Posts Tagged by Food
|June 18, 2012||Posted by Ronni under Caregiving|
All dining utensils are not made equal. Basic utensils used everyday usually does the trick, but for your caree they may be extremely difficult to use. If your loved one has shaky hands, a weighted dining utensil could be the answer to an easier meal-time. Often time weighted utensils look identical to traditional silverware, and they will allow for more control to give your loved one more independence and less frustration. Also, bendable utensils provide and effective solution if your loved one has less muscle control. By bending the utensil, your loved one can eat without straining their hand and arm to their mouth. Simple changes like this, and other adaptive dining aids, can make meal-time in your house easier for your caree and yourself.
|March 2, 2012||Posted by Ronni under Dieting, Recipes|
Staying on task during a diet is extremely tricky. I’ve always said, cheat a little – because it will help you stay successful. The more you tell yourself “No,” the more you will crave whatever it is that has been denied – especially if you’re new to the dieting game. Don’t forget about treating yourself!
This delicious, tempting Weight Watcher’s shake recipe will give you that sweet, chocolate taste you grave – without busting your calorie chart. This recipe has simple adjustments to a milk shake recipe; like switching out ice cream for frozen yogurt or using fat-free milk instead of whole milk. These adjustments make this shake only a 4 point increase on your Weight Watcher’s diet!
- 2 cups fat-free vanilla frozen yogurt
- ½ cup fat-free skim milk
- 4 cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies
- 1/8 tsp mint extract (optional for taste)
How to Make it:
Place the frozen yogurt, milk and optional mint extract into a blender; blend until smooth and creamy. Add the 4 cookies; blend until combined. And then enjoy!
|November 23, 2011||Posted by Elizabeth under Food and Nutrition, Health, Recipes|
If you are anything like the members of our EasierLiving family, mashed potatoes are a staple dish on your Thanksgiving table. After years of the same old recipe, we decided that it was time to spice things up this Thanksgiving! These 6 low-fat versions of mashed potatoes from Prevention.com will please the many pallets you are feeding while keeping them all salivating for more.
Original Mashed Potato Recipe
PREP TIME 5 minutes TOTAL TIME 30 minutes SERVINGS 12
Peel and quarter 4 lbs Yukon gold potatoes. Add to large pot, cover with 3″ of cold water, and bring to a boil.
Add 1 tsp sea salt and simmer potatoes until tender, about 15 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of cooking liquid and drain potatoes in colander.
Return potatoes to pot with 1 c warm 2% milk, 1/4 c unsalted butter, and 1/2 cup reserved liquid. Mash with potato masher until almost smooth, adding more cooking liquid as needed. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper.
Makes 8 cups.
NUTRITION (per serving): 173 cal, 3 g pro, 31 g carb, 3 g fiber, 4.5 g fat, 2.5 g sat fat, 371 mg sodium
BACON-ONION: Mix 8 chopped, cooked slices bacon and 3/4 cup finely chopped scallion greens into finished potatoes.
GARLIC: Wrap 1 head garlic in foil. Roast in 400°F oven, 45 minutes. Squeeze cloves into milk for potatoes and mash with fork.
SPICY: Fold 2 tsp canned chipotle in adobo sauce (or to taste) and 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream into finished potatoes.
EXTRA CREAMY: Whisk 1/2 cup reduced-fat cream cheese and 3/4 cup chopped fresh chives into finished potatoes.
BLUE CHEESE: Use low-fat buttermilk instead of milk and fold in 3/4 cup blue cheese crumbles.
HERBS: Stir fresh herbs (such as 1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, chives, or chervil) into finished potatoes.
|November 11, 2011||Posted by Elizabeth under Food and Nutrition, Health, Recipes|
The weather is finally getting cooler, the trees are providing you with something to rake, and you’ve switched from air conditioning to heat. Now it’s time for a treat that will warm you from the inside out. Here’s a fun and healthy spin on your mother’s old Italian pasta fagioli recipe that will leave you feeling full and healthy.
Beyond the succulent taste, this soup will provide you with the nutrients you need to start your weekend off on the right foot. This recipe has the flavor without the high sodium content of most canned soups and the vegetables provides the vitamins and nutrients that give your body the boost it needs. And don’t forget the beans that are loaded with the protein you need minus the meat, making this soup an all around crowd pleaser.
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 5 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 small onion, roughly chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 2-ounce piece pancetta (optional)
- 5 canned whole San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand
- Kosher salt
- 3 pounds fresh cranberry beans in pods, shelled (or 1 cup dried cranberry beans, soaked overnight)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 piece parmesan cheese rind, plus 1/2 cup grated parmesan, and more for topping
- 2 cups small pasta, such as shells or ditalini
- 1 bunch kale, stems and ribs discarded, leaves chopped
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
- Freshly ground pepper
Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, red pepper flakes, rosemary and pancetta, if using, and cook 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and cook 2 more minutes; season with salt. Add the beans, 3 quarts water, the bay leaves and parmesan rind. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the beans are tender, 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours.
Uncover the pot and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Add the kale and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5 to 6 more minutes. (The soup should be thick and creamy; thin with water, if necessary.)
Remove the bay leaves, parmesan rind and pancetta, if used. Add the grated parmesan, parsley, the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Top with more olive oil and parmesan.(As shown on Foodnetwork.com)
|October 18, 2011||Posted by Ronni under Food and Nutrition, Health|
For all you wine enthusiasts, the 2011 Wine Handbook was released in August by Beverage Information Group. The Wine Handbook is known as the most comprehensive source of detailed wine sales and consumption trends. It focuses on categories like table wine, sparkling wine, wine coolers and vermouth. This comprehensive handbook includes information such as sales numbers of comparative brands, advertising costs by various companies, as well as information on pricing, distribution and major markets.
Most interestingly, this year’s handbook acknowledges the increase in wine consumption. As a girl who loves a glass of wine to wind down from a hectic day at work, I understand the upswing. The consumption of wine and the associated products (vermouth and wine coolers) has raised 2.1 percent in 2010. The increase is accredited to the improving economy and increase in consumer confidence. A better economy leads to more money to spend and more confidence to spend it.
More importantly, the wine financial experts do not see and end in sight to this gain. They predict that in the next five years, wine will rise from 229.4 million cases a year (as it stands now) to 321.9 million cases. With a continued trend in wine consumption, knowledge of the affects wine has on your body heightens as well. Moderation seems to be the key to drinking wine without negative effects.
Read these pros and cons to be sure you’re knowledgeable of the benefits and the consequences of drinking your favorite vino.
Leads to Longer Life: Whether it is that they are calmer, healthier, or all around more relaxed, wine drinkers have a 34% lower mortality rate than beer and spirit drinkers. (Source: A Finnish study published in Journals of Gerontology, 2007)
Good for Your Heart: If you are suffering from high blood pressure, becoming a moderate wine drinker (opposed to a non-drinker) would leave you 30% less likely to have a heart attack. (Source: Study from Harvard School of Public Health published in 2007.) Also, red wine contains a variety of antioxidants that protect against heart disease.
Let’s You Breathe Easy: White wine, researchers at the University of Buffalo say, contains particular nutrients that may benefit your lungs by helping to keep lung tissue healthy and in good working order. (As reported on BBC Health News.)
Pack on the Calories: Alcohol in general has a high calorie count, but red wine could have anywhere from 100 to 200 calories per glass. Two to three glasses a night may start adding up!
Brush your Teeth a Little More: White wine and sparkling wines are extremely acidic or carbonated – or both! This means they don’t need to work hard to break down the enamel of your teeth over time. A good cleaning after consumption wouldn’t hurt!
It May Shake up Your Brain: Regardless of whether it is champagnes, sparkling wines, red or white, wine can trigger headaches for many people – even migraines. If you consume a little too much at any given time, you may experience this the morning after – that’s a hangover. But wine often causes headaches with just a glass.
|September 30, 2011||Posted by Ronni under Food and Nutrition, Health|
Over the past several years, food safety has been on the minds of all Americans. In the United States, consumers often take for granted the safety of the food at the corner store. Yet at the same time, the media has been highlighting cases of salmonella, E. coli and, most recently, listeria in domestically grown crops.
In 2009, peanut products were found with salmonella due to the dirty conditions at a peanut factory. Thus, the virus spread to the production of peanut products like peanut butter that was made into filling for popular snacks for humans and dogs.
A month after the FDA announced a salmonella outbreak in spinach. A year before the same product had been recalled for having E. Coli, killing three people and sickening another 200.
The list goes on. Turkey breasts, eggs, cilantro and deli meats – all food marked over the past few years with a virus possibly fatal to humans. So the question is: What is the government doing to ensure the food safety in this country?
In 2010, the Senate approved a bill that attempted to strengthen food safety in the country. At the time, critics noticed the bill’s weak spots. For instance, while the bill gave the FDA authority to prevent foodborne illnesses, not just react to them, they were restricted to NOT pressing criminal charges on producers who knowingly put contaminated foods into the market. Also, unless the facility was high-risk for a virus, the bill didn’t change the required frequency of the FDA inspects – which at the time could occur as frequently as once every 10 years.
So has this bill changed food safety in the United States? Barely. Most recently cantaloupe and bagged romaine lettuce has been marked with listeria. Since the first announcement of the outbreak, the affected crop of cantaloupe has spread to 18 states, caused 72 illnesses and resulted in 13 deaths, according to the CDC. Most importantly, the problem has yet to be controlled completely.
Moral of the story? Stay knowledgeable on food recalls – do not take “safe food” for granted. Periodically check the CDC website, watch the headlines on your local news, scan news websites, read the local papers – also, keep your friends and family healthy by spreading the word when you hear about any food recall. Stay Alert.
|September 28, 2011||Posted by Ronni under Food and Nutrition, Health|
In a recent study out of Japan, research have found men and women over the age of 60 with Type 2 Diabetes were twice as likely than other participants to develop Alzheimer’s within 15 years and 1.75 more likely to develop any kind of dementia. (reported on CNN.com)
Although this study seems to prove there is indeed a link between the conditions, the researchers are still unsure as to why they are linked. Because of this it is even more of a reason to continue a healthy life style that will prevent the development of Type 2 diabetes.
Consider these Healthy Living Tips to Prevent the onset of Type 2 Diabetes:
1. Exercise. A cardio work out for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week can be enough to improve your health. This could be as simple as going for a walk or jog around the block or as extensive as joining a group fitness class at your local gym. It also keeps your heart pumping and blood flowing, boosting metabolism and muscle growth! Controlling your weight is a large part of healthy living.
2. Eating the Right Foods. Along with maintaining a constant workout routine, eating the best foods for you is also important. Skip over the burgers and French fries. Instead have grilled chicken and, if you’re craving something fry-like, snack on some sweet potato fries! Staying away from carbohydrates and sugars will help you lose weight and consume beneficial nutrients. Remember: low in fat – high in fiber.
3. Visit Your Doctor. Talk to a personal care physician about the real risks you have of developing diabetes. Everyone is different and sometimes due to age or family history it cannot be prevented; but most of the time it can. Living a healthy style is the first step to doing so, but your doctor may be able to recommend specific regiments that can help you specifically.
|September 19, 2011||Posted by Ronni under Food and Nutrition, Recipes|
Part of the constant struggle to stay on a healthy food track is the parties you’ll attend. In my circle, football season spikes the number of get-togethers and the number of calories consumed at each one. In an effort to stay healthy, but still appeal to the masses, I have adapted a game day classic: The Pig in a Blanket.
Using regular hot dogs and butter crescent rolls stacks up the calories quick. But with a few adjustments to the play, you can have your guests full and energized to cheer on the home team. Instead of using a full sized hot dog, use mini ones instead. They are bite size, yummy morsels that everyone can dunk and enjoy. I have found the best choice to be a turkey based hot dog. Although it is a little more expensive, your guests won’t even be able to tell the difference between turkey and kosher beef. And most importantly, do not use butter crescent rolls. Most of the time, I use reduced-fat, non-buttered dough. If I am feeling a little adventurous, I hunt down a wheat dough. Here’s my usual recipe:
The Mini Pig in a Blanket
One package of Mini Turkey Hot Dogs
2 Packs of Reduced Fat Crescent Rolls
A light weight cooking spray
Mustard and Ketchup
1) Preheat the oven at 375.
2) Remove the hot dogs from the package. Separate and rinse with water.
3) Open the crescent rolls and separate along the perforated edges. Cut each triangle into three smaller triangles. (With two containers of rolls, you should end up with 48 small triangles)
4) Spray a large cookie sheet with a thin layer of cooking spray.
5) Roll one mini hot dog into the small dough triangle and place the wrapped dog onto the tray.
6) Continue until you have rolled all the hot dogs into dough.
7) Once fully preheated, put the pan of hot dogs into the oven. Cook for 15 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.
8) Let cool for 5 minutes, before serving on a platter with mustard and ketchup for dipping.
|September 15, 2011||Posted by Jennifer EasierLiving under Fitness, Food and Nutrition, Health|
Losing weight is never easy. I’ve watched several people try and lose weight through a healthy, regimented plan and it has never seemed easy. A person needs supporters, determination, perseverance and self-control – lots and lots of self-control.
Within my own struggle to shed the pounds, I have found the most challenging part to be eating the right foods. When I was in school, I maintained an active, athletic schedule that allowed me to live off of fast food burgers and Little Debbie snacks. I remember eating three or four oatmeal crème pies as an after school snack before racing off to a volleyball game. Delicious? You betcha. Healthy? No, definitely not.
Now, I have to fight to keep from eating my fiancé’s Keebler cookies in the pantry. There are many tricks to avoiding temptations, but I have yet to master any of them. I struggle day in and day out to keep my snacking to a minimum and my meal choices healthy. I gained the weight after college because I wasn’t acting accountable for the food I was eating. I just ate like I was still playing volleyball every night, walking to across campus 4 times a day and going to free group fitness at the sports complex.
When I started noticing how tight my pants were becoming, I started to notice my eating habits. I finally decided enough was enough; I discovered a tool that changed how I acted about food.
A food diary. Some people balk at the idea, contributing journaling food as unhealthy for a person’s self-esteem. Journaling the food you eat throughout the day is not the same as counting calories or the gateway to eating disorders. It’s a healthy, easy way to become accountable for the food you eat every day.
If I look back at my day’s journal and realize that I ate this:
|Breakfast||Bagel with Cream Cheese|
|Morning Snack||Snack Bag of Cheese Its|
|Lunch||Burger King Whopper|
|Afternoon Snack||Lays Potato Chips|
|Dinner||Bean and Cheese Burrito|
|Dessert||Ice Cream Sandwich|
I don’t feel guilty; I feel failure. A journal like this means I didn’t even attempt to try! Not to mention, I’m then going to bed at the end of the day with a pile of calories that are going to create fat, not reduce it.
If I look back at my day’s journal and realize that I ate this:
|Breakfast||Wheat Waffle with Peanut Butter|
|Morning Snack||An Apple|
|Lunch||Baja Chicken Lean Cuisine|
|Afternoon Snack||Hummus and Tomato Wheat wrap|
|Dinner||Grilled Chicken and Spinach|
|Desert||Ice Cream Sandwich|
I feel excellent. I probably even worked out this day – because this day I made decisions on my food that transformed my attitude.
My advice, from one dieter to the next, is to journal your food. Don’t track the calories; don’t lie about what you ate. Use each day to teach you accountability for your eating habits. Use it to change those bad habits and make the good ones more prevalent.
And report back on how it works! We love success stories!