Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tips to Prevent Heart Disease

Heart Disease or Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death across the world.  With over 17 million deaths each year relating to cardiovascular disease, it’s important to take extra precautions to avoid it.  Here are a few tips to lower your chances of developing a serious heart condition:

  • Avoid eating food that are high is sugar content, sodium, or fat.  These all contribute to the decline in heart health and are often the main ingredients in unhealthy, processed foods. 

  • Exercise on a regular basis.  Exercise doesn’t just keep you in shape, it helps your heart remain fit too.  It remains more efficient as well as maintaining a consistent heart rate pattern.

  • Avoid high blood pressure.  Limit your intake of calories, sodium and alcohol to maintain to avoid hypertension. 

  • Don’t smoke.  If you smoke, quit.  If you don’t, don’t start.  The nicotine causes your blood vessels to narrow.

Drop your cholesterol.  Eat foods high in fiber and whole grains, especially fruits and vegetables.  Consider taking supplements such as fish oil. 


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Ginger Glazed Mahi Mahi

Original recipe makes 4 servings
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
1 clove garlic, crushed or to taste
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 (6 ounce) mahi mahi filets
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon vegetable oil


1                  In a shallow glass dish, stir together the honey, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, ginger, garlic and olive oil. Season fish fillets with salt and pepper, and place them into the dish. If the fillets have skin on them, place them skin side down. Cover, and refrigerate for 20 minutes to marinate.
2.                                Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove fish from the dish, and reserve marinade. Fry fish for 4 to 6 minutes on each side, turning only once, until fish flakes easily with a fork. Remove fillets to a serving platter and keep warm.
3.                                Pour reserved marinade into the skillet, and heat over medium heat until the mixture reduces to a glaze consistently. Spoon glaze over fish, and serve immediately.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Healthy Parenting

Communication is often something that is overlooked by parents, especially in the hectic and preoccupied modern world.  Many parents don’t think they need to talk to their child about drugs and alcohol because they have programs at school.  Kids also pick up things from their peers and often are brutally more aware than we think (or want) them to be.  However, discussing important issues with your children could be the deciding factor when they are offered substances at parties or get-togethers. 

Many kids start using tobacco and abusing alcohol as early as ages 9-12.  This often leads to other consequences, such as having their grades suffer or getting involved in other activities, such as gangs and crime.  Research has shown that most kids respond to their parents and listen to their advice.  Taking the time to discuss things with your child shows them that you are concerned and that you care.  Answering any questions they might have as well as discussing ways they can say “no” are healthy discussions that could prevent your child from developing an addiction.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tips to Lose Weight and Keep it Off

Losing weight is a difficult process that requires focus and dedication.  Follow these tips to help shed the pounds and keep them from coming back.

  • Don’t set unreachable goals.  Aim for losing .5 lbs. to 2 pounds a week.  That is a healthy goal that is easier to maintain than rapid weight loss.

  • Instead of telling yourself foods are restricted, add more foods to your diet.  Eat more fruits, vegetables and lean meats.  With all the different kinds available, you aren’t going to be depriving yourself at all.

  • Get a move on.  Exercise is key to losing weight.  Make it something fun, like a summer bike ride or a friendly game of kickball.  Don’t be afraid to try new activities or sports.  Mixing things up is more likely to help you remain active. 

  • When you go out to eat, ask the server to hold the bread and box half your food.  Normally portion sizes are hugely distorted.  This will prevent you from overeating.

Keep a food journal.  Seeing what you are actually eating makes it easier to see what you need to eliminate.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Braised Balsamic Chicken

Original recipe makes 6 servings

6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

Ground black pepper to taste

1 teaspoon garlic salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, thinly sliced

½ cup balsamic vinegar

1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

½ teaspoon dried thyme

  1.  Season chicken breasts with ground black pepper and garlic salt. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet, and brown the onion and seasoned chicken breasts.
  2.  Pour tomatoes and balsamic vinegar over chicken, and season with basil, oregano, rosemary and thyme. Simmer until chicken is no longer pink and the juices run clear, about 15 minutes.
Source: allrecipes.com

Friday, July 5, 2013

Zumba Fitness

Exercise is one of the more efficient ways to improve your physical and mental well-being. To break past the frustrations exercise can sometimes bring, it is important to find ways to make exercise fun. No matter your age, limitations, or fitness levels there are enjoyable ways to fit in physical activity and get you feeling better every day.

Sure, pounding on a treadmill day after day may not be everyone's idea of a good time, so why not try a more low impact yet high yield workout like dancing? Dance is once again becoming a favorite form of exercise across countries, largely due to the new trend called Zumba. It all started in the mid 90's when the founder forgot his music for a traditional aerobics class he was teaching, so he was forced to improvise using the tapes he had in his backpack.  Those tapes consisted of salsa inspired music. Spontaneously he created a new kind of dance-fitness that focused on letting the music move you. The class loved it! That day a new concept was born, Zumba Fitness.  Their slogan is "Ditch the workout, join the party!" The first class  has since evolved over  the years and now incorporates hip-hop, salsa, belly dance moves, squats and lunges to name a few. Zumba classes are being offered in over 140,000 locations around the world in over 150 countries. If you would like to find a class near you, visit their website zumba.com and click the link "Find a class" on the top banner. Need another reason to join the trend?
"Dancing (including Zumba) is great for your heart, improves your balance and joint stability, helps prevent osteoporosis, and burns calories," according to Dr. Sperling of WebMD. “If you danced 60 minutes a day, you could lose an additional 10 to 12 pounds in a year” (WebMD, Fitness Basics). The more intense the dance is, the higher your heart rate will be and the more calories you will burn. The key is to move your whole body.
 If you are not comfortable diving right into a Zumba class, you can purchase Zumba DVD's to follow along to in the comfort of your own home. You could even search online for dances to follow along to, or create a playlist of your favorite tunes and be your own choreographer. If you need a nudge to get to a class, invite a friend or co-worker to join you.
Most importantly remember that exercise doesn't have to be boring! You can make it fun. Look for ways to change up your routine from time to time to keep it exciting. Don't be afraid to let dance be part of that routine.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Mix it up!

Need help breaking away from your “go to” fruits and vegetables and mixing it up a little? Here are a few tips that might be helpful:
- Fruit smoothies are a great way to pack in a lot of fruits in one delicious drink.  Make one for breakfast and the fiber from the fruit will keep you full for hours. Did you know you can also put vegetables in your smoothies? Try adding in a handful of spinach and kale and watch your smoothie turn a beautiful green color. You will hardly taste the
vegetables but still get all of the benefits from them!

- Sneak vegetables into your favorite meals. Add peppers and carrots into your spaghetti sauce or mix pureed cauliflower into your mashed potatoes. These are sneaky ways to incorporate more nutrients into your diet while still eating the
foods you love!

- Try adding a different fruit or vegetable with every meal. Doing this will ensure that you are eating a balanced meal and will keep you from getting bored with the same foods.