WHAT TO DO WITH A HAM BONE

NO, I’M NOT TALKING ABOUT MY HUSBAND WHEN THERE ARE NEWS CAMERAS AROUND!

HamandSplitPeaSoup

MAKE HAM AND SPLIT PEA SOUP!
Ham bone with some meat still on it
16 oz bag dry split green peas
2 potatoes, diced
4 celery stalks, diced
20-30 baby carrots, diced
1 small onion, diced
6-8 c chicken broth
Left over ham cut into bite-sized pieces

Put the broth and ham bone in a large soup kettle and set on high heat.  Begin chopping vegetables and ham and add everything to the soup pot.  Cover and bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for about an hour.  Remove ham bone and let cool slightly.  Remove any usable meat from the bone and add to soup.

Serve with a little fresh ground black pepper!

WHAT ABOUT GLUTEN?

Dry split green peas are naturally gluten free but they are subject to cross contamination in processing and packaging.  A soak and a rinse will help.  Arrowhead Mills is one brand that specifically states it is Gluten Free.

EASY AND DELICIOUS!

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MORE FOR YOUR CORE – THE FULL PLANK

The plank is a balance and core conditioning exercise. In yoga, the plank is often done as part of the sun salutation sequence, or as part of a vinyasa in a yoga flow sequence. You can also perform the plank as a stand-alone exercise. There are two major types of planks, the full plank, where you balance on both arms, and the side plank, where you balance on one arm.

LET’S TRY THE FULL PLANK:

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Start off on a yoga mat in the pushup position. Starting with the pushup position is the easiest way to get into the plank.

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Lower both your forearms to the ground so that both your elbows and fists are flat to the ground. Your palms should be balled up, and directly underneath your shoulders.

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Curl your toes under and engage your abs by tilting your pelvis and pulling your belly button toward your spine.

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Straighten your body but keep your neck and spine neutral.  Imagine that you’re a plank of wood, and that you’re straight as an arrow.

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Flex your abdominals and squeeze your glutes. These are the two major muscle groups you’ll be working out in this exercise.

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Hold this position, also known as the plank, until after the burning begins. Keep your eyes on the floor in front of you. Avoid raising your behind. Your body should make a straight line from your heels to the back of your head.

TRY TO HOLD THE POSE A LITTLE LONGER EACH DAY! AND THEN, HAVE A FRIEND ADD A LITTLE WEIGHT!

the plank

YOU WILL NEED A LITTLE LEVITY AS YOU FEEL YOUR MUSCLES BURN!

I’VE ALSO SEEN THIS DONE ON A STANDUP PADDLE BOARD AS PART OF THE CORE WORKOUT.

TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR HEALTH

“A healthy attitude is contagious but don’t wait to catch it from others.  Be a carrier!”  Tom Stoppard

When asked who my “Health Hero” is and why, I immediately thought of my father.  Not only was he a World War II hero, he made sure to bring our family up to be active.

papa

We would go to the beach and swim and build sand castles and he would organize a baseball game if we started lazing around too much.  We played tennis, badminton and horse shoes and always took walks.  The entire family raked leaves and shoveled snow together.  We washed the car and we all had household chores.

Stuart McIntosh, former Olympian said, “When children are exposed to a routine that works, they learn it, understand it, and when done regularly it is locked into their memory.”  It sure worked for our family!

Now it is up to me to continue to make healthy lifestyle choices.

My husband and I really work as a team.  When his cholesterol level inched up to 199, my training as a Registered Dietitian kicked in and we were able to lower that level by 20 points over the last year.  Difficult for a real meat and potatoes man!  We ate more fish (grilled and cooked with a variety of spices), less chuck roast (20gm fat/serving) changed to tender chuck (3gm fat/serving), more beans and lentils added to ground beef dishes and using 96% lean beef (like meatballs, meatloaf, tacos, chili).  Haven’t seen a hotdog bologna, salami, bacon or sausage – but like turkey sausage!  Milk products are all low fat and fresh fruits and vegetables are always “half the plate”!  Whole grains are staples.  A stick of butter lasts months.  I don’t use artificial or “lite” products but use just a little of the real thing.  Most important we EXERCISE DAILY!

We just went through a winter of extreme cold, life threatening wind chills and two blizzards in Buffalo, New York.  But we dressed for the weather and enjoyed cross county skiing and walks/snow shoeing along the frozen Lake Erie shoreline at sunset not to mention we did loads of shoveling.  My husband also likes to kite ski.  We even have cleats for our boots for the typical ice storm.  The treadmill and exercise bike are a last resort to enjoying the great outdoors.

Thinking outside the box and planning this unique garden for Spring:

IT IS IMPORTANT TO HAVE A PLAN FOR HEALTHY EATING!  You need only a very small plot of land to grow enough vegetables and herbs to feed a family.  Join me in this experiment.  Take a 2 cubic feet of potting soil (like Miracle Grow), rumple it around quite a bit to loose the soil, poke quite a few holes in the back side for drainage, then lay the bag on a smooth surface that will allow drainage and not get too hot.  Cut out the top leaving about a 4 or 5 inch border all around.  Lightly rake through the soil to even it out and loosen it even more, then carefully start planting your seeds.  Spray mist the seeds and plantlings when first watering until they are established, then you can water more vigorously.  Keep soil moist, but not sopping wet.  Come Summer, we plan to have loads of fresh vegetables for grilling and salads!

Summer plans also include tennis, biking, swimming, kayaking, windsurfing and paddle boarding.

REMEMBER, YOU DON’T HAVE TO DIET IF YOU LIVE IT!

THANKS FOR THE CHALLENGE: HEALTHY CAMPAIGN

LOADS OF NUTRITION TIPS, FITNESS ROUTINES AND RECIPES AT : FABULOUS FIT FOOD

SPRING CLEANING – IDEAL WORKOUT REGIMEN!

SPRING CLEANING

The calories burned while you’re doing household chores can really add up. In fact, many household chores burn just as many calories as workouts do. Here’s how some of your household chores stack up in terms of calories burned.

Indoor Chores

Chores you do inside the house also help to burn calories. Here’s how many calories are burned in the course of performing your daily tasks:

  • Scrubbing the bath for 30 minutes burns 200 calories. Removing that stubborn soap scum from your tiles is a great way  to tone the muscles of your arms and shoulders.
  • Carrying shopping bags for 30 minutes burns 190 calories, and maybe more if the bags are particularly heavy. Distribute the weight evenly on each hand, or swap back and forth at regular intervals. Carrying too much weight on one side won’t just overdevelop those muscles, it could injure your spine.
  • Making beds for 30 minutes burns 130 calories, the same number you’d use if you jogged on a treadmill or on flat terrain for 15 minutes.
  • Cleaning windows for 30 minutes burns 125 calories, the same number used in 20 minutes of power yoga (about one-third the length of a typical power yoga class).
  • Loading the dishwasher for 30 minutes burns 105 calories, which is less than the 160 calories burned when washing them by hand.
  • Vacuuming for 30 minutes burns about 90 calories, the same amount you’d burn in 15 minutes of kick boxing.
  • Dusting for 30 minutes burns about 50 calories.
  • Ironing for 30 minutes burns about 70 calories and tones the muscles of the upper body. Stand up straight at the ironing board and press down firmly. Switch hands periodically so you don’t overdevelop one arm.

Yard Work

Yard work offers some of the most labor intensive household chores. Tasks like digging and raking the leaves not only burn a lot of calories but can help tone muscles in your arms and legs. Here are some statistics:

  • 30 minutes of digging in your yard will burn about 315 calories, the same amount burned by 45 minutes of bicycling on flat terrain. Digging tones the muscles of your calves, thighs, arms and shoulders. If you do it vigorously enough and continue the activity for 20 minutes or more, you can raise your heart rate and strengthen your cardiovascular system.
  • Washing your car works your arms and abdominals. For every 30 minutes of car washing, you’ll burn 143 calories.
  • Weeding for 30 minutes burns 115 calories, the same amount you’d burn in 15 minutes of weight training. Weeding tones your thighs and buttocks. Just be careful to bend with your legs while keeping your spine straight, or you could hurt your back.
  • Raking leaves for 30 minutes burns 225 calories. The resistance offered by the leaves makes this chore a type of weight training. Raking leaves tones all the major muscle groups in your body.

Other Calorie Burners

Here are some other activities that burn surprising amounts of calories:

  • Climbing stairs for 30 minutes burns about 285 calories.
  • Painting and decorating your home burns about 160 calories.
  • Showering and toweling off for 30 minutes burns about 70 calories.  (WOW, that’s a long shower!)

REMEMBER EVERYONE BURNS CALORIES AT A DIFFERENT RATE BASED UPON BODY SIZE.  YOU MAY WANT TO TRY THIS CLEANING HOUSE CALORIES BURNED CALCULATOR FOR MORE ACCURATE MEASURES!

NOT ONLY WILL YOU FEEL ACCOMPLISHED WITH YOUR CLEANING EFFORTS YOU’LL GET MORE FIT ON TOP OF IT – WHAT I CALL A TWOFER!!

POTATOES WITH PEPPERS AND ONIONS

Potato Pepper & onions (2)
4 Red Potatoes, Quartered
1/2# Mini Sweet Peppers (yellow, orange and red)
1/2 Red Onion, sliced and quartered
3 Celery Stalks, coarsely chopped
1/4 c Italian, Balsamic or Greek Salad Dressing (use “lite” if desired)
sea salt
fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven at 350 degrees F.  Coat a 13″ X 9″ baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.  Add potatoes, peppers and onion. Drizzle salad dressing on top and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.  Bake 40 to 50 minutes until the onion is carmelized. potatoes are soft and veggies are tender crisp with some blackened areas.

SERVE AS A VEGETARIAN MEAL WITH A LITTLE SHREDDED ITALIAN STYLE CHEESE ON TOP OR AS A SIDE DISH WITH BEEF, PORK OR POULTRY.  IT WOULD ALSO BE GREAT WITH SOME HOT TURKEY SAUSAGE!

I SERVED IT WITH A HAM I GOT AS A DEAL TO HAVE WITH COMPANY AND I ALWAYS SERVE A BIG FRESH SALAD WITH MY MEAL.

THIS DISH IS ALSO GLUTEN FREE!  ENJOY!!

CHERRY CREAM DANISH

cherry cream danish

CHERRY CREAM DANISH

2 sheets puff pastry dough, thawed (I used Pepperidge Farm)
1 large can cherry pie filling (I used Great Value, no sugar added variety)
2 (3.25 ounce) vanilla pudding snack cups (You could probably make a sugar free variety)
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tsps orange juice

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lay puff pastry sheets on a clean surface and cut each sheet into nine equal squares. Spread one heaping teaspoon of vanilla pudding in the center of each square, on a diagonal. Top with a small scoop of cherry pie filling. Fold the side corners over the cherries, forming a cannoli shape. Place on greased cookie sheet.  Continue until all 18 are done. You will need to bake these in two batches. If desired, brush the tops of each one with egg wash (egg whisked with water) for a shiny finish. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes or until golden brown. Once cooled, whisk together the powdered sugar and orange juice until smooth. Add more juice if necessary. Drizzle over each danish and serve.

THESE WERE A BIG HIT FOR THE STAFF AT MY HUSBAND’S SCHOOL!

MEXICAN TUNA MELT ON CIABATTA – JUST IN TIME FOR LENT

mexican Tuna Melt 007 (570x428) (3)
3 (5oz) cans chunk light tuna drained
1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 c sunflower kernels
1/2 c finely chopped red onion
1 tsp lime juice
1 hot pepper finely chopped and seeded (I’ve used Anaheim and Poblano)
1/4 c mayonnaise (I mixed in a little plain yogurt to cut the fat)
1 c shredded pepper jack cheese

Fold together. Serve toasted on half a Ciabatta Roll or Whole Grain Roll with sliced tomato and a big salad!

GOOD FOR ASH WEDNESDAY AND ALL THE FRIDAYS IN LENT – FEEL LIKE YOU’RE EATING OUT AT A FANCY RESTAURANT!

SERVE WITH A BIG DILL PICKLE AND ENJOY!

VEGETARIAN PEPPER JACK LINGUINI CASSEROLE

Pepper Jack Spaghetti Casserole (2)
8 oz uncooked whole wheat linguini (good source of fiber)
1 c low fat sour cream
3 eggs, beaten (use just the whites to cut fat and cholesterol)
1-2 hot peppers, sliced
4-5 mini sweet peppers (red/yellow/orange), sliced
2 c (8oz) shredded pepper jack cheese
1/4 c shredded Parmesan cheese
10 oz pkg frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 1/3 c french fried onions, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook spaghetti as directed and drain. Meanwhile, spray 13″ X 9″ casserole dish with non-stick spray and combine sour cream and egg in bottom. Slice peppers. Stir spaghetti, peppers, cheeses and spinach into sour cream and egg mixture folding over to combine well. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Stir and top with french fried onions, if desired. Bake, uncovered, 5 minutes more.

Served with a big salad.

EVEN MY MEAT AND POTATOES HUSBAND RAVED OVER THIS DISH!