Mary’s Memo #2255

     Advertisements for Ensure® Muscle Health claim that this new nutrition beverage helps counter the natural muscle loss that occurs with aging. Though it appears to be safe, it is not recommended as a way to tone up. Instead, go with what’s known to increase muscle mass: regular strength training and a diet with adequate calories and protein. You can easily get the amount of protein in a serving of Muscle Health with far fewer calories by drinking 1-1/2 cups of nonfat milk (165 calories) or eating a cup of nonfat or low-fat yogurt (130 to 140 calories) or two large eggs (145 calories). And if you eat a balanced diet, you don’t need a nutrient-fortified beverage.
Source: University of California at Berkeley Wellness Letter, February 2012.


     Chef Renee Gabbett at the tapas class I attended during the holidays demonstrated a way to crack an egg that was new to me. She took two eggs and cracked them together and only one cracked. Not only that, there were no pieces of shell that dropped into what she was making. I have since tried this at home and it works!


     If you want to eat a smaller lunch, grab a handful of walnuts beforehand. When people were given five walnut halves to eat one hour before lunch, they ate fewer potato chips and more fruit than a control group who received 70 calories of crackers. Walnuts are not only good for your diet; they boost your heart and brain health. The tough part is restricting you to two and a half nuts.
Source: Brian Wansink, PhD, AARP THE MAGAZINE.

     For years I’ve talked about doing a program on observations I’ve made while working in the Bryan Chief produce department. I finally did it this fall for a church group in Bryan (contact me, if interested). Much of the talk is humorous. For example, a young couple was shopping for bananas and the man commented that they were too green. The response from the girl was that of course they were green; it was January, as if the month of the year had anything
to do with the stage of ripeness. But there’s a serious
side to my talk, also. Over 66 percent of people in Williams County are overweight or obese and people in Ohio are not far behind at 65 percent! Shocking statistics? You bet they are. Losing weight is not easy and I sympathize with those who have difficulty doing it but it’s worth the effort for your health’s sake. My advice: eat less and exercise more!STAIRWAY TO HEALTH
     You don’t have to join a gym or even change your exercise clothes to have free access to a fine piece of exercise equipment: stairs. Climbing stairs regularly can improve cardiovascular fitness and strength. Climbing stairs is primarily an aerobic activity. That is, it gives your heart and circulatory system a workout and it will improve leg strength, too. Start with 25 steps or so and gradually increase the number you climb. Keep your back straight or bend slightly forward from your hips. Going down stairs is also good exercise.
Source: University of California at Berkeley Wellness Letter, January 2012.

     I like potatoes just about any way they’re fixed. Potatoes fit into a diet plan because the potato is not fattening; it’s what’s added to them that can be the culprit. A favorite, low calorie potato recipe from daughter Mary Ann is Oven Browned Potatoes from the March 5, 1996, Mary’s Memo. She notes that the oil mixture keeps in the refrigerator so this can also be a 1 or 2 serving recipe, using just enough of the herb-seasoned oil to coat the number of potatoes you’re cooking at a time.


1-1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil2 cloves minced garlic1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano1-1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary1 teaspoon kosher salt1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper10 medium red potatoesSweet paprikaIn a large mixing bowl combine oil, garlic, oregano, rosemary, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and set aside. Preheat oven to 425ºF with rack in the middle. Scrub and quarter the potatoes. Pat dry with a paper towel. Add potatoes to mixing bowl and with a rubber spatula stir and toss the potatoes to coat them with oil mixture. Line a jelly roll pan with aluminum foil. Spread potatoes evenly in the pan, cut side up. Sprinkle with paprika to taste. Bake until potatoes
are browned. About 25 to 35 minutes or until tender
(check at 25 minutes). Serve immediately. Recipe makes 6 servings.
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