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May 31, 2007

Healthy Recipe - Chilled Raspberry Soup

Chill!  It's getting hot out there.  Here's a cool and healthy recipe that's perfect for lingering on the patio on those muggy evenings.  Plus, this sweet and refreshing soup is so simple to prepare, you won't break a sweat making it for your family or guests. Enjoy eating healthy with this recipe from The Raspberry Industry Development Council (RIDC).

  4 cups fresh raspberries
  1 banana, cut into 5 pieces
  1 cup orange juice
  1 cup light sour cream
  1/2 cup fresh raspberries, for garnish
  fresh mint leaves, for garnish

In a food processor or blender, whip the raspberries, banana, juice and sour cream until smooth. Refrigerate the soup for at least one hour. Serve the soup into small, chilled bowls and garnish with mint leaves and raspberries.

For more healthy recipes check out the other delicious recipes listed on this blog or visit Green Mountain Healthy Living Recipe Favorites.

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Posted by Laura on May 31, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 30, 2007

Another No Vote for Weight Loss Diets

'Tis the season...for diets, that is.  With summer fast approaching, I can almost hear the collective worries of American (and other countries) women who begin fretting anew over what they look like in shorts and bathing suits.  Body image issues ignored, the collective answer generally runs towards starting another weight loss diet. 

With that in mind, I thought I'd pass on a few diet book reviews, books that are competing for the attention of weight-worried women this summer.  The reviews are direct from The ADA Times, a publication of The American Dietetic Association

  • 21_pounds_in_21_days_2 21 Pounds in 21 Days -- The Martha's Vineyard Diet Detox -- The claim:  Detox allows the body to release toxins and excess weight.  The method:  Liquids only, including 64 ounces of distilled water daily, plus supplements.  The facts:  Some of the book's recommendations, such as food combining and colonic therapy, have no scientific merit for weight loss according to the ADA.  Our takeWeight lost quickly -- and it will probably be lost quickly when just drinking liquids for three weeks -- returns even more quickly.  The health effects of such yo-yo dieting are nothing to toy with.
  • Serotonin_power_diet The Serotonin Power Diet: Use Your Brain's Natural Chemistry to Cut Cravings, Curb Emotional Overeating, and Lose Weight -- The claimRaising serotonin levels will cause you to lose weight.  The methodEat high-carb, low-protein, low-fat meals/snacks the first two weeks.  Subsequent weeks vary the protein content and number of snacks.  The factsWhether this plan actually boosts serotonin levels has not been evaluated.  The ADA also notes that most readers will probably lose weight as they would with any calorie-restricted, low-fat diet that encourages regular physical activity.  Our take: The extra-ordinary attention needed to eat like this stands in the way of doing it long-term, and that makes it another wasted effort for most people.  Not sure whether raising serotonin levels is the real problem for most folks, either.
  • Snack_factor_diet_2 The Snack Factor Diet: The Secret to Losing Weight by Eating More -- The claimMonitoring portions, proportions and levels of hunger and choosing nutrient dense foods will help you lose weight.  The methodMonitoring portions, proportions and levels of hunger and choosing nutrient dense foods.  The meal plan excludes fruit entirely and allows only two starch servings a day.  The factsThe method sounds good until you get to the carbohydrate limits.  Our takeDitto.  Much too restrictive, and hence not realistic.
  • Joy_bauers_food_cures Joy Bauer's Food Cures: Easy 4-Step Nutrition Programs for Improving Your Body -- The claimProper nutrition fuels your body; balanced meals with the 'right' calories for you helps you maintain a healthy weight.  The methodReaders are taught to estimate their energy needs and choose among balanced meal plans of different calorie levels.  The factsThe ADA likes it.  Our takeWe certainly agree with the premise of proper nutrition, but disagree with the focus on calorie counting.  Too many women have come to Green Mountain after years of failing at calorie counting.  It just doesn't work for the vast majority of people.

Of course, these few books are probably only a drop in the ocean that are flooding bookstores right now.  Our take on all of them: If they've got you doing anything other than normal eating, they're probably just going to exacerbate struggles over the long term.

Have a happy, healthy summer that's diet-free!

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Posted by Marsha on May 30, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 29, 2007

Tuesday Inspiration


Inspiring Words from Wonderful Women Across the World:

Harriet Beecher Stowe, writer
Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.

Dianne Feinstein, politician
Toughness doesn't have to come in a pinstripe suit.

Eleanor Roosevelt, activist You Learn by Living
You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, "I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along." You must do the thing you think you cannot do.

Indira Gandhi, Indian politician
You must learn to be still in the midst of activity and to be vibrantly alive in repose.

Anne Frank, writer
How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.

Janis Joplin, American singer
Don't compromise yourself. You are all you've got.

Dolores Huerta, activist
If you haven't forgiven yourself something, how can you forgive others?

Mother Theresa, social activist
I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much.

Dolly Parton, singer
If you want the rainbow, you've got to put up with the rain.

Helen Hayes, American actress
Rest and you rust.

Kaethe Kollwitz, German artist
I am gradually approaching the period in my life when work comes first. No longer diverted by other emotions, I work the way a cow grazes.

Virginia Woolf, writer
Each has his past shut in him like the leaves of a book known to him by heart and his friends can only read the title.

Maya Angelou, poet, educator
It is this belief in a power larger than myself and other than myself, which allows me to venture into the unknown and even the unknowable.

Quotes from About.com

Posted by Cindy on May 29, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 28, 2007

Happy Memorial Day!

I don't know when I first became fascinated with food at the holidays, but I know I was a very young child. I was mesmerized by all the special treats unique to the occasion.  The care it took to prepare special dishes, many I hadn't tried before.  The way everyone was enthusiastically ogling over a new recipe or the way the food looked so beautiful. 

I'm sure I made an emotional, even romantic connection between the turkey on Thanksgiving, prime rib at Christmas, ham on Easter and potato salad and watermelon on the Fourth of July, with happiness and love. Food seemed to make people happy.

It’s unfortunate I spent the next 30 years dreading holidays because they meant I'd be forced to eat those foods I perceived as 'bad'. High in fat, loaded with calories or just plain 'not on my diet'!  It took me almost 3 decades to realize that eating any of my favorites foods, in moderation, wasn't going to add up to a bloody thing.  Because one serving of strawberry shortcake never made anyone fat!

So, the only tidbit I will offer you on this Memorial Day, is to enjoy whatever dishes are traditional in your family.  Because if you don't, tonight you might find yourself alone, in the dark, in front of your Thermador eating a cold meaningless spoonful of pork and beans, a tired deviled egg or horror of horrors some forbidden strawberry pie!

PiestrawberryWhy not enjoy it today, mindfully, with your friends and family? The way God intended you to...with laughter, peace of mind and a little love thrown in. Enjoy!

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Posted by Cindy on May 28, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 25, 2007

It's Summertime! Are You Ready?

Summer is on its way and for many of our readers that means – the kids are home! Each year when we’re talking to women about our program, we hear how this time of year can really take a toll on personal time.

With summer literally just around the corner, now might be the right time to take a look at whether your current healthy living plan is going to work for you. Are changes in order? Will you still be able to take your morning walk? The one you use to take after the kids went off to school? Or will you need to rethink what might need to change now, before you've let a couple weeks go by. Workouts and scheduled personal time may need to change in the face of busy summer schedules.

Think about how you can manage your time differently. When kids are at home all day, every day, will your frig be stocked with different types of food and more of it? Managing you and your family's menu may also take some additional planning. Now may be an appropriate time to set any new ground rules at home which will better support you in your efforts to manage a healthy lifestyle.

Some time between business meetings, soccer games, grocery shopping, doctor appointments,  birthday parties, dry cleaning, client lunches, vacation planning and sex - you need to carve out the all important ‘me time’! 

Here’s a great book you may want to read or revisit, which should be on the top of any woman’s summer reading list. Take a look and check in once and a while and let us know how you’re doing.

Changing2Changing For Good

by James O. Prochaska, PhD, John Norcross, PhD and Carlo Diclemente, PhD

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Posted by Cindy on May 25, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 24, 2007

Healthy Recipe: Blazin' Colorado Steaks

Grill like a winner and make your Memorial Day something to remember with these tongue-tantalizing tangy steaks!  An excellent source of protein, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, iron, selenium and zinc, this recipe was the 2005 Grand prize winner in the National Beef Cook-Off (entry by Linda Morten, TX). Sour cream, cilantro, lime balance the spicy chipotle and green peppers which, in turn, are sure make your mouth tingle with delight...Enjoy your holiday!

(Learn to grill burgers like a pro with this how-to video.
Click here to watch!)

Makes 4 Servings

Main Ingredients:
4    beef shoulder top blade steaks (flat iron)
      or boneless beef chuck eye steaks,
      cut 1 inch thick (about 8 ounces each)
      Salt (optional)
      Chopped seeded tomato
      Cilantro sprigs, lime wedges (optional)
1/4  cup fresh lime juice
3     chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1     can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
1/2  cup whipping cream
1/2  cup dairy sour cream
2    tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Place marinade ingredients in blender container. Cover; purée until smooth. Place beef steaks and marinade in food-safe plastic bag; turn steaks to coat. Close bag securely and marinate in refrigerator 15 minutes to 2 hours.

Remove steaks from marinade; discard marinade. Place steaks on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill shoulder top blade steaks, covered, 10 to 14 minutes (chuck eye steaks, uncovered, 16 to 20 minutes) for medium rare to medium doneness, turning once. Season with salt, if desired; keep warm.

Meanwhile prepare sauce. Place green chilies in blender container. Cover; purée until smooth. Combine chilies and cream in heavy small saucepan with heatproof handle. Place on grid over medium, ash-covered coals; cook until hot, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in sour cream and cilantro. Cook and stir 1 to 2 minutes or until just heated through. Do not boil.

Serve steaks with sauce. Garnish with tomatoes and cilantro sprigs and lime wedges, if desired.

Posted by Laura on May 24, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 23, 2007

Healthy Eating: Beans, Beans, The Magical Fruit

Beans I know that's not the way that old ditty usually goes, but beans are as magical as they are musical. 

I had this thought last night as I was spooning the remaining pea soup from the pot into a storage container.  Maybe something only a dietitian would think of....  Still, the health benefits of beans are astounding.  Besides their usually touted advantages such as having lots of fiber, vitamins and minerals, here are a couple more valuable reasons to become a bean eater: 

  • Regular consumption of beans may help improve cognitive performance (the old brain, folks) as we age.  Seems the low glycemic index and its resultant positive influence on blood glucose levels is the culprit here.  That's good news for all of us, and especially relevant to people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
  • The folic acid in beans also plays a role in preserving cognitive functioning. It's also a critical nutrient for helping to prevent birth defects.  Women of childbearing age want to get plenty of folic acid on a regular basis, before they get pregnant, because the critical time is the first three weeks of pregnancy when we often don't know we're pregnant.
  • Beans are good sources of prebiotics, which are the substrates that healthy colon flora thrive on.  This promotes better gut function, improved mineral absorption, reduced blood cholesterol and improved immunity. 
  • High fiber foods are satiating (so we don't eat quite as much), which obviously helps with weight management.  In addition, research shows regular bean eaters tend to have smaller waistlines, probably a result of the low glycemic index again (larger waistlines are often an effect of insulin resistance and high blood glucose levels).

If all that's not enough, consider the tastes of beans.  There are a wide variety to choose from -- chickpeas or garbanzo beans are great on salads; pinto beans (a staple in Texas where I was raised) are fabulous in chili; split pea soup is just yummy when made with onions, carrots, olive oil, or try it with Middle Eastern spices like tumeric, cumin and coriander.  Baked beans are a staple of New England where I now reside; they're good eating any time of year, whether on a cold snowy day or as part of a picnic lunch. Link to this great lentil stew recipe that we discovered on one of our Italian cooking tours. 

Welcome to the magical world of beans!

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Posted by Marsha on May 23, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 22, 2007

Tuesday's Affirmation

Sphynx20body_640PERFECT BEAUTY

by Joanne Green

The Great Sphynx of Egypt has, over the years,
Lost her nose.
Venus de Milo has no arms,
And the Liberty Bell sports a great, wide crack.
And yet each of these is considered to be a thing of beauty,
A standard of perfection.

And so it must be that we do not,
as one might imagine,
Look to perfection in order to see beauty,
But rather, we look to beauty,
And thereby see perfection.

Posted by Cindy on May 22, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 21, 2007

Healthy Living - Every Little Bit Counts

Fun_with_danceYou’ve heard this before, but it’s always worth repeating - exercise is good for us!

There's a plethora of ways exercise benefits us. It helps maintain a healthy heart, it builds strong and flexible bodies and it can help give us energy for days. Anyone who’s incorporated exercise into their daily life knows these things to be true. You simply feel better and your outlook on life is more positive. That in and of itself should be a great motivator – yet why do so many Americans still shy away from physical activity? Maybe it’s because our vision of exercise is unrealistic. The thought of starting from ground zero and jumping into an olympic training session is hardly appealing. So where to start?

Another study has just recently come out which again boosts the claim that just 10 minutes of daily exercise can improve your health, and particularly the health of overweight or obese women by lowering their blood pressure and reducing their risk of developing heart disease - decreasing their overall chance of dying at an early age.

Dr. Timothy Church of Louisiana State University, author of the study reinforces the fact that to gain the proper amount of healthy exercise, one does not have to perform stressful activities.

"This information can be used to support future recommendations and should be encouraging to sedentary adults who find it difficult to find the time for 150 minutes of activity per week, let alone 60 minutes per day," the researchers wrote in their report, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Our advice? Start where you are and build from there. Once you get 10 or 15 minutes under your belt, you’ll want to do more – because you can and you’re feeling great.

SOURCES: Timothy Church, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., director, Laboratory of Preventive Research, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge; I-Min Lee, M.B.B.S., Sc.D., associate professor of medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and associate professor of epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston; May 16, 2007, Journal of the American Medical Association

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Posted by Cindy on May 21, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 18, 2007

Work Whilst You Walk?

There’s not much to say about this picture other than it made me laugh out loud. Helloooo people who invent useless things!

This was the thinking behind an experiment performed by two scientists at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Researchers James Levine and Jennifer Miller have designed a vertical work station that allows workers to use their computer while walking on a treadmill at a speed of their choice. (Whoa, Nelly…slow that Mustang down!)

Listen, I can’t even type and talk on the phone at the same time, much less walk on a treadmill. In fact; I can barely walk on a treadmill and watch TV at the same time. This seems harder to manage than an audition for Cirque du Soleil. The whole concept gives intrinsic exercise and physical well being a bad name. And that name is DUMB.

I’m highly convinced that adding MORE multi-tasking to our lives is not the answer to fitness or weight management. Could this activity be any less mindful? Where’s the joy? Where’s the fun? Where’s the shower?

Come on James and Jennifer, you can do better than this. But hey, thanks for the chuckle!

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Posted by Cindy on May 18, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack