Wellness News
by Tanya

National Donate Life Month

Every hour someone dies before an organ donor can be found. April is National Donate Life Month. If you haven't considered organ donation before, take time to learn about it by checking out the following sites. Remember that organ donation isn't just about giving organs at the end of your life. You can the gift of life to someone now by donating blood or bone marrow.




To be a bone marrow or blood stem cell donor:


Is Fructose Better For You Than Sucrose?

Fructose is fruit sugar and sucrose is table sugar. Fructose is not better for you than table sugar, and drinks that contain lots of fructose can cause intestinal gas.
Fructose is a single sugar molecule, while granulated white table sugar is called sucrose and is made up of two single sugars, glucose and fructose bound together. When table sugar reaches your intestines, the double table sugar, sucrose, is immediately split into its single sugars, glucose and fructose. Almost all of the glucose is absorbed immediately into your bloodstream. In the presence of glucose in your intestines, most of the fructose is also converted to glucose, which is rapidly absorbed into your bloodstream. Regular sugar is absorbed so quickly that very little remains in the intestinal tract. However, when you take fructose without glucose, the fructose is not converted as rapidly to glucose, and the fructose is absorbed less quickly into the bloodstream. Therefore, some fructose passes along the intestinal tract until it reaches the colon where bacteria can ferment the fructose to cause gas and cramps. This is particularly important when you take fructose before or during exercise. Exercise speeds up the rate that fructose reaches your colon and increases your chances of getting gas pains and cramps.

How Many Calories Do You Burn?

Individuals who want to lose weight should burn 300 calories per exercise session. Calories are listed below for 1 minute of activity. To determine approximately how many calories you burn during 30 minutes of exercise, find the activity and your corresponding weight category, then multiply the number listed by 30.
Activity & Calories per minute
(for individuals weighing 120, 140, 160, 180 pounds)
Aerobics (Dance Exercise)
        7.4 (120)
        8.6 (140)
        9.8 (160)
        11.1 (180)
Cycling (10 mph)
Golf (pull/carry clubs)
  Golf (power cart)
Sitting Quietly
Skating (ice and roller)
Skiing (cross country)
 Skiing (downhill and water)
Swimming (crawl and moderate pace)
 Weight Training
Source: ACE Fitness Matters, Volume 1, Number 4, 1997

Less Is More With Weight Training

New research suggests that doing fewer reps with less weight can help build muscle just as well as more reps with heavier weights. Several studies suggest that simple, time efficient, single-set, training sessions appear to be just as effective as multiple-set sessions for increasing muscular strength.

There has been a long-term debate whether performing multiple sets of each exercise results in greater strength gains than a single set of each exercise. There is minimal evidence to support that multiple sets offer greater benefits. It’s probably best to leave multiple set training for experienced weight lifters, body builders, and competitive athletes.
Aim for several strength-training sessions per week for a total of at least 30 minutes. Ten to twenty minutes twice a week also works nicely into a busy schedule. Don’t forget, the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn.
Source: Journal of The American Society of Exercise Physiologist, Volume 7 Number 5 2004

An Apple A Day…

Studies show that a diet high in fruits and vegetables may decrease the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Apples are an excellent source of antioxidants (quercetin, catechin, phloridzin and chlorogenic acid), and studies have linked eating apples with a reduced risk of heart disease, certain cancers, asthma, and diabetes. In the laboratory, apples have been found to reduce the risk of asthma, improving lung function, inhibit growth of cancer cells, lower oxidation levels, and lower cholesterol.
For a healthy snack, try dipping sliced apples into peanut butter. Be sure to leave the peels on. Apple peels contain approximately 2-6 times more phenolic compounds and flavonoids than the apple flesh. Apples are also an excellent source of fiber.
In addition to eating a variety of fruits and vegetables (to get an assortment of vitamins and health-boosting antioxidants), be sure to include an apple a day in your diet.
Source: Nutrition Journal 2004 May 12;3(1):5.

A Note For Diabetics

Apples are a good fruit choice for diabetics. Diabetics should focus on eating fruits that have a low score on the Glycemic Index (GI) - below 55. Some low-GI fruit choices include:
An average-sized apple (GI score 38)
Cherries (22)
Grapefruit (25)
One average-sized orange (44)
One average-sized pear (38)
One plum (39)
Deep Breathing 101
Doing something as simple as taking slow, deep breaths can help you to relax, relieve stress, reduce muscle tension, and have more energy each day. Deep breathing lowers your blood pressure, reduces your heart rate, and eases muscle tension in your back and neck. Practice taking a few deep breaths each day.
Sit in a comfortable chair, place your feet flat on the floor, and close your eyes. Focus on one spot while you inhale deeply and slowly through your nose. When your lungs are full, slowly exhale through your mouth. Repeat several slow deep breaths before resuming your daily activities. You will be amazed at how much better you feel, once you begin to breathe deeply and use your full lung capacity. Breathe, relax, and have a better day!

A Golden Oldie

The brightly colored golden-orange spice known as turmeric is a member of the ginger family. It is a central component in Indian cuisine and is used in most curry recipes. Turmeric has become one of the most intensely researched herbs in the world. According to Andrew Weil, clinical professor of internal medicine at the University of Arizona in Tucson, turmeric is used to treat a variety of medical conditions that involve inflammation. Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, and antioxidant herb. In traditional Chinese medicine, turmeric is used for arthritis, allergies, skin disease, digestion, anemia, cardiovascular disease, and autoimmune disease. Side effects are uncommon, although people taking hormones or blood thinners should consult a physician before taking turmeric. New studies show that turmeric both inhibits and breaks up the accumulation of destructive proteins in the brain and fights inflammation that causes Alzheimer’s disease. Here are a few ways to add this powerful healing anti-inflammatory herb to your diet:
Add ½ teaspoon of turmeric to homemade stews and soups (especially bean soups). If bitter, sweeten with honey or pure maple syrup.
Add ½ teaspoon of turmeric to dishes that call for spices such as chili powder, cumin, bay leaf, parsley, and oregano.
For allergies, try ¼ teaspoon mixed with ¼ teaspoons of honey 4 times a day. (Always check with your doctor for drug interactions!)
Look for curry recipes and enjoy the flavor of Indian cuisine (see recipe below).
WARNING: Turmeric stains everything it touches a BRIGHT YELLOW!!!

,,, Recipes ,,,
From The Fitschen Kitchen

Chicken with Lime Sauce and Raisin Couscous

4 broiler-fryer chicken breasts, skinned (or drumsticks) 4 broiler-fryer chicken thighs, skinned
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups chicken broth, warmed
2 tablespoons lime juice
3 carrots, sliced across
2 ribs celery, sliced across
1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained well
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained well

Lime Sauce:
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Raisin Couscous:
1-3/4 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup raisins
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup couscous

Lime Sauce:

In small bowl, mix together fresh lime juice, coriander, salt, ground cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, and pepper.


Spread Lime Sauce over chicken drumsticks and thighs and set aside about 15 minutes.
In large Dutch oven, pour olive oil and heat to medium high temperature. Add chicken and cook about 5 minutes. Turn chicken; add onion and garlic stirring as chicken continues to brown, about 5 minutes. Pour chicken broth and lime juice over chicken; stir to loosen pan drippings. Add carrots and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until chicken is tender, about 20 minutes.
Add celery and bring to a boil over high temperature. Stir in garbanzo beans and gently place artichoke hearts across the top. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes more. With slotted spoon, remove chicken and vegetables to warm serving bowl. Skim off any fat in pan, boil juices about 5 minutes and pour into gravy boat with spout.
Raisin Couscous:
In small saucepan, mix together chicken broth, raisins, butter, cinnamon and nutmeg. Boil 2 minutes over high heat. Stir in couscous, cover and remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes, fluff with fork and serve immediately.
To serve, mound Raisin Couscous, top with chicken and vegetables and pour juice over all.
Yield: 4 servings

Shrimp and Mango-Stuffed Fish
1 cup finely crumbled, dry French or Italian bread
4 ounces (2/3 cup) finely chopped shrimp
1/2 cup finely diced mango
2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallion
1-1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice (NOT pumpkin pie spice)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 (8-ounce) yellowtail fillets, each about 1/2- to 3/4-inch thick (may substitute with other fish filets)
2 teaspoons Pickapeppa Pepper Sauce (or your favorite hot sauce)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients except the fish and Pickapeppa Pepper Sauce until well moistened. Slice the fillets almost in half, horizontally, leaving the top and bottom barely attached. Lay the fillets, open face, on the baking pan, and spread the stuffing on the two bottom fillets. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the bottom fillet appears almost thoroughly cooked and the stuffing is piping hot. Flip the top fillet onto the stuffing, and spread the Pickapeppa Pepper Sauce over the top. Bake another 5 minutes, until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Cut each stuffed fillet into two pieces.
Yield: 4 servings
Note: If you can't handle the hot stuff, try it without the Pickapeppa, but it won't be authentic!
Cuban Mango Salad
Rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, fiber, and nutrients
1 small sweet onion, chopped
2 mangoes, peeled and chopped
1 16-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups cooked, chilled brown rice or barley
1/2 cup chopped cilantro or Italian parsley
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 teaspoon ground cumin 1/8 teaspoon of turmeric Bottled hot pepper sauce to taste

Combine all ingredients and chill.

4-6 servings

Sweet Potato, Lamb, and Sausage Stew
4-5 cups peeled and seeded ripe tomatoes
1 carrot
1 celery stalk
2 medium onions
6 Italian sausages
4 pound whole small lamb shanks (cut into 2-inch lengths if larger)
3 tablespoons oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 cup beef stock or water
1-1/2 pounds sweet potatoes
1/4 cup chopped parsley

Chop tomatoes into 1/2-inch chunks (or use drained and seeded canned tomatoes). Set aside. Finely chop carrot and celery; combine. Chop onions and set aside. Prick sausages, cover with water in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes to release fat, then drain and pat dry.
Trim lamb of all fat. Heat oil in a large ovenproof casserole, brown lamb on all sides, and remove. In the same oil, lightly brown sausages on all sides. Remove sausages and drain fat from casserole, leaving just a film of oil. Add carrot and celery, sauté for 3-4 minutes, then add onions and cook for 3 minutes until wilted. Return lamb and sausages to casserole; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Cover, turn heat to low, and cook for 15 minutes. Uncover casserole and stir in pepper, turmeric, ginger, and cumin. Add chopped tomatoes and beef stock or water. Cover and cook over low heat for 1 hour, adding additional liquid as needed. Meanwhile peel sweet potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch slices or 1/2-inch-wide lengthwise strips, dropping them into water until used so they won't discolor. Drain and add to the casserole. Continue cooking for 30 minutes or until the meat and potatoes are tender. If the juices are too thin, drain off and boil down until thickened. Pour back over meat and vegetables, and sprinkle with parsley.
Yield: 4 servings
Alternate Notes: Use beef chunks, cut into 1-1/2 to 2-inch pieces, with or without sausage. Add additional sliced carrots along with sweet potatoes, or garnish with blanched peas.

Tanya’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars ©
I made these up -- easy and tasty!


1-1/3 C Smart Balance Light margarine (heart healthy!) – slightly melted
1 C Splenda
1 C brown sugar
½ C egg substitute
2 tsp. vanilla

Beat until fluffy, then add:

2 C whole wheat pastry flour (I use white whole wheat flour from Wild Oats)
1 C unbleached white flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt

Fold in:

1 C chopped walnuts
12 ounce pkg. chocolate chips

Spread in greased 9x11 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.