A Recipe for a Healthy Heart

Friday, February 01, 2013 8:49 AM comments (0)

Healthy-HeartSo often when we are making meal choices, we don’t skip a beat to think about the health implications our decisions have on our body. Eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet is one way to stay healthy,  and being diligent about making smart choices day-after-day can also help you feel better (both physically and mentally). Along with these benefits, eating right can help reduce your risk of illness and disease.

February is Heart Awareness Month and a great time to focus on your cardiovascular health while still enjoying what you eat.

Kimberly Hammon, Registered Dietitian, gives some nutrition tips on eating right for your heart:

  • Maintain a healthy weight. Half the battle with staying healthy is to make sure that you maintain a consistent weight. This can be achieved through diet and exercise.
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Green, leafy vegetables are usually high in vitamins and nutrients. Adding a handful of spinach, broccoli or kale to a salad or stir-fry can bump up the nutritional value of a meal.
  • Add omega-3 fatty acids to your diet. Foods that are high in omega-3s include many nuts (such as almonds and walnuts) and salmon.
  • Become aware of what you are eating. Start by writing down everything that goes into your mouth.  We don’t always realize what we are putting into our bodies.  A lot of times we are eating more fat and sugar than we realize.
  • Change your cooking methods.  Bake, grill or broil your meals instead of frying.  Use non-stick sprays instead of oil.
  • Make small changes. These changes can include switching to mustard instead of mayonnaise on your sandwich or changing to low-fat salad dressing instead of regular.  Enjoy sandwich thins as a healthier bread substitute; they are high in fiber, and lower in calories and carbohydrates.

Kimberly shares one of her favorite, healthy recipes to get you on track for a healthy heart.

Easy Chicken Pot Pie:
6 servings
Cook time: 45 minutes
1 2/3 cups   frozen mixed vegetables (thawed)
1 cup     cooked chicken (cut-up)
1 can     low-fat cream of chicken soup (10 ¾  oz )
1 cup     reduced-fat baking mix
½ cup    low-fat or skim milk
1          egg


  1. Wash hands and any cooking surfaces.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 400° F.  
  3. Mix vegetables, chicken and soup in ungreased, 9-inch pie plate.
  4. Stir remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl with fork until blended.  Pour over vegetables and chicken in pie plate.
  5. Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown. 
  6. Let cool for 5 minutes and serve.

1/6 of Pie:  180 calories, 3 grams of fat, 13 grams of protein, 420 mg sodium. 
Source:  Texas Cooperative Extension

What is your favorite healthy recipe? 


Dairy – More Than Just a Glass of Milk

Thursday, May 03, 2012 8:29 AM comments (0)

Dairy BenefitsDairy in your diet can make a real difference. Not only may consuming dairy products reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, but it may also help reduce your risk of osteoporosis and hypertension, help you maintain a healthy body weight and play a beneficial role in cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome.

With all of these potential health benefits it’s recommended to have 3-4 servings of dairy each day.

Melissa Joy Dobbins, registered dietitian at NorthShore, shares ways she serves up dairy with her family to ensure everyone gets the recommended 3-4 daily servings.


  •          Choose milk as your mealtime beverage.
  • Low-fat chocolate milk is another good option to help mix it up.
  • Use a milk frother to make your own fat-free lattes at home.

Reduced Fat Cheese

  • Don’t feel like meat? Eat cheese, you’ll get your protein plus calcium.   
  • Shredded cheese is a great addition to salads, soups and casseroles.
  • Cheese and whole grain crackers are a convenient and nutrient-rich snack.   


  • Make your own “frozen yogurt.” Place the cup or tube in the freezer and enjoy.
  • You can make chocolate yogurt by mixing 1-2 packets of hot chocolate mix with a quart of plain fat-free yogurt.


  •  Make a whey protein smoothie after your workout.  Simply add a scoop of whey protein powder to your favorite smoothie recipe.

Are you getting the daily dairy you should? What tips do you have to reach the recommended servings?

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