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Week of September 25, 2005

Adding Soy to Your Low Fat Lifestyle

Soyfoods have become a healthy part part of many people's diets. Research shows that by eating soyfoods, people may be able to reduce their blood cholesterol levels. Soyfoods are low in saturated fats and free of cholesterol. But if you do not know much about soy, you may not know how to incorporate this high quality protein into your diet. Soyfoods come in many forms, so you can easily choose the ways you would wish to use it in your meal planning.

Soy Milk comes plain or in a variety of flavors including vanilla, almond and chocolate and can be found in low-fat or fat-free varieties. You can use soy milk with your hot or cold cereal in the morning instead of milk or part milk and part soy milk. Delicious fruit smoothies can be made by blending soy milk and fruit and can also be poured into popsicle molds and put in the freezer. Soy milk can be used in place of cream, milk or evaporated milk in soups and sauces and even desserts or can be used to substitute milk used in pancakes, muffins or other baked goods. Or you can use it in coffee as a non-dairy creamer, to make hot chocolate or or even puddings.

Tofu can be firm, soft or silken and has a bland taste by itself but will absorb any flavor you add to it. You can use tofu to make smoothies by blending it with some fruit and orange juice or whatever you like. Firm tofu can be used as a meat substitute in dishes like tacos, burritos, chile and spaghetti sauce or added to stews and soups. Silken tofu can be used instead of sour cream in dips or replace milk or cream in sauces and desserts. Soft tofu can be used to substitute soft cheeses in pasta dishes. Firm tofu can also be used in stir-fry with vegetables, shish-ka-bob or cut into small pieces to make imitation egg salad.

Soy Flour can be used to replace part of the flour in recipes for baked goods such as bread, cakes, cookies, brownies muffins and even pancakes. For products that are not yeast-raised, you can replace up to ¼ the total amount of flour in the recipe with soy flour. Soy flour can also be used as an egg substitute in baked products. One egg equals 1 tablespoon of flour plus1 tablespoon of water. When using soy flour you should shorten the baking time or slightly lower the temperature since baking products tend to brown more quickly.

Isolated soy protein can also replace flour in recipes for baked goods or be blended into fruit shakes, soups, etc.

Fresh Green Soybeans can be added to salads, stir-fry or soups.

Whole Soybeans can be added to soups or chili recipes.

Canned Beans are available or you can use dry beans which should be rinsed, checked for rocks, soaked overnight and rinsed before cooking in fresh water at a low temperature for 3 hours after bringing water to an initial boil.

TSP (textured soy protein) must be rehydrated before it is cooked, has a texture similar to ground beef and can be used as a meat substitute in sloppy joes, tacos, burritos, chile or lasagna.

Try soy yogurt, soy ice cream and soy cheese instead of your usual dairy products.

If you are having a barbecue, use soy hotdogs, sausages or soyburgers. Soy pepperoni can be used to make a low-fat pizza.

Use soynut butter instead of peanut butter. Or mix half soybeans and half peanuts when making homemade peanut butter.

Eat roasted soynuts as a snack. You can make them yourself at home by soaking whole dry soybeans overnight, spreading them on a lightly oiled cookie sheet and baking at 300 degrees F for about an hour (shaking the pan every 15 minutes) or until the soybeans are lightly browned. Salt to taste.

Miso can be used in place of salt or soy sauce in recipes.

Tempeh can substitute meat in spicy dishes such as tacos and chili. It can also be added to soups, casseroles and salads or be grilled / barbecued and eaten in a sandwich.

Guide to Modifying Recipes Using Soy Products*

  • Butter or shortening................. soybean oil margarine
  • Margarine............................... soybean oil:
      • 1 Tbsp margarine........... ¾ Tbsp soybean oil
      • 1 cup margarine.............. ¾ cup soybean oil
      • ½ cup margarine............. 1/3 cup soybean oil  
  • Baking chocolate, 1 oz. ........... 3 Tbsp cocoa + 1 Tbsp soybean oil
  • 1 cup milk................................. 1 cup fortified soy milk
  • 1 cup fruit yogurt........ 1 cup soft silken tofu + fruit of your choice, blended
  • 1 egg......................................... 1 Tbsp soy flour + 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 egg......................................... 1 - 2" square of tofu
  • Soy milk................................... 1 cup full-fat soy flour + 3 cups water
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese.................. 1 cup firm tofu, mashed
  • 2 Tablespoons flour.............................. 1 Tablespoons soy flour
      • Replace ¼ of the flour in self-rising baked goods with soy flour
      • Replace 1/3 of the flour in quick breads with soy flour

* Adapted from the U.S. 1998 Soyfoods Directory, Indiana Soybean Board

Week of September 18, 2005

Are you intent on firming up and losing some weight?

If you are exercising for the first time in a long time, you are re-building muscle. Does this muscle weigh more than fat? Actually, a pound of muscle weighs a pound and a pound of fat weighs a pound. However, a pound of muscle is denser, firmer and takes up less space. Isn't that really want . . . to be firmer and take up less space?

This time when you decide on a weight loss program change your attitude. Instead think of it as doing something good for yourself; a fitness extavaganza if you like. Here are some things that will make you successful.

  • Don't over obsess on just weight loss, weigh yourself only once a month.
  • Firmness and tone is one of your main objectives; take your measurements and record them once a month.
  • Add more movement into all your activities. Park further from the store instead of circling the parking lot ten times for the closest spot. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. Put a little swing into your household chores - dance through your vacuuming and dusting. Instead of watching your kids play, get out there with them . . . hey just have a little fun. .
  • Walk or use another form of aerobic exercise 5 to 7 days a week. Find something that you like to do and you will be more likely to stick with it.
  • Add strength training to your program two to three times a week ( Try exercise bands for great resistance training).
  • Keep a diary of all fitness activities, measurements, food and liquid intake, and how you feel.
  • Don't think of this as dieting . . . just make healthy food choices, eat smaller meals 4 or 5 times a day, and drink at least 64 ounces of water each day. Add another 8 ounces for every 20 minutes of exercise you add to your program.
  • Surround yourself with friends or family that are supportive and believe that what you are doing is important.

Focus on Fitness for Life and Have Some Fun!

Week of September 11, 2005

If after a meal, you feel stuffed or uncomforable instead of just satisfied, you are probably OVEREATING. Regular overeating can lead to obsesity and other diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure and other health problems.

A "portion" is how much food you choose to eat, whether in a restaurant, from a package, or in your own kitchen. A "serving" is a standard amount set by the U.S. Government, or sometimes by others for recipes, cookbooks, or diet plans. There are two commonly used standards for serving sizes:

1. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Guide Pyramid

2. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Nutrition Facts Label

The USDA Food Guide Pyramid is a healthy eating plan for people ages 2 and over. It shows the recommended number of servings to eat from each of five food groups every day to meet your nutrition needs, and it defines serving sizes.

The Food and Drug Administration Nutrition Facts Label is printed on most packaged foods. It tells you how many calories, how much fat, carbohydrate, sodium, and other nutrients are in one serving of the food. The serving size is based on the amount of food people say they usually eat in one sitting. This size is often different than the serving sizes in the Food Guide Pyramid.

The portion size that you are used to eating may be equal to two or more standard servings.

To see how many servings a package contains, check "servings per container" listed on the Nutrition Facts label. Small containers often have more than one serving. For example: A label for cookies may show serving size as two cookies, but if you eat four, you are eating twice the servings and double the calories, fat, and other nutrients in a standard serving.

Knowing what a standard serving sizes can help you judge how much you are eating when you eat out. When cooking at home, use measuring cups and spoons to measure your usual food portions and compare them to standard serving sizes from Nutrition Facts labels for a week or so. Put the measured food on a plate before you start eating. This will help you see what one standard serving of a food looks like compared to how much you normally eat.

Just think about it; yes you may be eating healthy, but when you are eating enough for two or three adults, it is time to re-evaluate portion control.

Check out It is packed with great info!

Week of September 4, 2005

Grilling Fruit

While you have the grill fired up this labor day weekend why not add some fruit to the grill. Grilled fruit makes a great dessert or side dish to grilled and barbequed meats and poultry. It's easy.

When we grill fruit, it carmelizes the natural sugars creating a very intense flavor. You will need sliced fruit, water, and vegetable oil to make the most basic grilled fruit.

Hard fruits like apples, pears, and pineapples are the easiest to use because they retain their shape and texture while cooking. Softer fruits like peaches, nectarines, plums and mangos will get soft and mushy if overcooked. You will need to watch softer fruits to keep from overcooking. Choose a fresh firm fruit that is not completely ripe. If the fruitis solid enough, it will maintain its shape and texture on the grill.

Cut fruits in half or in the case of bananas or plaintains, split lengthwise. Remove the core from apples, pears and similar fruits. Usually, you can leave the peels on. This helps hold them together even if you do not intend to eat the peel. Large fruits and citrus should be cut into slices to expose the flesh to the flame.

After cutting or slicing the fruit, soak it in water so it will stay juicy on the grill. Use enough cold water to completely cover the fruit and add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to each cup of water to preserve the color. Let fruits soak in the lemon water for 20 to 30 minutes. If you need to, add ice to keep the water cold. You may also add spices like cinnamon sticks to the soak water or other ground spices to the oil that you brush on.

Grill fruit over medium heat on a clean cooking grate. Left over drippings from the last batch of poultry or meat ruins the flavor. So, make sure to clean the grate before using. Lightly spray or brush fruit with cooking oil. A light vegetable oil works best.

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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