“Turnip For What?” These 5 Turnip Recipes

In a video-gone-viral, Michelle Obama says, “Turnip for what?” We’re responding to that question with this roundup of healthful turnip-central recipes.

The late autumn crop is particularly low in calories among the root vegetable kingdom – just 34 cals per cup vs. 116 per cup of diced potatoes – and is packed with vitamin C and other antioxidants. This makes it a great filler and addition to lighten up traditional starchy dishes, like Turnip Mashed Potatoes (swap 1/2 the potatoes with turnips), and some of the recipes you’ll find below.

Both the turnip’s greens and bulb can be eaten. Each provide a nice bitterness that pairs well with sweeter veggies, meats, and spices. See for yourself as you turnip some music and your stove, and dive into one of the recipes below.

Sweet Turnip and Carrot Soup

Sweet Turnip and Carrot Soup via InFine Balance Read the rest of this entry »


5 Common Nutrition Questions Answered

 

Your health is huge! Of course you’ve got questions. And we’ve got love-your-body answers. Let’s start with diet. Following, we’ll take a look at some interesting common nutrition uncertainties, with answers that’ll help set your mind straight and your waistline even straighter.

 

Will nuts make me fat?

In moderation, nuts are an excellent addition to your diet. They are high in protein and fiber, and make for a crunchy, satisfying snack. But what about all their fat, you ask? While nuts do contain a significant amount, most of this fat is of a beneficial variety to your body in the form of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.

“In fact, some studies show that people who eat a handful of nuts daily weigh less than those who don’t eat nuts,” says LifeVest health coach Bridget Wright, MPH. “This is because nuts have a high satiety content, meaning they make you feel full and satisfied.” 

Just don’t go too nuts. Since they are calorie-dense, Wright recommends sticking to no more than a handful or so per day. She notes that the best choices are raw almonds and walnuts, or toasted pistachios, all of which are superior to most crackers, pretzels, and other — fat-free or no t— empty-calorie, crunchy snacks.

How much is a handful of nuts Read the rest of this entry »


5 “Healthy” Foods with Hidden Sugar

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There’s no way to sugarcoat it – sugar is bad & we’re eating too much of it.

On average, Americans consume 156 pounds – or 31 five-pound bags – of sugar per year. Yikes! When considering its linked to everything from diabetes to high blood pressure to heart disease, that’s some Sour Patch Kid news right there. In fact, many experts believe our collective sweet tooth may not just be making us fat, but bringing us to our death. Poison alert, poison alert!

Some of you might be thinking, “I’m no Cookie Monster. I don’t eat candy or drink soda, so I’m fine.” It’s a thought that some of us here at the LifeVest have held, too. Yet, according to the latest guidelines from the World Health Organization, no more than 100 daily calories (25 grams) should come from sugar, and with it often lurking in unexpected places, that’s a number that can add up quickly.

From bread to breakfast to salad dressing, here are five hidden sources of sugar that could be taking a toll on your health without you even knowing it, along with the best options to keep these “healthy” foods actually beneficial to your health.

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Read the rest of this entry »


Summer Slim-down Foods

By Jessica Ann Dogert RD, LDN, CPT

Summer SLIM-DOWN Foods

With summer season in full swing, we all desire to control cravings, banish belly bulge and de-buff that gut of ours to look good in a swimsuit. LifeVest friends, start adding one or all of these scrumptious slim-down foods into your daily health routine.

Baked Salmon

Salmon

Why it’s slim-down savvy: Omega-3 Fat

Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which studies show may help control appetite, increase calorie burning and decrease the amount of fat your body stores.

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 Watermelon

 Why it’s slim-down savvy: High water-content

Watermelon is 92% water. Research shows foods with high water-contentmay help you naturally eat significantly fewer calories per meal. Read the rest of this entry »


Recipes for health: Winter Squash & Quinoa with Curry Lime Vinaigrette

Winter Squash & Quinoa with Curry Lime Vinaigrette

 

Coming down with a case of the winter blues? You’re not alone. Whether mild or far-reaching, cabin fever falls upon many of us once February strikes. The new novelty of winter is long gone, and its end still feels many weeks away.

With winter in full throttle, it’s more important than ever to fill up on warming, healthy eats. A healthy body leads to a happy mind, and much of this starts at the dinner table.

What we’re bringing to our dinner plate this week? This Winter Squash & Quinoa with Curry Lime Vinaigrette from Food-Fitness-FreshAir. Quinoa is a rich source of whole grain protein and has just under 225 calories per cup cooked.

Curry is also a powerhouse, largely due to the turmeric it contains. Numerous studies have shown the spice can help prevent everything from Alzheimer’s disease to cancer.

Fill your bowl with both quinoa and curry from the recipe that follows, and say hello to a colorful display free of any winter shades of blue. Check out the recipe here.


2014 Health: Renew with the Chinese New Year

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Today marks the 2014 Chinese New Year, ushering in the year of the horse. It also stands as the one month marker from when you set your resolutions at the outset of the month. This is a great time to revisit those goals and evaluate whether or not you’ve been staying on track.

Use the Chinese New Year to renew and refresh. Whether you’re still riding pretty or you’ve seem to fallen off your horse, it’s never too late to pump up the energy and really put your goals into action. Haven’t set a resolution yet? We can all benefit from working towards positive initiatives. Make the Chinese New Year your New Year, and spend some time today to declare a resolution.

Need some extra inspiration? Following are some ways to use the year of the horse to your advantage.

  • Giddy up [off the couch]: The horse is part of a 12-year cycle of animals that make up the Chinese zodiac. Each hold different characteristics bestowed to those born in that year. A primary one for those in a horse year is “energy”. Yee-haw.

It is said that this year, all past horse babies will embody an even extra amount of vitality. Good for them. But what does that mean for the rest of us? Well, it’s simply a good excuse to try to tap into some of that energy for ourselves. Let this year be the year you establish a regular workout routine, and find the exercise that fits you best. Whether it’s unwinding after a day of work with an evening yoga class, getting up bright and early for an awakening morning walk, hitting the tennis courts on a Saturday afternoon, or joining a group class, there are tons of ways to get active. Allow yourself to try new activities until you find the one(s) that fits you best. Research shows that exercise fights fatigue, meaning we call all make this the year of our most energized self. The key is just a bit of regular movement! Yee-haw to that too.

  • Taste the tradition: While our New Year seems to be more about imbibing brews and booze, the Chinese New Year is one filled with culinary traditions. Many of the foods they use to signify good luck could also bring your body good health. Plan a celebratory dinner that starts out with a plate of long, leafy greens, meant to signify and wish upon a long life for your parents. Check out this recipe for Bok Choy with Oyster Sauce. Tackle a whole fish for the main event of the meal. The word for fish in Chinese sounds like, and is associated, with the word for abundance. It’s important that the fish be kept whole to represent a good start and finish and to avoid bad luck throughout the year. This recipe for Fragrant Steamed Fish with ginger and scallions from PopSugar sounds like a winner to us. Finish with a simple dessert of fresh oranges, which denote luck and wealth. Bonus points if they still have their leaves, a symbol of longevity.
  • Keep your house pure and clean: It’s Chinese tradition to thoroughly sweep every corner of the house before and after the New Year to rid it of bad luck and negativity. (Take note: don’t clean on the actual New Year, today, for this is said to sweep away good luck!) While cold weather lurks, dance around with your broom, and burn some calories while doing it. This is also a good time to take a look at your cupboards and rid them of unneeded junk. After all, your body is your true home, meaning it’s the most important thing to keep clean if you want to embody good fortune. Let’s raise a green smoothie to that.

Wishing you all a prosperous year ahead, Gong Xi Fa Cai.


Keep Your Heart Healthy Over Thanksgiving

Healthy Thanksgiving tips

By Lizzie Meyers

Sure, a day devoted to eating those savory, homemade dishes we wait for all year seems pretty ideal in theory. However, the unfortunate reality of Thanksgiving comes with the adverse effects the typical feast has on heart health. In fact, the American Heart Association has reported that the risk of a heart attack quadruples in the two hours after eating a particularly heavy meal. Those special holiday dishes are extra delicious for a reason: they tend to be chock-full of fat and sodium, two of your heart’s worst enemies. That’s not to say that the entire buffet table is off limits. Let’s get real, that would be downright torture! Certain Thanksgiving dishes are more detrimental to your heart’s health while others fair relatively safe. To determine what falls where, here’s a heart-healthy guide of dos and don’ts for a happy Thanksgiving:

The Bird

  • Do opt for the white meat of the turkey because it is much lower in cholesterol than the dark meat on the leg and thigh.
  • Don’t eat the skin. No matter how crispy it looks, remind yourself that the cholesterol and saturated fats that come with it are certainly not worth it.
  • Don’t drench your meat in gravy. This sauce, if made traditionally, essentially consists of the excess grease and fat from the turkey. Needless to say, it can be hard on the heart. Try to resist this topping, or at the very least, limit yourself to just one tablespoon for the whole meal.

The Side Dishes

  • Do load up on veggies. The brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes and salad are the safest bets in keeping your heart happy throughout the meal. Try to make sure there are more colorful veggies than anything else on your plate, and skip the fat/sugar loaded casseroles.
  • Do enjoy some cranberry relish as long as it is homemade. Cranberries have been found to have some heart health benefits, but the amount of refined sugars that tend to be added to canned relishes simply counteract the berries’ health benefits. While the homemade sauces may require some sugar, they  likely contain less simple sugar and the real cranberries will give your heart a boost.
  • Don’t overdo the stuffing. I know that’s easier said than done, but the chicken broth, white bread, and sausage in the traditional version make for a sodium and fat-packed concoction that can send your cholesterol skyrocketing. Your heart will thank you if you allow yourself just a spoonful with your meal.

Dessert

No matter how stuffed we are after the huge feast, it’s somehow still impossible to resist the wide selection of desserts that follow. Before taking a slice of (every) pie, remind yourself of these tips.

  • Do eat that slice of pumpkin pie, guilt free, if your sweet tooth has you screaming. The pumpkin filling is naturally full of fiber and one slice of the delectable treat is much lower in calories and fat than any of the other contenders.
  • Don’t indulge in a big hunk of pecan pie. One slice can contain up to 27 grams of fat and enough sugar to practically supply a household skittles factory.

Are you the chef this Thanksgiving? If so, EatingWell.com provides a few helpful tips and recipes to make this the heart-healthiest Thanksgiving yet!