Friday, March 31, 2017

Vitamin D

It's dark and dreary out there today. Not a speck of Vitamin D floating around in the sunshine, 'cause there isn't any!! We don't get enough Vitamin D as it is and now with the rain coming down, there is none. Guess it's supplement time today.


* I am not promoting this particular brand.


The Institute of Medicine recommends we get a minimum of 800 IUs of Vitamin D per day (it's 600 for all you young chicks under 70). I've never been a sun-lover. I love being in the house and I surely don't get what I need of the sunshine vitamin. If you are over 60 your skin just doesn't convert the UV rays into Vitamin D so you really have to work at it to get enough.

Here's some tips to help out in that department

1. Choose a cereal that is fortified with Vitamin D.

2. Milk is fortified with Vitamin D so add that to your cereal to get more of the good stuff. But, no fair trying to lap up vitamin D in your ice cream. Won't work... stick with the milk.



3. Eat fish. Sockeye salmon is best. Trout, mackerel and tuna also provide Vitamin D.


4. Canned tuna or sardines can be a substitute for fresh fish. It's an inexpensive alternative and can be kept on a shelf for long periods of time... stock up on those and use them!.

5. Get at least 20 minutes of sunshine a day without sunscreen.



6. If you take vitamin D. supplements be sure to not exceed your total intake for a day which is 4000 IUs. The excess over that amount can be stored in your fat and cause toxic buildup.

7. You can't sit in front of a window (or hope to get Vitamin D while you are driving) for glass blocks 100% of the UV rays that would convert into Vitamin D. It won't work. You gotta get out in it.

8. UVB rays are the most potent in mid-day (right when it's hottest UGH) but that's when you need to be soaking up the rays!

So, go sit in the sun... unless you have a rainy, yucky day like I do today. Then be sure to take your supplements.

Info came from "How Not To Die" by Dr. Michael Greggor and from http://lifeimagined.aarp.org

Thursday, March 23, 2017

My Tangy, Zippy Chicken Dinner

Dinner last night was sooooo good. And, so easy. I thought you might like to try it yourself. 




                                    First of all I made my Lime Oregano Chicken (recipe for 1)

1 piece boneless chicken breast (skinless)                           
2  1/2 tsp. lime juice (you could use lemon)
1  1/2 tsp. olive oil                                                                1/4 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp. oregano                                                                     salt and pepper
and if you like a little spice.... a small sprinkle of red pepper flakes

Stir the ingredients together. Pour over chicken and let it marinate for half an hour or longer if you like.  Place in oven and bake for 25 min. in a 375 degree oven or until tender.

While the chicken was cooking I cooked enough quinoa for just one serving. 
Closer to time chicken was done, I popped a 'steam in bag'  Southwestern blend of veggies (corn, black beans, peppers and onions) into the microwave. Done in 3 1/2 minutes.

I plated my food, sliced 1/2 avocado and place it on the side of my food. Added a few green olives ... for a bit of zip.... and drizzled the entire dinner with lime juice. 

                                                                    Oh My.... 

            11 grams of fat total, only 1 gram of saturated fat! - 467 calories -  1 gram of sugar

                    Talk about eating healthy.  I just gave myself a pat on the back, you all.  

Sunday, March 19, 2017

An Apple A Day

                       Did you know that the thing most lacking in our diet is fruits? 

Yes, I know. The old adage "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" is an old wives tale. NOT 

Here are ten fruit tips that will help you maintain a healthy lifestyle and you live longer.

1. Instead of drinking fruit juice, eat the fruit itself instead. 

2. You need 3 (three) servings of fruit daily. 1 piece of fruit or 1 cup of cut-up fruit or 1/4 cup dried fruit. 



3. Tart cherries are so anti-inflamatory they can be used to treat gout.



4. If you can't get fresh fruit use frozen instead. 

5. Berries are the healthiest fruit. Blackberries are at the top of the list.



6. In a study done on 100,000 people those who ate berries regularly appeared less likely to die of cardiovascular disease. Daily you should get 1 serving of 1/2 cup fresh or frozen or 1/4 cup dried.

7. Eating a dozen dried apple rings per day may drop your LDL as much as 16% in 3 months time.

8. Eating 2 kiwis an hour before bedtime appears to improve your sleep and make it easier to fall asleep.

9. Get fruits by adding them to your smoothies.

10. The darker the color a fruit is, the more anti-oxidants they have and the more healthier they are. 

So, stock up on fruit and eat some every day. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Chicken/Hominy Stir-fry.

Oh my goodness, folks. I did another stir-fry the other night and it definately will be made over and over again in my kitchen. You really should try it.

I found it in the Eating Well magazine, the Jan-Feb. issue. I was fascinated by the fact that it used hominy. I remember eating hominy back a kazillion years ago but I really hadn't given it a thought in recent years. The Mexican's use it in their soup posole. 

Okay, count me a fan. 
     


                                Chicken with Bell Pepper and Hominy Stir-Fry

            1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces
                        2 tsp. canola oil            
                        3 tsp. ground cumin, divided
                        1/2 tsp. salt, divided     
                        1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
                        2 med. red bell peppers, chopped      
                        2 cups sliced carrots   
                        1 1/2 cups chopped red onion            
                        3 T. water
                        2 cups rinsed hominy                         
                        2 cloves garlic, minced
                        1  4 oz. can diced green chiles           
                        2 T. lime juice
                        1 firm ripe avocado, diced

Heat oil in large skillet over med-high heat. Add chicken and sprinkle with 1 tsp. cumin and 1/4 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is just cooked through, 5-7 min.
Transfer to a bowl and toss with cilantro. Cover to keep warm.

Add bell peppers, carrots, onion, water and the remaining 1/4 tsp. salt to the pan. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in hominy, garlic and the remaining 2 tsp. cumin. Cook, stirring for 1 minute. Stir in green chiles and lime juice and cook for 1 minute more.

Serve the chicken over the hominy mixture. Top with avocado.
              
             Serves 4.

             Calories: 415
             Fat: 15 gram (saturated 0)
             Cholesterol: 103 MG            
             Carbs: 34 G
             Protein: 37 G
             Fiber: 10 G

Tip: I don't use enough of some of the ingredients so I substituted the following: I didn't use quite as much onion (that's just my taste) - I used dried cilantro instead of fresh and I used minced garlic from a jar instead of fresh. Yummy.                                                    


Saturday, March 4, 2017

Chicken and Broccoli

I tried another recipe, tweaking it to suit my taste. My recipes come mostly from Slender Kitchen and from Allrecipe magazine. And, I try each one before I turn them loose on you. (grin) 

Last night I had Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry. (recipe at bottom of page). I eat quite a bit of broccoli, always have. So, I thought I'd see what Dr. Greger had to say about the advantages of eating broccoli. There was a section on broccoli and cancer but I was more interested in other aspects. 

And, under broccoli, Dr. Greger starts talking about our intestines, specifically the lining. What? But, he says that we have about 2,000 sq. ft of intestine lining and it's extremely thin because nutrients must be absorbed through that thin material. 

We have a white blood cell that serves two functions: They condition and repair that lining and is our first line against pathogens. These cells (and I know you wouldn't remember the name, even if I told you) but they are activated by receptors. For a long time, researchers could not figure out how that worked. And... then.... ta da.... it is something in broccoli. Who knew? 

Broccoli and other cruciferous veggies protect us not only against the pathogens found in food but also against polluntants in the environment.  So, bring on the broccoli!! 

And, that said.. here is the recipe. 




                                                      Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry

                             1 T. flour                                                          1/8 tsp salt
                             1/2 lb chicken, cut into strips                        3/4 Tsp. vegetable oil
                             1/3 cup chicken broth                                    2 cups broccoli florets
                             1/4 tsp ground ginger                                     3/4 tsp minced garlic
                             1/2 red pepper, cut in strips                            1/4 cup onion, cut in strips
                              1 T. low-sodium soy sauce                            1 tsp. cornstarch

                            Toss together the chicken, salt and four.
                            Heat the vegetable oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. 
                            Add the chicken and cook for about 4-6 min. until browned and cooked through.
                            Set aside.
                            Add 1/2 of the chicken broth to the pan. 
                            Add broccoli, onion and pepper and cook until just tender.
                            Stir together soy sauce, remaining chicken broth and remaining cornstarch. 
                            Add together soy sauce, remaining broth and cornstarch. 
                            Add to pan and cook for 2-3 min. until sauce begins to thicken.
                           Add chicken to skillet and cook for 1 minute.