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The answer to weight loss may be hidden in your desk drawer….. read more.
A bento is a boxed lunch that originated in Japan. Its presentation has evolved over time. Today, a bento typically consists of a larger box that holds smaller containers (with or without lids) of various sizes. Using a bento provides you with many health benefits……..read more.
Welcome to Putting it on the Plate with PICKKA. Today’s featured recipe is Summer Fiesta Black Bean Salad. I decided to use my “Shop to Lose” app for the iPhone to choose the ingredients for this dish. The Shop to Lose app contains a “smart shopping list” which analyzes and screens grocery store foods based on my weight and health objectives, as well as those of other family members. It’s a great way to ensure that my pantry items are healthy for me and my family.
I am glad I chose to use “Shop to Lose”* because I discovered something new that I would not have considered otherwise. My recipe calls for black beans – not a product that I would consider to have many variances between brands. But, my “Shop to Lose” app brought to my attention that the sugar content between my choices differed slightly. One had no sugar and the other had 1 gram. What is nice about the “Shop to Lose” app is that it highlights why a product is a good choice or a bad choice under the nutrition label displayed on the app. It will tell you if the product is low in sugar or high in fat, for instance. That is how I discovered the sugar difference – and I thought I was pretty savvy at deciphering nutrition labels.
I think you will find today’s recipe to be very easy to pull together at the last minute because many of the items are pantry staples. It is also very versatile. You can serve it as a side dish, use it to top baked potatoes (as I did), or add it to a bed of whole-grain rice for a healthy meal. It it a great dish to pass at potlucks, barbecues, and picnics too!
Summer Fiesta Black Bean Salad
1 (15.5 ounce) can of whole kernel corn, drained
1 (15 ounce) can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 small green bell pepper, seeds removed and chopped
1 small red bell pepper, seeds removed and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
3/4 tsp ground cumin
2 TBS lime juice
2 TBS olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
In a medium bowl add corn, black beans, bell peppers, onion, and garlic. Drizzle olive oil and lime juice over mixture. Sprinkle with ground cumin. Stir until mixture is coated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve.
*Click here to download the “Shop to Lose” app.
Try this recipe and come back and tell us how you served it, we want to know!
Too often, individuals with good intentions to improve their diet end up abandoning their attempts just a few months into their health makeover. Various reasons can account for the departure, ranging from time and financial issues to just plain frustration with a process that seems to be taking longer than expected to achieve desired results. Although obstacles and setbacks cannot be completely eliminated, a little planning prior to beginning your endeavor to live a healthier life can help you progress forward, even during the most challenging times. Here is what you should consider:
Having the right mindset and being prepared to make a change toward healthier eating will help to make your transition toward better nutrition a success. Don’t get discouraged by setbacks, rather use them as lessons for a better future. And remember, it is a process that will contiually evolve overtime.
What has helped you maintain a healthy diet? Share with us, we want to know!
Do you tend to have a heavy hand with the salt? If you do, you are not alone. The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends a sodium intake that is no more than 2,300 mg/day for individuals 2 years of age and older – that is about 1 teaspoon of salt per day. The recommendations for at-risk populations (African-Americans, adults 40 years and older, and hypertensive individuals) is lower, set at no more than 1,500 mg/day. However, the average American consumes more than 3,400 mg/day of sodium. Why is this so bad? Sodium stimulates your kidneys to retain water. This, in turn, increases your blood volume. An increased blood volume can cause hypertension (high blood pressure). And, hypertension increases your risk for developing heart disease, stroke, congestive heart failure, and kidney disease.
Individuals who are at-risk and/or are “salt sensitive” – that is, more susceptible to the effects of salt on the body – need to take particular care concerning sodium intake; however, all individuals need to lower consumption to reduce health risks. Last April, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released its report Strategies to Reduce Sodium Intake in the United States. In this publication, the IOM states that a collaborative effort is needed to reduce the amount of sodium Americans consume. Part of this strategy entails new government standards for sodium content in foods produced by food manufacturers, restaurants, and foodservice providers. The ultimate goal is to set a standard sodium level for commercially prepared foods that is considered to be safe. This reduction is to occur graduallyso as to allow the American palate to adjust accordingly without change being significantly noticed. Likewise, the IOM is calling upon Americans themselves to make wiser choices about food products and to limit sodium content in home-prepard foods. Other sectors of society, such as health professionals and public-private corporations are asked to support the implementation of sodium guidelines by food producers as well as to encourage fellow Americans to follow a lower sodium diet.
How can you take action to reduce the sodium in your diet?
Although it is important to reduce your sodium intake to the recommended safe level, do not eliminate salt completely from your diet. Sodium is essential for proper muscle function, neurotransmission of impulses and fluid regulation and balance in your body.
How have you reduced the amount of sodium in your diet? Share with us, we want to know!
Sources for more information
Welcome to Simply Sunday here at the Health and Food Forum’s Blog. Today’s topic of discussion is healthy cooking. A quality diet isn’t just characterized by the type of foods that you eat, but how you prepare and cook them. Using proper tecnniques will lessen the chances of decreasing the vitamin and mineral content of foods and adding unnecessary amounts of fat and sodium to meals. Here are a few tips to follow when in the kitchen:
What techniques do you use for healthy cooking? Share with us, we want to know!
Are you guilty of mindless snacking? Here are a few tips to help you break the habit.
How do you avoid unwanted snacking? Share with us, we want to know!