Beat-the-Heat Recipes (43 no-cook, microwave, slow-cooker, and outdoor grill recipes)

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Photo Credit: Ken Marshall via Flickr, Used unmodified under CC BY 2.0 license

If you don’t want to add to the heat by heating your oven or cooking on the stove, no-cook, microwave, and slow-cooker recipes are the way to go. Or, if you have shade, keep the cooking heat outdoors by cooking on the grill.

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18 NO-COOK Recipes

8 MICROWAVE Recipes

8 SLOW-COOKER Recipes

9 OUTDOOR GRILLING Recipes

Read more:

5 Quick and Healthy Meals without Using the Stove

25 Healthy Snacks for Kids (…or anyone. Many don’t require cooking)

Heart-healthy grilling recipes

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3 Health Lessons from Star Wars

Technology is your health accountability partner

R2-D2 and C3PO were created to help humans live better lives, and we have many tools that provide that same function today. From wearable tech and health-related apps that track steps, food, and medications to help you meet your health goals, to the availability of free recipes and health information online, technology makes it easier to live healthy lives.

Physical activity keeps you healthy

One of the most memorable scenes in the prequel trilogy was the fight between Yoda and Count Dooku. Yoda fights nimbly thanks to many hours spent in practice. Practicing martial arts (like light saber fights – or other more common activities like judo, karate, kickboxing, etc.) is just one way you can keep up your skills and meet the recommendation for 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week.

Protect your skin

Those oversized hoods on the cloaks do more than create ominous shadows. They also protect the wearer’s face from the harmful effects of solar radiation. You don’t need to live on a planet with two suns to be exposed to UV radiation. Earth’s sun is the major source of UV rays for most people, but tanning beds or occupational hazards can also contribute to UV exposure. To protect yourself from the effects of UV radiation (such as dryness, wrinkles, dark spots, cataracts, and even cancer) wear sunscreen, sunglasses, and avoid indoor tanning.

What other health lessons did I leave out? Leave a comment…

Happy Dietitian Day!

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) Day is almost over, but that isn’t going to stop me from posting about it! 😉

Dietitians are food and nutrition experts who have at least a bachelor’s level education along with supervised training in multiple areas of dietetics, have passed a national exam, and participate in continuing education every year.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics posted about some of the things that a dietitian can do for you, including

  • helping you understand food labels,
  • giving you tips about eating for improved athletic performance,
  • suggesting flavorful additions to make sure your healthy food isn’t boring food, and
  • helping you figure out how to enjoyably treat yourself to special foods – without guilt or bingeing.

Dietitians also work in many other ways, including fighting for anti-hunger causes, researching nutrition treatments for diseases like cancers or heart disease, and working with farmers to help create sustainable food systems.

Click to read the post about how a RDN can help you reach your health goals.

If you would like to find a dietitian to help you on your health journey, you can use the Academy’s Find a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist feature, where you can search by location and specialty.

Do you know a dietitian? Please thank them for the work they do. 🙂

Reducing Sodium: From Menu to Mouth (Infographic and text from the CDC)

Reducing Sodium: From Menu to Mouth. Excess sodium can lead to high blood pressure, a major contributor to heart disease and stroke. Home prepared meals have less sodium than meals prepared in fast food or sit down restaurants. What Can You Do? Ask for sodium content before ordering, or check online before eating out. Home prepared meals have less sodium per calorie than meals prepared in fast food or sit down restaurants, on average. Food from fast food restaurants contains 1,848 mg sodium per 1,000 calories, on average. Food from sit-down restaurants contains 2,090 mg sodium per 1,000 calories, on average. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend limiting sodium to less than 2,300 mg/day, and about 6 in 10 adults should further limit sodium to 1,500 mg/day*. Choose wisely to stay under 2,300 mg**. Top 6 Sources of Sodium from Restaurant Foods1,2: 1. 170 to 7,260mg sodium per sandwich. 2. 393 to 4,163mg sodium per slice of pizza containing meat. 3. 200 to 2,940 mg per burger. 4. 62 to 7,358 mg sodium per chicken entrée). 5. 250 to 4,870 mg per Mexican entrée. 6. 4 to 4,530 mg sodium per salad)* *Refers to those age 51 and older, and those of any age with high blood pressure, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease. ** Averages are for 2012–2013. 1 IOM Strategies to Reduce Sodium Intake in the United States. 2 Sodium content was determined using MenuStat.org. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Infographic and text from Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Click to go to the CDC webpage about Salt/Sodium

Reducing Sodium: From Menu to Mouth

Excess sodium can lead to high blood pressure, a major contributor to heart disease and stroke. Home prepared meals have less sodium than meals prepared in fast food or sit down restaurants.

What Can You Do?

Ask for sodium content before ordering, or check online before eating out. Home prepared meals have less sodium per calorie than meals prepared in fast food or sit down restaurants, on average. Food from fast food restaurants contains 1,848 mg sodium per 1,000 calories, on average. Food from sit-down restaurants contains 2,090 mg sodium per 1,000 calories, on average.

The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend limiting sodium to less than 2,300 mg/day, and about 6 in 10 adults should further limit sodium to 1,500 mg/day*. Choose wisely to stay under 2,300 mg**.

Top 6 Sources of Sodium from Restaurant Foods (1,2):

  • 170 to 7,260 mg sodium per sandwich.
  • 393 to 4,163 mg sodium per slice of pizza containing meat.
  • 200 to 2,940 mg per burger.
  • 62 to 7,358 mg sodium per chicken entrée.
  • 250 to 4,870 mg per Mexican entrée.
  • 4 to 4,530 mg sodium per salad

*Refers to those age 51 and older, and those of any age with high blood pressure, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease.
**Averages are for 2012–2013.

References

  1. IOM Strategies to Reduce Sodium Intake in the United States.
  2. Sodium content was determined using MenuStat.org.

Infographic and text from Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

What are you grateful for? Benefits of Gratitude

“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” — Epictetus

Thanksgiving is a time where we emphasize gratitude more than at other times of the year, but it is best to consider being grateful at all times of the year. This talk by Robert Emmons explains how gratitude (and of recording gratitude in journals or some other form) can make us healthier in many areas of our lives.

  • Psychological – positive emotions
  • Physical – exercise more, take better care of their health, sleep better and longer
  • Social – feel more connected, feel more helpful, feel less alone

Watch the 10 minute video to learn about the benefits of gratitude, and then check out the resources below if you need some ideas on how to be more grateful.

Resources:


What are you most grateful for? Leave a comment below.

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Kids Eat Right Month is a Family Matter

Father Feeding Child In Kitchen by marin via FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Photo credit: marin via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This month (August) is called Kids Eat Right Month, but kids (like all of us) need support for healthy behaviors. And depending on the age of the kids, some need more support than others since they don’t make fully independent choices yet.

“Parents and caregivers can play a big role in children’s nutrition and health, teaching kids about healthy foods, being a good role model and making sure physical activity is incorporated into each day,” says a reprintable article from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

They also offer five tips you can use to help your whole family (no matter what their ages) be healthier:

Shop Smart. To encourage a healthy lifestyle, get your children involved in selecting the food that will appear at the breakfast, lunch or dinner table.

Cook Healthy. Involve your child in the cutting, mixing and preparation of meals. They will learn about food and may even be enticed to try new foods they helped prepare.

Eat Right. Sit down together as a family to enjoy a wonderful meal and the opportunity to share the day’s experiences with one another. Research indicates that those families who eat together have a stronger bond, and children have higher self-confidence and perform better in school.

Healthy Habits. You can help kids form great, healthy habits by setting a good example. Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables, choose lower-sodium options, and make at least half the grains your family eats whole grains. For beverages, choose water over sugary drinks, and opt for fat-free or low-fat milk.

Get Moving. Aside from being a great way to spend time together, regular physical activity is vital to strengthen muscle and bones, promote a healthy body weight, support learning, develop social skills and build self-esteem. Kids are encouraged to be active for 60 minutes per day.

For more tips, recipes, and ideas for children and teens of every age, visit the Kids section of the Eat Right website (www.eatright.org).