Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Cutting Sodium

 Sodium is essential in the body for nerve and muscle function. It also plays an important role in maintaining proper blood pressure and volume. 

Unfortunately, too much sodium is often the case for many Americans. Most Americans intake more than 3400 mg of sodium a day (approx. 1.5 tsp), which is far more than your body needs for these essential functions. This increased intake can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. Another negative effect of excessive sodium intake is calcium loss, leading to decreased bone density. 

Knowing the symptoms of high sodium levels can be very beneficial. Symptoms include excessive thirst, fatigue and confusion. As well as muscle twitching and/or spasms. 

The FDA recommends limiting sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg per day (approx. 1 tsp). Maintaining a moderate intake of sodium can lead to increased health and longevity. 

Simple ways to cut sodium consumption:

#1) Remove salt shakers from the table.

#2) Cook with spices and herbs rather than salt. 

#3) Purchase low-sodium products when shopping.

#4) Consume high sodium foods in moderation.

Some spices and herb blends contain high amounts of sodium. A great option to cut cost, and avoid these sodium traps is to make your own spice blends. Here are several blends to create at your home: 

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Making Realistic Health Adjustments

 It's easy to get stuck in bad habits. Making necessary changes can seem overwhelming and complicated. With our fast paced, quick results society it's common to feel impatient when striving for change.

Being realistic in your expectations can bring change and realistic habit adaptation. USU has created the "Step-Down" principle. This theory can be applied in endless scenarios. 

For example: if you are seeking ways to adjust your budget, and your family loves their weekly movie theatre outing. Rather than completely cancelling your, "new release" movie night, you could adjust to attending a matinee screen time instead.  Or if you prefer attending a less recent release, you could "step-dow", by waiting a few more weeks for the rental release.

This principle can be applied to health habits as well. If you are wanting to cut calories, but love eating out every Friday night, consider ordering a lower calorie entree, or put half of the portion in a to-go box for lunch the next day. 

If your wanting lasting change, you should strive for lifelong health patterns to achieve success. 

Apply this principle in your life, to help you achieve the success you've been striving for. Small steps lead to lasting change and successful outcomes!

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Canned Beans

 Many questions arise with the topic of "canned beans". Healthy choice? Processed? Sodium? 

The truth is, canned beans offer great tasting options and convenience to busy families. They are nutritiously beneficial as they provide ample amounts of fiber and protein; and with the majority of venders offering low-sodium options, you can rest assured that sodium is no longer a concern for this canned selection.

Studies show beans promote overall health and wellness by preventing diseases, managing blood sugar levels, lowering cholesterol, and assistance in weight management. Canned beans allow all these benefits, in the convenience of a can.

The low cost of canned beans is another important factor to consider. As with the versatility to incorporate or replace animal products in your family favorite recipes. 

Here are some simple ways to incorporate canned beans into your weekly menu:

#1 - Stretch your meat supply: In ground meat recipes replace half of the meat with canned beans. This will drastically cut calories and cost.

#2 - Pair with veggies for a filling combo: With the versatility of canned beans, they pair well with just about everything. Their fiber content adds substance to any recipe, while increasing satiety and regularity.


#3 - Add variation and texture to your meal: Beans create another texture profile when added to a recipe. Depending on the cooking style, beans can be soft, crispy or creamy. 

#4 - Healthy snack option: Beans serve as a healthy snack option as well. They are filling and flavorful when paired with herbs, spices, or sauces. As they have the ability to absorb taste and flavor during the cooking process.

Check out these bean recipes your family is sure to love!

Bean and Corn Casserole

Black Bean Quesadilla

Bean and Sweet Potato Bake

Famous Chili

Easy Hummus

Cowboy Guacamole

Crunchy Chickpeas