From The Nutritionist

Trish Zecca
Author:
Trish Zecca, M.S.

Empower Yourself – Bust Through Barriers into a Healthier Lifestyle

The theme for National Nutrition Month® 2015 is “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle,” which encourages everyone to adopt eating and physical activity plans that are focused on consuming fewer calories, making informed food choices and getting daily exercise. The payback is better success with achieving and maintaining a healthy weight and reduced risk of chronic disease.

Sounds reasonable? Absolutely! But we all know taking that first step or steps toward a healthier lifestyle can be very difficult.

Take my own struggle for example… My youngest son just turned 13 and I realized that the 20 extra lbs. I had after he was born were still there. I have never been great at losing weight, and it is certainly easier to prevent the weight gain than lose it after you pack it on. Over the years I would get disciplined for a while, lose a few lbs., then revert back to poor habits…but always with a really good excuse

I decided this was going to be the year I took charge and followed my own advice. I was going to be sensible, make small changes, incorporate daily physical activity (and stick to it) and, to keep me honest, weigh in once a week.

So far so good? Well I began a new exercise routine around Thanksgiving. With the help of a trainer, I set realistic goals for weight maintenance over the holidays, and exercised some restraint with the holiday wine. My reward…I lost 3 lbs. over 6 weeks. At first I was discouraged to only lose 3 lbs. with all the thinking, self-control and time management that was necessary to get there. Then I woke up and really evaluated my progress. I lost 3 lbs. over Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s, despite holiday parties, cooking for 20 people and eating reasonable amounts of cookies, pie and other treats. The daily exercise has helped me feel stronger, look better, have more energy and realize that I can do this long term.

My point is you are not alone. We all struggle with the same issues but there couldn’t be a better time than NOW to take the next step.

The food environment is rapidly changing and there is a greater focus by food companies, like Campbell, to offer MORE nutritious, delicious and convenient options to make eating better and adopting a healthy lifestyle easier.

The following are my Top Three Healthy Lifestyle Busters and some tips to overcome:

#1. Not Enough Time to Cook: I love to cook but work, extracurricular activities and a long commute get in the way.

Solution: Dust off your Slow Cooker! I can’t tell you the last time, if ever, I used my slow cooker. But when Campbell launched a line of slow cooker sauces I decided to give them a try. What a time saver! I give myself 10 or 15 extra minutes in the morning to toss some veggies and lean meat in the crock pot, add one of the delicious Campbell’s® Slow Cooker Sauces (like Hawaiian Pork, and Sweet Korean BBQ) and the hardest part of dinner is done. Add a salad and a quick cooking whole grain like couscous or instant brown rice and dinner is a snap. Not to mention how good my house smells when I get home.

#2. Eating on the GO. We all do this out of necessity but with a little planning and some nutritious on the go options we can stay on track.

Solution: Now that the cold weather is here I keep a store of shelf stable V8® Protein bars and shakes in the car and in the office. That way if dinner is derailed by a track meet, a late night at the office or unexpected trip to the doctor, I have a better option to avoid eating at the snack bar, convenience store or dipping into the office candy stores.

#3. Making Time to Exercise…Regularly. I always exercised it just wasn’t on a committed schedule, so exercise was hit or miss after a long day at work. The main issue was that I would come home from work starving, then snack while I cooked, eat dinner, and end up too full and tired to exercise.

Solution: I now have a healthy snack about an hour before I leave the office. That way I am not as hungry when I get home. I exercise first then have dinner. I not only get my workout in but an added benefit of exercising first is that I am less hungry afterwards so I eat smaller portions at dinner without feeling deprived*. Some of my go to snacks are an apple with peanut butter, a low-fat Greek yogurt, a 90 calorie bottle of V8® Healthy Greens vegetable juice blend or a bag of Bolthouse Farms Kids® Veggie Snackers. These handy snack packs of baby carrots with natural seasonings are not just for kids. My favorite…Carrot meets Chili Lime!

A healthful lifestyle, with regular physical activity and an eating pattern chosen to meet your individual nutrient needs is achievable and will give you the energy and self-confidence to do all that you want and need to do!

I’d love to hear your success stories about how any of our Campbell products have made it easier for you to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Send them to global_nutrition@campbellsoup.com to possibly be featured in a future post on our CampbellNutrition.com website.

PS at press time I was down another 4 lbs….I still have a way to go but am more confident than I’ve been in a long time that I will get there.

Take that first step today to “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle”

Trish

*The degree to which exercise suppresses appetite and the length of time the effects last varies by individual and duration of exercise. For more information about the positive effects of exercise visit http://www.acsm.org

Trish’s Bio

Trish is Senior Program Manager of Health Sciences & Regulatory Affairs at the Campbell Soup Company where she leads a team of experienced nutrition and regulatory professionals providing technical guidance for all US Retail Initiatives. She is the internal and external lead for nutrition communications and health professional stakeholder engagement. Trish has more than 20 years of experience in various areas of nutrition and public health and represents Campbell’s and its positions in public and private forums including government, trade associations, and health professional and certifying organizations. Trish also serves on the Board of Trustees for the Produce for Better Health Foundation. She received her Bachelor and Master’s degrees in nutrition science from the Pennsylvania State University, and is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American Society for Nutrition.

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En Papillote Technique

1. Prepare the parchment paper
Get a large piece of parchment paper, approximately 2.5 times as large as a single portion of food. Cut the paper into a heart shape, lightly brushing one side with oil. This creates a slight barrier to water, preventing the paper from becoming soaked too quickly. Another option, though not as attractive, is to use tin foil instead of parchment paper.

2. Select the ingredients
This is a very quick-cooking approach, so it works best with tender proteins such as fish and shellfish. The accompanying ingredients, like julienned vegetables (matchstick size), must be small enough to cook at the same rate as the fish. In some cases the vegetables can be blanched, or quickly cooked in boiling water, to ensure proper doneness. Fresh herbs will go a long way in providing flavor.

3. Assemble the packet
Lay the oiled, heart-shaped paper on a baking tray, oiled side up. Season your vegetables with salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil, and half of the herbs. Toss them around for an even coat. Place enough for one portion on half of the paper. Bunch them up to create a bed for your fish, leaving about two inches between the food and the edge of the paper. Place the seasoned fish on the vegetables and sprinkle the remaining herbs. Add a splash of the liquid on top of the fish, just enough to add moisture.

4. Seal the packet
To seal, fold the heart over to enclose the fish and vegetables (so it resembles a teardrop). Starting at the top of the heart, fold about 1/4" of the edge toward the center. Fold over again to create a seal. Continue along the length of the parchment, folding each section twice. When you get to the point of the heart, twist and fold to finish the seal.

5. Bake your dinner
Bake the packet in a 425°F oven for 10-14 minutes, depending on the size of the fish. The packet will puff and brown while in the oven and as the steam builds. When cooked, remove from the oven and carefully place the packet on a plate. With a knife or scissors cut an "X" on the top and fold back the edges for a dramatic presentation and a delicious, healthy meal.

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Spicy Flounder and Clams with Summer Vegetables

Prep Time: Less than 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-14 minutes
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup carrots, finely cut julienne
  • 1/3 cup sugar snap peas, cross cut thinly
  • 1/3 cup zucchini, yellow, finely cut julienne
  • 6 each cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 Tbsp. shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. parsley, fresh, minced
  • Dash salt
  • Dash black pepper
  • 6 oz. fillet, flounder (2 fillets, 3oz. each)
  • 2 Tbsp. Low Sodium Spicy Hot V8® 100% Vegetable juice
  • 3/4 lb. clams, in the shell

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Combine the carrots, sugar snap peas, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, shallot, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, half of the parsley, salt and pepper in a bowl. Toss well to combine.
  3. Lightly oil two large heart shaped pieces of parchment paper.
  4. With the parchment paper on a sheet tray, place half of the vegetable mixture in the center of one half of each heart leaving about a 2" border.
  5. Lightly season each fillet with salt and pepper. Fold or roll the fillet to create a uniform thickness and place on top of the vegetables.
  6. Top the fish with the remaining herbs and the Low Sodium Spicy Hot V8® 100% Vegetable juice.
  7. Place half of the clams around each portion of vegetables and fish.
  8. Fold the heart over to enclose the fish and vegetables so that it resembles a teardrop.
  9. Starting at the top of the heart, fold about 1/4" of the edge towards the center. Fold over again to create a seal.
  10. Continue with this method along the length of the parchment packet folding each section twice to make an attractive edge.
  11. When you get to the point of the heart twist and fold to finish the seal.
  12. Bake the packets for 10-14 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish).
  13. Remove from the oven and serve by cutting an "X" in the top and folding back the edges.

Nutrition Information (per serving):

Calories 180, Total Fat 9g, Saturated Fat 1g, Monounsaturated Fat 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat 1g, Cholesterol 50mg, Sodium 450mg, Carbohydrate 10g, Fiber 2g, Sugar 4g, Protein 16g.