to be stuck on weight loss products or anything for all of our lives. We need to make sure they’re not watching something violent, or crude. And also, be sure that kids are getting enough outside exercise and reading. I feel better now, I think I’m staying in the guidelines, but I did let my one year old watch the baby Einstein DVD’s. I guess now that he’s 2 ½ I won’t feel guilty, but just move forward.

Getting the Kids Out There

August 15th, 2009

I had quite the experience last night at football practice. My husband and I decided that it’s a good idea for our son to play an organized sport. He never has before. But it’s good to get your kids involved in some sort of activity that will keep them exercising, instead of sitting around in front of the TV. My son doesn’t look overweight, he’s actually quite skinny. But even if you’re just built small, it doesn’t mean that your heart doesn’t need a workout. Everything we’ve asked him to do has been met with a NO. He doesn’t want to do soccer, basketball, football, track, or anything else. It’s gotten to the point that he just comes home from school, and then goes to the TV room and watches TV till it’s time for dinner. It’s hard for him to try new things. So when my sister told me that her son, his cousin, was going to play on a local football team with a coach that they knew well, we decided we were just going to MAKE him do it. His first practice was last night. It took awhile to get him going, but by the end he was finally standing with his team, and doing the drills that they were doing. He was sweating by the time he was done and said that it was hard to stand up the whole time. That really let me know that we had done the right thing. He is so out of shape, any boy his age should be able to run and play for hours! Sometimes parents have to push a little, but it’s good for them in the long run.

August 13th, 2009

This month’s Prevention magazine listed many quick fixes for a few different health problems. I found the article quite interesting and informative. Some of the health problems they were talking about were:

“Boost Your Memory in Five Weeks” A study done in Australia found that folate boosts memory, and in as little as 35 days. Women participated in this study and saw their memory performance improve when they took 750 mcg of folate daily. Don’t get that mixed up with mg, micrograms are a much smaller measure. This is about the same amount as what can be found in 1 cup of cooked spinach and 1 cup of cooked lentils. Folic acid supplements are recommended for when you’re pregnant, but for other matters, you should try to get it naturally in your food.

“Lower Dangerous Homocysteine Levels in 6 Weeks” Taking 800 mcg of folate supplements daily for 6 to 8 weeks will reduce homocysteine concentrations up to 23%. If you take more than 1,000 mcg a day you could experience negative effects like a deficiency of B12.

“Improve Heart Health in 2 Months” This all comes back to the Omega 3s which have had a lot of good press lately. This is an essential fatty acid that most American’s have been deficient in. You need to get your Omega 3s consistently to give your body a healthy saturation level. Two 3 oz servings of a fatty fish per week will help your heart within 4-8 weeks.