Recipe of the Week: Raspberry, Avocado & Mango Salad
(from www.eatingwell.com)

This is a personal favorite of mine and a frequently requested dish at get togethers. It’s a great tangy and sweet easy salad that takes about 20 minutes to put together.

Nutrition Profile: Diabetes appropriate, low calorie, low cholesterol, low sodium, high fiber, high potassium, gluten free, and appropriate for healthy weight.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries, divided
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
1 small clove garlic, coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
8 cups mixed salad greens
1 ripe mango, diced (see Tip)
1 small ripe avocado, diced
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/4 cup toasted chopped hazelnuts, or sliced almonds , optional
Directions:
Puree 1/2 cup raspberries, oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper in a blender until combined.
Combine greens, mango, avocado and onion in a large bowl. Top with dressing and gently toss to coat. Divide salad among 5 salad plates. Top each with the remaining raspberries and sprinkle with nuts.

Quick Tips:
When dicing a mango:
1.Slice both ends off the mango, revealing the long slender seed inside. Set fruit upright on a work surface and remove the skin with a sharp knife.
2. With the seed perpendicular to you, slice the fruit from both sides of the seed, yielding two large pieces.
3. Turn the seed parallel to you and slice the two smaller pieces of fruit from each side.
4. Cut fruit into desired shape.

Nutrition (Per serving, 2 cups): 215 calories; 16 g fat (2 g sat, 12g mono0; 0mg cholesterol; 18 g carbohydrates; 3 g protein; 7g fiber; 122 mg sodium; 564 mg potassium.

Fit Tip of the Week: Myths and Facts of Fat Burning

A wildly popular myth is that there is a specific range of heart rates in which you must exercise in order to start burning fat. I’ve seen countless cardiovascular equipment displaying “fat-burning zone” on their panels to encourage people to exercise in a specific heart rate range. How many commercials have you seen on TV advertising fitness programs (and i use the term loosely) that promise fat burning? Do you really have to exercise at in a specific heart rate range to lose fat and subsequently weight?

The truth is, during exercise both fats and carbohydrates are used as fuel for energy on a bit of a sliding scale. During exercise at a very low intensity (for example walking), fat accounts for the majority of energy expenditure. As exercise intensity is increased to the exercise intensity that marks the transition between exercise that is almost purely aerobic and exercise that indicates a significant anaerobic contribution (this is known as the lactic threshold), the use of fat for fuel decreases while the use of carbohydrates for fuel increases. When exercising just below that lactic threshold, you are using mostly carbohydrates, but once the intensity of exercise has risen above the threshold, carbohydrates become the only fuel source.

If you were to exercise long enough (roughly between 1.5 and 2 hours), the muscle carbohydrate content and blood glucose concentration become low. This presents a threat to the muscle’s survival, as carbohydrates are muscles’ preferred fuel. When carbohydrates are no longer available, the muscles are forced to rely on fat as fuel. So since more fat is used at low exercise intensities, people tend to assume that low-intensity exercise is best for fat burning, which gave birth to the “fat-burning zone” myth. While only a small amount of fat is used when exercising at low-intensities, the rate of caloric expenditure and the total number of calories expended are much greater than they are when exercising at a lower intensity, therefore the total amount of fat used is also greater.

What?!? OK, here’s bottom line and take home message. For fat and weight loss what matters most is the difference between the calories you expend and the number of calories you consume. Fat and weight loss is about burning lots of calories and cutting back on the number of calories consumed. For the purpose of weight loss about 3500 calories per week needs to be burned or omitted from your diet for 1 lb of weight loss (usually cutting 250 from diet and burning 250 calories per day does the trick). It matters little whether the calories burned during exercise come from fat or carbohydrates. Calories burned are calories burned. For a workout to be purely fat burning it would be nearly impossible because your muscles prefer carbohydrates for fuel not fats. Given the choice your muscles will always reach for more carbohydrates than fat. And no a low-carbohydrate diet is not the quick fix for getting your muscles to burn more fat. The risk factors of a low-carbohydrate diet far outweigh the “benefits.”

Until next week…

KinkySheaPT