Recipe of the Week: Sugar Snap Pea and Barley Salad
(from www.eatingwell.com)

This side dish pairs great with roasted or grilled salmon or chicken. This recipe makes about 6 servings (about 2/3 cups each) and takes about 30 minutes to make.

Nutrition Profile: Diabetes appropriate, low calorie, low saturated fat, low sodium, heart healthy, healthy weight appropriate and high fiber.

Ingredients:

2 cups water

1 cup quick-cooking barley

8 ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed and sliced into matchsticks

½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley

¼ cup finely chopped red onion

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 table spoons lemon juice

¾ teaspoon

¼ teaspoons freshly ground pepper

Directions:

1. In a medium sauce pan, bring water to a boil. Add barley and cook, covered for 10 to 12 minutes or according to the directions on the package. Remove from heat and let stand while covered for 5 minutes.

2. Rinse the barley under cool water and transfer to a large bowl. Add snap peas, parsley, onion, oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Toss to combine and serve.

Nutrition Facts:

Per serving (about 2/3 cups): 152 calories; 5 g fat (1 g sat, 4 g mono); 0mg cholesterol; 23 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein; 4 g fiber.

Fit Tip of the Week: Fitbit Product Review

This product caught my eye on several occasions while browsing around in my local Best Buy store and as with a lot of fitness products my curiosity got the best of me, especially since I’m such a “Tech Junkie”. Questions that first came to mind were: What is it? How accurate is it? How does it work? And finally, is it worth the cost? I was more than ready to pick this fitness product apart as there are so many fitness products on the market designed more for taking our hard earned money rather than helping us to reach our fitness goals. For the price of this gadget, I had to check it out.

Basically put, the Fitbit is an electronic accelerometer that clips on clothing and tracks calories burned, steps, distance and sleep quality. The Fitbit is about the size of a Bluetooth device and uses a 3D motion sensor very similar to the one used with the Nintendo Wii. The information collected from the Fitbit is wirelessly uploaded to Fitbit.com, where users can track activity levels, set goals, log food intake and even compete with other users (should the spirit move them). The purchase price (which may be a turn off for many) includes the Fitbit tracker, a wireless base station (which plugs into your computer and doubles as a charging station), software and access to the web-based tracking system. The Fitbit was launched back in 2009 and was named the “best innovations” in the Health and Wellness category at the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show.

One of the things I personally found appealing about this product was of course the tracking qualities. Some people are completely satisfied with checking the scale every morning or getting into a pair of skinny jeans or a certain dress to determine the effectiveness of their diet and exercise routine and that’s perfectly fine. Personally, I’m the kind of personal that’s more structured (and encourages others to be as this approach is most effective in weight management) in keeping a food or activity journal, calories burned, and so on. The Fit bit has a blue display on the tracker itself that provides data for steps, mileage, and calories burned for easy reference throughout and can be stored for about 30 days. The data is uploaded by simply passing by the base station. The Fitbit website is pretty easy to navigate and input for basic foods is fairly easy but homemade foods can be a bit time consuming. However, the foods are analyzed by fat, protein and carbohydrate content, unfortunately without percentages.

My likes and dislikes? Well, the tracking features, tech specs, and the lack of additional charges for access to the website are things that I do like about this product (but then again I repeat I’m a “Tech Junkie”.) But there are some things that I didn’t like so much about the product. One is the price. This product sells for $99- $110. If you’re looking for just a pedometer there are much less expensive varieties that work just as well. Another downside is the nutrients from calories consumed are not analyzed with percentages. So, as an example, if you want to keep your fat intake to 30% of your total calorie intake, then my lovely math majors you’ll need to break out your calculator and figure that out on your own.

The American Council on Exercise also reviewed this product and gave it a 5 out of 5 star rating. Some of the things they liked about the Fitbit were the free interactive website, the added feature of tracking sleep (which might be helpful for troubled sleepers), long batter life, the small size, and the ease of recording and tracking workouts. Things they didn’t like (like myself) were the high price if the device is only used for tacking steps and the time consuming task of inputting food data with a lack of important information.

So is the Fitbit worth it? The Fitbit seems like a good fitness product with a lot of bonuses. If this is a product that you can honestly see yourself using every day and getting the most of the features the price affords you, then yes it would be worth it. However, if you’re just looking to increase your daily activity levels (or if you’re honest with yourself and realize that you’ll use it for about a week and then it will be a dust collector), again I would suggest purchasing a less expensive pedometer. For more information on Fitbit visit www.fitbit.com.

Until next week…

KinkySheaPT