Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Apple Cranberry Spice Muffins

Ingredients:
1 1/3 cups Flour
1/2 cup Sugar
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
Pinch of Ground Cloves
Pinch of Salt
2 Eggs
1/4 cup Canola Oil
1 cup Sour Cream
1 large Granny Smith Apple (peeled, cored, and finely chopped)
1/2 cup Walnuts (finely chopped)- optional
1/2 cup Sweetened Dried Cranberries

Directions:
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease the bottoms only of 12 standard muffin cups. In large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, oil, and sour cream until well blended. Add the egg mixture, apples, walnuts and dried cranberries to the dry ingredients. Stir just until the batter is blended, then divide it among the muffin cups. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean. Let the muffins cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes before removing them. Makes 1 dozen.

(http://www.familyfun.com/)

Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
3 Cloves Garlic (finely chopped)
1 (14.5 oz) can Diced Tomatoes (not drained)
1/4 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
10 Kalamata Olives (pitted and chopped)
1 1/2 lb Medium Shrimp (peeled, deveined and rinsed)
3 oz. Feta Cheese Crumbles
1 tsp. Dried Oregano

Directions:
Warm oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, crushed red pepper and olives, and simmer until mixture is thickened, about 10 minutes. Add shrimp and cook, stirring until shrimp are pink and firm, 4 to 5 minutes. Divide shrimp into 4 servings and sprinkle each with feta cheese and oregano. Serve hot.

(www.allyou.com)

Simple Beef Stew

Ingredients:
2 1/2 lb. Beef Chuck (trim fat and cut into 1-inch cubes)
Salt and Pepper
4 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour
3 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
2 Onions (cut into wedges)
6 Carrots (cut into 1-inch pieces)
8 Cloves Garlic (finely chopped)
1 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1 1/2 cups Dry Red Wine
1/2 tsp Dried Thyme
1 Bay Leaf

* consider serving with a side of No-Yolk Egg Noodles

Directions:
Place meat in bowl; season with salt and pepper and coat with flour. Warm 2 tbsp oil in skillet over med-high heat. Fry half of the meat until brown all over, about 4 minutes, and place cubes in slow cooker. Warm remaining 1 tbsp oil in skillet and fry remaining meat and place in slow cooker. Add onions and carrots to skillet and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Add garlic; cook for one minute longer. Add onion mixture to slow cooker. Pour vinegar and wine into skillet, bring to a boil and then add mixture to slowcooker. Season mixture with salt, pepper and thyme; add bay leaf. Cover and cook on low heat until meat is tender, about 5-6 hours. Remove bay leaf and serve hot.

(http://www.allyou.com/)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Creatine Use: Hype or Help

Collegiate athletes often ask their athletic trainers for their opinion regarding the use of creatine for muscle gains. While we do see a correlation between the use of creatine and muscle development, we also see a strong relationship to its use and muscle cramping. The trends seen also raise concern for muscle strains associated with creatine use, particularly during the "loading phase." Over the years, the need for a loading phase has largely been disspelled as a way to get the consumer to buy more product. With the use of creatine, we now know that more is not better.

The following news story came from research that was done by Assistant Professor Mike Powers of the University of Florida while studying at the University of Virginia.

UF Researcher Unlocks Secrets of Popular Supplement Creatine
March 23, 2000


GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- A new study by a University of Florida professor finally helps explain some of the side effects associated with the popular muscle enhancer creatine.

Muscle cramping, heat illness and even kidney problems have long been rumored to be associated with taking the supplement, but previous studies couldn't explain these problems.

Now, in a study funded by one of the largest grants ever awarded by the National Athletic Trainers Association Research and Education Foundation, Michael Powers, an assistant professor in UF's department of exercise and sport sciences, shows for the first time that creatine increases both the body's overall water content and its ratio between intracellular and extracellular water.

The finding is important because it explains how the body's natural balance is thrown off by creatine consumption....

To continue with this story, click on the website below: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/03/000322150513.htm

Reference: Science Daily, Writer- Kristin Harmel, March 2000

Friday, November 9, 2007

Food Label Confusion

Nutrient Content Claims

Under regulations from the Food and Drug Administration of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the food label offers more complete, useful and accurate nutrition information than ever before.

With today's food labels, consumers get:

  • Nutrition information about almost every food in the grocery store distinctive, easy-to-read formats that enable consumers to more quickly find the information they need to make healthful food choices
  • Information on the amount per serving of saturated fat, cholesterol, dietary fiber, and other nutrients of major health concern
  • Nutrient reference values, expressed as % Daily Values, that help consumers see how a food fits into an overall daily diet
  • Uniform definitions for terms that describe a food's nutrient content--such as "light," "low-fat," and "high-fiber"--to ensure that such terms mean the same for any product on which they appear
  • Claims about the relationship between a nutrient or food and a disease or health-related condition, such as calcium and osteoporosis, and fat and cancer. These are helpful for people who are concerned about eating foods that may help keep them healthier longer.
  • Standardized serving sizes that make nutritional comparisons of similar products easier
  • Declaration of total percentage of juice in juice drinks. This enables consumers to know exactly how much juice is in a product.
The regulations also spell out what terms may be used to describe the level of a nutrient in a food and how they can be used. These are the core terms:
  • Free. This term means that a product contains no amount of, or only trivial or "physiologically inconsequential" amounts of, one or more of these components: fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, sugars, and calories. For example, "calorie-free" means fewer than 5 calories per serving, and "sugar-free" and "fat-free" both mean less than 0.5 g per serving. Synonyms for "free" include "without," "no" and "zero." A synonym for fat-free milk is "skim".
  • Low. This term can be used on foods that can be eaten frequently without exceeding dietary guidelines for one or more of these components: fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, and calories. Thus, descriptors are defined as follows:
    Low-fat: 3 g or less per serving
    Low-saturated fat: 1 g or less per serving
    Low-sodium: 140 mg or less per serving
    Very low sodium: 35 mg or less per serving
    Low-cholesterol: 20 mg or less and 2 g or less of saturated fat per serving
    Low-calorie: 40 calories or less per serving.

Synonyms for low include "little," "few," "low source of," and "contains a small amount of."
Lean and extra lean. These terms can be used to describe the fat content of meat, poultry, seafood, and game meats.

  • Lean: less than 10 g fat, 4.5 g or less saturated fat, and less than 95 mg cholesterol per serving and per 100 g.
  • Extra lean: less than 5 g fat, less than 2 g saturated fat, and less than 95 mg cholesterol per serving and per 100 g.
  • High. This term can be used if the food contains 20 percent or more of the Daily Value for a particular nutrient in a serving.
  • Good source. This term means that one serving of a food contains 10 to 19 percent of the Daily Value for a particular nutrient.
  • Reduced. This term means that a nutritionally altered product contains at least 25 percent less of a nutrient or of calories than the regular, or reference, product. However, a reduced claim can't be made on a product if its reference food already meets the requirement for a "low" claim.
  • Less. This term means that a food, whether altered or not, contains 25 percent less of a nutrient or of calories than the reference food. For example, pretzels that have 25 percent less fat than potato chips could carry a "less" claim. "Fewer" is an acceptable synonym.
  • Light. This descriptor can mean two things: First, that a nutritionally altered product contains one-third fewer calories or half the fat of the reference food. If the food derives 50 percent or more of its calories from fat, the reduction must be 50 percent of the fat.
    Second, that the sodium content of a low-calorie, low-fat food has been reduced by 50 percent. In addition, "light in sodium" may be used on food in which the sodium content has been reduced by at least 50 percent. The term "light" still can be used to describe such properties as texture and color, as long as the label explains the intent--for example, "light brown sugar" and "light and fluffy."

A more complete list of the regulations that pertain to food labeling can be found at the following address: http://www.fda.gov/opacom/backgrounders/foodlabel/newlabel.html

Thursday, November 1, 2007

How To Read A Label

If you are having some difficulty in understanding what each category means on a food label, use this post to help clarify your questions.

Serving Size
The nutrition label always lists a serving size, which is an amount of food, such as 1 cup of cereal, two cookies, or five pretzels. The nutrition label tells you how many nutrients are in that amount of food. Serving sizes also help people understand how much they're eating. If you ate 10 pretzels, that would be two servings.
Servings per Container or Package
The label also tells you how many servings are contained in that package of food. If there are 15 servings in a box of cookies and each serving is 2 cookies, then you have enough for all 30 kids in your class to have one cookie each. Math comes in handy with food labels!
Calories and Calories From Fat
The number of calories in a single serving of the food is listed on the left of the label. This number tells you the amount of energy in the food. People pay attention to calories because if you eat more calories than your body uses, you might gain weight.
Another important part of the label is the number of calories that come from fat. People check this because it's good to limit fat intake. The calories in a food can come from fat, protein, or carbohydrate.
Percent Daily Value
You'll see percentages on food labels that are based on recommended daily allowances - meaning the amount of something a person should get each day. For instance, there's a recommended daily allowance for fat, so the food label might say that one serving of this food meets 10% of the daily value. The daily values are based on an adult's needs, not a kids' needs. These are often similar, but kids need may need more or less of certain nutrients, depending on their age and size. Some percent daily values are based on the amount of calories and energy a person needs. These include carbohydrates, proteins, and fat. Other percent daily values - like those for sodium, potassium, vitamins, and minerals - stay the same no matter how many calories a person eats.
Total Fat
The total fat is the number of fat grams contained in one serving of the food. Fat is an important nutrient that your body uses for growth and development, but you don't want to eat too much. The different kinds of fat, such as saturated, unsaturated, and trans fat, will be listed separately on the label.
Cholesterol and Sodium
These numbers tell you how much cholesterol and sodium (salt) are in a single serving of the food. They are included on the label because some people need to limit cholesterol or salt in their diets. Cholesterol and sodium are usually measured in milligrams.
Total Carbohydrate
This number tells you how many carbohydrate grams are in one serving of food. Carbohydrates are your body's primary source of energy. This total is broken down into grams of sugar and grams of dietary fiber.
Protein
This number tells you how much protein you get from a single serving of the food. Your body needs protein to build and repair essential parts of the body, such as muscles, blood, and organs. Protein is often measured in grams.
Vitamin A and Vitamin C
These list the amounts of vitamin A and vitamin C, two especially important vitamins, in a serving of the food. Each amount is given as a percent daily value. If a food provides 20% of the RDA for vitamin A, that one serving of food gives an adult one fifth of the vitamin A needed for the day.
Calcium and Iron
These list the percentages of calcium and iron, two especially important minerals, that are in a serving of the food. Again, each amount is given as a percent daily value. If a food has 4% of iron, you're getting 4% of the iron you need for the whole day from that serving.

http://www.kidshealth.org

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Baked Eggplant Parmesean

Ingredients:

1 Eggplant- sliced into 1/2 inch slices
Seasoned Breadcrumbs
1 cup Low Moisture, Part-Skim Mozzarella- shredded
1/2 cup Parmesean- shredded
1 jar Marinara Sauce
Olive Oil
Black Pepper
Italian Seasoning
Salt

Directions:
Lightly salt sliced eggplant on both sides and let stand on a paper towel for 30 minutes. Dip moistened eggplant into breadcrumbs and cover both sides. Drizzle with olive oil and baked on a non-stick cookie sheet at 350F for 20 minutes or until brown (no need to flip). In baking dish, starting with sauce, layer eggplant, cheese and seasoning. Repeat until all eggplant is used. Finsh with sauce and cheese on top layer. Baked at 350F for 50 minutes.


White Chicken Chili

Ingredients:
8 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast- cut into 1 inch pieces
2 cans Garbanzo Beans- drained
2 cans Navy Beans- drained
2 cans Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1 cup Water
2 cans White Corn
3 (4 oz) cans Diced Green Chilis
1 White Onion- thinly sliced
2 Cloves Garlic- minced
1 tsp Louisiana Hot Sauce
1 tsp White Pepper
1 tsp Cumin
1 tbsp Olive Oil
Parmesean Cheese

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F. Saute onion, garlic and cumin in olive oil until onions are translucent. Combine chicken, beans, corn, chilis, pepper, Louisiana hot sauce, water and chicken broth in Dutch oven. Add onion mixture to it. Stir well. Cover and cook for 50 minutes. Top with fresh grated parmesean.

Ratatouille

Ingredients:
3 Zucchini- quartered and sliced
6 small Yellow Squash- halved and sliced
1 lb Whole Mushrooms- cleaned and halved
1 Red Onion- thinly sliced
2 cans Tomato Sauce
2 cans Whole Peeled Tomatoes
1/2 tsp Garlic- minced
1 tsp Marjoram
1 tsp Oregano
Thin Sliced Low-Moisture, Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese

Brown or White Rice- Cook as directed and serve with Ratatouille

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a large soup pot and cook on med-high for about 25 minutes or until vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally. Take off heat and layer the top with cheese slices. Allow cheese to melt and serve over brown or white rice.

Corn Shrimp Soup

Ingredients:
2 lbs Small or Medium Shrimp- uncooked, peeled, deveined
2 (14 oz) cans Diced Tomatoes
1 Red Onion- chopped
4 Stalks Celery- chopped
1 Green Bell Pepper- chopped
2 Cloves Garlic- minced
1 can Sweet Yellow Corn
1 can Cream Corn
1 can Green Chilis- diced
1 bunch Scallions- chopped
2 cans Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1/4 tsp Ground Red Pepper
1 tbsp Worcestershire
1 cup Water
1/4 tsp Black Pepper

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a crock pot and cook 4-6 hours.

Spinach Dip

Ingredients:
1 box Frozen Chopped Spinach
1 carton Fat-Free Sour Cream
1 can Waterchestnuts- peeled and sliced
1 envelope Good Seasons Ranch Mix

Directions:
Thaw spinach and squeeze out excess moisture. Add to sour cream and mix. Stir in ranch dip mix. Chop waterchestnuts and add to sour cream mixture. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Homemade Soft Pretzels

Ingredients:
2 tbsp Warm Water
1 1/3 cups Warm Water
1 package Dry Yeast
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
5 cups Flour (3c Wheat/2c White)
1/2 cup Baking Soda
Kosher Salt

Directions:
Preheat oven to 475F. Mix 2 tbsp water with dry yeast to dissolve. Stir in the rest of the warm water and brown sugar. Mix in flour until it forms a ball. Knead until smooth. Use cooking spray to coat 2 cookie sheets. Bring large pot of water and baking soda to a boil. Using about a golf ball size of dough, roll and form into the shape you choose. Carefully drop the shaped dough into the water for 30 seconds or until they rise to the top. Put on the cookie sheets and sprinkle with salt. Bake 8-10 minutes until golden brown.

Pumpkin Spice Bread

Ingredients:
2 cups Unbleached Flour
1 cup Brown Sugar- packed
1 tbsp Baking Powder
2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Ginger
1/4 tsp Cloves
1 (15oz) canned Pumpkin
1/2 cup Skim Milk
2 Eggs Whites- whipped
1/3 cup Fat-Free Sour Cream

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare bundt pan or loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside. Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves in large mixing bowl. In medium mixing bowl, combine pumpkin, skim milk, egg whites and sour cream. Spoon the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture and mix just until moistened. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 60 minutes.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

ADD and ADHD: Do Foods Make a Difference?

Do you know a teenager who has an inability to stay focused on a given task? Were you a child who found it impossible to sit still in your seat during school? Are you being told your child has a discipline problem? These are common complaints heard by physicians all over the world. After thorough testing and evaluation, the physician may give a diagnosis of ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) or ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder).

While these children often see an improvement with the addition of medications, little emphasis is ever put on the value of a sound diet. There is some evidence that there could nutrients missings from one's diet that could help with some of the side effects of ADD/ADHD. Some research has even shown that certain foods may even be triggers for some symptoms.

The following article written by Susan Kundrat discusses some of the research being done that draws a link between the cause and effect of nutrition on this disorder.

From the website: http://www.nutritiononthemove.net
"Susan Kundrat, MS, RD, LDN , CSSD, is the President and founder of Nutrition on the Move, Inc. A Licensed, Registered Dietitian, Susan has a passion for helping clients learn to eat to enhance overall health and wellness. Susan is a member of the Gatorade Sports Nutrition Board."


NUTRITION and ADD/ADHD

"Medication can control many symptoms, but doesn’t address the underlying causes and may result in side effects. Therefore, many parents and health practitioners are looking for diet-based alternatives..."


To continue reading this article, click on the website below:
http://www.foodproductdesign.com/articles/465/465_0601nn.html

Properly Fuel Your Body

There are so many variables that play a roll in a team's overall performance and success. Coaches often focus their attention on the technical aspects of the game, who is the best player for a given scheme and perhaps even motivate them through inspiring speeches.

An area that is sometimes overlooked by coaches is the importance of fueling their athletes. What if they have not eaten a sound pre-game meal? What happens if the athlete has not prepared for the event by increasing their fluid intake? Evidence that shows what an athlete eats and drinks before and after an athletic event can have a major impact on their performance.

This article by Susan Kundrat outlines the importance of the following topics:

  1. Hydration
  2. Foods for High Energy
  3. Quick Snack Ideas
  4. Foods to Have On-Hand

From the website: http://www.nutritiononthemove.net "Susan Kundrat, MS, RD, LDN , CSSD, is the President and founder of Nutrition on the Move, Inc. A Licensed, Registered Dietitian, Susan has a passion for helping clients learn to eat to enhance overall health and wellness. Susan is a member of the Gatorade Sports Nutrition Board."

FOODS AND FLUIDS FOR FITNESS

"People who are involved in an exercise program for fitness and health can learn to maximize their training efforts and get more out of a workout by learning to fuel their bodies with the right foods and fluids...."

To continue reading this article, click on the website below:
http://www.gssiweb.com/Article_Detail.aspx?articleid=673

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tomato Salsa

Ingredients:
1 lb Tomatoes- peeled if desired, seeded and chopped
1 small Onion- minced
1 Jalapeno Chili- seeded and minced
1 tbsp Lime Juice
2 tbsp chopped coriander (if desired)
Salt

Directions:
In a bowl, toss the tomatoes, onion, chili pepper, lime juice, coriander and salt (to taste) and let salsa stand for at least 30 minutes. Serve.

Tortellini with Spinach and Cherry Tomatoes

Ingredients:
1 (9 oz) pack Three-Cheese Tortellini
2 tsp Olive Oil
2 tsp Minced Garlic
1/2 to 3/4 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
2 cups Cherry Tomatoes- halved
1/4 cup Fat-Free, Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
1 tbsp Fresh Basil- chopped
1/4 tsp Salt
1 (6 oz) package Fresh Baby Spinach

Directions:
Cook tortellini according to package directions. While tortellini cooks, heat oil in large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and red pepper; saute 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, broth, basil, salt, and baby spinach to pan. Cook 2 minutes or until baby spinach wilts. Stir in tortellini and cook 1 additional minute.

Hummus

Ingredients:

1 (15 oz) can Chickpeas (about 2 cups)
1 Lemon
2 tbsp Tahini
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 small Garlic Clove
Small Handful of Fresh Parsley Leaves
1/4 tsp Salt
Black Pepper
1/4 tsp Ground Cumin
Paprika (optional)

Directions:
Drain chickpeas in colander and rinse. Drain again, then remove 1 tbsp of chickpeas and set aside. Place the remaining chickpeas in food processor. Cut lemon in half and squeeze out juice into food processor being careful to remove seeds. Add tahini, olive oil, garlic clove, parsley, salt, pepper and cumin to chickpea mix. Process mix for 20 seconds. Remove lid and scrap down sides with rubber spatula and puree for an additional 20 seconds. Add remaining chickpeas and pulse for 3 seconds. Spoon hummus into serving dish. Sprinkle with paprika (optional).


Guacamole

Ingredients:

1-2 Ripe Avocados
1 Medium Tomato
1/2 Medium Red Onion
2 tsp Lime Juice (can use fresh lime)
1 Small Garlic Clove
1 Green Chili Pepper- seeded and chopped
Salt
Black Pepper
Directions:
Cut the avocado in half lengthwise, all around the pit. Twist gently and pull apart. Remove the pit. Using a spoon, scoop around the inside of the skin and remove flesh and put into a bowl. Gently mash with a fork into a lumpy puree. Add chopped onion and chopped green chili to puree. Cut the tomato into quarters. Trim off the core then cut each quarter into 8 to 10 chunks. Add to avocado. Add 2 tsp of lime juice to the avocado mixture. Peel garlic and chop it finely; add to avocado. Add salt and pepper to taste.



Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Creamy Basil and Tomato Pasta

Ingredients:

2 lbs Tomatoes- chopped (about 3 cups)
1 (8 oz) pkg Philadelphia Light Cream Cheese- cubed
1/4 cup Kraft Sun Dried Tomato Vinaigrette Dressing
1/2 cup Fresh Basil- chopped
1 (16 oz) pkg Whole Wheat or Barilla Plus Linguine or Fettucini
1/2 cup Pine Nuts- toasted (optional)

Directions:
Toss tomatoes with cream cheese and dressing; cover. refrigerate at least 2 hours. Cook pasta as directed on package; drain. Place in large bowl. Add tomato mixture and pine nuts; toss lightly.

Creamy Spinach and Tortellini

Ingredients:
1 (16 oz) package Fresh or Frozen Uncooked Cheese Tortellini
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 cup Onion- chopped
3 Garlic Cloves- chopped
1 (9 oz) package Frozen Chopped Spinach- thawed
1 Large Tomato- cubed
1/4 cup Fresh Basil
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
1 cup Reduced Fat Whipping Cream
1/4 cup Freshly Grated Parmesean Cheese

Directions:
Cook tortellini according to package directions; drain and return to pan to keep warm. In large pan over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add onion and garlic; saute 4 minutes or until light brown. Stir in spinach, tomato, basil, salt and pepper; cook another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in whipping bream and parmesean cheese. Cook until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and mix in tortellini and cook another 4 minutes until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat and transfer to individual serving plates and top with additional parmesean cheese.

www.whatscookingamerica.net

Red Beans and Sausage

Ingredients:

2 lbs Hickory Smoked Sausage- sliced
1 Red Bell Pepper- chopped
1 Green Bell Pepper- chopped
3 Celery Ribs- chopped
1 cup Onion- chopped
4 Garlic Cloves- minced
3 (15 oz) can Red Beans- drained
1 (15 oz) can Tomato Sauce
1 2/3 cups Water
3 tbsp Sweet Pepper Sauce
1 tbsp Worchestershire Sauce
2 tsp Hot Sauce
1 1/2 cups Uncooked Long Grain Rice

Directions:
Cook sausage in a dutch oven over medium-high heat about 5 minutes, stirring until sausage is brown. Remove sausage, and drain on paper towels, reserving 1 tbsp drippings in Dutch oven. Saute bell peppers and next three ingredients in hot drippings 5 minutes until tender. Stir in red beans and next five ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduced heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in sausage. Simmer and cover 1 1/2 hours. Prepare rice according to package directions. Serve red beans over hot cooked rice.


Baked Pita Chips

Ingredients:

1 (8 oz) package Pita Bread
Olive Oil Cooking Spray
Coarsely Ground Kosher Salt

Directions:
Seperate each pita into 2 rounds. Cut each round into 4 wedges. Arrange in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet. Coat with olive oil cooking spray and sprinkle evenly with kosher salt. Bake at 350F for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden and crisp.

Whole Grain Marshmallow Crispy Bars

Ingredients:
3 tbsp butter (can use Smart Balance)
1 (10.5 oz) bag Miniature Marshmallows
1 (15 oz) box Multi-Grain Cluster Cereal (can use Kashi GoLean Crunch)
1 1/4 cups Dried Cranberries- divided
Vegetable Cooking Spray

Directions:
Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat. Add marshmallows, and cook, stirring constantly, 4 to 5 minutes or until melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in cereal and 1 cup of cranberries until well coated. Press mixture into a 13 x 9 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Chop remaining 1/4 cup cranberries, and sprinkle on top. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes or until firm.

http://www.southliving.com/

Corn, Mango and Edamame Salad

Ingredients:
2 cups Frozen Shelled Edamame
1 1/2 cup Fresh Corn Kernels
1 1/2 cup Mango Cubes (1 med)
1 cup Chopped Tomato (1 lg)
1/2 cup Red Onion- chopped
2 tbsp Fresh Cilantro- chopped
1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tbsp Lime Juice
3/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper

Directions:
Prepare edamame per package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water. Trandfer to large bowl. Stir in corn, mango, tomato, onion, cilantro, oil, lime juice, salt and pepper. Toss well.

www.prevention.com

Green Beans with Bacon

Ingredients:

3 Reduced Fat Bacon Slices
1 cup Sweet Onion- chopped
2 (12oz) packages Frozen Green Beans- thawed
1 cup Low-Sodium Fat-Free Chicken Broth
2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:
Cook bacon in large nonstick skillet over med-high heat 6-8 minutes or until crisp; remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving 2 tsp drippings in skillet. Crumble bacon. Saute onion in hot drippings in skillet over med0high heat 2-3 minutes or until golden. Add green beans, broth and mustard, tosdsing to coat. Reduce heat to medium; cover and cook 5 miutes. Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 more minutes or until liquid thickens and is reduced by half. Add salt and papper to taste. Top with crumbled bacon. Serve immediatley,

Photograph: William Dickey

Spice Rubbed Flank Steak

Ingredients:

3 tbsp Brown Sugar
2 tsp Ground Cumin
2 tsp Ground Oregeno
2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Ground Allspice
1 1/2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 (2lb) Flank Steak- trimmed
Vegetable Cooking Spray

Directions:
Combine first 6 ingredients in a shallow bowl. Stir in olive oil until combined. Gently rub olive oil mixture evenly on steak. Let stand 20 minutes. Coat cold cooking grate on grill over medium-high heat (350F to 400F). Place steak on cooking grate, and grill, covered with grill lid, 8 minutes on each side of until desired degree of doneness. Let stand 5 minutes; cut steak diagnoally accross the grain into thin slices.

www.southernliving.com




Thursday, October 11, 2007

Barbeque Quesadillas


Ingredients:
8 (10-inch) Flour or Wheat Tortillas
1/2 cup Barbecue Sauce
8 ounces (2 cups) Monterey Jack Cheese- shredded
1 1/2 cups Diced Cooked Chicken (can use Rotisseire Chicken)

Directions:
For each quesadilla, spread 1 tortilla with 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce. Layer with 1/4 cup cheese, 1/4 chicken and 1/4 cup cheese. Place layered tortilla in 12-inch skillet. Top with second tortilla. Cook over medium heat, turning once, until cheese is melted (2 to 3 minutes). Repeat with remaining ingredients. To serve, cut into wedges.

Marucci Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients:

1 (9 inch) Unbaked Pie Shell
1 (16 oz) Canned Pumpkin
1 (14 oz) Fat Free Condensed Milk
2 Eggs or 4 Egg Whites
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4-1/2 tsp Ground Cloves

Directions:
In large bowl, combine ingredients, mix well and turn into pie shell. Bake 15 minutes at 425 degrees. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake an additional 35 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted 1 inch from edge comes out clean. Cool in refrigerator before serving.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Vitamins and Minerals, Sources and Functions

Vitamin

Best Sources

Function

A

Retinol Carotene

800-1000mcg

Eggs, dark green and yellow vegetables and fruits, lowfat dairy products, liver

Growth and repair of body tissue, immune functions, night vision

B-1

Thiamin

1.0-1.5mg

Wheat germ, pork, whole and enriched grains, dried beans, seafood

Carbohydrate metabolism, appetite maintenance, nerve function, growth and muscle tone

B-2

Riboflavin

1.2-1.7mg

Lowfat milk products, green leafy vegetables, whole and enriched grains, beef, lamb, eggs

Carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism, needed for cell respiration, mucous membranes

B-6

Pyridoxine

1.6-2.0mg

Fish, poultry, lean meat, whole grain, potatoes

Carbohydrate and protein metabolism, formation of antibodies, red blood cells, nerve function

B-12

Cobalamin

2.0mcg

Lean beef, fish, poultry, eggs, lowfat and nonfat milk

Carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism, maintains nervous system, blood cell formation

Biotin

(No RDA)

Egg yolk, meat, lowfat and nonfat milk, dark green vegetables; also made by microorganisms in intestinal tract

Carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism, formation of fatty acids, utilization of B vitamins

Folic Acid

200-400mcg

Green leafy vegetables, dried beans, poultry, fortified cereals, oranges, nuts

Red blood cell formation, protein metabolism, growth and cell division

Niacin

13-19mg

Poultry, fish, whole and enriched grains, dried beans and peas

Carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism, health and digestive system, blood circulation, nerve function, appetite

Pantothenic Acid

(No RDA)

Most plant and animal foods, especially leans meats, whole grains, legumes

Converts nutrients into energy, vitamin utilization, nerve function

C

Ascorbic Acid

60mg

Citrus fruits, tomatoes, melons, berries, green and red peppers, broccoli

Wound healing, strengthens blood vessels, collagen maintenance, resistance to infection, healthy gums

D

Cholecalcoferol

5-10mcg

200-400 IU

Egg yolk, fatty fish, fortified milk, also made in skin exposed to light

Calcium and phosphorus metabolism (bone and teeth formation)

E

Tocopherol

8-10mg

Vegetable oil, wheat germ, nuts, dark green vegetables, whole grains, beans

Protects cell membranes and red blood cells from oxidation, may be active in immune function

K

60-80mcg

Green leafy vegetables, cereal, egg yolk

Formation of blood clotting agents and bone





Mineral

Best Sources

Functions

Calcium

800-1500mg

Lowfat or nonfat milk products, calcium fortified orange juice and bread, salmon with bones

Support of bone, teeth, muscle tissue, regulates heart beat, muscle action, nerve functions, blood clotting

Chromium

(No RDA)

Cheese, whole grains, meats, peas, beans

Needed glucose for metabolism (energy), increases effectiveness of insulin, muscle function

Copper

(No RDA)

Nuts, dried beans, oysters, cocoa powder

Formation of red blood cells, pigment, needed for bone health

Iodine

150mcg

Seafood, iodized salt

Function of thyroid gland, which controls metabolism

Iron

10-15mg

Meat, fish, poultry, organ meats, beans, whole and enriched grains, green leafy vegetables

Formation of hemoglobin in blood and myoglobin in muscle, which supply oxygen to cells

Magnesium

280-350mg

Nuts, green vegetables, whole grains, beans

Enzyme activation, nerve and muscle function, bone growth

Phosphorus

800-1200mg

Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, lowfat milk products, beans, whole grains

Bone development, carbohydrate, protein and fat utilization

Potassium

(No RDA)

Vegetables, fruits, beans, bran cereal, lowfat milk products

Fluid balance, controls activity of heart muscle, nervous system

Selenium

55-70mcg

Seafood, lean meat, grains, eggs, chicken, garlic

Fights cell damage from oxidation

Zinc

12-15mg

Lean meat, eggs, seafood, whole grains, lowfat milk products

Taste and smell sensitivity, regulation of metabolism, aids in healing

Antidepression Medications: Are There Side Effects?

Antidepressants may cause mild and, usually, temporary side effects (sometimes referred to as adverse effects) in some people. Typically these are annoying, but not serious. However, any unusual reactions or side effects or those that interfere with functioning should be reported to the doctor immediately.

The most common side effects of tricyclic antidepressants, and ways to deal with them, are:

  • Dry mouth- It is helpful to drink sips of water; chew sugarless gum; clean teeth daily.

  • Constipation- Bran cereals, prunes, fruit, and vegetables should be in the diet.

  • Bladder problems- Emptying the bladder may be troublesome, and the urine stream may not be as strong as usual; the doctor should be notified if there is marked difficulty or pain.

  • Sexual problems- Sexual functioning may change; if worrisome, it should be discussed with the doctor. There is a solution.

  • Blurred Vision- This will pass soon and will not usually necessitate new glasses.

  • Dizziness- Rising from the bed or chair slowly is helpful.

  • Drowsiness- As a daytime problem this usually passes soon. A person feeling drowsy or sedated should not drive or operate heavy equipment. The more sedating antidepressants are generally taken at bedtime to help sleep and minimize daytime drowsiness.

The newer antidepressants have different types of side effects:

  • Headache- This will usually go away.

  • Nausea- This is also temporary, but even when it occurs, it is transient after each dose.

  • Nervousness and insomnia (trouble falling asleep or waking often during the night)- These may occur during the first few weeks; dosage reductions or time will usually resolve them.

  • Agitation (feeling jittery)- If this happens for the first time after the drug is taken and is more than transient, the doctor should be notified.

  • Sexual problems- The doctor should be consulted if the problem is persistent or worrisome.

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression/treatment.shtml

Depression: Do Medications Work?

There are several types of antidepressant medications used to treat depressive disorders. These include newer medications chiefly the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) the tricyclics, and the monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). The SSRIs and other newer medications that affect neurotransmitters such as dopamine or norepinephrine generally have fewer side effects than tricyclics. Sometimes the doctor will try a variety of antidepressants before finding the most effective medication or combination of medications. Sometimes the dosage must be increased to be effective. Although some improvements may be seen in the first few weeks, antidepressant medications must be taken regularly for 3 to 4 weeks (in some cases, as many as 8 weeks) before the full therapeutic effect occurs.

Patients often are tempted to stop medication too soon. They may feel better and think they no longer need the medication. Or they may think the medication isn’t helping at all. It is important to keep taking medication until it has a chance to work, though side effects may appear before antidepressant activity does. Once the individual is feeling better, it is important to continue the medication for at least 4 to 9 months to prevent a recurrence of the depression. Some medications must be stopped gradually to give the body time to adjust. Never stop taking an antidepressant without consulting the doctor for instructions on how to safely discontinue the medication. For individuals with bipolar disorder or chronic major depression, medication may have to be maintained indefinitely.

Antidepressant drugs are not habit-forming. However, as is the case with any type of medication prescribed for more than a few days, antidepressants have to be carefully monitored to see if the correct dosage is being given. The doctor will check the dosage and its effectiveness regularly.

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression/treatment.shtml

Depression: Is There a Treatment?

The first step to getting appropriate treatment for depression is a physical examination by a physician. Certain medications as well as some medical conditions such as a viral infection can cause the same symptoms as depression, and the physician should rule out these possibilities through examination, interview, and lab tests. If a physical cause for the depression is ruled out, a psychological evaluation should be done, by the physician or by referral to a psychiatrist or psychologist.

A good diagnostic evaluation will include a complete history of symptoms, i.e., when they started, how long they have lasted, how severe they are, whether the patient had them before and, if so, whether the symptoms were treated and what treatment was given. The doctor should ask about alcohol and drug use, and if the patient has thoughts about death or suicide. Further, a history should include questions about whether other family members have had a depressive illness and, if treated, what treatments they may have received and which were effective.

Last, a diagnostic evaluation should include a mental status examination to determine if speech or thought patterns or memory have been affected, as sometimes happens in the case of a depressive or manic-depressive illness.

Treatment choice will depend on the outcome of the evaluation. There are a variety of antidepressant medications and psychotherapies that can be used to treat depressive disorders. Some people with milder forms may do well with psychotherapy alone. People with moderate to severe depression most often benefit from antidepressants. Most do best with combined treatment: medication to gain relatively quick symptom relief and psychotherapy to learn more effective ways to deal with life’s problems, including depression. Depending on the patient’s diagnosis and severity of symptoms, the therapist may prescribe medication and/or one of the several forms of psychotherapy that have proven effective for depression.

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression/treatment.shtml

Males & Depression: Are The Signs & Symptoms Different?

Although men are less likely to suffer from depression than women, 6 million men in the United States are affected by the illness. Men are less likely to admit to depression, and doctors are less likely to suspect it. The rate of suicide in men is four times that of women, though more women attempt it. In fact, after age 70, the rate of men’s suicide rises, reaching a peak after age 85.

Depression can also affect the physical health in men differently from women. A new study shows that, although depression is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease in both men and women, only men suffer a high death rate.

Men’s depression is often masked by alcohol or drugs, or by the socially acceptable habit of working excessively long hours. Depression typically shows up in men not as feeling hopeless and helpless, but as being irritable, angry, and discouraged; hence, depression may be difficult to recognize as such in men. Even if a man realizes that he is depressed, he may be less willing than a woman to seek help. Encouragement and support from concerned family members can make a difference. In the workplace, employee assistance professionals or worksite mental health programs can be of assistance in helping men understand and accept depression as a real illness that needs treatment.

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression/causes-of-depression.shtml

Females and Depression: Are They More Vulnerable?

Women experience depression about twice as often as men. Many hormonal factors may contribute to the increased rate of depression in women particularly such factors as menstrual cycle changes, pregnancy, miscarriage, postpartum period, pre-menopause, and menopause. Many women also face additional stresses such as responsibilities both at work and home, single parenthood, and caring for children and for aging parents.

A recent NIMH study showed that in the case of severe premenstrual syndrome (PMS), women with a preexisting vulnerability to PMS experienced relief from mood and physical symptoms when their sex hormones were suppressed. Shortly after the hormones were re-introduced, they again developed symptoms of PMS. Women without a history of PMS reported no effects of the hormonal manipulation.

Many women are also particularly vulnerable after the birth of a baby. The hormonal and physical changes, as well as the added responsibility of a new life, can be factors that lead to postpartum depression in some women. While transient “blues” are common in new mothers, a full-blown depressive episode is not a normal occurrence and requires active intervention.

Treatment by a sympathetic physician and the family’s emotional support for the new mother are prime considerations in aiding her to recover her physical and mental well-being and her ability to care for and enjoy the infant.

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression/causes-of-depression.shtml

Depression: Why am I Feeling So Bad?

Causes of Depression

Some types of depression run in families, suggesting that a biological vulnerability can be inherited. This seems to be the case with bipolar disorder. Studies of families in which members of each generation develop bipolar disorder found that those with the illness have a somewhat different genetic makeup than those who do not get ill. However, the reverse is not true: Not everybody with the genetic makeup that causes vulnerability to bipolar disorder will have the illness. Apparently additional factors, possibly stresses at home, work, or school, are involved in its onset.

In some families, major depression also seems to occur generation after generation. However, it can also occur in people who have no family history of depression. Whether inherited or not, major depressive disorder is often associated with changes in brain structures or brain function.

People who have low self-esteem, who consistently view themselves and the world with pessimism or who are readily overwhelmed by stress, are prone to depression. Whether this represents a psychological predisposition or an early form of the illness is not clear.

In recent years, researchers have shown that physical changes in the body can be accompanied by mental changes as well. Medical illnesses such as stroke, a heart attack, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and hormonal disorders can cause depressive illness, making the sick person apathetic and unwilling to care for his or her physical needs, thus prolonging the recovery period. Also, a serious loss, difficult relationship, financial problem, or any stressful (unwelcome or even desired) change in life patterns can trigger a depressive episode. Very often, a combination of genetic, psychological, and environmental factors is involved in the onset of a depressive disorder. Later episodes of illness typically are precipitated by only mild stresses, or none at all.

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression/causes-of-depression.shtml

Depression: Signs & Symptoms

Not everyone who is depressed or manic experiences every symptom. Some people experience a few symptoms, some many. Severity of symptoms varies with individuals and also varies over time.

Signs & Symptoms may include:

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
  • Decreased energy, fatigue, being “slowed down”
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
  • Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
  • Appetite and/or weight loss or overeating and weight gain
  • Thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts
  • Restlessness, irritability
  • Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression/symptoms.shtml

Are There Different Types of Depression?

Depressive disorders come in different forms, just as is the case with other illnesses such as heart disease. The three of the most common types of depressive disorders are described below. However, within these types there are variations in the number of symptoms, their severity, and persistence.

  1. Major depression is manifested by a combination of symptoms that interfere with the ability to work, study, sleep, eat, and enjoy once pleasurable activities. Such a disabling episode of depression may occur only once but more commonly occurs several times in a lifetime.
  2. A less severe type of depression, dysthymia, involves long-term, chronic symptoms that do not disable, but keep one from functioning well or from feeling good. Many people with dysthymia also experience major depressive episodes at some time in their lives.
  3. Another type of depression is bipolar disorder, also called manic-depressive illness. Not nearly as prevalent as other forms of depressive disorders, bipolar disorder is characterized by cycling mood changes: severe highs (mania) and lows (depression). Sometimes the mood switches are dramatic and rapid, but most often they are gradual. When in the depressed cycle, an individual can have any or all of the symptoms of a depressive disorder. When in the manic cycle, the individual may be overactive, overtalkative, and have a great deal of energy. Mania often affects thinking, judgment, and social behavior in ways that cause serious problems and embarrassment. For example, the individual in a manic phase may feel elated, full of grand schemes that might range from unwise business decisions to romantic sprees. Mania, left untreated, may worsen to a psychotic state.

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression/what-is-a-depressive-disorder.shtml

Depression: What Is It?

In any given 1-year period, 9.5 percent of the population, or about 20.9 million American adults, suffer from a depressive illness. The economic cost for this disorder is high, but the cost in human suffering cannot be estimated. Depressive illnesses often interfere with normal functioning and cause pain and suffering not only to those who have a disorder, but also to those who care about them. Serious depression can destroy family life as well as the life of the ill person. But much of this suffering is unnecessary.

Most people with a depressive illness do not seek treatment, although the great majority even those whose depression is extremely severe can be helped. Thanks to years of fruitful research, there are now medications and psychosocial therapies such as cognitive/behavioral, “talk” or interpersonal that ease the pain of depression.

A depressive disorder is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts. It affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and the way one thinks about things. A depressive disorder is not the same as a passing blue mood. It is not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be willed or wished away. People with a depressive illness cannot merely “pull themselves together” and get better. Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months, or years. Appropriate treatment, however, can help most people who suffer from depression.

Unfortunately, many people do not recognize that depression is a treatable illness. If you feel that you or someone you care about is one of the many undiagnosed depressed people in this country, the information presented here may help you take the steps that may save your own or someone else’s life.

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression/introduction.shtml

Panic Disorder: Q & A

Q: When does panic disorder start and how long does it last?
A: It usually starts when people are young adults, around 18 to 24 years old. Sometimes it starts when a person is under a lot of stress, for example after the death of a loved one or after having a baby. Anyone can have panic disorder, but more women than men have the illness. It sometimes runs in families. Panic disorder can last for a few months or for many years.

Q: How many people suffer from apnic disorder?
A: An estimate of 6 million Americans suffer from panic disorder.

Q: What can you do about your panic disorder?
A: Talk to your doctor about your fear and panic attacks.Tell your doctor if the panic attacks keep you from doing everyday things and living your life. Ask your doctor for a checkup to make sure you don’t have some other illness. Ask your doctor if he or she has helped other people with panic disorder. Special training is needed to help doctors treat people with panic disorder. If your doctor doesn’t have special training, ask for the name of a doctor or counselor who does.

Q: How can you get more information?
A: Call 1-866-615-6464 to have free information mailed to you.

Q: What can a doctor or counselor do to help you?
A: The doctor may give you medicine. Medicine usually helps people with panic disorder feel better after a few weeks. Talking to a specially trained doctor or counselor who can teach you ways to cope with your panic attacks helps many people with panic disorder. This is called “therapy.” Therapy will help you feel less afraid and anxious.

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/panic-disorder-a-real-illness/4-what-can-i-do-to-help-myself.shtml

Panic Disorders: What Are They?

Panic disorder is a real illness. It can be treated with medicine or therapy.

If you have panic disorder, you feel suddenly terrified for no reason. These frequent bursts of terror are called panic attacks. During a panic attack, you also have scary physical feelings like a fast heartbeat, trouble breathing, or dizziness.

Panic attacks can happen at any time and any place without warning. They often happen in grocery stores, malls, crowds, or while traveling.

You may live in constant fear of another attack and may stay away from places where you have had an attack. For some people, fear takes over their lives and they are unable to leave their homes.

Panic attacks don’t last long, but they are so scary they feel like they go on forever.

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/panic-disorder-a-real-illness/1-what-is-panic-disorder.shtml

Anorexia Nervosa: Is There a Treatment?

Eating disorders can be treated and a healthy weight restored. The sooner these disorders are diagnosed and treated, the better the outcomes are likely to be. Because of their complexity, eating disorders require a comprehensive treatment plan involving medical care and monitoring, psychosocial interventions, nutritional counseling and, when appropriate, medication management. At the time of diagnosis, the clinician must determine whether the person is in immediate danger and requires hospitalization.

Treatment of anorexia calls for a specific program that involves three main phases: (1) restoring weight lost to severe dieting and purging; (2) treating psychological disturbances such as distortion of body image, low self-esteem, and interpersonal conflicts; and (3) achieving long-term remission and rehabilitation, or full recovery. Early diagnosis and treatment increases the treatment success rate. Use of psychotropic medication in people with anorexia should be considered only after weight gain has been established. Certain selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have been shown to be helpful for weight maintenance and for resolving mood and anxiety symptoms associated with anorexia.

The acute management of severe weight loss is usually provided in an inpatient hospital setting, where feeding plans address the person's medical and nutritional needs. In some cases, intravenous feeding is recommended. Once malnutrition has been corrected and weight gain has begun, psychotherapy (often cognitive-behavioral or interpersonal psychotherapy) can help people with anorexia overcome low self-esteem and address distorted thought and behavior patterns. Families are sometimes included in the therapeutic process.

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/eating-disorders-facts-about-eating-disorders-and-the-search-for-solutions.shtml

Bulimia Nervosa: Is There a Treatment?

The primary goal of treatment for bulimia is to reduce or eliminate binge eating and purging behavior. To this end, nutritional rehabilitation, psychosocial intervention, and medication management strategies are often employed. Establishment of a pattern of regular, non-binge meals, improvement of attitudes related to the eating disorder, encouragement of healthy but not excessive exercise, and resolution of co-occurring conditions such as mood or anxiety disorders are among the specific aims of these strategies. Individual psychotherapy (especially cognitive-behavioral or interpersonal psychotherapy), group psychotherapy that uses a cognitive-behavioral approach, and family or marital therapy have been reported to be effective. Psychotropic medications, primarily antidepressants such as the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), have been found helpful for people with bulimia, particularly those with significant symptoms of depression or anxiety, or those who have not responded adequately to psychosocial treatment alone. These medications also may help prevent relapse. The treatment goals and strategies for binge-eating disorder are similar to those for bulimia, and studies are currently evaluating the effectiveness of various interventions.

People with eating disorders often do not recognize or admit that they are ill. As a result, they may strongly resist getting and staying in treatment. Family members or other trusted individuals can be helpful in ensuring that the person with an eating disorder receives needed care and rehabilitation. For some people, treatment may be long term.

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/eating-disorders-facts-about-eating-disorders-and-the-search-for-solutions.shtml

Binge-Eating Disorder: What Is It?

Community surveys have estimated that between 2 percent and 5 percent of Americans experience binge-eating disorder in a 6-month period.

Symptoms of binge-eating disorder include:

  • Recurrent episodes of binge eating, characterized by eating an excessive amount of food within a discrete period of time and by a sense of lack of control over eating during the episode
  • The binge-eating episodes are associated with at least 3 of the following: eating much more rapidly than normal; eating until feeling uncomfortably full; eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry; eating alone because of being embarrassed by how much one is eating; feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed, or very guilty after overeating
  • Marked distress about the binge-eating behavior
  • The binge eating occurs, on average, at least 2 days a week for 6 months
  • The binge eating is not associated with the regular use of inappropriate compensatory behaviors (e.g., purging, fasting, excessive exercise)

People with binge-eating disorder experience frequent episodes of out-of-control eating, with the same binge-eating symptoms as those with bulimia. The main difference is that individuals with binge-eating disorder do not purge their bodies of excess calories. Therefore, many with the disorder are overweight for their age and height. Feelings of self-disgust and shame associated with this illness can lead to bingeing again, creating a cycle of binge eating.

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/eating-disorders-facts-about-eating-disorders-and-the-search-for-solutions.shtml

Bulimia Nervosa: What Is It?

An estimated 1.1 percent to 4.2 percent of females have bulimia nervosa in their lifetime.

Symptoms of bulimia nervosa include:

  • Recurrent episodes of binge eating, characterized by eating an excessive amount of food within a discrete period of time and by a sense of lack of control over eating during the episode
  • Recurrent inappropriate compensatory behavior in order to prevent weight gain, such as self-induced vomiting or misuse of laxatives, diuretics, enemas, or other medications (purging); fasting; or excessive exercise
  • The binge eating and inappropriate compensatory behaviors both occur, on average, at least twice a week for 3 months
  • Self-evaluation is unduly influenced by body shape and weight

Because purging or other compensatory behavior follows the binge-eating episodes, people with bulimia usually weigh within the normal range for their age and height. However, like individuals with anorexia, they may fear gaining weight, desire to lose weight, and feel intensely dissatisfied with their bodies. People with bulimia often perform the behaviors in secrecy, feeling disgusted and ashamed when they binge, yet relieved once they purge.

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/eating-disorders-facts-about-eating-disorders-and-the-search-for-solutions.shtml

Anorexia Nervosa: What Is It?

An estimated 0.5 to 3.7 percent of females suffer from anorexia nervosa in their lifetime.

Symptoms of anorexia nervosa include:

  • Resistance to maintaining body weight at or above a minimally normal weight for age and height

  • Intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, even though underweight

  • Disturbance in the way in which one's body weight or shape is experienced, undue influence of body weight or shape on self-evaluation, or denial of the seriousness of the current low body weight

  • Infrequent or absent menstrual periods (in females who have reached puberty)

People with this disorder see themselves as overweight even though they are dangerously thin. The process of eating becomes an obsession. Unusual eating habits develop, such as avoiding food and meals, picking out a few foods and eating these in small quantities, or carefully weighing and portioning food. People with anorexia may repeatedly check their body weight, and many engage in other techniques to control their weight, such as intense and compulsive exercise, or purging by means of vomiting and abuse of laxatives, enemas, and diuretics. Girls with anorexia often experience a delayed onset of their first menstrual period.

The course and outcome of anorexia nervosa vary across individuals: some fully recover after a single episode; some have a fluctuating pattern of weight gain and relapse; and others experience a chronically deteriorating course of illness over many years. The mortality rate among people with anorexia has been estimated at 0.56 percent per year, or approximately 5.6 percent per decade, which is about 12 times higher than the annual death rate due to all causes of death among females ages 15-24 in the general population. The most common causes of death are complications of the disorder, such as cardiac arrest or electrolyte imbalance, and suicide.

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/eating-disorders-facts-about-eating-disorders-and-the-search-for-solutions.shtml

Eating Disorders: What's The Cause?

Eating is controlled by many factors, including appetite, food availability, family, peer, and cultural practices, and attempts at voluntary control. Dieting to a body weight leaner than needed for health is highly promoted by current fashion trends, sales campaigns for special foods, and in some activities and professions. Eating disorders involve serious disturbances in eating behavior, such as extreme and unhealthy reduction of food intake or severe overeating, as well as feelings of distress or extreme concern about body shape or weight. Researchers are investigating how and why initially voluntary behaviors, such as eating smaller or larger amounts of food than usual, at some point move beyond control in some people and develop into an eating disorder. Studies on the basic biology of appetite control and its alteration by prolonged overeating or starvation have uncovered enormous complexity, but in the long run have the potential to lead to new pharmacologic treatments for eating disorders.

Eating disorders are not due to a failure of will or behavior; rather, they are real, treatable medical illnesses in which certain maladaptive patterns of eating take on a life of their own. The main types of eating disorders are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. A third type, binge-eating disorder, has been suggested but has not yet been approved as a formal psychiatric diagnosis. Eating disorders frequently develop during adolescence or early adulthood, but some reports indicate their onset can occur during childhood or later in adulthood.

Eating disorders frequently co-occur with other psychiatric disorders such as depression, substance abuse, and anxiety disorders. In addition, people who suffer from eating disorders can experience a wide range of physical health complications, including serious heart conditions and kidney failure which may lead to death. Recognition of eating disorders as real and treatable diseases, therefore, is critically important.

Females are much more likely than males to develop an eating disorder. Only an estimated 5 to 15 percent of people with anorexia or bulimia and an estimated 35 percent of those with binge-eating disorder are male.

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/eating-disorders-facts-about-eating-disorders-and-the-search-for-solutions.shtml

Melatonin: Is This NCAA Banned?

While melatonin is not banned by the NCAA, it is impermissible for Athletic Departments to provide student athletes with melatonin.

... Nonpermissible Amino acids Chrysin Condroitin Creatine/creatine-containing compounds Ginseng Glucosamine Glycerol HMB I-carnitin Melatonin Pos-2 Protein powders Tribulus Supplements Containing Protein Also during the July 26 telephone conference, the subcommittee ...

http://www1.ncaa.org/membership/ed_outreach/health-safety/drug_ed_progs/nutritional_supplements

Melatonin: What Is It?

This hormone is made by the pineal gland, a structure in the brain. Contrary to the claims of some, secretion of melatonin does not necessarily decrease with age. Instead, a number of factors, including light and many common medications, can affect melatonin secretion in people of any age.

Melatonin supplements can be bought without a prescription. Some people claim that melatonin is an anti-aging remedy, a sleep remedy, and an antioxidant (antioxidants protect against free radicals, which are naturally occurring oxygen-related molecules that cause damage to the body). Early test-tube studies suggested that, in large doses, melatonin might be effective against free radicals. However, cells produce antioxidants naturally, and in test-tube experiments, cells reduce the amount they make when they are exposed to additional antioxidants.

Claims that melatonin can slow or reverse aging are very far from proven. Studies of melatonin have been much too limited to support these claims and have focused on animals, not people.
Research on sleep shows that melatonin plays a role in our daily sleep/wake cycle, and that supplements, in amounts ranging from 0.1 to 0.5 milligrams, can improve sleep in some cases. If melatonin is taken at the wrong time, though, it can disrupt the sleep/wake cycle. Other side effects may include confusion, drowsiness, and headache the next morning. Animal studies suggest that melatonin may cause some blood vessels to constrict, a condition that could be dangerous for people with high blood pressure or other cardiovascular problems.

These side effects are important to keep in mind since the dose of melatonin usually sold in stores—3 milligrams—can result in amounts in the blood from 10 to 40 times higher than normal. What long-term effects such high concentrations of melatonin may have on the body are still unknown. Until researchers find out more, caution is advised.

http://www.niapublications.org/tipsheets/pills.asp

Human Growth Hormone: Is This NCAA Banned?

YES! It is considered anabolic agent and is banned by the NCAA.

... related compounds . .(e) Street Drugs: . heroin tetrahydrocannabinol . marijuana.3. (THC).3 . .(f) Peptide Hormones and Analogues : . corticotrophin (ACTH) . growth hormone (hGH, somatotrophin) . human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) . insulin like growth factor (IGF-1) .luteinizing hormone (LH) .(all the respective releasing factors of the above- .mentioned ...

http://www1.ncaa.org/membership/ed_outreach/health-safety/drug_testing/banned_drug_classes.pdf

DHEA: Is This NCAA Banned?

YES! It is considered an anabolic agent and is banned by the NCAA.

... b) Anabolic Agents: . anabolic steroids . androstenediol methyltestosterone . androstenedione nandrolone . boldenone norandrostenediol . clostebol norandrostenedione . dehydrochlormethyl- norethandrolone . testosterone oxandrolone . dehydroepiandro- oxymesterone . sterone (DHEA) oxymetholone . dihydrotestosterone stanozolol . (DHT) testosterone.2. . dromostanolone tetrahydrogestrinone (THG) . epitrenbolone trenbolone . fluoxymesterone and related compounds . gestrinone . mesterolone other ...

http://www1.ncaa.org/membership/ed_outreach/health-safety/drug_testing/banned_drug_classes.pdf

Human Growth Hormone: What Is It?

Human growth hormone (hGH) is made by the pituitary gland, a pea-sized structure located at the base of the brain. It is important for normal development and maintenance of tissues and organs and is especially important for normal growth in children.

Studies have shown that injections of supplemental hGH are helpful to certain people. Sometimes children are unusually short because their bodies do not make enough hGH. When they receive injections of this hormone, their growth improves. Young adults who have no pituitary gland (because of surgery for a pituitary tumor, for example) cannot make the hormone and they become obese. When they are given hGH, they lose weight. Like some other hormones, blood levels of hGH often decrease as people age, but this may not necessarily be bad. At least one epidemiological study, for instance, suggests that people who have high levels of hGH are more apt to die at younger ages than those with lower levels of the hormone. Studies of animals with genetic disorders that suppress growth hormone production and secretion also suggest that reduced growth hormone secretion may prolong survival in some species.

Although there is no conclusive evidence that hGH can prevent aging, some people spend a great deal of money on supplements. These supplements are claimed by some to increase muscle, decrease fat, and to boost an individual’s stamina and sense of well being. Shots—the only proven way of getting the body to make use of supplemental hGH—can cost more than $15,000 a year. They are available only by prescription and should be given by a doctor. In any case, people in search of the fountain of youth may have a hard time finding a doctor who will give them shots of hGH because so little is known about the long-term risks and benefits of this controversial treatment. Some dietary supplements, known as human growth hormone releasers, are marketed as a low-cost alternative to hGH shots. But claims that these over-the-counter products retard the aging process are unsubstantiated.

While some studies have shown that supplemental hGH does increase muscle mass, it seems to have little impact on muscle strength or function. Scientists are continuing to study hGH, but they are watching their study participants very carefully because side effects can be serious in older adults. These include diabetes and pooling of fluid in the skin and other tissues, which may lead to high blood pressure and heart failure. Joint pain and carpal tunnel syndrome also may occur. A recent report that treatment of children with human pituitary growth hormone increases the risk of subsequent cancer is a cause for concern. Further studies on this issue are needed. Whether older people treated with hGH for extended periods have an increased risk of cancer is unknown.

In addition, all studies on hGH as an anti-aging therapy for older people have been small and have not investigated the long-term effects of hGH supplementation on the possible development of diseases and on risk of death. Before advocating the use of hGH as an anti-aging therapy, the potential benefits and risks should be assessed by additional research. Until then, there is no convincing evidence hGH supplements will improve the health of those who do not suffer a profound deficiency of this hormone.

http://www.niapublications.org/tipsheets/pills.asp

DHEA: What Is It?

Dehydroepiandrosterone or DHEA is made from cholesterol by the adrenal glands, which sit on top of each kidney. Production of this substance peaks in the mid-20s, and gradually declines with age in most people. What this drop means or how it affects the aging process, if at all, is unclear. In fact, scientists are somewhat mystified by DHEA and have not fully sorted out what it does in the body. However, researchers do know that the body converts DHEA into two hormones that are known to affect us in many ways: estrogen and testosterone.

Supplements of DHEA can be bought without a prescription and are sold as anti-aging remedies. Some proponents of these products claim that DHEA supplements improve energy, strength, and immunity. DHEA is also said to increase muscle and decrease fat. Right now there is no conclusive evidence that DHEA supplements do any of these things in people, and there is little scientific evidence to support the use of DHEA as a “rejuvenating” hormone. Although the long-term (over 1 year) effects of DHEA supplements have not been studied, there are early signs that these supplements, even when taken briefly, may have several detrimental effects on the body, including liver damage.

In addition, some people’s bodies make more estrogen and testosterone from DHEA than others. There is no way to predict who will make more and who will make less. Researchers are concerned that DHEA supplements may cause high levels of estrogen or testosterone in some people. This is important because testosterone may play a role in prostate cancer, and higher levels of estrogen are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. It is not yet known for certain if supplements of estrogen and testosterone, or supplements of DHEA, also increase the risk of developing these types of cancer. In women, high testosterone levels can cause acne and growth of facial hair.

Overall, research on DHEA to date does not provide a clear picture of the risks and benefits. Two short-term studies showed no harmful effects of DHEA supplementation on blood, prostate, or liver function. However, the studies were small in size, and no conclusions about the safety or efficacy of DHEA supplementation could be made based on their results.

Researchers are working to find more definite answers about DHEA’s effects on aging, muscles, and the immune system. In the meantime, people who are thinking about taking supplements of this hormone should understand that its effects are not fully known. Some of these unknown effects might turn out to be harmful.

http://www.niapublications.org/tipsheets/pills.asp

Buyer Beware: Can a Nutritional Supplement Reverse Aging?

Some hormone-like products are available over the counter and can be used without consulting a physician. The Institute discourages people from self-medicating with these products for a number of reasons.

  • First, these products are marketed as dietary supplements, and therefore are not regulated by the FDA in the same way as drugs. This is an important distinction because the requirements for marketing a dietary supplement are very different from those that apply to hormones marketed as drugs. Unlike drug manufacturers, a firm selling dietary supplements doesn’t need FDA approval of its products and doesn’t need to prove that its products are safe and effective before marketing.
  • Also, there is no specific guarantee that the substance in the container is authentic or that the indicated dosage is accurate. Because of these differing standards, hormone-like substances that are sold as dietary supplements may not be as thoroughly studied as drug products, and, therefore, the potential consequences of their use are not well understood or defined.
  • In addition, these over-the-counter products may interfere with other medications you are taking.

Therefore, the NIA (National Institute on Aging) does not recommend taking any supplement, including DHEA and melatonin, that is touted as an “anti-aging” remedy because no supplement has been proven to serve this purpose. The influence of these supplements on a person’s health is unknown, particularly when taken over a long period of time.

http://www.niapublications.org/tipsheets/pills.asp