The Best Healthy Snacks in Your Supermarket

10776734-healthy-cranberry-snack-bars-on-white-backgroundSnacking has gotten a bad rap, thanks to our tendency to choose empty-calorie snack foods like candy or chips to ease between-meal cravings. But when your stomach starts growling hours before your next meal, a healthy snack is actually a good idea, to hold off hunger and keep energy levels high. 

The supermarkets are full of new products advertised as healthy snacks, many of which come packaged in individual bars, microwaveable cups, and 100-calorie pouches. But which ones pass the test of being both tasty and healthy (or at least not unhealthy)?  These may not be “perfect” snacks, mind you. Some are a bit higher in sugar, saturated fat, or sodium than I would like. But most have:

  • Enough calories to be satisfying, but not so many that the snack becomes a meal.
  • Less fat and saturated fat than other similar snacks.
  • Whole grain and fiber, protein, and/or other nutrients that give them staying power. Read more

Health Local Is On The Air!

HealthLocalThanks to District 44, funding from FORWARD,  and  the wonderful assistance of the guys at Illinois Center for Broadcasting, Health Local is on the air!!!!!

It is tagged on to the end of  SchoolScape, the District 44 cable show.  This way, the education interviews are all contained in the first half hour and all the “healthy stuff” is in the second half hour.  Nice!

 

 

You can catch Health Local weekly on:

Tuesdays at 4:30 on Comcast Channel 19,

and… on the Lombard Channel 6 on:

Wednesday at 11PM
Fridays at 7:30 PM
Saturdays at 11:30 AM and 8:30 PM
Sundays at 2:30 PM.

The first show features:
Generation H:  students from Park View School
Chef’s Corner: Julie Marie cooks Healthy Breaded Vegetables
Healthy Hints:
Interviews at the Glenbard Parent Series Health Fair
The Doctor is In:
Dr. Dungan from DuPage Medical explaining 5,4,3,2,1, GO!
Life Long Lessons:  Joan from Lexington Square
Workout Room:  Pilates at Health Track Sports and Wellness

Shows 2 and 3 are in edit right now.  Yeah!!!!!

A bounty of ideas for healthful breakfasts

42-17233161-630x353breakfastThe Daily Herald Newspaper shared that parents are beginning to again contemplate carpools, homework and how to keep hectic mornings moving smoothly. Because we shouldn’t send our kids off to school without a healthful meal, we should start contemplating breakfast, too.

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, two-thirds of teenage girls and half of teenage boys don’t eat breakfast, even though it has proved to be essential to help them focus and maintain energy levels in school.

There are three key nutrients that make up a wholesome breakfast.
1.  Protein

  • Provides concentrated energy for the body
  • Constructs the brain
  • Repairs tissue
  • Keeps the body satisfied longer

2.  Healthful fat

  • Supplies energy
  • Builds the brain
  • Slows absorption of other parts of the meal, keeping the body satisfied longer

3.  Fiber

  • Reduces risk of heart disease
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Keeps the body full longer

Where to start

Serve any of these items with a side of fruit for a healthful breakfast.

  • Eggs
  • Hard-cooked
  • Scrambled (add veggies)
  • Egg nest: whole grain toast with an egg fried in a hole in the middle
  • Breakfast burrito: scrambled eggs and cheese in a whole-grain wrap
  • Frittata (Make in advance and heat up a slice, or make as muffins so they’re easy to reheat, grab and go.)
  • Green eggs and ham (Chop a handful of spinach into tiny pieces and toss with eggs before scrambling. Serve with a side of nitrate-free bacon or ham.)
  • Smoothies
    1. Start with a frozen banana
    2. Add any combination of fresh or frozen fruit (berries, pineapple, mango, cherries)
    3. For added nutrition, throw in a handful of greens (spinach, kale)
    4. For protein: 1 tablespoon nut butter, a handful of raw cashews or sunflower seeds, or ½ cup plain yogurt
    5. For a creamier texture: ½ cup almond milk or coconut milk
    6. Add water if needed until it blends smoothly    Read more

Get Those Fruits and Veggies!

Fruit-and-veggiesAccording to the Daily Herald, fruits and vegetables contain vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that are essential for good health. That’s one reason why a plant-based diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables can lower your risk of developing life-threatening diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and some cancers, says Harvard Medical School.

Dinner is typically the largest meal of the day, and it’s a good opportunity to make sure that you meet your daily quota for fruits and vegetables. Here are five easy ways to work more produce into dinner.

Roast vegetables. Roasting is a great way to let the deep, rich flavors of vegetables shine through. Bake cut vegetables at 375° F for 20 to 25 minutes or until they’re lightly browned. You can roast any vegetable — from mushrooms, onions, eggplant and zucchini to tomatoes, broccoli and carrots — so don’t limit yourself.

Poach veggies in low-sodium chicken broth and white wine. To poach, boil enough liquid to cover the vegetables. When it boils, add the vegetables. Turn down the heat to just below boiling and cook the vegetables for about five to seven minutes, until they’re brightly colored and tender-crisp. Read more

September is National Cholesterol Education Month

doctors2September is National Cholesterol Education Month and the DuPage County Health Department reminds residents that this is a good time to get your blood cholesterol checked and take steps to keep it at a healthy level.

High blood cholesterol affects nearly 100 million Americans. It is a serious condition that increases your risk for heart disease and your chance of having a heart attack. The higher your cholesterol level, especially the LDL (bad) cholesterol level, the greater the risk. You can have high cholesterol and not know it.

All people age 20 and older should have their cholesterol measured at least once every five years with a fasting lipoprotein profile, which measures total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol and triglycerides. See your healthcare provider for his or her recommendation for you. Read more

Check out these Healthy Hints for Back To School

pancakeHealthy lunch and snack ideas for the first week of school can be found at:
http://www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eating/blogs/healthy-lunch-and-snack-ideas-for-the-first-week-of-school

FOX10TV also hs a great video about packing a healthy school lunch.  Go to:

http://www.fox10tv.com/news/packing-a-healthy-school-lunch#.UhEW1feel60.twitter

Do you have a recipe to share?   Please add it under “Leave a reply.”   Thanks!

contest

Enter The Your Healthy Life Made Easy!™ Greater Lombard Area Weight Loss Transformation Contest

Residents of Lombard, Villa Park, Glendale Heights, Glen Ellyn, Downers Grove and Oakbrook Terrace who are 18 years or older now have a great opportunity to change their lives by getting healthy and losing weight with the Your Healthy Life Made Easy!™ Greater Lombard Area Weight Loss Transformation Contest.

The Grand Prize Winner will be coached personally by Lombard neighbor and Healthy Lombard Partner Wellcoaches® and ACE® Certified Health and Wellness Coach and Weight Loss Coach Melanie Jordan for six months for FREE!

And EVERYONE who enters the Your Healthy Life Made Easy!™ Greater Lombard Area Weight Loss Transformation Contest will receive 1 free month in the Your Healthy Life Made Easy!™ Do It Yourself Healthy Weight Loss Program at the Deluxe Level (which includes email coaching)–so everyone is going to be a winner and get some help with healthy weight loss!

Entries are being accepted by Coach Melanie from August 15th to September 15th, 2013 at http://www.yourhealthylifemadeeasy.com/weightlosscontest.html where full contest details and rules are listed, and the winner will be announced on the Healthy Lombard site and at Melanie’s blog at YourHealthyLifeMadeEasy.com on September 22nd, 2013.

This contest is Coach Melanie’s way of giving back to the community and helping others who have struggled with their weight like she did in the past before she lost and kept off 48 pounds and went from a size 14 to 6.  So get your entry in and please share this post with someone in the area whose life you’d like to help change.

ProActive Kids – Fall Session Starts Sept 16

The next session of ProActive Kids will take place September 16 – November 8.

Enroll your child today!

PAK will be offered at the following locations:

  • Downers Grove at Advocate Good Samaritan Health and Wellness Center funded by Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital.
  • Niles/Park Ridge (New!) at Gemini Jr High funded By Advocate Children’s Hospital
  • Oak Lawn at Advocate Christ Hospital funded by Advocate Chidlren’s Hospital (site is full for fall)
  • St Charles at St. Charles Park District funded by Cadence Health
  • Woodridge/Naperville – Edward Health and Fitness funded by Edward Hospital

ProActiveKids Program At A Glance

What it is:
Designed in collaboration with physicians, psychologists, nutritionists, personal trainers, coaches and educational leaders, the ProActive Kids is a FREE comprehensive 8 week program that will introduce children ages 8 -14, and their families, to healthier lifestyle options. Children must be in the 85th percentile and above in BMI to qualify for the program. The program offers a fun and rewarding experience that consists of:

  • Physical Fitness education and Workouts – 3 workouts a week! Read more

Bigger Meals Earlier Can Help Weight Loss

An article in the August 6, 2013 WSJ by Ann Lukits shared that skipping breakfast and overeating in the evening have been shown to play a significant role in weight gain and obesity. A study in the journal Obesity found that consuming the heaviest meal of the day at breakfast and the lightest at dinner can lead to significant weight loss.

From June to October 2012, researchers at Tel Aviv University in Israel recruited 93 overweight and obese women to participate in a three-month, 1,400-calorie-a-day diet, an amount recommended in some weight-loss diets. The women were in their mid-40s and had metabolic syndrome, the term for a cluster of health conditions associated with Type 2 diabetes. Half the women were assigned to a breakfast group (BF) that consumed 50% of the allotted daily calories at breakfast, 36% at lunch and 14% at dinner. A dinner group (D) did the opposite, eating 14% of calories at breakfast, 36% at midday and 50% at dinner. Participants were measured for various body and metabolic markers every two weeks.

The BF subjects lost an average 19.1 pounds over 12 weeks, while the D group shed 7.9 pounds. BF subjects trimmed 3.3 inches from their waistlines compared with 1.5 inches in D group; body-mass index dropped 10% and 5% in the BF and D groups, respectively. Read more