Cook This, Not That for the Holidays
When thinking about the holidays, most people imagine their grandma’s homemade pie, their mom’s scrumptious casserole and their aunt’s candied sweet potatoes. Umm mm! However, all of these foods have one common denominator: lots of calories! And lots of calories can lead to unwanted weight gain. The average person gains 7 pounds over the holidays because typically people eat higher calorie foods and exercise less.
It is not that you have to cut these foods totally out of your holidays, but making some key substitutions can lower the fat and calories in recipes while keeping the same great taste! Remember, it is not just baked goods that are full of calories, some of your favorite dishes are also loaded with them!
When cooking, substitute:
- Cook with this: 1 cup oats or crushed whole wheat crackers
Not with that: 1 cup bread crumbs
- Cook with this: 1 cup 2 percent mozzarella cheese
Not with that: 1 cup cheddar cheese
- Cook with this: ¼ egg substitute or half banana mashed with half teaspoon baking powder
Not with that: 1 egg
- Cook with this: 1 cup low-fat sour cream or plain yogurt
Not with that: 1 cup mayonnaise
- Cook with this: 1 cup cooked barley, bulgar or brown rice
Not with that: 1 cup cooked white rice
When baking, substitute:
- Bake with this: 1 cup yogurt
Not with that: 1 cup buttermilk
- Bake with this: 1 cup natural honey
Not with that: 1 cup corn syrup
- Bake with this: 1 cup frozen light whipped topping (thawed)
Not with that: 1 cup cream (whipped)
- Bake with this: 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese (pureed)
Not with that: 1 cup cream cheese
- Bake with this: 1 cup apple sauce or fruit puree
Not with that: 1 cup oil
Note: Don’t substitute every single ingredient because you might alter the taste and integrity of the end result. However, making a few substitutions will help lower the fat and calorie intake of your product!
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Myth vs. Fact
“This holiday season I plan to eat a light breakfast & lunch and a sensible dinner so I don’t gain weight.”
Reality is that when people eat less during the day, they are starving at night and tend to want to eat more! The goal is to eat more calories during the day when you are up, moving and working and then eat less calories at night when you are sitting still. Go by the old saying: “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.”
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The Executive Health Scoop
Advanced Imaging services offered through the Executive Health Program at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth!
Come visit the Executive Health Program for your comprehensive physical and take advantage of the advanced imaging services offered. The Executive Health Program provides comprehensive physical exams and advanced imaging services. Utilizing a 64 slice CT scanning machine, the program offers patients screenings such as scans of the heart, lung, abdomen, and pelvis. Virtual Colonoscopies are available with this technology as well. This process can provide executives and their doctors with valuable information to help identify potential future health risks before they may become symptomatic.
For more information, please contact Clint Sanders at 817-250-3877, visit our website at TexasHealth.org/EHP, or ask your nutrition question at TexasHealth.org/AskAmy.
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The U.S. National Physical Activity Plan
The U.S. National Physical Activity Plan has a vision: One day, all Americans will be physically active and they will live, work, and play in environments that facilitate regular physical activity.
The plan is a comprehensive set of policies, programs, and initiatives that aim to increase physical activity in all segments of the American population. The plan is the product of a private-public sector collaborative. Hundreds of organizations are working together to change our communities in ways that will enable every American to be physically active. The plan aims to create a national culture that supports physically active lifestyles. Its ultimate purpose is to improve health, prevent disease and disability, and enhance quality of life.
The U.S. National Physical Activity Plan is comprised of recommendations that are organized in eight societal sectors: Business and Industry, Education, Healthcare, Mass Media, Parks/Recreation/Fitness/Sports, Public Health, Transportation/Land Use/Community Design and Volunteer/Non-Profit.
When implementing the plan, most of us can immediately start with two sectors: Business and Industry (where we work) and Parks/Recreation/Fitness/Sports (what we do with our families). Take a look at three of the strategies in both sectors and what YOU can do to start implementing them in your life today!
Business and Industry
- Strategy 1: Encourage business and industry to interact with all sectors to identify opportunities to promote physical activity within the workplace and throughout society
My Action: Encourage your company to start a walking club and create internal teams to have fitness competitions
- Strategy 2: Educate business and industry leaders regarding their role as positive agents of change to promote physical activity and healthy lifestyles within the workplace and throughout society (For more information on health programs at your workplace, contact Executive Health Program’s Business Specialist, Clint Sanders, at 817-250-3933)
My Action: Ask for a fitness professional to provide a lunch and learn talk on-site at your company
- Strategy 3: Develop a plan for monitoring and evaluating worksite health promotion programs My Action: Nominate a leader for the fitness competitions and have team leaders report weekly results
- Strategy 1: Promote programs and facilities where people work, learn, live, play and worship to promote easy access to safe and affordable physical activity opportunities
My Action: Encourage your local YMCA to start a walking club or boot camp classes at a park
- Strategy 2: Use existing professional, amateur, and college athletics and sports infrastructures to enhance physical activity opportunities in communities
My Action: Ask a local college if their fields can be used for a local youth sports camp
- Strategy 3: Increase funding and resources for parks, recreation, fitness and sports programs and facilities in areas of high need
My Action: Attend a City Council Meeting and talk to the city parks & recreation director about new programs
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Fall into Nutrition with Winter Squash
Shop seasonal this fall! Winter squash is available from August through March; however, they are at their best from October to November when they are in season. Winter squash, members of the Cucurbitaceae family and relatives of both the melon and the cucumber, come in many different varieties. While each type varies in shape, color, size and flavor, they all share some common characteristics. Their shells are hard and difficult to pierce, enabling them to have long storage periods between one and six months. Their flesh is mildly sweet in flavor and finely grained in texture. Additionally, all have seed-containing hollow inner cavities.
Winter squash are also rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals. It is a great source of Vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene which has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Beta-carotene is able to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol in the body. Since oxidized cholesterol is the type that builds up in blood vessel walls and contributes to the risk of heart attack and stroke, getting extra beta-carotene in the diet may help to prevent the progression of atherosclerosis. Winter squash is also an excellent source of Vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber and manganese. Potassium may help lower blood pressure and Vitamin C is known for its ability to strengthen the immune system. In addition, dietary fiber is significant in helping lower bad (LDL) and total cholesterol.
Get to know your 5 winter squashes:
- Butternut Squash: Shaped like a large pear, this squash has cream-colored skin, deep orange-colored flesh and a sweet flavor
- Acorn Squash: With harvest green skin speckled with orange patches and pale yellow-orange flesh, this squash has a unique flavor that is a combination of sweet, nutty and peppery
- Hubbard Squash: A larger-sized squash that can be dark green, grey-blue or orange-red in color, the Hubbard's flavor is less sweet than many other varieties
- Turban Squash: Green in color and either speckled or striped, this winter squash has an orange-yellow flesh whose taste is reminiscent of hazelnuts
- Pumpkins: The pumpkin with the most flesh and sweetest taste is the small sized one known as sugar or pie pumpkin, the latter referring to its most notable culinary usage
Tips on how to prepare winter squash: After washing winter squash, cut it in half and remove the seeds and fibrous material in the cavity. Depending upon the recipe preparation, you can either use it peeled or unpeeled.
Alternatively, pierce the squash near the stem with a knife to allow any steam to escape, then bake in a 350°F (175°C) oven for 45 minutes to an hour, until a knife can be easily inserted near the stem. As you would before carving a pumpkin, cut out a small circle around the stem, remove this piece from the squash, and scoop out the seeds and fibrous material in the cavity.
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Healthy Bites Recipe of the Month
Pumpkin Protein Cookies — A healthy cookie twist!
More than just a decorative Halloween candleholder or a pie filling to be eaten only once a year, pumpkin is one of the most nutritional foods available year round. Rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and low in fat, both the flesh and seeds of the pumpkin provide many health-boosting nutrients. Check out some of the nutrients in pumpkin:
- Vitamins C and E
- Pantothenic acid
Pumpkin is an excellent source of fiber; one-half cup serving contains 5 grams of fiber. Fiber helps reduce bad cholesterol levels, protect the body against heart disease, control blood sugar levels, promote healthy digestion, and plays a role in weight loss. In addition, alpha-carotene and beta-carotene are potent antioxidants found in pumpkin and are pro-vitamin A carotenoids which converts to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A promotes healthy vision and ensures proper immune function. Not to mention, the Vitamin C in pumpkin also boosts immunity! Pumpkin also contains Vitamin E which promotes healthy skin by protecting the body from sun damage. So, stock up on pumpkin this fall and start by making the Pumpkin Protein Cookies!
“Pumpkin Protein Cookies” Recipe
- 3/4 cup SPLENDA® Granular
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup soy flour
- 1 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 teaspoons water
- 2 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon molasses
- 1 tablespoon flax seeds (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a large bowl, whisk together Splenda®, oats, wheat flour, soy flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir in pumpkin, canola oil, water, egg whites, and molasses. Stir in flax seeds, if desired. Roll into 14 large balls, and flatten on a baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes in preheated oven. Cookies will turn out dry if overbaked.
Nutrition Facts per Serving
Calories: 89, Carbohydrate: 15 gm, Fiber: 2.5 gm, Protein: 4 gm, Fat: 2 gm, Cholesterol: 0 mg
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Dietitian's Product Pick
Eat This, Not That!
How many times do we go to the grocery store and head straight for the middle aisles? Do we realize that those isles contain mostly processed foods? What we need to remember is that “aisle items” don’t have to be completely cut out, but should be consumed in moderation. Processed and packaged foods contain preservatives and additives that don’t offer the same nutrition benefits as fresh products located in other parts of the store. The best tip of advice when “de-processing your grocery list” is to SHOP THE PERIMETER! Stuff your grocery buggy full of fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, lean meat, low-fat dairy and whole grains then head for a few “sweet treats” from the middle aisles.
When it’s time to pick out our moderation foods from the center of the store, here are a few tips to keep in mind with Eat This, Not That!
- Eat This: Kashi Go Lean®, Fiber One®, Special K®, All Bran®
- Not That: Corn Pops®, Fruit Loops®, Lucky Charms® (sugary cereals)
- Eat This: Mrs. Bairds 100% Whole Wheat®, Arnold Whole Grain Bread®, Nature’s Own Double Fiber®
- Not That: Mrs. Bairds White®, Kings Hawaiian Sweet Bread®, Wonder White Bread®
- Eat This: Quaker Oatmeal Squares®, Kashi TLC Cookies®, Whole Grain Fig Newtons®, Ginger Snaps®
- Not That: Pepperidge Farm Soft Baked®, Oreos®, Chips Ahoy® Products, Fudge Shoppe® Products
- Eat This: Multi-Grain Tostitos Chips®, Honey Wheat Pretzels, Baked Chips, Sun Chips®, 100 calorie bags of popcorn
- Not That: Cheetos ®, Classic Lays®, Stacy’s Pita Chips®, Pringles®, White Cheddar Popcorn®
- Eat This: Lean Cuisine®, Healthy Choice®, Smart Ones®, Whole Grain Lean Pockets®, Jimmy Dean D-Light®
- Not That: Marie Callenders®, Stouffers®, Hungry Man®, Michelinas®, California Pizza Kitchen®, DiGiorno®, Hot Pockets®
- Eat This: Kashi® Crackers, Whole Grain Goldfish, All Bran Crackers®, Reduced Fat Triscuits®
- Not That: Wheat Thins®, Ritz®, Cheezits®, Town House Club Crackers®
- Eat This: Progresso Low Sodium Soups®, Campbell’s Healthy Request®, Healthy Choice®, Hormel Turkey Chili w/ Beans®
- Not That: Progresso Clam Chowder®, Campbell’s Chunky Chili®, Campbell’s Chunky Soups®, Bisques
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Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth
Executive Health Program
1325 Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 50
Fort Worth, TX 76104
Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD
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