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.

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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.

ginger-chicken-noodle-soup-R056244-ss

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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Love Coffee? Your Heart May, Too

Drinking three to five cups of coffee a day may reduce the risk of developing clogged arteries, which in turn might reduce the risk for heart attack, a new study suggests. “We found that drinking three to five cups a day was associated with less calcium build-up in the arteries,” said researcher Dr. Eliseo Guallar, a professor from the department of epidemiology and medicine at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. Calcium build-up is an early sign of hardening of the arteries and the risk for heart disease, he explained.

coffee-smil

Guallar said that this study cannot show a direct cause-and-effect relationship between coffee and reduced calcium in the arteries, but noted that the association between these factors is very strong. Although the reasons for this association are not known, Guallar said, researchers speculated that coffee may reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes, a risk factor for hardening of the arteries. Guallar doesn’t go so far as to recommend that people start drinking coffee just to prevent heart disease. But he did note, “People should not be concerned about coffee intake. This is a habit that is not harmful to the heart.” The report was published March 2 online in the journal Heart.

Dr. Gregg Fonarow, a professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, said, “Multiple studies have shown that coffee consumption is associated with lower risk of heart attacks and strokes, with lowest risk with three to five cups of coffee a day.” In fact, the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recently released a report saying that the health risks associated with drinking that much coffee are minimal, and having as many as five cups of coffee each day is linked to several health benefits, including a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, Fonarow said.

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For the study, Guallar’s team collected data on more than 25,000 men and women living in South Korea. Their average age was 41. None had signs of heart disease. During a yearly health exam, the participants were asked about what they ate and drank. They all had CT scans to determine how much calcium had built up in their heart arteries. Three to five cups daily appeared to lower risk of clogged arteries, study says The researchers then compared calcium buildup with how much coffee participants drank.

They found that as coffee consumption rose, the amount of calcium build-up declined, with those who drank three to five cups a day having the least amount of calcium build-up. Guallar said that although the study was done on people in South Korea, he expects the findings would be similar for American coffee drinkers. The association between higher coffee consumption and lower calcium build-up was the same when the study categorized people by age, sex, smoking, alcohol consumption, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, the researchers said. They also took into account factors such as education, level of physical activity level, family history of heart disease and dietary consumption of fruits, vegetables, red meat and processed meats, according to the study.

The study did not differentiate between regular and decaf coffee, though the authors noted that decaf is not popular among Korean coffee drinkers. Samantha Heller is a senior clinical nutritionist at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. She said, “That morning cup o’ joe may offer some unexpected health benefits, including a lower risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. “But this is not all about the caffeine,” she said. Coffee contains more than 1,000 chemicals, including antioxidants that may be contributing to the health benefits.

However, coffee may increase LDL cholesterol, affect pregnancy outcomes and increase anxiety and blood pressure, Heller said. “If you do not drink coffee, there is no reason to start drinking it,” she said. “If you do, the sweet spot seems to be in the three-to five-cup range — these are 8-ounce cups, not the 32-ounce jugs of coffee we are used to seeing,” Heller said. And what you put in the coffee makes a difference, she said.

“Whipped cream, syrups, coffee creamers with partially hydrogenated oils, cream, artificial sweeteners or too much sugar can knock the health benefits of the coffee bean out the window. So enjoy your java, but limit the add-ins,” Heller advised.

Source: WebMD; HealthDay

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

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Not Exercising? That’s as Bad as Smoking…

When you see someone smoking, you might question “Why would you do that to yourself when you know it could kill you?” Do you react the same way when you know someone doesn’t exercise? You should.

When I was at a recent medical conference, one of the presenters reminded the audience that research has shown physical inactivity to be as deadly as smoking. I was shocked at this when I first heard it a couple of years ago, but I think I was just as shocked hearing it the second time. My guess is you are too. It’s hard to imagine being inactive could be comparable to smoking, but it is.

You wouldn’t dream of smoking (and if you do smoke, you’re likely trying to quit), so why poison yourself with inactivity? But many of us do. Nearly 80% of us don’t get the recommended amount of exercise. Many experts agree the inactivity epidemic is more concerning than the obesity epidemic.

The benefits of exercise are numerous and irrefutable. It helps prevent heart disease, diabetes, breast and colon cancer, dementia, depression, and more. If you exercise, chances are you’ll live a longer, healthier life. Period.

What’s so powerful about exercise? Take heart disease, for example. Heart disease is associated with inflammation in the body. Exercise is a natural inflammation fighter. When you move, your muscles send out anti-inflammatory chemicals.

Also, every time you get up and move, your blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglycerides improve. When you sit down, they get worse. It’s just about moving more.

If you’re not active now, I’m sure it sounds overwhelming to start an exercise program. The good news is you can see health benefits with even a small amount of activity. Even taking a daily 5 minute walk around the office will improve your health. Slowly build up from there.

Ultimately, you want your goal to be 30 minutes at least 5 days a week of moderate exercise. We’re talking about a brisk walk– hard enough that you can talk comfortably but not able to sing. But take your time getting there. Throw in resistance exercises a couple of days a week, and you’re on track. If you’ve tried exercise before and didn’t lose weight, don’t be discouraged. You are still getting health benefits even if you’re not shedding weight. If you’re overweight but active and fit, you can expect to live as long and healthy as someone who is normal weight and fit. Even if you’re obese, being active helps you live a longer, healthier life than a normal weight person who isn’t active.

Think you’re too old for it to matter? Hardly. Regardless of your age, getting active has enormous benefits even in your 80s and beyond. We’re not just talking about living longer, but living better with a higher quality of life. As British-American anthropologist Ashley Montagu once said, “The idea is to die young as late as possible.”

Source: WebMD 2014 by Michael Smith, MD, CPT

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

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Valley Schools Employee Benefits Holds Annual Conference

The Valley Schools 6th Annual Conference was held at the Heard Museum last month. The annual conference provides an opportunity for its many members to meet leaders in healthcare, education and other fields that will provide them with insight and knowledge of trends affecting employee benefits and school funding.

The event was emceed by Tom Boone of VSMG and Tom Elliott of VSEBT.

This conference featured an  inspirational group of speakers with timely information on wellness, healthcare, ACA, and State and National legislation.  

Speakers included:

Dr. John A. Hensing, Banner Health Chief Medical Officer spoke on Healthcare Trends and Innovations

John Hensing, MD, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer 

Dr. John Hensing

Dr. Hensing was named executive vice president and chief medical officer in 2009.

He joined Banner (then Samaritan Health System) as senior vice president in 1995. His current responsibilities include care management and organizational performance for Banner including medical management, care coordination, case management and management engineering.

Dr. Hensing practiced internal medicine in Tempe, Ariz. for 18 years and was awarded the Distinguished Internist of the Year Award in 1993. He is a Fellow in the American College of Physicians. He has served on multiple boards, including Samaritan Health System, The Samaritan Foundation, HealthPartners of Arizona, and Arizona Medicare Demonstration Project.

Dr. Hensing obtained his undergraduate degree at Iowa State University and his medical degree at the University of Iowa College of Medicine in 1972. After completing two years as a flight surgeon in the US Air Force, he completed his residency in medicine in 1977 and is board-certified in internal medicine.

Richard Stavneak, Executive Director Joint Legislative Budget Committee, updated attendees on the state budget
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Richard Stavneak, Director of JLBC

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas spoke about her objectives for the upcoming year

Diane Douglas, Arizona State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Diane Douglas, Arizona State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Arizona State Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas has always been passionate about the American education system and has been actively involved in Arizona’s education landscape for over twenty years. Her interest started first with her daughter’s education and continues with the birth of her new grandson. She wants an excellent education for her own family and for all families in Arizona.

Superintendent Douglas is proud to have served two terms on the Peoria Unified School District Governing Board, including two years as President of the Board.  During her tenure she worked to support the district’s parents and teachers in delivering an excellent education to all of its students. She has also served on the Site Councils for two Peoria Unified schools and on the Board of Education for church education programs.

As the leader of the Arizona Department of Education, Superintendent Douglas is devoted to improving education in Arizona so that all students have the opportunity to succeed in life. She plans to work directly with the state education community to accomplish this goal and looks forward to collaborating with teachers, parents, students, and administrators.

Prior to her advocacy and leadership in education issues, Superintendent Douglas graduated from Rutgers University and had a distinguished career as a financial expert for a variety of private sector firms.

Acclaimed author and speaker, Robert Scanlan, three time organ transplant recipient and author of “Tigers Under My Bed”, told those in attendance about healthcare from the perspective of a high cost patient.

robert-scanlan-photo-266x300

Bob Scanlon

Bob Scanlon

The event was well attended and at max capacity of around one hundred senior personnel.

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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

thin-spinach-herb-omelette-aka-flourless-crepes-600x600-61918

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

DSCN2287

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

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Not Exercising? That’s as Bad as Smoking…

Not Exercising? That’s as Bad as Smoking…

When you see someone smoking, you might question “Why would you do that to yourself when you know it could kill you?” Do you react the same way when you know someone doesn’t exercise? You should.

exercise-happiness-1

 

When I was at a recent medical conference, one of the presenters reminded the audience that research has shown physical inactivity to be as deadly as smoking. I was shocked at this when I first heard it a couple of years ago, but I think I was just as shocked hearing it the second time. My guess is you are too. It’s hard to imagine being inactive could be comparable to smoking, but it is. You wouldn’t dream of smoking (and if you do smoke, you’re likely trying to quit), so why poison yourself with inactivity? But many of us do.

Nearly 80% of us don’t get the recommended amount of exercise. Many experts agree the inactivity epidemic is more concerning than the obesity epidemic. The benefits of exercise are numerous and irrefutable. It helps prevent heart disease, diabetes, breast and colon cancer, dementia, depression, and more. If you exercise, chances are you’ll live a longer, healthier life. Period.

Exercise

 

What’s so powerful about exercise?

Take heart disease, for example. Heart disease is associated with inflammation in the body. Exercise is a natural inflammation fighter. When you move, your muscles send out anti-inflammatory chemicals. Also, every time you get up and move, your blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglycerides improve. When you sit down, they get worse. It’s just about moving more. If you’re not active now, I’m sure it sounds overwhelming to start an exercise program.

group-exercise2

 

The good news is you can see health benefits with even a small amount of activity. Even taking a daily 5 minute walk around the office will improve your health. Slowly build up from there. Ultimately, you want your goal to be 30 minutes at least 5 days a week of moderate exercise. We’re talking about a brisk walk– hard enough that you can talk comfortably but not able to sing. But take your time getting there. Throw in resistance exercises a couple of days a week, and you’re on track.

If you’ve tried exercise before and didn’t lose weight, don’t be discouraged. You are still getting health benefits even if you’re not shedding weight. If you’re overweight but active and fit, you can expect to live as long and healthy as someone who is normal weight and fit. Even if you’re obese, being active helps you live a longer, healthier life than a normal weight person who isn’t active.

Think you’re too old for it to matter? Hardly. Regardless of your age, getting active has enormous benefits even in your 80s and beyond. We’re not just talking about living longer, but living better with a higher quality of life. As British-American anthropologist Ashley Montagu once said, “The idea is to die young as late as possible.”

old-people-exercise-2

 

Source: WebMD 2014 by Michael Smith, MD, CPT

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

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Braised Herbed Chicken

Braised Herbed Chicken
Serves 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes

Method
In a small bowl, combine the rosemary, thyme, oregano, garlic powder and black pepper. Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sauté for 3 minutes per side. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the potatoes and carrots around the chicken in the pan. Pour the herb mixture over the chicken and potatoes. Add the chicken broth to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce
heat to a simmer; cover and cook for 30-35 minutes.

Braised+Herbed+Chicken

Nutrition Facts:
Serving Size: 1 chicken thigh + ½ cup vegetables Calories 260 Carbohydrate 23 g
Protein 21 g Fat 9.0 g Saturated Fat 2.1 g Sugar 3 g Dietary Fiber 3 g Cholesterol
105 mg Sodium 265 mg Potassium 765 mg

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound boneless, skinless, chicken thighs
2 cloves garlic
2 cups fat-free, reduced sodium chicken broth
3 large carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
12 ounces fingerling potatoes, cut in half

Source: http://www.diabetes.org

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

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January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

The Importance of Preventative Care
Cervical Health Awareness Month is a chance to raise awareness about how women can protect themselves from HPV
(human papillomavirus) and cervical cancer. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease. It’s also a major
cause of cervical cancer. About 79 million Americans currently have HPV. Many people with HPV don’t know they are
infected. The good news? HPV can be prevented with the HPV vaccine. Cervical cancer can often be prevented with
regular screening tests (called Pap tests) and follow-up care.

Cervical cancer screenings can help detect abnormal (changed) cells early, before they turn into cancer. Most deaths
from cervical cancer could be prevented by regular Pap tests and follow-up care.

cervical-cancer-awareness-ribbon

How can Cervical Health Awareness Month make a difference?

We can use this opportunity to spread the word about important steps women can take to stay healthy. Here are just a few ideas:

#1—Encourage women to get their well-woman visit this year.
#2— Let women know that the health care reform law covers well-woman visits and cervical cancer screening. This means that, de
pending on their insurance, women can get these services at no cost to them.
#3—Talk to parents about how important it is for their pre-teens to get the HPV vaccine.

781d934060190289712ea1a3a05dcc00Source: healthfinder.gov

Provided by Sheri Gilbert of the Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT) in the January 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.

healthy-tree

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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