Charles and Deanie

Charles and Deanie
" We are going to loose weight"

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Monday, February 14, 2011

10 Foods to Always Have on Hand

With a few staples in your fridge, freezer and pantry, you can whip up healthy meals in minutes — saving yourself time, money and calories, too. Our handy shopping list can help you stock up.

10 Foods to Always Have on Hand
Article By: Lisa Taddeo

Knowing you have a stocked kitchen at home can be one more reason for you not to hit up the local drive-through. These staples will help you get a meal on the table in minutes.

"There's nothing to eat."

That has to be one of the most disheartening assessments you can make after examining the contents of your refrigerator. Of course, it opens the door to takeout or a restaurant meal and, very often, a far bigger portion of a much unhealthier food than you would have eaten at home.

The solution? Keep an intelligently stocked kitchen so you're never more than 10 minutes of cooking time away from a healthy meal.

Thanks to Christopher Mohr, PhD, RD, a dietician and exercise physiologist in Louisville, Kentucky, we've compiled a list of 10 foods that will help you create simple meals at a moment's notice. Plus, "they'll give you a variety of nutrients without an abundance of calories," Mohr says.

1. Boneless, skinless chicken breast
"Chicken can be prepared with almost anything you have in the house," says Mohr. Grill it for a sandwich, spice it up with curry and cumin for Thai-style satays, or just throw it in a salad. There are thousands of choices.

Frozen chicken will last up to six months in your freezer (well sealed) and will quickly add low-fat protein to any meal.

Serving size: 3 oz of cooked boneless, skinless breast meat
PointsPlus™ value: 3

2. Unsalted dry-roasted nuts
Choose the roasted, unsalted version you can find in most supermarket produce sections, not the oily snack mix kind. "They're loaded with healthy fats, plus you can use good mixed nuts as toppings for stir-fry and salads," says Mohr.

Instead of breadcrumbs, crush the nuts and use them to coat chicken-breast strips for a tasty, protein-packed "breaded" cutlet.

Serving size: 1/4 cup
PointsPlus value: 6

3. Frozen vegetables
A no-brainer, and no one's freezer should be without them. Stock your favorites, from broccoli to spinach (which can improve everything from soup to pasta). Frozen vegetables can last up to one year, so it's no sweat to keep all the ingredients necessary for an instant, colorful stir-fry. Or, add them to a quick vegetable soup, like minestrone.

Serving size: 1/2 cup
PointsPlus value: 1

4. Fat-free soup broth
No cook would ever be caught without soup broth (vegetable, chicken or beef). You can use it to flavor meat, thin sauces, make gravy — and a million other options.

Throw raw vegetables into broth and they'll last up to three days longer, says Mohr. "They'll not only stay more crisp, but they'll be more flavorful because they'll absorb the flavor of the stock," he adds. Set the pot over a flame and you have an instant healthy soup. Toss in a chicken breast for a tasty meal.

Serving size: 1 cup
PointsPlus value: 0

5. Lean ground beef
"Ground beef is loaded with iron, zinc and protein; it's always good to have some on hand to add nutrients to meals," says Mohr. You could grill it into a burger or crumble it into any conceivable dish.

Serving size: 3-ounce cooked patty
PointsPlus value: 3

6. Basil leaves
When you need a touch of class — and perhaps to create the illusion that you put more effort into cooking the meal than you really did — add a few whole, fresh basil leaves. It's a flavorful spice and garnish that's visually appealing. You can use it in numerous ways: to make pesto, to flavor fish and meats, or to liven up fresh tomatoes and mozzarella.

Serving size: Almost any
PointsPlus value: 0

7. Extra virgin olive oil
Sure, it's high in PointsPlus values, but it's one of the most versatile sources of good fat — and a little goes a long way. It's important to purchase "extra virgin" olive oil for a flavor boost. When a recipe demands an oil or fat, it's the best choice.

Serving size: 1 teaspoon
PointsPlus value: 1

8. Canned, crushed or whole Tomatoes
Chili, pasta sauce, soup — sooner or later, a recipe will call for it, so keep a can in the pantry. It's a great source of potential cancer-fighting lycopene and vitamin C.

Serving size: 1 cup
PointsPlus value: 0

9. Chicken sausage
"It comes frozen and is lower in fat than regular pork sausage," says Mohr. It'll add spicy flavor to otherwise drab meals. With spaghetti sauce, create a sausage version of Bolognese or eat it on a roll hot dog-style. Grill two links for a Cuban sandwich. Give yourself an extra five minutes in the morning, and you might even eat it for breakfast.

Serving size: 1 1/2 ounces cooked
PointsPlus value: 1

10. Dried whole-wheat pasta
A fail-safe anytime you crave a quick, filling dinner. Whole-wheat pasta has more fiber than white flour pasta, so a smaller serving fills you up more. You can add penne to soups, or eat angel hair with a low-calorie marinara sauce or a dash of olive oil, garlic cloves (which you should also keep on hand) and red pepper flakes.

Whole-wheat pasta:
Serving size: 1 cup cooked
PointsPlus value: 4

Store-bought marinara sauce:
Serving size: 1/2 cup
PointsPlus value: 2

About the Writer
Lisa Taddeo is an associate editor at GOLF Magazine and has written for New Jersey Monthly and Travel Savvy.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Feb. 4 is National Wear Red Day 2011: Go Red for Women

In the United States, the event is scheduled on the first Friday in February, each year. It's part of a campaign that begins American Heart Month. In the U.K., they have the same event, but it occurs on February 26 and is run by the British Heart Foundation. February is also National Heart Month for the BHF.

Despite the common belief that women are "protected" from heart disease by their hormones, at least through menopause, statistics show that cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of women 20 years and older at a rate of one woman every minute. In fact, more women die of heart disease than the next four causes of death combined, including cancer. Additionally, since 1984, more women have died of heart disease than men, and 267,000 women die each year from heart attacks, according to the Women's Heart Foundation.

National Wear Red Day 2011 part of campaign to highlight women's
The campaign also works to inform women of the differences they may experience in terms of symptoms. The symptoms of a heart attack differ from men to women. Men generally show the classic symptoms most know about:L tightness in the chest or pain that radiates down the arm, according to Dr. Abdulla M. Abdulla of Cardiovascular Associates of Augusta, Georgia. For women, Abdulla said, "Only maybe 25 or 30 percent of women present with chest pain. They present with fatigue. They present with discomfort in the throat and the jaw. They're nauseated, they're short of breath."

Naturally, it's easy to support both the Go Red for Women campaign and National Wear Red Day 2011. Wear anything red: a blouse, a scarf, dress, a skirt. There is even a website set up by the campaign where you can "Shop Red." There you can find lapel pins, other jewelry, shirts, and still more.

Funds generated by the sales go to the fight against heart disease, of course, and you can wear your purchases, although it's probably just a little too late for National Wear Red Day 2011.

Although National Wear Red Day 2011 is part of the Go Red for Women campaign, men can support it too, and should as well. There's no reason why men can't wear a red hat or red short, or whatever to support the cause. After all, cardiovascular disease strikes men too, although the Go Red for Women campaign was started to educate women that they are not so protected against heart disease as they might think. Read more here at the following link: