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Low-fat sour cream can be a substitute for heavy cream or whipping cream used to flavor and thicken creamy soups.
Removing the skin from chicken reduces fat content by approximately 50%. Wow, that's a lot of fat!
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Week of June 26, 2005

Although it seems like sweet onions are a relatively new item, they were first brought to America around the turn of the century when a retired French soldier introduced some onion seeds from Corsica to the Walla Walla region of the Pacific Northwest. But it wasn't until the smart farmers in Georgia realized what a special thing they had in the Vidalia onion and began marketing the sweet onion that these hybrids got the attention they deserve.

Once considered just a spring and summer onion, these sweets are now available year round. Vidalias, once only a springtime treat, now show up in markets until late fall, due to controlled atmospheric storage. And now with the development of the OSO Sweet onion, we can enjoy mild, sweet onions all winter long.

Below is a list of the "sweets" in markets throughout the year.

OSO Sweets (Chile, South America)
Availability: January through March.

SpringSweets & 1015 SuperSweets (Texas)
SpringSweets are the first spring sweet onions in the marketplace, available in March; the 1015s arrive in mid-April. Availability: March to June.

Vidalia (Georgia)
Availability: April to June; CA (controlled atmosphere) storage until late fall.

Sweet Imperial (California)
Availability: April through June.

Walla Walla (Washington)
. Availability: June to August.

AmeriSweet (Michigan)
Availability: September through October.

Maui (Hawaii)
Availability: April to December.



Week of June 19, 2005

Are you trying to lose weight as well as keep meals low in fat and carbohydrates too? Do you live your life on the run and need something quick to fix for a meal so you are not tempted to grab fast food.

Trying adding these cool and quick, low calorie wraps to your recipe repertoire. An they are ALL UNDER 200 CALORIES PER SERVING!

Chicken Breast Lettuce Wraps
Serves 1 (2 wraps)

2 large leaves Boston or green leaf lettuce
3 ounces oven roasted chicken breast (no skin)
1/4 cup diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons diced red onions
2 teaspoons fat free ranch dressing
Salt and pepper

Lay the lettuce leaf flat. Place turkey slices on first.
Add red onions. Lay tomatoes on top. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Top with dressing. Tightly roll up the lettuce leaf.

Per Serving: 118 Calories; 1g Fat (9.9% calories from fat); trace Saturated Fat; 20g Protein; 5g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 49mg Cholesterol; 161mg Sodium. Exchanges: 2 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Smoked Ham Lettuce Wraps
Serves 1 (2 wraps)

2 large leaves of Boston or leaf lettuce
6 slices thin sliced low fat smoked ham
1/4 cup chopped cucumber
1/4 cup chopped tomato
2 teaspoons fat free ranch dressing

Top lettuce leaves evenly with ham, cucumber and tomato. Drizzle with dressing. Roll up burrito style. Serve immediately.

Per Serving: 176 Calories; trace Fat (1.4% calories from fat); trace Saturated Fat; 31g Protein; 5g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 90mg Cholesterol; 2386mg Sodium. Exchanges: 4 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Surimi (Crab) Lettuce Wraps
Serves 1 (2 wraps)

2 large Boston or green leaf lettuce leaves
1/2 cup surimi (immitation crab or lobster)
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 teaspoons chopped green onion or chives
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 tablespoons shredded carrot
2 teaspoons low fat mayonnaise
Cracked black pepper
Dash of salt

Lay out lettuce leaves; place equal amount os surimi, bell pepper, green onion, celery and carrots on lettuce leaves. Top with 1 teaspoon each of mayonnaise and a dash of salt and cracked black pepper. Roll up lettuce leaves and enjoy.

Per Serving: 165 Calories; 4g Fat (21.3% calories from fat); 1g Saturated Fat; 19g Protein; 14g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 39mg Cholesterol; 248mg Sodium. Exchanges: 2 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 1/2 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

Week of June 12, 2005

Cool off with Summer Ice Slushes

Do you remember getting sweet, slushy drink from your local convienence store? Remember that they were so cold, they sometimes took your breath away! What a way to cool off. You can make your own flavored ices - any combination of juices, or even tea or coffee, can be the base of your slush.

Pour the liquid into a pot and add approximately 1 part sugar for every 4 parts juice. This amount can be adjusted, depending on how sweet the juice you are using is. Lemon juice will need more sugar than grape or apple.

Bring the mixture to a boil just until the sugar is dissolved. Let the mixture cool and pour into a shallow baking pan and set it in the freezer.

In half an hour, stir it with a fork to loosen the ice crystals around the sides. Continue to stir every half hour until the mixture is completely slushy. Pile it into cups wide mouth glasses and serve it with little spoons or big straws that the ice crystals can pass through.

Week of June 05, 2005

Are you eating too much?

In this modern age of supersizing it, many of us don't even know what a moderate or reasonable portion actually is. Did you know the recommended serving of cooked meat is 3 ounces, similar in size to a deck of playing cards? A medium piece of fruit is 1 serving and a cup of pasta equals 2 servings. That's right a serving of pasta is just 1/2 cup. A pint of ice cream contains 4 servings.

A constant standby for information is the USDA’s Food Guide Pyramid and includes all the food groups:

Bread, Cereal, Rice, and Pasta ( 6 to 11 servings a day)
These complex carbohydrates make up the base of the pyramid. They provide B-vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Try to steer clear of the more highly processed carbohydrates such as white bread and cereals that have high sugar content. Choose whole grain products whenever possible. They have more vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

1 serving = 1 slice of bread, 1/2 bagel or bun, 1 ounce dry cereal, 1/2 cup cooked cereal, 1/2 cup cooked rice, 1/2 cup cooked pasta.

Vegetables (3 to 5 servings a day)
Vegetables are your best source for vitamins and fiber. They're also naturally low in fat and calories. Yellow or orange vegetables, like carrots and squash, are a great source of vitamin A. Vegetables from the cabbage and pepper families (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, bell peppers) are super high in vitamin C.

1 serving = 1 cup raw leafy greens, 1/2 cup any other chopped vegetable, 3/4 cup vegetable juice

Fruits (2 to 4 servings a day)
Fruit makes a fantastic snack or a heart healthy dessert. Most fruits are high in potassium, low in sodium, and full of vitamins. Strawberries, watermelon, and citrus fruits (like oranges and grapefruit) are full of vitamin C; apricots and other orange fruits have lots of vitamin A and cantaloupe, mangos and papayas have both vitamins A and C. Skip sugarary canned fruit in heavy syrup and opt for fruit in juice only.

1 serving = 1 medium apple, banana, or orange; 1/2 cup chopped fruit or berries; 3/4 cup fruit juice.

Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese ( 2 to 4 servings a day)
Milk products are rich sources of calcium and protein. A glass of milk or a cup of yogurt has protein equal to an ounce of meat or cheese or to one egg. Try to choose reduced fat dairy products whenever possible. A glass of whole milk has the equivalent of two teaspoons of butter or three tablespoons of sour cream.

1 serving = 1 cup milk or yogurt, 1-1/2 ounces of natural cheese, 2 ounces of processed cheese.

Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs, and Nuts (2 to 3 servings a day)
This food group is a major source of protein. Cooked beans are high in protein and fiber and low in fat. Tofu and white beans provide calcium. Almonds are good sources of vitamin E. Beef contains highly absorbable trace minerals like iron, zinc, and magnese. Poultry and seafood contribute vitamin B6, and pork is a rich source of thiamine.

1 serving = 2-3 ounces of cooked lean meat, poultry, or fish; 1 egg; 1/2 cup cooked beans, 2 tablespoons peanut butter, nuts, or seeds.

Fats, Oils, and Sweets (Use sparingly)
This group represents the tip of the pyramid. It includes butter, oils, margarine, sour cream, soda pop, candy, and sweet desserts. Remember, not all fats are created equal. You want to minimize saturated fats found in animal products like meat and dairy, and trans-fats found in margarine or fried snack foods (look out for "partially hydrogenated" anything). Choose instead heart-healthy unsaturated fats such as those found in olive oil, nuts, seeds, and avocado. Sweets should be minimized as well. These treats are usually high in calories and devoid of nutritional benefits.

1,600 calories per day is appropriate for many sedentary women and some older adults.

Bread group servings . . . . . . . . . .6
Vegetable group servings . . . . . . .3
Fruit group servings . . . . . . . . . . .2
Milk group servings . . . . . . . . . . .2-3
Meat group (in total ounces) . . . . 5 oz.
Total fat (in grams) . . . . . . . . . . . 53
Total added sugars (in grams). . . .24

2,200 calories per day is about right for most children, teenage girls, active women and sedentary men. Women who are pregnant or breast feeding may need somewhat more.

Bread group servings . . . . . . . . . .9
Vegetable group servings . . . . . . .4
Fruit group servings . . . . . . . . . . .3
Milk group servings . . . . . . . . . . .2-3
Meat group (in total ounces) . . . . 6 oz.
Total fat (in grams) . . . . . . . . . . . 73
Total added sugars (in grams). . . .48

2,800 calories per day is good for teenage boys, many active men, and some very active women.

Bread group servings . . . . . . . . . .11
Vegetable group servings . . . . . . .5
Fruit group servings . . . . . . . . . . .4
Milk group servings . . . . . . . . . . .2-3
Meat group (in total ounces) . . . . 7 oz.
Total fat (in grams) . . . . . . . . . . . 93
Total added sugars (in grams). . . .72

Note: Women who are pregnant or breast feeding, teenagers, and young adults to age 24 should have 3 servings from the milk group.

If you are trying to lose weight, increase your activity level and reduce the empty calories in your diet, reduce highly processed carbohydrates such as commercial snack foods, white bread, regular soda, and large servings of fat-free treats. Remember that fat-free doesn’t mean calorie-free! Try to replace these foods with hearty whole grains, sprouted breads, steel cut oats, and other more nutrient dense sources of carbohydrate.

If you are trying to gain weight, eat more servings from all the food groups and be sure to stay active. You can insure that most of what you gain is lean muscle by sticking to a low-fat, adequate-protein, and higher calorie diet in conjunction with weight training.

For most people it's not necessary to actually measure each serving of food. The serving sizes are given only as a general guideline. For mixed foods you can estimate the food group servings of the main ingredients.

For example, a turkey burger with lettuce and tomato would be: 2 bread (each half of the bun), 1 meat (the meat patty itself), and 1 vegetable (the lettuce and tomato.)


Before you begin any exercise or diet program, you should have permission from your doctor.
Contents in this web site are in no way intended as a substitute for medical counsel .

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