Healthy Living…One Day At A Time

Hearty Artichoke Chicken

Simply delicious and quick!

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 cups uncooked chicken, chopped (about 1 1/2 lbs)
2 14 oz cans artichoke hearts, drained and halved
2 4 oz cans sliced mushrooms, drained
2 tbsp green olives, sliced
3/4 cup white wine (or water)
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
Paprika to taste

1. In large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high temp; add chicken and stir-fry 7-8 minutes

2. Stir in artichoke hearts, mushrooms and olives.

3. Add wine and vinegar; reduce heat, cover and simmer 25 minutes. Garnish with paprika.

Suggestion: Serve over hot cooked noodles

Makes 7 cups (5 servings)
Per serving: 297 calories, 29.6g protein, 12.4g fat, 9g carb, 5g fiber, 569mg sodium

Heart Health 101

A sendentary lifestyle, overweight, a high-fat diet, and smoking are sure to break a healthy heart, especially if you have a family history of heart disease.

Simple Heart Helpers:

Cholesterol control – Excess saturated fat in the diet is a likely suspect when it comes to high cholesterol. Two ways to cut fat:

1. If you like to eat out, stick to one restaurant or fast-food meal per week.

2. At meals, fill up on plant-based foods. Keep meat servings small, and eat fruit for dessert.

3. Substitute fish for meat twice a week; eat more beans, and choose foods low in saturated fat.

Healthy blood pressure – You can control or even prevent high blood pressure with lifestyle. Your best defense is a healthy diet, daily exercise, no smoking and limited alcohol consumption.

Regular exercise – It’s easy to make excuses for not exercising. The fact is, raising your heart rate above its resting rate is key to a strong heart and clear arteries. Healthier cholesterol and blood pressure may follow.

Make it a habit to eat breakfast and take a brisk walk for 30 minutes a day.

Protein Powerhouse

We all know about nuts being good for heart health, but they do so much more! Treat yourself to a variety of nuts for a smorgasboard of health benefits, just make sure to watch the calorie intake.

* Walnuts: good source of protein, fiber and magnesium, and alpha-linolenic acid (a brain-boosting omega 3 fatty acid). 14 halves/195 calories.

* Almonds: fiber, calcium and vitamin E (great help in lowering cholesterol). 23 nuts / 163 calories

* Cashews: good source of iron, folate and vitamin K (which keeps bones strong and blood clotting normal). 18 nuts/ 163 calories

* Brazil nuts: one nut equals more than a day’s worth of selenium ( a mineral crucial for thyroid health). 6 nuts / 186 calories

* Pecans: rich in beta-sitosterol (lowers cholesterol and helps in prostate health). 19 halves / 196 calories

* Pine nuts: loaded with manganese (helps maintain proper blood sugar levels and metabolizes carbs and proteins). 167 nuts / 191 calories

* Pistachios: rich in lutein (great for healthy vision and skin) and one serving is almost as much potassium as a small banana. 49 nuts / 162 caloriees

* Macadamia nuts: good source of thiamine ( helps nervous system function) 10-12 nuts / 204 calories

Did you know that certain foods can help you “beat the bloat” ?

While some foods actually add to your waistline, there are others that have the opposite effect!

* Asparagus – aids in digestion and helps detoxify the liver. Try it lightly steamed with olive oil and lemon juice.

* Beets – a strong diuretic that focuses on the liver and kidneys. Beets flush out floating body fats. They have a special iron the cleanses the corpuscles, corpuscles are blood cells that can contain fat deposits, and chlorine that helps flush out fatty deposits.

* Cabbage – cleanses your body of waste matter because it contains sulphur and iodine, which helps to cleanse the mucous membrane of the stomach and intestines. Cabbage is a great food if you should have a pot belly or a middle age spread.

* Cucumbers – Get 10 percent of your daily fiber from just one 10 oz. cucumber…helps flush the digestive system. Raw is awesome!

* Dandelion Greens – Eat raw in a salad for the best result. These greens contain choline, which helps remove fat and cholesterol from the liver and cleanse the digestive system. They also contain two flavanoids which help flush fiber.

* Grapefruit – Packed full of vitamins C and A. The flavanoid (naringin) blocks the uptake of fatty acids into cells. Studies show that eating half a grapefruit with each meal will help add to the pounds lost.

* Watermelon– a summer favorite with everyone! With a high water content and potassium, it is a natural diuretic. Add the fruit, water, ice and lime juice for a refreshing beverage.

Flat Stomach Exercises

Sleep Superfoods

A heavy meal right before bedtime is definitely a no-no if you want to snooze through the night, but can certain foods actually help you sleep better?

According to studies done by Joan S. Blake, RD at Boston University, the answer is YES!

If you’ve had a few nights of restless sleep, make a whole-wheat pasta dish with fresh vegetables, chicken breasts, tomato sauce and a touch of parmesan for dinner. She says that this meal contains a snooze-friendly combination of protein and tryptophan (an amino acid that converts to serotonin- a relaxing neurotransmitter).

Fresh and dried cherries are one of the only natural food sources of melatonin, the chemical that controls the body’s internal clock to regulate sleep.

Try a small bowl of cottage cheese with bananas, or another combination of protein and healthy carbs are a great choice too. Potassium and magnesium are natural muscle relaxants, and bananas are a good source of both. They also contain the amino acid L-tryptophan, which gets converted to 5-HTP in the brain. The 5-HTP in turn is converted to serotonin and melatonin.

A bowl of oatmeal will trigger insulin production, raising blood sugar naturally and making you feel sleepy. Oats are also rich in melatonin.

If you’re tummy’s growling late at night, do not reach for the caffeine or the chocolate!

Milk and graham crackers for instance, or Greek yogurt sprinkled with cereal will help you get some zzz’s.

Sweet dreams!

Don’t Lose Any More Sleep
Help Yourself Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Blueberries are bursting with nutrition and flavor, yet low in calories, fat and sodium and are considered one of the most prominent “brain foods” in existence!

Blueberries rank number one among raw foods in antioxidant content– including significant amounts of fiber, vitamins A and C, magnesium, potassium and iron. This is a high fiber food that has been proven to give immune systems a boost and help with detoxifying.

Much of blueberries health benefits comes from antioxidants called anthocyanidins, which can neutralize free radical cell damage and help ward off age-related memory problems, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, peptic ulcers, improve eyesight (cataracts, glaucoma), dementia, heart disease and cancer. Studies show blueberries to be high on the list of “brain foods”! The phytonutrient epicatechin found in this tasty little fruit can also help prevent urinary-tract infections.

Choosing raw foods give you more health benefits, and blueberries are a perfect choice to:

* Make fruit smoothies using unsweetened Greek yogurt or almond milk.

* Top whole grain (or gluten free) pancakes or waffles.

* Sprinkle generously over whole grain cold or hot cereal.

* Eat alone as a snack; use in a trail mix with nuts, seeds and other fruits like cranberries.

* Add to salad recipes, low-fat yogurt, cottage cheese or with a slice of cantaloupe.

Blueberry Recipes

Is Your Brain B12 Deficient?

The leading cause of death of American women is coronary heart disease.

Nearly twice as many women die of heart diseases and stroke than cancer.

Even the phrase, “good fats” sounds like an oxymoron, but did you know that eating these good fats can help prevent certain diseases and conditions?

Eating monounsaturated fats, like those found in vegetable oils, avocados, nuts and seeds help to reduce your risks of heart disease and stroke. Omega 3 fatty acids found in salmon, tuna, flaxseed and walnuts, also lower heart disease risk and may help with other conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and depression.

Also, when you “treat” yourself to a full-fat food, you will actually eat less because your body will signal the brain that it’s full much quicker.

Just make sure that no more than 30 percent of your daily calories come from fats- even the good kind.

8 Steps to Prevent Heart Disease

Are Health Tests Important?

Heart Attack Risk Assessment

Warning Signs of Heart Disease

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