Thursday, March 29, 2012

Lean & Green Recipe Suggestion: Ahi Tuna and Asparagus with Balsamic

This is a super-simple recipe suggestion for a Lean & Green meal!

Roast asparagus in the oven (it's THE best)!  See this post for the method.

Let your tuna steaks marinate in a little low sodium soy sauce and garlic: 

Sear the tuna steaks per this method

Flip and cook a bit longer: 

Look at that beautiful color.  You can see that the center of the tuna is slightly pink (a little harder to tell with the soy sauce). 

Remove the asparagus from the oven and sprinkle with fresh ground sea salt: 

I just love the look of that beautiful tuna!  Place over a bed of spinach and drizzle with reduced balsamic vinegar, found HERE.    

Add your asparagus and voila!  A wonderfully healthy lean and green meal! 

Dig in!

Nutritional Information HERE:

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Metabolic Syndrome, Do you Have It?

What Is Metabolic Syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome is the name for a group of risk factors that raises your risk for heart disease and other health problems, such as diabetes and stroke.
The term "metabolic" refers to the biochemical processes involved in the body's normal functioning. Risk factors are traits, conditions, or habits that increase your chance of developing a disease.
In this post, "heart disease" refers to coronary heart disease or CHD. CHD is a condition in which a waxy substance called plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries.
Plaque hardens and narrows the arteries, reducing blood flow to your heart muscle. This can lead to chest pain, a heart attack, heart damage, or even death.
Metabolic Risk Factors
The five conditions described below are metabolic risk factors. You can have any one of these risk factors by itself, but they tend to occur together. Typically, you must have three metabolic risk factors to be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome.
  • A large waistline. This also is called abdominal obesity. Excess fat in the stomach area is a greater risk factor for heart disease than excess fat in other parts of the body, such as on the hips or thighs.
  • A high triglyceride level (or you're on medicine to treat high triglycerides). Triglycerides are a type of fat found in the blood.
  • A low HDL cholesterol level (or you're on medicine to treat low HDL cholesterol). HDL sometimes is called "good" cholesterol. This is because it helps remove cholesterol from your arteries. A low HDL cholesterol level raises your risk for heart disease.
  • High blood pressure (or you're on medicine to treat high blood pressure). Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps blood. If this pressure rises and stays high over time, it can damage your heart and lead to plaque buildup.
  • High fasting blood sugar (or you're on medicine to treat high blood sugar). Mildly high blood sugar may be an early sign of diabetes.
Your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke increases with the number of metabolic risk factors you have. In general, a person who has metabolic syndrome is twice as likely to develop heart disease and five times as likely to develop diabetes as someone who doesn't have metabolic syndrome.
Other risk factors, besides those described above, also increase your risk for heart disease. For example, a high LDL cholesterol level and smoking are major risk factors for heart disease, but they aren't part of metabolic syndrome.
Having even one risk factor raises your risk for heart disease. You should try to control every risk factor you can to reduce your risk.
The risk of having metabolic syndrome is closely linked to being overweight and obesity and a lack of physical activity. Insulin resistance also may increase your risk for metabolic syndrome.
Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body can't use its insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone that helps move blood sugar into cells where it's used for energy. Insulin resistance can lead to high blood sugar levels, and it's closely linked to being overweight and obesity.
Genetics and older age are other factors that may play a role in causing metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome is becoming more common due to a rise in obesity rates among adults and children. In the future, metabolic syndrome may overtake smoking as the leading risk factor for heart disease.
It is possible to completely prevent or delay metabolic syndrome, mainly with lifestyle changes. A healthy lifestyle is a lifelong commitment. Successfully controlling metabolic syndrome requires long-term effort and teamwork with your health care providers, family, friends, and your health coach.

Tips for preventing metabolic syndrome
1. Lose weight
Studies show that losing even 10% of your body weight can help:
  • Lower triglycerides
  • Raise good HDL cholesterol
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Lower blood sugar
Weight loss is vital if you have a lot of fat around your middle. Your goal for preventing metabolic syndrome is to have a waist measurement of less than 35 inches for women or less than 40 inches for men. 

2. Eat Well
Making healthy food choices can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower the risk of developing metabolic syndrome. Here are some tips:

  • Get 21-38 grams of fiber each day from fruit, vegetables and whole grains.
  • Choose lean sources of protein such as skinless poultry, lean meat, fish, tofu, beans and lentils.
  • Keep dietary cholesterol under 200 mg/day by limiting eggs and full-fat dairy products. 
  • Keep saturated and trans fat low by choosing less deep-fried food, baked goods, fatty meat, full-fat dairy and fast food.
  • Choose unsaturated fats such as oil or non-hydrogenated margarine instead of butter.
  • Avoid salty processed foods including soup, deli meat, frozen entrees, canned goods and sauces.
  • Cut out alcohol. 

3. Be active
Aim to be active for at least 30 minutes each day. Regular exercise can help reduce weight and blood pressure levels. Increasing exercise to 60 minutes each day can increase the benefit. If you’re new to physical activity, talk to a personal trainer or a fitness expert to get started.

4. Quit smoking
Smoking remains as the leading cause of heart disease, so it is important to quit.

Let me know if you need help preventing metabolic syndrome. I have a great health and wellness program that can help you get healthy and show you how to implement the habits of true health! 

Click here for more info.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Lean & Green - Pork Tenderloin with Kimchi

Ok guys, this recipe...oh my goodness...what can I say?  Just PIN it now!  This recipe is the bomb (do people still say that?)! It's like an explosion of flavor in your mouth and all of the ingredients mesh really well together!  It is so SUPER good - but you really won't know until you try it, right?!!

Here's what you'll need:
But just kidding about the powered peanut butter - ended up not adding it at all!  So, just pretend it's not even in the picture, please and thank you.

First you're going to trim your pork of all fat and silverskin, then slice it into medallions - about 1/2" thick. 
Place in a bowl with 1 Tbl of soy sauce.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat sprayed with PAM. Add half of the pork and fry until brown about 1/2 way up the pork medallions.  

 Flip and fry on the other side until no longer pink - about 2 minutes each side. Transfer to a bowl.  If your skillet is not large enough to fry all of the medallions at once, do it in batches.

 Wipe out your pan and spray with PAM.  Add the mushrooms and scallions and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are shrunken in size and the scallions are wilted - 2 to 3 minutes. 

 Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant - about 30 seconds.

To another pan (sprayed with PAM), add the kimchi: 



And soy sauce: 

Cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid released by the kimchi is reduced to about 1/3 cup - about 3 minutes.  

Add back your mushroom and scallion mixture: 

Then add the pork medallions: 

Hello yummy goodness! 

Mix well and drizzle the sesame oil over the top of your dish: 

Plate this wonderful dish and enjoy! 
I can you not?  It is truly amazing!

We've made this a couple of times and the last time, we used a rotisserie chicken in place of the pork - it was also delightful.  Such a versatile dish and a quick cook too!

Pork Tenderloin with Kimchi
2 Servings

10 oz Pork Tenderloin
1 jar (14 oz) Kimchi
2 Tbl White Vinegar
3 cloves Garlic
4 packet Sucralose (Splenda)
2 Tbl low sodium Soy Sauce
1 Tbl Sesame Oil
6 Green Onions (scallions)

Trim your pork of all visible fat and silverskin.  Slice 1/2" thick.

In a medium bowl, toss the pork and 1/2 Tbs. of the soy sauce.  Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat sprayed with PAM. Add half of the pork and fry until brown about 1/2 way up the pork medallions.  Flip and fry on the other side until no longer pink - about 2 minutes each side. Transfer to a bowl.  If your skillet is not large enough to fry all of the medallions at once, do it in batches.

Wipe out your pan and spray with PAM.  Add the mushrooms and scallions and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are shrunken in size and the scallions are wilted - 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant - about 30 seconds.  Remove from heat.

To another PAM-sprayed pan, add the kimchi, vinegar, sucralose and the remaining 1 Tbs. soy sauce and cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid released by the kimchi is reduced to about 1/3 cup - about 3 minutes.  Add the pork and any accumulated juices and cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes more. Drizzle with the sesame oil and stir well. Season to taste with pepper and serve.

Nutritional Information HERE.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday Weigh-in, Happy Spring Break and the Week Ahead

Hi guys!!  Can you believe that another Monday has rolled around?  I hope you are all enjoying your Spring Break!  What plans do you have for this week?  Are you one of the lucky ones who is on vacation?  We'd love to hear about it - PS: please send sun!


Here's what last week's blog posts looked like - some great tips and great recipes!

Tuesday: Cooking Tip - How to Reduce Balsamic Vinegar
WednesdayYour Health - Let's Talk about Sex
Thursday:  Healthy Cooking - Crockpot Thai PB Chicken
Friday: Good Food - Do You Kimchi? 
Saturday: Go Organic Part II - 12 Reasons you should
Sunday: We have thoroughly enjoyed our time with family and are loving Spring Break!  Now if only the sun would shine! ;o) 

Seeing as Mr. Charming and I are out of town, we weighed in on a different scale, but here's what we got:

Last week: 173.8
This week: 172.8 

Last week: 260
This week: 255.2

I'm happy with my 1 lb loss and I'll explain the slow down in a future blog. ;o)

I think I'll have Mr. Charming take over the Monday weigh-in's - his will be so much more dramatic than mine! ;o)  You go babe!

Stay tuned for an exciting week on the blog:

Tuesday: Recipe - Pork Tenderloin with Kimchi
Wednesday: Your Health - Metabolic Syndrome: What is it and do YOU have it?
Thursday: Recipe: Lean & Green - Seared Ahi Tuna with Reduced Balsamic and Asparagus
Friday: Family Fun - Weekly recap and an exciting weekend ahead
Saturday: Health Tip - Stealth Health: How to improve your health without even trying
Sunday: Family Day/General Conference continued

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Are You Ready To Go Organic? Part Two

12 Reasons to eat organic!

 1. They’re free of neurotoxins - toxins that are damaging to brain and nerve cells. A commonly-used class of pesticides called organophosphates was originally developed as a toxic nerve agent during World War I. When there was no longer a need for them in warfare, industry adapted them to kill pests on foods. Many pesticides are still considered neurotoxins.
2. Most organic food simply tastes better than the pesticide-grown counterparts.

 3. Organic food is higher in nutrients - In study after study, research from independent organizations consistently shows organic food is higher in nutrients than traditional foods. Research shows that organic produce is higher in vitamin C, antioxidants, and the minerals calcium, iron, chromium, and magnesium.
4. They’re supportive of growing children’s brains and bodies. Children’s growing brains and bodies are far more susceptible to toxins than adults. Choosing organic helps feed their bodies without the exposure to pesticides and genetically-modified organisms, both of which have a relatively short history of use (and therefore safety).

5. They are real food, not pesticide factories. 18 percent of all genetically-modified seeds (and therefore foods that grow from them) are engineered to produce their own pesticides. Research shows that these seeds may continue producing pesticides inside your body once you’ve eaten the food grown from them! Foods that are actually pesticide factories. The food that keeps on giving!

 6. Buying organic helps reduce pollution in our drinking water - The EPA estimates that pesticides pollute the primary drinking source for half the American population. Organic farming is the best solution to the problem.
7. Organic food is earth-supportive - Organic food production has been around for thousands of years and is the sustainable choice for the future. Compare that to modern agricultural practices that are destructive of the environment through widespread use of herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, and fertilizers and have resulted in drastic environmental damage in many parts of the world.
8. Organic farms are safer for farm workers - Research at the Harvard School of Public Health found a 70 percent increase in Parkinson’s disease among people exposed to pesticides. Choosing organic foods means that more people will be able to work on farms without incurring the higher potential health risk of Parkinson's, cancer or other illnesses.
 9. Eating organic may reduce your cancer risk - The EPA considers 60% of herbicides, 90% of fungicides, and 30 percent of insecticides potentially cancer-causing. It is reasonable to think that the rapidly increasing rates of cancer are at least partly linked to the use of these carcinogenic pesticides.
10. Organic meat lessens your exposure to antibiotics, synthetic hormones, and drugs that find their way into the animals and ultimately into you.
11. Organic food is tried and tested - By some estimates genetically-modified food makes up 80% of the average person’s food consumption. Genetic modification of food is still experimental. Avoid being part of this wide scale and uncontrolled experiment.
12. Organic food supports greater biodiversity - Diversity is fundamental to life on this planet. Genetically-modified and non-organic food is focused on high yield monoculture and is destroying biodiversity.

It's sad to think that what you're eating could be eating you!

Friday, March 23, 2012

One Of The World's Healthiest Foods!

Koreans eat so much of this super-spicy condiment (40 pounds of it per person each year) that natives say “kimchi” instead of “cheese” when getting their pictures taken. The reddish fermented cabbage (and sometimes radish) dish—made with a mix of garlic, salt, vinegar, chile peppers, and other spices—is served at every meal, either alone or mixed with rice or noodles. And it's part of a high-fiber , low-fat diet that has kept obesity at bay in Korea. kimchi also is used in everything from soups to pancackes, and as a topping on pizza and burgers.
Why to try it: Kimchi is loaded with vitamins A, B, and C, but its biggest benefit may be in its “healthy bacteria” called lactobacilli, found in fermented foods like kimchi and yogurt. This good bacteria helps with digestion, plus it seems to help stop and even prevent yeast infections, according to a recent study. And more good news: Some studies show fermented cabbage has compounds that may prevent the growth of cancer.

What to do with it: There’s no need to make your own; just pick it up in the refrigerated section of your grocery store or an Asian market for around $4 per 32-ounce jar. You can wake up your morning by scrambling eggs with kimchi, diced tomatoes, and mushrooms. Use it as a wrap filling or to top a baked potato. Or try Spicy Beef and Kimchi Stew. The Spicy Beef Kimchi Stew recipe will be coming to the blog very soon, so stay tuned for that!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Lean & Green: Crockpot Thai PB Chicken with Broccoli

We wanted to find a healthy dish that we could throw in the crockpot on Sunday morning and enjoy for dinner that night.  

If you haven't noticed, we really love Thai flavors, so again, this is an ethnic-type dish and SUPER flavorful!  The chicken was soft and juicy and the sauce was amazing!  We threw in tofu noodles for the last 30 min. or so - just to soak up the flavors - "divine" *almost describes how fabulous this was!

The good stuff:

We made this dish for the entire family, so this is a full crock pot-sized meal.
Put 4-5 lbs chicken breasts (and/or tenders) in the crock pot and set heat to high (if frozen) or low (if thawed).  You could always adjust your heat later if you want to start out on high.

Add: red onions and mushrooms: 

Followed by your dry ingredients: powdered peanut butter, curry powder, ginger powder, brown sugar sucralose: 

Then add your wet ingredients - chicken broth, garlic, soy sauce and chili garlic sauce: 

And top it off with your lime juice and zest: 

Oh...and don't forget your green onions! 

Mix to combine: 

Put the lid on your crock pot and let it cook on high (if chicken is frozen) or low all day!  Check for desired texture of chicken (shredded, chunks, etc).  

About 30 minutes before you want to eat, add in your tofu noodles and let them soak up those juices a bit.   
Mr. Charming and I steamed some broccoli and placed it in the bottom of our bowls (gotta get all of our "green" in).

Then we added the fragrant goodness that was simmering in the crock pot over the top of our broccoli: 

Mix it together and you have one very fabulously healthy meal: 

Our kids absolutely loved this!  We had leftovers that the little ones gobbled up the next day for lunch!  We will definitely be making this again, soon!

Crockpot Thai PB Chicken & Tofu Noodles
10 Servings

6 large Chicken Breasts (frozen or thawed)
2 cups Chicken Broth (low sodium, no MSG, organic)
1/2 lg Red Onion
3/4 cup Mushrooms, chopped
3/4 cup Powdered Peanut Butter (PB2 or Betty Lou's Brand)
1/4 cup Brown Sugar Substitute (Sucralose)
2 Tbl Soy Sauce (low sodium)
2 heaping tsp Garlic (3 cloves)
1 tsp Ginger, powdered
2 tsp Curry, powdered
1 tsp Chili Garlic Paste
1 Lime, juiced and zested
5 bags tofu noodles

Place all ingredients in a crockpot, set on high (frozen) or low (thawed) and cook all day 6-8 hours.  Check chicken for desired doneness/consistency.  During last 30 minutes or so of cooking, rinse and drain your tofu noodles.  Then microwave them for 3-5 minutes (usually 1 min/bag) and add them to the crockpot.  Turn heat down to warm and serve when ready!

Nutritional Information HERE.