by: SUBMITTED PHOTO Keep your New Year’s resolution to lose weight and eat more healthfully in 2012. Losing weight is hard work and requires a positive attitude, eating less calories than you burn and getting exercise.

We are five days into the New Year … how is your resolve to eat more healthfully and lose a little weight going? If you are like me, you can use a little encouragement everyday as well as a little variety to the menu as you embark on this weight loss journey.

I receive emails from several health agencies (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, American Diabetes Association, the Cancer Project to name a few). As might be expected, they are urging us to resolve to eat more healthfully and lose weight in 2012.

Most of us have at least a few pounds to lose, especially after the holidays. But perhaps this is a good time to get real about how much weight you need to lose. One way to determine whether or not you are overweight is to determine your body mass index.

The BMI uses a mathematical formula that measures both a person's height and weight in determining obesity. To calculate your BMI, multiply your weight by 703, and divided by your height in inches. Divide this figure by your height again. For example, a 250-pound person at 5'10'' would have a BMI of 35.86. People with BMIs of 25 and above are considered overweight. A BMI above 30 places you at risk for developing obesity-related medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and coronary artery disease. A BMI above 40 indicates that a person is morbidly obese.

Weight loss experts tell us a positive attitude is very important for successful weight loss and weight management. To lose weight permanently, you must make a commitment to gradually adopting a healthier way of life.

They also suggest you write down everything you eat and drink, including serving sizes and portions. Be honest and accurate, otherwise the journal is not helpful. Keeping a record will help you learn about your eating habits and help you assess the food choices you make.

In addition to changing your diet, restricting calories and keeping track of what you eat, it is very important to include exercise as part of your weight loss efforts.

I know - we've heard this all before. And alas, there aren't any magic potions or spells to peel the pounds off our bodies. We lose weight by eating less and moving more - it's that simple. It's hard work - but this can be the year you succeed. Start now.

I visited a number of websites of different weight loss programs and found recipes that were representative of what the particular programs would offer. Try the recipes and then learn more about the programs. And of course, it's always a good idea to see your doctor before starting an exercise program if you are sedentary.

Bon Appetit! Make 2012 a healthful year!

Oatmeal and Apple Muffins

These muffins are not only sweet but healthy too!

Makes 8 servings

¼ cup egg substitute

2/3 cup whole wheat flour

2 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

½ cup nonfat milk

1 cup raisins

1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped

¼ cup natural unsweetened applesauce

2/3 cup rolled oats

4 tablespoons Splenda Brown Sugar Blend

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Beat egg substitute. Sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Combine all ingredients, mixing just to moisten.

Spoon batter into muffin cups until ¾ full.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Nutritional information: Calories 190; calories from fat: 10; total fat 1.9g; saturated fat 0.2g' trans fat 0.0 mg; sodium 120 mg; total carbohydrate 44 g; dietary fiber 3g;sugars 28g;protein 4g.

From 'The Ultimate Diabetes Meal Planner,' American Diabetes Association.

15-Minute Chicken


Makes 4 servings

Need dinner in a flash? Try Weight Watchers super-quick, super tasty gumbo made from convenience foods

1 spray cooking spray

16 ounces frozen gumbo-style vegetables, okra, pepper and onion

1 tablespoon all purpose flour

29 ounces canned diced tomatoes, with mild chilies

3 cups roasted skinless chicken breast, cubed

1 teaspoon Creole seasoning

Coat a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Add vegetables and sauté over high heat, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Stir in flour and cook 1 minute more.

Stir in tomatoes, chicken and Creole seasoning. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until hot, about 6 minutes. Yields about 1 ½ cups per serving.

For a soupier consistency, add a small amount of water or broth to the recipe.

From Weight

Red Cabbage Slaw with Cranberries and Apples

Makes 8 servings

This is a very easy, attractive and delicious make-ahead salad for winter holiday meals. A blender makes the vinaigrette in a jiffy.

Cranberry Orange Vinaigrette

¾ cup fat-free oil substitute (1 cup cold water, 1 tablespoon low-sodium vegetarian broth powder, and 2 teaspoons cornstarch)

½ cup orange juice

1/3 cup chopped fresh or frozen cranberries

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 ½ tablespoons chopped chives or scallion

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespooon lemon juice

1 tablespoon agave

1 large clove garlic, crushed

1 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper to taste


1½ pounds red cabbage, thinly sliced (about 5 cups)

¾ cup fresh or frozen cranberries

2 crisp sweet apples

For the vinaigrette: Blend the oil substitute, orange juice, cranberries, wine vinegar, chives or scallion, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, agave, garlic, salt and pepper in a blender. If making ahead, transfer to a covered container and refrigerate.

For the salad: Combine the cabbage, cranberries and vinaigrette in a medium salad bowl and toss gently. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to blend. When ready to serve, slice the apples (with peel), add to salad and toss well.

Per serving (1/8 recipe): Calories: 70; fat: 0.5 g; calories from fat: 2%; cholesterol: 0 mg; protein: 1 g; carbohydrates: 18 g; sugar: 11 g; fiber 3 g; sodium: 251 mg.

Recipe from Dr. Neal Barnard's Program for Reversing Diabetes: The Scientifically Proven System for Reversing Diabetes Without Drugs

Meatball Sub with Roasted Veggies and Tomato Sauce

Makes 4 servings

1 pound 95 percent lean ground beef

¼ cup rolled oats

1 large egg white

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried oregano, divided

½ teaspoons ground black pepper

2 cloves garlic, chopped, divided

Olive oil cooking spray

½ medium zucchini, cut into ½-inch wide strips

½ medium red bell pepper,cut into ½-inch wide strips

½ medium yellow onion, cut into ¼ inch wide strips

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

1 cup fresh tomatoes, seeded, chopped and squeezed to release juice, seeds and juice discarded

1 teaspoon dried basil

14 ounces whole-wheat baguette (18-inches long, widest you can find)

Preheat oven to 400ºF. In a large bowl, combine beef, oats, egg white, tomato paste, thyme, ½ teaspoon oregano, black pepper and 1 clove garlic. Line a sheet pan with nonstick foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Form beef mixture into 1-inch balls, making about 50. Place balls on pan, not allowing them to touch. On another sheet pan, toss zucchini, bell peppers and onions with oil. Put both pans in oven and set timer for 5 minutes.

In a small bowl, stir together tomatoes, basil, remaining ½ teaspoon oregano and remaining 1 clove garlic. When time goes off, remove meatballs from oven and pour tomato mixture over them. Use a metal spatula to turn meatballs to coat with tomato mixture. Place back in oven for another 10 minutes, again setting timer. When timer goes off again, remove meatballs and set aside. Stir vegetables, return to oven and roast for another 10 minutes.

Slice baguette into 4 sections, then slice each section in half horizontally so it opens like a book. Spread open each section and tear out a bit of bread from the middle to make room for meatballs. Toast bread in toaster or under the broiler for 1 minute to crisp.

To assemble sandwiches, open up each piece of toasted baguette, pile on a quarter of the meatballs and top with a quarter of the roasted vegetables. Close sandwich and serve with a fork for any stray meatballs and sauce.

Nutrients per sandwich: Calories: 452; Total fat: 10g; Sat fat: 3g; Monounsaturated fat: 3g; Polyunsaturated fat: 1g; Carbs: 59g; Fiber: 8g; Sugars: 5g; Protein: 25g; Sodium: 552g; Cholesterol: 60mg.


Randall welcomes your food questions and research suggestions. She can be reached at 503-636-1281, ext. 101 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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