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Put your best fork forward this month

“Put your best fork forward” is the theme for National Nutrition Month 2017. It’s a reminder that we each hold the tool in our own hands to improve our health today and in the future. Small bitesize changes are all it takes to make a difference in the long haul of our overall health.

Even our best made baby steps and bite-sized changes toward our quest for a healthy lifestyle often get sidetracked by our oblivious intake of food, irresistible food choices, seductive restaurants and inactive lives. In this techno age we live in, there are some cool new tools at our fingertips to help give us an edge with every fork we take. Two of my favorites are fitness trackers and diet trackers.

Back in ancient days when I first became a dietitian, we would take food diaries and then look up the individual foods in a book to calculate calories and nutrients. These fitness and diet trackers of today make the quest easier and fun while making us more accountable and improving our mindful eating. They come in the form of apps, are easy to use and can be easily added to your phone, tablet and laptop. Many companies are even having contests using these new techno aids.

WebMD states that a few of their favorite nutrition trackers are My Fitness Pal, Spark People, My Net Diary, Lose It and even the My Plate. Each tool has pros and cons, but they all provide a platform for you to make friends, create supportive communities and even link them to many of the fitness trackers on the market. The trackers will only be beneficial if you are truthful and consistent about entering your food choices and the ACTUAL portions you consume. My favorite is fitnesspal.com. The basic account is free and easy to use. I can link it to my Fitbit and sync my activity with my intake. My fitness pal has thousands of foods in their database. You can use product bar codes as well as add your own personal recipes to your database. Your intake can show you a breakdown of nutrients as well as the percentage of the macro nutrients of protein, fat and carbs in your total day’s intake.

Fitbit, Jawbone and other fitness trackers will help you reach your fitness goals by keeping track of your activity. These tools are the electronic pedometers of today. They come as fancy as you are willing to pay. I’ve even seen recently you can get bling for your fitness trackers. The trackers keep track of your activity of walking and should offer you an incentive to reach increased levels of activity.

Sync these technologies together and you will be invincible toward your quest of improved health. The friends and communities can help keep you accountable, increase your awareness of your intake and inspire you to walk just a little bit farther. Just like in your farming and ag business, it’s time to use technology to take you to the next level to help reach your health and wellness goals.

Eat well and Healthy,

Shelly

 

Egg & Bacon Mini Casseroles http://blog.myfitnesspal.com/

 

1 (10-ounce) pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed

4 slices (35 grams per slice) 100% whole-wheat bread, cubed

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

3 green onion stalks, chopped

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Black pepper, to taste

4 slices (110 grams) cooked bacon, chopped

5 large (50 grams each) eggs

1 1/4 cups (305 grams) low-fat milk


 

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Spray one 12-well muffin tin (or two 6-well muffin tins) with cooking oil spray, and set aside.

Put thawed spinach into a mesh strainer, and squeeze out as much excess water as possible. Set spinach aside.

In a large mixing bowl, coat cubed bread with olive oil. Add spinach, cheese, green onions, garlic powder, salt, pepper and bacon. Toss the bread mixture until well combined. Divide the mixture evenly among the 12 muffin-tin wells.

In the same bowl, beat the eggs and stir in the milk. Pour the mixture over the bread in the muffin tin, trying your best to evenly divide the egg-and-milk mixture into each muffin well.

Bake the casseroles for 30–40 minutes, or until the bread on top is golden and crispy and the centers are set. Test by poking a skewer into one of the casseroles, and see if it comes out clean. Allow casseroles to cool before serving.

Serves 6 Nutrition Information: Serving Size: 2 mini casseroles Per serving: Calories: 300; Total Fat: 20g; Cholesterol: 206mg; Sodium: 538mg; Carbohydrate: 14g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Protein: 17g

 

Slow Cooker Banana-Nut Oatmeal http://blog.myfitnesspal.com/

 

 

1 cup (155 grams) steel cut oats

3 cups (710 grams) water

1 cup (245 grams) low-fat (2%) milk

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons almond butter

2 medium (120 grams each) bananas, peeled and sliced

2 tablespoons honey


 

Lightly coat a 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Combine oats, water, milk and salt in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

Spoon 1 cup of oatmeal into 4 bowls. Top evenly with banana slices, and drizzle with almond butter and honey.

Serves 4 Nutrition Information Serving Size: 1 cup oatmeal + 1/2 banana + 1 1/2 teaspoons almond butter + 1 1/2 teaspoons honey Per serving: Calories: 336; Total Fat: 8g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 5mg; Sodium: 177mg; Carbohydrate: 57g; Dietary Fiber: 7g; Sugar: 20g; Protein: 11g

 

 

Winter Salad with Citrus, Avocado & Pomegranate blog.fitbit.com

 

2 large oranges
2 ruby red grapefruits, such as Sweet Scarletts
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
8 cups (½ lb.) baby spinach
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup (1/3 oz.) packed fresh mint leaves, plus more for garnish
½ avocado, pitted, peeled, and cubed
¼ cup (1½ oz.) pomegranate seeds

 

 

Grate the zest of one of the oranges and set aside. To prepare the oranges and grapefruits, cut off about ½ inch (12 mm) from the top and bottom of each fruit, just exposing the flesh. Stand upright and cut down, following the shape of the fruit, to completely remove the peel and pith. Then slice the flesh crosswise into thin rounds. Remove any large seeds. Set the orange and grapefruit rounds aside.

In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, a few grinds of pepper, and the orange zest. Pour half of the vinaigrette into a large bowl. Add the spinach, onion, and ¼ cup mint and toss to coat. Gently fold in the avocado.

Arrange the dressed salad on individual plates. Top with the orange and grapefruit rounds, overlapping slightly. Drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette. Sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds and additional mint leaves and serve.

MAKES 4 SERVINGS; SERVING SIZE: 1 SALAD Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Calories 259; Protein 5 g; Carbs 43 g; Fiber 10 g; Fat 10 g; Sodium 196 mg

 

Broiled Tilapia Parmesan recipes.sparkpeople.com

 

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon celery seed
1-pound tilapia fillets

 

 

Preheat your oven’s broiler. Grease a broiling pan or line pan with aluminum foil.
In a small bowl, mix together the Parmesan cheese, butter, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Season with dried basil, pepper, onion powder and celery salt. Mix well and set aside.
Arrange fillets in a single layer on the prepared pan. Broil a few inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the fillets over and broil for a couple more minutes. Remove the fillets from the oven and cover them with the Parmesan cheese mixture on the top side. Broil for 2 more minutes or until the topping is browned and fish flakes easily with a fork. Be careful not to overcook the fish. Makes 4 servings. Nutrition per serving: Nutritional Info per serving Calories: 177.1; Total Fat: 10.5 g; Cholesterol: 63.4 mg; Sodium: 232.6 mg; Total Carbs: 1.2 g; Protein: 19.6 g

 

 

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