Yesterday I inducted several students at Maryetta Elementary School into the Food Wizard’s Club. They will complete several small actions that “do the trick”–making one healthy food swap each week. This week they are going to switch low-fat milk for whole milk. I am so proud of them for pledging to make good choices.
The question of the day, and really of the month, is “Are you at risk?” Take the Diabetes Risk Test at the below link to see if you possess risk factors of type 2 diabetes. Risk factors may include, but are not limited to, your family background and your age. The test is free and it is super easy. Also, Boar’s Head Brand will donate $5 to the American Diabetes Association for every person who takes the Diabetes Risk Test March 25th through April 25th. http://www.diabetes.org/risktest
Go Go Go!
I am “Nuts Over Cinnamon!” Cinnamon is known to be a good blood sugar stabilizer and I use it on almost everything sweet. I always love the smell of the cinnamon nuts at the mall but they can be loaded with sugar. I paired a sugar substitute with cinnamon and nuts for a quick snack that won’t kill your healthy ambitions. Additionally, nuts have protein, are high in good fats, and digest slowly. Below is my Sugar-Free Roasted Cinnamon Nut recipe:
3 C Nuts (almonds, pecans, cashews, or walnuts)
1 Egg White
1/2 tsp Salt
1 and 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/8 C Baking Splenda
Coat a baking sheet or pan with cooking spray. I place aluminum foil on top of the pan for easy cleaning. Bake at 275 degrees for 1 hour. Stir every 15 minutes.
I selected these toppings because they offer the biggest rewards for calorie content. At minimum these foods contain a good amount fiber, protein, flavor, or healthy fats which all contribute to satiety.
1. lean protein (2-3 ounces chicken or shrimp)
2. nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts, or pecans)
3. boiled eggs (about 75 calories/egg and 7 grams of protein)
4. lemon juice or balsamic vinegar (use as salad dressing)
5. 1/4 C part-skim mozzarella cheese (about 80 calories and 7 grams of protein)
6. herbs (basil and oregano add flavor without adding salt or calories)
7. black olives or 1 tsp EVOO (pair with balsamic vinegar for dressing)
8. broccoli and cucumbers (filling)
9. peppers (bell peppers, sweet peppers, and banana peppers)
10. 1/4 an avocado (contains healthy fats for less than 100 calories)
Warning: The below foods are high in processed sugar (energy) yet low in nutrients (vitamins and minerals.) Together these foods make up a mean of 388 Calories in your child’s daily diet.
1. Grain-Based Desserts 2. Soda/ Sugar-Fuel Sports Drinks 3. Pizza
Solution: Make one small substitution daily that encourage healthy eating. Examples of good substitutions:
1 apple instead of soda pop; OR A low-fat cheese stick for an oatmeal cream pie
Yesterday I bought a wok. It is a great cooking investment because it speeds the process of cooking healthy making vegetables cooked but crisp in 10 minutes or less. I love it! Below is the recipe I experimented with tonight. It can easily be tweaked to suit your taste buds.
1. Marinate and let set 20 minutes or longer:
4 chicken breasts (sliced in strips), 2 T reduced sodium soy sauce, 4 T cooking sherry, 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
4 C vegetables (I used 1 yellow onion, 1 small cabbage, and 2 bell peppers, and 5 to 10 cloves of garlic. Mushrooms and green onions are great too!)
3. Heat on medium high:
2 T peanut or sunflower seed oil and 1 T ground or minced ginger
4. Add chicken and cook until barely pink
5. Add vegetables
6. Mix in a small bowl:
1/2 C reduced sodium chicken stock, 2 T cornstarch, 2 T sugar or honey, 2 T reduced sodium soy sauce
7. Add sauce to the stir fry and serve immediately with brown rice or without. This is a great, low carb recipe with numerous health benefits.
I pulled this excerpt from the American Diabetes Association website. The page is about prediabetes and the prevention of Type 2 diabetes (the most common form of diabetes.) It is amazing the difference 30 minutes of exercise a day can make! With this information at hand, think of all the other health issues which can be resolved by forming healthy eating habits and exercising.
“Research shows that you can lower your risk for type 2 diabetes by 58% by:
- Losing 7% of your body weight (or 15 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds)
- Exercising moderately (such as brisk walking) 30 minutes a day, five days a week
Don’t worry if you can’t get to your ideal body weight. Losing even 10 to 15 pounds can make a huge difference.” (http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/prevention/pre-diabetes/?loc=DropDownDB-prediabetes)
On average Americans believe they gain 5 to 10 pounds from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. Actual weight gain is projected to be 1 pound according to the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Suprised??? I was. The article continued to state that those who exercise during the holidays are less likely to gain weight. Therefor one of the best preventative mechanisms against holiday weight gain may be physical activity. No matter the case, make one of your goals during the holiday season consistency. (November 2013 issue of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, eatright.org)