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September 29, 2005

Zesty Bean & Vegetable Wrap

Whether you’re brown bagging it, or making a quick lunch to enjoy at home, this tasty bean and veggie wrap will delight you and your family. Once they take a bite, they won’t even notice it’s chock full of good-for-you fruit, veggies, beans and brown rice!

(Makes 2 servings)

    1/2 cup fresh pineapple, grapes, cantaloupe,
           mango, peach OR nectarine, chopped
    2 tablespoons chopped red pepper
    2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    1 medium clove garlic, minced
    1 teaspoon olive oil
    1/2 cup canned black or other favorite bean, rinsed and drained
    1/4 cup cooked brown rice
    Salt and pepper to taste
    1 large or 2 small honey wheat wraps
    2 tablespoons shredded cheese (mozzarella, cheddar or the like)
    1 large leaf romaine lettuce, chopped or torn

Mix fruit, red pepper, cilantro, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, beans and rice in small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Spread mix over 1 large or 2 small wraps; top with shredded cheese and lettuce. Roll. If using large wrap, cut in half.

If you enjoyed this recipe, come and enjoy our complete collection of healthy eating recipes.

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Posted by Laura on September 29, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


September 28, 2005

You Can Have Your Cake And Algae Too!

Its hump day, so maybe we shouldn’t take anything too seriously today – you with me? Ok! I found this little Slice_of_cake tidbit on BBC News.com and thought I’d share it because it seemed almost as incredulous as it was humorous…

Newcastle University (UK) researchers have determined that simply adding a tasteless extract called alginate, into everyday common foods could increase their fiber content, making favorites like pies, burgers and cakes – healthier.

Now, if you’ve been around here for a while, you know none of us have anything against cakes, pies and burgers integrated reasonably within a healthy diet, but I don’t think this is what we’re talking about.  What we might be looking at is another ‘substitute phenomenon’ which sadly, may end up having nothing to do with healthy eating, but more to do with commerce.

Could seaweed make your birthday cake part of a healthy diet?  I don’t know…how much birthday cake would you need to eat? How often are you consuming cake, pie and hamburgers that any increased fiber content would matter?

I don’t argue that scientific advancements such as these could possibly add benefit or value to certain groups of people, under certain circumstances, but on the whole, is it really going to help people develop healthy eating habits, or just encourage over indulgence.

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Posted by Cindy on September 28, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


September 27, 2005

Pushing Your Food Horizon

Horizon Recently I was speaking with our chefs (Nate Wright and Paul Jewett) that make Green Mountain at Fox Run's cuisine as good as it is satisfying. We began to discuss the differences between preparing meals here versus in a restaurant.

They both mentioned the fun of stretching creatively working with whole grains (like quinoa and Colusari Red Rice) and fun vegetables (braised fennel and rainbow chard), as well as making comfort food delicious and nutritious. But what they found most remarkable is the genuine appreciation the participants express when they find that pleasure can be returned to eating. They often receive standing ovations, which is certainly good for a chef’s soul.

This made me think some more about expanding the mind through the palate. Let me explain. Green Mountain’s program expands women’s ideas about themselves and what they think about themselves (ie body acceptance issues), what they can do and how it feels to “be” in their body (ie activity), and lastly, giving up the “diet mentality.” And that last piece is what makes expanding your palate so much fun.

Just like our health behaviors, a lot of our food preferences are determined by our families influence. For example, I despised liver and onions all my life because my mom told me horrible stories about having to eat it as a kid (because if it was “good” for her). I tasted some a few years ago (the first bite) and I love it…so a lot of times we have opinions that are based on things other than facts, but we believe them to be facts.

In the same way, Paul and Nate have workshops where women can taste all the things that they don’t like, and often times find that they do like it, especially when the “good for you” branding has been lifted. Paul mentioned that he’s had women thank him for giving them the opportunity to eat and enjoy fish – Nate remembers when he made several different kinds of mushrooms (we’ve all had button or white cap mushrooms, but what about shitake, crimini, porcini, oyster or chanterelles) and challenged the women to find one that they liked – everyone was able to find a mushroom that tasted good to them.

Although I can’t back this up with research, and this is strictly my opinion based on my anecdotal observation, I note that women with the most restrictive food behaviors (long lists of things they won’t eat), tend to have the most difficulty with maintaining a healthy weight, struggle more ferociously with dieting and yo-yo to higher weights, and tend to be very unhappy with food, even if it’s exactly what they want! Here’s a quote from an article I found that touches a bit on this idea,

“Erratic eating also promotes weight gain because a person does not get regular delivery of nutrients, said Stice, which can alter a person's physiological responses and disrupt a person's normal appetite pattern.”

My layman and unscientific conclusion is that they have labeled food into “good” and “bad” categories for so long, that they no long enjoy the few things that they think they like. Their taste buds are bored near to death, and the only way they can get “taste” or “flavor” is through use of excessive amounts of artificial sweeteners, salt or some other conventional (read "boring") types of condiments. Tearing down ideas of “good” and “bad” food opens them up to try new things, and let’s them enjoy eating again, finding that there can be wonderful tastes in the food, not just in what’s poured over it.

They are able to satisfy their “inner eater”, and find that weight and health management is easier, once the entire world of food has been opened up.

So whether pushing the food “horizon” for you is trying a vegetable other than broccoli, or if you’re ready to try crystallized rose petals (which are fantastic, by the way), start to actively think about getting more flavor from your food – you’ll be shocked at how satisfying it is.

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Posted by Gina V. on September 27, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack


September 26, 2005

Your Road To Fitness…Or Dangerous Curves?

Back_painAs you know, I’ve been going to the gym lately, peddling away on my bike and watching all the men walk by…for scientific research and blog writing purposes only, of course! And I’ve noticed another practice that I think is worth mentioning and somewhat disturbing.  Personal trainers who may lack the expertise one would assume when handing over a check for $50 or more an hour.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve watched trainers take their clients through the same routines day after day - no matter what their age, physical condition or fitness level. I’ve watched women in their fifties and sixties off balance and struggling to lunge across the length of the gym floor with a huge exercise ball (must we do every conceivable exercise with this confounded ball just because we can?), trying to hold it in their outstretched arms with grimaced looks of disbelief, as if to say, “Can this be good for me?”

Yesterday I watched an older woman on her hands and knees lifting her leg and flexing her foot parallel to the ceiling (you remember this butt buster), while her back dipped and swayed and her body became more off center, elbows bending under her weight while her very expensive trainer stood satisfactorily by counting off her sets.  As though completing 30 of these diabolical lifts was more important than doing one of them right. I had visions of this woman sitting at home later that evening dialing her chiropractor with a heating pad strapped to her back.

So, what’s the lesson?  All personal trainers are not alike and good ones are probably harder to find than you might imagine – especially if you’re compromised in any way.

Before taking on a personal trainer be prepared to ask lots of questions and make sure they ask you plenty of questions as well. There are a plethora of certifications PT’s can obtain these days, and with all those letters behind their names who’s to know what any of it means? (Sadly, you can obtain exercise certification over the internet with no more expertise than qualifying for a VISA). So, what’s a girl to do?

The following link provides excellent recommendations about selecting and effectively using a personal trainer from the American College of Sports Medicine.  How to find a great fitness trainer.

And here are some additional tips for making the best use of your time in the gym.

Remember - move to feel great and find the intrinsic joy in exercise!

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Posted by Cindy on September 26, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack


September 22, 2005

Fabulous Fruit Smoothies

Smoothie_1 If you like smoothies, here are two delicious versions that can be prepared year round. Besides tasting great, these smoothies are an excellent way to get needed calcium that many women find so hard to get. All in all, a treat that can’t be beat!

Tropical Smoothie

1 fresh or frozen banana
1/2 - 3/4 cup chopped mango
1/3 cup fat-free (skim) milk
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon limeade concentrate
1 tablespoon honey

Place all the ingredients in the blender or food processor. Cover and blend on high speed about 30 seconds or until smooth. Pour in tall glass; garnish with lime wedge and serve.

Mixed Berry Smoothie

1 fresh or frozen banana*
1/2 - 3/4 cup fresh or frozen berries (blueberries, raspberries or blackberries)
1/3 cup fat-free (skim) milk
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon orange juice concentrate
1 tablespoon honey

Place all the ingredients in the blender or food processor. Cover and blend on high speed about 30 seconds or until smooth. Pour in tall glass; garnish with a fresh berry or sprig of mint and serve.

For other great tasting recipes check out the Green Mountain at Fox Run cookbook, Recipes For Living.

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Posted by Cindy on September 22, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


September 21, 2005

A Match Made In Heaven?

In a press release this week, TrimSpa (B-A-ABY! Sorry, I couldn’t resist), announced their new partnership with Lifestyle Beverages a company specializing in, well, I guess beverages that are designed to go with your lifestyle. Duh! So, what exactly is TrimWater?  It’s a concept that obviously appeals to those who feel there is not enough flavored, low calorie, ‘nutritionally enhanced’, consumer beverages on our grocery shelves.  Here is an interesting excerpt from the press release:

“All too often, our taste buds get the best of us and we end up consuming beverages loaded with sugars and unnecessary calories instead of water,” said David Sackler, president of Lifestyle Beverages. “Our new flavored water product, TrimWater, is nutritionally enhanced so it is as much a treat for the taste buds as it is for promoting a healthy body and metabolism.”

Sackler further distinguished TrimWater as having no artificial flavors, no artificial colors, or preservatives fewer calories and less sugar than most leading popular flavored water beverages, and less caffeine than the leading diet colas. Additionally, its nutritional content includes Chromium Picolinate, Citrimax, Glucosamine Hydrochloride and Caffeine. Said Sackler, “It’s important to provide great tasting, quality products that can help people change their lifestyle for the benefit of better health.”

So, the next time you go to your kitchen for a nice cold glass of water, stop and think to yourself, “Wait a minute! Instead of boring old H2O, I could have some nutritionally enhanced, metabolism burnin’, non-artificially flavored caffinated water...”

Here’s to your health!

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Posted by Cindy on September 21, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


September 20, 2005

Kids, Bodies, and Images

Last year I attended a ballet recital for a friend – these included kids (mostly girls) Images2from age 3 to 18. What was utterly amazing to me was the way that these kids had no self-consciousness about their bodies – they were tall and short, lithe and stocky, in the midst of growth spurts (thin and gangly) and chubby. Yet everyone danced their hearts out, and sometimes their round bellies poked out from their costumes, occasionally quite a bit. There didn’t seem to be any judgment amongst the girls about themselves or the others.

I remember thinking at the time that things had changed since “my days” when there was more size segregation. But alas, I was too quick to judge…I ran across an article by Paula Kelso called Behind the Curtain: The Body, Control, and Ballet which is obviously about body image and dancing – it was sad to read this information, this is the part that got me…

"There have also been recent examples in the media, which suggest that not much has changed since the 1980s.  For example, the Boston Ballet ballerina who died at 22 due to complications from an eating disorder (Segal, 2002).  Management had told the dancer that she was “chunky” and that she needed to lose weight before she developed anorexia (Segal, 2002).

Another example occurred in San Francisco, where nine-year-old Fredrika Keefer was denied admission to San Francisco Ballet School because she was considered too short and chunky by administration.  Keefer’s parents are suing alleging unlawful discrimination and sex discrimination because height and weight standards are much stricter for females than males.”

Apparently the 9-year-old girl was very talented and had already been in training. She was not allowed to audition, she was rejected on looks alone.

As a society, I like to hope that we are moving closer to the idea that you can just “be” – not be something for someone else. But sometimes I’m not sure that things are better or worse, seems like it depends on where you look. The brighter the light, the deeper the shadows. Here’s my antidote when I look too long at the shadows – Big Moves, Cause Everybody Can Dance.

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Posted by Gina V. on September 20, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


September 19, 2005

Closing The Diabetes Risk Gap

November is diabetes awareness month, and if you’re one of the millions of women who have recently been diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes, or told you are at risk, you’re physician has more than likely shared with you the single biggest improvement you can make in improving your health - change your eating habits and start exercising.  The good news is, significant improvements can be made to your health if you are willing to make the necessary lifestyle changes and they can be made relatively quickly.

Our sister site, Green Mountain at Fox Run, is conducting their 6th Annual Living - A Women's LIfestyle Approach for Mastering Type 2 Diabetes and Pre-diabetes program, November 6th - 12th. This is a week long joint offering from the staffs of Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard Medical School and Green Mountain at Fox Run .

Dr_hortong_1This unique program teaches real life strategies that help women take charge of their diabetes and their health.  By the time they leave the program they will have their eating, fitness and behavioral plan in place, ready to make a successful transition home with the confidence of knowing what to do and how to do it diabetes prevention . Special featured speaker: Edward Horton, MD, Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Medical Director, Joslin Diabetes Center and Past President, American Diabetes Association. To register or learn more

We talk a lot around here about walking, getting fit and feeling good.  Now you can do all three and help other people who are currently living their lives with diabetes by participating in Walk for Diabetes, sponsored by the American Diabetes Association:

"This fall, you can touch the lives of family, friends, co-workers and anyone who lives with diabetes. Participate in America’s premier walking event to benefit the American Diabetes Association and the 18.2 million American adults and children who cope with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes every day.

Become a part of the national fund-raising community and join 200,000 people from all walks of life who areHiking  making a difference in ADA’s ongoing education, type 2 diabetes prevention and research efforts. With every step you take and every sponsor you sign up, you’ll get a great workout while helping keep up the pace to beat this devastating disease."

Learn more about an America's Walk for Diabetes near you!

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Posted by Cindy on September 19, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


September 15, 2005

Apple-Raspberry Crisp

Ease out of summer and into autumn by blending two delicious fruits.  Raspberries remind us of lazy summer days and lemonade. Fall means an abundance of fresh, crisp tart apples -- Paula Reds, Ginger Gold, Jonathans, Braeburns, Granny Smith -- the varieties are endless. And what better way to enjoy both fruits than in an apple-raspberry crisp?

(Makes 4 servings)

    3 cups peeled, thinly sliced apples (about 3 apples)
    1 tablespoon sugar
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    1 cup fresh raspberries
    1/2 cup old fashioned oats
    1/4 cup flour
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    1 1/2 tablespoons butter
    2 tablespoons chopped pecans

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease 9” baking pan or 1 1/2 - quart casserole.
In medium bowl, toss apples, sugar and cinnamon. Add raspberries and toss gently.
Spread fruit mixture in baking pan.

Mix oats, brown sugar, flour and butter in small bowl with fork or pasty blender until mixture is crumbly. Add chopped pecans and mix. Sprinkle topping over fruit.
Bake until top is golden brown and fruit is tender, about 35-40 minutes.
Serve warm with a dollop of whipped topping or frozen yogurt, if desired.

If you enjoyed this recipe, come and enjoy our complete collection of healthy eating recipes.

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Posted by Laura on September 15, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack


September 14, 2005

Perspective

Earthx1 Putting things in perspective can be a challenge - its hard to remember that our own struggles, as personally painful as they may be, aren’t the whole “ball of wax.” At other times, we’re reminded forcefully that there is more to life than our weight and diet – Katrina’s devastation of our friends and neighbors is one of those times.

I'm not making light of the pain that weight, body image and eating issues cause women, but I know that seeing the bigger picture of where that extra 20 or 200 pounds fits on balance with the world helps the healing. If you imagined that you were in outerspace, looking down at your city, your street, your house, and into your bedroom, it would be hard to imagine that those extra inches on your thighs can cause so much grief. And when you imagine all that, those extra inches suddenly don't seem so big.

It’s my hope today to provide a little comfort to the mind as we struggle to make sense of it all.

A reminder to everyone – comfort also comes in the form of dollars, while I’ve made a donation to the Red Cross (which you can do from this site), I’m also concerned about the companion animals and wildlife of the region, and have made use of the Animal Planet resources to donate too. I hope you will too, and that you feel good (as I did) about doing what you can to help. Animal Planet list of resources. Don't forget that shelters are looking for large sized woman's clothing.

Unknown Author: Determination, patience and courage are the only things needed to improve any situation.

Winston Churchill: A kite rises against the wind rather than with it.

Myla Kabat-Zinn: Each difficult moment has the potential to open my eyes and open my heart.

Norman Vincent Peale: Enthusiasm releases the drive to carry you over obstacles and adds significance to all you do.

Napoleon Hill: Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.

James Buckham:  Every trial endured and weathered in the right spirit makes a soul nobler and stronger than it was before.

Titus Livy: We survive on adversity and perish in ease and comfort.

Peter Sinclair: Depression loses its power when fresh vision pierces the darkness.

Posted by Gina V. on September 14, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack