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Healthy Chocolate Banana Bran Muffins!

>> Saturday, February 27, 2010

MMMmmmmm.... have a craving for some delicious chocolate banana muffins, but not sure how to do them up in a healthy way? Here is a great recipe from my friend Brenda's kitchen - who just happens to be a very talented dietician as well! With a good dose of fiber and protein, they are satisfying while being nicely portion controlled as well!

Makes 16 muffins.

Wet Ingredients:

  • 3 bananas
  • 1 “kid size” container apple sauce (100 ml)
  • ¾ cup of 1% milk
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1egg white

Combine wet ingredients and mix on low speed.

Dry Ingredients:

  • 3 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup oat bran
  • ¼ cup chocolate chips
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Add wet ingredients top dry and mix until just mixed (do not over mix… about 25 strokes).

Spoon batter into muffin pans and bake for approximately 18 mins at 350 F.

Nutrition Info:

Calories per muffin: 210 kcal

Carbohydrates 35 g

Protein : 6 g

Fat : 7 g

Fiber: 4 g

Dr. Sue © 2010


Weight Gain With Age: Putting it into Real Terms

>> Monday, February 22, 2010

For many people, it often seems like despite healthy eating, weight creeps on slowly, year after year, and decade upon decade. Looking at long term weight gain, and the remarkably high rates of overweight and obesity in our society compared to previous decades, it is interesting to contemplate just how much the average person would have to eat in order to cause this gradual increase in weight.

It turns out that we can put this answer into the real terms of daily life: in fact, physiologists and physicists have put this into real terms for us! A recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association discussed this topic, looking at the average woman age 50-59 in USA. Using comparison data from 28 years previous, these women had an average weight gain of 35lb over those 28 years. According to calculations, these women would have had to eat an extra 370 calories per day, every day, for 28 years, (or burn 370 calories less in exercise per day), in order to gain those 35lb. Examples of 370 calories:

  • a Grande Cafe Mocha (Starbucks)
  • just under 3 tbsp of oil
  • just under 1/2 cup of nuts
  • one hour of brisk walking
For children, the caloric bank account is even larger: for a normal-weight 6 year old to become obese by age 16, that child must consume 700-1000 calories per day in excess of what he or she needs. Examples:

  • two King Sized Snickers bars
  • three small sized (49g) bags of Nacho Cheese Doritos

These calculations demonstrate that a significant amount of excess calories need to be taken in over the long term, or a significant decrease in activity level needs to occur (or both!), in order to gain even just over one pound per year over the long term, as in the average female described above. Unfortunately, there are many hidden calories in our diets - if you are struggling with weight, have a good look at your diet to see if you can uncover any previously unknown extras that may be sneaking in (sauces and oils are a big one, and food that is not prepared at home has a big risk of being laden with extra calories - ask if nutritional information is available!).

Also, have a good look at what your activity levels are like now, compared to what they were 5, 10, or 20 years ago. Do you take your car where you used to walk? Do you take the elevator in a situation where you used to take the stairs? Have a good look at your lifestyle to see where you can revert back to some healthier habits of your youth - and take a step closer to preventing the weight gain that may otherwise await!

Dr. Sue © 2009


Obesity and Smoking Compete for Biggest Risk

>> Monday, February 15, 2010

Public health preventative strategies have had their hands full with two big offenders that plague our society: smoking, and overweight, each of which are associated with a long list of medical risks. Looking at American data, there has definitely been some success in promotion of smoking cessation: from 1993 to 2008 the proportion of smokers declined in the United States by 18.5 percent. However, the trends of obesity have gone in the opposite direction over that same period - the proportion of obese people increased by 85 percent. While the population has become increasingly obese and smoking rates continue to decline, obesity has now become an equal, if not greater, contributor to the burden of disease and shortening of healthy life in comparison to smoking.

In an article published in the February 2010 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers from Columbia University and The City College of New York calculate that the Quality-Adjusted Life Years lost due to obesity is now equal to, if not greater than, those lost due to smoking, both modifiable risk factors. Smoking had a bigger impact on deaths while obesity had a bigger impact on illness.

A big concern is that the the illness associated with obesity may lead to a future decline in life expectancy of the overall population. On the positive, recent numbers suggest that obesity rates are actually reaching a plateau (see my
discussion from Jan 2010) - but there is still much work to be done. As a society, we need to step up obesity prevention, and lend more support and outreach to help overweight people shed the excess pounds. On an individual level, it is important to have a soul-searching look for the best plan to help you lose weight, commit to it, and go for it! There are many options out there to help you out - find the one that is right for you! (a few suggestions here).

Dr. Sue © 2010


Deliciously Calorie Wise Spaghetti!

>> Saturday, February 6, 2010

Yes, even spaghetti can be done in a healthy way. Oil free, with extra lean ground beef and a portion of multigrain noodles, and you're off to the races!! I was inspired by my friends in Calgary and Switzerland to produce this delicious recipe. The trick to making this taste fabulous are to use fresh basil and garlic. A small portion of red wine (50 calories' worth, to be exact) makes it taste totally gourmet.

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 700g extra lean ground beef
  • Sone large can of diced tomato (28 oz)
  • one can tomato paste, sugar free (5.5 oz)
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • one handful fresh basil, chopped
  • dried oregano, 1 tbsp or to taste
  • one small zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 red, orange, or yellow pepper, chopped
  • 4-5 packs Splenda (1g each), to taste
  • ground pepper to taste
Noodles: Catelli Healthy Harvest Multigrain Spaghetti (375g box)

1. Cook ground beef with onion and garlic in a medium pot, until the beef is completely cooked through and brown. Add tomato and tomato paste and simmer on medium heat for 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and simmer 15-20 minutes, to allow flavors to mix. If you like crispier veggies, try adding them in later - eg 10 minutes before simmering is complete.

2. For 2 people, cook 1/4 of the box of noodles according to package directions while the sauce is a simmerin'!

The sauce as above provides SIX servings (Who doesn't love leftovers? I made two family members happy with this one on different nights this week!) PER serving: 220 cal, 23g protein

One serving of noodles, as above (1/8 box or 42g dry): 150 cal, 5g protein, 4.5g fiber

Kraft Lite Parmesan (grated): add one tbsp on top for taste - 22 cal, 2.5g protein

TOTAL: If you ladle one serving of sauce over the portion of noodles above, with 1 tbsp of parmesan: just under 400 calories, and 30g of protein!!

Bon Appetit!

Dr. Sue © 2010



I am excited that you have arrived at my site, and I hope you are too - consider this the first step towards a Healthier New You!! As a medical doctor, Endocrinologist, and obesity specialist, I am absolutely passionate about helping people with weight management. Though there is certainly no magic cure for obesity, there IS a successful treatment plan out there for you - it is all about understanding the elements that contribute to your personal weight struggle, and then finding the treatment plan that suits your needs and your lifestyle. The way to finding your personal solution is to learn as much as you can about obesity: how our toxic environment has shaped us into an overweight society; the diversity of contributors to obesity; and what the treatment options out there are really all about. Knowledge Is Power!!

Are you ready to change your life? Let's begin our journey together, towards a healthier, happier you!!

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