Recipe of the Week: Easy Whole-Grain Rice Pilaf
(from www.eatingwell.com)

This recipe is a low sodium alternative to the original San Fransisco Treat that features whole-wheat pasta, brown rice and onions.

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

Ingredients (makes about 6 servings, about 2/3 cups each):
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup broken whole-wheat spaghetti pieces
1/3 cup finely diced onion
1 14-ounce can of reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 cup instant brown rice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Directions:
Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add pasta and onion; cook, stirring, until starting to brown, about 3 minutes. Add broth, rice, salt and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Fluff with a fork and stir in parsley.

Nutrition (Per serving): 98 calories; 2 g fat , 1 mg cholesterol; 17 g carbohydrates; 3 g protein; 2 g fiber, 131 mg sodium, 32 mg potassium.

Fit Tip of the Week: Hydration, Hydration, Hydration

With summer heat upon us (especially with 100 degree temperatures here in South Carolina) it’s important to remember to properly hydrate the body. Water is one of the most essential components of the human body. Water helps to regulate body temperature, cushions and protects the vital organs and aids the digestive system. Water composes about 75% of all muscle tissue, 10% of fatty tissue and also acts with in each sell to transport nutrients and waste. Because water composes more than half of the human body, it’s impossible to sustain life for more than a week without it and illustrates why dehydration is so dangerous.

Water must be consumed to replace the amount o water lost each day during basic activities. The food and Nutrition Board recommends that women consume 2.7 (91 ounces) of water daily and men consume 3.7 liters (125oz) daily though various beverages (about 80%) or in food (about 20%). Active individuals need even more, especially if they’re exercising in hot weather. It’s imperative during the 24 hours prior to vigorous exercise to obtain proper hydration levels. Fortunately, your body’s water needs can be met thought the day with a variety of fluids and foods.

For regular exercisers, maintaining a constant supply of water in the body is essential to performance. Dehydration leads to muscle fatigue and loss of coordination. Even a small amount of water loss may hinder athletic performance. In a dehydrated state the body is unable to cool itself efficiently, leading to heat exhaustion and possibly life-threatening heat stroke. In one hour of exercise the body can lose more than a quart of water, depending on intensity and air temperature. Without an adequate supply of water, the body will lack energy and muscle may develop cramps. To prevent dehydration, exercisers must drink before, during, and after each workout. It is also important to drink even before signs of thirst appear.

Checking your hydration level is relatively simple. Monitoring your urine is the easiest way to do so. It should be plentiful and pale yellow unless you are taking supplements, which will darken the color for several hours after consumption. For most people during exercise, water is the best way to replace fluid although sports drinks help to replace lost electrolytes during high-intensity exercise exceeding 45 to 60 minutes. Those who sweat profusely during exercise and whose seat contains high amounts of sodium (a good indicator is the presence salt stains on your athletic wear) should opt for low calorie sports drinks. Rehydration does occur faster in the presence of sodium, regardless of if it is provided in a sports drink. It should also be noted that, contrary to popular belief, moderate caffeine consumption does not compromise exercise performance or hydration status. Alcohol consumption, however, can interfere with muscle recovery and performance.

Preventing dehydration is easy to do with a variety of refreshing beverages, especially when it’s hot outside. Here are a few guidelines to help keep you hydrated:

  • Drink 19 to 20 ounces of water two hours before the start of exercise.
  • Drink 7 to 10 ounce of fluid every 10 to 20 minutes during exercise.
  • Drink 16 to 24 ounces of fluid for every pound of body weight lost after exercise.

Stay cool and stay hydrated!!

Until next week..
KinkySheaPT