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Too Much of a Good Thing?

Posted on by Ami Spencer

If you’re craving an afternoon snack and you’re more likely to choose an apple and a handful of almonds over a candy bar, you’re making great progress on your journey toward a more healthy lifestyle. But just because you’re making more nutritious food choices doesn’t mean you’ll lose weight. Too much of a good thing is still too much.

Losing weight ultimately comes down to¬ a simple formula: calories eaten¬ are less than¬ calories burned. Whether you’re eating 2500 calories worth of junk food or 2500 calories worth of fruit, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins, you’re still eating 2500 calories.¬ Yes, the fruits, vegetables, grains and proteins are better for you than a Big Mac, but their calories¬ still add up. So continue to make good food choices and enjoy them, but make sure you watch your portions, too.

Posted in Nutrition, Weight Loss, Wellness | Leave a comment

Fido Can Help You Get Fit

Posted on by Ami Spencer

You may have heard that having a pet can improve your mood, decrease your risk for depression and lower your level of stress. Now there’s research that having a dog could help you get fit and improve your overall health.

A recent study presented at this year’s annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine suggested that people who walked a dog on a regular basis sat less during the day, had a lower body mass index (BMI), smoked less, had fewer chronic illnesses, and were less depressed. Like having a workout buddy who motivates you to get (and keep) moving, having a dog encourages you to take more frequent walks. And as we all know, walking is a great form of exercise, and walking for a total of just 30 each day (or three 10-minute walks with Fido) can have a positive effect on your health and well-being.

If you’ve considered getting a new pet, you might want to think about making it a dog. Turns out man’s best friend is also a great workout partner.

Posted in Fitness, General, Heart Health, Wellness | Leave a comment

Less exercise, not more calories, responsible for expanding waistlines

Posted on by Etosha Farmer

I came across this article and thought it was interesting.  Although I do think we tend to eat more calories, I think people are generally willing to eat less before they want to initiate exercise.

Less exercise, not more calories, responsible for expanding waistlines
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140707134243.htm
Source: American Journal of Medicine

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Seafood and Vegetable Ravioli

Posted on by Etosha Farmer

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This is one of my go to meals that I use in a pinch.  I usually stock the ingredients so if I need something quick I can whip this up.  Quick, easy, and delicious, right up my alley!

Ingredients:

  • Fresh Ravioli (I usually buy the kind in the deli section of the supermarket.¬† My favorites are spinach or butternut squash)
  • Fresh vegetables ( I used onion, peppers, fresh mushrooms, broccoli and spinach.¬† If I don‚Äôt have any on hand that I like I will use frozen)
  • Imitation crab meat
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Olive Oil
  • Fresh Parmesan Cheese (sometimes I use feta or Romano if I have it)

Preparation:

1.  Cook Ravioli in boiling water according to directions on package, usually only 5 minutes

2.  Sauté onions, garlic in olive oil

3.  Add vegetables and sauté until cooked

4.  Add imitation crab meat and cook until warm

5.  Plate using 3-4 ravioli top with vegetables and crab meal.  Drizzle some olive oil over the top and add some fresh parmesan cheese

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Eggplant Involtini

Posted on by Etosha Farmer

Photo: Johnny Autry; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross

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I have made this recipe many times and it seems to be better every time!  It does require a bit of prep work, around 20 minutes but it was well worth the effort!  Once it was prepped I was able to clean up and set the table so after dinner there was not as much of a mess.  You could also prep this recipe ahead of time and refrigerate the whole dish then pop in the oven when you got home after work for a quick meal!

I followed the recipe in cooking light magazine.  I attached a copy of the webiste recipe for anyone that is interested in trying, which I would highly recommend!!

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/eggplant-involtini-50400000120176/

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped (about 3 large)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed and divided
  • 12 (1/4-inch-thick) lengthwise slices eggplant (about 2 medium)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 1 ounce whole-wheat French bread, toasted and torn into pieces
  • 8 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, divided
  • 2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup) and divided

Preparation

1. Combine oil and tomatoes in a medium saucepan; stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and 2 garlic cloves. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until reduced to 2 cups. Cool 10 minutes. Place mixture in a food processor; process until smooth. Set aside.

2. Preheat broiler to high.

3. Sprinkle eggplant slices evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper; arrange slices in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Lightly coat eggplant with cooking spray. Broil 4 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Cool 10 minutes.

4. Preheat oven to 375¬į.

5. Place remaining 2 garlic cloves in a mini food processor; pulse until chopped. Add nuts and bread; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs form. Add ricotta, rind, and egg; process until smooth. Stir in 1/2 cup basil and 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano.

6. Spread 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce over the bottom of an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spread 2 tablespoons ricotta mixture onto each eggplant slice; roll up jelly-roll fashion. Place rolls, seam sides down, over sauce in dish. Spoon remaining sauce over rolls. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano. Bake at 375¬į for 25 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with remaining basil.

 

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Grilled Pork, Red Quinoa and Salad

Posted on by Etosha Farmer

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It was a beautiful day yesterday so I did not want to spend my night inside.  I needed something without a lot of preparation that I could throw on the grill.

I marinated the pork when I got home from work.  The marinate was a combination of lime juice, cumin, pepper, fresh garlic-finely  chopped.  I let it marinate for about 2 hours before grilling it.  I grilled it over medium heat for about 20 minutes.

I choose to pair it with red quiona so there would be nice color on my plate.  The quiona is cooked similar to rice.  1 cup quiona and 2 cups water, bring to a boil and then cover and simmer until the liquid absorbs.  I did add some garlic and parsley when it was done for some flavor.

The salad was actually a chopped bagged salad.  I’m not always a fan of these as they are a little pricy but sometimes for something quick they can be quite useful.  This one was the BBQ Ranch flavor.

Overall, Super easy dinner, and I got to work outside while the pork was marinating and grilling!

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Broiled Walleye with Quinoa and Balsamic Glaze

Posted on by Etosha Farmer

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My husband is an avid fisherman so we often enjoy his daily catch. I usually do the same old broil with garlic, olive oil and lemon.  However, I recently went to a local restaurant and they used balsamic glaze on a few dishes and I thought I would try my hand at making it . This meal really turned out to be one that we both loved!

For the glaze all I did was use 1 cup balsamic vinegar and I added 1 tbsp brown sugar and boiled it down until it was thick, about 40 minutes. ¬†I will tell you at first there was a strong, eye watering aroma that I was not sure about, but it eventually calmed down (or maybe I became intoxicated with it and didn’t notice after awhile).

The walleye fillet was layered with a little olive olive cooking spray, garlic, lemon, salt and pepper.  I usually cut 1/2 the lemon into slices and layer it over the fish while it cooks to keep it moist.  It was broiled until it was flaky and no longer translucent (about 12 minutes).

Quiona was boiled in water following the directions on the package.  Garlic was added for some extra flavor and parsley for color.

I drizzled the glaze over both the walleye and quinoa and topped both with feta cheese and diced tomatoes.  I paired it with a Caesar salad (light on the dressing) with a few added veggies.

This meal really was delicious! ¬†¬†If you don’t have walleye you can use any white fish (talipia, haddock, cod, etc.). ¬†I also had some extra glaze that I tried on some other foods and (fruit, mac and cheese, chicken) and it was a great on everything! ¬†Definitely worth a try!

 

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Build a Solid Foundation for Good Nutrition

Posted on by Ami Spencer

March is National Nutrition Month and the American Dietetic Association wants you to focus on “Nutrition from the ground up”.

This theme suggests that when making healthy lifestyle changes, it’s important to start with a solid foundation. This means making small and gradual changes that you can live with. A healthy diet doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing, and it doesn’t have to happen all at once. You can make one healthy change at a time and then build on those changes.

If you need some guidance on where to start building your foundation, try focusing on feeding yourself from the ground up. Center your diet around foods that come directly from the ground–fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and nuts. Then add in limited amounts of foods like meat and poultry that grow by eating things that come from the ground. Processed foods should be strictly limited or eliminated. Even if some of their ingredients start out at ground level, by the time they get to the grocery store they’re full of added stuff (chemicals, preservatives, flavors, etc.) that definitely did not come from the ground.

Basically, the further away from the ground a food gets, the less you should include it in your diet. This may seem like an overwhelming thought, but remember that you don’t have to make these changes all at once. Start slowly and build on your successes. Every healthy change you make is another brick in your nutritional foundation.

Posted in General, Nutrition, Wellness | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Stuffed chicken with roasted asparagus and rosemary potatoes

Posted on by Etosha Farmer

I had a little extra time for dinner tonight but wasn’t sure what to make as I had not planned my meals this week. ¬†I found some items I had in my refrigerator and made a pretty good dinner.

I pounded out chicken and layered fresh broccoli and a few slices of cheddar cheese.  I wrapped it up and used a tooth pick to keep it in place.  It was placed in a baking dish and sprinkled with Italian seasoning and bread crumbs.  It was covered and baked at 350 for about 25 minutes.

Red potatoes were cut into bite size pieces and placed on a cookie sheet. It was sprayed with some canola oil.  Salt, pepper, garlic and rosemary were added.  It was baked in the oven with the chicken.

After about 10 minutes I added the asparagus to 1/2 of the sheet the potatoes were baking on.  This way I would not have to dirty another dish.  A little oil, garlic salt and pepper were added to the asparagus.

This meal took about 15 minutes of prep and 30 minutes of baking, used up some of the food that needed to be eaten and it was quite tasty!

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Veggie Burger, Perogie and Broccoli

Posted on by Etosha Farmer

I was cooking for just myself tonight and I was looking for something quick and easy. ¬†I decided on a veggie burgher, perogies, and broccoli. ¬†I wanted to use the least amount of dishes possible so I cooked everything at once in a frying pan, less dishes to wash! ¬†I added a little spray canola oil to the pan and added by veggie burger, 2 perogies and sliced mushrooms. ¬† I cooked broccoli using an individual portion size steamer bag that I bought at Target. ¬†I actually bought it on accident but I have since found that it is pretty handy. ¬†I served my sandwich open faced with spinach, mushrooms and cheese. ¬†I wished I had a tomato, but I didn’t so i added a little ketchup instead. ¬†This meal took probably 10 minutes to cook and clean up after, not too bad for a weeknight!

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