Summer Melon Salad RecipeSummer Melon Salad

Source: MyFoodDiary.com

Summer Melon Salad Recipe

Melon contains few calories and it is rich in vitamins A and C. It also has a high water content, which helps to keep you hydrated. This salad is a sweet and salty combination of fresh melon and crumbled feta cheese. It makes an easy breakfast, or serve it as a side dish at your next picnic.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1/6 recipe
Amount Per Serving
48
Calories
% Daily Value*
1%
Total Fat 0.9g
2%Saturated Fat 0.5g
Trans Fat 0g
1%
Cholesterol 3mg
2%
Sodium 54mg
3%
Total Carbohydrate 10.1g
4%
Dietary Fiber 1.1g
Sugars 9g
Protein 1.3g
*
The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Yield: 6 servings

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups diced cantaloupe
  • 2 cups diced honeydew melon
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp crumbled feta cheese

Directions

  1. Place the cantaloupe and honeydew melon in a bowl. Add the onions, basil and black pepper, and stir well.
  2. Sprinkle with the feta cheese just before serving.

Tips for Staying HydratedTips for Staying Hydrated

Source: MyFoodDiary.com

Tips for Staying Hydrated

Hydration is always a concern during exercise, but it deserves special attention during the summer. Hot and humid weather can quickly turn thirst and fatigue into a dangerous situation and the need for medical attention. With a few simple steps and by paying attention to warning signs, you can stay safe and hydrated during your summer workouts.

Focus On Fluids

Drinking fluids hydrates cells and replenishes the fluid and electrolytes lost through sweat. Most health experts agree that water is sufficient to keep you hydrated when exercising at a moderate intensity for less than one hour. A sports drink that replenishes electrolytes can be beneficial when exercising for longer periods, at a high intensity, or in hot and humid weather.

According to the Mayo Clinic, drinking when you are thirsty is adequate for most healthy adults to stay hydrated throughout the day, but don’t wait for thirst to start hydrating during exercise. The exact amount of fluid you need varies from person to person. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) suggests monitoring both body weight and urine color to determine your hydration level. If your body weight fluctuates by one pound or less after exercise, and your urine is light in color, you are well hydrated.

After assessing hydration status, the ACSM suggests general guidelines for staying hydrated during your workout.

  • Drink 16-20 ounces at least four hours before exercise.
  • Drink 8-12 ounces 10-15 minutes before exercise.
  • During exercise, drink 3-8 ounces every 15-20 minutes.
  • After your workout, drink 20-24 ounces of fluid for every pound lost.

Other Factors in Hydration

During exercise, hydration is related to your sweat rate. Sweating is the body’s way of cooling itself. The harder you exercise, or if you are exercising in a hot environment, the more your body is going to sweat and quickly become dehydrated. On hot days, work out in the early morning or in the evening when the sun is less intense and the temperature is cooler. Choose a route or location that is shaded. On days when the heat or humidity reach dangerous levels, take your workout indoors.

Wear light-colored clothing that will reflect sunlight and choose moisture-wicking fabrics. Clothing made of this material helps the sweat to evaporate, cooling the body. Thick fabrics like cotton can trap sweat, become heavy, and cause you to overheat.

Dangers of Dehydration and Overhydration

When your body loses more fluids than you take in, dehydration occurs. Aside from extreme thirst, the first sign of dehydration is often muscle fatigue. If you do not replenish fluids the symptoms of dehydration become more dangerous and include headache, muscle cramps, dizziness, confusion, and unconsciousness. If you suspect you are becoming dehydrated, take a break, go to a cooler environment, and drink fluids.

Unfortunately, dehydration is not the only concern when it comes to fluid balance. When you take in more fluid than your body is losing in sweat, or you take in too much water without replacing lost electrolytes, blood sodium levels drop. This condition, called hyponatremia, causes symptoms similar to, and as dangerous as, dehydration. The ACSM recommends not consuming more than one quart of fluid per hour during exercise to prevent overhydration.

Sources

6 Things that Make Healthy Foods Unhealthy6 Things that Make Healthy Foods Unhealthy

Source: MyFoodDiary.com

Making Healthy Foods Unhealthy

A salad, baked sweet potato, or grilled chicken breast makes a great base for a healthy meal. Ensure that your nutritious meal doesn’t take a turn for the worse by watching out for these things that quickly make healthy food unhealthy.

Loading up on sauces

A drizzle of your favorite condiment is a good way to add flavor to food, but don’t use so much that it’s dripping. Cheese sauces and mayonnaise-based spreads can be loaded with calories and unhealthy fat. Ketchup, barbecue sauce, and pickle relishes may not pack the same calories, but they can be full of added sugar and sodium. If you prefer saucier foods, stick with lighter options like brown mustard or those that use fresh vegetables like pico de gallo.

Choosing a fat-free dressing

Fat-free salad dressings may be low in calories, but they can reduce the nutritional potential of your salad. Research shows that adding heart-healthy fat to a salad helps the body absorb the valuable fat soluble vitamins in the vegetables. Skip fat-free dressings and add a drizzle of olive oil with balsamic vinegar or a few slices of avocado.

Too many toppings

Cheese, butter and margarine, sour cream, dried fruits, and mayonnaise-based dressings are just a few of toppings that cause the calories and unhealthy fat to pile up. Sprinkle and drizzle lightly and try swapping them for healthier options like salsa, fresh herbs, olive oil, Greek yogurt, and fresh fruits.

Ignoring portion sizes

Controlling portion sizes is one of the best ways to enjoy your favorite foods and satisfy cravings without getting off track. One small cookie after dinner will likely only add 100 extra calories to your day, but an extra-large cookie is like eating a fourth meal. A grilled burger at the neighborhood cookout can work into a healthy eating plan, but a ½ pound restaurant burger loaded with toppings can contain a whole day’s worth of calories.

Selecting store-bought

Store-bought sauces, marinades, and seasoning packets often have added sugar and excess sodium. It only takes a few minutes and a few extra ingredients to make your own. Whether it’s a sauce for a stir-fry, marinara, or a rub for grilled meats, making your own allows you to control ingredients that contain salt, sugar, and trans fat.

Passing up plain

Frozen and canned vegetables can be a healthy option, but added flavorings can ruin the nutritional benefits. Some frozen vegetables contain sauces and seasonings that add unhealthy fat and sodium. Canned foods can be high in sodium and sugar. Check to make sure that the vegetables are the only thing listed on the ingredient list and look for “low sodium,” “no salt added,” and “low sugar.” This allows you to season the food to your tastes, often reducing excess calories, fat, sodium, and sugar.

Tex-Mex Chopped Salad RecipeTex-Mex Chopped Salad

Source: MyFoodDiary.com

Tex-Mex Chopped Salad Recipe

This salad uses seasonal ingredients for fresh flavor and beans for protein. Lightly sautéed vegetables and chopped avocado eliminate the need for salad dressing, which decreases total calories and fat. Enjoy it as a side dish at dinner, or take it to work for a healthy lunch.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1/4 recipe
Amount Per Serving
206
Calories
% Daily Value*
14%
Total Fat 9.3g
6%Saturated Fat 1.3g
Trans Fat 0g
0%
Cholesterol 0mg
9%
Sodium 196mg
9%
Total Carbohydrate 26.6g
31%
Dietary Fiber 8.7g
Sugars 3.5g
Protein 7.7g
*
The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Yield: 4 servings

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 ½ cup chopped red bell pepper
  • ½ cup onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Kernels from 1 ear of fresh corn (about 2/3 cup)
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp fine ground sea salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 8 to 10 cups spring mix lettuce, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup no-salt-added kidney or black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 avocado, chopped

Directions

  1. Heat ½ tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high in a large skillet. Add the bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables start to become tender. Add the corn and cook 2 more minutes.
  2. Stir in the chili powder, salt, and black pepper. Sprinkle the vegetables with the lime juice. Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro and the remaining ½ tablespoon of olive oil. Let cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Divide the greens evenly on 4 serving plates. Top with ¼ cup of the beans. Divide the cooked vegetables into 4 portions and place an equal amount over each salad. Add ¼ of the chopped avocado to each salad and serve.

Tips to Prevent High Blood PressureTips to Prevent High Blood Pressure

Source: MyFoodDiary.com

Prevent High Blood Pressure

Normal blood pressure is less than 120 millimeters of mercury over less than 80 millimeters of mercury. Maintaining a normal blood pressure reading is important for heart health, but lifestyle, food, and the environment can cause numbers to creep up to unhealthy levels. Here are a few ways to prevent high blood pressure and promote heart health.

Monitor your weight and waist

Being overweight increases your risk of developing high blood pressure. If you are overweight, losing as little as five pounds can help lower your reading. In addition to the number on the scale, waist circumference also plays a role in your risk level. Men who have a waist greater than 40 inches and women with a waist greater than 35 inches are at greater risk for high blood pressure.

Pay attention to more than sodium

Health experts recommend that sodium intake be limited 2,300 milligrams per day, but regulating blood pressure involves more than sodium. Potassium helps to lessen the effects of excess sodium and regulate blood pressure. Research also shows that getting adequate amounts of calcium and magnesium also helps to keep blood pressure at healthy levels.

Keep moving

Regular exercise helps keep blood pressure within normal ranges as you age. It is also a key component of losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight. If your blood pressure begins to increase, research shows that regular physical activity can decrease systolic blood pressure (the top number) by four to nine millimeters of mercury. This is similar to the effect of some blood pressure medications. Be patient and stay active. It takes one to three months for exercise to have an influence on blood pressure levels.

Create stress outlets

Too much stress can lead to high blood pressure, but it is still unclear how this happens. It could be that stress affects other factors that contribute to elevated levels like overeating high-sodium foods, weight gain, or lack of exercise. It may also be the effect of elevated stress hormones. The bottom line is that reducing stress promotes healthy blood pressure. Finding outlets that relieve your stress will help to reduce its impact on your health. Take breaks for relaxation exercises, get in regular workouts, use your vacation days, or try yoga and meditation.

Stay smoke-free

Smoking and second-hand smoke cause damage to the blood vessels, which increases the risk for high blood pressure. Stay away from smoky environments, and if you smoke, stop.

Sources

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