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Taft Midway Driller - Taft, CA
  • Nutrition News: Enjoy the taste of eating right

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  • The president of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Glenna McCollum, has a message for consumers: “Take risks that yield rewards.” McCollum brings her message during March, designated as National Nutrition Month.
    One of those risks can be to try to make half your plate fruits and vegetables, one of the guidelines of USDA’s “My Plate” and a way to add color, flavor and texture, along with vitamins, minerals and fiber. Make 2 cups of fruit and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables your daily goal.
    Here are 20 tips from the McCollum and the Academy to help you boost your fruit and veggie intake:
    1. Use vegetables as pizza topping. Try broccoli, spinach, green peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms and zucchini.
    2. Mix up a breakfast smoothie made with low-fat milk, frozen strawberries and a banana.
    3. Make a veggie wrap with roasted vegetables and low-fat cheese rolled in a whole-wheat tortilla.
    4. Try crunchy vegetables instead of chips with your favorite low-fat salad dressing for dipping.
    5. Grill colorful vegetable kabobs packed with tomatoes, green and red peppers, mushrooms and onions.
    6. Add color to salads with baby carrots, grape tomatoes, spinach leaves or mandarin oranges.
    7. Keep cut vegetables handy for mid-afternoon snacks, side dishes, lunch-box additions or a quick nibble while waiting for dinner. Ready-to-eat favorites: red, green or yellow peppers, broccoli or cauliflower florets, carrots, celery sticks, cucumbers, snap peas or whole radishes.
    8. Place colorful fruit where everyone can easily grab something for a snack-on-the-run. Keep a bowl of fresh, just ripe whole fruit in the center of your kitchen or dining table.
    9. Get saucy with fruit. Puree apples, berries, peaches or pears in a blender for a thick, sweet sauce on grilled or broiled seafood or poultry, or on pancakes, French toast or waffles.
    10. Stuff an omelet with vegetables. Turn any omelet into a hearty meal with broccoli, squash, carrots, peppers, tomatoes or onions with low-fat sharp cheddar cheese.
    11. “Sandwich” in fruits and vegetables. Add pizzazz to sandwiches with sliced pineapple, apple, peppers, cucumber and tomato as fillings.
    12. Wake up to fruit. Make a habit of adding fruit to your morning oatmeal, ready-to-eat cereal, yogurt or toaster waffle.
    13. Top a baked potato with beans and salsa or broccoli and low-fat cheese.
    14. Microwave a cup of vegetable soup as a snack or with a sandwich for lunch.
    15. Add grated, shredded or chopped vegetables such as zucchini, spinach and carrots to lasagna, meat loaf, mashed potatoes, pasta sauce and rice dishes.
    16. Make fruit your dessert: Slice a banana lengthwise and top with a scoop of low-fat frozen yogurt. Sprinkle with a tablespoon of chopped nuts.
    17. Stock your freezer with frozen vegetables to steam or stir-fry for a side dish.
    Page 2 of 3 - 18. Make your main dish a salad of dark, leafy greens and other colorful vegetables. Add chickpeas or edamame (fresh soybeans). Top with low-fat dressing.
    19. Fruit on the grill: Make kabobs with pineapple, peaches and banana. Grill on low heat until fruit is hot and slightly golden.
    20. Dip: Whole wheat pita wedges in hummus, baked tortilla chips in salsa, strawberries or apple slices in low-fat yogurt, or graham crackers in applesauce.
    Q and A
    Q: I got too busy to exercise for a few weeks. Have I lost all that I worked for, or can I pick up where I left off?
    A: How quickly you lose fitness depends on long you have stopped and how fit you are to start. The more fit you are and the longer you’ve been exercising, let’s say at least several months, the more slowly you lose aerobic condition and strength. You may lose some ground after two or three weeks of not exercising, but you probably are still ahead of where you started. People new to exercise, however, can end up back where they started in endurance and strength after a month or less. If you are ready to return to your former physical activity and it’s been more than a couple weeks, start back with an easier workout than where you left off. Tune in to how your body feels, and adjust to a pace and intensity that let you exercise using good form. Some experts say a good guideline for aerobic exercise is to work hard enough that you wouldn’t want to sing, but can still talk. Again, depending on your fitness level and the length of time you stopped exercising, expect it to take weeks or even a few months to get back to your previous fitness level. Next time you find yourself tight on time, studies show that if you exercise for a shorter period or less often, without cutting it out completely, you can hold your ground. If you’re getting bored with what you’re doing, or if a change in season ends the activities you’ve been doing, start something new. Participation in different kinds of physical activity can add more benefits than sticking with one form of exercise alone, and it keeps activity fun.
    — Information courtesy of the American Institute for Cancer Research
    Recipe
    Here’s a dessert that will help meet your daily fruit goal and give you something new to try. It’s Orange Gratin, served with a dollop of yogurt, from Cooking Light magazine.
    ORANGE GRATIN
    • 2 large navel oranges
    • 1 small ruby red grapefruit
    • 1 large Minneola orange (tangelo)
    • 3 Clementines
    • 2 T sugar
    • 1 T minced candied ginger
    • 1/2 cup plain 2 percent reduced-fat Greek yogurt
    Page 3 of 3 - • 1 T orange marmalade
    • 2 T sliced almonds, toasted
    Peel oranges, grapefruit and Minneola orange; cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. Peel Clementines; cut in half crosswise. Arrange citrus in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan. Sprinkle with sugar and candied ginger. Preheat broiler to high. Broil citrus 15 minutes or until lightly charred, rotating pan occasionally. Combine yogurt and marmalade in a small bowl. Divide citrus evenly among 4 shallow bowls. Drizzle evenly with pan juices. Top each serving with 2 tablespoons yogurt mixture and 1 1/2 teaspoons almonds. Serves four.
    Per serving: 187 calories, 5.3 g protein, 40.1 g carbohydrates, 2.3 g fat, 2 mg cholesterol, 4.3 g fiber, 16 mg sodium.
    Charlyn Fargo is a registered dietitian from Springfield, Ill. For comments or questions, contact her at charfarg@aol.com or follow her on Twitter @NutritionRD.
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