Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ditch a can of soda, add a can of beans to improve health

I’ve long been a fan of making little changes to bring big results.
Here’s another case in point: researchers say that reducing sugar by the amount in one soda and increasing fiber intake daily by the amount in a half cup of beans can make a big difference.
The researchers, from the University of Southern California, conducted a nutrition education program with 54 overweight Latino teen-agers. The plan: reduce sugar and increase fiber, thus reducing the teens’ risk of diabetes, which is especially common in Hispanics.
“We are pleased to show that these modest changes in dietary intake can be effective in the prevention of type 2 diabetes," USC’s Emily Ventura told the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Cardio Cooking

With that in mind, here’s a great recipe that includes those beans - along with a workout, of course:

2 cans Great Northern, cannellini or other white bean
2-3 chicken breasts, previously cooked
1 small can sliced olives
Sundried tomatoes to taste (you can use dry instead of those packed in oil)
Salt and pepper to taste
Basil to taste
Olive oil/olive oil spray

Here’s how to add those beans while subtracting those pounds:
1. Get movin’ and groovin’ to some music while you make a salad and then assemble prep all of your ingredients (open cans, etc.).
2. Do mini squats as you cut up the chicken. HOW TO DO THEM: Go about 1/3 to ¼ of the way down, come up and squeeze your tush at the top.
3. Heat oil in a large pan and sauté the garlic. Meanwhile, do mini pile squats. HOW TO DO THEM: Widen your stance and point toes out. Make sure knees stay aligned with toes. Go partway down and pulse up, tightening at the top.
4. Step side to side as you put in chicken, beans, olives, sundried tomatoes, salt, pepper and basil.
5. Do 20 side leg lifts on each side as you stir. HOW TO DO THEM: Lift your leg straight out to the side until your foot is 6 to 12 inches off the floor. Slightly bend leg you are standing on and keep abs tight. At the top of the movement pause and count to 3.
6. Put the spoon down, step back and do one-legged squats. You can hold a chair back or the counter for balance. HOW TO DO THEM: Put weight on one leg, and move other leg behind you, toes on floor for balance. Bend knee and go down, then rise keeping weight on heel of the leg you are standing on.
7. Step side to side as you stir again.
8. Step back again and do 10 lunges on each leg.

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