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March 16, 2006

Curry Chicken Salad

A favorite entrée served at Green Mountain is something called a Tri-Salad Plate. The star of that combo is the Curry Chicken Salad. Here it's featured with two other colorful side salads -- the Marinated Bean Salad (from our Recipes for Living cookbook) and a simple fresh fruit salad that we've garnished with a bit of feta cheese. Enjoy!

(Makes 4 servings)

    1/2 cup light mayonnaise
    2 tablespoons honey
    2 tablespoons minced scallions
    2 teaspoons curry powder
    1/2 pound (about 2 cups) cooked, cubed chicken
    1 cup halved green or red seedless grapes
    Lettuce for garnish

Mix all ingredients together in medium sized bowl, including salt and pepper to taste. Serve in lettuce cup. (Or salad can be refrigerated for several hours or overnight).

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

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Posted by Laura on March 16, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 15, 2006

Taxing Fat

Chips The above title could be a play on words.  It can be tough to carry around extra fat that your body isn’t built for (which means it’s there as the result of an unhealthy lifestyle or other problem, not genetics -- in the latter case, I guess it means it's not extra!).  But in this post, I’m talking about the hairbrained notion that keeps popping up that somehow it will deter people from eating ‘junk foods’ if we add an extra tax to them.  Currently, the World Health Organization and a legislator from the Indiana House of Representatives are separately championing this idea as a way to help people stay slimmer.

A couple of problems with the idea (I know – you’re surprised!):

·        A ‘fat tax’ is based on the assumption that people get fat from eating junk food.  But most studies don’t show this, even for children.  The article I've linked to above gives a good review of those studies.

·        It’s highly unlikely that increasing the price for such foods will reduce the demand.  Studies show that demand for 'fun' foods tends to be insensitive to price, except for specific socioeconomic groups.  And among those who do react to price, at least one study shows they respond to higher food prices by eating fewer fruits and vegetables, not less prepared food.  Further, there’s the deprivation response that many weight strugglers are too familiar with – try to take something away, and we go for it even more.

Don’t these legislators/organizations know their history?  When has making something harder to get made it less desirable?  In my case, I’m sad to say a higher price tag often makes something seem more worthwhile (I'm sure I'm not the only one who suffers this illusion).

My vote – again, no surprise – goes to those with ideas for helping us make healthy eating more pleasurable – something we want to do, not that we are forced into doing.

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Posted by Marsha on March 15, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 14, 2006

Weight Loss "Cures"

In another one of those strange office debates that go on through digressions, segues, and tangents, we ended up discussing fiendish weight loss methods. For those interested in charting the course of how we got on that subject, it started with the subject old television commercials. After Rodney Allen Rippy, and Clara "Where's the Beef" Peller, we then went on to "what would you do for a Klondike bar?" This eventually devolved into "what would you do (have you done) to lose weight?" Buttrimmer1

Fasts using protein derived from boiled animal parts, pig urine injections and tapeworms in capsules were the top ones I recall. The tapeworms required a visit to Urban Legends for some verification. Here is what they say on the matter....

Some versions of this legend [refering to ingesting capsules with tapeworm larvae for weight loss purposes] specify that once the vain one has lost all the extra poundage desired, she takes deworming pills to be rid of the tapeworm.

Origins: As unlikely as this must sound, there might be some reason to believe tapeworm diet pills were once marketed in the United States between 1900 and 1920. A number of sources have indicated encountering advertisements for such products, but whether the products advertised actually matched their descriptions would be difficult to verify. (That is, just because an ad for a diet pill proclaimed the product contained tapeworms doesn't mean it really did — duping people into buying medicinal nostrums with all sorts of false and exaggerated claims was standard procedure in the days before government regulation of food and drug products.) In the 1960s, memories of those ads resurfaced as appetite-suppressant candy came into vogue, prompting curious dieters to speculate on how they worked. By 1970, diet pills were all the rage, and amphetamines accounted for 8% of all prescriptions written that year. Simple reports about various wonder products evolved into appalling whispered-behind-hands tales about women so desperate to keep their figures that they routinely swallowed magic diet pills which were really tapeworms in capsules. Sometimes the tidbits ended there as "Did you know . . .?" shared tales, but other times the buzz was expanded into tragic tales detailing the gruesome deaths that had befallen some beautiful but vain young things.

I'm now certifiably "cured" from weight loss "cures"!

Posted by Gina V. on March 14, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 13, 2006

Don't Tell Me It's Over! - The Therapeutic Benefits of Massage

I had a boyfriend once who told me he hated getting a massage. "Huh? How can you hate massage?!", I asked dumbfounded. "Because I hate the disappointment I feel when it’s over". Ok, I could relate to that, but I'd never let it get in the way of my love for massage.  If I had Reese Witherspoon's money I’d get one everyday. Maybe two… But alas, I don’t, so I try to get a massage at least once a week.  Massage isn’t cheap, but I can’t think of too many things that produce such a great end result in such a short period of time.  

Massage_2I’m always surprised to learn how many women have never had a real massage. Often times (certainly not always), this reaction to massage is due to issues around self and size acceptance.  Most of us spend a lot of time and consideration disguising our lumps and bumps, only to visit a perfect stranger, disrobe (you don’t have to by the way), and let them go where no man has gone before – even if you’ve begged him to!  If legitimate shyness is keeping you from having one of the most wonderful experiences in your life, consider this:

• Massage reduces stress
• Massage provides general relaxation
• Massage reduces muscle tension throughout the body    
• Massage can relieve acute and chronic pain 
• Massage can promote recovery from muscle fatigue and from minor aches and pains
• Massage reduces swelling
• Massage improves blood circulation 
• Massage can increase oxygen capacity of the blood
• Massage induces better lymph movement 
• Massage can increase mobility and range of motion of joints
• Massage stimulates or soothes the nervous system 
• Massage can enhance the condition of the skin
• Massage can assist with better digestion and intestinal function 
• Massage can aid in improving physical health and the quality of life
• Massage feels really GOOD!

There are other benefits you can receive from regular massage. Read more about massage therapy at Holistic.com. You can also get more information about massage, therapies, techniques and what to expect from a credited massage therapist at, The American Medical Message Association.

Source: (Benefits of massage) Holisticonline.com.

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Posted by Cindy on March 13, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 10, 2006

Pork and Sweet Potato Stew

On cold winter days, this pork and sweet potato stew is always a welcome sight. Serve this with some crunchy whole grain bread and a simple green salad.

(Makes 4 servings)

    1 1/2 pounds boneless roast or loin chops, cut in 1-2 inch cubes
    2 tablespoon flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon pepper
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 cup chopped onion
    1-2 garlic cloves, chopped
    1 1/2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
    1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
    1/2 cups red wine
    1/4 teaspoon ginger
    1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (or nutmeg)
    2 teaspoons fresh tarragon leaves (or rosemary or sage)
    2 cups (1 pound) cubed sweet potatoes
    1/2 cup small frozen peas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, toss pork cubes with flour, salt and pepper.

Heat oil in ovenproof pot over medium-high heat; add half of the pork and sauté until brown (about 8-10 minutes). Remove from pot and cook remaining half of pork.

Remove pork from pan. Add onions and garlic and sauté until slightly soft (about 3 minutes). Return pork to pot and add chicken broth, tomatoes, red wine, spices and herbs. Bring to a boil. Cover pot and place in oven. Bake for 1 hour. Add sweet potatoes and bake another 30 minutes or until sweet potatoes are soft. Remove from oven, stir in peas and heat through. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste and serve.

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

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Posted by Laura on March 10, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 08, 2006

Eating Well, Moving Well, Thinking Well - It Works!

Symposiumlogo_1 Recently the USDA (yes, those denizens of extreme dieting, see a post on this healthy blog about the "new pyramid") have now seen fit to endorse the idea of living well for "obese Americans." While I could pick on their lack of concern and compassion for "non-obese Americans," this is a major turning point in the thought process from a government that has been intent on convincing us to fear fatness, while at the same time promoting the remedy that has caused the problem - calorie restriction and tedious exercise solely for weight loss (which never happens).

The reason for this mental one-eighty? Two groups were monitored for 2 years - one group given the typical diet-oriented agenda (eat less and exercise more) versus the second group that was schooled and supported in the Every Size paradigm (learning body acceptance, finding a form of exercise that was pleasant, and practicing intuitive eating).

The diet group lost weight fairly rapidly for the first 6 months, then re-gained. They did not lower their lipid profile or blood pressure significantly at any point in the two years. The "Every Size" group had made and retained significant progress in reducing their blood pressure and lipid profile.

At the 2-year point, Every Size team members had nearly quadrupled the amount of time they spent in moderate, hard, or very hard physical activity, compared to what they had reported at the study's outset.
The dieters didn't fare as well. At the 1-year point, they were exercising more than at the start, but they didn't sustain their improved level to the 2-year checkpoint.

Worst, at the 2-year point, volunteers answered questions about how helpful the program was to them. When asked whether they'd continued to implement some of the tools they'd learned, 89 percent of the Every Size women answered regularly or often. Only 11 percent of the dieters did so.

Focusing on health and on changing behavior, instead of on weight loss, apparently acted as "keys to the successes of the Every Size team," Marta D. Van Loan, one of the scientists who ran the study, points out.

For many people, weight-loss diets simply don't work," says Van Loan. The Health at Every Size strategy may break the cycle of unsuccessful dieting and open the door to happier, healthier lives.

The entire story can be read here - http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/mar06/health0306.htm

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Posted by Gina V. on March 8, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 07, 2006

Healthy Eating through the Ages

Apples Another post in honor of National Nutrition Month – this one examining the confusion about what’s healthy to eat and what’s not.  This intro from the Social Issues Research Centre (SIRC) in Oxford, England, tells it all:

It seems that everyday we are faced with new advice on what we should or should not eat. Sometimes this advice comes from government departments and agencies. On other occasions it is provided by charitable bodies, consumer groups or individuals whose credentials range from substantial to very dubious. At worst the guidance comes from those who have no qualifications at all but simply pursue untested and often quite dangerous medical and nutritional philosophies.

The result of this daily diet of conflicting 'advice' is confusion and anxiety. If we were to follow even a fraction of the guidance we are given we would swing from one faddist eating pattern to another, and end up both unhealthy and quite miserable.

They go on to provide a ‘timeline’ of dietary advice beginning as far back as prehistoric times where they recount how our earliest ancestors, through a process of trial and error (personally discovering which foods made you sick and which didn’t), learned how to eat to best survive.  The timeline goes through to 2003, and according to SIRC, is being updated constantly to provide insight into the vagaries of nutrition advice through the ages.  Definitely a remarkable read for the nutrition-interested among us.

Here’s how they close their introductory page:

Perhaps the only consistent strand that emerges from the Timeline is that 'healthy' eating involves a variety of foods. If we set aside the idea that there is such a thing as a 'healthy' or 'unhealthy' food, and instead eat a wide range of foods, then we might just end up with a diet that is not only balanced and reasonably healthy but also enjoyable. It could also be that deriving pleasure from food, rather than living in fear of it, might soon be shown to be a critical factor in a truly healthy lifestyle.

Hmmmm….now there’s some healthy eating advice that sounds familiar.

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Posted by Marsha on March 7, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 06, 2006

Good Nutrition and Healthy Eating...Its Apple Blossom Time!

Apple_blossomSeems like a lot of theme weeks and theme months are populating our blog lately, but whenever the focus is on getting healthy and feeling better, we’re all for it!  In many parts of the country March conjures up visions of scraping ice off your windshield when it’s still dark outside, snow days! and yummy hot chocolate. Yet, in other parts of the county the onset of March means the first sighting of daffodils and apple blossoms. But what you may not know is that all across our great nation; March is a celebration of something else…good nutrition! Yep, March is National Nutrition Month®! 

Sponsored by the American Dietetic Association, all through March the ADA continues to be one of the most credible sources on food and nutrition and is invested in getting that message out to all Americans.  With all the contradictory information around healthy eating, you can look to the ADA for sound and scientific information. 

Obviously, getting good nutrition should be an every day kind of deal, but that isn’t always possible. Trying toMediterannean_food  eat perfectly every day is no way to live. But we can make an effort to provide our bodies with important nutrients, by trying to incorporate natural, whole foods that pump up the pleasure. Try following a Mediterranean theme such as:

• high consumption of fruits, vegetables, bread and other cereals, potatoes, beans, nuts and seeds
• olive oil as an important monounsaturated fat source
• dairy products, fish and poultry consumed in low to moderate amounts, eating little red meat
• eggs consumed up to four times a week
• wine consumed in low to moderate amounts

Bon Appetit!

Information about Mediterranean eating from The American Heart Association.

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Posted by Cindy on March 6, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 03, 2006

It's Fat Free Friday!

Fat_free_fridayLet's join Jessica Weiner, the author of "Do I Look Fat in This:? : Life Doesn't Begin Five Pounds From Now", in a celebration of Fat Free Friday. Jessica's mission is to silence the critical head. Jessica is a great proponent of living in the now, (as are we), and not waiting to do the things you want to do, live the life you want to live only when you reach some sort of acceptable image of yourself. For most of us, it's a never-ending waiting game.

Check out this and other Jessica Weiner books, for a good kick in the head and maybe even a little kick in the posterior.

Remember...your body does hear everything you think!

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Posted by Cindy on March 3, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 02, 2006

Garden Sandwich

sandwich With a little planning, you can turn a sandwich into a complete meal. This simple, healthy and easy garden sandwich (courtesy from Cook It Quick!, University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension) provides veggies (cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, red pepper), dairy (cheese) and is served on whole grain bread. Perfect for the person on the go or someone seeking a zen moment!

(Serves 1)    

2 slices whole wheat bread    
2 teaspoons Dijon-type mustard    
1 ounce cheddar or Swiss cheese    
2 slices tomato
4 slices cucumber    
1/4 cup red bell pepper strips    
4 basil leaves or
2 romaine leaves (or other leafy green lettuce)

Spread one side of each piece of bread with mustard. Lay ingredients on one slice of bread and top with the other slice. 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 March 2, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack