New Nutrition Facts Label

Frustrated with the nutrition facts panel on foods?  A new label is headed our way with updates spanning from bigger print for certain nutrients to grams of added sugar specified. Here is an overview of the changes:

 

Advertisements

Why Exercise is Not Enough

Physical activity, as defined by Ace Fitness, is “any movement that is carried out by the skeletal muscle that requires energy.”

Exercise, a type of physical activity, is more specific. It is planned, structured, repetitive, and intentional movement intended to improve or maintain physical fitness.”

While exercise is an extremely important, it is not the only physical activity we require throughout the day. This article delves into why movement throughout the day is so important for our health.

Why Exercise is Not Enough

Tips for staying fit when traveling

Whether for work or pleasure, traveling interrupts your  regularly scheduled exercise, making it is easy to fall out of the habit. Here are a few tips to on staying active when you’re away from home.

  • Do you research, what exercise opportunities will be available during your trip?
  • Pack your gym shoes and exercise clothes
  • Schedule exercise on your calendar, just like you do at home
  • Go for a swim- look for a hotel pool, or take a dip in the ocean
  • Spend some time in the hotel gym
  • See the city! Run, walk, hike or bike
  • Body weight exercises are effective and easy to do in any setting – try this 7 minute workout  right in your hotel room
  • Book your stay with one of these Fitness Friendly Hotel Chains
  • Plan active vacations (hiking, walking on the beach, swimming, skiing, site seeing, museum walking)
  • If traveling with family, friends, or co-workers, find a workout buddy

Blueberry Coconut Smoothie

Add some color and new flavor to breakfast with this blueberry coconut smoothie.

INGREDIENTS

1 small container (5.3 oz) reduced fat coconut yogurt
1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries (frozen adds nice texture)
1 cup plain soy milk

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Blend and enjoy.

Nutrition facts (serves 1): 320 calories, 18 g protein, 44 g carbohydrate, 9 g fat

Asparagus Soup

asparagus-soup

Looking for a new way to enjoy asparagus? Try this simple soup for those last few chilly days of the season.

Some tips for working with asparagus: look for thin stalks to reduce the fibrous texture that comes with thicker ones. When storing asparagus, treat them like a flower – trim the stalk and place them in a mason jar with an inch or two of water before storing in the fridge. It keeps the stalk hydrated and crunchy.

Ingredients

2 lbs asparagus, trimmed
8-10 garlic cloves, smashed
2 tbsp olive oil
Ground pepper to taste
2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1 cup skim or 2% milk
Chopped parsley for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside.
  3. Toss asparagus and garlic with olive oil and season with pepper.
  4. Arrange asparagus and garlic on prepared baking sheet in one layer. Roast for 12 minutes, or until asparagus is soft, stirring once.
  5. Remove from oven and transfer asparagus and garlic to a blender.  Add broth and milk.  Blend until smooth (Note: Depending on how large your blender is, you might have to do this part in batches)
  6. Transfer soup to a soup pot.
  7. Warm soup over medium-high heat, thinning with an additional ¼ cup of broth, if desired.
  8. Season with pepper, garnish with parsley, and serve!

Kitchen staples: how to make dinner in a pinch

We’ve all been there: dinner time arrives, you hesitantly look into the fridge and pantry to see what’s available, and realize in your exhausted state there is nothing to pull together in less than 30 minutes.

Ugh.

If you find yourself repeating this scenario again and again, then you may want to experiment with creating a kitchen staples list. Such a list can help you identify items to always have on hand in order to make a meal in a pinch. The goal is to check the status of your staples prior to any grocery store trips, so you can always keep them stocked.

The key to making this work? Getting comfortable with a little creativity in the kitchen. And the fact that all your meals don’t have to be gourmet or come from a recipe book.

The Example

Last week I found my own dinner options looking slim. A quick search of my kitchen found these recently purchased foods (asparagus and ground beef) and these staples:

Canned, diced tomatoes
Sliced black olives
Whole wheat linguine
Carrots

staples-2

 

So when life hands you lemons….you make pasta with meat sauce and roasted vegetables.

asparagus-and-carrots-1

pasta-with-meat-sauce-2

 

Did I wish I had a bit more tomatoes or sauce in the dish? Sure! But it doesn’t have to mean the meal is a wash.  So if you feel like it’s either a picture-perfect meal or else crackers and cheese, rest assured – a healthy meal lies somewhere in between.

Everyone’s kitchen staples may differ slightly, but here is an example of a kitchen staples list and how they could be used to make quick meals.

kitchen-staples

kitchen-staples2