A Day at Storm King Art Center…

 

King Art center, named for its proximity to Storm King Mountain, is more of a sculpture landscape as opposed to a sculpture garden. Founded by Ralph Ogden in 1960, it is about 1 hour from New York City located in the lower Hudson Valley. Over 100 sculptures, from acclaimed artists, sit on 500 acres of pristine landscape. Some are monumental in size but work so beautifully with the nature that surrounds them. The original residence has been converted to the main museum building. Well worth setting a day aside and walking.

Healthy Weight Loss Tip #3

Stock your desk with healthy snacks. If you work at home keep a good supply of snacks handy. Small bags of trail mix, fruit, low sodium organic soups, good quality whole grain crackers and peanut butter are great to lean on. If you have refrigeration available, stock up on low fat yogurts, Baby bell cheeses and hummus.

Butternut Squash and Chickpea Stew…


 

 

Step 1: Cook 1 chopped onion and 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat until tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
  Step 2: Add 2 medium Zucchini (cut into 1 &1/2 inch pieces and cook until browned. 3 to 5 minutes.
  Step 3: Add 1 butternut squash (cut into 1/2 inch pieces). 1 (15.5 oz. can each) of diced tomatoes and chickpeas, 1 tsp. ginger and ground coriander. Season with salt and pepper.
   Step 4: Cover and cook until squash is tender 15 to 18 Minutes.
   Step 6: Serve over couscous or millet and top with cilantro

 …recipe courtesy of  Gail Wasserman

Healthy Weight Loss Tip #2….

Avoid Fad Diets: Research has shown that these diets can help you lose weight initially but become harder to stick to as time goes on. Most concentrate on limiting or totally eliminating a certain food group. Healthy eating should include adequate amounts of carbohydrates, fats and protein. Quality and proportion of these 3 groups to one another is what is most important.

The Power of Lentils…….

Lentils are part of the legume family and archaeologists have discovered they have been part of the human diet as far back as the Neolithic era some 9,000 to13,000 years ago. It is believed they were first cultivated in the Near East. Lentils are essentially the seeds of the plant and extremely drought tolerant. They are high in fiber which makes them an important part of a cholesterol lowering diet. Easy to prepare and great for absorbing flavors and spices. Rich in vitamins (Folate, Manganese, Iron, Copper-to name a few) and 30% protein which is important for those living a vegan and vegetarian lifestyle. They come in a variety of colors and each one offers a slightly different taste.

The Cholesterol Myth-Good or Bad?

 Whenever mentioned, the word cholesterol either brings fear, confusion or suggests caution. Is there a reason why the body produces it? Why are we so determined to eliminate or decrease it from our diets? Let us look at what cholesterol is used for. Cholesterol allows our skin surface to absorb sunlight and convert it to Vitamin D. It is a fat lipid that is produced by the liver. Since it is part of every cell membrane it has a lot to do with total body function. It is responsible for the maintaining and building of the cell membrane, by determining what can and cannot pass within the cell. Cholesterol is essential for the production of sex hormones as well as our stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol. It encourages the production of bile which allows for the breakdown of fat in turn allowing for the efficient absorption of the fat soluble vitamins (A,D,E,K). Most importantly it insulates our nerve fibers. If this is all true, why is so much emphasis placed on cholesterol reduction and why do the terms bad cholesterol and good cholesterol exist? Lets take a look at LDL (low-density lipoprotein) the so-called bad cholesterol. Does it have a purpose? There is evidence that LDL cholesterol may bind and inactivate dangerous bacterial toxins and strongly influence our immunity in a positive way. Whenever we injure a blood vessel the LDL molecules rush to that area and attempt to repair the damage. In other words it can be compared to a glue that fixes the circulatory system. Cholesterol is a waxy substance and cannot mix easily with blood. Therefore, LDL is responsible for delivering cholesterol to various cells of the body and to the walls of the arteries. It has now been determined that not all LDL molecules should be categorized as bad since we now know that there are two types of LDL. There is the large fluffy buoyant type which is harmless because it does not oxidize (react with oxygen and break down). This type is unable to stick to vessels unlike the smaller hard dense type which can become very sticky and build plaque. Although both are inherited, the hard sticky kind can be reduced through diet (especially consumption of green leafy vegetables), exercise and weight loss. There is now a specific test to determine which one your body possesses. HDL (high-density lipoprotein), which we classify as good, is merely the cleanup crew for sweeping away LDL after it has done its job. In turn it removes cholesterol from the blood and acts as an antioxidant that can reduce inflammation in the arteries. This is not to say that when our physician suggests that our cholesterol numbers are not what is considered safe range, we should disregard the advice.  But it is important to realize how essential cholesterol is in maintaining total body function. Therefore, our goal should not be to become cholesterol free but strive for a healthy proportion of both LDL and HDL.