Monday, December 19, 2011

Healthier Snacks for Santa's Snacks

You can make many of your favorite recipes healthier by using lower-fat or no-fat ingredients. These healthy substitutions can help you cut down on saturated. Try subbing this for that. You're skinny jeans will thank you later.

When recipe calls for . . .

Whole milk (1 cup) use
1 cup fat-free or low-fat milk, plus one tablespoon of liquid vegetable oil

Heavy cream (1 cup) use 1 cup evaporated skim milk or 1/2 cup low-fat yogurt and 1/2 cup plain low-fat unsalted cottage cheese

Sour cream use Low-fat unsalted cottage cheese plus low-fat or fat-free yogurt; or just use fat-free sour cream

Cream cheese use 4 tablespoons soft margarine (low in saturated fat and 0 grams trans fat) blended with 1 cup dry, unsalted low-fat cottage cheese; add a small amount of fat-free milk if needed

Butter (1 tablespoon) use 1 tablespoon soft margarine (low in saturated fat and 0 grams trans fat) or 3/4 tablespoon liquid vegetable oil

Egg (1) use 2 egg whites; or choose a commercially made, cholesterol-free egg substitute (1/4 cup)

Unsweetened baking chocolate (1 ounce) use 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder or carob powder plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or soft margarine; since carob is sweeter than cocoa, reduce the sugar in the recipe by 25%

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

True or False: Next Year You Plan to Eat Out Less?

According to a poll in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A recent Harris Poll showed 61 percent of U.S. adults say they'll likely spend less in restaurants, while 58 percent say they'll cut back on entertainment during the next six months.
Those sentiments haven't changed much over the past three years, according to Harris, which has been tracking Americans' spending and savings habits. These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,499 adults surveyed online between Nov. 7 and Nov. 14 by Harris Interactive. The latest responses are similar to those from a similar survey conducted in May.

The average person typically spends about 46% of his/her food budget on dining out. Slightly over 32% is spent dining outside of the home. Given the results from the poll if over 60% plan to spend less on dining out and make more meals at home, do you think that would affect the obesity rate?

Keeping it local, Houston was ranked number 1 in terms of cities the dine out. The average Houstonians ate their meals out three times per week. The current obesity rate is a little less than 30%. Maybe next year people will live healthier lives void of overpriced meals that are high in calories. What's your thoughts?

Click here to read the entire article:

Monday, December 12, 2011

Coalition Building Call

Join the American Heart Association's Houston DINEs and the Midwest Academy for a call on Coalition Building TODAY ONLY!

Have you ever met other organizations in your field doing similar work and wondered if you should work together as a coalition? Or have you joined a coalition that turned out to be a waste of everyone's time and energy? How do you decide whether your organization should join a coalition or build a new one? How can you help an ineffective coalition become healthy and effective?

Join the Midwest Academy and the American Heart Association for a lunchtime webinar (12 - 1:30pm) on Monday, December 12th to discuss solutions to these questions and hear best practices for joining, building and sustaining a healthy and effective coalition.

When: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 12:00 PM-1:30 PM. Central Standard TimeWhere: 888-709-8938 pass code 6554263

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Meet Michelle Aguilar, The Biggest Loser's Biggest Winner

Join the Houston DINEs Grassroots Action Team meeting on December 13 at 6 p.m. along with Michelle Aguilar, winner of NBC’s The Biggest Loser.

Michelle will tell her awe-inspiring story of struggling with obesity, her triumphant journey of weight loss and what it felt like to win season 6 of The Biggest Loser. Michelle will also share information about the Houston DINEs obesity prevention campaign, weight loss tips, and principles she used to conquer her struggles. This meeting will provide a platform for strong community advocates such as you to alert the community about various health issues.

Together, we can find ways to combat obesity and make Houston healthier!

When: 6 - 7:30 p.m. on December 13, 2011

Where: American Heart Association 10060 Buffalo Speedway Houston, TX 77063

Why: Because You’re the Cure! Cost:This event is free!

Please donate your time to the cause by submitting your RSVP to

Friday, December 2, 2011

Holiday Pounds

The holidays are a time for giving thanks, spending time with friends and family, wearing ugly Christmas sweaters and…packing on pounds. The average adult (depending on gender and age) should have within 1500-2000 calories TOTAL per DAY. Calories need to go in (for energy purposes) and most come out (by exercising) or a person will gain weight. Check out the calorie totals for these favorite holiday delicacies.

How many have calories are you eating?

Six-ounces of turkey = 400 calories
1/2 cup of gravy = 150 calories
1/2 cup of cranberry sauce = 150 calories
1/2 cup green bean casserole = 150 calories
1/2 cup mashed potatoes = 150 calories
1 roll = 100 calories
1/2 cup sweet potatoes casserole = 300 calories
1/2 cup stuffing = 150 calories
Pie = 300 to 500 calories depending on kind

One meal containing each of these items can add up to 1750 calories! That doesn’t include more calories if you didn’t pay attention to serving seizes or if you had seconds or thirds. The average holiday meal is closer to 2,500 calories. You will need to walk almost 26 to burn it off.

Information provided by the Oliver Foundation

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cracking the Zip Code Crisis

#DidYouKnow that in a national study of 28,000 zip codes lower income zip codes that 25% fewer per capita supermarkets than its middle class counterparts. It’s no surprise that a lack of a healthy diet leads to higher risk of chronic diseases. Nearly 2/3rd of all Texans are either overweight or obese. People who live in neighborhoods with a lack of supermarkets have way higher rates of obesity which often correlates with heart disease and/or diabetes.

In a poll conducted by Ebony magazine respondents were asked a basic question: “Which of the following will be effective at reducing the number of obese persons?’ Here are their responses.

What’s more important to you?

· Make physical education part of everyday school life 76%
· Public Health education 59%
· More parks and gyms 50%
· Easier access to grocery stores with fresh produce 49%
· Fewer local fast food restaurants 40%
· Better food labeling 35%
· Restaurant food information 27%

The last three resonated with us. Research is showing that more and more people are eating more meals outside of the home. More food portions are way larger than they used to be, more calorie laden and cheaper. If you lived in a city that menu labels how would that affect you eating habits? If you live in a city that doesn’t menu label does that help or hinder your health.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Houston Ranks #1 In Average Meals Eaten Out

And the survey says… Houston ranks No. 1 in the average number of meals eaten out of the home per week. That’s according to Zagat’s 2012 America’s Top Restaurants survey. The survey found that Houstonians eat meals out an average of four times per week, and Houston wasn’t alone. Texas cities rounded out the top four with Austin (3.8 meals per week), Dallas / Fort Worth (3.6) and San Antonio (3.5).

These numbers prove that now more than ever Houstonians needs to make healthy choices while dining out. It has been proven that foods eaten away from the home typically are served in larger portion sizes and are higher in energy density compared to food eaten at home.

By making healthier choices while dining out Houstonians can help lower instances of Type 2 diabetes, hypercholesterolemia and obesity.

Are you dining out four or more times per week? Stick to healthy choices and make a difference in your future.

See the link below to the full article.

M. Allen