Breakfast vs. Dinner

Can eating a large breakfast and small dinner help with weight loss?

In a recent study, scientists randomly assigned 74 overweight or obese women with metabolic syndrome (having at least 3 out of 5 of the following: low HDL “good” cholesterol; elevated blood pressure, blood sugar, and/or blood triglycerides; and increased waist size) into two groups. Both groups were given a 1,400-calorie diet for weight loss and assigned to the breakfast group or the dinner group. In the breakfast group, the women consumed more calories at breakfast and fewer calories at dinner (Breakfast-700 calories, Lunch-500 calories, Dinner-200 calories). In the dinner group, the women were advised to consume fewer calories at breakfast and more calories at dinner (Breakfast-200 calories, Lunch-500 calories, Dinner-700 calories).

After 12 weeks, the breakfast group showed greater weight loss, waist circumference reduction, and lower blood sugar compared to the dinner group. The mean triglyceride levels decreased by 34% in the breakfast group and rose by 15% in the dinner group. The breakfast group also reported being less hungry during the 12 weeks compared to the dinner group.

This is only one study, which isn’t enough to prove that a bigger breakfast leads to more weight loss than a bigger dinner. However, we do know that eating breakfast every morning is important for weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight.

Check out the full article http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/oby.20460/full

Fresh Tomato-Feta Pizza

Fresh Tomato-Feta Pizza Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 6 (serving size: 1 slice)
  • Hands-on:35 Minutes
  • Total:55 Minutes

 

Ingredients

  • 1 pound refrigerated fresh pizza dough
  • 4 plum tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  • 4 ounces feta cheese
  • 1 ounce pitted kalamata olives, halved (1/3 cup)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

 

Preparation

1. Let dough stand at room temperature, covered, for 30 minutes.

2. Arrange tomato slices on a jelly-roll pan lined with paper towels; top with more paper towels. Let stand 30 minutes.

3. Place a pizza stone or heavy baking sheet in oven. Preheat oven to 500° (keep pizza stone or baking sheet in oven as it preheats).

4. Combine tomatoes, 2 tablespoons oil, and garlic. Roll dough into a 14-inch circle on a lightly floured surface, and pierce dough liberally with a fork. Carefully remove pizza stone from oven. Sprinkle cornmeal over stone; place dough on stone. Arrange tomato mixture on dough. Crumble cheese; sprinkle over pizza. Bake at 500° for 19 minutes or until crust is golden and cheese is lightly browned. Remove from oven; top with olives and basil. Brush outer crust with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil. Cut pizza into 6 large slices.

Baked Tomatoes with Quinoa, Corn and Green Chiles

Baked Tomatoes with Quinoa, Corn, and Green Chiles Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 6 (serving size: 1 stuffed tomato)
  • Hands-on:55 Minutes
  • Total:1 Hour, 20 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 poblano chiles
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 4 ears)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 large ripe tomatoes (about 4 pounds)
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 ounces colby-Jack cheese, shredded (about 1 cup packed)

Preparation

1. Preheat broiler to high.

2. Cut the chiles in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place chile halves, skin side up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 8 minutes or until blackened. Place in a paper bag; close tightly. Let stand 10 minutes. Peel chiles. Coarsely chop chiles; place in a bowl. Add corn and onion to pan; broil 10 minutes, stirring twice. Add corn mixture to chopped chiles; stir in oregano, oil, lime juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, cumin, and black pepper.

3. Cut tops off tomatoes; set aside. Carefully scoop out tomato pulp, leaving shells intact. Drain pulp through a sieve over a bowl, pressing with the back of a spoon to extract liquid. Reserve 1 1/4 cups liquid, and discard remaining liquid. Sprinkle tomatoes with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Invert tomatoes on a wire rack; let stand 30 minutes. Dry insides of tomatoes with a paper towel.

4. Place quinoa in a fine sieve, and place sieve in a large bowl. Cover quinoa with water. Using your hands, rub the grains together for 30 seconds; rinse and drain. Repeat the procedure twice. Drain well. Combine reserved tomato liquid, quinoa, 1/4 cup water, and the remaining salt in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat; fluff with a fork. Add quinoa mixture to corn mixture; toss well.

5. Preheat oven to 350°.

6. Spoon about 3/4 cup corn mixture into each tomato. Divide cheese evenly among tomatoes. Place tomatoes and tops, if desired, on a jelly-roll pan. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Preheat broiler. Broil the tomatoes 1 1/2 minutes or until cheese melts. Place tomato tops on tomatoes, if desired.

Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes and Garlic

Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes and Garlic Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: about 1 cup)
  • Hands-on:4 Minutes
  • Total:35 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 pints multicolored cherry tomatoes
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved
  • 1/4 cup small basil leaves

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 450°.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add 1 tablespoon salt. Add pasta; cook 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain pasta in a colander over a bowl, reserving 6 tablespoons cooking liquid. Return pasta to pan. Combine reserved cooking liquid and 2 tablespoons oil in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Boil 4 minutes or until mixture measures 1/3 cup. Add oil mixture to pan with pasta; toss to coat.

3. While pasta cooks, combine remaining 2 tablespoons oil, tomatoes, and garlic on a jelly-roll pan, tossing to combine. Bake at 450° for 11 minutes or until tomatoes are lightly browned and begin to burst. Add tomato mixture, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to pasta; toss to coat. Top with cheese and basil.

Don’t Let Discomfort Keep You from Being Healthy

I read an interesting article that a patient gave me that I think applies to a lot of people, especially when it comes to getting healthier.

The main point of the article is we all typically run from things that cause us discomfort, such as exercise or eating a healthy diet. Discomfort isn’t an intense pain, but we still have a fear of it because it means we have to leave our comfort zone. For example, some people feel discomfort while eating vegetables because it is not something that they regularly do, therefore it becomes uncomfortable.

Most people tend to run from this discomfort instead of facing it. When you are constantly running from discomfort, you are limiting yourself to a small comfort zone and you miss out on a lot of great things. If exercise and eating healthy food make you uncomfortable, this can lead to a very unhealthy lifestyle.

Learning how to become okay with discomfort can lead to a better, healthier life, but how do you start? First, try it in small doses. If eating vegetables makes you uncomfortable, try a vegetable anyway. It might not be the best thing in the world, but it won’t be the worst either. You can actually learn to love vegetables if you try!

Second, immerse yourself in discomfort. Instead of avoiding certain emotions and covering them up with food, face those emotions and immerse yourself in them. It may be uncomfortable for a while, but you can find others ways to cope.

Third, seek discomfort by challenging yourself daily. Find something that is uncomfortable to you and do it, such as exercise. You might surprise yourself when it ends up not being as bad as you thought.

Fourth, watch yourself run from things. Notice what you have been avoiding because it causes discomfort. What have you allowed yourself to rationalize? When it comes to getting healthier, we can rationalize anything. For example, you are waiting to start exercising or waiting to start your “diet” once you aren’t so busy or once things calm down at home. Become aware of this process and learn how to stop yourself from avoiding things.

Fifth, learn that discomfort is your friend. Embracing discomfort and learning that it is not something to fear can be a really good thing. When you feel uncomfortable you are usually trying something new, such as a new food or your learning, expanding and becoming more than you were before.

Bottom line; don’t let your fear of discomfort keep you from becoming a healthier, happier person. Go out and try something new today! Maybe go for a walk or try a healthy recipe. Either way, it will most likely be easier than you thought. Check out the full article at http://zenhabits.net/discomfort-ruin/.

Does It Matter How Often You Work Out?

Can’t drag yourself to the gym today? Don’t sweat it—just log extra time tomorrow. When it comes to a few major exercise health benefits, it doesn’t matter how frequently you work out, as long as you get at least a total of 150 minutes of physical activity each week, according to new research published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. 

The researchers analyzed a nationally representative sample of 2,324 active Canadian adults who participated in the Canadian Health Measures Survey. Everyone in the study did at least 150 minutes of moderately intense to vigorous activity per week, but some people broke it up into five to seven weekly sessions, while others worked out one to four times a week. Both groups’ risk of health conditions like metabolic syndrome, obesity, high blood pressure, high blood fats and cholesterol, and high blood sugar was about the same. That said, the people who exercised for the most cumulative minutes per week were the healthiest.

That’s because the total amount, type, and intensity of activity all have a much greater affect on your body than frequency, says study author Ian Janssen, PhD, associate professor at the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies at Queen’s University in Canada.

So does this mean you can just work out for two and a half hours and then call it a day for the rest of the week? Not quite. The researchers didn’t look at the one-day-a-week option specifically (just one-to-four days, and five-to-seven), so it’s a stretch to say that you can work out just once and see the same health benefits as hitting the gym daily.

Also, while fewer, longer gym sessions might lower your cardiovascular risk factors, they won’t necessarily help you meet your fitness goals, like training for a big race or losing weight—and could even lead to joint irritation and muscle soreness, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee Report.

The bottom line: If you can’t squeeze in regular workouts, it’s OK to do two or three longer workouts each week—but exercising more frequently for shorter periods is still the ideal.

Check out the article at http://blog.womenshealthmag.com/scoop/does-it-matter-how-often-you-work-out/

Unbelievable Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons prepared coarse-ground mustard
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

Directions

Step 1
In a large glass bowl, mix the cider vinegar, mustard, garlic, lime juice, lemon juice, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil. Place chicken in the mixture. Cover, and marinate 8 hours, or overnight.
Step 2
Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat.
Step 3
Lightly oil the grill grate. Place chicken on the prepared grill, and cook 6 to 8 minutes per side, until juices run clear. Discard marinade.

The Mediterranean Way

According to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts or olive oil dramatically reduced the risk of heart disease and stroke compared with a low-fat diet.

A total of 7,447 people with high cardiovascular risk participated in the study and were assigned to one of three diets: a Mediterranean diet rich in fish, beans, fruits, and vegetables and supplemented with either mixed nuts (30 g a day of walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts) or extra-virgin olive oil (one liter a week) or a controlled diet (advised to reduce dietary fat).

Both Mediterranean diet groups had approximately 30% risk reduction in major cardiovascular events compared to the low-fat diet. These results are supported by other studies. The Lyon Diet Heart Study also showed a large reduction in rates of coronary heart disease with a modified Mediterranean diet and the Women’s Health Initiative Dietary Modification Trial showed no cardiovascular benefit from a low-fat dietary approach.

In conclusion, the New England Journal of Medicine study supports the benefits of the Mediterranean diet for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease.

Check out the full study at http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1200303#t=articleTop