Monthly Archives: February 2011

Diet Tip #9: Be Physically Active!

This one probably seems obvious. Everyone knows you need to exercise, but most people don’t like to do it. So…. change your attitude about it! Some people use exercise to punish themselves for eating the wrong thing or to justify eating more. This leads to a negative association with exercise. Instead, do things that will make you enjoy exercise. Go skiing, ice skating, rollerblading, or even just on a brisk walk with a friend. Exercise isn’t just going on an exhausting run or lifting weights.

Also, focus on how great you feel, how much better you sleep at night and how much more energy you have when you exercise. Physical activity is good for you whether you are trying to lose weight or not, so keep it positive and build a lifelong habit.

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Posted by on February 28, 2011 in Tips


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Eggplant, Tomato, and Chickpea Casserole

This dish is based on a Middle Eastern staple traditionally served with fresh Arabic bread at room temperature, though I like to serve it warm. The casserole tastes best if made a day ahead.


1 large eggplant or 2 medium (1 pound), peeled if desired, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced about 1/2 inch thick

Salt to taste

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, sliced thin across the grain

2 to 4 garlic cloves (to taste), minced

1 (28-ounce) can chopped tomatoes

2 tablespoons tomato paste

Pinch of sugar

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1 sprig basil

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained

3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and brush the foil with olive oil. Place the eggplant slices on the foil, sprinkle with salt and brush each slice lightly with oil. Place in the oven for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the heat, and carefully fold the foil in half over the eggplant. Crimp the edges together, so that the eggplant is sealed inside the foil and will continue to steam and soften. Leave for at least 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until tender, about five minutes, and add the garlic and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, about a minute. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, cinnamon, basil and salt to taste. Bring to a simmer, and simmer uncovered, stirring often, for 20 to 25 minutes, until the sauce is thick and fragrant. Add freshly ground pepper, then taste and adjust salt. Remove the basil sprig, and stir in the drained chickpeas.

3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 2-quart baking dish or gratin. Cover the bottom with thin layer of tomato sauce, and make a layer of half the eggplant. Spoon half the remaining sauce over the eggplant, and repeat the layers.

4. Bake 30 minutes, until bubbling. Remove from the heat, and allow to cool for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle on the parsley before serving.

Yield: Serves four to six.

Advance preparation: You can assemble this dish through step 3 up to two days ahead. Keep it in the refrigerator. Leftovers will be good for about three days.

This recipe was found on the New York Times, Recipes for Health website.

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Posted by on February 26, 2011 in Recipes


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Diet Tip #8: Order Children’s Portions at Restaurants

Meals at restaurants have gotten bigger and bigger over the years and have increasing amounts of calories. Yet, we have to eat everything on our plate right? Waste not, want not. Try ordering a child’s portion when available. You won’t be wasting any food, but you won’t be getting all those extra calories either.

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Posted by on February 26, 2011 in Tips


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Turkey and Vegetable Burgers

The vegetables in this turkey burger mixture not only contribute lots of vitamins A and C and micronutrients like the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which have been linked to eye health, but they also help to moisten burgers that can otherwise be quite dry. Make sure to buy lean ground turkey breast.



1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

½ cup finely diced onion

½ cup finely diced red bell pepper

Salt to taste

1 large garlic clove, green shoot removed, minced

2/3 cup finely grated carrot (1 large carrot)

1 ¼ pounds lean ground turkey breast, preferably organic, from humanely raised turkeys

1 tablespoon prepared barbecue sauce

1 tablespoon ketchup

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Canola oil for the skillet

Whole grain hamburger buns and condiments of your choice

1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a medium skillet and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until it begins to soften, about 3 minutes, and add the diced red pepper and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and the grated carrot and cook, stirring, for anther minute or two, until the carrots have softened slightly and the mixture is fragrant. Remove from the heat.

2. In a large bowl, mash the ground turkey with a fork. Add about ¾ teaspoon kosher salt if desired, and mix in the barbecue sauce, ketchup, and freshly ground pepper to taste. Add the sautéed vegetables and mix together well. Shape into 6 patties, about ¾-inch thick. Chill for 1 hour if possible to facilitate handling.

3. Heat a nonstick griddle or a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat and brush with a small amount of canola oil, or prepare a medium-hot grill. When you can feel the heat when you hold your hand above it, cook the patties for 4 minutes on each side. Serve on whole grain buns, with the condiments of your choice.

Yield: 6 burgers.

Advance preparation: You can make this turkey burger mix, shape into patties and freeze for 2 or 3 months. Thaw as needed. The mix will keep for a day in the refrigerator, but check the use-by date on the package.

This recipe was found on the New York Times website.

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Posted by on February 14, 2011 in Recipes


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Diet Tip #7: Eat Protein at Every Meal

Eating protein can help you feel more satisfied after a meal than if you eat carbohydrates or fats.

According to Donald Layman, PhD,  “Diets higher in protein [and] moderate in carbs, along with a lifestyle of regular exercise, have an excellent potential to help weight loss.”

Protein helps preserve muscle mass, encourages fat burning, and helps keep you feeling full.  Healthy protein sources include yogurt, cheese, nuts, and beans.

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Posted by on February 14, 2011 in Tips


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