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Fall is our busiest season. School is back in session, our children are busy with fall sports and activities and we are traveling to high school and college football games. However, I would have to say that Fall is my favorite season. I love making gingerbread with the kids and the awesome smell that carries through the house. I love relaxing at the end of a busy day to George Winston’s “Autumn”. I love the crisp coolness and excitement in the air at a Saturday afternoon college football game. But, one of my all-time favorite things to do in the fall is to run.
There is something about a run in the fall that is different from any other time of the year. It is a treat for the senses. The sound of the crackling leaves under your feet, the smell of the wood fires burning in the chimneys, the feel of the cool air, the look of the vibrant colors in the changing leaves and coral sunrises. The bugs are gone and the humidity is down.
Running, just like any exercise, makes you feel good. When you exercise aerobically, you release endorphins. Those endorphins reduce stress and improve your mood. Whenever I feel tense, exercise always makes me feel more relaxed. The more hectic life gets, the more exercise seems to help me cope. If I have tough decisions to make, it seems gives me a clear head in which to think.
Many people know about how exercise can help you to lose or maintain weight, control blood sugar levels and improve overall fitness. But, one very important aspect of exercise that is often overlooked is how it can improve your mood.
So, get out and enjoy the good things that both fall and exercise offer. If you are not a runner, go for a walk. Make it a family affair! You will be surprised at how good it will make you feel, both physically and emotionally!
It’s Your Health. It’s Your Life. Make that change!
The month of November we celebrate Diabetes Awareness Month and today is World Diabetes Day. These celebrations are held to raise awareness of the disease and to help find a cure. Those are great goals to celebrate. But let’s get personal. What does diabetes mean to you? With more than 29 million Americans, almost 1 in 11, having diabetes, chances are you or someone you know may have diabetes. Or, are you like the 1 out of 4 people with diabetes that are not aware they have it? How has diabetes affected your life? We’d love to hear your stories, both good and bad, about diabetes.
Please share them with us!
It’s Your Life. It’s Your Health. Make That Change!
It’s late April and it is starting to get warmer outside. This healthy dish is a gazpacho soup (a cold Spanish or Mexican soup made from vegetables and served chilled). When the temperatures begin to rise, you will find this soup to be incredibly cool and refreshing. The mint and cucumber aid in the cooling effect. This recipe is also amazingly fast, easy and healthy!
(Makes 2 servings)
2 medium-sized cucumbers, peeled & lightly chopped (~ 2 cups)
Juice of 2 large lime (or 1/4 cup lime juice)
2 packed tablespoons fresh mint
1 teaspoon green onion
Chili powder, pinch
Combine cucumber, avocado, lime juice, mint & green onion in a blender and purée well. Serve in chilled bowls and top with a pinch of chili powder. Eat immediately, or refrigerate until ready to enjoy. Can be served topped with sliced green onions, finely chopped tomatoes & slice of cucumber as an appetizing garnish.
(Recipe adapted from eatnaked.com)
2 Servings (Amount per Serving)
Total Fat 14.3 g
Saturated Fat 2.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.9 g
Monounsaturated Fat 8.6 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 49.8 mg
Potassium 828.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 16.7 g
Dietary Fiber 8.8 g
Sugars 3.9 g
Protein 3.5 g
It’s Your Health. It’s Your Life. Make That Change!
This is an easy, healthy, kid/teen approved casserole made with chicken, quinoa & black beans. It’s a perfect dish when you are cooking for a crowd or if you are one who likes leftovers or “planned overs” like we do. It makes 10 servings! Also, this dish is gluten-free which is helpful for those folks who need to avoid gluten in their diet.
Quinoa is high in protein (has the most protein of any of the grains) and gluten free. Additionally, it is high in magnesium, zinc, iron and folate. Do you have any favorite quinoa recipes? Please feel free to post & share with us!
1.5 cup uncooked quinoa (rinsed in water)
1-14 oz. can low sodium cooked black beans, rinsed
1.5 cups low sodium salsa (“Marie’s” has a low sodium brand)
1.5 cup unsalted chicken broth (We like “Kitchen Basics”) (plus ½ cup more, if needed)
1-2 cloves minced garlic
1.5 cups Kraft 2% Mexican 4 Cheese Blend Shredded Cheese
1 T olive oil
1-2 T sliced jalapeno
1 medium onion, chopped
2 green peppers
2 red peppers
1.5 lb. boneless skinless chicken tenders, cut into small pieces
2 T homemade taco seasoning (1 T chili powder, 1 T onion powder & pinch of cumin)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix quinoa, black beans, salsa, chicken broth, garlic & ½ cup of the shredded cheese in a large bowl. Transfer to a well-greased casserole dish (approx. 9X13 inch size). We use our Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker and it works perfectly for this dish. Bake for 30 min.
- While this mixture is baking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the jalapeno, onion, and peppers. Saute until golden brown and tender-crisp. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Toss the raw chicken with the taco seasoning. When the quinoa is done with the first 30 minutes of baking, stir it really well and add the raw chicken. Stir the chicken into the mixture to get the chicken mostly covered by the mixture, and return to the oven for another 30 minutes of baking. If you notice any uncooked pieces of quinoa on top, just stir and bake a bit longer (may help to add a little more chicken broth).
- When the quinoa is done, top with the peppers and remaining cheese. Bake another 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
(Note: Recipe Adapted from “Pinch of Yum”)
NUTRITION FACTS (Per Serving):
Total Fat: 8 g
Saturated Fat: 2.8 g
Trans Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 55 mg
Sodium: 300 mg
Carbohydrates: 33 g
Dietary Fiber: 7 g
Sugars: 2 g
Protein: 27 g
It’s Your Health. It’s Your Life. Make That Change!
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Carving a pumpkin this weekend? Don’t throw away the pumpkin seeds! Toasted pumpkin seeds are a yummy and healthy snack that’s high in fiber, protein, unsaturated fat and magnesium.
1 medium sized pumpkin
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut open the pumpkin and use a strong metal spoon to scoop out the insides. Separate the seeds from the stringy core. Rinse the seeds.
- In a small saucepan, add the seeds to water, about 2 cups of water to every half cup of seeds. Add a half tablespoon of salt for every cup of water (more if you like your seeds saltier). Bring to a boil. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and drain.
- Spread about a tablespoon of olive oil over the bottom of a roasting pan. Spread the seeds out over the roasting pan, all in one layer. Bake on the top rack until the seeds begin to brown, 10-20 minutes, depending on the size of the seeds. (Smaller pumpkin seeds could toast more quickly.) When browned to your satisfaction, remove from the oven and let the pan cool on a rack. Let the seeds cool all the way down before eating. Either crack to remove the inner seed (a lot of work and in my opinion, unnecessary) or eat whole.
Serving Size: 1 oz.
Total Fat: 6 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Trans Fats: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 160 mg
Carbohydrates: 15 g
Dietary Fiber: 0 g
Sugars: 0 g
Protein: 5 g
Source: Simply Recipes http://www.simplyrecipes.com
Photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/notbrucelee/1960831471/