Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Trim Down Tuesdays: Q&A + Beet Salad

Welcome to Trim Down Tuesdays with Karen Moreno, RD, CDN!  Each Tuesday Karen will post answers to questions that you, the readers, ask about diet and/or nutrition AND of course, she'll post one of her own recipes.
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Here’s the question and answer for this week!
1. How can we eat healthy and maintain that type of lifestyle while still enjoying all the foods of the holidays, both Passover and Easter!?
With the holidays right around the corner it can be hard to lose weight. So here's my suggestion! In the two weeks before the holidays, which starts now, focus on exercising and eating right. During the holiday season change your focus to weight maintenance. If you can maintain your weight and refocus once the holidays are over you'll still have time to get in shape for the summer.
Just  a few things to remember:
1. Try to EXERCISE at least 3 times a week. If you can't make it to a gym, try to walk for at least 30 minutes a day and always remember that you can break up your routine into smaller intervals. So three 10 minute bursts of activity are just as good as one 30 minute session.
2. PLAN AHEAD. If you know you are going to a family dinner in the evening make sure to eat a big breakfast and healthy lunch so that your not starving when you get to dinner.
3. If dinner is a BUFFET, make sure to SEE EVERYTHING that is being offered FIRST before starting to build your plate. This way you can pick and choose what you like. Always start by filling your plate with salad and vegetables, then add your protein (chicken, fish, beef) and lastly, add some starch (pasta, rice, potatoes), about a fist-full worth.
4. If your GRANDMA makes your favorite dish only once a year then ENJOY it! Let that be your indulgence and make the rest of your meal healthy.  
5. DESSERT.  If you feel like you need something sweet after your meal, try having a bite of the dessert that's calling for you.  Have one bite for the taste and then stop, because you know the second bite is going to taste just like the first one! :) Fruit is always a good option too.
6. Most importantly, if you give in to your temptations one night, just remember that it's only one meal, be sure to jump right back to where you started the next time around. Don't let one bad meal or snack ruin the day, put a stop to it then and eat healthy at your next meal.
Happy Holidays!

Here's Karen's recipe for this week! It's similar to My Mama's Beets, but not entirely the same at all! 
Did you know that both Beets and Swiss chard are different   within the same plant family? Although beets tend to have a bad stigma due to their high sugar content they are very low in calories. I love beets because of their dark purple color which adds a lot of flavor and color to salads. Not only do beets taste good but they are also full of folate, magnesium, potassium, fiber, and vitamin C which can help protect against birth defects, heart disease, and certain cancers, especially colon cancer. The pigment that gives beets their rich, purple-crimson color-betacyanin- has been shown in many studies to be a powerful cancer-fighting agent. In addition, studies have shown that beets have a very high anti-inflammatory effect on the body. 
When preparing beets, be careful not to stain yourself. I always wear kitchen gloves when preparing them so that I don’t ruin my newly manicured hands. If the beets somehow do make it onto your skin, just rub some lemon juice on them and it will remove the stain (a trick my grandma taught me).
Beet Salad
Serves 6-8 (as a small side salad/appetizer)
4 large beets
¼ cup olive oil
4 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp salt** (not necessary if on a salt restricted diet)
½ tsp sugar
¼ tsp pepper
4 garlic cloves, crushed
½ of a white onion, finely chopped
**Tip: Salt will blunt beets' color, so add only at the end of cooking if needed.

Rinse and clean the beets—remove the leaves and roots. Do not peel. Boil in a pot of water for about 40 minutes, until they are fork tender. Wearing gloves, peel the beets under running water. The skin should come off easily.  Slice the beets and chop into 1-inch thick cubes. 
In a separate bowl mix all the ingredients and whisk until it thickens a little. Pour over the beets and mix it all until it becomes covered with the sauce. Put in the refrigerator and cool for about 1 hr. Serve cold. ENJOY!
Nutrition Content:
Per serving: 97 calories, 1 g protein, 6.7 g carbs, 1.5 g fiber, 7.5 g fat, 1 g sat fat, 376 mg sodium, 174 mg potassium 
—Karen Moreno, RD, CDN


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