Archive | February, 2013

Things That Make Me Go, Hm…

So Anthem, this is how you’re spending my $90 per month premium increase, a four-color, “nutrition” newsletter, chock full of coupons, promoting Vons, Pavilions, Kellogg’s and the importance of eating breakfast.

A nice gesture, er marketing strategy, especially the lure of saving $3 on fresh fruit but that coupon, like the one for Lucerne’s® yogurt six-pack, is only good if I buy three, 10-ounce, or larger boxes of All Bran®, Raisin Bran®, Corn Flakes® or Rice Krispies®. Since I don’t consume this stuff, these, along with the other, included coupons for WeightWatchers® Greek Frozen Yogurt Bars, Daisy® Brand Low-Fat Cottage Cheese and Murray® Sugar Free Cookies piqued my interest.

My go-to for both product and recipe analysis, is the non-biased, nutrition database at Calorie Count. Breakdowns are based on a 2,000-calorie per day diet and receive a nutrition letter grade. It’s free to become a subscriber. Also, I look forward to receiving the daily, “Healthy Eating” blog in my inbox!

Now, here’s what I learned.

If you’re a Kellogg’s fan, stick with All Bran® at 80 calories per cup, 10 grams of fiber and only 80 milligrams sodium. One cup of Raisin Bran® is 190 calories, 6.5 grams of fiber and 342 milligrams sodium (Daily “Adequate Intake Level” is 1,500 milligrams A serving of Corn Flakes® or Rice Krispies® is nearly devoid of fiber.

Lucerne’s® low-fat yogurt whether plain or flavored gets a “C” for being high in sugar ranging from 12 grams (approximately 2.5 teaspoons, milk sugar) plain to 34 grams (approximately 7 teaspoons, milk sugar plus fruit) flavored, per 8-ounce serving.

WeightWatchers® Greek Frozen Yogurt Bars although 80 calories per with 13 grams sugar, garnered “C-”.  Interestingly, a 2-ounce Snicker’s bar also gets a “C-” but with a tad over three times the calories and double the sugar. Pick your poison…

“D+” for Daisy® Brand Low-Fat Cottage Cheese for 360 milligrams sodium in a half-cup serving!  If you “do” dairy, Friendship Dairies sells no salt added cottage cheese. Click “Where To Buy” for a retailer near you

And finally, Murray® Sugar Free Cookies, depending on the variety, ranged from “B-” (lemon wafers) to “D” (chocolate chip). Pass, not worth the calories or additives.

Thanks, but no thanks Anthem. I’ll be eating an “A” breakfast courtesy of Dr. John La Puma

From his, “ChefMD’s Big Book of Culinary Medicine”



1-cup 1% low-fat milk

1-cup water

1-cup quinoa [blonde or red]

2-cups fresh blackberries

1/2 – teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 – cup chopped pecans, toasted

1- ounce agave nectar


Rinse quinoa. Combine milk, water and quinoa in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer 15-minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.  Turn off heat; let stand covered 5-minutes.  Stir in blackberries and cinnamon.  Transfer to four bowls, top with pecans, and drizzle one-teaspoon agave nectar over each serving.


Approximate KCAL per serving:  287, Fat: 9.9g, Saturated Fat: 1.2g, Cholesterol: 3mg, Sodium: 31mg, Carbohydrate: 42.5g, Fiber: 8g, Protein: 12.1g

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Following My Own Advice

I can fix my car before my class. I’ve done it before. All I need to do is lift up on the left rear quarter panel and pop it right back into the frame, good as new.

Not exactly! Within seconds, my lower back was in spasm as I tried to repeat the maneuver but with majorly reduced strength.

A no-go, I gathered my gear and limped off telling myself, “it’s muscular, just muscular”, to teach my Senior Shape Up class.


Now if this had happened to you, I’d have told you to stop everything. Depending on the severity of the injury to either seek medical attention, go home and ice repeatedly throughout the day or both. More at: July/Aug. 2012, Vol. XI, Issue Seven/Eight Rest, ice, compress, elevate (R.I.C.E.), Good Pain, Bad Pain, Treat Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)

Not me, I soldiered through an hour of resistive work followed by an hour of errands. When I returned home I knew I was in trouble. Yet, it took another three hours, while icing and resting, to do the right thing, cancel my appointments for the following day to really rest, recover. Ah, denial…

Sound familiar? Downtime, even for legitimate reasons doesn’t bode well in today’s society. Especially during cold and flu season, most frequently with those, like myself who contract their services and have no paid sick days. Many keep on going, spreading germs or providing less than stellar care, because they’re just not 100%.

Last year, I had the opportunity to hear Dr. Hans Gruenn speak on the immune system and on stress. My over simplified, take-away: the body knows what it needs. It sends not-to-be-ignored messages. Heed them.

Semi-heeding, workaholic that I am, while writing this, I’m resting (on ice)!

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