Category Archives: Healthy Eats

Celebrating National Sugar Cookie Day

July 9th was National Sugar Cookie Day so in an effort to celebrate every wacky holiday with a positive and healthy mindset, we have decided to share our favorite healthy sugar cookie recipe, which replaces some butter with non-fat plain yogurt. The recipe makes 4 dozen sugar cookies in 25 minutes so check it out below:

Ingredients

  • 2 ¾ cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon of baking powder
  • ½ cup of butter, softened
  • ¼ cup of nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1 ½ cups of white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  2. Stir flour, baking soda, and baking powder in a small bowl
  3. Beat butter, yogurt, and sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until smooth
  4. Add egg, allowing it to blend into butter mixture
  5. Beat in vanilla extract
  6. Mix in flour mixture until just incorporated
  7. Roll into walnut-sized balls and place 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheet
  8. Bake in preheated oven until golden, 8-10 minutes
  9. Let stand on baking sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks

We’re not the only ones who love this recipe, check out these reviews:

  • “Delicious! They turned out beautifully! They were fluffy and light and you couldn’t tell they were “healthier”” –Courtney
  • “Turned out great. Still nice and soft and it’s 4 days later!!” –Anna
  • “One of the best cookie recipes I have ever tried. I liked these better than the original recipe! Brought these to a picnic and everyone loved them.”—Anonymous

Festive Fireworks Drink for Fourth of July Weekend!

Warm summer days require a cool drink (at least for those over the legal drinking age!). Check out this festive Fourth of July weekend drink mix below but remember to drink responsibly!

Fireworks Red, White and Blue Daiquiris—yields 6 servings

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Ingredients for Blue Layer

  • 2 cups ice cubes
  • 1/3 cup blue passion fruit liqueur (such as Hpnotiq or Alize)
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice (about 4 limes)
  • 2 tablespoons blue curacao liqueur
  • 2 tablespoons white rum
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Ingredients for Red Layer

  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup watermelon chunks, frozen
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • 2 tablespoons white run
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup ice cubes

Ingredients for White Layer

  • 1 cup coconut sorbet
  • ¼ cup rum
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • 1 cup ice cubes

Blue Layer Directions

  • Put 1 ½ cups of the ice cubes in the carafe of a blender
  • Add the passion fruit liqueur, lime juice, blue curacao, rum and sugar
  • Blend until slushy and there are no chunks of ice left
  • Add the remaining ½ cup of ice if needed
  • Transfer to a large measuring cup or small bowl
  • Place in freezer while you make the next layer

Red Layer Directions

  • Rinse out the blender
  • Add the frozen strawberries, watermelon, lime juice, rum and sugar to the blender
  • Blend until slushy and there are no chunks of fruit
  • With the motor running, add the ice, a few cubes at a time until thick and smooth
  • Stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of water if the consistency is too thick
  • Transfer to another small bowl
  • Place in freezer while making the final layer

White Layer Directions

  • Rinse out the blender
  • Add the coconut sorbet, rum and lime juice to the blender
  • Blend until smooth and thick
  • With the motor running, add the ice, a few cubes at a time
  • Continue to blend until thick and no bits of ice remain

Serving Directions

  • Pour the red layer into the bottom of six 8-ounce glasses, about 1/3 cup each
  • Gently spoon 1/3 cup of the blue layer over the red layer so they stay separate
  • Finish by spooning 1/3 cup of the white layer over the second layer in each glass

Enjoy responsibly!

Source: Food Network Kitchen

Best Snacks for Weight Loss

Bikini season is here and people all over the country are trying to stay on top of their game this summer. With healthy eating being so important, I’m here with a few snack ideas perfect if you’re trying to lose weight—check them out below!

Popcorn

Popcorn is full of fiber and has very few calories. Nutty, almost cheese-like flavored nutritional yeast is a great source of vitamin B12. Sprinkling the yeast in your popcorn burns stored fat and calories while helping boost your metabolism.

Melon with Balsamic Vinegar

A cup of watermelon is around 90% water and only has about 45 calories. Adding balsamic vinegar helps activate pepsin, a digestive enzyme that breaks protein down into amino acids.

Edamame with Sea Salt

Edamame is full of fiber, which slows digestion and helps you feel full, making it the magic ingredient while trying to lose weight. Sprinkle some sea salt on a cup on edamame for a snack with 8 grams of fiber and less than 200 calories!

Pomegranate Seeds and Pistachios

Fiber-filled pomegranate seeds will keep you satisfied while providing a major dose of vitamin C. Pistachios contain an amino acid known to help improve blood flow during exercise. Combine the two and you have a snack sending you right to the finish line!

Baked Zucchini Chips with Paprika and Sea Salt

Cut a zucchini into thin slices and toss in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Sprinkle with paprika and bake at 450°F for 25 to 30 minutes. The paprika will add flavor while boosting your metabolism, reducing your appetite and lowering your blood pressure.

Greek Yogurt-Dipped Berries

Greek yogurt is an excellent source of protein; it combines calcium and an amino acid known to help retain lean muscle mass and burn fat. Dipping berries into plain nonfat Greek yogurt and freezing them for a few hours before eating guarantees an antioxidant-rich afternoon snack!

Turkey and Avocado Roll-ups

Rolling a sliver of avocado in a slice of organic lean turkey breast provides a protein-rich snack with no carbs! The combination slows digestion and prevents future cravings. Looking for something more? Add mustard for metabolism-boosting power!

St. Anthony Community Hospital Hosts Well Attended Informational Event & Cooking demonstration

Mediterranean Diet tasting event 4

It was a full house on Monday evening, March 31, as St. Anthony Community Hospital and Morrison Health Care, under the direction of Mark Brezina, director of Food Services, hosted another in a series of free informational and tasting events.

The cooking demonstration, “Taste of the Mediterranean,” which was held in the Greenbriar Room at Mount Alverno Center in Warwick, began with a culinary demonstration by Chef Brian Smyth while guests enjoyed the Mediterranean custom of dipping breads in dishes of pure olive oil.

The main entrée prepared by Smyth, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, was Mediterranean pan seared chicken with garlic and olives along with almond and vegetable couscous followed by a dessert of baked pears and apple.

During her presentation after the meal Janine Killeen, RD,CDE,CDN, Morrison Health Care Lead Dietitian of St Anthony Community Hospital and the Warwick Campus of Bon Secours Charity Health System explained that the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet are numerous including longevity, defense against chronic diseases, fighting cancers, protection from diabetes, depression and Alzheimer’s disease among many other ailments.

“As some of you know,” she said, “the Mediterranean diet is more than a diet. It’s a lifestyle approach to healthy eating filled with delicious foods like fruit, vegetables, fish, beans, nuts and whole grains as well as other ingredients shown to promote good health like olive oil and wine along with daily physical activity.”

Morrison Health Care associates Lynn Palmieri, DTR, Gigi Fried RD and Stacy Lynch, dietetic student, were also on hand to assist Killeen during the successful event.

‘Welcome to the Mediterranean Diet’

St. Anthony Community Hospital hosts ‘Welcome to the Mediterranean Diet’

Free Informational Event & Cooking Demonstration

March is National Nutrition Month and this year’s theme is “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right.”

At 5:30 p.m. on Monday, March 31, St. Anthony Community Hospital and Morrison Health Care, under the direction of Mark Brezina, director of Food Services, will host a free National Nutrition Month informational and tasting event. The cooking demonstration, “Taste of the Mediterranean,” will be held in the Greenbriar Room at Mount Alverno Center, 20 Grand Street, Warwick, about one-quarter mile past the hospital.

National Nutrition Month celebrates and reinforces the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

“As some of you know the Mediterranean diet is more than a diet, “ said Janine Killeen, RD,CDE,CDN, Morrison Health Care Lead Dietitian of St Anthony Community Hospital and the Warwick Campus of Bon Secours Charity Health System. “It’s a lifestyle approach to healthy eating filled with delicious foods like fruit, vegetables, fish, beans, nuts and whole grains as well as other ingredients shown to promote good health like olive oil and wine along with daily physical activity.”

Killeen explained that the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet are numerous including longevity, defense against chronic diseases, fighting cancers, protection from diabetes, depression and Alzheimer’s disease among many other ailments.

Everyone is invited to join Killeen, her Morrison Health Care associates Lynn Palmieri, DTR, Gigi Fried RD and Stacy Lynch, dietetic student, for a presentation, cooking demonstration and tasting.

Morrison Health Care Chef Brian Smyth will be preparing pan-seared chicken with garlic and olives, almond couscous and a colorful salad along with a dessert of baked pears and apples.

Registration is necessary and seating is limited. Call 845-987-5197.


Slim Down Your Super Bowl!

PRE-GAME:

Super Bowl Sunday can be one of the worst eating days for men and women. But it’s easy to defend your New Year’s diet resolution from the typical Super Bowl party’s fatty menu of beer, potato chips, sandwiches,  wings, potato salad, macaroni and slaw if you have the right game plan.

GAME PLAN:

  • Eat something before you arrive. If you show up hungry, you’re more likely to overeat, and to reach for the most fattening options available.
  • Allow yourself a taste of anything on the table,and then bench the fattier choices in favor of the healthier stand-bys.
  • Bring along some lower-fat snacks to share, such as baked corn or potato chips, air-popped popcorn and pretzels.
  • Load up on salsa, which is a tasty, nutritious, low-calorie dip.
  • Prepare a fruit or vegetable platter to bring to the party, so there’s sure to be some healthy choices at your fingertips.
  • Try not to drink too many calories – choose water or seltzer over regular sodas and juices.
  • If you’re drinking alcohol, pick light beer, wine or a wine spritzer (1/2 wine,1/2 fizzy water).

Try out these 10 snacks to slim down your Super Bowl party:

  1. Blue Corn Chips and Bean Dip
  2. Seasoned Baked French Fries
  3. Low-Fat Spinach Dip and Vegetable Sticks
  4. Mini-sandwich Wraps with Turkey, Low-Fat Cheese, Lettuce and Tomato
  5. Vegetable Curls with Light Ranch Dressing Dip
  6. Fruit Kabobs
  7. Roasted Almonds and Low-Fat Popcorn
  8. Homemade Pizza with Vegetable Toppings and Canadian Bacon
  9. Baked Pita Chips Served with Fresh Salsa
  10. Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits

Get active! Don’t let the players have all the fun:

  • Play a quick game of touch football or toss the football around at half-time.
  • Walk around the party, don’t concentrate in only the food area.
  • Remember, you aren’t playing in the game, don’t make your post-game meal an NFL sized portion!

Healthy Menu Planning

Like most families, your life is probably busy with work, school, activities, and other commitments, and you may feel like you don’t have enough time to put healthy food on the table. However, cooking healthy meals for your family can be simple and delicious with easy recipes and a little advance planning. Here are some tips to make healthy cooking at home easier.

Menu Planning and Shopping

  • Make a plan and stick to it. Choose one day each week to plan meals for the week. Then create a grocery list based on your mealplan. A little planning ahead can help save you lots of time and money.
  • Make it a family affair. Ask your family to help you write the weekly meal plan and  grocery list-post these materials on the refrigerator and ask family members to help fill them out as they come up with ideas.
  • Stock your kitchen with staple healthy ingredients such as brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, sundried tomatoes, frozen shrimp, chicken breasts, canned low-sodium beans, no-salt-added diced tomatoes, frozen vegetables with no added sauce, etc.
  • Shop smart. Stick to your grocery list to avoid buying items you don’t need. Time your grocery trip tor when the store is less crowded and you’re not rushed or hungry. Get the recipe ingredients and other foods on your list in just one trip.

Source: http:ffwww.nhlbl. nih.gav/health/public;/heart/ obeslty/wecan/about·wecan/ index.htm

Holiday Eating Strategies for People with Diabetes By Joan Schwegler, RD, CDE

The holidays are here, oh how time flies! So give yourself a present this season by following a few tips to keep on track managing your diabetes. After all, the holidays are about social gatherings with family and friends and what would a party be without food! Planning and moderation are the keys so don’t be sabotaged in your attempt to keep blood sugars under control. Healthy eating during the holidays is all about choices; with a little preparation, you can enjoy your favorite foods and resist the temptation to overeat.

Are you preparing the holiday meal this year?

Include nutritious food choices like vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean meats on the menu. Plan healthier versions of your traditional foods by substituting light or fat free sour cream in casseroles, sautéing vegetables in defatted broth rather than butter or adding a buttered-flavored spray to vegetables instead of heavy cream sauces, broiling, grilling or roasting meats and poultry on a rack so the fat can drip off, removing the skin from poultry, degreasing gravies by refrigerating and skimming off fat after cooling, substituting egg whites for whole eggs in recipes and whipping chilled evaporated skim milk for dessert toppings instead of using whipped cream. Calories can add up so try to avoid tasting too often when cooking and resisting the temptation to graze by putting leftovers away promptly.

Did you receive a party invitation?

Accept the invitation and have fun. Focus on conversation with family and friends instead of eating. Remember, if you are not planning the party menu yourself, the food options may not always be the healthiest so offer to bring a lower-calorie dish that you will enjoy. A colorful plate of veggies with a low fat yogurt dip will be warmly appreciated by the host or hostess. Don’t arrive at the party on an empty stomach – skipping meals or snacks earlier increases the likelihood of overeating later. Try to stick to your meal plan. Practicing moderation and consistency in carbohydrate intake throughout the day is the key to blood sugar control rather than saving all the “carbs” for later.  So go ahead, enjoy small portions of your favorite foods, eat slowly and practice mindful eating – concentrate on the flavors and textures.  Keeping hydrated by sipping calorie-free drinks such as sparkling water or flavored seltzer will help you feel full. If you choose to consume alcohol, drink in moderation because the calories can add up! The recommendation is no more than 1 drink for women and 2 drinks for men and should be consumed with food to prevent low blood glucose later, especially for someone taking insulin or certain diabetes medications.  A drink is defined as one 5 fl oz glass of wine, 12 fl oz of beer or 1 1/2 fl oz of distilled spirits (80-proof).  A wine spritzer made with club soda or a light beer is a good option to save on calories.

Dining out this holiday season?

The festivity of the holiday season often lends itself to sharing meals with family and friends at a favorite restaurant. Most restaurants will offer a combination of healthy and unhealthy items to choose from so it is important to read the menu carefully.  Menu item descriptions can be very helpful in choosing a lower fat menu item. Avoid menu items that include words such as “fried”, “crispy”, “creamy”, “buttery”, “bisque”, “cheesy”, “smothered”, “gravy”, or “encrusted”. Menu items that are served in a broth, red sauce, or wine sauce are lighter and lower in fat. Restaurants usually serve larger portions – one meal can often feed two or three people! Remember, the strategy is moderation so ask to have half of the meal packaged for take home before you start eating or request a lunch or kids portion when ordering dinner. Limit the bread or rolls by asking  to have them removed from the table and save your “carbs” for a whole grain option like wild rice or choose a small baked potato instead of French fries.  Salad is a good option but make sure to request dressing “on the side” and use a small amount.  Salad toppings like croutons, bacon bits and cheeses can turn a healthy option into a not-so-healthy option, so add sparingly. You can still enjoy a holiday dessert – share one with your dining partner. The trick is to substitute small portions of sweets for other carbohydrates in your meal plan, for example, have the small piece of pie for dessert instead of the roll at dinner. Dining out doesn’t always lends itself to eating at routine times so be mindful that medications may need to be adjusted. If meals are delayed and you are taking insulin or certain diabetes medications you may need a snack at the time you would usually eat your meal. Service in restaurants can be slow, especially during the busy holiday season, so when taking fast-acting insulin for meals wait until you are served before taking it to balance with food.

Going ice-skating?

Dress warm and stay active! Physical activity will help you burn calories, avoid weight gain and keep blood sugars under control.  It is also a good way to reduce the stress that often goes along with menu planning, shopping, cooking and decorating. So don’t take a holiday from your regular exercise routine! Try a seasonal activity, build a snowman, have a snowball fight! Walk a few laps around the mall.  Taking a stroll after eating a holiday dinner is a nice way to appreciate the outdoor decorations with family and friends.

The holiday season is a time to cherish loved ones, ring in new traditions and enjoy some traditional foods.  Whatever holiday you are celebrating, planning your strategy ahead of time will go a long way in reducing the anxiety associated with food focused holidays.

Enjoy this healthier holiday dip at your next party:

Spinach-Roasted Red Pepper Dip

Serving Size: 1 Tablespoon, Servings Per Recipe: 36

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup plain low-fat or fat-free yogurt
  • ½ cup light mayonnaise dressing or salad dress­ing
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
  • ¾ cup bottled roasted red sweet peppers, drained and chopped
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 3 red and/or yellow sweet peppers, seeded and cut into strips, or desired dippers

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, stir together mozza­rella cheese, yogurt, mayonnaise dressing, 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese, the flour, and the Dijon mustard.

2. Stir in the spinach, roasted red peppers, and 2 tablespoons of the green onions. Spread the cheese vegetable mixture evenly into a 1-quart ovenproof shallow dish or a 9-inch pie plate. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese.

3. Bake the dip, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes or until the edges are bubbly and the mixture is heated through. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons green onions. Serve with red and/or yellow sweet pepper strips. Makes 2¼ cups.

NUTRITION FACTS PER SERVING: Calories: 21, Total Fat: 2 g (0 g sat. fat), Cholesterol: 3 mg, Sodium: 47 mg, Carbohydrates: 1 g, Fiber: 0 g, Protein: 1 g.

Used with permission from Diabetic Living® magazine. ©2007 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. For more diabetes-friendly recipes, visit­www.diabeticlivingonline.com. 

Send kids back to school with healthy meals and snacks

New federal rules on school lunches will help provide children with more nutritious meal options. But, according to the American Heart Association, the best way to ensure healthy and less expensive meals for your kids is to send them with meals from home. So while you’re getting the kids’ backpacks ready with notebooks, pencils and paper, it’s a great time to plan for healthy back-to-school lunches.

The American Heart Association recommends packing a healthy lunch at home to ensure that kids get the nutrition they need without all the fat, calories and salt found in convenience foods and many school lunch meals. Too much salt, calories and fat can contribute to long-term health issues like obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Today, about one in three American kids and teens is overweight or obese; nearly triple the rate in 1963. Among children today, obesity is causing health problems that previously weren’t seen until adulthood, like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and elevated blood cholesterol levels.

Ten Healthy lunchbox tips:

  • Pack healthy drinks such as water, low-fat milk or 100% juice with no added sugar.
  • Beverages boxes frozen the night before can keep a lunchbox cool until lunchtime.
  • Cut out the calorie-rich and nutrient-empty soda and energy drinks.
  • Use whole wheat bread, pita, wraps or flatbreads for sandwiches.
  • Pick lean luncheon meats like turkey, ham or leftover chicken breast.
  • Use reduced fat mayo or salad dressing or mustard to dress a sandwich
  • Add mixed greens or baby spinach leaves for extra nutrients
  • Try protein/iron-rich hummus with fresh veggies and whole wheat pita triangles for dipping.
  • Low-fat or fat-free calcium-rich cottage cheese with carrots, cherry tomatoes, berries, or melon.
  • Top green salads with lean protein like hard-boiled eggs, beans or chicken.

Didn’t pack a lunch? There are many options to choose from in the lunch line at school, some of them are healthier than others. Encourage kids to choose fruits and vegetables instead of French fries or chips and ask for grilled meat instead of fried.

The above information has been provided by the American Heart Association. For more information and recipes, visit the American Heart Association at www.heart.org/healthierkids.