Score a touchdown with this full body ball workout!
Score a touchdown with this full body ball workout!
Although sweet potatoes were not served at the first Thanksgiving meal – they’d yet to infiltrate North American from the Caribbean – few sides are as gratifying as these sweet and nutrient-rich spuds. Sliced, mashed or pureed, these ‘tater recipes are sure to please your guests on Thanksgiving.
Sweet Potato Gratin (from www.familycircle.com)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbs chopped fresh rosemary
1 Tbs chopped fresh thyme
2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick
1 lb baking potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick
1 ¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp plus 1/8 tsp black pepper
5 oz Gruyère cheese, grated
1 cup heavy cream, heated
Heat oven to 400°. In a small bowl, mix together chopped garlic, rosemary and thyme. In a 2-quart baking dish, layer one-third of the sweet potato and baking potato slices, slightly overlapping some of the edges. Sprinkle with ¼ tsp of the salt, 1/8 tsp of the pepper, half the garlic-herb mixture and one-third of the shredded cheese. Repeat layering a second and third time. Mix remaining ½ tsp salt with heavy cream; pour over potatoes.
Place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 400° for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake another 25 minutes, until bubbling and top is golden-brown. Cool 15 minutes before serving.
Yields: 12 servings
Per serving: 178 calories, 11 g fat, 5 g protein, 15 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 310 mg sodium, 40 mg cholesterol
Rosemary Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Shallots (from www.cookinglight.com)
2 Tbs plus 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
¾ cup thinly sliced shallots (about 2 large)
2 tsp brown sugar
2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 Tbs finely chopped fresh rosemary
½ tsp coarse sea salt
¼ tsp black pepper
Heat 2 Tbs olive oil in a medium skillet over low heat. Add shallots to pan, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with sugar; cook 20 minutes or until shallots are golden, stirring occasionally.
Place potatoes in a medium saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil; cook 8 minutes or until tender. Drain. Place potatoes in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add rosemary, salt, and pepper; beat until blended. Spoon into a bowl; top with shallots, and drizzle with remaining 2 tsp oil.
Yields: 6 servings
Per serving: 202 calories, 6.3 g fat, 29 g protein, 34.9 g carbohydrates, 4.8 g fiber, 278 mg sodium, 0 mg cholesterol
Sweet Potato Soup (from www.tasteofhome.com)
1 cup chopped celery
½ cup chopped onion
1 Tbs canola oil
3 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and cubed
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
½ tsp dried basil
¼ tsp salt, optional
In a Dutch oven, sauté celery and onion in oil until tender. Add remaining ingredients; bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat; simmer for 25-30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Discard bay leaf. Cool slightly. In a blender, process soup in batches until smooth. Return all to pant and heat through.
Yields: 4 servings
Per serving: 133 calories, 5 g fat, 4 g protein, 20 g carbohydrates, 0 g fiber, 4 mg cholesterol
Q: I read a report on Denver Broncos Football player Rahim Moore having an injury called “lateral compartment syndrome.” The story caught my eye because it said that anyone who is an athlete could suffer this dangerous injury stemming from any sort of hit or fall. I’m a cyclist and train pretty hard. I’ve also taken a few spills that have bruised me up. Can you explain to me what to look for and how to prevent this injury when I’m training or racing? -Ed; Denver, Colorado
A: By way of background, Denver Broncos safety Rahim Moore suffered a leg injury in the first half of last Sunday’s game against Kansas City and was out the rest of the game. When the pain persisted during the night, Moore alerted the Broncos trainer who astutely referred Moore to a specialist. On Monday, Moore underwent emergency fasciotomy surgery, a procedure that repaired the bleeding in the muscle sheath in Moore’s left lower leg, which decreased the pressure and restored the leg’s blood flow.
Lateral compartment syndrome is an injury that can occur from a hard impact that causes bleeding and swelling in the limbs. This results in restricted blood flow to the muscles and nerves that supply them necessary oxygen and nutrients. It can be very serious if left untreated, and lead to muscle damage, loss of a limb, infection, nerve damage, kidney failure, or even death. LCS typically develops over time when one has suffered repeated injury to a limb. The danger is that when the tissue swells there is no room in the surrounding compartments for the limb to expand, causing the muscle, vessels and nerves to become squeezed, which in turn, results in severe pain. The good news is that there are warning signs: Decreased range of motion, pain that does not let up, numbness and the “pins and needles” feeling (legs and feet fall asleep), and in the late stage, paralysis of the limb.
Competitive athletes, of course, are more prone to repeated impact injuries, and thus, at a higher risk but other causes of lateral compartment syndrome include falls, fractures, casts that are too tight, prolonged limb compression, legs elevated in surgeries longer than six hours, intravenous drug injections and anabolic steroid use that can cause muscle swelling. You’d be interested in knowing also that competitive cyclists can be afflicted with “chronic compartment syndrome,” or CCS, from sitting too long on bike seats. It’s recommended that when out for a long ride or race, you stop and get off your bike seat every now and then to get your circulation turned back on. Make sure you schedule some rest days between training days and if you do take a spill or two, keep a close eye on the injury – ice and elevate the afflicted area – and if it gets, worse see a doctor right away.
The bottom line is that you can really do yourself some harm if you try to “tough out” an injury. Train smart – be smart – and get medical help when you need it.
Q: I work as a Manager for a national restaurant chain. I’ve been smoking for about 6 years – and most of the people I work with are smokers. But I promised my wife, who is expecting our first child, that I’d try to quit. I’ve heard that electronic cigarettes and hookah are safer than regular cigarettes. Do you think they’d be good for helping to wean me off the real things? – Marc; Cheyenne, WY
A: Unfortunately, Marc, you’ve been misinformed. Let’s start with e-Cigs, which the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate as of yet. These are battery-operated cigarette look-alikes. The devices use atomizers that heat up a nicotine-laden liquid that turns into a vapor, which is inhaled like cigarette smoke. e-Cigs have been tested and are known to contain many of the same toxic chemicals as well as the carcinogens of regular cigarettes.
Hookah is a water pipe with a smoke chamber, a bowl, a pipe and a hose. Candy or fruit flavored tobacco is heated. Smoke from the tobacco passes through the water and is then inhaled through a rubber hose and mouthpiece. Hookah smoke also contains toxic chemicals (tar, carbon monoxide), nicotine, and carcinogens. People who smoke hookah are at risk of developing the same diseases as cigarette smokers – lung, mouth, and stomach cancer, decreased lung function, and infertility.
Let’s face it – nicotine is nicotine – and highly addictive. You might be able to quit smoking cigarettes using e-Cigs or hookah, but you’ll still be addicted to nicotine, and susceptible to the many health problems and diseases associated with cigarette smoking. If you really want to quit, there are safe and effective medications on the market – nicotine replacement therapy such as the nicotine patch or gum – designed to help you deal with the cravings and symptoms of cigarette withdrawal.
Another method of helping you break your smoking habit is adding some physical activity into your day. Walking helps clean out your lungs from the toxins that stem from smoking. You should also clean up your food diet by eliminating foods that fuel withdrawal cravings such as refined carbs, sugary syrups and added sugars, all of which cause weight gain. Keep your fridge and work place stocked with healthy food and snack choices. Learn to address your stresses by tuning into yourself and meditating.
I applaud you for your willingness to try to quit smoking. Start by quitting for just one day — perhaps next Thursday, November 21, which is the next Great American Smoke Out — and see how it goes. For more resources and tools on quitting smoking for the long haul, log onto the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout webpage. And best of luck to you.
November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. Believe it or not, diabetes is the nation’s seventh deadliest disease – almost 19 million Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes and it’s estimated that around 7 million cases are currently undiagnosed.
What is diabetes? It’s a disease in which the pancreas (a gland located just below the stomach) fails to secrete a sufficient quantity of insulin, causing high levels of blood glucose. A normal blood test reading is 99 or below. A reading of 100-125 makes you pre-diabetic and a reading above 126 makes you diabetic. Symptoms of diabetes include increased thirst and hunger, fatigue, increased urination (especially at night), weight loss (for Type 1), blurred vision, and sores that do not heal.
There are actually two types of diabetes:
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes
A third type of diabetic condition, which is growing alarmingly in prevalence, is Pre-Diabetes, affecting 41 million Americans. Those with this condition have above normal blood glucose levels, but not high enough to be considered diabetic. The good news is life-style changes such as improved food diet and increased physical activity can head off full-blown diabetes for these borderline individuals.
Anatomy of Diabetes
The food you eat is broken down into a form of sugar called glucose, the body’s source of energy. Your glucose levels rise when you eat. Insulin, a hormone produced by the beta cells in the pancreas, pushes those glucose levels back down normally. People with Type 1 diabetes lack insulin in their bodies and therefore inject insulin daily. Individuals with Type 2 have insufficient insulin levels, but can improve their insulin’s effectiveness through lifestyle changes such as improved food diet, stress reduction, physical activity and improved overall health.
Healthy eating and physical activity are important components to managing diabetes. Not only do they make you look and feel better, but they improve your overall health as well. Remember, you should always check with your physician before beginning any exercise program.
The best time to exercise is 1-3 hours after meals. You should check your blood-glucose levels before and after physical activity because the exercise may lower your levels. Always carry a high-carb snack with you.
When it comes to eating, try these measures:
For more information on managing and diagnosing diabetes, log on to the American Diabetes Association website or check out these resources at your local library:
After you’ve carved your Jack-o-lanterns on Halloween be sure to save that gooey glop. Turns out it’s not only tasty in soups and pies – pumpkin is great for your skin as well. Rich in essential vitamins and nutrients that give skin a natural glow, one would think they’d pack pumpkin into every skin-care product on the market, since it’s bursting with:
• Vitamin A, which softens skin
• Vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that reduces the harmful effects of free radicals
• Vitamin E, which reduces lines and wrinkles
• Minerals such as manganese, magnesium, zinc, iron and potassium, which generally improve the skin’s tone and appearance by breaking down dead proteins and fighting off inflammation
Despite the benefits of pumpkin to the skin – seriously, who wouldn’t want younger looking skin?? – surprisingly few commercial beauty products contain it as a primary ingredient. So why not make your own? Following are a few healthy pumpkin-based skin-care recipes that you can concoct from home using the pulp from this year’s Jack-o-lantern. They’re good enough to eat – but better to slather them on your skin instead. Enjoy – and have a safe and happy Halloween.
Pumpkin and Honey Mask (from http://www.womenshealthmag.com)
In a small bowl, combine the mashed pumpkin and honey. Stir until smooth. Apply to clean, damp skin in the evening, and leave it on for 20 minutes. (This mask can be sticky, so be sure to wear an old t-shirt when using it.) Rinse with water and pat dry. Apply once a week or whenever skin is irritated.
Sweet Pumpkin Body Scrub (from http://www.sparkpeople.com)
This body scrub will gently exfoliate and revitalize your skin.
Combine in a small bowl:
1 cup pureed pumpkin
1 cup organic cane sugar
1/8 tsp cinnamon
Mix with a spoon until blended. Apply to body with gentle circular scrubbing motions, using a washcloth if desired. When complete, rinse with warm water.
Pumpkin Body Butter (from http://www.routeonepumpkins.com)
Mix ingredients in a bowl. Apply generously to clean skin and massage gently so as to work it well into the skin. Allow butter to remain on for 10 minutes or so, then rinse with warm water and pat dry.
Kudos to Aniston for bringing sexy back to the over-40 crowd. She’s set the fitness bar firmly higher for all of us. Read how Yogalosophy made the actress “stripper-ready.”
When you're moving, you're improving!
A weight loss journey with sarcastic, motivational, pathetic and comical twists and turns. Read on, you're in for a bumpy (not lumpy) ride!
When you're moving, you're improving!