Friday, August 21, 2009

Heart Healthy Fruity Oatmeal

Instead of simply eating a bowl of hot oatmeal with brown sugar (or other refined sugars) for breakfast, try this variation. It is all natural, adds extra sweetness and fiber.

Serves 1.

1/2 cup whole oats (oatmeal, quick or regular cooking variety)
1 cup water
1/4 small apple, peeled and diced
1-2 Tablespoons raisins or chopped dried prunes
sprinkling of cinnamon
low fat soy milk

Place water into saucepan on stove top. Cook over medium heat until water starts to boil. Add in oats, apple and dried fruit. Stir frequently. Bring to boil. Lower heat and cook until apples are tender.

Add more water as needed.

Pour into serving bowl. Sprinkle on cinnamon. Pour milk over oatmeal.

If you don't have apple, add fresh blueberries.


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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Heart Healthy Minestrone Soup

Heart healthy is the term given to foods that are known to help your cardiovascular system. The term was coined by the American Heart Association. Here's a soup that is rich in fiber and antioxidants, both essential in a heart healthy diet. Plus, the broth base is much lower in calories than any creamed soup.

As a way to get more nutrients and less calories, I developed this recipe. This soup is easy to make, quick and nutritious. It can be made in either a crockpot or dutch oven style pan. If cooked on the stovetop, the cooking process is much quicker.

Minestrone Soup

2- 15 ounce cans, tomatoes (one stewed and one plain)
1 cup V-8 juice (low sodium)
2 cups water
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup green beans, chopped
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup broccoli, chopped
1/2 cup kidney beans, cooked
1/2 cup zucchini, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup cabbage, chopped
3 tablespoons Italian seasoning (or combo of thyme, rosemary and oregano)
1/4 macaroni, uncooked

Place all ingredients, except for macaroni,into dutch oven or crockpot. If in dutch oven, cook over medium heat for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.

If using crock pot, cook on high heat for 5 hours. Stir occasionally.

In both uses, add macaroni during last 1/4 of cooking time.

Serve with whole grain crackers or bread. The addition of a green salad with make a complete meal.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Learning about Garlic & Its Byproducts

One of my students did not understand garlic and products made out of it. So, simply put...

Garlic granules is processed garlic, with no added ingredients.

Garlic powder is garlic granules processed a step further. It
contains nothing but garlic.

Garlic salt is a mixture of garlic powder and salt.

Hope this helps.

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Sunday, August 09, 2009

High Fiber Foods

One of the benefits of eating fiber is the fact it's a natural appetite suppressant. It provides us with a sense of fullness, which in turn, causes us to not want to eat as much.

Fiber is also known for requiring a lot of chewing. Chewing, it is said, causes us to not want to eat as much. Here's my scoop...

This morning I started my day with a bowl full of whole grain cold cereal. Kashi, to be exact. It was very tasty. And, it requiring a lot of chewing. No, wait. It wasn't a lot of chewing. It was so much chewing I almost fell asleep. My jaw hurt. I was pooped from chewing so much. Now, that's too much chewing for my blood.

As much as I may not like hot oatmeal, I'm returning to it. It doesn't require a lot of chewing and I don't get tired from wasting so much energy chowing down on it.

I'm pooped.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Get Physical

It's a well known fact that exercise is beneficial in more ways than one. If you are interested in increasing your physical activity, there are a number of ways to accomplish this without spending any money on gym memberships. For instance:

Walking. The American Heart Association recommends getting 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise (such as walking) 5 days a week. You can walk at your own pace. Plus, it's convenient. Walking can be done outdoors or indoors. Many malls open their doors for mall walkers. Check your local community directory since there may be groups that get together for this purpose. Walking is cheap, also. The only cost is the money you pay for a good pair of walking shoes (an absolute necessity).

Household activities. Gardening is known to give a good workout. It increases your heart rate plus works your muscles. If you don't have a garden, join a gardening club and volunteer to maintain their gardens. Tasks such as household cleaning can provide a benefit. Vacuuming, washing and/or painting walls, rearranging furniture and cleaning all increase your heart rate.

Outdoor activities. Mow the lawn with a hand pushed mower. Clean the garage. Paint the exteriors. Power wash the deck. Varnish the deck.

Other. Park farther away from the store entrance, forcing you to walk further. Walk instead of taking the cab. If playing golf, walk instead of using a golf cart. Carry your own clubs.

These are just examples of how to increase your physical activity level.

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Monday, August 03, 2009

Heart Healthy Yogurt

Instead of buying those prepared and packaged fruit yogurts, try this recipe. It is quick, easy and can be altered to your preference.

1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup pineapple wedges
2-3 T pineapple juice
1/2 t flax seeds

If using canned pineapple, buy the variety in its own juice. Avoid the syrupy variety since this has a high added sugar content.

The flaxseeds provide a crunch texture, while also containing fiber.
You can adjust the amount of both pineapple and juice to suit your taste.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Heart Healthy Breakfast Sandwich

Start your day with a nutritious low fat breakfast sandwich that is high in protein. It's easy and quick to make.

1 hard boiled egg, shelled
1 whole wheat English muffin, toasted
1 tablespoon low fat cream cheese
flax seeds
garlic powder

Cut the English muffin in half. Toast it.
Spread the cream cheese on each muffin.
Slice the egg white and place onto the muffin. (Set aside, or toss, egg yolk).
Sprinkle with flax seeds.
Sprinkle with garlic powder and a touch of salt.

For variety, you can prepare one half of your English muffin like above. After covering with cream cheese, slice some fresh banana onto it. Sprinkle with cinnamon.