Saturday, February 18, 2012

Heart Health: Reducing Stress - Saturday Morning Show

Multitasking: Should we, really?
This morning we've continuing our chat on how to keep your heart healthy.  If you read articles or talk to your doctor about heart health one of the main suggestions that you will receive is to reduce or eliminate your stress. For most of us, I think that would seem impossible.  For me personally, I have a lot of strong and hard-working women in my family.  I think we all seem to take pride in our ability to multitask.  While it is still impressive that we can, I'm not so sure that we should.  All of that multi-tasking really piles on the stress and endangers our hearts.

Hit Pause:  One suggestion I was reading today, was that we should be hitting the pause button.  It's tempting to feel guilty for taking a break when you have a lot to do, but taking that 5-10 minute breather just for yourself will not only reduce your stress.  You will be more productive in the long run.  Life Coach Robert Mack said, "Feeling stressed out means you're not focusing.  When you slow down and regain peace of mind, you'll be happier and more efficient."

Skip your to-do list... or some of it:
Don't be afraid to scale back on some of your to-do list.  Go through all that you need to do (chores, work, etc) and mark off one or two of those off your list that aren't necessary.  Instead of spending your time on those, do one or two activities that you really love.  You will feel less burned out, and it takes some of the drudge out of the rest of your day.  Your heart will thank you.

Get Your Coffee To-Go:
I'm not suggesting you always grab the travel mug.  If you are like me, when you are stressed you up the caffeine in-take.  When you refill your coffee cup, do you take it back to your desk and keep working?  If so, try taking your coffee break outside or at least in a more relaxing area of your home or office.  When your day starts to get stressful and you need a break, take one.  Head outside with your coffee or your tunes and walk around for a few minutes.  It will boost your mood, and relax your mind.

Chicken Quesadillas w Avocado Tomato Salsa
Heart-Smart Tex-Mex:
Just in time for lunch.  Here are two great recipes I found for a really tasty and heart healthy meal.

Chicken Quesadillas w/ Avocado Tomato Salsa:
This recipe has lower-fat tortillas and cheese.  The splurge is the avocado; however, though it's high in fat it's mostly the heart healthy kind that your body needs.  Plus, bonus points for the avocado as they have a natural cholesterol reducer.

Ingredients: (Makes 4 Servings)
2 teaspoons canola oil
1  green onion, thinly sliced
1  lime
1 pound skinless, boneless thin-sliced chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch-wide strips
4  burrito-size low-fat flour tortillas
1 cup reduced-fat (2%) shredded Mexican cheese blend
1/2  avocado, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 cup(s) salsa

In 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil on medium 1 minute. Add green onion and cook about 6 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.  Meanwhile, from lime, grate 1 teaspoon peel and squeeze 2 tablespoons juice. Evenly season chicken on both sides with lime peel, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper.  Add chicken to green onion in skillet; cook 10 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink inside. Transfer to bowl; stir in lime juice.  Evenly divide chicken mixture and cheese on half of each tortilla; fold over to make 4 quesadillas.  In same skillet, cook quesadillas on medium, in 2 batches, 8 minutes per batch or until browned on both sides and heated through. Cut each quesadilla into thirds. Stir avocado into salsa; serve with quesadillas.

Nutrition: (per Serving) Cal 400, Total Fat 14g, Sat Fat 5g, Cholesterol 86mg, Sodium 970mg, Total Carb 31g, Dietary Fiber 8g, Sugar 0, Protein 38g, Calcium 0

Sauteed Shrimp on Warm Black Bean Salad:
While shrimp has more cholesterol than other seafood, according to the article it's still heart smart because it is so low in fat and other calories.  This recipe is also fiber-packed, because of the black beans which also happen to outscore all other beans in antioxidants.

Ingredients: (Makes 4 Servings)
1 1/4 pounds large shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 teaspoons olive oil
1  lime
1 small onion, chopped
1 medium red pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 can (15- to 19-ounce) black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Sprinkle shrimp with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper. In 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 1 teaspoon oil on medium 1 minute. Add shrimp and cook about 6 minutes or until shrimp turn opaque throughout, stirring frequently.  Meanwhile, from lime, grate 1 teaspoon peel and squeeze 2 tablespoons juice; set aside.  Transfer shrimp to small bowl; cover with foil to keep warm. In same skillet, heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil on medium 1 minute. Add onion and red pepper, and cook 8 minutes or until tender. Stir in cumin; cook 1 minute. Add black beans, lime peel and juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper. Cook 3 minutes or until heated through. Spoon black bean mixture onto 4 dinner plates. Top with shrimp and any liquid in bowl; sprinkle with chopped cilantro 

Nutrition: (per Serving) Cal 240, Total Fat 5g, Sat Fat 1g, Cholesterol 172mg, Sodium 740mg, Total Carb 24g, Dietary Fiber 8g, Sugars 0, Protein 16g, Calcium 0

No comments:

Post a Comment