Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘healthy meals’

buffetAs we enter the holiday season, we are often participating in pot-luck celebrations at work and dinners with family and friends. What are some steps we can take to help avoid food borne illnesses at these happy occasions?

If you are the one preparing the food, remember the four basic food safety rules: Clean, Separate, Cook, Chill. By following these four simple rules, you can help prevent the spread of harmful bacteria which could make your family ill and make your holidays less than jolly!

  • Clean. Begin by washing your hands for 20 seconds with soap and warm water before and after handling food. Be sure that countertops, cutting boards and utensils are clean by washing with hot soapy water. Rinse fruits and vegetables that are not being cooked under cool running water.
  • Separate. Help prevent cross contamination by keeping raw meat, poultry and seafood away from ready to eat foods in your shopping cart and your refrigerator. Use one cutting board for these raw foods and another for salads and ready to eat food.
  • Cook. Use a food thermometer to tell if a food is cooked to a safe temperature – just going by color is not sufficient. Always bring sauces, soups, etc to a rolling boil when reheating. If using a microwave oven, cover, stir and rotate the food to ensure even cooking.
  • Chill.  Remember the “danger zone” where bacteria can grow rapidly, 40° – 140°F. Keep the refrigerator below 40°F., use an appliance thermometer to check the temperature. Thaw meat, poultry and seafood in the refrigerator, not on the counter. After the meal, chill leftover foods within 2 hours and put food into shallow containers to allow for quick cooling.

If you are participating in a pot-luck lunch at work or school, there are some things to keep in mind for food safety. The most important rule to follow is to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold! Avoid the “danger zone”! It is often a good idea to appoint one person to make sure that foods are being kept at a safe temperature.

  • Foods that are to be served hot should be kept above 140°F.
  • Cold foods should be kept below 40°F.
  • Make sure that the surfaces where food will be served are clean.
  • Do not allow food to sit out for over 2 hours.
  • Any food that has not been kept at a safe temperature should be discarded after 2 hours.

So enjoy the holidays and the events that accompany them while keeping yourself, your family, friends and co-workers safe from food borne illness.

Sources:

Safe Food Handling Factsheets http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/safe-food-handling

Be Food Safe   www.befoodsafe.org 

EXTENSION CONNECTION: Keeping Food Safe (pot luck party tips) http://www.crestviewbulletin.com/news/community/extension-connection-keeping-food-safe-potluck-party-tips-1.56092?page=2 

Author: Marilyn Rabe, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County

Reviewer: Linette Goard, Field Specialist, Food Safety, Selection and Management, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension

Read Full Post »

I can almost smell the celery and onions sautéing as they await grandma’s stuffing recipe… Mmmmmm… Have you also been thinking about your Thanksgiving meal, either what you will prepare or what you will eat? Food is an important part of most holiday traditions and memories, especially Thanksgiving. This year, maybe there is a way to take your traditional favorites and lighten them up a bit. Here are some great tips from USDA’s ChooseMyPlate.gov:

Tweek the Sweet – How about serving fruit as a colorful healthy option for dessert? Try a crustless pumpkin pie.

Cheers to Good Health – The best low calorie drink ever is water! You can add a special “twist” with a slice of lemon or lime or raspberries. Another alternative is seltzer water with a little 100% fruit juice for flavor.

Bake Healthier – Did you know you can substitute unsweetened applesauce or any fruit puree for the butter in recipes? Try replacing butter with ½ fruit puree and ½ canola oil to reduce the saturated fat and increase the fiber.

Spice it up – Use spices like cinnamon and nutmeg and you can reduce the amount of sugar in a sweet recipe. Use more herbs and less salt in savory dishes.

2013-11-28 09.20.52Brighten your meal – Let the rainbow of colors found in vegetables and fruit brighten the buffet table, fill (at least ½) your plate with high quality nutrition and fiber and even help you control your weight and blood pressure.

Skim the fat –Use evaporated skim milk instead of heavy cream in all your holiday baking.

Swap the grains – Add a little whole grain to your buffet. When I make bread in my breadmaker, I usually use half white flour and half whole wheat flour. You can sneak whole wheat flour into other recipes as well.

Go easy on the gravy – Think “drizzle” instead of “drown”. You can also try putting a few tablespoons on the side of your plate and dipping your turkey into the gravy.

Enjoy leftovers – Leave some for later! Be creative in how you use leftovers… turkey in wraps or soups and veggies in omelets. It’s fine to continue enjoying your leftovers up to five days after the holiday, then freeze for later use.

Focus on family and fun – After your meal, go for a walk, toss a ball around, MOVE a little. Just standing up (as opposed to sitting) allows your digestive system to work a little better.

Give to others – What better way to celebrate our abundance than by sharing it with those who have less? I have a friend that would make an extra Thanksgiving feast and deliver one to a shelter. That was a favorite memory and part of the holiday every year for her son.

Maybe I’ll sauté those celery and onions in a little olive oil instead of butter and use some extra sage and less salt. How will you make your holiday healthy this year?

References:

“Make Healthier Holiday Choices,” 10 Tips Series No. 32. 2013. USDA. www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/downloads/TenTips/DGTipsheet32MakeHealthierHolidayChoices.pdf

“MyPlate Holiday Makeover.” 2013. USDA. www.choosemyplate.gov/downloads/infographics/2013-HolidayMakeover.pdf

Rodack, J. “9 Healthy Substitutions for Everyday Foods.” American Heart Association. 2014. https://www.goredforwomen.org/live-healthy/heart-healthy-cooking-tips/healthy-substitutions/

“The Natural Beauty of Fruits and Vegetables.” American Heart Association. 2014. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/SimpleCookingwithHeart/The-Natural-Beauty-of-Fruits-and-Vegetables_UCM_430112_Article.jsp

Written by: Shannon Carter, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Fairfield County

Reviewed by: Kathryn Dodrill, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Washington County

Read Full Post »

Are you eating wheat products?  Lately, the news has included many stories on how wheat is bad for you causing abdominal fat, triggering diseasewheat and breads, and being linked with Alzheimer’s, headaches, depression and others.

If all that is true why is wheat recommended in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, by nutrition experts and American Heart Association?   Isn’t it a part of the Mediterranean Diet which is highly recommended by nutrition professionals.

Does wheat contribute to abdominal fat or belly fat?  High consumption of refined grains has been associated with greater belly fat in studies.  However, lower belly fat has been associated with the consumption of eating whole grains including whole wheat.  Thus, whole grains including whole wheat do not seem to be the problem.  The problem is our consumption of refined grains.  Cutting out processed foods made with refined wheat (wheat flour, white flour, enriched wheat flour, all-purpose flour) and loaded with sugar and saturated fat will help us all avoid or limit the “wheat belly.”   Limit your consumption of cookies, cakes, pastries, crackers, and white bread.

So what about the other charges on mental effects?  Research has shown that both the DASH diet and the Mediterranean diet lower the risk of dementia.  Both diets include consumption of whole grains including whole wheat.  Following those diets showed better cognitive ability in adults ages 65 and up over a period of 11 years.  It is true higher glucose levels from too many carbohydrates is a risk factor for dementia, but cutting out all carbohydrates is not the answer either.  Our brain needs glucose (Carbohydrates break down to glucose in our body.) for energy as it does not store glucose.  Thus, diets low in carbohydrates can hurt our thinking and memory.

Again, it is important to eat whole grains.  Whole grains including whole wheat can provide the glucose needed for our brain.   Whole grains including whole wheat breaks down more slowly than simple carbohydrates like refined grains and sugar.

Whole grains also provide fiber.   Consuming the recommended amount of dietary fiber without whole grains would be very difficult.  Gluten-free diets usually only contain six gram of dietary fiber a day, a lot less than the 25-38 grams recommended by the Institute of Medicine.

Do cwhole-grain-stamphoose a variety of whole grains but including whole wheat, unless you need a gluten-free diet.  When shopping be sure to choose products made with “whole wheat” or “whole-grain wheat.”  You can also look for the 100% Stamp from the Whole Grains Council on foods made with all whole grains.

Note:  If your doctor recommends you follow a gluten-free diet, please continue to follow your doctor’s advice.

Author:  Pat Brinkman, Ohio State University Extension, Extension Educator Family and Consumer Sciences

Reviewed by:   Liz Smith, M.S, RDN., L.D. NE Regional Program Specialist, SNAP-ED, Ohio State University Extension

References:

Tufts University, [2014].  The truth about the war on wheat, Tufts University Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy Health & Nutrition Letter, March 2014 Special Supplement, p. 1-4.

Read Full Post »

Laptop on Kitchen Table with Cup of CoffeeShould you eat lunch at your desk?

Do you find yourself eating at your desk at work more and more often?  The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reports that at least 83% of Americans eat at their desk several times a week. While many of us would prefer to have lunch with a friend or at least go out for lunch, we often find ourselves “too busy” to do so.

So is eating at your desk healthy?  When we eat at our desk, we often are totally unaware of just what and how much we are eating. We’re not focused on the food as we answer emails, sort papers and answer phone calls. But you can make healthy choices by bringing your lunch from home and avoiding take-out lunches which can tend to have excess calories, fat, and sodium and are often lacking in nutrients. Some healthy lunch choices could include:

  • A salad with added protein and fiber – some leftover chicken, healthy beans and/or nuts.
  • A whole grain wrap filled with veggies.
  • Homemade or low-sodium prepared soup that you can heat in the microwave.
  • Yogurt with added fruit and granola.
  • A sweet potato or fresh vegetables that you can pop into the microwave.
  • Water with a slice of lemon, lime or orange.
  • For a sweet ending to your lunch, fresh fruit makes a great dessert.

If you are bringing your lunch from home, use an insulated lunch bag with a freezer pack to keep your food cold until you can put it in the refrigerator at work. You want to be sure and wash your hands before eating your lunch and clean your desk top. According to an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics survey only 36 percent of survey respondents said they clean their work areas, desktop, mouse and keyboard on a weekly basis; 64 percent said they do so on a monthly basis or less.

A 2007 study from the University of Arizona found that desktops have 100 times more bacteria than a kitchen table and 400 times more bacteria than a toilet seat!

So, if you are going to eat at your desk, take a few minutes to disinfect the area before opening your food. Once you start eating, avoid touching your phone, mouse,
etc. as you could be constantly re-contaminating your food.  You might also use a placemat or at least a paper towel under your lunch for added protection!

To answer the question, eating at your desk is not the healthiest activity!  Not only are you likely to eat more unhealthy foods, you are risking contaminating your food and potentially becoming ill. Take a little time for yourself at lunch time – walk to the kitchen or break room, invite a co-worker to join you and enjoy that healthy lunch you have prepared!

Written by: Marilyn Rabe, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, rabe.9@sou.edu

Reviewed by:  Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, Treber.1@osu.edu

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/7-tips-eating-while-you-work

http://www.eatright.org/Media/content.aspx?id=6442464916&terms=lunch%20food%20safety#.Uwd2PMYo7DQ

Read Full Post »

The search for the Fountain of Youth dates back to at least the fifth century BC and unfortunately everyone from Herodotus of ancient Greece to Ponce de Leon of Spain has been unsuccessful in their ventures. While there may not be a flowing spring that promises long life, the secret to longevity might be in the plants growing all around us.

Recently the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine investigated over 70,000 people and found a 12% lower risk of mortality for vegetarians. Additionally, the University of Oxford found a 32% lower risk of hospitalization and death from heart disease among herbivores in a cohort of approximately 45,000 volunteers. Other studies have illustrated lower risks of cancer, diabetes, and other chronic diseases with adherence to a plant based diet. Clearing out your freezer of all animals may not be necessary, but we could all benefit from a few more plant based meals.

“No meat?? Where do you get your protein??”
chili
Animal flesh is the most protein dense food, but it is certainly not the only source of protein. And it’s not the cheapest either: 1 pound of black beans costs roughly $1.39 while boneless, skinless chicken breast clocks in at around $2.39/lb. The pound of beans will also yield far more than the pound of meat.

Food Protein
Beans/legumes 15 g/cup
Nuts 6 g/1 oz
Quinoa 11 g/cup
Soy milk 7 g/cup
Tofu 9 g/3oz
Seitan 18 g/3oz
Tempeh 18 g/3oz
Peanut butter 7 g/2 tbsp

Tofu, tempeh, and seitan are some of the most protein dense plant foods. They act as great meat substitutes, but also tend to frighten people who haven’t experienced them before. Tofu is essentially curdled soy milk (just like cheese, right?) while tempeh is cooked and fermented soybeans (we’ll save refuting the anti-soy argument for another blog). Wheat based seitan is created by removing all of the starch of wheat leaving only the gluten.

Tofu can be grilled, baked, or fried and used in salads, sandwiches, or stir-fries. Crumbling tempeh creates a ground meat type texture ideal for chili or Sloppy Joes. Seitan, commonly sold in cubes and strips, has a grainy texture similar to chicken or steak and is great in fajitas, stir-fries, or grilled on kabobs.

Feeling intimidated? Most likely.

But don’t be! Preparing these foods may be new, but it is no more difficult or time consuming than meat based dishes. Try this tofu lasagna, Chipotle Spiced Seitan Tacos, or my super easy Sloppy Joe recipe below in place of some meat based meals to add variety and possibly even a few years to your life!

8 oz tempeh

2 tbsp olive oil

1 green pepper, diced small

1 small onion, diced small

1 can Sloppy Joe sauce (my favorite is Manwich®)

Whole wheat buns, toasted

Break up tempeh into 4 pieces. Simmer in a pot for about 30 minutes*. While tempeh is simmering, prepare veggies. When there is 10 minutes left for the tempeh, heat 1 T of the oil over medium heat in large skillet. Add onion and pepper to skillet and sauté until softened, about 7-10 minutes. Drain tempeh and crumble into pan. Add the other 1 T of oil and sauté an additional 5 minutes, stirring frequently and breaking up chunks of tempeh. Reduce heat to low and add sauce. Stir until heated through. Serve over buns.

*This step produces a milder flavor of the tempeh, but it can be omitted if you want to save time.

References

  1. Orlich MJ, Singh PN, Sabaté J, Jaceldo-Siegl K, Fan J, Knutsen S, Beeson WL, Fraser GE. Vegetarian dietary patterns and mortality in Adventist health study 2JAMA Internal Medicine, 2013 DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.6473.
  1. Crowe FJ, Appleby PN, Travis RC, Key TJ. Risk of hospitalization or death from ischemic heart disease among British vegetarians and nonvegetarians: results from the EPIC-Oxford cohort study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 March; 97: 604-611.

Recipes Taken from:

http://highimpactvegan.com

http://veggiebelly.com

Written By: Susan Zies, Extension Educator, FCS, Wood County and Ryan Leone,  Program Assistant, Wood County with IGNITE: Sparking Youth to Create Healthy Communities Project

Reviewed by: Cheryl Barber Spires, R.D., L.D. Program Specialist, SNAP-Ed,OSU Extension, West Region

Read Full Post »

I’m sure you have noticed how large the meals are that we are served when we eat out. Often the amounts we serve ourselves or our families at home are just as oversized as the restaurant portions. How can we control the calories we are eating each day to help us maintain a healthy weight?

One simple helpful tool is to recognize the difference between a “serving” and a “portion”.

A “portion” is the amount of food or beverage a person chooses to eat or drink. A “serving” is a standard amount established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. People commonly portion out more than one serving to eat or drink at a time.

For example, a serving of soda is 8 fluid ounces. Sixteen fluid-ounce bottles of soda are common, and many people choose to drink 16 fluid ounces in one sitting. Even though a 16-fluid ounce bottle is commonly viewed as one “portion,” it is actually two servings! Many cups at fast food restaurants are 32 ounces or even 44 ounces. Think how many servings you are having if you refill the cup before you leave?deck of cards

A serving of meat or fish is 3 ounces – about the size of a deck of cards. But the portion that you have on your plate may be 6 – 9 ounces or more!  Now, think of the calories that you are consuming if you eat the “portion” instead of a “serving.”

One 3-4 ounce hamburger has about 330 calories; a 6 – 8 ounce hamburger comes in at about 600 calories!

We know that just 100 extra calories per day could lead to a 10 pound weight gain in one year. It would take about 1 hour and 30 minutes of exercise to burn off the extra calories from the double burger!

Research has shown that if people are given food in larger serving size packages, they are likely to eat the entire package. For example, a 10.5 ounce bag of potato chips contains about 11 one ounce servings (about 13 chips). Each 1 ounce serving gives you 140 calories, 8 grams of fat and 180 mg of sodium. If you multiply those by 11, you are eating 1,540 calories, 88 grams of fat and 1,980 mg of sodium!

It might be helpful it you divided a larger package into individual serving sizes. When you first open the bag, divide the chips into 11 separate baggies and you will be less likely to mindlessly eat the whole bag while watching TV!

To help you visualize how big (or small!) a serving actually is here are some helpful hints using everyday items to determine the size of a serving.

  • A 3 oz. serving of meat, fish and poultry = a deck of cards or the size of a computer mouse
  • 2 Tbsp. of peanut butter =      a ping pong ball
  • 1 ½ oz. cheese = 4 stacked dice
  • ½ cup of ice cream = ½ of  a baseball
  • 1 baked potato = a fist
  • ½ cup of cooked rice, pasta or potato = ½ of a baseball

As you can see, a serving is much smaller than the portions we typically put on our plate!  You can download a portion card at: http://hp2010.nhlbihin.net/portion/servingcard7.pdf

Choosemyplate.gov has the following suggestions to help you:

Measure out foods you regularly eat (such as a bowl of cereal) once or twice, to get a sense of how big your typical portion is. Also measure out what 1/2 or 1 cup portion size looks like to help you estimate how much you eat. Don’t forget to check the serving size information on the Nutrition Facts label of packaged foods. It describes what the “standard” serving size is, and how many are in the package.

How much we eat each day is just as important as what we are eating.  Be sure to eat nutrient rich foods to supply the calories as part of your daily health plan.  Don’t forget to include some physical activity that you enjoy each day to balance the calories in the foods you are eating.

Written by:  Marilyn Rabe, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Franklin County, Heart of Ohio EERA, rabe.9@osu.edu.

Reviewed by:  Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ross County, Ohio Valley EERA, barlage.7@osu.edu.

Resources:

North Carolina School Nutrition Action Committee, http://www.eatsmartmovemorenc.com/TrendsEffectsSolutions/Texts/RightSizeYourPortions.pdf

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, http://hp2010.nhlbihin.net/portion/servingcard7.pdf

USDA, Choose My Plate, http://www.choosemyplate.gov/weight-management-calories/weight-management/current-consumption.html

Read Full Post »

HeartFebruary is American Heart Health Month. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in Ohio for both men and women. We can reduce the risk of heart disease by promoting a healthy diet and lifestyle. One key to heart health is eating foods low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and sodium. Choose foods high in omega-3 fatty acids and fiber.
Eating a well-balanced diet includes a combination of whole grains, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, and low-fat dairy. To celebrate Heart Month, take the time to evaluate your diet to make sure you are eating heart healthy foods.

Heart Healthy Foods
• Whole grains: brown rice, oatmeal, whole grain pasta
• Vegetables: broccoli, asparagus, tomatoes, spinach & red bell peppers
• Fruits: oranges, blueberries, red grapes, cantaloupe, papaya
• Beans: red, black or kidney beans
• Omega-3 fatty acids: tuna, salmon, olive oil, flax seed
• Nuts: almonds or walnuts

This baked oatmeal recipe is a good source of fiber, fruit and calcium. This recipe is a great make ahead treat to reheat for a quick healthy breakfast or snack. It also is great to serve for overnight guests.

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal

Servings 4-6
2 cups old fashioned oats (not instant)
1 ½ cups fat free milk or soymilk
2 egg whites
¼ cups packed brown sugar
½ cup applesauce
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon melted margarine
1 ½ cups diced apple

Optional Toppings:
Raisins
Dried Cranberries
Chopped almonds

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 8 by 8 inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together egg whites, brown sugar, milk, vanilla, applesauce, margarine, and cinnamon together.
3. In a larger bowl combine the oats and baking powder. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the oats and mix well. Gently stir in diced apples. Pour oatmeal mixture into prepared pan. Bake 30-40 minutes, until top is firmed and a toothpick comes out clean in the center. Remove from the oven and serve warm. Add additional toppings to baked oatmeal if desired. Also, you may refrigerate and reheat for use later. Make a big batch on Sunday to use as a healthy breakfast all week long!
Nutritional Facts: 1 square equals 160 calories, 3 g fat, 80 mg. sodium, 4 g protein, 3 g fiber, 30 g total carbohydrate
Start today to take better care of your heart health by including heart healthy foods, exercising and promoting a healthy lifestyle!
Written by: Beth Stefura M Ed, RD, LD, Ohio State University Extension Educator

Reviewed by:
Carolyn W. Gunther, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Extension State Specialist, Ohio State University
Cheryl Barber Spires, R.D., L.D. Program Specialist, SNAP-Ed, Ohio State University Extension
Liz Smith, M.S., R.D., L.D. NE Regional Program Specialist, SNAP-ED, Ohio State University Extension

Sources:
Be one in a million this American Heart Health Month. Retrieved from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website: http://www.cdc.gov/features/heartmonth/

http://www.odh.ohio.gov/healthstats/vitalstats/deathstat.aspx

http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/apple-cinnamon-baked-oatmeal/

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,699 other followers