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Celebrating the True Heart of Valentine’s Day

Why not take the stress out of Valentine’s Day by dropping the unrealistic expectations and commercial nature of the holiday?  Let’s take a step back and remind ourselves about what the Valentine's Heartholiday is really all about, and find new ways to express our love without adding to our waistline.

What is Valentine’s Day really about?

I’ve scoured historic records and nowhere could I find that Valentine’s Day is about giving your loved one high calorie, high saturated fat candy, buying expensive gifts, or taking your loved one out to a lavish dinner.  In fact, it is even difficult to trace the origins of Valentine’s Day. But, let’s say that for as long as we all can remember, we have selected February 14th as a day to declare our affection for someone.

Unfortunately (and you might not want to hear this), we, primarily women, have commercialized the day and made it about who receives the best gift or was treated most romantically. Sort of loses its meaning when you think about it.

Put the real meaning back into February 14th!  Celebrating this Valentine’s Day differently can be good for your heart:

•        Release the gifting obligation. Less pressure in any area of your life reduces stress – and that’s good for your heart

•        Eliminating expectations reduces anxiety – and that’s good for your heart

•        Anger because your mate didn’t get you ‘the best gift’ can raise your blood pressure – and that’s bad for your heart.  Removing that anger or resentment is good for your heart.

•        Giving of yourself makes you happy – and that’s good for your heart Read More »

Love Connection – Sex and Exercise

It’s Valentine’s Day and hearts are the topic. Everyone knows exercise is good for your heart so I won’t put you sleep with yet another reading of the heart-healthy benefits of exercise. Instead, Valentine's Day Couplewith love in the air, the topic is how better fitness equates with a better sex life. (And it has nothing to do with appearance.)

The research continually piles up supporting how exercise enhances our enjoyment of sex. But, before highlighting the research, doesn’t it just make intuitive sense? Exercise improves anything we do that is physical in life: yard work, sports, shopping, and yes, sex.

The physical movements required in intercourse are of a nature and duration that they typically require appreciable levels of core strength and general fitness. And better fitness from exercise means better blood flow – to the muscles, organs, and all extremeties.

Now for a look at some of the research. (As reported by Marion Webb of ACE – the American Council on Exercise.) Read More »

CalorieKing’s Guide to Valentine’s Day Candy

CalorieKing has pulled together a listing of some of the most popular candy available for Valentine’s Day.  If you receive some chocolates – don’t panic!  Consult our guide and remember your portion control.  Spread out your enjoyment of your holiday candy over several days and make sure you figure the calories in to your daily plan.  It’s that simple!

Copyright 2012 by Allan Borushek

Read More »

CalorieKing’s Valentine’s Day Meal Makeover

If your idea of a perfect Valentine’s Day is a quiet, romantic meal at home then these recipe makeovers are for you.  You can cook an entire meal – including dessert – and not feel guilty.

Here are some classics.  For more, visit our Valentine’s Day recipe guide.

Stuffed Mushrooms

An elegant appetizer – mushrooms filled with ricotta, shallots, cucumber and tomato.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup low-fat ricotta cheese or cottage cheese

1 cucumber finely chopped

1 tomato finely chopped

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

2 Tbsp lemon juice

2 Tbsp fresh dill or chives chopped

8 large mushroom caps (approx. 3.5 oz each)

1/2 cup spring onions, finely chopped

Directions:

In a bowl, mix ricotta, onion, cucumber, tomato and pepper.

Sprinkle mushroom caps with lemon juice and fill with the mixture.

Garnish with dill or chives. Serve immediately or bake in a moderate oven for a few minutes.

CALORIES 89 cals
Kilojoules 371 kJ
Fat 3.0 g
Saturated Fat 1.0 g
Cholesterol 13 mg
Sodium 97 mg
Carbohydrates 8.0 g
Fiber 3.0 g
Total Sugars -
Protein 8.0 g
Calcium -

Read More »

The CalorieKing Calorie Guide to Super Bowl Foods

Here’s a special guide pulled from our CalorieKing Calorie, Fat and Carbohydrate Counter to help you navigate Super Bowl Foods. Print out a copy and pin it to your refrigerator for quick access!

Copyright 2012, Allan Borushek and CalorieKing

Buffalo Wings: Per 6 Pieces Calories Fat (g) Carbs (g)
Classic 355 25 4
Boneless Classic 580 35 33
Boneless Honey BBQ 620 28 58
Blue Cheese Dressing, 2 Tbsp 75 8 1
Burgers Calories Fat (g) Carbs (g)
Hamburger, 3.8 oz 260 10 28
Cheeseburger, 4.3 oz 300 14 28

Read More »

You Don’t Have to be a Pro Athlete to be Fit!

The pro athletes we see playing in the Super Bowl are capable of pushing their bodies to the limit.  Clearly these guys are “in shape.”  They train year round to endure the rigors of a pro season.

Perhaps we can be fooled into thinking their level of fitness – or any pro athlete in the sport of your choice – is what we need to aspire to when we start adding exercise into our daily routine.

Woman exercising on ball

Just get started!ily routine.

Not so! We simply need to get moving.

Everybody wants to get fit, but do we all have the same definition of fitness? Not likely.

To break it down, let’s take a few steps back from our individual goals, and simply accept the fact that we are all the same species – humans.

For humans to be fit, we need optimal functioning of two major systems related to activity:

- The Cardiovascular System – Heart, lungs, blood, veins, arteries
- The Musculoskeletal System (MS) – Bones, muscles, joints

Most people do lots of cardio to get fit, but the repetitive motions can give a pounding to bones and joints that is too much.

Cardio may save your life but resistance training makes it worth living.
Put another way, having a health heart and lungs isn’t all that great when it hurts to move.

We do cardio/aerobics to work the cardiovascular system, and resistance/weight training to work the musculoskeletal system. Too much of one, and not enough of the other, and we are out of balance.

Spending time on each method of training ensures that we can have solid, effective movements, and the stamina to do them repeatedly.

All of us, regardless of age, gender, or goals will need to train both the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal system appropriately to be fit..

But what exactly does it mean to be fit? I’ll give you a working definition I came up with years ago and have been using for a while:

Fitness is the ability to do whatever activities you like without having to worry about your body.

Now that you know the two major body systems involved in an effective fitness program for humans, you can begin to tailor your fitness plan to your specific goals at a  level that is comfortable for you.

Jonathan Ross, Fitness Expert

www.AionFitness.com

www.AbsRevealed.com

www.FamilyFitPlan.com

www.facebook.com/EverydayFitnessJonathanRoss

CalorieKing’s Super Bowl Recipe Makeovers

There’s no reason to be afraid of Super Bowl Sunday with these healthy makeovers of popular game time snacks!  If you are hosting a party or have signed up to bring a dish to a friend’s house we’ve got some great alternatives!

Here are some of our favorites…check out the entire collection here!

Avocado DipAvocado Dip

  • 1/2 large avocado, peeled and stoned (5 oz)
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp ‘Lite’ or table salt
  • 3 drops hot chili sauce, or to taste
  • 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper, or to taste

Mash avocado with a fork until very smooth. Add ricotta cheese, tomato paste, salt, chili sauce and black pepper. Blend until smooth. This may be done in a food processor or blender.

CALORIES 25 cals
Kilojoules 103 kJ
Fat 1.8 g
Saturated Fat 0.6 g
Cholesterol 3 mg
Sodium 96 mg
Carbohydrates 1.3 g
Fiber 0.5 g
Total Sugars 0.2 g
Protein 1.2 g
Calcium 26.0 mg

Read More »

CalorieKing’s Top Super Bowl Survival Tips

Football fans enjoying snacks

Stock Photo by Sean Locke/ www.digitalplanetdesign.com

It’s Super Bowl time again when we all gather with a single-minded focus to support our favorite team. Whether we are in front of the TV at home or out at a bar there’s bound to be plenty of food to tempt those of us who have resolved to get healthy in the New Year. In addition to the sheer amount of food, the offerings are likely to be loaded with calories and fat, which we could easily munch mindlessly without a plan.

With that in mind we’ve created some tips to guide you through the minefield of a Super Bowl party and come out safe and smiling.

  • Remember, the mission is to watch the game, not demolish the snack buffet! Several hours of non-stop snacking and drinking can add hundreds of – if not a few thousand – excess calories that could sabotage your dieting goals.
  • Never go to any party on an empty stomach. Hungry people don’t make wise eating choices. Before going, have a snack like an apple together with a higher protein food such as a hard-boiled egg, string cheese, small handful of nuts or yogurt. Read More »

Fending Off Diet Saboteurs and Saying No!

If you have difficulty saying no, especially, when people offer you food, you are not alone. It’s a problem for many people.  It’s especially problematic at parties or other events where it’s a ritual Fending off diet saboteurs and saying no.to accompany the event with large quantities of food and drinks. A Super Bowl party is a prime example.  It’s unthinkable to watch the big game without lots of food everywhere.   So, be prepared.

Why do you say yes when you really want to say no?

There are two pieces to this puzzle – one is that some people make it really tough and won’t take no for an answer.  What they want is more important than what you want. There are a myriad of conscious and unconscious reasons people sabotage, insist, or override your choices.  Some people are willfully sabotaging your efforts, others have a pushy or controlling personality, others believe you aren’t having fun unless you are eating, and some think if they are overindulging so should you.

If you are living with someone or have friends who constantly sabotage you it is important to understand what makes them tick and why they may want to undermine you. However, for the Super Bowl party, let’s focus on the second and most important piece of the puzzle – you.

Why do you say yes when you mean no.  How can you turn that around in your favor? Read More »

CalorieKing’s Best Choice Foods for the Super Bowl

Super Bowl celebrations don’t have to be scary for dieters!  Even though there are tasty treats around you, if you are prepared with a plan for smarter choices you can come out of it a winner.  Here are our Best Choice suggestions:

Appetizers:

Most Super Bowl parties will have a lot of appetizers on offer.  If you can’t make a smart swap then plan ahead to limit portion sizes.

CalorieKing Best Choice:

3 oz. vegetable sticks and 1 oz. fat free ranch dipVegetable sticks and fat free dip.

55 calories, 0g fat and 12 carbs

Instead of:

1 oz. tortilla chips and 1 oz. salsa con queso

176 calories, 21g fat and 24 carbs

You’ll save: 121 calories, 21g fat and 12g carbs. Read More »