Monthly Archives: July 2012

Does Eating Healthy Cost More?

One reason many people say they don’t eat as healthy as they’d like is that it costs so much more to buy the healthier foods at the grocery store. However, according to a new government study that just isn’t the case anymore. Buying fresh foods like fruits and veggies or whole grains normally costs less than the processed foods that are high in fat.

In this study, researchers took a look at over four thousand different types of foods around the country. They took into account different factors such as price per portion, price per calorie and edible weight.

Generally speaking, they found that based price per portion and portion size, the cheaper healthy foods are:

  • Dairy
  • Grains
  • Veggies
  • Fruit

Less healthy foods and proteins come very close in price. So how can you combat this if you want to eat healthy and follow the government’s recommended dietary allowances? One way is to start thinking of your proteins as an addition to your meals rather than the main focus since meats and proteins are on the higher end. Focus on grains and fresh fruits and veggies that are topped off with or sprinkled with a protein that’s complimentary to the dish.  You can also substitute meats with other ingredients that offer similar nutritional value. Here’s a substitution guide from the Mayo Clinic.

One of the biggest things that you can do is to buy fruits and veggies that are in season and locally grown. Visit your local farmer’s markets. If you find produce that you aren’t used to cooking, that’s ok! Try it. It may become a new favorite, you’ll be helping your local farmers and you’ll eliminate extra costs that come from packaging and shipping. You can use this in-season produce map to find out what’s in season in your area at any given time. What’s even cooler is that it gives you information about each fruit or veggie and possible recipes that can be used with it.

Posted in Diets and Weight Loss, Health and Fitness. Tagged with , , , .

Light and Delicious Dishes that Don't Wreck Your Diet

orange-mull-soupReady for some yummy light dishes to try this summer? has given us a few amazing soups and delicious desserts that won’t throw you off track on your diet….

Orange Mulligatawny Soup

  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 broiler fryer chicken, whole or cut in serving pieces
  • 1 cup chopped celery and leaves
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 apples, pared, cored and diced
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled and diced 11/2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/3 cup uncooked regular rice

In large kettle, combine orange juice, water, chicken, celery, carrots, onion, 1 apple, I tomato, and salt. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Remove chicken, remove meat from bones, cut into bite-size pieces. Return to broth. Add remaining apple, tomato, curry powder and rice. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Makes about 6 servings.

Corn Chowder

  • 1 pound turkey wings (or chicken wings, if preferred)
  • 1 strip bacon, chopped 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed black pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery
  • 11/2 quarts water
  • can (17 ounces) whole kernel golden sweet corn 2/3 cup half and half 11/2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

Wash and cut wings into 1 to 11/2 inch pieces crosswise. Stir bacon in Dutch oven
over high heat. When fat from bacon starts to melt, add onion. Cook, stirring constantly, until glossy. Add turkey, salt and pepper. Stir two minutes over high heat.

Add carrots, celery and water. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer covered 2 hours.
Add undrained canned. corn; cook 30 minutes. Mix half and half with flour in small bowl. Add 1/2 cup hot chowder, mix well.

Continue adding chowder in small amounts and mixing until flour completely dissolves and no lumps remain. Stir into chowder.

Simmer, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Serve garnished with parsley. Makes about 21/2 quarts.

Mandarin Orange Salad

  • 1 package (3 ounces) orange flavor gelatin
  • 1 package (3 ounces) lemon flavor gelatin
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 pint pineapple sherbet
  • 1 small can mandarin oranges, drained
  • Combine gelatin and water. Place in refrigerator. When slightly set, fold in sherbet and orange segments. Chill until set.
  • Pat Robinson
  • Spiced Peach Salad
  • 1 Jar spiced peaches
  • 1 package (3 ounces) lemon flavor gelatin
  • 1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese chopped nuts

Drain syrup from peaches and bring to boiling point. Add and dissolve gelatin. Mash peaches; add to gelatin. Mix cheese and nuts; form into small balls; add to gelatin. Chill.Mrs. Harold

Apricot Salad

  • 1 package (6 ounces) apricot flavor gelatin
  • 1 small can crushed pineapple 1 can (8 ounces) apricots
  • 1 small carton sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1 cup pecans
  • 3 tablespoons crystallized ginger

Drain fruit; add enough water to juice to make 2 cups. Dissolve gelatin in 2 cups boiling juice. Let cool. Mash apricots, add pineapple and sour cream. Add to cooled gelatin. Add pecans, lemon juice and ginger. Mix and chill.

Lemon Fluff

  • 1 large can evaporated milk
  • 1 package (4 ounces) lemon gelatin
  • 13/4 cups hot water
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 21/2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs Cherries for decoration (optional)

Chill unopened can of milk until icy cold, about 4 hours. Dissolve gelatin in hot water. Chill until partially set. Whip until light and fluffy. Add lemon juice and sugar. Whip chilled milk, fold into gelatin mixture. Line bottom of 9×13 pan with crumbs. Pour gelatin mixture over crumbs. Top with remaining crumbs. Chill until firm. Cut into squares, center each with cherry. Serves 12.

Posted in Uncategorized.

Qsymia – New Weight Loss Drug approved by FDA

Qsymia is a very exciting new weight loss drug approved by the FDA on July 17 2012. Qsymia is actually a combination of two different drugs, phentermine and topiramate, that are already approved and used widely. Phentermine is known as an appetite suppressant and Topiramate as an anti-seizure drug for epileptics. Qsymia was initially denied in October 2010 due to concerns about possible side effects (more below), and sent back for further testing. Although there are still some concerns, particularly when overused, the FDA decided the plethora of health problems associated with the exploding obesity epidemic are far worse.

What’s the big deal about Qsymia?

Continue reading

Posted in diet, featured, Weight Loss.

Keeping Active for Better Aging

It’s a simple fact: as start to get older, we simply aren’t as active as we once were in our younger days. That’s unfortunate though. Staying active is vital to staying healthy and in turn, vital if we want to remain independent for as long as possible.

“Exercise is important for almost everyone.” says Dr. Keith Veselik of the Loyola University Health System. He said he even will write it out in a prescription for patients to try to make them see the importance of exercise and the connection it has to their health. Maybe more doctors should write out prescriptions for exercise. People need to start understanding that taking care of your body is just as powerful as medication once something goes wrong.

Of course, staying active isn’t always as easy as you get older. But Dr. Veselik has plenty of tips for older generations to be able to get in some exercise…

If Join Pain is a Problem

Joint pain and muscle aches increase dramatically once you hit your 50′s. He recommends to try cardiovascular exercises that get your heart pumping without putting too much strain on your joints. If you used to be an avid runner, that may not be the best choice anymore. That doesn’t mean you can’t get out and enjoy the same routes, though. Try a bicycle. That’s much easier on your joints than running. Even better is swimming, which works the majority of your muscles in a gentle way and gets your heart racing. This is a great way to get exercise if you suffer from arthritis.

If you insist on running though, please just make sure you have good running shoes that provide plenty of cushion and support.

If you get your rate up with cardiovascular exercise regularly, you can greatly reduce the chances of developing serious health problems like asthma and heart disease. However, if you haven’t been exercising for a while and want to get started, talk to your doctor first. They can help you develop a safe plan to get you active while reducing the risk of injury.

If Back Pain is a Problem

If you’ve been lucky enough to avoid joint and muscle pain, there’s still a good chance you will start experiencing back pain. If that’s the case, he says you should focus on strengthening your core muscles. Of course, always make sure you life heavy objects properly – with your legs and by not bending over and using your back to stand up and lift.

Other Tips

  • Include weight-bearing exercises in your routine. This will help you minimize the risk of osteoporosis by keeping your bones nice, strong and healthy.
  • Include exercises that strengthen your legs and improve your balance. This will help you stay flexible, balanced and minimize the risk of potentially dangerous falls.
  • Exercise not only keeps you healthy and helps prevent heart disease and such, but it can also reduce pain from arthritis and might even help prevent Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.


Posted in Exercise. Tagged with , , .

Interval Training for Quick Results

Is your exercise routine getting boring or just not providing the same kind of results as it once did? If so, you might wanna look into interval training.It doesn’t matter what you like to do… running, zamba, swimming, spin classes, etc. All you have to do to incorporate interval training is to push it extremely hard for a few minutes, then slow it down or rest for a few minutes (or maybe seconds).

What’s this do? You’re stressing the heck out of your cardiovascular system, that’s what! Why would you want to do that? Your muscles build up something called lactic acid. This acid improves your stamina, energy and strength. So while you’re on the down swing and easy mode (or rest) your body is actually preparing for the next push.

Professional athletes or at least life-long athletes have been using interval training for years. They know it’s the key to getting quick results and constantly improving your athletic ability. But for the general population, it’s still relatively new. Let’s look at why you should incorporate interval training into your routine…

It’s been shown that if you use interval training to its fullest, you can greatly improve your athletic ability. Your body learns to maximize the use of oxygen to gain energy when you need it – much better than if you always maintained the same level of difficulty in an exercise session. As your body learns to process oxygen better, you get stronger. You get faster. You up your game dramatically.

Are You Ready for Interval Training?

Of course, if you’re a beginner who has just started to exercise routinely then you may need to wait a bit before you try to push yourself too hard in interval training. You need to have a solid base level of physical fitness or you’re very likely going to risk injuries. If you don’t have any health conditions, shoot for 30-40 minutes of exercise several times per week at least. When you’ve been doing that and are comfortable with it, aim to get to a heart rate of 220 minus your age. i.e. if you’re 20, then aim for 200. That’s how you can figure your max heart rate.

Start Interval Training

Ok, you’ve been exercising regularly and you’ve established a healthy, strong fitness base. It’s time to up the ante. But don’t do interval training everyday. Your body needs 24/48 hours to fully recover from such intense exercise. Also keep in mind that with interval training, you’ll burn quite a bit more carbs than before. That means you should feed some extra carbs back into your body to refuel and recover. Don’t go crazy, but get a few hundred grams definitely.

Don’t Crash and Burn

When you start doing intervals you want to make sure that you’ll be able to finish. If you’re running, do a strong fast run during the high-intensity portions, but don’t flat out sprint if that means you won’t be able to finish. By being able to finish, we mean two things: You want to be able to finish the last few seconds high-intensity portions with the same speed and strength as the fist few seconds. You also want the last high-intensity portion to be as strong as the first one of the day. Remember it doesn’t have to be an ‘all or nothing’ type of thing. Some research has shown just as good results with medium-intensity portions as high-intensity. Just make sure you’re getting in those short burst of oomph!



Posted in Exercise. Tagged with , .

Crazy Fun Exercise Classes

Push-ups and squats in an airless, unforgivingly bright room? Huffing and puffing and sweating next to 25 strangers? The fitness classes of yesterday, maybe. But those are practically archaic by now. Hello, slithering, gravity-defying routines, party music, and flashing lights. Some classes are hybrids of old and new exercises; others are high-intensity variations on the norm. All will boost your fitness. U.S. News highlights some of the most out-of-the-box options:

Aerial dance. Always envied Cirque du Soleil performers? Stop at Heliummm Aerial Dance and Entertainment in New York. You’ll learn the tricks of aerial dance, while giving your arms and abs a workout. The bulk of your time will be spent hanging from and climbing up silky fabric that dangles from the ceiling. “It translates into other areas of your life, too,” says event producer and performer Heather Hammond. “Once you’ve overcome the fear of hanging upside down, you feel like a million bucks. You’ve just done something death-defying. It’s a physical, mental, and emotional challenge.” And there are no age constraints: Heliummm clients range from age 7 to 72.

[See: Arm Exercises for Short-Sleeve Season]

Burlesque dancing. You’ll learn the art of the slow tease by shimmying your shoulders and wiggling your hips. At some schools, you’ll also learn how to walk in heels to optimize your appearance, how to improve your posture, and how to lure others via eye contact. Other moves you’ll master: bumps, grinds, and chair dancing. Classes aren’t for the shy or delicate, though, instructors say: You’ll be working hard and getting on your hands and knees.

Trivia training. Boot camp meets Jeopardy. Be prepared to stretch your mind and your body. This type of class is based on research suggesting that working out increases blood flow to the brain region that controls memory; using your memory while exercising, the thinking goes, could improve brain function. During a typical class, participants are divided into teams, and whichever group answers a question correctly chooses the next exercise. In a lightning round, the instructor reads statements—if they’re true, prepare to run. False, drop to the ground and do push-ups or squats.

Piloxing. It’s a heart-pumping, body-toning, unlikely combination: pilates and boxing. Participants can wear athletic shoes or go barefoot, and some opt for half-pound weighted fingerless gloves to enhance the upper body workout. Expect to punch, jab, and execute quick footwork, while switching it up with balance poses, balletic plie squats, and other graceful dance moves.

AntiGravity yoga. Take your workout to the next level. Participants perform the poses of traditional yoga while hanging in a large silk hammock raised off the ground. The weightless routine helps strengthen the core, while relieving aching joints and stretching tight muscles. These classes are available nationwide; see a listing at

Party ride. It’s 9 p.m. on a Friday night. Throw on your sneakers and head to the “healthy nightclub,” says Julie Rice, co-founder and co-CEO of SoulCycle, a chain of indoor cycling studios in New York. The 45-minute “party ride” class merges the intensity of a full-body workout with dim lighting, glow sticks, and pulsing pop music—Lady Gaga, for example, or Rihanna. Riders also use hand weights to tone their cores and upper bodies. “It’s a super-invigorating, high-energy cardio party,” Rice says. “We have a disco ball and a bouncer at the front door. It’s awesome.”

Kangoo Jumps. Strap on these low-impact rebound sports shoes—rollerblade-like boots with springs instead of wheels—and head to the gym. During class, you’ll bounce, jump, skip, and run, mimicking a kangaroo while doing leg lifts and dance moves choreographed to energetic tunes. Kangoo Jumps were designed by a Swiss engineer whose aging knees interfered with his ability to run, and they’re claimed to reduce the impact on joints by up to 80 percent. The shoes typically cost between $169 and $279.

Hoop-ercise. Thought hula-hooping was for the kids? Wrong. Participants use weighted, adult-size hula hoops—and say that it’s not just fun, but it works. An hour of intense hooping can burn as many calories as an hour on the treadmill, and classes are typically set to fun tunes. Some hooping moves stimulate the entire core; others target the back and thighs, or tone the biceps and triceps.

Posted in Exercise.