Thursday, September 23, 2010

Healthy Tailgating

Healthy Game Day Party Pleasers

1. Order a vegetable pizza. Ask for a little less cheese and a variety of your favorite vegetables.
2. Drink 100% juice mixed with club soda or your favorite flavored water.
3. Pop some healthy microwave popcorn
4. Use whole grain tortilla chips with your favorite salsa
5. Prepare your favorite dips with light or fat-free mayonnaise and sour cream
6. Munch on pretzels instead of potato chips
7. Try a vegetarian version of chili
8. Grill up some chicken skewers and serve with your favorite hot sauce
9. Have some healthy nuts to serve such as almonds or walnuts. Just be sure to watch your portion size. ¼ cup is plenty
10. Take a brisk walk at halftime
11. Order a fruit or vegetable platter from your favorite grocer

BUSH'S® Best Black Bean SoupSubmitted by: BUSH'S® Beans Serves: 6Hands-OnTime: 5 MinutesCooking Time: 15 MinutesTotal Time: 20 Minutes
Ingredients:2 (15 ounce) cans BUSH'S® BEST BlackBeans, undrained1 (16 ounce) can reduced sodium chicken broth1/2 cup salsa1 tablespoon chili powder Shredded cheese (optional)Sour cream (optional)Chopped onion (optional)Cilantro (optional)
Directions:1. Mash one can of beans with potato masher or food processor. Pour both cans of beans into medium saucepan. Add chicken broth, salsa, and chili powder. Bring to a boil. If desired top with shredded cheese, sour cream, onion, and cilantro.
Nutrition Info (per serving)Calories 135 (10% from fat) | Fat 1.7g (sat 0.5g) | Cholesterol 2mg | Carbohydrate 24.6g | Fiber 8.4g | Protein 9.5g

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Low Fat Buffalo Chicken Dip Recipe

2 (10-oz) cans chunk chicken, drained
2 (8-oz) pkgs. Light cream cheese, softened
1 Cup low-fat ranch dressing
¾ Cup Buffalo wing sauce
1 ½ Cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese

Heat chicken and Buffalo sauce in a skilled over medium heat until heated through. Stir in cream cheese and ranch dressing. Stir until well blended. Mix in half of the cheddar cheese and transfer to a slow cooker. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese and cover. Cook on low until bubbly. Serve with your favorite vegetable sticks or whole grain crackers.

Hope Danielson
Health and Wellness Advisor

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Cut out 100 calories

Did you know that cutting your daily TV watching in half can burn an extra 100 calories per day? Just talking on the phone, reading a book, or doing a crossword puzzle burn more calories than lounging in front of the TV. Plus you won't be tempted by all of those fast food commercials. That means less trips to the refrigerator!

Hope Danielson
Health & Wellness Advisor
Niemann Foods

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Healthy Oils

When it comes to cooking, olive oil isn't not the only healthy oil. Canola oil is also rich in heart healthy fats. It has more of a neutral taste which makes it very versatile. I prefer to use this when baking. Sesame oil is also great. It gives stir-fry's and meats and Asian flare. Remember to use any oil sparingly since is does contain quite a few calories.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Recipe Of The Day

Here is a delicious breakfast recipe from Motts.

Breakfast Bread Pudding

1 cup Mott's Natural apple sauce
1 cup 2% lowfat milk
2 large eggs
¼ cup brown sugar
4 slices cinnamon raisin bread, cut into cubes (about 4 cups)

Streusel Topping (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 350° F. Combine apple sauce, milk, eggs and brown sugar in medium bowl. Whisk until well combined. Gently stir in bread cubes until well moistened. Pour mixture into lightly greased 8 x 8-inch baking pan. Top with streusel topping, if desired. Bake 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Serve warm.

Streusel Topping:
Mix together 2/3 cup quick-cooking oats, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, and ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon until thoroughly combined.

Makes 9 servings.

Nutrition Information Per Serving:
130 calories; 2.5 g fat; 50 mg cholesterol; 75 mg sodium; 25 g carbohydrates; 1 g fiber; 4 g protein; 17% cal from fat

Friday, March 19, 2010

Foods That Fight Fat

Here is some great information I read in Health Magazine.

These 7 foods help you blast fat and make you feel full longer:

  1. Eggs- loaded with protein and nutrition
  2. Dark Chocolate-Compounds found in chocolate slow down digestion and make you feel full longer. A small piece is all you need.
  3. Pine Nuts-The heart-healthy fatty acids in pine nuts boost satiety hormones that make you feel full longer. They can also help keep belly fat at bay.
  4. Cheese-Fresh goat cheese or feta are great choices. They contain a dose of conjugated linoleic acid which help you fee full and burn more fat.
  5. Skim Milk-Milk has proteins that can make you feel more satisfied. It also helps fight fat.
  6. Oranges-Oranges are one of the most satisfying fruits since they are high in fiber. People who eat more fiber have less flab.
  7. Potatoes-They are three times as filling as a slice of white bread and top all of the foods on the satiety index. They also contain resistant starch which has been shown to help your body burn fat.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Recipe of The Week

We all know that beans are super good for us, but they are also super delicious and versatile. Here is another great recipe from Bush's.

BUSH'S® Slow Cooker Chicken Orzo and Garbanzo Beans

Serves: 6
Hands-OnTime: 15 Minutes
Cooking Time: 4 Hours
Total Time: 4 Hours 15 Minutes

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved (4 to 6), cut into 12 pieces total
1 (16 ounce) can BUSH’S® Garbanzo Beans
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 diced medium onion (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped pitted Kalamata olives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried oregano)
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
12 ounces dried orzo pasta
6 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese

1 Add the chicken, beans, tomato sauce, onion, olives, oregano, garlic and pepper to the slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low until the chicken is cooked through and the flavors are all melded, about 4 hours.
2 Cook the orzo pasta according to the directions on the package.
3 Serve over cooked orzo pasta and top each serving with a tablespoon of feta cheese. Garnish with a sprig of fresh oregano as desired.

For more family-friendly bean recipes, visit

Nutrition Info (per serving)
Calories 523 (16% from fat) Fat 9.3g Carbohydrate 63.6g Protein 45.5g

Bean Fact
Beans are a naturally low-fat, cholesterol-free source of protein.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Food Labels

Nutrition labels can be hard to understand. Here is some great information I found and I wanted to share it with you.

Be Smart - Understanding Food Labels and Nutrition Facts
Written by Patty Poon, M.Sc.last updated: May 2006

Grocery shopping and reading labels are a delight for some and a real headache for others. Regardless of how you feel about them, determining whether a particular food product fits into your healthy diet plan has become easier. In addition to listing the amounts of macronutrients (fat, protein and carbohydrate including fiber), a food label may also indicate vitamin and mineral content of the product. This provides good information to help a consumer determine if a particular food product meet his or her nutritional needs.

What is on A Nutrition Facts Label?

Food labels are designed to help consumers make healthy food choices. In 1990, the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act went into effect. The USDA and the FDA developed these guidelines so that consumers would have access to useful nutritional information to help make smart choices.

But how do you make sense of a food label?

According to the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act, all packaged food products must contain the following information:

Common name of the product
Name and address of the product's manufacturer
Net contents in terms of weight, measure or count, and
Ingredient list and Nutrition Facts

Components of a Nutrition Facts panel

Nutrition Facts
Common nutrients, such as total fat, cholesterol, and sodium, are required fields. Other nutrients, such as potassium and Vitamin K, are optional and not required to be listed. Each package must identify the quantities of specified nutrients and food constituents for one serving.

It is important to note the following:
1 g of fat = 9 kcal
1 g of protein = 4 kcal
1 g of carbohydrate = 4 kcal
1 g of alcohol = 7 kcal

Serving Size
Serving sizes are standardized to make for easier comparison among similar food items. They are expressed in both common household and metric measures. It is always important to pay attention to a serving size. For instance, a serving of chocolate chip cookies is typically 2 pieces. Hence, if you eat 4 pieces, you will need to double the amount of nutrition content listed on the label.

Calories (kcal)
Calories provide a measure of how much energy you obtain after eating a portion of food. It is always important to find out the total calories. Many consumers are surprised to find that a fat-free product is not necessarily low in calories. Similarly, a sugar-free product is not always low in Calories or low in fat.

Nutrients listed
Total fat, saturated fats, cholesterol, total carbohydrate (including fiber and added sugars), protein, vitamins A and C, calcium and iron are required on the label. Other nutrients are optional and may be listed at the discretion of the manufacturer.

In addition to total calories and total fat, a few other nutrients relevant to heart health are important to pay attention to when reading a label. These include saturated fats, cholesterol and fiber. Effective Jan 2006, all labels should also include trans fatty acids.

Percent Daily Values
Percent Daily Values provide an estimate of the percentage of a nutrient from one serving in a typical 2000 kcal diet.

Daily Reference Values Footnote
This footnote reminds consumers of the daily intake of different foods depending on their own nutritional needs.

Reading Food Labels - the Bottom Line: Food Labels and Nutrition Facts enable you to compare products based on key ingredients. When comparing products, focus on those nutrients that are important to you.

If you are concerned about your weight, you should compare products based on BOTH calories and fat.

If you have heart disease or high blood pressure, you should focus on the amount of total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and sodium. Choose products containing less than 20% Daily Values for fat, cholesterol and sodium. If you have diabetes, you should pay attention to the amount of carbohydrate, sugar added as well as fiber.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Weight Loss Tips from Prevention Magazine

Here's some great tips I found from Prevention Magazine:

By Liz Vaccariello, Editor-in-Chief, Prevention

There's nothing like a weight loss strategy that takes almost no time or effort--but still works like a charm! Here are 10 successful strategies to cut calories and burn fat that literally take 60 seconds or less.

1. Mix a juice spritzer
Combine your favorite juice (half of your usual amount) with plain or sparkling water. You can cut up to 85 calories per glass--and lose 5 pounds or more a year.
2. Walk while you talk
Burn calories while you talk on the phone: Do the laundry (68 calories), set the table (85), or water plants (102).
3. Study the wrapper
At a quick glance, that candy bar appears to contain 220 calories. But a closer look may reveal that it (or a bottle of juice, bag of crackers, or bag of nuts) provides two or more servings--which more than doubles those calories.
4. Sip green tea before a walk
The caffeine frees fatty acids so that you burn fat more easily. And the polyphenols (antioxidant compounds) in green tea appear to work with caffeine to increase calorie burn. (If you have high blood pressure, skip this tip.)
5. Pack a lunch
Dining out more than 5 times a week may make you eat more--nearly 300 calories a day--than if you dine out less frequently.
6. Dip your bread
Use olive oil in place of butter. It's healthier and may also help you eat less. In a recent study, dippers ate a total of 52 fewer calories, on average, than those who used butter.
7. Sprinkle flax on cereal
High-fiber ground flaxseed can help curb your appetite and eliminate calories. Add it to yogurt or muffin and bread mixes--it's available in health food stores.
8. Schedule a blood test
About 1 in every 12 women (most of whom don't know it) has an underactive thyroid, which can slow down her metabolism.
9. Supersize your H2O
Buy the big bottle when it comes to good-for-you stuff such as water: You'll drink more.
10. Eat a chunky salad
Chop carrots, celery, sweet potatoes, zucchini, or other veggies instead of shredding or slicing. It takes more effort to munch bigger pieces; you'll do more chewing and eat less during the main course.

Monday, March 1, 2010

National Nutrition Month

Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month? Now is a great time to adopt some healthier habits. Eating healthy plays a large role in reducing the risk of many diseases. It is important to eat a variety of foods in order to give your body all the healthy nutrients it needs.

Fruits and vegetables provide many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It is important to eat a variety of different types and colors. This will help boost your immune system. Choose fresh, frozen, canned or juice. Some great ones are:

Carbohydrates are great for energy. Breads, cereals, pasta and rice are all good examples. Try to make half of your daily servings of carbohydrates whole grains. Some great examples are:
Quinoa ( keen-wah, kee-noh-uh)
Brown rice

Proteins are good in helping build lean muscle mass. Lean meats, fish, eggs, beans and nuts are great sources of protein. Some great examples are:
Black beans
Lean turkey

Fats are also very important in your diet. They provide essential fatty acids and help with vitamin absorption. Choose monounsaturated fats like avocados, olive oil and peanut butter; Polyunsaturated fats like soybean and sunflower oil; and Omega 3 fatty acids like tuna, flaxseed and tofu.

Drink plenty of water. It will help keep you full in between meals and keeps you hydrated. Aim for 6-8 glasses per day.

Watch your portion sizes. Choose to fill up on fruits and vegetables while adding modest amounts of meats and starches.

Avoid too many processed foods. These can be high in saturated fats, cholesterol, trans fats and sodium. Shop the parameters of the grocery store. This is where most of your healthy foods are found.
Remember everything in moderation. As long as you’re eating healthy most of the time, you can afford to indulge in the occasional treat now and then.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Poll Results

It looks like exercising is the hardest, healthy habit for everyone to incorporate into their lifestyle. Exercising is important for weight loss but it's more important to find something that you'll stick to. A lot of us don't think we have the time or that it's too boring. Try to incorporate cardio and strength training exercises. Cardio is going to help you burn fat and strength training helps create lean muscle mass which helps rev up your metabolism. Think of making exercise fun.

  • Walk with a friend
  • Go dancing
  • Bicycle ride
  • Bounce on a mini trampoline while watching TV
  • Try a sport game like softball, racquetball, volleyball or golf
  • Try a group exercise class at your local gym. It's much more fun and encouraging

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Just Bare Chicken Recipe

Here is a delicious recipe that I tried the other day. I substituted jarred pesto sauce and it still turned out great. I served it with a fresh green salad and a few roasted potatoes.

Grilled Drumsticks with Pesto

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Yield: Makes 5 to 6 drumsticks, 1 ½ cups pesto

for the pesto

2 cups (packed) fresh basil leavees
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup extra virgin olive oil

for the chicken
1 package (20 ounces) Just BARE Chicken Drumsticks
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

• Combine all pesto ingredients except 1 cup olive oil in food processor. Finely chop, then gradually add oil until well mixed; set aside.
• Prepare grill. Coat drumsticks with 1 tablespoon olive oil; add salt and pepper. Grill over medium hot coals for 15 to 20 minutes turning occasionally. Brush drumsticks with ¼ cup of pesto. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes longer or until chicken is no longer pink.
• Serve with extra pesto. Refrigerate pesto to toss with salads, eggs, or to serve with tomatoes.

Nutritional Information•
• Calories 212 • % Calories from Fat 72% • Total Fat 18g • Saturated Fat 4g • Cholesterol 70mg • Sodium 435mg • Total Carbohydrate 0g • Dietary Fiber 0g • Protein 15g • Sugars 0g

Friday, February 12, 2010

Poll Results

So it looks like soda is the main culprit for adding extra calories to our diets Did you know that just by watching what we drink, we could probably cut 450 calories a day out of our diets? I even know people who have lost more than 25 pounds just by cutting out soda. We don't want sweetened drinks to be our main fluid intake for the day. Some 20 oz bottles of soda can have as many as 325 calories and 88g of sugar. YIKES!!! Diet soda might not be such a good choice either. There have been studies done that suggest that consuming artificially sweetened drinks may lead to a high preference for sweetness overall. That means cookies, ice cream, candy, etc.

So what should we be drinking? First and foremost, water. You can add flavor to your water just by adding cut-up fruit; Tea is also a great choice. It can help prevent heart disease and cancer. It's calorie free as long as you choose the unsweetened kind; Coffee is also a good choice. Just remember to drink it plain or with a little milk; Milk is also a great option. Low fat milk can help maintain bone and muscle density. I like to drink a cup of coffee in the morning; I sip on water throughout the day; and I include milk at meal times.

Just try to cut back a little each day. Before you know it you'll be well on your way to losing those extra pounds.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Stay Hydrated

It's important to stay hydrated throughout the day. Make sure to drink plenty of water, low fat milk and low calorie beverages to help quench your thirst. SoBe Zero Calorie Lifewater is a great choice.

Zero calorie SoBe Lifewater with PureVia is a naturally sweetened vitamin enhanced water beverage that gives you vitamins and antioxidants (antioxidant vitamins C and E and a good source of B complex vitamins). With unique flavor combinations, SoBe Lifewater is naturally refreshing and thrilling!

Monday, February 8, 2010


Exercise is an important component of any weight loss program. It's important to find time to be active. Increasing physical activity will not only help promote weight loss, but its' also important for preventing heart disease, diabetes, various cancers and osteoperosis. There are too many benefits to list. So, here are some healthy tips to fit exercise into your everyday lifestyle:

Three 10 minute sessions can be just as effective as a solid 30 minute workout. So feel free to split up your routine throughout the day. For example, try a 10 minute yoga routine in the morning, 10 minutes of walking during lunch, and 10 minutes of dancing after dinner.

Instead of meeting that friend for lunch on Saturday, how about a nice walk. You’ll be amazed how fast the time flies while you’re catching up.

A shopping trip to the mall can be a great workout. Put on your workout shoes and keep a fast pace.

Bundle up and go hiking with your kids in a nearby forest preserve or trail. This is a great way to get in some exercise and family time.

Do squats and lunges while brushing your teeth.

Walk around the house while talking on the phone (provided that it’s cordless). Keep a fast pace and be sure to go up and down the stairs.

Fitness doesn’t have to be time consuming. Just be creative and you’ll find ways to fit it in to your busy schedule. A little exercise everyday ads up to a healthier you!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Game Day Recipe

Here's a great appetizer to make for the big game!

BUSH'S® Chili-Cheese Game Day Dip

Serves: 16
Hands-OnTime: 10 Minutes
Cooking Time: 5 Minutes
Total Time: 15 Minutes

1 (8 ounce) package reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup fresh chunky salsa (from the deli)
1 cup reduced fat shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
1 (16 ounce) can BUSH'S® Mild or Medium Chili Beans, undrained
1/3 cup sliced green onion
Baked, low carb tortilla chips

1 Combine softened cream cheese with salsa and spread in bottom of 9-inch microwaveable pie plate. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese. Spoon chili beans evenly over shredded cheese. Top with remaining cheese and green onions.
2 Cover and vent with plastic wrap and microwave for 2 minutes on medium high power, rotate dish and repeat.
3 Remove wrap and microwave on high for 1 minute more or until mixture is thoroughly heated and cheese is melted.
4 Let cool slightly and serve with tortilla chips.

Nutrition Info (per serving)
Calories 77 (39% from fat) Fat 3.3g (sat 2g) Cholesterol 10mg Carbohydrate 6.3g Fiber 1.5g Protein 5g

Bean Fact
Canned beans are an easy and convenient vegetable.

Copyright © Bush Brothers & Company, 2010

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Portion Distortion

According to the most recent poll, one of our biggest diet challenges is eating too much food. Here is a guide to help you size up your portions.

1 cup of cereal =The size of a fist
1 pancake=A compact disc
½ cup of cooked rice, pasta, or potato=½ of a baseball
1 slice of bread=A cassette tape

Fruits and Veggies
1 cup of salad greens=A baseball
1 medium fruit=A baseball
½ cup of raisins=A large egg

Dairy and Cheese
1 ½ oz. cheese=4 stacked dice
½ cup of ice cream=½ baseball
1 cup serving of milk, yogurt, or fresh greens=The size of a fist

Meats and Alternatives
3 oz. meat, fish, and poultry=Deck of cards
3 oz. grilled/baked fish=Checkbook
2 Tbsp. peanut butter=Ping pong ball

1 teaspoon of oil=The size of your thumb tip

This chart is courteous of AARP Eating Well

Monday, February 1, 2010

February is National Heart Month

Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women in the United States. Heart disease does not just occur overnight. Changes in the body that lead to heart disease take years to develop.

One of the biggest risk factors of heart disease is high cholesterol. Cholesterol is a type of plaque that thickens and hardens your arteries. This constricts blood flow to the heart muscle and can even completely block the arteries.

There are two types of cholesterol: LDL, which is also known as the “bad” cholesterol, and HDL, which is also known as the “good” cholesterol. LDL is the cholesterol responsible for plaque buildup and blockage in your arteries. HDL cholesterol helps lower the bad cholesterol in your arteries. It is important to get your cholesterol levels checked regularly. If you are at high risk due to genetics, you might need to start getting your cholesterol checked at a young age. Usually a rule of thumb is to have your levels checked every 5 years after the age of 20, if your level is desirable.

Desirable Level: Less than 200 mg/dl
Borderline: 200-239 mg/dl
High: 240mg/dl and above

Lifestyle plays a key role in the prevention of heart disease. Poor nutrition, lack of exercise and obesity are all risk factors to heart disease. It is important to make healthy lifestyle changes in order to prevent coronary artery disease.


Choose a diet low in saturated fat, cholesterol and trans fat. No more than 20 grams of saturated fat for men and 15 grams for women per day. No more than 300mg/dl of cholesterol per day. Saturated fat is the number one factor that increases cholesterol. Some examples of food that contain saturated fat are:
· High fat dairy products
· High fat meats
· Butter
· Cream Sauces
· Gravy
· Palm oil
· Coconut oil

Trans fat is also known as hydrogenated oil. It is important to read food labels to see if hydrogenated oil is a main ingredient. Select foods that either do not contain hydrogenated oil or where a liquid oil is listed first in the ingredient list. Some examples of food that contain trans fat include:
· Processed foods like cookies, chips and baked goods that contain hydrogenated oil
· Shortening
· Some stick margarines
· Some fast food such as French fries

Increase monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These are known as the healthy fats since they can help lower your LDL cholesterol. Some examples of food that contain monounsaturated fats are:
· Canola oil
· Nuts such as almonds and peanuts
· Olive oil
· Peanut butter
· Avocado

Some examples of food that contain polyunsaturated fats are:
· Corn oil
· Soybean oil
· Sunflower oil
· Walnuts
· Sunflower seeds
· Mayonnaise
· Soft tub margarine

Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. Frozen, fresh and canned are all good. Be sure to consume a variety so you are able to get all the health benefits they provide.

Increase your intake of fiber. Fiber had been shown to lower cholesterol. Aim for 25-30 grams per day. Fiber can be found in many fruits and vegetables as well as whole grain products. Be sure to increase hydration in order to help fiber pass more easily through your digestive system.

Aim for two 3oz servings of fish per week. Salmon is especially good since it contains heart healthy Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce both stroke and heart disease.

Select fat free or low fat dairy products.

Limit salt intake since it can cause high blood pressure, which can contribute to heart disease.


Inactivity leads to weight gain, which can lead to a variety of diseases. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. This will help increase your HDLs. It will also help to decrease blood pressure and strengthen your heart.

Three 10-minute sessions per day is just as beneficial as one 30 minute session. Do what works for your schedule. If you are new to exercise try just taking a daily walk. Any little bit counts!


Obesity is a risk factor for heart disease as well as many other diseases. Here are some guidelines to keep your weight in check:

1. Control your portions
2. Increase your physical activity to 60 minutes per day
3. Follow the above healthy eating guidelines
4. Plan meals for the week so your less likely to grab convenient, non- healthy foods
5. Don’s skip meals. This slows down your metabolism which can lead to further weight gain

Stop Smoking:

Smoking has been shown to increase blood pressure and decrease healthy cholesterol levels. If going cold turkey seems too hard, at least try to cut back. Even reducing the amount of cigarettes you smoke can make a difference.

Family History:

It is important to know your family medical history. If heart disease is in your family it is important to speak to your doctor and maintain regular checkups

Remember healthy habits are important not only for your heart but your overall wellbeing. Small steps everyday can lead to a much healthier lifestyle.
Always remember to consult with your physician before beginning any diet or exercise program.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Poll Results

It is no suprise that most of us crave sweets. These types of foods can be loaded with empty calories and wreak havoc on our diet. Here are some helpful tip to control that sweet tooth.
  1. Try fruit. Fruit has natural sugar and if you include it in your diet, you are less likely to crave sugar.
  2. Set aside 150 calories per day for sweets. Portion control is key. An ounce of chocolate, a half of piece of cake, 25 jelly beans, or 1/2 cup of regular ice cream.
  3. Be careful of sugary beverages. These can really add up. Look for reduced calorie juices, teas and sugar free hot cocoa.
  4. Fruit with a little whipped cream makes a great dessert.
  5. Try sugarless gum.
  6. If you want a full dessert, make sure to have a light lunch and dinner full of lean protein and vegetables.

Make Mott's applesauce a part of your heart-healthy lifestyle. This delicious classic offers you many benefits:

  • Eating apple sauce as part of a diet low in saturated fat promotes heart health*
  • Antioxidant vitamin C to help support a healthy immune system
  • Naturally fat- and cholesterol-free
  • Naturally sodium free

Monday, January 25, 2010

How is it going?

So, how is your weight loss going? Are you running into any issues? Have you had some success? Please share with me your questions, concerns or triumphs.

Here are some additional weight loss tips:

  1. Fill half your plate with vegetables. A cup of rice has 200 calories, but a cup of cooked veggies only has about 50. The high fiber vegetables will help satisfy your hunger before you overeat the other grains and protein.
  2. When cooking, bulk up your meals with vegetables. You can have twice as much pasta or rice loaded with vegetables than just fatty sauces or dressings. Same with omelets. Think broccoli, carrots, and tomatoes.
  3. Eat breakfast. This one simple step will help you jump your metabolism. It will also keep your blood sugar steady. You’ll be less likely to overeat later in the day. Balance carbohydrates with protein and a little fat.
  4. Eat five or six small meals or snacks a day instead of three large meals. You will consume fewer calories per day. Your body releases less insulin, which keeps blood sugar steady and helps control hunger. Aim for 100-200 calories snacks—piece of fruit, non-fat yogurt, a handful of nuts.
  5. Make water your primary drink. It’s okay to have some juice with breakfast or a little coffee with some low fat creamer and sugar substitute. . Water should be your main drink for the rest of the day instead of juice or soda. The average person consumes an extra 245 calories per day from soft drinks. That can add up to an extra 25 pounds per year. Soft drinks don’t trigger a sense of fullness the way food does.
  6. Avoid white foods (simple or refined carbohydrates). White flour and added sugar can wreak havoc on your blood sugar, which can result in weight gain. But not all carbohydrates are bad. Try whole grain breads, pasta and brown rice. You will be more likely to feel satisfied. They have fiber and provide energy. Look for 3g of fiber per 100 calories.
  7. Choose leaner protein. Loins, skinless turkey or chicken, white meat, fish, beans, and soy protein are great choices.
  8. Salmon is great. It has omega 3 fatty acids, which is good for the heart and helps reduce stroke. Aim for two 3-ounce servings per week. You can also take 1000mg of fish oil capsules. Flax seed and walnuts are also good choices.
  9. Choose low fat or non-fat dairy. You can reduce calories by 20% just by going to 2% milk instead of whole. . Same with cheese and yogurt. People who eat yogurt when dieting have been shown to lose more weight and fat than those who don’t. Calcium inhibits the production of fat cells and boosts the breakdown of fat.
  10. Cook with olive oil and bake with canola oil instead of butter. They are heart healthy fats. We need some fat in our diet to help absorb vitamins A,D,E, and K.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I want something sweet!

Looking for something to satisfy that sweet tooth?

How about yogurt? Adding yogurt to your diet may inhibit fat absorption in the small intestine. And that means having less of it to store around your hips, thighs, and belly.

Portable YoTastic yogurt is a great treat. Take it with you when your on the run or freeze it for a delicious, slushy treat. Satisfy your sweet tooth and do something good for your body!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Healthy Recipe

Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Breasts with Crisp Zucchini Chips

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 16 minutes
Yield: Makes 2 to 3 breasts, 3 cups chips

for the chips
1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
1 medium yellow zucchini, thinly sliced
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon coarse pepper
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chiffonade

for the chicken
1 egg
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon coarse ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary sprigs
1 package (14 ounces) Just BAREâ„¢ Hand-Trimmed Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast Fillets Hand-Trimmed Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast Fillets
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

• On large platter, lay zucchini slices; sprinkle with remaining ingredients. Let stand at room temperature while sautéing chicken or make ahead and refrigerate.
• In shallow bowl, whisk egg.
• In shallow plate, stir together bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, pepper, salt and rosemary. Dip chicken breast in egg then toss in bread crumb mixture to coat. Repeat with remaining breasts.
• In large skillet, sauté chicken breasts in 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat for 6 to 8 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Add additional olive oil while sautéing if necessary. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve with zucchini chips.

Nutritional Information• • PER SERVING • Calories 410 • % Calories from Fat 44% • Total Fat 20g • Saturated Fat 6g • Cholesterol 175mg • Sodium 900mg • Total Carbohydrate 11g • Dietary Fiber 2g • Protein 46g • Sugars 4g • % DAILY VALUE • Vitamin A 25% • Vitamin C 32% • Calcium 34% • Iron 16% • DIETARY EXCHANGES • Lean Meat 6 • Fat 2 • Vegetable 1

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Healthy 2010

Are you ready to lose those extra ten pounds or more? Did you know that studies have shown that when an individual loses at least 10% of their body weight, they start to see significant health improvements such as decreases in blood pressure, lipid levels, and blood sugar? Join the Live Well “ Lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks” contest to help lose the weight and improve your overall well-being. You can follow this blog for the next 10 weeks to obtain healthy tips, recipes and more. Feel free to comment, ask questions or offer helpful weight loss tips of your own. I look forward to hearing from you and helping you make 2010 a healthier year.

Unfortunately, there is no magic solution to losing weight. To truly lose 1 pound you need to eliminate 3,500 calories. This can only happen by moving more and eating less. So to lose about 1 pound per week, you would need to cut 500 calories per day. This might seem like a huge number but it could mean just cutting down on portion sizes, eliminating or cutting back on sugary beverages; increasing physical activity. I have listed some healthy ways to lose weight. Be sure to follow this blog for the next 10 weeks to obtain healthy tips, recipes and more. Feel free to comment, ask questions or offer helpful tips of your own.

  1. Keep a food diary and write down everything you eat for one week. Most people wind up eating 15 percent less than those who don’t record their intake. This is also a good way to recognize what your pitfalls are.
  2. Pare down your portions. Remove one-third of the food you are eating on your plate. We are a super sized nation. We eat far more then our bodies need. The more food on your plate, the more you’ll eat regardless of hunger. Serve yourself less and you’ll eat less.
  3. Eat on smaller plates. The less food in front of you, the less you’ll eat. Instead of the 10-14 inch dinner plate, serve your main course on salad plates 7-9 inches wide. Try and 8 ounce glass instead of a 16-ounce glass. Especially when it comes to high calorie beverages like soda, juice or alcohol.
  4. Fill up on nutrient dense foods. Choose foods that are high in nutrients but usually lower in calories. Fruits and vegetables are a good example. These are volumizers. They help fight disease, lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol and manage diabetes. Aim for 5 servings a day.
  5. Fill up on water rich foods first. Dinner salads, vegetable platters and broth based soups. This will fill you up so you’re less likely to overeat your main course.

Be sure to check back for more tips and healthy recipes.

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year Resolutions

I'm usually not the best at making New Year resolutions. I find just a couple of weeks into the new year I'm already going back to some of my old habits. We all know that old habits are hard to break, so try not to overwhelm yourself with too many resolutions for 2010. Make your resolutions simple and to the point. Write them down and keep them posted. Check your progress on a weekly basis and reevaluate if need be. Here are some of my resolutions for the new year. Feel free to share yours with me and let's make 2010 a great year!

1. Take more time for myself--time to exercise, breathe, listen to my favorite music, etc. Time to yourself can help reduce stress and increase happiness.
2. Worry less--learn to control the things I can and let the other stuff just happen.
3. Try not to eat in front of the television-- this is a habit that will be hard to break. My family and I like to snack after dinner sometimes and that usually happens while watching television. Eating mindlessly can result in too many extra calories. I will turn off the TV and truly enjoy my "portion controlled" snacks.
4. Try a new exercise routine-sometimes we can get stuck in an exercise rut and it's nice to shake things up a bit. I'm thinking of taking up swimming!

I'll let you know how I'm doing and I hope you keep me updated as well.

Keep your eyes open for the Live Well "Lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks in 2010" contest coming soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hope Danielson
Health & Wellness Advisor
Niemann Foods