Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Rainbow Quinoa Summer Salad

I've developed a taste for quinoa, and am always hunting for good recipes. The folks at Eco sent me the following recipe, and they also said the product is 100% fair trade, organic and non-GMO.I haven't even tasted it yet and it already has me thinking about how much I'm going to enjoy it.  I think I still have some Meyer lemons on the tree and I'm betting that will add a nice taste to this. 

I will be making it in the next week or so, lucky for me that the Whole Foods 4 miles from my house carries Alter Eco foods,  but in the meantime, let me know if you have tried it and like it.

1 1/2 cups Alter Eco Rainbow Quinoa
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh or frozen corn
1 cup tightly packed basil leaves, finely chopped
1/2 cup roasted red peppers
1/2 cup diced red onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 to 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (1 or 2 lemons)

Rinse Quinoa thoroughly in cool water and drain.

In a medium saucepan combine quinoa, salt and 3 cups water. Bring to boil over high heat.
Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Add corn, cover and cook until water is

Let cool, then transfer mixture to large serving bowl. Toss well with fork, fluffing
quinoa. Add basil, peppers and onion. Stir in oil and enough lemon juice to give salad a
distinct lemony edge. Adjust seasons to taste.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Preventing Type 2 Diabetes in Silicon Valley

YMCA of Silicon Valley recently announced that it received a grant from the YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) as part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Diabetes Prevention Program, to help expand the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program and help reduce the burden of chronic disease in communities across the nation.
YMCA of Silicon Valley will launch the program and offer classes to community members in its YMCA facilities spanning from Morgan Hill to Redwood City beginning in July. For locations log onto the Y information page.
“Providing support and opportunities that empower people to be healthy and live well is part of the YMCA’s charitable purpose,” said John Remy, vice president of Operations and Healthy Living. We welcome the chance to work with CDC to bring an effective program to prevent type 2 diabetes to Silicon Valley and help individuals in this community make lasting changes to protect their health.”
CDC leads the National Diabetes Prevention Program, which offers communities an evidence-based lifestyle change program to prevent type 2 diabetes. The program is geared to those at high risk of type 2 diabetes. People have a higher chance of developing type 2 diabetes if they are overweight, age 45 years or older, have a family history of the disease, get little physical activity, developed gestational diabetes while pregnant, or are members of certain racial/ethnic groups, including African Americans, Hispanic/Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders.
The program is based on a research study led by the National Institutes of Health and supported by CDC, which showed that people with prediabetes could reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes by making modest lifestyle changes that resulted in a 5 to 7 percent weight loss (about 10-14 pounds for a 200-pound person). CDC estimates that national implementation of the prevention program could save $5.7 billion in health care costs and prevent 885,000 cases of type 2 diabetes in the next 25 years.
Researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine were able to replicate the successful results of the national DPP research study with the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis.  Unlike the national DPP research study, which was conducted with individuals one-on-one, the YMCA’s program is conducted in a group setting.
The research by the Indiana University researchers also demonstrated that the YMCA could effectively deliver a group-based lifestyle intervention for about 75 percent less than the cost of the original Diabetes Prevention Program. This research also highlighted the ability of the Y to take the program to scale nationally.
“We now have proof that lifestyle interventions delivered through community-based organizations such as the Y can save lives and health care dollars,” said Remy.
The program provides a supportive environment where participants work together in a small group to learn about healthier eating, and increasing their physical activity in order to reduce their risk for developing diabetes. The evidence-based program is delivered over a 12-month period, with 16 weekly core sessions then monthly maintenance. It is classroom based and can be offered in any community setting.
The partnership between the YMCA and the CDC stands to reduce the burden of diabetes, one of the nation’s costliest diseases, in Silicon Valley and across the nation,” said Remy.  “With CDCs recent prediction of an increase in diabetes rates, it’s of the utmost importance that we do all we can to help the 79 million people in the United States who have prediabetes prevent the onset of the disease to live healthy, happy and more productive lives.”

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Bob Green's healthy Chocolate French Toast

Yum!  I'm currently gluten free, so I can't test this healthy version of a classic brunch food, but the folks at
TheBestLife.com recommended it for a healthy alternative at Easter brunch and it sounds terrific.

It's from Bob Greene, Oprah’s diet and fitness expert, author of the bestselling The Best Life Diet and founder of TheBestLife.com, where he shares some favorite recipes.  
Recipe for Chocolate French Toast from The Best Life:
Makes 5 servings
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Total Time: 20 Minutes (if griddle fits four slices)
With whole-grain bread and lots of fresh strawberries, this is a healthy spin on the classic.
Ingredients:3 large eggs
3/4 cup 1% milk
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa, such as Hershey’s Cocoa
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 tablespoon ground cinnamon
10 slices whole-wheat bread (with about 80 calories and 15 g carbohydrate per slice)
1 second spritz vegetable oil cooking spray (to coat pan)
2 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
10 teaspoons soft margarine (containing no partially hydrogenated oil, such as Smart Balance Buttery Spread)
Directions:1. Beat eggs, milk, sugar, cocoa, vanilla, salt and cinnamon in large bowl until smooth.
2. Heat a large griddle or skillet over medium-low heat. Coat pan with a thin layer of cooking spray. 
3. Dip bread in egg mixture and place a few slices on griddle. Cook about 2 to 4 minutes on each side. Repeat until all slices are cooked. Serve immediately with equal portions of strawberries and 1 tsp soft margarine per slice.
Nutrition Information
1 servingCalories:  332
Protein: 13 g
Carbohydrate: 47 g
Dietary Fiber: 9 g
Total Sugars: 18 g
Total Fat: 12 g
Saturated Fat: 3.0 g
Cholesterol: 113.4 mg
Calcium: 126 mg
Sodium: 338 mg

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The connection: Seasons, sleep, weight loss

How cool is this! 

The folks at BodyMedia (an armband that tracks calorie burn and sleep patterns) drew data from its thousands of users and found some interesting stats. It shows how much people sleep in different months. Since this is from BodyMedia users, most of these people are engaged in weight loss programs.

I've never personally used the BodyMedia, but seen it in use with friends and co-workers, many of whom swear by it and credit it not only with weight loss but a huge increase in overall fitness.  So now we know what sleep patterns they put in place to help make that happen.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Really cool health advances thanks to high tech products

Covering everything from cancer to organ donation, Reader’s Digest has compiled a list of the most promising solutions to prevent, detect, and treat our annoying, debilitating, and deadly ills. 

I loved reading that in the future we may be able to “print” out replacement body parts. And did you know that  a step stool can provide the “boost” medical professionals need in order to perform live-saving CPR on patients?
Other interesting advances include:
·         “Print” New Body Parts – Imagine being able to manufacture knee cartilage, heart valves, muscle tissue, and skin at the touch of a but­ton. That’s the aim of bioprinting, a technique that creates human tissue using a special “ink” made from do­nor stem cells.
·         Safer Surgery: No Tools Left Behind – Every once in a while, surgeons leave an item inside a patient’s body, increas­ing the risk of infection and even death. Now a new “magic wand” that uses radiofrequency technol­ogy can help prevent such terrible mistakes. Sponges and pads are tagged with a signal-emitting device about the size of a rice kernel. Waving the wand over the body before sewing up an incision picks up any signals from the surgical site and alerts doctors to tagged items that were overlooked.
·         A “Super Vaccine” Against Cancer – Cancer treat­ments that help the body heal itself are a hot research topic since they may help people avoid surgery, radiation, and chemo­therapy. Once the vaccine prompts the immune system to recognize those sugars as a threat, the body’s natural de­fenses can destroy the cancerous cells without harming healthy tissue.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Best workouts: Surf-inspired SURFSET now at Western Athletic Clubs

It's no secret that I like the Western Athletic Clubs (WAC)  with their upscale fitness clubs here in Northern California and I like the folks I've met from there too. In general, they just seem to be smart, forward-thinking people who do things right. As an organization, they promote from within, they seem to spot trends early, and they just seem to have their act together when it comes to fitness.

Which is why I was intrigued by their newest workout programs, and health-oriented fitness offerings for 2013: SURFSET (surfer-inspired) workout, Les Mills GRIT (a high intensity interval training), and Wellness FX  (advanced health diagnostics with trainer-led consultations for insights and recommendations to improve biological health).

I wrote about SURFSET over on Examiner.com. The Les Mills is pretty self-explanatory to anyone who knows the Les Mills system of workouts with choreography that is changed periodically to prevent too much muscle memory.

The Wellness FX intrigues me, and though I don't know a lot about it, it seems to me to be a shrewd move for the chain's upscale membership. I can't vouch for the program, but it seems to have a PBS-type intelligent appeal. I'll be curious to see in a year if it's still being offered.  According to the original press release, WAC CEO Matthew Stevens was credited with the quote that defines Wellness FX as a, "...unique measurement tool [that] helps members track their success. Seventy percent of the data needed for accurate health diagnosis and management is in our blood—and our blood cells regenerate every 120 days. This system allows our members to measure not only the physical changes, but also the biological changes happening within."

Not all the Western Athletic Clubs offer all the new courses, but here are links to the locations: SURFSET, GRIT, and Wellness FX.  

If you get a chance to try any of these, let me know. Meanwhile, here are some photos of a SURFSET class. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

How to keep your fitness resolutions and get the most out of your gym membership

Here's a great infographic from 24 Hour Fitness, with tips on how to make your 2013 fitness resolutions a hit.  I  especially like their tips for how to get the most out of your gym membership.