Whole Wheat Ravioli – Healthy Recipe

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Ingredients

  • 1 lb. fresh or frozen whole wheat cheese ravioli.
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced.
  • 1/2 TSP kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil.
  • 2 large shallots, sliced
  • 3 TBSP red-wine vinegar
  • 1 TSP Dijon mustard
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste.
  • 6 cups arugula
  • 1/2 cup shaved Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese.

Preparation

  1. Bring large pot of water to a boil Cook ravioli until tender, 7-9 minutes or according to package.
  2. Meanwhile, mash garlic and salt into a paste with the side of a chef’s knife or back of spoon. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic paste and shallots and cook, stirring often, until just starting to brown, 2-3 minutes. Stir in vinegar, mustard and pepper; remove from the heat.
  3. Drain the ravioli well. Place in a large bowl and toss with the arugula and the dressing. Serve sprinkled with the cheese.

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Nutrition

Per serving: 413 calories; 24g fat (8g sat, 11g mono);  57mg cholesterol; 34g carbohydrates; 16g protein; 2g fiber; 585mg sodium; 156mg potassium.

Bonus: Calcium (25% daily value), Vitamin A (19% daily value)

Carbohydrate Servings: 2

Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 medium-fat meat, 3 fat

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

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Healthy Pumpkin Bread

Healthy Pumpkin Bread

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Ingredients

 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour.

 2 cups whole wheat flour

 1TBSP baking powder

 2TSP baking soda

 2 large eggs

 2 large egg whites

 2 cups packed light brown sugar.

 3 cups canned unseasoned pumpkin puree.

 1/2 cup canola oil

Preparation 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat two 9-by-5 inch loaf pans with cooking spray.

2. Stir all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Whisk eggs, egg whites, brown sugar, pumpkin and oil in another large bowl. Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the tops.

3. Bake the loaves until the tops are golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean 50 to 60 minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Turn the loaves out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Nutrition Per serving: 210 calories; 5g fat (1g sat, 3g mono); 16mg cholesterol; 38g carbohydrates; 4g protein; 2g fiber; 377mg sodium; 125mg potassium. Bonus: Vitamin A (96% daily value), Iron (15% daily value) Carbohydrate Servings: 2 1/2 Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 other carbohydrate, 1/2 vegetable, 1 fat.

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

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52 of the Healthiest Superfoods

Fill up on these nutrient packed foods. They can help you fight disease, feel more energetic and even lose weight!

Step into any supermarket and you’ll see thousands of labels shouting good-health claims: Whole grains! No trans fats! Essential vitamins and minerals! But figuring out what really is part of a healthy diet is getting harder and harder in these days of information overload. And it shows in the sobering statistics: 68% of Americans are overweight or obese—which is a big reason more of us are developing diseases such as diabetes, and at younger ages.

 To fight off disease, fill up on these nutrient-packed foods instead. Feel more energetic and even lose weight.

52 Superfoods

  1. Eggs Each egg has 6 grams of protein but just 72 calories. No wonder researchers at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, found that eating eggs for breakfast (as part of a low-cal diet) helps you slim down.
  2. Tomato sauce It’s loaded with lycopene, which makes your skin look younger and keeps your heart healthy. In fact, a Harvard study found that women with the most lycopene in their blood reduced their risk of a heart attack by 34%.
  3. Dried plums (prunes) They’re packed with polyphenols, plant chemicals that have been shown to boost bone density by stimulating your bone-building cells.
  4.  Walnuts Just 14 walnut halves provide more than twice your daily dose of alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fat that’s been shown to improve memory and coordination.
  5.  Brussels sprouts They have more glucosinolates (compounds that combat cancer and detoxify our bodies) than any other vegetable. For a side dish that will make you wonder why you’ve been avoiding them, slice each one into quarters, then sauté in olive oil with chopped sweet Vidalia onions.
  6. Acai juice A glass or two of this anthocyanin-rich berry juice can dramatically boost the amount of antioxidants in your blood, say Texas A&M University researchers.
  7. Apples They contain quercetin, an antioxidant that may reduce your risk of lung cancer.
  8. Bok choy This calcium-rich veggie can protect your bones and may even ward off PMS symptoms.
  9. Steel-cut oats Because they’re less processed than traditional oats, they’re digested more slowly—keeping you full all morning long.
  10. Salmon You’ll get all the heart-smart omega-3s you need in a day from just 3 oz.
  11. Avocados Their healthy fat keeps you satisfied and helps you absorb other nutrients. For a new twist, brush a halved avocado (pit removed) with olive oil and grill 1 minute. Serve with red onion, sliced grapefruit and balsamic vinegar.
  12. Spinach A half-cup provides more than five times your daily dose of vitamin K, which helps blood clot and builds strong bones.
  13. Canned pumpkin It’s filled with natural cancer fighters alpha- and beta-carotene.
  14. Cauliflower White foods can be good for you! This one is packed with cancer-fighting glucosinolates.
  15. Scallops A 3-oz serving has 14 grams of protein but just 75 calories.
  16. Collard greens They’re exploding with nutrients like vitamin A, zeaxanthin and lutein, which keep your eyes healthy.
  17. Olives They deliver the same heart-healthy monounsaturated fat you get in olive oil, but for just 7 calories per jumbo olive!
  18. Brown rice It’s a top source of magnesium, a mineral your body uses for more than 300 chemical reactions (such as building bones and converting food to energy).
  19. Oysters These keep your immune system strong. A 3-oz serving (about 6 oysters) dishes up a quarter of your daily iron, plus nearly twice the zinc and all the selenium you need in a day.
  20. Edamame One cup has a whopping 22 grams of plant protein, as well as lots of fiber, folate and cholesterol-lowering phytosterols.
  21. Strawberries They’re loaded with ellagitannins, phytochemicals that may halt the growth of cervical and colon cancers.
  22. Lentils A great source of meat-free protein, a half-cup of cooked lentils also gives you nearly half your daily folate, a B vitamin that protects a woman’s unborn baby from neural tube defects.
  23. Bran flakes Their whole grains keep your heart in tip-top shape by reducing inflammation and melting away belly fat.
  24. Kiwifruit (kiwi) Italian researchers found that it reduces asthma-related wheezing, thanks to its high vitamin C content (one kiwi has 110% of your daily requirement).
  25. Black beans They’re loaded with protein, fiber, and flavonoids—antioxidants that help your arteries stay relaxed and pliable.
  26. Sunflower seeds A quarter-cup delivers half your day’s vitamin E, which keeps your heart healthy and fights infection.
  27. Sardines 3 oz provide more than 100% of your daily vitamin D. Sardines are also a top source of omega-3 fats. Try adding mashed canned sardines to marinara sauce and serving over whole-wheat pasta.
  28. Asparagus A half-cup supplies 50% of your daily bone-building vitamin K and a third of your day’s folate, it’s a natural diuretic so it banishes bloating, too.
  29. Bananas They’re loaded with several kinds of good-for-you fiber, including resistant starch (which helps you slim down).
  30. Broccoli sprouts They have 10 times more of the cancer-preventing compound glucoraphanin than regular broccoli.
  31. Fat-free milk With a third of the calcium and half the vitamin D you need in a day, plus 8 grams u of muscle-building protein, it’s the ultimate energy drink.
  32. Baked potatoes Each one packs a megadose of blood-pressure–lowering potassium—even more than a banana.
  33. Sweet potatoes Half of a large baked sweet potato delivers more than 450% of your daily dose of vitamin A, which protects your vision and your immune system.
  34. Flaxseed Not only is flaxseed loaded with plant omega-3s, it also has more lignans (compounds that may prevent endometrial and ovarian cancer) than any other food. Store ground flaxseed in your refrigerator and sprinkle on yogurt, cold cereal or oatmeal.
  35. Greek yogurt It has twice the protein of regular yogurt.
  36. Dried tart cherries Researchers at Michigan State University found their potent anthocyanins help control blood sugar, reduce insulin and lower cholesterol.
  37. Wheat germ A quarter-cup gives you more than 40% of your daily vitamin E and immune-boosting selenium.
  38. Whole-wheat english muffins You get 4 ½ grams of fiber for only 134 calories.
  39. Tea, green and black tea prevent hardening of the arteries, according to researchers at the University of Scranton.
  40. Peanut butter This smart spread has arginine, an amino acid that helps keep blood vessels healthy.
  41. Blackberries The king of the berry family boasts more antioxidants than strawberries, cranberries or blueberries.
  42. Mustard greens These “greens” (actually a cruciferous veggie) are a top source of vitamin K. For a tasty pesto, chop them in a food processor with garlic, walnuts, Parmesan and olive oil.
  43. Grapes They’re a leading source of resveratrol, the plant chemical responsible for the heart-healthy benefits of red wine.
  44. Soy milk A good source of vegetable protein, calcium-enriched soy milk has as much calcium and vitamin D as cow’s milk.
  45. Brazil nuts They have more selenium than any other food. One nut delivers your entire day’s worth!
  46. Canola oil A Tbsp of this heart-healthy oil has all the alpha-linolenic acid you need in a day, plus two different forms of vitamin E.
  47. Blueberries They improve memory by protecting your brain from inflammation and boosting communication between brain cells.
  48. Oranges One orange supplies more than 100% of the vitamin C you need in a day. It’s also a good source of calcium and folate.
  49. Watercress With just 4 calories per cup, this cruciferous veggie delivers a hefty dose of vitamin K, zeaxanthin, lutein, beta-carotene and cancer-fighting phytochemicals.
  50. Turkey breast It has 20 grams of satisfying protein but just 90 calories per 3-oz serving.
  51. Barley A top source of beta-glucan, a fiber that lowers cholesterol and helps control blood sugar.
  52. Shiitake mushrooms One serving (about ¼ lb) provides as much vitamin D as you’d get from a glass of milk.

Summer Vegetable Crepe

Healthy Summer Recipe

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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.

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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.

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Kendall Taylor, VSEBT

Gingery chicken noodle soup

Gingery chicken noodle soup

Directions: Bring a saucepan 3/4 full of water to a boil, add the noodles and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside until needed. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the ginger and carrot and sauté for 1 minute. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds; don’t let the garlic brown. Add the stock and soy sauce and bring to a boil. Add the chicken and edamame and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the chicken is cooked and the edamame are tender, about 4 minutes. Add the soba noodles and soy milk and cook until heated through; don’t let boil. Remove pan from the heat and stir in the cilantro. Ladle soup into warmed individual bowls and serve immediately.

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Nutrition Facts: Calories: 184 Carbohydrate: 11g Protein: 22g Fat: 2g Sodium: 267mg Fiber: 2g Total: 5g

Ingredients: Serves 8

3 ounces dried soba noodles

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large yellow onion, chopped

1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger

1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

4 cups chicken stock or broth 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, chopped

1 cup shelled edamame

1 cup plain soy milk (soya milk)

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (fresh coriander)

Source: MayoClinic online

Provided by Sheri Gilbert of the Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT) in the March 2015 Wellstyles Monthly Newsletter.

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Spinach & Herb Omelet

Spinach & Herb Omelet

Get a great start in the morning with this low-fat, low-carb, protein-filled breakfast! Serves 4

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Directions: Tear up the spinach leaves and steam or sauté in a little water until they wilt. Fold into the beaten eggs with the grated ginger, salsa and seasoning. Cook in a nonstick pan sprayed with cooking spray, turning as needed until the eggs are set.

Nutrition Facts: Calories: 105 Carbohydrate: 4g Protein: 11g Fat: 5g Sodium: 204mg Fiber: 1g

Source: UnitedHealthcare & myOptumHealth

Ingredients:

1 cup spinach leaves (or other greens), torn

1 egg

1 egg white

1 tsp. fresh grated ginger root

1 tsp. Mrs. Dash or other seasoning mix

1 T salsa Non-stick cooking spray

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Provided by Sheri Gilbert of the Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT) in the February 2015 Wellstyles Monthly Newsletter.

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Surviving the Holidays Without Gaining a Pound

Surviving the Holidays Without Gaining a Pound

The opportunities to eat around the holidays seem endless, beginning on Halloween and not ending until New Year’s Day. Toss in an out-of control list of things to do – from parties to host and attend to gifts to wrap and ship – and it’s no wonder most of us pack on the holiday pounds. But this year can be different. Before the frenzy begins, establish a plan and detailed schedule for how you will manage all the things you need to do between now and New Year’s Day.

A few ideas to help ease the holiday stress:

 Consider shopping online
 Send out a holiday newsletter or photo card to everyone on your list
 Scale back your social calendar to allow some down time to enjoy the spirit of the season

Even though it seems impossible to squeeze in more activities, your fitness routine is a priority. Physical activity of any kind, whether  working out at the gym, doing a fitness tape at home, fast walking at the mall or going for a daily walk – helps you cope with stress while it burns calories and keeps muscles strong.

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Don’t Strive for Diet Perfection
Once you have your to-do list under control, the next task is figuring out how to enjoy the bounty of food without going on an eating frenzy. My strategy to get through the holidays without gaining a pound is to aim for “social weight maintenance.” Forget about weight loss and focus on keeping the needle on the scale right where it is today. Don’t expect to be perfect around the holidays. For the next six weeks, you need to allow yourself some flexibility so that you can enjoy your favorite holiday foods.

To maintain during the holidays, enjoy small portions of your holiday favorites but be careful not to go overboard. Follow the “80/20 rule”:  80% of the time, you eat healthy foods and 20% of the time, you splurge a little on those once-a-year favorites. And 100% of the time, do at least 30 minutes a day of physical activity.

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Focus on Fun, Family and Friends
Don’t let food have the spotlight. Take the focus off food by getting family and friends involved in some fun activities during holiday parties. Go outside for a walk, sledding, ice skating, or building snowmen. Indoors, try a spirited game of charades, or rent an instructional dance video followed by a dance-off. Dancing goes hand in hand with the holidays so why not make dancing after eating a new holiday tradition for a great form of fun and recreation?

I went Overboard!  The best-laid plans sometimes fail. If you over indulge, don’t beat yourself up but make a pledge to be more in control next time. To compensate, eat a little less and exercise a little more the next day and learn from it so it won’t happen again at the next holiday function. Establish your own personal ground rules and do your best to stick to them, at least 80% of the time. Prioritize a little exercise every day; it will pay you back with renewed energy, stress control and even help you sleep. And remember to relax and enjoy, the holidays are supposed to be fun!

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Holiday parties are much more than food and drinks. They are a time to delight in the traditions of the season, and enjoy the company of family and friends. If you keep the focus on the spirit of the season and heed the diet advice, you should get through the holidays without gaining a pound.

Source: By Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, LD
UnitedHealthcare

Provided by Sheri Gilbert of the Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT) in the November 2014 Wellstyles Monthly Newsletter.

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