Preparing a healthy dinner every night is a chore for many, especially after a long day at work. But the truth is that putting together a nutritious meal can be easy and quick with a little creativity. Salads topped with grilled chicken are great, but when you feel the need to change things up, give these suggestions a try. They are sure to add an extra helping of excitement to your next weeknight meal!
1. Use Condiments Creatively!
Dry herbs, spices and condiments can transform the most “standard” ingredients into flavor-packed dishes. With spices, you get great flavor as well as the added benefit of antioxidants that can help protect against certain diseases! Here are some winning combinations:
● Season your protein with a mix of 1 tbs. each garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika and salt w/1 tsp. each of black pepper, celery salt and dried oregano.
● Make a zesty marinade for chicken or fish using Dijon mustard, crushed garlic and chopped capers. Garnish the prepared dish with minced parsley. Another great combination of herbs and spices is a marinade made of lime juice, cumin powder, chili powder and chopped cilantro.
● Did you know that salsa makes a great salad dressing? Use 2-3 tbs of fresh salsa on of a bed of greens topped with red onions, grape tomatoes, green peppers, ½ cup of black beans and 1-2 tablespoons of cheddar cheese. Fresh salsa can be found in the refrigerated section of your grocery store.
2. Play with Your Food!
Have a little fun and change up the way you serve food. Lettuce wraps are a great “vehicle” for stir-fried chicken or shrimp with veggies such as carrots, cabbage and broccoli. Skewers are another kitchen essential for creative food presentation. Alternate vegetables such as bell peppers and zucchini with cubes of chicken or firm fish such as tuna or salmon on wooden skewers and grill outside or on a cast iron grill pan. Serve with a yogurt based dipping sauce such as Tzatziki. This is a dish kids will love too!
3.Have Breakfast for Dinner!
●Think eggs are can only be scrambled or served sunny-side up? Think again. The incredible egg is actually one of the most versatile and healthy foods on the planet. Add nutrition to its natural protein content by throwing in fiber-packed artichokes and black beans to make a frittata that is a complete meal. To cut back on fat content, use 1 whole egg with 4 egg whites.
●Eggs in Purgatory are another great dish that’s quick, healthy and delicious. Put your own twist on it by adding your favorite vegetables and seasonings. I enjoy a combination of mushrooms, chopped olives, dried oregano and a tablespoon of low fat feta cheese. Serve with a side salad for a light weeknight dinner.
●You can also take pancakes “out-of-the-box” by turning them savory. Use any high fiber pancake mix and add healthy ingredients such as fresh corn kernels and chopped spinach. Other delicious combinations include Asian-inspired pancakes using cubed tofu and scallions as well as an Italian style version with roasted red peppers, part-skim mozzarella and chopped basil. Enjoy!
Guest Blog was written by Dafna Chazin (pictured, right), who is a registered dietitian
with Virtua’s The Center for Nutrition and Weight Management. She
currently provides nutrition services at Virtua’s Medically-Supervised
Weight Loss clinic, which offers a comprehensive approach to weight
loss. In addition, she consults individuals pursuing bariatric surgery
and teaches numerous education classes on a variety on nutrition-related
topics. Dafna is passionate about wellness promotion, healthy cooking,
weight management and maternal and child nutrition. She holds a Master
of Science degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University and has
been an active member of The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics since
… Have a Cell Phone. Odds are you don’t know anyone. Even my beloved 98 year old Aunt has a mobile phone. In fact, by 2019, it is estimated that five billion people will own a mobile phone. This is good news and a great opportunity for your obesity treatment center.
Each day, programs like yours struggle to motivate and retain their weight loss patients. Patients start the program highly motivated to lose the weight, exercise and improve their health. Their energy is contagious. You are sure they will follow through… but they don’t. A couple of weeks into your program, they lose interest or simply disappear. Why? Well, lots of reasons, actually: Patients gain confidence to forge forward towards their goal independently; they revert back to their old habits; friends or family members become jealous and sabotage their success. There are many reasons behind patient drop-off or their failure to increase activity or lose weight while on your program.
Here is the good news: There is a way to increase success among your patients, and it’s supported by new research.
A review of 224 studies, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, revealed that the effect of using the internet and various digital devices, including a mobile phone, found that, “Participants in mobile device interventions (using smartphone apps or receiving text or voicemail messages) increased their physical activity and lost body weight/fat.”
“Programs that have components such as goal-setting and self-monitoring and use multiple modes of communication with tailored messages tended to be more effective,” says author Ashkan Afshin, MD, MPH, MSc, ScD, Acting Assistant Professor of Global Health at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. “We also found these programs were more effective if they included some interactions with healthcare providers. Clinicians, in particular in primary care settings, can use such programs to help people improve their lifestyle behaviors and reduce the risk of chronic disease, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.”
Therefore, it is logical to conclude, as a result of this study, that combining your personal in-office interactions with a digital tool will enhance your patient’s outcomes. So, it’s not just about providing high protein meal replacement shakes or weight loss supplements to achieve success. Patients need increased contact between in-office interventions through messaging or an app in addition to an effective way to set goals and monitor their own progress to achieve weight loss success.
Source: Ashkan Afshin, Damilola Babalola, Mireille Mclean, Zhi Yu, Wenjie Ma, Cheng‐Yu Chen, Mandana Arabi, Dariush Mozaffarian. Information Technology and Lifestyle: A Systematic Evaluation of Internet and Mobile Interventions for Improving Diet, Physical Activity, Obesity, Tobacco, and Alcohol Use. Journal of the American Heart Association, 2016; 5 (9): e003058 DOI: 10.1161/JAHA.115.003058
Blog written by Lynda Lewis/Robard Corporation
A lot of people that are physically inactive throughout the day aren’t so by choice. More and more jobs are in an office setting. These environments are sedentary by nature, and don’t tend to encourage physical activity. While some try to remedy their lack of movement during the day by doing some basic things at their desks, others will do their best to get some exercise in after the workday is over. Some, if they’re smart, try to do both. Nonetheless, our inactivity is costing us more than our just our health. A lot more.
A study conducted by the University of Sydney showed that physical inactivity had a world cost of $67.6 billion in 2013. That’s billion with a “B.” Researchers came up with that hefty total by observing healthcare cost, productivity losses, and disability-adjusted life years for five diseases that are generally associated with physical inactivity and obesity: coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, breast cancer and colon cancer.
There are a lot of layers to this study and its results, but it starts with the issue of physical inactivity. And this is not just a domestic problem; it’s a global issue. The study included 142 countries which contains 93.2 percent of the world’s population, making this a rather holistic perspective of how much our lack of inactivity is costing us. That isn’t lost on the researchers.
“Physical inactivity is recognized as a global pandemic and not only leads to diseases and early deaths, but imposes a major burden to the economy”, says Dr. Melody Ding, lead author of the study and Senior Research Fellow from the University School of Public Health. The economic burden is a real one. Out of the $805 million Australia paid for inactivity, $91 million was from the private sector.
And while some people pay the price with their wallet, others pay with their health.
Although this is an expensive problem, there seems to be a rather easy solution: We need to be more physically active — especially those at a younger age. Adolescents are practically given every reason to not be active; 3-D televisions, social media, and iPads can make them feel as though they are living a full life while sitting on the couch.
As for adults, there are many short-cuts we can employ when it comes to combatting a sedentary lifestyle. Finding at least some time in the day to be physically active, even at your desk, is a healthier option than succumbing to the outcomes that studies like this suggest. Living a more active lifestyle is always better — physically, mentally and fiscally.
Source: University of Sydney
Blog written by Marcus Miller/Robard Corporation
The Internet is a vast marketplace of information about anything and everything — all available at your fingertips.
Oftentimes people use the Internet for personal reasons, but fail to understand its power and application to their business.
Consider this… You use the internet to gain knowledge, right? And if you are one of the 89 percent of consumers who search online before making a purchase, you buy items based on what you learn online. So, it’s highly likely that dieters, your target market, are also searching for information online and are “buying” based on the information they read. If you have a website, dieters who need help losing weight can “Google It” and hopefully find your great program.
Deciding whether or not to have a website is the easy part — building a web experience is more challenging. (Insider Tip: Don’t have a website? Create your own website for free.)
1. Create. An effective website has a purpose, is user friendly, and provides credible content. While all three of these attributes are important, it is vital to first determine what the purpose of the website will be. Is it to simply create awareness? Is the purpose to encourage dieters to order your products or perhaps to make an appointment? Once the purpose is decided, build your website around that purpose.
2. Drive. A website isn’t useful unless you can drive traffic — the right traffic — to that website. Increasing traffic takes time and testing. The good news: There are many ways to increase traffic. Common ways to make your website known within the dieting community are through paid search engine advertising/remarketing, social media, blog articles, traditional mailings, emails, and the most desirable, organic visits (free). To be successful, it is best to test each and monitor your site visits through Google Analytics. (Insider Tip: After signing up for Google Analytics, they provide a tracking code that must be added to every page of your website.)
3. Enroll. Turning online visitors into onsite visitors is key to your return on your investment. Having 1,000 visitors a day is good, but it is only valuable to your business if you turn those (or a good amount) of those visitors into enrolled dieters.
4. Focus. The most efficient and cost effective way to know what is working so you can focus your marketing efforts is to simply know what’s working. Keep records of how your dieters find you by asking each person who inquiries about your program how they heard about you. Keep this information in a log with the activity indicated (Google ad, social media outlet, blog, etc.) along with their status (enrolled, etc.) In the end, you will learn what combination of marketing activities drives inquiries and enrollments.
Increasing the likelihood that your center is found online and turning visitors into enrollments is challenging. (Insider Tip: Robard provides free comprehensive website reviews that provide specific suggestions for increasing traffic for customers.)
Good luck and contact our knowledgeable staff if you need any assistance. Be sure to inquire about our upcoming free webcast, “Fix Your Website & Social Media,” which will cover best practices for both. It’s exclusively for customers — but for you, we’ll make an exception. Just mention this blog to our staff to join or email email@example.com!
Blog written by Lynda Lewis/Robard Corporation
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