RECIPES

Southwestern Black Bean Salad

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It’s an appetizer. It’s a meal. It’s low fat!

With a pop of yellow, green and red, this salad not only looks delicious, it’s super healthy and tastes great. Serve beans the southwestern way and your palate will be screaming, “Yum, Yum, Yummy!”

Ingredients: makes about 6 ½ cups

  • 15.5 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 9 oz cooked corn, fresh or frozen (thawed if frozen)
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1/3 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 - 2 limes, juice of
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh minced cilantro (or more to taste)
  • Salt and fresh pepper
  • 1 medium hass avocado, diced
  • 1 diced jalapeno (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine beans, corn, tomato, onion, scallion, cilantro, salt and pepper.
  2. Squeeze fresh lime juice to taste and stir in olive oil.
  3. Marinate in the refrigerator 30 minutes.
  4. Add avocado just before serving.

Nutritional Information: Servings 13; ½ cup portions
Calories 79.5; Fat 3.5g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 127mg (without the salt); Protein 3g; Sugar 1g ; Fiber 3g; Carbohydrates 12g

HEALTHY TIPS

Keep Energized

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Stock up on food, sleep and exercise

Fortunately, you’re not a pink bunny toting around a bass drum, but your body is like a rechargeable battery. The key is keeping it energized. Taking care of your body requires getting the right level and amount of: food, sleep and exercise on a daily basis. 

Food – When it comes to measuring energy, count your calorie intake. Eating the right nutrients can create energy when absorbed in the body. Magnesium is especially important in breaking down glucose into energy. The daily recommended dosage for women is 300 milligrams and 350 milligrams for men.

Sleep – Seven hours is the average amount of sleep a person needs each night. The more rested you feel, the less likely you are to short circuit. Research shows a 60-minute “power nap” can greatly impact the way you process and retain information. 

Exercise – The energy gained from a brisk ten-minute walk can last two hours. Increasing physical activity on a daily basis (even just ten minutes a day) will increase your overall energy levels, improve your mood and keep you healthy.  

*WebMD

HEALTHY TIPS

Coconut Oil – What’s the Hype?

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Disease cure or beauty product?

Does coconut oil prevent or help treat thyroid disease, heart disease and even cancer? NO. The health benefit of using coconut oil has yet to be clinically proven. So, before you stock your pantry with this oil that lacks the smell of real coconut, take stock of what is known. It just might be better suited for your cosmetic bag.

Neither the American Heart Association nor the U.S. Government's 2010 Dietary Guidelines suggest that coconut oil is any better or preferable over other saturated fats.*

Health Benefits
Coconut oil is cholesterol-free but contains the highest amount of saturated fat of any fat. Saturated fats can raise your LDL (bad) cholesterol. So for now, the rule of thumb is limit coconut oil to 7% to 10% of your daily caloric intake.

Cosmetic Benefits 
Coconut oil is found in many natural beauty products because of the many benefits it retains for the skin. When used in its raw form, coconut oil can do everything from soothing dry hands to replenishing natural oils found in your hair.

So, even though coconut oil may not be a proven cure for harmful diseases, it is shown to be the best kept beauty secret on the market today. Oops – guess the secret’s out!

*WebMD

PREVENTION

UV Rays Damage Vision

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Protect your child’s eyes

Sunglasses are more than just a fashion statement. They protect your eyes from harmful ultra-violet (UV) light. Kids especially need to protect their eyes as they’re much more susceptible to vision damage than adults.

Purchase sunglasses that provide UVA and UVB protection.

A child’s eyes cannot filter UV light as well as an adult’s eyes. Retina exposure to UVA and UVB rays can lead to eye disease and conditions like photokeratitis. The best way to prevent eye damage is to outfit your child with a pair of sunglasses.

Review these recommendations before purchasing sunglasses for your family. 

FITNESS TIPS

Burn Calories Fast!

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Try an indoor spin class

“Spinning” is a term for indoor cycling. It’s quickly becoming one of the best low-impact, high-intensity cardiovascular workouts. Whether new to cycling or an experienced rider, you can expect to burn at least 500-700 calories in a 40-minute session. 

What to Expect
All cycling bikes are mounted on a frame and designed to go faster than standard stationary bikes. They have resistance settings that allow you to pedal faster or harder. This low-impact workout offers many health benefits:

  • Easy on the joints
  • Targets and tones lower-body muscles
  • 40-minute intense cardiovascular exercise

Prepare to Spin
Spinning sessions may vary by intensity. Opt for a session based on your fitness level and before you spin, take note of these and other spinning recommendations:

  • Drink lots of fluids
  • Bring a towel
  • Invest in bicycling shorts and shoes