Saturday, August 18, 2012

Feel Rested and Rejuvenated - 2 Easy Steps!

Do you ever feel like you lie awake during the night and can't relax?? You hear so many suggestions such as don't have your computer on close to bed time, don't exercise right before bed, or don't eat spicy food later in the night, etc, etc, etc.  What can really help us sleep better? So many factors can come into play but I recommend to start with this... vitamin D/Omega-3 supplement and exercise. Simple? Yes.

I have been able to fall asleep much faster and sleep through the night after incorporating these two easy tasks into my everyday routine - CardioTabs Omega-3 fish oil + vitamin D3 and a moderate intensity 30 minute cardio work out whether it be walking, light jog, gardening or a fun visit to the gym (yes, you can make it fun! - changing up your workouts can keep exercise more motivating).

Vitamin D is present in certain foods, such as oily fish including salmon, cod, shrimp and mackerel in addition to milk and eggs. Or better yet, take a step outside and get ten minutes of sun exposure on your arms and legs.  There are still some warm days to come :-)

Being in my third trimester and still working full-time until baby comes, I find it easy to take this high quality liquid omega-3 supplement that includes 1000 IU vitamin D3 and 2200 mg total omega 3 (EPA and DHA). Plus, it benefits your eyes, cognition, skin, heart, hair, joints and blood vessels!

So a quick approach to better sleep - go for a 30 minute walk and then mix in your CardioTabs liquid with a small amount of orange juice or enjoy the citrus flavor plain in just 1 teaspoon - cheers to citrus nutrition!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

How Much Is Enough?

How Much Is Enough?

Not too much longer and the weather MAY start to cool down a bit.  This is when it can be hard to drink as much water as we did during the summertime. 

We all know water is good for us, but what does it actually do?  It is essential for maintaining health... It performs many importance functions in your body, such as internal temperature and blood pressure regulation, joint support and cushioning, and it aids in digestion and absorption along with transporting nutrients and getting rid of unwanted "stuff" or toxins from your body.  So when you are taking your morning supplement or wanting to sip on something, drink water! 

So how much is enough?  According to Environmental Nutrition August 2012, most people let their thirst be their guide in meeting their body's fluid needs.  You get about 80 percent of your water from beverages and another 20 percent from foods, such as fruits and vegetables, which can consist of at least 90 percent water.  Aim for these hydration goals established by the Institute of Medicine:

Women - Consume 2.7 L of total water from beverages and foods each day - that is about 9 eight-ounce glasses from beverages.
Men - Consume 3.7 L of total water from beverages and foods each day - that's about 12 eight-ounce glasses from beverages.

A helpful way to drink plenty of water each day is using a check off system.  Marking in your calendar "check offs" will help you keep your priorities in order! 

And if you are feeling hungry at random points in the day, this more than likely is a sign that your body needs zero calorie water, rather than the added calories... cheers to water!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Iced Coffee Treat!

I am so excited to try out a new recipe for iced coffee and it is a MUCH healthier alternative then the grab and go's at fast food joints or the Starbucks mocha drinks in the grocery aisles.  It is a homemade iced coffee and the the longest part is just steeping the coffee over night.  I don't know about you but it certainly is tough to drink hot coffee in hot weather, so why not try iced coffee..? And on top of that, if you are looking to watch your caffeine intake, using decaf coffee for your iced coffee drink counts as a liquid choice!

I am towards the end of my pregnancy and do watch my caffeine caffeine drink a day is safe so I allow myself that one delicious cup of coffee and I am just dying to sip on iced coffee tomorrow! Here is the recipe I am going to make starting tonight.  I got this recipe from a girl who has come to my office for some nutrition appointments and am so grateful she sent me this today :-)

Well, here are the steps to the iced coffee concoction!

Yield: two drinks
1/3 C ground coffee
1 1/2 C water

In a jar, container, etc. (anything you have that is clean :-)), stir together coffee and water.  Cover and let rest at room temperature overnight or 12 hours.
Strain twice through a coffee filter or cheesecloth, into another jar or pitcher. I refrigerate this mixture before consuming it. 
When you are ready to make your perfect cup of iced coffee, start by filling a glass with ice.
Then dispense enough coffee liquid to fill the glass half full, or as much as you desire.
Splash in skim or 1% milk, or for another healthy option, try unsweetened almond breeze milk!

Then add any flavorings you wish.  Some healthy flavorings are sugar-free hazelnut or vanilla syrup or Stevia. 

Or for a fun treat on occasion, stir in a small dollop of sweet condensed milk.  See the results below!
Give it a try - I know I will love it...I hope you do too :-) Great entertaining drink as well for special occasions or just to sip on at home!


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Olympic Star Workout

The funnest part of the Olympics for me is watching swimming and sand volleyball - truly a rush to see these star athletes perform! Makes me proud to be an American :-)  I thought I would share a fun, quick and intense workout that can make each of us feel like an Olympic star! What I love about this work out is that no equipment is needed and you can do this in the comfort of your own home.

It is easy for any of us to make excuses not to exercise.  If you make it a priority, it can fit into your day - no questions asked. Simply write down in your calendar when you plan to exercise and this step can help you become more motivated to exercise. 

"On Monday, August 4th, do Olympic workout at 7:00 a.m.."- after doing the workout, checking it off truly makes a difference and shows that we can fit anything into our day if we simply make it a priority.  All you need to do is show up and do the work. Simple!

25 Jumping jacks
10 push ups
30 seconds downward dog stretch
30 seconds jogging in place
10 single-leg hops
50 crunches
10 walking lunges
10 burpees
10 dips on chair or sofa
30 seconds high knees
30 seconds jump roping
15 back extensions (supermans)
10 bridges
45 second wall sit
20 reverse crunches
60 second plank
20 burpees
10 push ups
20 push ups
20 bicycle crunches

Monday, July 23, 2012

Beat the Heat in Iowa

Iowa is not cooling down anytime soon and with the consistent lack of rain, crop production is sure affected.. but our health can be affected too if we aren't smart with staying hydrated..During these uncomfortable, hot and humid days in Iowa, I do my best to drink the extra water throughout the day!  With our body made up of 70% water, now more than ever, water is crucial to help replenish fluids lost from our bodies....Sometimes the plain old water needs a little something extra and fun, though. 

Water Coolers is a sparkling beverage with zero calories and comes in a variety of delicious flavors like peach, black cherry and kiwi strawberry.  Great way to drink in some flavor and stay hydrated..

Here is a refreshing tea that will give you a boost of antioxidants to keep your skin protected from those hot summer rays...

Raspberry Iced Tea
Serves 8
All you need:
  • 3 cups Hy-Vee 100% cranberry raspberry juice
  • 3 cups Hy-Vee raspberry Water Cooler
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 tsp Lipton™ instant iced tea mix
  • 24 fresh raspberries
All you do:
  • In a large pitcher, stir together juice, Water Cooler, water and tea mix.
  • Place 2 raspberries into each cube of a (12-count) divided ice cube tray. Pour tea mixture evenly among cubes. Freeze at least 4 hours or overnight. Refrigerate remaining iced tea.
  • To serve, place ice cubes in iced tea. Refrigerate remaining tea.
Nutrition information per serving:
  • Calories: 50
  • Carbohydrate: 13 g
  • Sodium: 10 mg
  • Sugar: 13 g
Always important to keep your caffeine intake lower during these hot days as it will only lead to further dehydration. Why not trade out the regular coffee or pop for a water cooler? Hydration leads to longer lasting energy and helps you beat the heat!

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Laughing Cow Alfredo

The Laughing Cow Alfredo

Are you a cheese lover?  If so, I am sure you have at least heard of laughing cow cheese and even hopefully tried it! It is a delicious, low-fat, low-calorie cheese that is creamy, delicious and versatile for many different recipes.  I am a pasta lover and have always been partial to cream sauces.  Typical fettuccine alfredo recipes can pack on many calories... a dinner portion at Olive Garden is 1200 calories, 75 grams fat and 99 grams of carbohydrates. This can be discouraging for those who LOVE alfredo pasta.  Well, you are in a treat! I have the perfect recipe for you if you love alfredo sauce.. This is a MUCH healthier version and yes, the flavor is still present!  Plus, it is super easy and your family and friends will love it. It is called the Laughing Cow Alfredo.  It is a perfect pair with cooked broccoli.

1/2 cup skim milk
1 tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. butter
3 wedges Laughing Cow Light Creamy Swiss Cheese

Combine all ingredients on low until melted.  Stir with your favorite cooked vegetable and whole-grain or high fiber pasta.

Tip:  If you want a thicker sauce,  take a few spoonfuls of the combine sauce and pour into a separate small bowl.  Add a bit of corn starch and stir until mixed.  Pour corn starch mixture back into sauce, to help thicken. 


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Nutrition for Healthy Vision
Have you had an eye screening that checks your levels of lutein and zeaxanthin in your eyes?  If not yet, it is not too late for a screening!
Lutein and zeaxanthin are critical in maintaining the health of your eyes.  The American diet only provides about 2 mg daily - far below intakes clinically shown to help your eyes stay healthy.
Taking eye vitamins containing 10 mg lutein and 2 mg zeaxanthin can help bridge this gap.
Alcon ICaps Lutein & Omega-3 is formulated with FloraGLO brand lutein, the most trusted brand by doctors.

From a nutrition standpoint :-), eating dark leafy greens like kale and spinach, can help boost your lutein and zeaxanthin levels as well.  For best absorption, add some fat to your greens, i.e. regular dressing with spinach.  Stay clear of the fat-free varieties! Great news, huh?

The benefits of taking lutein and zeaxanthin every day:
  • Maintains healthy vision as you age
  • Act as powerful antioxidants that work like internal sunglasses, protecting your eyes from damaging light
  • Shown to reduce the risk of certain eye conditions
  • Reduces the time your eyes need to recover from glaring light, like headlights, while driving at night

Based on the results of the National Disease and Therapeutic Index Syndicated Report among physicians who recommend a dietary supplement with lutein for eye health - Aug. 2010 - Aug. 2011 (USA data).

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Are Half of Your Grains Whole?

March not only is the month where spring begins but also can be a beginning to eat healthier and feel better! One of the focuses was on making half of your grains whole. Are half of your grains whole? Boosting your whole grain intake can help to prevent heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Here is an easy recipe in which you can incorporate half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose flour. What a great way to start making half your grains whole!

Easy Banana Bread Recipe

3/4 cup Splenda
3/4 cup flaxseed meal
5 ripe bananas, mashed - brings out more flavor
1/4 cup skim milk
1/4 cup low-fat sour cream (or try plain Greek yogurt, low-fat)
2 tsp. egg whites
2 cupss whole wheat flour or do 1 cup whole wheat/1 cup all-purpose
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9X5 inch loaf pan.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together the Splenda, flax meal, bananas, milk, sour cream and egg whites until well blended. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into the banana mixture until moistened. Spoon into prepared loaf pan.
3. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the crown of the loaf comes out clean.

I just made this recipe last night and it goes really well with a regular or natural peanut butter.

A quick tip on peanut butter is to choose the RIGHT peanut butter! Regular is healthier than reduced-fat peanut butter as there is less sodium, less sugar and more fiber. Eat those healthy fats with regular peanut butter!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Pizza for Breakfast

Some of the fun nights with family are having breakfast for dinner - blueberry pancakes with scrambled eggs and a couple strips of bacon - how fun is that. Well, how about pizza for breakfast? A lot of us enjoy pizza with a variety of toppings. Making your own pizza at home with fresh ingredients and using a whole grain choice result in a delicious, healthy pizza that will leave you feeling satisfied and in control.

Here is an easy way to healthy up your breakfast pizza.

Breakfast Mini Pizzas
Serves 1.

Active Time: 10 minutes Total: 10 minutes

All you need
1 large egg, beaten
2 tbsp. marinara sauce
1 Hy-Vee whole-wheat English muffin, split and toasted
2 tbsp. Hy-Vee shredded Italian cheese blend
2 slices pepperoni, optional

All you do
1. Preheat oven or toaster oven broiler.

2. Coat a small nonstick skillet with spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add egg and cook, stirring often, until set into soft curds, 1 to 2 minutes. Spread marinara sauce on English muffin halves.
Top with scrambled egg, cheese and pepperoni (if using). Broil unil the cheese is melted, 1 to 3 minutes.

Source adapted from EatingWell.

Try this recipe out over the weekend!!

In Health,

Katie Jackson