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Don’t fry! Give Healthy Cooking Methods a Try

man cooking healthyLearn how to prepare and cook meals at home to have better control over the nutritional content of the foods you eat. You can also save money.

 

Chipotle Chicken Bowls with Cilantro-Lime Quinoa

Chipotle Chicken Bowls with Cilantro Lime QuinoaThis Mexican, Simple Cooking with Heart recipe for smoky chicken bowls make for a substantial dinner or even an easily-transported work lunch. Just layer into a Mason jar or a plastic/ glass storage container for a portable meal. Also note that the chicken can be marinated for up to 24 hours.

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients   –   4 Servings

Quick Tips

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Tip: Serving size approximately 1 cup quinoa + 1 cup chicken per person, plus around 2 cups vegetables

Cooking Tip Icon

Cooking Tip: A marinade that is cooked like in this recipe can be eaten. But never consume a marinade that raw meat has been soaked in that hasn’t been cooked because it can make you sick.

Keep it Healthy Icon

Keep it Healthy: The ultra-popular quinoa is being called a “super-grain” for the high amount of protein, fiber, and vitamins per serving. It’s also quicker to make than rice so keep this in mind for your next dinner.

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Tip: Prefer cucumber chunks to shredded carrots? Cater the vegetables in the bowl to your own tastes, even adding fruit into the mix, like chopped apples or orange segments.

Directions

Tip: Click on step to mark as complete.

 


Whole Grains, Refined Grains, and Dietary Fiber

cracking the whole grain code and the skinny on dietary fiberDespite all the current fuss over carbs and gluten, breads, cereals and pastas are comfort foods. And you can find a better-for-you choice if you know what to look for.

 

Sneaking More Vegetables into Meals

sneaking more vegetables into mealsWe all know we need to be eating more veggies. Some of us love them and eat them at every meal. And then there are those of us who can’t stomach the thought of chomping on something green that looks like a tree. And no, we’re not talking about four-year-olds — we mean adults, too!

 

Keeping a Healthy Body Weight

Keeping a Healthy Body WeightMaintaining your ideal body weight is tough, no matter where you are in your weight loss journey. Use these tips to set yourself up for success.

 

Avoiding tobacco best way to avoid disease, researchers find

 0109-Feature-Tobacco_WPGetting adults to quit smoking and preventing kids from ever starting are the best defenses against heart disease, stroke and other diseases, according to a new study.

Experts’ rankings of the top 28 evidence-based preventive services that healthcare providers could offer were released Monday in a study conducted by the National Commission on Prevention Priorities and published in the Annals of Family Medicine. Understanding the impact of these services can help patients, healthcare practices and policymakers put their time and money in the right places, the study authors found.

Smoking, the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., kills about half a million Americans a year. More than 100,000 deaths annually could be prevented with smoking cessation and prevention, the authors said.

“Evidence indicates that receiving advice and help from a doctor can more than double the chance of smokers being successful at quitting,” said Michael Maciosek, senior research investigator and health economist at HealthPartners Institute for Education and Research in Minneapolis. “Trying until successful so that a patient can quit before a serious smoking-related disease sets in can extend quantity and quality of life and reduce healthcare costs.”

Working with HealthPartners Institute researchers, the National Commission on Prevention Priorities ranked each service based on its cost-effectiveness and how well it has been proven to prevent disease.

The tobacco recommendation and childhood immunizations all scored 10 out of a possible 10 on the authors’ scoring system.

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Researchers probed the value of brief, annual tobacco counseling for 4 million youth and adults, finding that it saves lives and reduces healthcare costs. But only one-third of the potential health and economic benefits of counseling are actually being realized, the authors said.

Youth counseling could prevent 42,686 smoking deaths and save $225 a person in healthcare costs annually, according to the study. Adult counseling could stop 69,901 smoking fatalities and save $580 a person per year.

“The rankings should help guide us as a nation,” said Eduardo Sanchez, M.D., chief medical officer for prevention at the American Heart Association. “It can be hard to know where to begin with competing priorities. This ranking makes it clear where we will see the biggest improvements for the best value.”

Maciosek said patient access to smoking help has never been greater, but there’s a catch.

“The ability of clinicians to address tobacco use is threatened by pressures on primary care physicians to increase their scope while managing the same number of patients and by looming changes to health insurance policy,” he said.

Direct medical costs from smoking are estimated at $175 billion per year. Although fewer adults are smoking, 42 million adults continue the deadly habit, and in 2015, 1.6 million middle- and high-school students reported smoking in the last 30 days.

Researchers also looked at three other services to prevent cardiovascular disease: high blood pressure screening, cholesterol screening and aspirin counseling. High blood pressure services had the biggest impact, followed closely by cholesterol screening and treatment, with aspirin counseling having a lower health impact.


Women with mild heart blockage report poorer health, more anxiety and negativity

0221-news-anxiety_WPWomen with mild heart blockage have poorer health and more anxiety and negative outlooks than men with the same condition, according to new research.

In non-obstructive coronary artery disease, the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart is partially restricted. The blockage of coronary arteries is associated with an increased risk of heart attack and other major heart problems, as well as death from any cause.

A person’s perceived health status, psychological distress and personality can affect outcomes, thus making psychosocial factors proxy risk factors for future cardiovascular events, said Paula M.C. Mommersteeg, Ph.D., assistant professor of medical and clinical psychology at Tilburg University in The Netherlands.

In the study — the first to investigate gender disparity — researchers explored the association between non-obstructive coronary artery disease and psychosocial distress in 523 people with the condition and 1,347 people without it. The participants completed questionnaires assessing their physical and mental health, psychological well-being and personality profile (degree of negative or positive outlook and level of social inhibition).

Among patients with non-obstructive coronary artery disease:

— The prevalence of poor health, anxiety and Type D personality (negative emotions combined with social inhibition) was significantly higher compared to those without the condition.

— More women reported physical impairment.

— More women reported psychosocial distress.

“We were very intrigued by these sex and gender differences — we had not thought they would be so apparent,” Mommersteeg said.

Statistical analysis revealed that the gaps could be due to several factors related to sex and gender, such as societal and cultural norms, age at diagnosis, education level, partner status, employment history and alcohol use.


Heart Attack Symptoms in Women

Heart Attack Signs in Women

  1. Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
  2. Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  3. Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  4. Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
  5. As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

If you have any of these signs, call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital right away.

We’ve all seen the movie scenes where a man gasps, clutches his chest and falls to the ground. In reality, a heart attack victim could easily be a woman, and the scene may not be that dramatic.

“Although men and women can experience chest pressure that feels like an elephant sitting across the chest, women can experience a heart attack without chest pressure, ” said Nieca Goldberg, M.D., medical director for the Joan H. Tisch Center for Women’s Health at NYU’s Langone Medical Center and an American Heart Association volunteer. “Instead they may experience shortness of breath, pressure or pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen, dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting, upper back pressure or extreme fatigue.”

Even when the signs are subtle, the consequences can be deadly, especially if the victim doesn’t get help right away.

‘I thought I had the flu’

Even though heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the United States, women often chalk up the symptoms to less life-threatening conditions like acid reflux, the flu or normal aging.

“They do this because they are scared and because they put their families first,” Goldberg said. “There are still many women who are shocked that they could be having a heart attack.”Watch an animation of a heart attack.A heart attack strikes someone about every 43 seconds. It occurs when the blood flow that brings oxygen to the heart muscle is severely reduced or cut off completely. This happens because the arteries that supply the heart with blood can slowly narrow from a buildup of fat, cholesterol and other substances (plaque).

Watch an animation of a heart attack.

Many women think the signs of a heart attack are unmistakable — the image of the elephant comes to mind — but in fact they can be subtler and sometimes confusing.

You could feel so short of breath, “as though you ran a marathon, but you haven’t made a move,” Goldberg said.

Some women experiencing a heart attack describe upper back pressure that feels like squeezing or a rope being tied around them, Goldberg said. Dizziness, lightheadedness or actually fainting are other symptoms to look for.

“Many women I see take an aspirin if they think they are having a heart attack and never call 9-1-1,” Goldberg said. “But if they think about taking an aspirin for their heart attack, they should also call 9-1-1.”

Take care of yourself

Heart disease is preventable. Here are Goldberg’s top tips:

  • Schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider to learn your personal risk for heart disease. You can also learn your risk with our Heart Attack Risk Calculator.
  • Quit smoking. Did you know that just one year after you quit, you’ll cut your risk of coronary heart disease by 50 percent?
  • Start an exercise program. Just walking 30 minutes a day can lower your risk for heart attack and stroke.
  • Modify your family’s diet if needed. Check out these healthy cooking tips. You’ll learn smart substitutions, healthy snacking ideas and better prep methods. For example, with poultry, use the leaner light meat (breasts) instead of the fattier dark meat (legs and thighs), and be sure to remove the skin.

Hate Exercise? 5 Tips That May Change Your Mind

5 steps to loving exerciseSo how can you stop being a hater and get over exercise aversion?

You don’t have to be a gym hero to get enough physical activity to improve your health. There are a lot of ways to make regular activity part of your life – which can help you have more energy, handle stress better, reduce your risk of illness and disease, and look and feel good! It’s pretty much a no-brainer. But most of us (about 80 percent of Americans) don’t make exercise a regular habit. And many say it’s because they just don’t like it.

So how can you stop being a hater and get over exercise aversion? Here are some tips to help you add physical activity to your life – and maybe even learn to like it!

Find your jam.

Instead of forcing yourself to do something you don’t enjoy, find ways to exercise that fit your personality. If you’re a social person, do something that engages you socially – take a group dance class, join a recreational sports team, or start a walking group with friends. Connecting with your peeps is a great way to stay motivated and avoid working out alone. If you’re more of a lone wolf, running or swimming might be a better fit. And if you’re not a morning person, you’re not likely to get up at the crack of dawn to make a boot camp class.

Give it time.

It can take a while for a new behavior to become a habit, so give yourself time to get into a regular routine. One way is to try to be active around the same time each day. Exercise can become addictive in a good way. Once it becomes a habit, you’ll notice when you aren’t doing it.

Build it in.

Build activity into your schedule and lifestyle so it doesn’t feel like a chore. There are many ways to fit exercise into your life, and it doesn’t mean you have to give up something else, like time with family and friends. Get active together as a family, you’ll all benefit. And if you just can’t imagine life without your daily phone chat with your BFF, take that call for a walk around the block.

Break it up.

It’s OK to break up your physical activity into smaller segments. The American Heart Association recommends a total of at least 150 minutes a week, but if that sounds overwhelming, try two or three 10-minute activity sessions most days of the week. It all adds up! You could do a quick yoga routine when you wake up, take a brisk walk after lunch at work, and if you commute with public transportation, get off a stop earlier and walk the rest of the way home.

Keep going.

If you miss a day or a workout, don’t worry about it. Everybody struggles once in a while. Just make sure you hit it again the next day. And if what you’re doing just isn’t working for you, revisit this list. You may need to try a different activity or a different time of day. Don’t give up!


5 Easy Ways to Find Healthier Options at the Grocery Store

Grocery store healthier options

Eating right – what you put in your mouth — starts with what you put in your shopping cart!


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