Eat Green for St. Patrick’s Day!

The world is turning green today.  Whether you are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, the coming of spring or being friendly to the environment, you can enjoy the health benefits of asparagus.

Asparagus is low in calories, contains no cholesterol and is healthy as it is very low in sodium. It is also a good source of vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium and zinc, and a very good source of dietary fiber, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, rutin, niacin, folic acid, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese and selenium. It tastes fabulous too!

Asparagus and Fresh Mozzarella

Ingredients:

1 lb asparagus spears
2 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, cut or torn into pieces
1 tsp snipped fresh lemon verbena or 1/4 tsp. finely shredded lemon peel

Directions:

Snap off and discard woody bases from asparagus. Using a sharp knife, carefully split asparagus stalks lengthwise. Place a steamer basket in a large skillet. Add water to just below the bottom of the steamer basket. Bring water to boiling. Add asparagus to steamer basket. Cover and steam for 1 minute. Transfer asparagus to a broiler-proof serving dish; top with mozzarella cheese. Broil asparagus 4 inches from heat about 2 minutes or until cheese bubbles slightly. Just before serving, sprinkle with lemon verbena.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Nutrients Per Serving:
56 Calories
3 g Total Fat
2 g Saturated Fat
2 g Carbohydrates
5 g Proteins
11 mg Cholesterol
134 mg Sodium
1 g Fiber

For more great vegetable recipes, Click Here

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What Do I Eat Now?

Patti Geil and Tami Ross have teamed up to write “What Do I Eat Now? A Step-by-Step Guide to Eating Right with Type 2 Diabetes.” This handbook is a must-have for anyone wanting to be pro-active  in self-managing diabetes. A diabetes diagnosis can be overwhelming but with the right tools, it doesn’t have to be. Truth be told, the dietary advice dispensed in this book makes sense for just about anyone wanting to be healthier.

Chapters start with the basic “Nutrition and Diabetes 101” and continue through “What is Carbohydrate and Why Does it Matter?”, “Savvy Snacking”, “Special Occasions” and a wealth of practical instruction. The authors have a distinctly positive approach and encourage one to focus on what you can eat rather than what you can’t have.

Written in a layman’s language, this book is well-researched and well-presented. Both authors have an impressive record of teaching others to triumph over what can be a debilitating disease.

Health is truly wealth, and this book is one you can’t afford to not have.

Your First Year With Diabetes

My personal experience and observations:
1. Overwhelmed people STOP. Shut down. Put on the brakes.
2. Stress causes us to develop “tunnel vision”; we lose our ability to see options and become ineffective at implementing change.

These reactions can affect each of us in a myriad of circumstances, but can certainly affect those that have been diagnosed with a scary medical condition such as diabetes.

I was honored to be invited to review Theresa Garnero’s new book, Your First Year With Diabetes.

 I had high expectations for this book because I understood that as a nurse and diabetes educator, she has knowledge of this subject; as a person who loves people, she desires to inject humor into a weighty topic. 

I am happy to highly recommend this book.  I have a checklist that I think good health books must adhere to:
1. Easy to read; successfully translating “medicalese” into plain English.
2. Combine personal stories with referenced resources; a professional & credible presentation with a human touch.
3. Practical for repeated referencing.
4. Make the complicated simple.

This book meets those criteria and does an admirable job of helping people get a handle on what has become an epidemic disease. I would dare to say that all of us know someone with diabetes or pre-diabetes. Of great concern are all the people who have the disease and don’t know it.

I have been networking with diabetics for several years now and I am passionate about people understanding that unregulated high blood sugar is deadly. But diabetes IS a manageable condition and diabetics can now live full, healthy, productive lives! Knowledge is power in the war against diabetes and Ms. Garnero has given diabetics a powerful weapon in the arsenal against the debilitating effects of uncontrolled diabetes.

Don’t walk – run over to Amazon and give yourself (or someone you love) the gift of better health. Here’s the  link so you don’t waste any time! Your First Year With Diabetes

Dr. Stephen Covey and The 7 Habits of Diabetes

Stephen Covey is one of my favorite authors. He wrote Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.  I am thrilled to hear that he has written a booklet for Diabetics. I haven’t read it yet but assure you I will. Here’s an introductory video that is worth watching:

Mmm Mondays

We are galloping toward the holidays and I am a little concerned that I am going into this period of time already above my ideal weight. The average American gains 3-5 pounds during the holidays. Yuck. I can’t afford that! So I am already looking at some holiday recipes with plans to trim them down in terms of fat. This potato recipe is a slight modification of one my husband’s favorite dishes. And he doesn’t notice that I’ve modified it! I got this from my favorite recipe site, http://DiabeticHealthInfo.com

Scalloped Potatoes

Ingredients:

2 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 small onion, chopped
2 tsp flour
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups 1 percent milk
1 tsp light, soft tub margarine
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees. Place half the potatoes in a baking dish. Scatter the onion over them. Sprinkle with flour, salt, and pepper. Place remaining potatoes on top of the onions. Heat the milk to simmer. Pour the milk over the potatoes, dot with margarine, and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for about 1 hour until potatoes are tender.

Makes 4 (1/2 cup) Servings.

Dietary Exchanges: Starch Exchanges 1; Fat-Free Milk Exchanges 0.5

Nutrients Per Serving:
123 Calories
22 Calories From Fat
2 g Total Fat
1 g Saturated Fat
8 mg Cholesterol
122 mg Sodium
20 g Total Carbohydrate
2 g Dietary Fiber
7 g Sugars
6 g Protein

“Fitness Is Fun” Initiative

A marketing person from Reebok contacted me last week as a blogger and asked me to participate in a Webinar about their new women’s fitness initiative. I believe I was selected because they read about my wogging regimen and thought I could turn it up a notch. Or maybe they noticed I haven’t posted about the joy of being at my ideal wieght. Or perhaps it’s because they are more serious about fitness than I am, seeing as this is my favorite fitness video (you will burn calories laughing if you watch this!) :

I was able to join the call yesterday because I was working on a repetitive task that didn’t require my full attention. (Well, at least I hope it didn’t!) I can say it was time well spent as I decided at the end of it that I am a slug and I got up and went for a RUN. Not a wog. Sara Haley did a good job of conveying some key points on the call. She loves to dance and teaches rebounding and all kinds of classes in New York City. (I didn’t even know what rebounding is.) She has taught in Chicago too and commented on the big difference in the fitness cultures. (Oh my- I don’t know if we even have a fitness culture in my area! LOL)

1) The best indication of a good cardio workout is that you become out of breath and sweaty. (I guess that means if you can still sing you’re not breathless. Ooops.)
2) Find music that motivates you. It can take your workout from average to amazing.
(Yep- I need some new music)
3) You have to change your workout to change your body. Your body will grow accustomed to the same movements – it is critical to vary your workout. (Oh- no wonder my body has not changed!)
4) Fitness can and should be fun. (I need some help here!)

They referenced “The Biggest Loser” as one of the fun ways people are getting into fitness. I love that show, but it sure doesn’t look like they’re having fun to me. But they are definitely losing weight.

Reebok’s fitness intitiative is all about making fitness fun and that indicates to me I’m not the only one that needs help with that. Sara Haley ended with the remark, “If you don’t try, you’ll never know.” So here’s to trying someting new this week!!

The Untold Story in Breast Cancer Awareness

I’m sure that you all know by now that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. (Women are definitely aware!)  It’s a given that all of us know someone that has had breast cancer.  But do you know the “rest of the story” about causes of breast cancer?

I read a statistic yesterday that is a good news/bad news scenario.  The good news is that perhaps genetics are far less important than other factors in calculating the risk factor for breast cancer. This is good news to me, because genetic probabilities leave me feeling out of control.  The bad news is that toxins probably play a bigger role than we may have realized.

Dr. Bob DeMaria commented in his newsletter  that he had just read that “Only 10% of female breast cancer issues are genetically passed on.  The focus now and in the future for proactive providers will be on environmental toxins.” He also has a lot of information about the excess of estrogen in the body and where it comes from. He advises “I would not use Recyclable No. 7 containers.  Young moms – be aware that sippy cups are notorious for having No. 7 as a part of the constituents.  Cans have a lining in them sourced from BPA which has estrogen in the make up.  Do not burn scented candles in your house.  I am bringing all this up because of the magnitude of new patients that I have who are suffering with body signals that can be directly related to toxic exposure.”

Dr. Mercola also expresses concern about this issue. 

A holisitic nutritionist from Nebraska notes the following:
Xenohormones are causing enormous reproductive problems for men and women alike. Estrogen dominance causes progesterone deficiency. Some of the problems linked to estrogen deficiency are:
1-Breast and uterine cancers more frequently and at earlier ages
2-Early miscarriage and infertility
3-Breast fibrocysts are more common
4-PMS
5-Osteoporosis is more common and more severe
6-Fat and water retention

Knowledge is empowerment. We have a choice about what products we buy, ingest and use in our homes and on our bodies. Be aware. Be proactive in your health management.

My prayer for you is that “as your days, so shall your strength be.”