Heart Healthy Monday: Skinny Hot Brown

Heart Healthy Monday Skinny Hot BrownHere’s a twist on an old favorite!

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 4 oz. thinly sliced or shaved turkey breast
  • 2 slices of bacon, cooked until crisp
  • 1 medium tomato, cut into 8 wedges
  • 4 oz. shredded cheddar or Velveeta cheese (2% or reduced-fat cheeses work well)
  • Paprika or red pepper

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees . Separate egg yolks from white. Beat whites with an egg beater or mixer until stiff but not dry. Beat yolks, mustard and nutmeg with a fork until smooth. Fold yolks into whites with a spatula. Spoon egg mixture into a lightly oiled, 8-inch pie pan or glass plate. Spread turkey evenly over eggs; follow with bacon and tomato wedges. Distribute cheese evenly over mixture. Sprinkle with paprika or red pepper. Bake for 10 minutes.

Tip: It is easily adjusted to a meal for one, baking an individual casserole, or made in an 8-inch pie pan, cut into wedges to serve 4.

Note: Serve with fresh fruit and hard rolls.

Nutritional Information Per Serving: Calories: 231; Fat: 13g; Protein: 22g; Carbohydrates: 5g; Sodium: 592mg; Fiber: less than 1g.

5 Surprising Causes of Headaches

5 Surprising Causes of HeadachesMuscle tension and stress are two common causes of headaches, which afflict 45 million Americans (most of them women). But, sometimes the usual suspects don’t explain that pain in your head. Here are five surprising headache triggers:

  1. Sunny days. Heat from the sun can cause blood vessels in your brain to dilate bringing on headache pain. The sun’s glare can also irritate your eyes. When outside, stay in the shade. Wear a light-colored, lightweight hat to protect against the sun’s rays. Wear polarized sunglasses with UV-protective lenses. Drink plenty of water, too. A headache is one of the most common symptoms of dehydration.
  2. Weekends. The abrupt change in routine from a stressful week to a relaxing weekend is a common headache trigger. Other weekend culprits include: sleeping in or staying up late, drinking too much alcohol or drinking less caffeine. Get up and go to bed at the same time every day. Avoid or limit dinking alcohol. And cut down on the amount of caffeine you drink during the week or drink roughly the same amounts on the weekend.
  3. Phones. Cradling your phone between your ear and your shoulder or tilting your head forward to read text messages, can strain your neck and lead to tension headaches. Use a hands-free device and hold your phone eye level when reading the screen.
  4. Sandwiches. Food preservatives (or additives) found in ham, bacon, lunch meats and deli-style meats can trigger headaches. Keep a food diary, avoid foods that seem to trigger your headaches, stick to a healthy diet and don’t skip meals.
  5. Pain relievers. Use caution when taking over-the-counter pain relievers (aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen or naproxen) for a headache. Overuse or misuse of pain relievers (exceeding the recommended doses or not following your doctor’s advice) can cause a ‘rebound’ headache. See your doctor if you have to take pain relievers more than twice a week or if your headaches are getting worse and won’t go away.

7 Ways to Wake Your Kids Up for School

7-Ways-to-Wake-Your-Kids-Up-for-SchoolAfter a summer of late nights and slack rules on bedtime, you may be having a hard time getting your children up for school. Here are some simple ways to get your kids back into a school-time sleep schedule:

  • Figure out your child’s ideal bedtime. Kids need a lot of sleep. In fact, children ages 6 to 11 need 10 to 11 hours a night. Children ages 12 to 18 need at least nine hours. To figure out your child’s bedtime, do the math. For example, if your teenage daughter needs to be up at 7 AM to get dressed and out the door to school then she should be asleep by 10 PM. It is also helpful for kids to keep sleep and wake times about the same (within an hour or so) on weekends.
  • Watch what they eat and drink. Large meals can make it difficult to sleep. Give your child some time between dinner and bedtime to digest food. Make sure your child stays away from sweets before bedtime and has no caffeine at least six hours prior to going to sleep.
  • Exercise earlier. Kids should get at least an hour of exercise every day. While daytime exercise can contribute to sleeping better at night, vigorous exercise too close to bedtime may just keep kids awake. Therefore, avoid physical activity two to three hours before bedtime.
  • Establish a nighttime routine. Routines are especially important for infants, toddlers and preschoolers. Doing specific things before bed, such as bath and story time, signal to your child what’s coming next. Knowing what comes next is comforting and relaxing.
  • Shut off electronics. Designate the hour before bed as a no-electronics hour. Light from TVs, computers and electronics such as tablets, smart phones and video games can disrupt the ability to fall and stay asleep. Make sure all electronics are out of your child’s bedroom at least one hour before bedtime.
  • Make your child’s bedroom comfortable. The bedroom should be a quiet, comfortable and dark. A nightlight is okay, as a completely dark room can be scary for some children.
  • Ask teachers whether your child is alert or sleepy during class. If there seems to be a problem, take your child to see a doctor or a sleep specialist.

Healthy Eating at the State Fair

Eating-Healthy-at-the-State-FairWith deep-fried cuisine on every corner and endless choices of food on a stick, healthy eating at the state fair is no easy task. If you have been working to lose weight or maintain fitness you may wonder how you can attend the fair and not overdo it. Here are a few ideas that may help:

  • Eat before you go. Have a nutritious meal that includes lean protein and whole grains. These foods allow you to feel full longer.
  • Watch what you drink. Liquid calories are still calories. Alcohol, soda and other sugar-filled drinks can add hundreds of calories to your day. Drink water as much as possible.
  • Take a lap or two. Some fair-goers make a habit of walking the grounds, then going back for the food they want to try. This is just an easy way to avoid over doing it in a moment of hunger or impulse. Plus, the extra walking does not hurt. How far do you need to go? A 150-pound person must walk one mile to burn off calories from consuming cotton candy; three miles for cheese on a stick; four miles for a corn-dog; and five miles for a fried candy bar.
  • Choose healthy when you can. Avoid hot dogs and hamburgers, and go for grilled chicken breast or veggie burger, side salad or fruit instead of fries. Have a sweet tooth? Try a slice of watermelon. Not only is it a refreshing and hydrating treat, it’s also a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C and potassium.
  • Share everything. An easy way to sample fun fair food without going overboard is to split dishes with your friends. For example, most funnel cakes can serve 4 to 6 people. One of last year’s fair favorites, a doughnut bacon cheeseburger, had an estimated 900 calories and 67 grams of fat! Don’t eat one by yourself!
  • Wash Your Hands: With plenty of food to eat, and animals to see and pet at the fair, make sure you wash your hands. If soap and clean water are not available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizing liquid to clean your hands.

Caution: Remember to Drive Safely in School Zones

Drive Safely in School ZonesTwice a day during the school year, sidewalks fill with kids who walk, bicycle to school or take the bus. Follow these tips below to keep them safe:

  • Slow down. School zones have reduced speed limits for a reason. A pedestrian hit by a vehicle traveling at 25 mph is nearly two-thirds less likely to be killed compared to a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling just 10 mph faster.
  • Stop at stop signs and crosswalks. It’s illegal to pass through either a stationary stop sign or one held by a crossing guard. Also, drivers should not block the crosswalk when stopped at a red light or waiting to make a turn. Blocking the crosswalk forces pedestrians to go around your vehicle and puts them in dangerous situations.
  • Pay attention to bus warning lights. A yellow flashing light means the bus is preparing to stop to let kids on or off. A red light means kids are getting on or off the bus.
  • Give buses plenty of space to load and unload. Children are in the most danger of being struck by a vehicle within the 10 feet around a school bus. Never pass on the right side of the bus, where children enter and exit.
  • Eliminate distractions. Taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds doubles your chances of crashing. Avoid using your cell phone or eating while driving. Drivers should increasingly keep an eye out for tweens and teens, who are often plugged into their smart phones and tuned out of the real world and its hazards. Over the last five years, there’s been a 25% increase in pedestrian injuries for teens between the ages of 16-19.
  • Expect the unexpected. Children rushing to meet the bus or get to school might dart into the street or may emerge suddenly between two parked cars.
  • Talk to your teen. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States, and more than one in four fatal crashes involving teen drivers occur during the after-school hours of 3-7 p.m. Make sure teen drivers understand the importance of safety in and our of school zones.

 

7 Tips to Survive the First Day of School

7 Tips to survive back to schoolIt’s not just the kids who have to prepare for a new school year – parents could also use a lesson in how to handle the much-anticipated first day. To make the back-to-school transition easy, follow these tips:

  1. Start the night before. If you’ve been lax about bedtime, then it’s time to get back on schedule. Make sure your kids get enough sleep the night before school so they can arrive not only feeling recharged but also less anxious. Keep electronics out of their bedrooms – use of computers, video games or cell phones before bed can lead to poor sleep.
  2. Do your homework. School mornings – especially the first day of school – can be hectic. Lay out your kids’ clothes the night before. Plan your breakfast, set the table and pack lunches and backpacks. Remember, a backpack should never weigh more than 10-20% of your child’s body weight.
  3. Get up early. This means you can have a relaxed breakfast, leave enough time to deal with upsets –  and still get your kids to school on time.
  4. Learn to delegate. When kids are little, parents must do everything for them, and sometimes we just stay in that habit. A new school year is an ideal time to take a look at kids’ skills and add new jobs to their school morning routine.
  5. Ease anxieties. If your child is starting kindergarten or preschool, beginning high school or heading to a new school, the first day of school can be an especially anxious time. Talk about anxieties or fears and find ways to help cope. Reassure your child that they are not the only who is uneasy about starting school.
  6. Drive safely. Be patient during drop-off and pickup if you drive your student to school. The roads surrounding schools will be congested. Stop and wait for school buses when red lights are flashing.
  7. Find out how your child’s school deals with emergencies. Whether it’s a lock-down situation or a bad fall on the playground, find out how your child’s school handles emergencies and review your child’s emergency contact list to be sure it’s up-to-date.

8 Tips to Help Reduce Skin Cancer for Golfers

Skin-Cancer-Tips-for-GolfersDid you know that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States? As a golfer, you may have a higher possibility of becoming one of those statistics. To help lower your risk of developing skin cancer on the course, follow the tips below:

  1. Splash on the sunblock. Apply a generous amount of water-resistant, broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to all exposed areas 30 minutes before heading outside to play golf. An SPF 30+ lip balm with help protect your lips.
  2. Avoid a burn at the turn. Reapply sunscreen every two hours or after the ninth hole.
  3. Put on a hat. The most susceptible place on your body for skin cancer is your head  – the top of your head, your face, nose and ears. Wear a hat with a brim extending three inches or more all they way around, shading your face, neck and ears.
  4. Slip on some shades. Wear wraparound sunglasses that block 99-100% of UV radiation. Polarized lenses help cut the glare (from water hazards and sand traps), help you see the ball better when it’s in flight and protect your eyes from dust and debris on a windy day.
  5. Wear protective clothing. Even on the hottest days, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, covering as much of your skin as possible. Wear shirts and pants that are specially made to block the sun, and wick away moisture to keep you cool while out on the golf course.
  6. Move your tee time. Tee off in the morning or in late afternoon – avoid the sun at its most intense time (between 10 am-4 pm).
  7. Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of non-alcoholic beverages. When your skin dries out or is not hydrated properly, it’s more susceptible to sunburn and long-term skin damage.
  8. Perform skin cancer self-examinations. Once a month, before you get into or just out of the shower, inspect your skin. Check all moles and freckles for any changes in their shape, size or color. Make an appointment once a year with your doctor or dermatologist for a skin exam.

Heat Healthy Monday: Fusion Wraps

Super Quick VersionHeart-Healthy-Fusion-Wraps

Serves 2 for a hearty meal or 3 as a light lunch

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. barbecue sauce
  • 1/4 c. prepared chipotle pepper and lime meat marinating sauce
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 8 oz.)
  • 2-3 soft tortillas
  • 1/4 c. prepared hummus (roasted red pepper works great)
  • 2 c. fresh baby spinach

Preparation:

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine barbecue sauce and marinade. Pour mixture over chicken breasts. Cover and bake for 40 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Meanwhile, spread tortillas with 1-2 tablespoons prepared hummus. Top each tortilla with 1/2-3/4 cup fresh spinach leaves. Chop or pull chicken into small pieces. Spoon 3-4 tablespoons of chicken in center of tortilla. Roll or fold tortilla and secure with toothpick if necessary. Wrap in foil. Bake for 10 minutes as desired. Make your own sauce. This sandwich is also good cold.

Make Your Own Sauce:

  • 3/4 c. barbecue sauce
  • 2 T. lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. oregano

Preparation:

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Pour over chicken. Bake as directed above. Additions: Sliced red bell peppers and mushrooms make nice additions. Add with chicken pieces.

Nutritional Information Per Serving: Calories: 350; Fat: 9g; Protein: 31g; Carbohydrates: 37g; Fiber: 4g; Sodium: 710mg

6 Ways to Make Heart-Healthy Decisions All Day

Make Heart Healthy Decisions All DayYou already know that good heart health is crucial to you and your family. But during the rush of the day, it’s easy to stray away from a healthy lifestyle: That box of chocolates at work, the deadlines that keep you glued to your desk, the urge to save time by picking up a deep-dish pizza on the way home – the list of unhealthy temptations go on and on. But how can you stay on track during your busy day?

Here are some tips for heart-healthy living that anyone can do – no matter how much those potato chips, ice cream, emails and Facebook updates calling your name:

  1. Clean out the cupboard and fridge. The easiest way to avoid temptation at home is to give away those chocolate chip cookies taking up valuable shelf space. Throw away junk food snacks that are most likely to clog up your arteries, and replace them with heart-healthy treats such as almonds, no-salt pretzels, fruit, hummus and celery with peanut butter. Also, make yourself small packages of heart-healthy snacks to keep in your bag or desk at work. That way, when you’re hungry you can bypass the office vending machine.
  2. Plan shopping trips. Want to cut down on high-calorie foods? Don’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry, because you’re more likely to pick up fattening foods to appease your growling stomach. Prepare a grocery list of healthy foods and stick to it once you’re in the store.
  3. Park far away. In the daytime, don’t look for the closest parking spot. Opt for the one that’s at the end of the lot so you have to walk a little farther – or better yet, try walking or biking to work or the store if possible.
  4. Take 10. Stress and heart disease go hand in hand. Even simple steps, such as taking small breaks throughout the day, can help reduce stress. Get up from your desk and stretch once an hour, or go outside for 10 minutes a few times a day to get some fresh air.
  5. Cut down on caffeine. For most people, a cup or two of regular coffee in the morning is OK. But if you drink caffeinated coffee later in the day, it can keep you awake a night. A good rule of thumb is to avoid caffeine – whether in coffee, soda, energy drinks or tea –  for at least four to six hours before bedtime.
  6. Bring your own. Going to a dinner party? Ask the host whether you can bring a dish for everyone, and then ensure that it’s a heart-healthy one. An elegant salad, vegetable lasagna, or dark chocolate-dipped strawberries are good options. Getting ready for work? Pack your lunch most days so that you’re sure to eat for a healthy heart. A nutritious brown-bag lunch could include a turkey breast sandwich on whole-grain bread piled high with veggies, a cup of yogurt and a piece of fruit.

Looking for a physician or specialist? Go to www.bhsi.com and find the right one for you.

Heart Healthy Monday: Crab Cakes

Serves: 4Crab-Cake-Healthy-Recipe

Preparation Time: 20 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg beaten
  • 2 T. low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/4 c. crackers, crushed or 1/4 c. crushed stuffing cubes, crushed
  • 1 lb. lump crab meat
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • 3 T. chopped red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder

Preparation:

Stir all ingredients together until well blended. Shape into patties carefully, to avoid packing. Pan saute in 2 tablespoons of olive oil or olive oil and butter blend or brush with vegetable oil and bake at 400 degrees for 15-minutes. Serve a simple red pepper tartar sauce on the side made with a blend of (bottled) roasted red pepper, low-fat mayonnaise and pickle relish.

Tip: Fresh lump crab meat works best with this recipe.

Add-Ins: Add a teaspoon of Tabasco sauce and a few capers for a spicier taste.

Note: Serve with fresh broccoli and rice pilaf. Chance are there are a few essentials in your refrigerator or spice rank that are indispensable. It’s that certain spice, special sauce or garnish that makes a meal better. When it comes to cooking fish, Old Bay is a wonderful enhancer. The blend of spice ingredients in Old Bay also works well with poultry and vegetables. For the convenience of cooking in all of use, Old Bay is a great short cur for a spice blend.

Nutritional Information Per Serving: Calories: 260; Fat: 5g; Sodium: 200mg; Carbohydrates: 31g; Protein: 2g.