Archive for July, 2012

Salads that Satisfy

Learn how to create flavorful, filling combinations.
Article By: Melissa Chessher
Salads that SatisfyTopic of the Week

It’s that time of year when a big, crisp salad seems like just what the doctor ordered. Healthy, easy and — oops, wilted into a slimy mess in the fridge. Where’s that takeout menu?

Purchase and storage
Ending up with nice, crisp lettuce means starting with the freshest greens you can find — preferably ones that have been refrigerated or kept on ice. Look for stems that are crisp and for leaves that aren’t limp or slimy.

To keep bagged lettuce fresh, store it in the original manufacturer’s bag. Keep heads of lettuce or individual leaf lettuce in a plastic produce bag and store them in your vegetable crisper. Although tastiest (and most nutritious) when consumed soon after purchase, properly stored iceberg can last up to 2 weeks, romaine about 1 1/2 weeks, radicchio about 7 days, and green and red leaf lettuces about 3 to 4 days. Delicate greens like arugula only keep fresh about 2 days.

Make sure to store your greens away from fruits, like apples, which give off gas that can hasten decay. And only wash the greens just before you eat them to avoid sliminess.

Washing tips

  • Cut or tear lettuce into pieces
  • Immerse in a large bowl of cold water
  • Swish leaves around to loosen dirt and other grit
  • Remove lettuce and place in a strainer to drain
  • Gently pat dry with paper towel or spin dry in a salad spinner
  • If you don’t eat it all right away, wrap clean lettuce in dry paper towel, place in a clean, loosely closed plastic bag and refrigerate for 2 to 3 days. Or store in a covered salad spinner in the fridge.

 

Are all lettuces created equal?
Definitely not. Tastes, texture and nutritional value vary greatly. Robin Vitetta-Miller, MS, nutritionist and food writer, loves hearts of romaine for their crispness, hearty flavor and nutrients (they’re loaded with vitamin A, folate and vitamin C). Iceberg lettuce is also nice and crisp, but it has a mild flavour and scores low on the nutrition charts.

The butterhead lettuce family, which includes Bibb and Boston lettuces, is named for its “buttery” texture and slightly sweet flavor. Red and green leaf lettuces (also known as looseleaf), fall between butterhead and iceberg/romaine in terms of texture — they’re mild in taste. Of special mention are arugula for its high calcium, beta-carotene and vitamin C contents and peppery taste, and radicchio for its bright red color and strong flavor.

Putting it all together
Vitetta-Miller offers a few tips for turning your greens into exciting main meals or starter salads.

1. Build a salad for storage
Toss in vegetables such as peppers, whole cherry and grape tomatoes, broccoli (best when blanched), scallions and carrots. These vegetables keep well and will last more than a day or so in the fridge. (If you’re aiming to store your salad leftovers, avoid things like cut tomatoes and sliced mushrooms which release moisture and can make lettuce slimy sooner. Avoid topping stored greens with dressing for the same reason.)

2. Make it a meal
Turn a salad into a complete dinner by adding meat, nuts or dried or fresh fruits. One of Vitetta-Miller’s favorite combinations includes mandarin oranges, red onion and slivered almonds.

3. Keep great toss-ins and toppers on hand, such as:

  • Grilled chicken or shrimp
  • Marinated and cubed tofu
  • Torn smoked turkey breast or ham
  • Shredded low-fat cheese or crumbled feta
  • Chopped hard-boiled eggs or egg whites
  • Toasted pine nuts, sunflower or sesame seeds, fat-free croutons or imitation bacon bits for crunch
  • Sliced seedless grapes, diced mango or dried fruits for sweetness
  • Sliced hearts of palm or quartered canned artichoke hearts for an exotic flair.

 

Heinz Tomato Ketchup Blended with Balsamic Vinegar
It’s the ketchup you know and love with a tangier twist. What started as a limited-time-only offering last year is now a permanent mainstay in the Heinz lineup. Hooray! It kind of tastes like BBQ sauce… Look for the glass bottle at a grocery store near you. Fancy! Each 1-tbsp. serving has 25 calories, 0g fat, 6g carbs, 0g fiber, 0g protein, and a PointsPlus® value of 1.

Stubb’s Sweet Heat Bar-B-Q Sauce
This sweet and spicy sauce comes from the legendary Texas restaurant, so you know it’s good! Keep in mind that it packs a serious pepper kick — they don’t use the word “heat” lightly in Texas. Not a bad thing, given that spicy foods help slow down your eating. Score!
Each 2-tbsp. serving has 45 calories, 0g fat, 9g carbs, 0g fiber, 0g protein, and a PointsPlus value of 1.

Hellmann’s/Best Foods Spicy Buffalo Flavored Reduced Fat Mayonnaise
I’ve been obsessed with Frank’s RedHot sauce for years, so I’m always excited to find it in new places. The latest? Hellmann’s/Best Foods mayo! This cool ‘n creamy spread has a little zip to it — perfect for spicing up summer sandwiches. It’s a limited-edition flavor, so grab some now while you still can.
Each 1-tbsp. serving has 35 calories, 3.5g fat, 1g carbs, 0g fiber, 0g protein, and a PointsPlus value of 1.

Gringo Bandito Hot Sauce
This no-calorie hot sauce is brought to you by Dexter Holland of The Offspring. Fun! And it also happens to taste amazing, with a good amount of spice. You can find it in select stores, or order some online at gringobandito.com. Dex, you’re a modern-day Renaissance man! Each 1-tsp. serving has 0 calories, 0g fat, 0g carbs, 0g fiber, 0g protein, and a PointsPlus value of 0.

Wholly All Natural Salsa
The Classic varieties of Wholly Salsa now have company… Really DELICIOUS company! The flavors include Avocado Verde (can totally work as a guacamole swap), Red Pepper Mango (so good I eat it straight with a spoon), Guacamole & Spicy Pico (the best of both worlds!), and more. I’m wholly impressed!
Each 2-tbsp. serving has 10 – 35 calories, 0 – 2.5g fat, 2 – 6g carbs, 0 – 1g fiber, 0g protein, and a PointsPlus value of 0 – 1.

French’s Dijon Mustard with Chardonnay
Check it out… A mainstream brand with a schmancy spread! White wine and warm weather go together like big hair and the ’80s, so now is the perfect time to try out this white-wine-infused mustard. Cheers!
Each 1-tsp. serving has 5 calories, 0g fat, 0g carbs, 0g fiber, 0g protein, and a PointsPlus value of 0.

Where will Hungry Girl go next week? Check back Monday to find out!

More About Hungry Girl
Learn how Hungry Girl came to be — and more!

Hungry Girl, aka Lisa Lillien, distributes her tips, tricks and takes on new food products through her daily emails and Web site. Check out www.Hungry-Girl.com.

Back after vacation

Posted: July 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

Hello peeps.  I have been on vacation for the past 10 days or so down in South Beach doing a little babymooning!

Doing WW in Miami was a challenge for me however I did follow the plan about 50% of the time.  It is so hard when you are away and eating out each and every meal.

I finally told my wife that I was just going to take the weight gain and get back on track when I got home.  I only put on 2 pounds while on vacation and am happy to report I am 100% back on track this week.

Weigh in on Wednesday.  Hope all is well and holymanboobs is back and ready to diesel some posts 🙂

Grilled Scallops with Corn and Asparagus

Weight Watchers Recipe
 
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7PointsPlus Value
Prep time: 18 min
Cook time: 17 min
Serves: 4
A summery meal that can be made either indoors on a stovetop grill or outside, under the stars.

Ingredients

  1 tsp lemon zest
  1/4 cup(s) fresh lemon juice
  1 Tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
  1 tsp table salt, divided
  1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground, divided
  1 pound(s) uncooked scallop(s), sea variety (use large ones)
  1 cup(s) fresh tomato(es), ripe, diced
  1/4 cup(s) basil, fresh, chopped
  3 spray(s) cooking spray, divided
  4 medium corn on the cob, husked
  1 pound(s) uncooked asparagus, tough ends trimmed

Instructions

  • Preheat stovetop grill pan over medium-high heat.
  • Combine lemon zest, lemon juice, oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Put scallops on a plate and drizzle with 1 tablespoon lemon mixture; turn to coat and let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. Add tomato and basil to remaining lemon mixture and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, lightly coat corn and asparagus with cooking spray; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Grill corn until browned on all sides, turning occasionally, about 10 to 12 minutes. Grill asparagus until lightly charred and tender, turning occasionally, about 5 to 6 minutes. Place corn and asparagus on serving platter; set aside (they will be served at room temperature).
  • Coat scallops with cooking spray; place on grill pan. Grill until scallops are just cooked through, turning once, about 5 minutes total; add to platter with corn and asparagus. Spoon tomato mixture over scallops and asparagus; serve. Yields about 4 scallops, 1/4 of asparagus, 1 ear of corn and 1/4 cup of dressing per serving.

Notes

  • This recipe can be made on an outdoor grill too. For easier grilling, thread scallops onto metal or wooden skewers (make sure to soak wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes first).

    Jumbo shrimp can be used instead of scallops or try a combination of the two (could affect PointsPlus value).

Type 2 Diabetes, By the Numbers

The rules and risks associated with this common condition.
Article By: Nick Divito
Type 2 Diabetes By the Numbers
While diabetes continues to spread, it persistantly appears more common in men than women. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control estimates that of the 21 million people over the age of 20 living with the disease, more (10.9 million) are men.

 

Type 2 diabetes itself might not be fatal—but the health risks associated with the disease can be.

“I think it hits men a little bit more because we tend to not watch our weight as well as women do,” said J. Mark Beard, M.D., a member of the American Academy of Family Practitioners who specializes in diabetes. “Thankfully, that’s changing now.”

Frighteningly, type 2 diabetes is spreading. The CDC found that from 1990 to 1998, the number of people with type 2 diabetes jumped 33 percent. That number is expected to increase a whopping 165 percent by 2050.

So what is type 2 diabetes, exactly?

Diabetes is a disease marked by high levels of blood glucose resulting from defects in insulin production, insulin usage or both. Either the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore it. Insulin is needed to utilize glucose, the basic fuel for cells.

When glucose builds up in the blood instead of being “eaten” by the cells, the cells become starved and could eventually deteriorate, damaging eyesight, kidneys, nerves and the heart.

While type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed at an early age, type 2 tends to strike the overweight, sedate, middle-aged and those with a family history of diabetes. But don’t worry. If you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to have to inject yourself with a needle full of insulin several times a day. Talk to your doctor; he or she may first recommend you lose weight. If that doesn’t address the issue, oral medication is likely the next step. If oral medications are not enough, insulin injections may be necessary.

Yes, losing weight is often the best first option to try to avoid medications altogether: It not only makes you look and feel better, but it can help control blood sugar.

The warning signs of type 2 diabetes are easy to spot. See a doctor if you have frequent urges to urinate or are constantly hungry or thirsty. Other things to look out for are unexplained weight loss, fatigue, blurred vision, headaches, slow-healing sores or cuts, itchy skin and numbness or tingling in the hands and feet.

Type 2 diabetes itself might not be fatal, but the health risks associated with it can be. And because it’s a systemic or “total body” disease, it comes with weighty health risks, some of which are detailed below:

Health Risks
Heart disease and stroke: Both account for about 65 percent of deaths in people with diabetes, according to the CDC. Adults with diabetes have heart disease death rates about 2 to 4 times higher than adults without it.
Erectile dysfunction: Perhaps more traumatizing to some men, having type-2 diabetes can affect a man’s sex life, causing impotence and erectile dysfunction. In fact, the type-2 diabetic male is three to four times more at risk of having erectile dysfunction, according to the CDC.
High blood pressure: about 73 percent of adults with diabetes have blood pressure greater than or equal to normal levels, and must use prescription medications for hypertension.
Blindness: The CDC found that diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness each year among adults ages 20-74, causing 24,000 new cases of blindness each year.
Kidney failure: Diabetes is also the leading cause of kidney failure, accounting for about 44 percent of new cases.
Nervous system disorders: The disease also affects the nervous system. About 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes have mild to severe forms of nervous system damage, including impaired sensation or pain in the feet or hands, slowed digestion, carpal tunnel syndrome and other nerve problems, the CDC said.

And while it’s a serious condition, it’s not a death sentence. People with type 2 diabetes can live long, healthy lives with a some extra attention paid to diet and exercise.

“If you’re diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, losing 15 to 20 pounds may be the best thing you can do for yourself,” Beard said. “Shedding just a little weight can help avoid doing anything else to treat it, like taking medications.”

 

About the Writer
Nick Divito is a Las Vegas-based freelancer who has written for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Village Voice, New York Magazine, Newsweek, The Associated Press and others. He has lost 60 pounds with WeightWatchers.

Hola peeps. 

Yesterday was huge!  I went in to weigh in at weight watchers and had a great feeling about it as I had worked out 4 times the previous week and I know my body well enough to know I lost weight.

Courtney, who is my WW weigh in person, said,  “Alright, step on the scale “…. I was standing there for about 30 seconds and finally I said, ” Is everything OK “…

She looked at me with a huge grin and said, ” Yeah sure is, you lost 4.2 pounds last week ”

I could have started crying like a little schoolgirl.  That was a great moment in my weight loss journey.  Hard work and dedication really pay off.  I have lost 28 pounds since May 5th 2012.

It can happen people and you dont even need a pill for it 🙂

Bahn Mi-Style Turkey Burger

Weight Watchers Recipe
 
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8PointsPlus Value
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 10 min
Serves: 4
A taste of Vietnam in an American favorite. Serve with grilled corn and peppers for a marvelous meal.

Ingredients

  2 spray(s) cooking spray
  1 cup(s) packaged coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots)
  1/4 cup(s) English cucumber(s), julienned or sliced super thin
  1 Tbsp fresh lime juice, or to taste
  1/4 tsp kosher salt
  1 pound(s) uncooked 93% lean ground turkey
  2 Tbsp cilantro, fresh, finely chopped
  1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  1 Tbsp ginger root, grated or finely chopped
  2 clove(s) (medium) garlic clove(s), finely chopped
  4 tsp reduced-calorie mayonnaise
  1 tsp chili sauce, sweet variety
  4 muffin(s) light English muffin, toasted

Instructions

  • Coat a large griddle, outdoor grill rack or stovetop grill pan with cooking spray; preheat to medium-high.
  • In a medium bowl, combine slaw mix, cucumber, lime juice and salt; toss to coat and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine turkey, cilantro, soy sauce, ginger and garlic; divide mixture into four balls and then gently press each one into a 4-inch patty.
  • In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise and chili sauce.
  • Grill or broil patties until internal temperature of burgers reaches 165°F, about 4 to 5 minutes per side.
  • Spread half of each English muffin with 1 1/4 teaspoon chili-mayonnaise; top with a burger, a scant 1/3 cup slaw mixture and a muffin top. Yields 1 burger per serving.

Notes

  • The slaw that tops these burgers is quite basic. For added flavor, add some seasoned rice wine vinegar, minced cilantro, hot chili oil or hot sauce (could affect PointsPlus value).