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September 27, 2007

Golden Apple Stuffed Fillets

Last week's healthy recipe featured apples in a colorful beet salad, perfect for fall.  For another autumnal apple dish, try this healthy eating main course from the Virginia State Apple Board.  Antioxidants, phytonutrients, flavonoids and fiber make apples a strong ally against ailments such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. It's also a golden opportunity to combine this delicious variety with your favorite white fish! 

Makes 4 servings

1 cup grated, peeled golden delicious apple
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup grated carrot
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 cup minced green onion
1/8 tsp. dried thyme
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
4 sole, cod or other white fish
1/4 tsp. ground ginger fillets (4 to 5 ounces each)
1/4 tsp. ground mustard
1/2 cup chicken broth or water

Heat oven to 400; lightly oil small roasting pan. In medium-size bowl, combine apple, carrot, green onion, lemon juice, ginger, mustard, salt, pepper and thyme; mix well. Spread apple mixture evenly over length of fillets; carefully roll up. Place stuffed fillets, seam side down, in oiled pan. Pour broth over rolled fillets; cover with aluminum foil and bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until fish is opaque and barely flakes.

For more healthy eating 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 September 27, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 26, 2007

Which Exercise is Best for Healthy Weight Loss?

WeightsThe question of which exercise is best for healthy weight loss is answered in our latest Fitbriefing.

In short, there’s no one exercise that does it all.  We need both aerobic and strength training activities to give us the fastest, best and most lasting results.  Probably not news to most readers, but worthwhile repeating to ward off any attempts at shortcuts.

Also worth repeating because it is such a temptation is the focus on weight loss for the sake of appearance alone.  Those of us who have done the dieting game and lost weight many times before hopefully realize by now that weight loss at any cost is not worth the effort.  Because we likely just gain it back.  What we need is permanent change…and that’s only achieved by adopting healthy lifestyle changes that produce healthy weight loss.

That is, if we even need to lose weight in the first place.  Too often, our weight loss efforts are based on distorted body images, or unrealistic ideals.  And trying to achieve something that’s not in our genes (e.g., be thinner than a healthy weight for our individual bodies) often backfires and ends up truly making us fat.  A true healthy weight loss program helps us understand what’s right for our bodies in terms of weight, and what’s right for our lives in terms of living fully.

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Posted by Cindy for Marsha Hudnall

Posted by Cindy on September 26, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 25, 2007

The Art of Snacking

Just minutes ago, I realized it was time for a snack. Why? Because if I don’t have little snacks throughout the day I’m ravenous at mealtime and will often times want to graze into the evening. A simple snack (in this case a few almonds and a couple slices of Swiss cheese), will help curb my appetite and help fill in the missing protein and dairy I may not get enough of throughout the day while leaving me feeling satiated and content.

I use to feel snacking was a decadent, unnecessary indulgence. Something that simply added unnecessary calories to my diet. It took me a long time to make the hunger connection. Why it was that I was always hungry, even after mealtime, and why I couldn’t stop nibbling well into the night - only to start the syndrome all over again the next day.

As a result, my waistline expanded ever so slowly, until I would reached a point of complete and total frustration. Now, I’ve learned that snacking is critical and a necessary part of a nutritious, fulfilling and successful eating plan.

If you need to pick up the pace (eating at least every 3 to 4 hours), you can find all kinds of nutritious and tasty snacks in the Green Mountain “Recipes For Living” cookbook, on sale now.

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

September 24, 2007

Diabetes: All Exercise is Not Created Equal

While any exercise is better than no exercise in managing type 2 diabetes, a new study indicates that the combination of aerobic exercise and weight training is significantly better for controlling blood sugar than either alone. That's what a new study published in the Sept. 18 issue of the journal Annals of Internal Medicine found. Time.com reported last week some of the interesting findings:

The elegantly designed study, led by researchers at the University of Calgary and the University of Ottawa, involved 251 patients aged 39 to 70, with type 2 diabetes. The patients, none of whom were regular exercisers, were randomized to one of four groups: aerobic exercise, resistance training, a combination of both, or none. For 22 weeks, the aerobic group worked out for 45 minutes three times a week on the treadmill or stationary bicycle; the resistance-training group spent an equal amount of time on weight machines.

The combination group was at the gym twice as long as the other two exercise groups, doing the full aerobic plus weight-training regimens. "We built up gradually to 45 minutes, but it's certainly vigorous," says Dr. Ronald Sigal, lead author of the study and associate professor of medicine and cardiac sciences at the University of Calgary. "It's not sprinting or maximal exercise like a marathon trainer would do, but for someone who's middle-aged and older and very overweight, it's fairly strenuous."

Overall, researchers saw improvements in blood-sugar control in all the patients who worked out. Compared with controls, patients in the aerobic group had a reduction of .51% in their hemoglobin A1C values — a test that measures blood-sugar control over the previous two to three months (lower is better). The weight-training group had a .38% reduction compared with controls. But the combined exercise group showed further improvements: in those patients, the A1C values went down an additional .46% over the aerobic group, and .59% over the weight-training group. Compared to controls, the combo exercisers had a nearly 1% lower A1C reading.

The benefits of a 1% reduction may seem small, but they aren't: that percentage translates into a 15-20% decrease in heart attack and stroke risk and a 25-40% decreased risk of diabetes-associated eye or kidney problems. Wow!

And there's more good news. Across all three groups, data indicated that exercise in general could improve blood pressure, triglyceride and cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes. The various exercises also resulted in some healthy weight loss and a reduction in belly fat — even though the diets patients were put on were specifically designed for maintaining weight. Furthermore, cat scans of patients' internal muscles seem to indicate an improvement in internal structure and function.

At the very least, if you need to manage your diabetes, any exercise will have a positive effect, but if you want to maximize the health benefits, an exercise program which includes both resistance training and aerobic exercise is the most effective at controlling type 2 diabetes and improving diabetes and weight loss outcomes.

by Laura Brooks

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

September 21, 2007

America Ferrera Embracing and Gracing Glamour

Ugly Betty's America Ferrera won another award to add to her ever-growing trophy case. This time it was the 2007 Emmy award for best actress in a comedy series. Congratulations, America! I must admit, I gave up watching the show about 3 shows in, but apparently, a lot of folks are still watching it and its still winning awards.

Although I missed most of the telecast, I did catch her award and watched her accept it. She was wearing a beautiful, figuring hugging dark blue gown and she looked awesome. America has turned into a fully grown, sexy young woman. She graced the stage and graciously and articulately accepted her award in typical America fashion.

It appeared she's lost a bit of weight from the last time I saw her (posted here in January) and she looked fantastic then! I have no clue how much weight she’s lost, but she still looked healthy and most importantly, happy. 

Sadly, I was in the market yesterday and saw her photoshopped image on the cover of Glamour and immediately thought – why?!?! Why did they do that? Ok, I have no proof, she was photoshopped, but she looks photoshopped, and I don’t think anyone gracing a fashion magazine cover escapes it these days (just think Katie Couric). I don't know about you, but I just want it to stop!! Taking perfectly beautiful women and reconstructing their bodies, even slightly makes me so mad! I'm not a Pollyanna, and I appreciate that professional pictures are touched up and have been since the beginning of time, but reconstructing body parts? Slenderizing arms and hips and legs (think Martha Stewart and Kate Winslet), it’s infuriating!

Was America not beautiful enough for them the way she was? Who knows why America decided to lose weight – I hope it was her own idea and not the pressure she must feel being a young actress in Hollywood, but whatever the reason, it apparently wasn’t good enough for Glamour.

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Posted by Cindy on September 21, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 20, 2007

Healthy Recipe: Apple Beet Fall Medley

Is there any more beautiful color than the rich fuchsia and red tones of the beet?

Today's apple beet medley is a vibrant and nutrient-packed accompaniment to any main course. Like apples, beets are terrific for healthy eating because they are a great source of dietary fiber, folate, potassium, maganese, vitamin C, iron and magnesium. Apples themselves are rich in phytochemicals, which have significant health benefits. Many researchers believe they reduce the risk of several chronic diseases, including heart disease and cancer.

This beet salad is also an award-winning healthy recipe from the Wisconsin Apple Growers Association (submitted by Diane Millner). So serve up this simple yet sophisticated side, and the compliments will fall in your lap like the jewel-toned leaves of autumn.

Makes 6 servings

3  Tart apples, chopped-enough for 3 cups
15 oz Can beets, chopped
2/3 c Walnuts, toasted and broken a little
1/4 c  Feta cheese, crumbled
3 Tbs Minced onion
2 Tbs Olive oil
2 Tbs Balsamic vinegar
1 tsp  Salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Toast walnuts in a cast iron pan for 2-3 minutes on high heat. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and serve. It's that easy!

For more healthy eating 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 September 20, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 19, 2007

PCOS and Type 2 Diabetes Linked by 'Diabetes Gene'

In keeping with yesterday's post, Managing PCOS, which highlights the PCOS Awareness Month campaign sponsored by the Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Association), today's focus is on genetic research linking PCOS and type 2 diabetes.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) occurs when ovarian cysts block a woman's normal ovulation and menstrual cycle. While the problem sounds straightforward, the disease is complex, born from both multiple genetic components and environmental factors. PCOS affects up to five percent of the female population, and those diagnosed with the disease have a 2- to 7-fold risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).

A study of 146 PCOS patients has found that the "diabetes gene" (calpain-10 (CAPN10)) is in fact an interesting candidate for explaining the syndrome. This genetic factor not only increases the risk in women with PCOS of developing type 2 diabetes, but also may play a role in the onset of PCOS.

The study appears in the online edition of the American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism (http://ajpendo.physiology.org/). The journal is one of the 14 scientific publications published by the American Physiological Society (APS) (http://www.the-aps.org/) each month.

diabetes and weight loss

The findings are good news for the estimated five percent of the female population who are diagnosed with the painful and sometimes disabling disease. Please read Managing PCOS, which lists common symptoms of the syndrome if you believe you may be affected.

by Laura Brooks

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Posted by Laura on September 19, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 18, 2007

Managing PCOS

The last time we wrote about polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) was last September; it’s September again, and again, it’s PCOS Awareness Month. This is a campaign sponsored by the Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Association and is (obviously) designed to help women become aware of this relatively common problem (5-10% of women of childbearing age suffer with it).

Once again, we list the symptoms to help those among us recognize the problem:

• infrequent menstrual periods, no menstrual periods, and/or irregular bleeding
• infertility or inability to get pregnant because of not ovulating
• increased growth of hair on the face, chest, stomach, back, thumbs, or toes
• acne, oily skin, or dandruff
• pelvic pain
• obesity, usually carrying extra weight around the waist
type 2 diabetes
• high cholesterol
• high blood pressure
• male-pattern baldness or thinning hair
• patches of thickened and dark brown or black skin on the neck, arms, breasts, or thighs
• skin tags, or tiny excess flaps of skin in the armpits or neck area
• sleep apnea―excessive snoring and breathing stops at times while asleep

polycystic ovarian syndrome can be treated. If you recognize these symptoms in yourself or someone you know, consult a physician. It is a problem that is becoming increasingly recognized by the healthcare community, although you may have to be the one who asks whether Pcos could be the reason for your struggles.

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Posted by Marsha on September 18, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 13, 2007

Healthy Recipe: Powerhouse Dried Plum Bars

Want a smarter snack to give to your little sugarplum? The California Dried Plum website has plenty of healthy eating recipes to make everything from appetizers and salads. Dried plums are nutrient-dense; they provide important vitamins and minerals for their calories. Dried plums also contribute to the overall intake of dietary fiber and phenolic compounds, which function as antioxidants. For today's recipe, dried plums and rolled oats are layered in these nutrition-packed bars, then baked to crunchy golden goodness for healthy snacking.

Makes 16 servings

1 1/2 cups (about 9 ounces) coarsely chopped dried plums
1/3 cup apricot jam
No-stick cooking spray
2 cups rolled oats (old fashioned or quick, uncooked)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine
Powdered sugar (optional)

In medium bowl, combine dried plums and apricot jam; set aside. Lightly spray 8-inch square baking pan with no-stick cooking spray. In large bowl, combine oats, sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt and soda; mix well. Lightly beat together egg and butter; add to oats mixture, mixing until crumbly. Press 2 cups of mixture into bottom of prepared pan. Spread dried plum mixture over oats; sprinkle remaining oat mixture over top. Bake at 350°F oven 20 to 22 minutes or until deep golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired; cut into 16 bars.

For more healthy eating 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 September 13, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

September 12, 2007

Building Self Esteem for Healthy Weight Loss

What are you looking for -- a healthy weight loss program to lose the weight that's driven you nuts for too long? Or do you seek a type 2 diabetes program because your doctor has told you to lose weight to better manage your diabetes? Or do you have PCOS (also known as PCO) and want to lose weight to help that problem? Clearly, there are a myriad of reasons people seek a weight loss program. But how often do we think about starting the process by just working on our self esteem? We've seen over and over again that thinking positively about ourselves is critical to making the kind of permanent changes that will lead to healthy lives, whether we ever reach the (often unrealistic) weight loss goals we have in our minds.

Here's my contribution to building our self esteem for the day. Have you seen the youtube video Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)? If you haven't, check it out. Talk about feel good!

Have a great and positive day!

Read more about polycystic ovarian syndrome, metabolic syndrome.

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Posted by Marsha on September 12, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack