1/8tspFreshly ground black peppermore or less to taste
1/2cuphalved cherry tomatoes
1/2cuphalved kalamata olives
3/4cupcrumbled feta cheese
3/4cupfinely chopped cucumber
Preheat the oven to 350°.
Score zucchini and scoop out insides into a bowl. Place in a shallow baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, until mostly tender. Remove from the oven and turn broiler to high.
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add scooped zucchini and cook until light golden, about 2 minutes. Add shredded chicken and chickpeas, tomatoes, olives, and oregano and cook stirring occasionally until the mixture is heated through, about 5 minutes.
Spoon chicken mixture into the zucchini then top with feta cheese. Bake until zucchini is just tender and cheese is melted, roughly about 10 minutes more.
Squeeze lemon over zucchini boats, garnish with cucumber and dill, and serve warm.
If the group you're feeding on Thanksgiving Day has someone who is vegetarian, gluten-free or following a low-carb special diet, this is the stuffing recipe you’ll need to make the day perfect! Skip the carb-filled stuffing and have extra turkey 😉
Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Plunge tomatoes into the boiling water and immediately remove to a medium bowl of ice water; drain. Remove and discard skins from tomatoes. Chop tomatoes and set aside.
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; saute onion until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, garlic and Italian seasoning; cook until tomatoes are tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Mix in olives, wine, capers, lemon juice, and 1/2 the basil. Reduce heat, blend in Parmesan cheese, and cook until the mixture is reduced to a thick sauce, about 15 minutes.
Place flounder in a shallow baking dish. Pour sauce over the fillets and top with remaining basil leaves.
Bake 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until fish is easily flaked with a fork.
Hi everyone! For this week’s “This, Not That, Thursday” we are looking at healthy alternatives to sugary drinks. Numerous studies have shown the negative health effects of drinking sugary drinks on your waistline and your teeth. It may have far more health risks than many of us may realize. Drinking sugary drinks can cause a decline in kidney function, an increase in your risk of diabetes, and can cause vascular issues. Sugary drinks also deplete your mineral levels and leave you dehydrated. Sugary drinks are also linked to dementia and cancer.
These are just a few of the negative health effects of sugary drinks. Help to cut the cola with these healthy and delicious sugary drink alternatives.
Tea – iced or hot- With all the different ways to enjoy it hot or cold, tea is likely one of the best sugary drink substitutes on this list. Tea has an extensive variety of flavor profiles and caffeine levels. There’s a tea out there for everyone! Perfect for any season or time of day, tea is a versatile sugary drink substitute and easy way to enjoy flavored beverages with little to no calories. Herbal tea can be used to help you unwind, boost your immune system, or reduce pain or soreness.
Freshly-squeezed lemonade- A classic summertime pick-me-up, fresh lemonade—maybe with a dash of cane sugar or agave nectar for a hint of sweetness—has enough citrusy flavor to help wash away those memories of your sugary drink guzzling days.
Sparkling water- After decades of public health initiatives, consumers are leaving sugary drinks behind for its sleeker, healthier counterpart: flavored sparkling water. Nowadays, sparkling water makers are everywhere, from homes to offices, hotels to restaurants. Rather than buying bottles and cans, avid sparkling water drinkers often invest in carbonated water dispensers to mitigate the environmental impact of buying cases of fizzy water. Now that’s some savvy sipping!
Kombucha- Kombucha is a recent health trend that shows no signs of fizzling out. While its poignant flavor is not for everyone, Kombucha typically contains little to no sugar and is a potential source of probiotics, which are known to promote gut health. It contains antioxidants and may protect against cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
Sparkling water with a splash of juice- Perfect for brunch, sparkling water with a splash of pineapple, orange, cranberry, or mango juice is a great non-alcoholic, low-calorie alternative to sugary drinks or mimosas at brunch.
Fruit and herb infusions- Infusions are a great way to use up any extra fruit and herbs in your fridge before they spoil. Simply chop whatever fruit and herbs you have, throw them in a pitcher or reusable water bottle, and you’ll be sipping on some fruity goodness in just a few hours. If you enjoy fruit flavors but don’t want the sugar rush of juice, infusions are the way to go!
Coconut water- Like Kombucha, Coconut water is a health fad and popular healthy substitute for sugary drinks that’s been on the scene for a few years now. Not to be confused with coconut milk, coconut water is a natural source of potassium and electrolytes, making it the perfect tropical alternative to plain water.
Mineral water- Mineral water contains zero calories and has the added nutritional benefit of minerals such as calcium, magnesium sulfate, and sodium sulfate. Mineral water is an everyday sugary drink substitute that’s sold at most grocery stores and online. It can help to lower blood pressure, regulate blood circulation, strengthen bones, and promote digestive health.
It is already mid-August and many families with a college student are about to start on a new adventure. Whether the young adult is going to a commuter school and living at home or attending an away college and living in a dorm, there are many changes about to hit family dynamics and the college students lives. Long discussions should now begin about forming healthy habits that will be important for now, and more importantly, for the future. I always advise living the way your grandmother taught you. Here are some of Grandma MaryAnn’s suggestions.
Grandma MaryAnn says you must:
Get your sleep – It is important to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night. During sleep your body may be resting, but your brain is busy processing all the information it was exposed to during the day. Sleep helps your immune system to stay strong and prevent colds and other infections you are constantly exposed to. If possible, shut off all your electronic devices 30 to 40 minutes before going to sleep; the light from the screens can affect chemicals in your brain that enhance getting to sleep.
Eat well – Food is your body’s fuel. In order to work hard and think clearly, you need to eat the fruits, nuts and vegetables that we all know are the right stuff. Starting with a healthy breakfast will get the brain ready for the day. Healthy snacks are a must. The crash after the candy bar will be tough to handle.
Exercise – Exercise needs to be a part of your regular schedule because it decreases stress, keeps your mind sharp, and is fun. You should think of it as an investment in yourself.
I wish all the students a great year, and remember to call your Mom and Grandma as often as you can because with loving words from your biggest supporters, there is nothing you can’t handle.
Obesity is a known risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and colon cancer. A recent study out of Israel found that obese or overweight 17- and 18-year-olds can have an increased risk of developing colon and rectal cancer, and the risk may be increased as high as 50%! We now have another reason to encourage good eating and exercise habits for our children. The earlier these healthy life style habits begin, the better.
Rinse chicken thoroughly inside and out under cold running water and remove all fat. Pat dry with paper towels.
Put chicken into a small baking pan. Rub with olive oil. Mix the salt, pepper, oregano, basil, paprika and cayenne pepper together and sprinkle over chicken.
Roast the chicken in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Lower the oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) and continue roasting to a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees F (74 degrees C), about 40 minutes more. Let cool 10 to 15 minutes and serve.
In this low-carb spaghetti squash lasagna recipe, garlicky broccoli, spaghetti squash and cheese are combined for a healthy take on a favorite casserole. This bakes right in the squash shells for a fun presentation.
Position racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 450°F.
Place squash cut-side down in a microwave-safe dish; add 2 tablespoons water. Microwave, uncovered, on High until the flesh is tender, about 10 minutes. (Alternatively, place squash halves cut-side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in a 400°F oven until the squash is tender, 40 to 50 minutes.)
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add broccolini, garlic and red pepper (if using); cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add water and cook, stirring, until the broccolini is tender, 3 to 5 minutes more. Transfer to a large bowl.
Use a fork to scrape the squash from the shells into the bowl. Place the shells in a broiler-safe baking pan or on a baking sheet. Stir ¾ cup mozzarella, 2 tablespoons Parmesan, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper into the squash mixture. Divide it between the shells; top with the remaining ¼ cup mozzarella and 2 tablespoons Parmesan.
Bake on the lower rack for 10 minutes. Move to the upper rack, turn the broiler to high and broil, watching carefully, until the cheese starts to brown, about 2 minutes.
Easy cleanup: To save time and keep your baking sheet looking fresh, line it with a layer of foil before you bake.
“Use an array of colorful veggies to make this healthy shrimp salad pop. Cooking the shrimp with fresh herbs and garlic infuses them with flavor without coming off too strong for a light dinner salad that’s perfect for summer entertaining.”
1¼poundsraw shrimp21-25 count, peeled and deveined
¼cupextra-virgin olive oil
10sprigs fresh thyme
3large heirloom tomatoeschopped
½cupchopped fresh basilplus more for garnish
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Toss shrimp with oil, thyme and garlic on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until the shrimp are pink and firm, 8 to 10 minutes.
Transfer the shrimp to a large bowl (discard thyme and garlic). Add lemon juice and stir to coat. Gently stir in cucumber, tomatoes and basil. Arrange the shrimp and vegetables in a serving bowl. Serve drizzled with any dressing left in the bowl and garnish with more basil, if desired.
The Romanesco broccoli is technically an edible flower and is easily recognized by its eye-catching fractal appearance. It is grown in the region of Lazio, home to Rome and hence its name. In Italy, you find it typically consumed raw, steamed, boiled, roasted or sauteed. It has a delicate nutty flavor making it easily adaptable to various preparations and is a favorite ingredient in Italian soups just like this one.
Course: Main Course
Keyword: low fat
Author: Grandma Antointte
¼cupextra-virgin olive oil
2small carrotfinely chopped
1rib celeryfinely chopped
7ouncesRomanesco broccoli (a large head)tough parts discarded, chopped
4small potatoespeeled and chopped
salt and ground black pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add carrot, shallot, and celery; cook and stir until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add Romanesco broccoli and potatoes.
Pour hot water into the saucepan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, covered, until broccoli and potatoes are soft, about 40 minutes. Puree soup with an immersion blender until smooth.
These wedges of juicy watermelon are topped with nondairy coconut yogurt and berries that make for a crisp and refreshing dessert. For kids snacks, leave the wedges blank and let everyone add their own toppings to the yogurt.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition that affects approximately 10% of women during their reproductive age. It is often characterized by obesity, irregular menses, and impaired insulin function. Obesity may play a role in the etiology, and with weight loss, there has been reported improvement in some of the clinical findings.
There is a recent large study that suggests a Carnitine supplement may be of benefit for these patients. L-Carnitine is an amino acid (a building block for proteins) that is naturally produced in the liver and kidneys. It helps the body turn fat into energy, and your body usually can make all the Carnitine it needs. In this study, the diagnosis of PCOS was made using the Rotterdam criteria. To make the diagnosis, two of the following findings needed to be present:
Irregular menses over 35 days or less than 8 menses per year caused by a problem with ovulation
Signs of hirsutism indicative of increased testosterone
Polycystic ovaries with 12 or more follicular cysts in each ovary
In this study, when 250 mg of L-Carnitine was given to women with PCOS, who were also on metformin, there was a significant reduction in weight based on BMI changes. There was also an improvement in glycemic control. The Carnitine was given for over 12 weeks.
Remember to always speak to your health care provider before considering starting any supplement.
Most of us are aware that being overweight has been associated with an increased risk of developing heart disease and hypertension, but it can also increase a woman’s chance of breast and uterine cancer. By using a person’s height and weight, a BMI (body mass index) can be determined. A measurement of 25 to 29 is considered overweight and 30 or higher is considered obese. According to a recent study, 40% of American women meet the clinical definition of obesity.
The exact relationship between obesity and certain female cancers is not perfectly understood, but there seems to be three factors that may play a role:
A body being in a state of chronic inflammation is pro-carcinogenic, and obesity is considered a chronic inflammatory state.
There are enzymes in fat cells which increase the production of estrogen, and an elevated level of estrogen has been associated with a higher risk of breast and endometrial (uterine) cancer.
Fat cells produce hormones that may stimulate tumor growth.
Please speak to your health care provider to determine your BMI, and start using the walking shoes your loved ones gave you for the recent holidays!
Just yesterday one of my patients asked me about the effectiveness of the morning-after pill in a woman like herself, who was overweight. I knew that obesity could be associated with a decrease in the effectiveness of the birth control pill and the morning-after pill, but I could not give her better information.
Recently, there were a few review articles showing that studies are limited. Let me give you some questions to ask your health care provider about this situation, especially since about 25% of women in the childbearing age group are considered to be obese based on their BMI:
How effective is the birth control pill in overweight women?
Being overweight, is there a pill that could be more effective?
Could a vaginal ring or IUD be a better consideration?
Is the risk of blood clots increased with the pill?
Does bariatric surgery have any effects with the use of the pill?
I hope these questions will open the door for a good discussion so that the best medical treatment plan can be established.
If you are on a regular walking program as part of your exercise plan, the recent snowstorms may hold you back for a while. It may be time to revisit your stairs at home or at work to continue staying in shape.
Try to vary your ascent by speed and the number of steps taken. Before you begin each climb at home, you may want to add stretching and doing a plank or push-ups. Before your descent, consider 10 jumping jacks. Also, always remember to speak to your health care provider before beginning any exercise program!
I have always advised my patients that walking is a great exercise. A pair of sneakers and comfortable clothes is all you need to get started. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator has been another of my common suggestions, and as the colder weather quickly approaches, maybe we should consider starting a stair climbing program.
Most of us have access to stairs, either at home, work, or the mall. A great way to begin is climbing the stairs one at a time at your own pace, either holding on to the rail or keeping your hands free. You are using more muscles and burning more calories than walking. It is a vertical exercise, so it is good for muscle strengthening, cardiovascular work, and weight loss. Once you are up the stairs, you must come back down since the descent also has great benefits.
As always, do not start an exercise program unless you have discussed it with your health care provider. Stair climbing can be an easy addition to your exercise program and who knows where it will take you!
The fall season is full of pumpkins, mums, scary costumes, and beautiful crisp clean air! It is a perfect time to get started on an outdoor walking program. Join a friend or relative and begin your walking exploration of your neighborhood and make this fall the getting in shape season for you.
“If you’re looking for the Fountain of Youth, kale may just be it!” Tom Gatto, a registered dietician, updates us on the nutritional powerhouse called kale. His discussion includes nutrient density, how to prepare it, and which vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants it contains and how they enhance our health.
Weight control is a major concern for most of us. As menopause approaches, many women experience an increase in their weight, with about 70% being overweight. Body mass index (BMI) is a commonly used calculation that quantifies where our weight is, and when using this classification, about 50% of perimenopausal and menopausal women are considered obese.
Using a person’s height and weight, body mass index can be calculated, giving us a guide to where we stand with regards to our weight. A BMI of 24 to 29 is considered overweight, and over 30 is obese. Let us look at where some weights fall:
At 5 ft. 1 in. a BMI of 24 to 29 corresponds to a weight of 130 to 150 lbs.
At 5 ft. 1 in. a BMI of 30 corresponds to a weight of 160 lbs.
At 5 ft. 6 in. a BMI of 24 to 29 corresponds to 155 to 180 lbs.
At 5 ft. 6 in. a BMI of 30 corresponds to a weight of 185 lbs.
Remember that this BMI number is not an exact measurement of body fat but it alerts us to where our weight status lies and gives us an indication of our risks for developing the complications of obesity. These include diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and many other medical conditions.