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Cooking in Italy

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It is important to me to make my own meals as often as possible and share them with loved ones. It makes a difference knowing where each ingredient comes from and home-made food always tastes better than store-bought food. On a trip to Italy this summer, I learned how to make gluten-free Pasta Pomodoro from scratch along with Risotto (the Italian word for waves) and Tiramisu. I was taught by a professional Italian Chef, Christina, who teaches in a beautiful kitchen overseen by a company called Veronality, which I found on Viator.com, a wonderful travel website that helps you find good deals on tours and classes anywhere in the world.

Harvard Study: Adding Seafood and Omega-3s Improved Diet Quality

Environmentalists and everyone working on their health can rejoice about this news published this month from the Seafood Nutrition Partnership.

“We have great news to share for the seafood and health movement. Seafood continues to be recognize as a vital part of a healthy diet and a new study from Harvard shows that adding seafood and omega-3s to our diets may reduce the risk of premature death. As we have shared previously, eating seafood is good for our health and the healthier choice for our environment.”

Bottom line: Even modest improvements in diet quality could meaningfully influence health.

Let’s talk more about this, while eating the freshest seafood and listening to live music at the Boston Seafood Festival Sunday August 13th (SO SOON) on the Boston Fish Pier.

www.bostonseafoodfestival.org

 

The study details and link to original publication:

study from Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, which analyzed 74,000 adults over 24 years, found improving the quality of your diet to include whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and fish and less red and processed meats and sugary beverages, may significantly reduce risk of premature death.

The study, which looked at diet over a 12-year period (1986-1998) and the subject’s risk of dying over the next 12 years (1998-2010), found that increasing healthy foods in your diet is associated with lower risk of total and cardiovascular death. The Mediterranean Diet or DASH Diet were considered to be best examples.

The researchers found that swapping one serving of red or processed meat daily for a better option was linked to an 8% to 17% decrease in risk of death. Among those who had relatively unhealthy diets at the beginning of the study but whose diet scores improved the most, the risk of death in subsequent years was also significantly reduced.

Lead author Mercedes Sotos-Priet says that, “Our study indicates that even modest improvements in diet quality could meaningfully influence mortality risk and conversely, worsening diet quality may increase the risk.”

The study was published in the July 13, 2017 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Pumpkin Protein Power Pancakes!

 

Throwback to 2009! Shown above is me cooking Pumpkin Protein Power Pancakes with Laura Hartung, MA, RD for Gold’s Gym members to enjoy pre or post-workout as a nutrition-packed version of the beloved pancake. Why are these pancakes healthier than regular pancakes? More protein, more fiber, vitamin A, less sugar, and totally satisfying! If you’re looking to add more power to your pancakes, follow this recipe below and get cooking!

 

PUMPKIN PROTEIN POWER PANCAKES

“Pumpkin, it’s not just for pie!”-Laura Hartung, MA, RD

Ingredients:

  • 15 oz canned pumpkin
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 3 scoops whey protein
  • 1 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 1 cup egg whites
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup whole oats Condiments

Suggested Toppings: Melted natural peanut butter, or almond butter, or maple syrup.

Directions:

Mix all ingredients in until smooth. Heat griddle; spray w/oil. Place 2 small ladle-size portions onto the griddle. Heat on medium high until light & fluffy (look for bubbles)

Nutrition:

Serving size: 1 pancake; 6 servings per batch without condiments

172 Calories, 1g Fat, 25g Protein, 17g Carbohydrates, 4g Fiber

Recipe modified from www.laurahartungrd.com

Grocery Shopping Tips

  • Watch out for flashy displays, the ends of the aisles, and sale items
  • Come prepared with a list – you’ll be less likely to impulse buy
  • Shop on a full stomach, or at least not when you’re very hungry (low blood sugar levels lower your inhibitions, like having a few alcoholic beverages, so you may buy foods that are less healthy and potentially end up overeating)
  • Shop around the perimeter of the store – this is where you will find healthy, colorful produce (the longer the food lasts on the shelf, the longer the food will last in your body)
  • Do your research – Grocery stores now have apps that you can download and will save you money with rewards or coupons

Here’s an example of Star Market supermarket’s app:

Shaw’s has one too:

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TIPS TO FIT FITNESS INTO YOUR DAY!

TIPS TO FIT FITNESS INTO YOUR DAY!

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Do you find it challenging to find time to exercise? Many believe that exercise has to look like something from a celebrity workout video or last for 60 minutes in order for it to make a difference. The reality is that any time you move your body it counts as physical activity. If you have a crazy schedule, appreciate that integrating these quick little bursts of physical activity into your day will make a difference:

 

  • Park in the farthest spot in the parking lot and walk (or park farther than you usually do)
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator/escalator
  • Take a 10-minute walk on your lunch break or during a rest period
  • Walk or bike to work, or drive halfway to work and walk or bike the rest of the way
  • Walk or bike to the store for light groceries or to a friend’s house
  • Take a stretch break every 1-2 hours to get your blood circulating and more oxygen to your brain
  • Walk around the perimeter of the field/court/arena while your child is at a sports practice
  • Walk over to a coworker’s office instead of calling, texting, or emailing to ask a question
  • Initiate walking meetings at work when meeting with two or three people
  • Walk around the block after dinner
  • When watching a television program do strength-building activities during commercial breaks or every 10 minutes (push-ups, crunches, planks or bridges)
  • Clean the house or car
  • Turn on some music and dance