Healthy Summer Snack for Kids!

Zu-Canoe Ingredients

  • 2 medium 2 inch wide zucchini
  • 1/2 TSP salt
  • 1/2 TSP freshly ground pepper
  • 1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 TBSP white wine vinegar
  • 1 TBSP minced shallot
  • 1 cup quartered grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup diced mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 1 cup chopped celery
Make Zu-Canoes for you and your family! 

Trim both ends off zucchini; cut in half lengthwise. Cut a thin slice off the backs so each half sits flat. Scoop out the pulp, leaving a 1/4 inch shell. Finely chop the pulp; set aside.
Place the zucchini halves in a microwave-safe dish. Sprinkle with 1/4TSP each salt and pepper. Cover and microwave on high until tender-crisp, 3-4 minutes.
Whisk oil, vinegar, shallot and the remaining 1⁄4 TSP each salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
Add tomatoes, cheese, basil and the reserved zucchini pulp; toss to combine. Divide the filling among the zu-canoes.Nutrition per serving: 87 calories; 4g fat (1g sat, 3g mono); 3mg cholesterol; 7g carbohydrates, 0g added sugars; 7g protein; 2g fiber; 408 mg sodium; 545mg potassium. Bonus: Vitamin C (48% DV), Vitamin A (19% DV), Zinc (30% DV), Calcium (16% DV)
Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 1/2 starch, 1/2 high-fat meat

Maintaining a conscious diet of the foods you love, with healthy portions and thoughtful consumption times, is the best way to stay on track and love what you eat! See more recipes here

 

 

7 Miracle Spices With Huge Health Benefits (and Big Flavor)


Photo via Flickr

Spice up your life with these herbs, roots, and plants that benefit your health as much as they do your taste buds: From keeping your heart healthy and your arteries clear to reducing pain and warding off cancer, these everyday flavors will add a healthy punch to all your breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.

1. Chili Peppers


Photo via liza31337 @ FlickrAdd some heat to your dish with chili peppers — and choose versions that are especially spicy to get the maximum amount of capsaicin. Capsacin, the ingredient that provides the plants with their spice, also has medical benefits that include pain relief, heart health, fighting prostate cancer, and stopping ulcers. If you’re ready to take on the hottest peppers out there, try habanero or Scotch bonnet; for less of a jolt, try jalapenos, Spanish pimentos, or cherry peppers.

2. Cinnamon

Photo via FotoosVanRobin @ FlickrYou already love cinnamon in pumpkin pie, cinnamon rolls, raisin bread, and cinnamon sugar topping, but there are healthier ways to reap the benefits of this power spice: Add it to your coffee, sprinkle it on oatmeal, stir it into peanut butter for celery sticks, and dash on sweet potatoes or carrots. While it brings out (and warms up) the flavors in the foods it is paired with, cinnamon will also help keep your arteries healthy, manage blood sugar levels, and lower cholesterol.

3. Tumeric

Photo via FotoosVanRobin @ FlickrBrightly-colored turmeric comes from the same family of spices as ginger — which means both plants can reduce inflammation in arthritis patients (and may block the formation of some cancers). Try it in a curry chicken dish from Planet Green’s Kelly Rossiter — and then add black pepper, since that tabletop staple is believed to help the body absorb turmeric for maximum effect.

4. Parsley

Photo via Joylitas @ FlickrIt’s easy to ignore that little piece of parsley that always arrives next to your main dish, especially when it seems little more than a decoration (even if the bright flavor does fight bad breath).

But this early spring green has been connected to health since the days of the Romans, and today its supporters believe the herb helps pass kidney stones, battle deafness, and prevent buildup in the arteries.

5. Oregano

Photo via Annie Mueller@ Flickr

When you shake extra oregano onto your slice at the local pizza joint you aren’t just adding some classic Italian flavor to your pepperoni-and-mushroom: Oregano is a major source of thymol and carvacol — two antibacterial agents that fight off infection — and has quadruple the antioxidants of blueberries. Like thyme, it’s easy to grow at home and adds traditional flavor to any dish whether you use it fresh or dried.

6. Garlic

Photo víafelipe_gabaldon @ Flickr

Love garlic or hate it, you can’t deny that it’s good for you: As a staple of natural remedies and traditional medicine, garlic has anti-fungal, antibacterial, and antiviral effects, and some studies show that it can stop blood clots from forming in your arteries. It’s also an easy spice to add into your diet: Try it in pasta sauce, on pizza, roasted with other vegetables, or finely chopped in homemade spreads.

7. Thyme

Photo via Erutuon @ Flickr

The strong flavor of thyme pairs well with comfort food — think wintry soups, stews, and roasts — and it’s easy to grow at home with full sun and well-drained soil, so you can use it fresh or dried all year-round.

But the health benefits go beyond warm soup on a cold night: The herb’s oil is antiseptic and antibacterial, and recent studies show thyme can kill MRSA infections, which are resistant to other antibiotics.

56 Cheap and Healthy Breakfast Recipes

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Doughnuts, and eggs, andquinoa bakes, oh my! At breakfast time, it’s essential to fuel up with nutrient-packed ingredients to give you energy throughout the day (and may even prevent overeating and help with weight regulation).

A healthy dose of fiber (think whole-grains and fruits and veggies) and protein (eggs, Greek yogurt, lean meat) is generally a good way to start the day, since both help to keep you full for a longer period of time (compared to things like simple carbs—hello, bagels!). Here, we’ve split thesemeal ideas into our favorite sweet and savory options.

A Healthy Mix of Sweet n’ Savory

33 Healthier Breakfast Alternatives

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so don’t waste it on sugary junk! Instead, rise and shine with these healthier versions of common breakfast foods.

On the Sweet Side

Baked Banana Bread Doughnut

Indulge a healthier way with these whole-wheat baked doughnuts for breakfast!

Tropical Beach Granola

While you’re waiting for summer to roll around, try this tropical-scented granola.

Crisp Apple and Almond “Cereal”

Not a fan of sugar-laden boxed cereals? Try this fruit-filled alternative!

Quinoa Breakfast Bake

Bake up a pan of this healthy quinoa casserole for an easy hot breakfast on-the-go throughout the week.

Whole-Wheat Zucchini Muffins

These muffins earn some major healthy points by embracing the glory of fruit- and vegetable-based ingredients. Zucchini is relatively tame—it’s not outrageously flavorful, so it works well in muffins because it provides the serving of vegetables and extra moisture without tasting like “health food.”

Breakfast Polenta With Honey and Yogurt

Try this warm breakfast treat in place of classic oatmeal. It’s easy to prepare and sure to start your day off right.

Chocolate Banana Breakfast Quinoa

Chocolate for breakfast? Yes, please! This sweet quinoa dish makes a perfect breakfast for a rainy day or when your inner chocoholic comes out in the morning.

“Sunny” Green Juice

Love green juice but not sure how to tackle it on your own? Here’s an easy guide to juicing at home!

Fruit Salad With Lemon-Lavender Syrup

Peaches, plums, and cherries, oh my! This sophisticated summer fruit salad gets kicked up a notch with a lemon-lavender syrup, making it the perfect addition to any picnic or party.

Fruit and Nut Bars

These eight-ingredient bars are the perfect way to fit in that daily dose of nuts and satisfy that sweet tooth at the same time. Plus, they go from pantry to plate in less than an hour!

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

With six core ingredients and only 15 minutes of active prep time, this pumpkin spiced oatmeal is the prefect choice for any fall morning!

Easy Coconut Granola

This easy and flavorful granola can bring crunch to any healthy breakfast, from Greek yogurt to the top of pancakes!

Berry Patriotic Parfait

No breakfast is complete without some red, white, and blue. Get a healthy dose of color with this patriotic berry parfait!

Banana and Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast

Want to spice up your breakfast bread? This French toast is stuffed to the brim with delicious options.

Greek Yogurt and Kiwi Parfait

These fruits may be fuzzy, but kiwis clearly offer up a variety of essential vitamins and minerals.

Cinnamon Vanilla Almond Butter

When hunger strikes, skip greasy snacks. Protein, fat, and fiber make almonds a filling and energy-packed Greatist superfood.

Apple Crumble Muffins

These light, fluffy handhelds are the perfect on-the-go breakfast or snack. The best part: They only require four ingredients!

On the Savory Side

Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast Burrito

Celebrate St. Patty’s day with this fun and festive take on a healthier green eggs and ham.

Low-Carb Celery Root Hash Browns

For a slightly healthier take on classic breakfast potatoes, try this recipe for low-carb hash browns alongside any omelet or scrambled eggs.

Brussels Sprout and Egg Scramble

Try this super-simple oven-roasted entree for your next weekend brunch: Brussels sprouts and eggs, served with toast.

Crustless Vegetable Quiche

Try this healthier take on the classic French indulgence for a festive holiday brunch.

Brussels Sprout and Sweet Potato Hash

The perfect veggie-filled healthy meal appropriate for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Baked Leek, Potato, and Spinach Frittata

This garlic relative shares some of the same benefits. Don’t be intimidated by its appearance, this more mild alternative to onions is a great healthy veggie option.

The Anti-Alzheimer’s Diet How the ‘MIND Diet’ Could Reduce Your Risk of Dementia

ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE ARTICLES
The Anti-Alzheimer’s Diet
How the ‘MIND Diet’ Could Reduce Your Risk of Dementia
By Diane Wedner, Lifescript Health Writer
Published June 15, 2015
Reviewed by Edward C. Geehr, M.D., Lifescript Chief Medical Officer

What you eat may lower your risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease. We tell you which foods are included in the “MIND diet” and give you 7 recipes you’ll love…

Here’s a simple way to lower your risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease: Eat a “brain-healthy” diet of leafy greens and berries, according to a March 2015 study published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia.

The “MIND diet” is a hybrid of the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet, which was developed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to reduce high blood pressure. (MIND stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay.)

It encourages eating plant-based foods, limits high-fat edibles and focuses on ingredients known to protect the brain, such as blueberries, strawberries and leafy green vegetables.

The plan, developed at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, is based on the results from a study of 923 people between ages 58 and 98, from 2004 to 2013.

Those who stuck to the MIND diet had the best result: They were 53% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s, says nutritional epidemiologist Martha Clare Morris, Ph.D., the study’s lead author. Participants who ate 1 to 2 servings of green leafy vegetables daily had less cognitive loss, on average, than those who ate fewer greens, Morris notes.
Even participants who stayed with the MIND diet moderately well saw benefits and were 35% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s, she says.

“It was about the equivalent of being 11 years younger,” she says.

Though diet can help, there are no sure ways to prevent Alzheimer’s, an incurable brain condition affecting more than 3.2 million women and 1.8 million men in the U.S., mostly over age 65, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. It leads to memory and cognitive problems that get progressively worse; it can be fatal.

However, a nutritious diet and healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise may help protect your brain health over time, according to the National Institute on Aging.

The MIND diet meal plan includes:
Green leafy vegetables: 3 servings daily

Other vegetables: 3 servings every day of 1 salad and 1 other vegetable

Nuts: daily snack

Berries: 1 serving at least twice a week

Beans: 1 serving every other day

Whole grains: 3 daily servings

Fish: at least once a week

Poultry: at least once a week

Olive oil: daily

Wine: limit to 1 glass per day

Foods to avoid:

Red meat

Butter and stick margarine

Cheese

Pastries and sweets

Fried or fast food

Want to add brain-friendly foods to your diet? Start with these 7 easy-to-make recipes:

Wheat Berry Salad with Red Fruit
Serves: 6
Preparation time: 20 minutes

For this sweet and tart salad, wheat berries are blended with cranberries, apples and pecans and tossed in a raspberry vinaigrette – a winning combination. Serve over a bed of peppery arugula for lunch or a light supper.

Ingredients
⅓ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
⅓ cup dried cranberries
3 cups cooked wheat berries (recipe follows)
1 large Fuji apple, unpeeled, diced
½ cup pecan halves, toasted (see Tip) and coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons raspberry vinegar

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Preparation
1. Combine orange juice and cranberries in a small bowl. Let stand for 15 minutes.

2. Combine wheat berries, apple and pecans in a large bowl; stir gently. Drain the cranberries, reserving the juice. Stir the cranberries into the wheat berry mixture.

3. Whisk the reserved orange juice, vinegar and oil in a small bowl until combined. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over the salad and stir gently to coat. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to combine. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Tip:
To toast pecan halves, spread nuts on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F, stirring once, until fragrant, 7 to 9 minutes.

Nutrition Facts
Per serving:
316 calories
14 g fat (2 g saturated)
0 mg cholesterol
42 g carbohydrate
7 g protein
6 g fiber
365 mg sodium
96 mg potassium
Nutrition Bonus: vitamin C (15% Daily Value)

Strawberry, Melon & Avocado Salad
This composed salad makes a cool kickoff for dinner or as a nutrition-packed lunch on its own. Nutty and slightly sweet sherry vinegar is a natural partner for strawberries.

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 20 minutes

Ingredients
¼ cup honey
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Pinch of salt
4 cups baby spinach
1 small avocado (4-5 ounces), peeled, pitted and cut into 16 slices
16 thin slices cantaloupe (about ½ small cantaloupe), rind removed
1½ cups hulled strawberries, sliced
2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted

Preparation
1. Whisk honey, vinegar, mint, pepper and salt in a small bowl.

2. Divide spinach among 4 salad plates. Arrange alternating slices of avocado and cantaloupe in a fan on top of the spinach. Top each salad with strawberries, drizzle with dressing, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Nutrition Facts
Per serving:
202 calories
8 g fat (1 g saturated, 5 g monosaturated)
0 mg cholesterol
34 g carbohydrate
3 g protein
7 g fiber
90 mg sodium
Nutrition Bonus: vitamin C, vitamin A, folate

Indian-Spiced Chicken Pitas

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

Here’s a perfect summer supper meal: spice-rubbed grilled chicken breasts, tucked into whole-wheat pitas stuffed with fresh vegetables and tangy yogurt sauce.

Ingredients
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
1½ teaspoons garam masala, (see Tip), divided
¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 cup thinly sliced seeded cucumber
¾ cup nonfat plain yogurt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro, or mint
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 6-inch whole-wheat pitas, warmed
1 cup shredded romaine lettuce
2 small or 1 large tomato, sliced
¼ cup thinly sliced red onion

Preparation
1. Preheat grill to medium-high or position rack in upper third of oven and preheat broiler. If grilling, oil the grill rack (see Tip). If broiling, coat a broiler pan with cooking spray.

2. Sprinkle chicken with 1 teaspoon garam masala and ½ teaspoon salt. Place the chicken on the grill rack or prepared pan and cook until it’s no longer pink in the center and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165°F. This should be 4 to 8 minutes per side, depending on the size of the breast. Transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, combine cucumber, yogurt, cilantro (or mint), lemon juice, the remaining ½ teaspoon garam masala and ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper in a small bowl. Thinly slice the chicken. Split open the warm pitas and fill with the chicken, yogurt sauce, lettuce, tomato and onion.

Tips:
Garam masala is a blend of spices used in Indian cooking. It’s available in the spice section of most supermarkets.

To oil a grill rack, oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.)

Nutrition Facts
Per serving:
333 calories
5 g fat (1 g saturated)
64 mg cholesterol
44 g carbohydrate
32 g protein
6 g fiber
637 mg sodium
485 mg potassium

Nutrition Bonus: vitamin C (35% Daily Value)

Seared Salmon with White Beans & Fennel
You could call this recipe triple-fennel salmon because it uses the fresh fennel bulb, the fronds and fennel seeds. The end result is melt-in-your-mouth, seared salmon fillets with an earthy bean topping. Add a mixed green salad to complete the meal.

Serves: 2
Preparation time: 35 minutes

Ingredients
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 small bulb fennel, halved, cored and thinly sliced, plus 1 tablespoon chopped fennel fronds
1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed
1 medium tomato, diced

¼ cup dry white wine
1½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
1 teaspoon fennel seed
8 ounces center-cut salmon fillet, skinned and cut into 2 portions

Preparation
1. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add sliced fennel; cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Stir in beans, tomato and wine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomato begins to break down, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; stir in chopped fennel fronds, mustard and 18 teaspoon pepper. Cover to keep warm.

2. Rinse and dry the pan. Combine fennel seed and the remaining 18teaspoon pepper in a small bowl; sprinkle evenly on both sides of salmon. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in the pan over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add the salmon, skinned side up; cook until golden brown, 3 to 6 minutes. Turn the salmon over, cover and remove from the heat. Allow the salmon to finish cooking off the heat until just cooked through, 3 to 6 minutes more. Serve the salmon with the bean mixture.

Nutrition Facts
Per serving:
460 calories
21 g fat (4 g saturated, 10 g monosaturated)
67 mg cholesterol
39 g carbohydrate
34 g protein
13 g fiber
610 mg sodium
1589 mg potassium

Nutrition Bonus: vitamin C (50% Daily Value), potassium (45% DV), calcium, iron and vitamin A (20% DV), folate (18% DV)

Potato-Horseradish-Crusted Mahi-Mahi
This dish is dinner-party delicious, but simple enough for weekday meals. To save time, use precooked shredded potatoes, found in the refrigerated section of the produce department or where eggs are displayed.

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 25 minutes

Ingredients
1 cup precooked shredded potatoes
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon garlic salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1¼ pounds mahi-mahi, skin removed, cut into 4 portions

4 teaspoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 lemon, quartered

Preparation
1. Combine potatoes, shallot, horseradish, mustard, garlic salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Spread each portion of fish with 1 teaspoon mayonnaise, then top with ¼ of the potato mixture, pressing the mixture onto the fish.

2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully place the fish in the pan potato-side down and cook until crispy and browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Gently turn the fish over, reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking until the fish flakes easily with a fork, 4 to 5 minutes more. Serve with lemon wedges.

Nutrition Facts
Per serving:
205 calories
6 g fat (1 g saturated, 3 g monosaturated)
105 mg cholesterol
9 g carbohydrate
27 g protein
1 g fiber
311 mg sodium
623 mg potassium

Nutrition Bonus: selenium (74% Daily Value)

Baja-Battered Fish
Fish tacos are fabulous. This recipe is a healthy version of the battered, deep-fried and crispy fish at Rossy’s Tacos in Baja California. The fish is best when served immediately, but it’ll keep, wrapped, in the refrigerator for up to one day.

Serves: 8
Preparation time: 40 minutes

Ingredients
¾ cup beer, preferably lager or pilsner
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup whole-wheat pastry flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon dry mustard
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1¼ pounds tilapia or other firm white fish, sliced into ½-inch-by-2-inch strips 

3 tablespoons canola oil, divided

Preparation
1. Place beer, all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, salt, oregano, mustard, cayenne and pepper in a blender; blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. Transfer the batter to a shallow baking dish. Add fish, turning to coat all sides.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Transfer one-third of the battered fish to the pan, placing each piece into a little oil. Cook until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer cooked fish to a plate; keep warm. Add 1 tablespoon oil and half the remaining fish to the pan; cook as directed above, reducing the heat if necessary. Cook the remaining fish with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts
Per serving:
120 calories
6 g fat (0 g saturated, 3 g monosaturated)
33 mg cholesterol
4 g carbohydrate
11 g protein
0 g fiber
112 mg sodium
180 mg potassium

Berry-Banana Smoothie
There’s no more classic – or antioxidant-rich – combo than fresh berries and bananas. Here, just a touch of honey shines up their flavors even more.

Serves: 2
Preparation time: 5 minutes

Ingredients
1 ripe banana, sliced
½ cup raspberries
¼ cup blueberries
1½ teaspoons honey
18 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup unsweetened apple juice
½ cup ice

Preparation
1. Place ingredients in the order listed in a blender. Pulse twice to chop the fruit, stir well, then blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts
Per serving:
126 calories
0 g fat
0 mg cholesterol
33 g carbohydrate
1 g protein
5 g fiber
4 mg sodium
338 mg potassium

Nutrition Bonus: vitamin C (25% Daily Value)

Connect with Us
Get more healthy food for thought – check out our posts on Health Bistroand Lifescript TV videos on YouTube. Plus, join the fun and conversation on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Holiday Treats Versus Time to Exercise Them Away

How many calories for your holiday treats?  How much exercise to burn them off?

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calorie-showdown

Provided by Kendall Taylor of the Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT) in their October 2015 Wellstyles Monthly Newsletter.

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Summer Vegetable Crepe

Healthy Summer Recipe

MV6609

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream.
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh chives, divided, plus more for garnish.
  • 3 tablespoons low-fat milk.
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil.
  • 2 cups chopped zucchini
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped green beans.
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels, (from 1 large ear; see Tip)
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese.
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper.
  • 4 9-inch “ready-to-use” crêpes.

Preparation

  1. Stir sour cream, 1/4 cup chives, milk, lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl until combined. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini, green beans and corn and cook, stirring, until beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to low; stir in ricotta, Monterey Jack, the remaining 1/4 cup chives, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Cook, stirring gently, until the cheese is melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  3. To roll crêpes, place one on a piece of parchment or wax paper (or leave it on the piece of plastic separating the crêpes in the package). Spoon one-fourth of the vegetable-cheese mixture (about 3/4 cup) down the center of the crêpe. Use the paper (or plastic) to help you gently roll the crêpe around the filling. Place the crêpe seam-side down on a dinner plate. Repeat with the remaining crêpes and filling. Serve each crêpe topped with 2 tablespoons of the reserved sauce and more chives, if desired.

8 - summer veg crepes w dill yogurt sauce

Nutrition

Per serving: 302 calories; 17 g fat (8 g sat, 6 g mono); 46 mg cholesterol; 25 g carbohydrates; 15 g protein; 3 g fiber; 687 mg sodium; 485 mg potassium.

Bonus: Calcium & Vitamin C (35% daily value), Vitamin A (20% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 1

Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 1/2 medium-fat meat, 1 fat

Provided by Kendall Taylor of the Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT) in the June 2015 Wellstyles Monthly Newsletter.

WellstylesNewsletteruntitled-2

Kendall Taylor, VSEBT

Health Benefits of Spices and Herbs

Health Benefits of Spices and Herbs

Author TakeA FiveminBreak posted on 5:08 AM in , , , , , , , ,

Spices apart completely changing and improving the taste of food, they are great sources of health. It is best when spices are consumed fresh, but you can use them in a dried state.

We present a list of seven spices and herbs that are the true guardians of our health:

Parsley
A sprig of parsley can provide much more than a decoration on your plate.Parsley is good for refreshing breath. Powerful diuretic, excellent against infections of the urinary tract. It fits in every dish, meat and fish, but it is necessary and indispensable as a spice for soups, stews and casseroles.Full of vitamin K

Onion
The onion is a natural diuretic, goes perfectly with every meal, perfectly agrees with fish, salads and stews.

Basil
Basil is good for digestion. Excellent addition to salads, soups and pasta.

Sage
Sage reduces sweating and purifies throat. Best agrees with soups, baked dishes and sauces.

Rosemary
Rosemary is otherwise considered a natural replacement of aspirin, because it calms the nervous system and improves digestion. Goes well with stews, soups and meat.

Dill
Dill calms gases and bloating stomach. Best for soups, sauces and different dressings.

Coriander
Coriander is effective anti urinary infections and gives a great taste of vegetables and various soups.

How to Get Motivated to Lose Weight

How to Get Motivated to Lose Weight

The success of a healthy weight loss depends on the type of diet? Not quite! In many cases the result depends on the motivation. So, when going on a diet you should first prepare your mind for these ‘body tortures’.

What interferes with your diet?

Perhaps you want to be slim, but you have too weak will power to go on a diet or to stick to one diet for a long time, i.e. you don’t have a strong motivation. And the reasons are inside you. The awareness of these reasons and overcoming them is the second step of the work with motivation.

The causes of weight gain

As anything else in our body, food has a certain function. If you believe that the main purpose of food is to reduce hunger, then you are grossly mistaken. Weight problems arise when a person begins to improve their mental state with the help of eating. So the first step of the work with motivation is to determine the causes of weight gain:

  • Stress. When eating certain areas of your brain are activated that’s why you begin to feel relaxed and calm.
  • Desire to be attractive. To be interesting to another person, you can start to copy his eating habits. For example, your new partner likes to drink a cup of coffee with cream and eat a delicious muffin before going to bed and such late dinner is an occasion for you to please your partner and stay a few minutes more together.
  • Dislike. You don’t like your body and perceive it as something hostile to your personality. And as the biggest enemy it doesn’t deserve care, so you can stuff it with different unhealthy and genetically modified food.

This terrible word “diet”

What is a weight loss for you? The constant overcoming of yourself? The rejection of the favorite food? Deciding to go on a diet, you are in fact between two fires: the rational desire to lose weight and emotional – not to do this. What should you do? Don’t exaggerate the situation: individually made up diet implies the exclusion of only a few products.

Diets don’t work?

When going to lose weight, you have some ideas what results should be obtained. If you can’t lose a pound in a week you lose the belief in this or that diet. Diets influence different people in different ways: if a significant decrease of weight is promised in a week, don’t think that exactly a week later you will lose your weight.

What helps?

You need to have some actual motivation in order to go on a diet and lose weight. And this motivation must depend on your lifestyle and emotional state. So, what can help:

  • Pride. It’s so nice when colleagues see you after vacations and exclaim: “You look so great!” Then you feel proud and want to hear that again and again.
  • Fear. Fear of becoming fatter than you are. Fear of health problems, problems at work and in personal life. Fear of becoming unattractive and unnecessary.
  • Envy. You want you friends and especially enemies to envy you, your appearance and this becomes a good motivation for you.
  • Love. Once you meet an interesting person, you have a desire to draw their attention, wear something unusual, but the extra weight is not desirable.

Why to lose weight?

Emotions as the primary motivation for weight loss are very effective because they create a strong desire to lose weight in the shortest possible time. But strong emotions tend to pass quickly. So, watch your emotions when going on a diet.

Reflection in the mirror

To wake up every day and see your beautiful body – is this not a reason to change your eating habits?

Photo credit: metin demiralay

Tips to Stop Panic Attacks and Anxiety

I reposted this from StumbleUpon, originally taken from calmclinic.com.  I do not know enough about them to endorse or not.  This is merely some advice they give to sufferers for anxiety that I hope will help those of you who need some extra tools in your tool box for controlling anxiety.

3 Tips to Stop Panic Attacks and Anxiety Cold

Millions of people struggle with anxiety every day. Overcoming anxiety is something that takes serious commitment. Most people want to stop panic attacks and anxiety overnight, but your anxiety has been forged through years of experiences, biology, and your own personality. You can’t simply turn that off on a whim.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t tools that can control your anxiety considerably, and in some cases you may find that these techniques make your anxiety far more manageable. The following are three simple but important things to try to fight anxiety.

Stop Managing Anxiety and CURE It

There is no quick fix for anxiety. It’s become part of your personality. But if you’re ready to cure it forever, there are techniques that have proven to be effective.

Never Accept Failure

It’s important to remember that everyone can control anxiety. There are very few one size fits all approaches to combatting your anxiety symptoms. Commit to a method that you’re willing to try, and if it doesn’t work, move on to the next one.

By choosing a symptoms-based treatment that looks at the specific anxiety problem you experience and recommends a follow up treatment, you’ll increase your chances of success. My anxiety test is the best place to start.

Quick Methods of Fighting Anxiety

Remember, very few people can cure anxiety in a day. Curing anxiety is a process, and one that you shouldn’t expect to reach for a long time, even with the best anxiety treatment. But there are strategies you can try that may speed up the process or reduce your anxiety considerable. They include:

1. Start Running

Priority number one is that you start running or jogging regularly. As long as you’re healthy enough for physical activity, regular, daily jogging should be your number one treatment choice.

It may sound silly, but the reality is that your physical energy contributes to anxiety in a host of ways:

  • Unused energy can become anxiety and actually create anxious thoughts.
  • Unused muscles may become tense and cause more anxiety symptoms.
  • Those that don’t exercise are more prone to hormonal fluctuations and poor nutrition.

There is a high correlation between those that don’t exercise and those that experience anxiety. In addition, beyond the health components of jogging and exercise, there are additional benefits as well. These include:

  • Endorphins – During exercise the body releases neurotransmitters that are designed to make exercise easier and less painful, like endorphins. Endorphins also play a significant role in relaxation. By exercising, your mind and body will have a much easier time relaxing.
  • Cortisol – Cortisol is a hormone released during times of stress, and it’s responsible for many of the symptoms associated with anxiety. Running burns away excess cortisol, causing fewer anxiety symptoms and less long term damage from cortisol release.
  • Overall Health – Running also improves every component of overall health. It teaches your heart and lungs to breathe more efficiently. It regulates hormones and improves muscle strength. It keeps your body a type of health that prevents excess stress.

Some studies have shown that regular jogging may be as powerful or more powerful than some of the world’s most well-known anxiety medications, all without any side effects. It’s something you should already be doing regularly for your own health, and is an absolute must if you suffer from anxiety.

2. Retrain Breathing

Another issue that often contributes to both anxiety and panic attacks is poor breathing. Many people with anxiety suffer from hyperventilation problems. Anxiety and stress cause the body to breathe a little bit faster. They also cause you to focus too much on your breathing, and try to bring it more air than you need.

Hyperventilation is when you breathe out too much carbon dioxide because of these poor breathing habits, and breathe in too much oxygen. Hyperventilation is also interesting because it makes you feel like you’re not getting enough oxygen, causing you to breathe in more deeply. Unfortunately, this only makes the anxiety and panic attack symptoms worse.

That’s why you should go through a breathing re-training. You can do this through deep breathing exercises, like those learned during yoga. The goal is to slow down your breathing considerably. One method includes:

  • Breathe in through your nose for 5 seconds.
  • Hold for 2 seconds.
  • Breathe out through your mouth for 7 seconds.

There are other types of breathing exercises you can try as well if you’d prefer something more interesting. Performing these exercises for 15 to 30 minutes every day can re-train your body to breathe in a way that prevents hyperventilation, and thus reduces some of the symptoms of anxiety.

3. Check Your Diet

Diet can affect your anxiety levels, although not as much as many people believe. Cutting out oils, trans fats, alcohol and heavy amounts of caffeine are all important. All of these make anxiety symptoms much worse, and the healthier you eat the more likely you’ll experience fewer anxiety symptoms. The healthier you are, the better for all of your mental health needs.

But your diet rarely causes anxiety on its own, unless you’re low on some very important vitamins and minerals. Check your diet to see if you could be lacking in any of the following vitamins:

  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin B1
  • Vitamin D

A deficiency in all of these vitamins may cause anxiety symptoms. Magnesium, for example, is lacking in mover 25% of the diets in the United States right now. Adding magnesium supplements or foods can be extremely advantageous.

You should also make sure that you’re drinking enough water. Dehydration can cause significant anxiety and lead to worse anxiety symptoms.

While most people’s diets don’t cause anxiety, they can easily contribute to it. Make sure that you’re eating foods that are rich in the vitamins and minerals you need, and your anxiety may become far more manageable.

Strategies to Try to Cure Anxiety

It’s impossible to say whether or not these strategies will provide you with any instant relief. Some people may find that their anxiety becomes so manageable after trying these important techniques that they don’t need any additional anxiety treatment. Others find that even though they feel better, they still need help.

As long as you’re ready to commit to an anxiety treatment instead of trying one for a few days and moving on to the next, then there are long term strategies that are nearly guaranteed to help you reduce your anxiety.

Find out more by taking my free 7 minute anxiety test now.

Fruit And Veg “5 A Day” Advice Backed By New Findings

Fruit And Veg “5 A Day” Advice Backed By New Findings

A large Swedish study finds a link between fruit and vegetable consumption and lifespan. People who ate fewer than the recommended “5 a Day” portions of fruit and vegetables tended not to live as long as people who ate 5 portions a day or more, say the researchers. Alicia Wolk, Professor of Nutrition Epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, and colleagues found no additional benefit, in terms of more years of life, in consuming more than 5 a day.

Vegetables and Fruits Arrangement

In their background information, the authors explain that not many large studies have looked at the link between fruit and vegetable consumption and lifespan (as opposed to the many that have examined links with health and disease.) And where studies have looked at lifespan links to fruit and vegetable intake, the results are somewhat inconsistent. For their study, they looked at the relationship between different amounts of daily fruit and vegetable consumption and timing and rate of deaths in a large population of 71,706 Swedish men and women who completed questionnaires about their food intake as participants in the Swedish Mammography Cohort and the Cohort of Swedish Men.

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The participants, who were followed for 13 years, were aged from 45 to 83, and about half were men. During the follow-up, just under 11,500 of the men and women died. When they analyzed the results, the researchers found that eating fewer than 5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day was progressively linked to shorter lifespan and higher rates of death in the men and women, compared with those who ate 5 a day. Thus, the less fruits and vegetables they ate under the 5 a day threshold, the shorter their lives.

Those who said they never ate fruit and vegetables had lives cut short by an average of 3 years, and were 53% more likely to die during the follow-up, compared with those who said they ate 5 servings a day or more. The study was not designed to look for cause and effect, so it cannot say for sure that eating fruits and vegetables actually increases lifespan. The cause could be due to other factors that differed between those who ate fruits and vegetables and those who did not.

Vibrant Produce

Participants who said they ate fewer fruits and vegetables tended to be smokers, with fewer years of education, and bigger eaters of red meat, high-fat dairy goods, snacks and sweets. But in contrast, those who ate a lot of fruits and vegetables tended to consume more calories, says Wolk. However, when the team adjusted the results to take into account possible effects of gender, BMI, exercise, alcohol and smoking, this did not change the results very much.

Source:  WebMD

Provided by Rebecca McGonigle, Wellstyles Newsletter, September 2013, Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT).

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