Marianne Plunkert's picture

eDiets Dinner Review: Tex-Mex Chicken with Black Beans, Rice, Corn, and Salsa

Overall rating:  3 of 5

Meal Description and Cooking Instructions

The Tex-Mex Chicken dinner entrée came in a 2-compartment plastic tray, with a small salsa-topped chicken breast cutlet and about 1/3 cup rice and beans in one section and approximately 1/3 cup golden, whole kernel corn in the other. 

The dieter is to provide fruit and dairy accompaniments for the meal.  I decided on a serving of mixed berries for my fruit, and I topped the chicken cutlet with some low-fat mozzarella cheese to serve as the dairy component.

The heating instructions called for the entrée to be microwaved on high for 1 to 1 ½ minutes.  Based on my prior experiences, I heated mine for 1 minute 45 seconds since my microwave is a lower-wattage model.

Tex-Mex Chicken with black Beans, Rice, Corn, and Salsa

My General Impressions

The meal was colorful enough on the plate with the red salsa, black beans, red and blue berries, and golden corn kernels, but the salsa looked a bit on the dry side.  There wasn’t a lot of it, however; only about one or two tablespoons.   

Anna Kaminsky's picture

Autism Diets Controversy

by Anna Kaminsky

The "diet can cure autism" claims by many nutritionists and naturopathic doctors didn't slow down after Harvard Mental Health Letter publication, that talks about the factors that may be causing autism and the potential danger behind the so called “autism diets.”

The publication states that,

"Researchers have long disagreed about whether gastrointestinal problems may underlie some symptoms of autism spectrum disorders. This has not stopped some researchers and celebrities from promoting theories and special "autism diets" with no scientific support."


Matengo Chwanya's picture

Weight Loss Oral Spray Proves its Mettle in Study

You shouldn’t be extremely surprised if, in a few years, a doctor prescribes a mouth spray as part of your anti-obesity medication.

This is because a team from the University of Florida has found a simple way to introduce a previously abandoned natural hormone without bringing about the adverse effects that resulted in its abandonment in the first place.

Codename PYY

The hormone, abbreviated as PYY, is usually produced by the gut after eating.  At a certain concentration, it signals the brain’s satiety center, making the person feel less like eating. The level of PYY produced is directly related to the calorific content of the food, not the amount; a small calorie-rich serving should induce the same amounts of PYY as a large serving of calorie-poor food.

Marianne Plunkert's picture

eDiets Breakfast Review: Stuffed French Toast with Blackberry-Apricot Compote

Overall rating:  5 out of 5

Meal Description and Cooking Instructions

I began Week 3 of the eDiets program with a breakfast of Stuffed French Toast with Blackberry-Apricot Compote.  The French toast consisted of a slice of whole wheat bread, cut in half, with a strawberry yogurt-cream cheese filling sandwiched between the two half-slices.  A spoonful of the compote was spread on top.

The heating instructions said to microwave the entrée on high for 30 seconds.  I know my microwave oven normally requires a longer time period, but I didn’t want to risk overcooking the bread, so I first heated it for 35 seconds.  This didn’t quite make it warm enough, so I nuked it for another 5 seconds.

I added some nonfat, plain Greek yogurt to the meal to serve as the dairy component the dieter is instructed to supply.

Marianne Plunkert's picture

eDiets Dinner Review: Salmon over Linguini

Overall rating:  5 of 5

Meal Description and Cooking Instructions

This dinner entrée consisted of about a cup of whole wheat linguini with a medium-sized salmon fillet atop.  A small amount of light tomato-based sauce coated both the noodles and the salmon. 

I was to provide items from the dairy and fruit sections of the food pyramid to supplement the meal.  I decided to top the main dish with some shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese and add a serving of unsweetened, frozen mixed berries (thawed).

The heating instructions called for microwaving the meal on high for 1 to 1 ½ minutes.  I added an additional 15 seconds since my microwave oven tends to require a longer cooking time. 

My General Impressions

I normally don’t care for salmon, but I wanted a meatless dinner on this particular evening, and this was the only one I found on this week’s list of substitution meals.  Boy, was I pleasantly surprised.

aileenmeyers's picture

Nutrition and Weight Loss key to avoiding Metabolic Syndrome

Do you want to be the symbol for the heart attack? Do you have belly fat, high blood pressure, elevated glucose levels, or abnormal cholesterol levels? If you have one or more of these symptoms then you may have Metabolic Syndrome.  New data shows the best way to avoid metabolic syndrome is through increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables, increasing physical activity, and lowering body mass index (BMI).  In other words, eat right, exercise more, and lose weight!

KC Dance Day 2012

Hearts Beat Back:  The Heart of New Ulm Project

It is a cohesive team unit that seeks to create a community of health.  This partnership, consisting of the Allina Hospitals, the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, and the New Ulm Medical Center, is a one of a kind initiative to reduce heart attacks in the New Ulm community.  They call it the Hearts Beat Back: The Heart of New Ulm Project.

aileenmeyers's picture

Live Longer and Leaner by Eating Nuts

Is it nuts to believe that you can increase your mortality by eating more nuts? In a recent study published by the New England Journal of Medicine, scientists found that daily nut consumers were 20% less likely to die from any cause than those who didn’t consume nuts.  Moreover; the regular nut-eaters were also more slender than those who didn’t eat any nuts, debunking the widespread myth that increased nut consumption leads to excessive weight gain.

Deluxe Mixed Nuts


While there have been previous studies linking nut consumption to lowered risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and colon cancer, there are few studies that delve into nut consumption and overall mortality.  The new research, lead by scientists from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Harvard School of Public Health, was the largest and longest study of it’s kind. 

aileenmeyers's picture

Food Choices at Fast-Food Chains Not Influenced by Mandatory Calorie Postings

Numbers do not lie.  When you step on a scale, the number shown is your weight.  Regardless of what you think it should be, the number is correct.  Now once you receive that information, it now becomes your turn to decide what to do.  Do those numbers influence you to take action to eat better and exercise more?  Or do you acknowledge the weight and continue with your same habits?

The numbers on the calorie charts posted at fast food chains do not lie also. The McDonald’s premium crispy chicken club sandwich packs on 670 calories and the chocolate shake is 550 calories. Once you see the calories, what do you do with that information?  Do you turn around and hightail it straight to the closest salad bar?  Or do you simply acknowledge the calories and continue to order what you want anyways?   If you picked the latter, you are not unlike most Americans.

Eating McDonald's

Rubina's picture

Stay In Shape To Prevent Depression

Everybody has heard doctors and therapists say it before--that exercising regularly is one of the best things that you can do to treat depression and make yourself feel better.  Keeping your body active (exercising) releases endorphins in your brain, the chemicals that make you feel good and give you a feeling of well-being. Additionally exercising seems to have more benefits. As per a new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, one of the world’s leading peer-reviewed full text publications, exercise can prevent episodes of depression in the long run.

The Study

The study shows a correlation associated with physical health and exercising. It concludes that, in addition to leading to weight loss and good physical shape, which carry many benefits in their own right, exercise is one of the leading methods of maintaining good and strong mental health as well as preventing the onset of depression later in life.  This correlates and falls into place nicely with the continuously growing pile of evidence that associates obesity with depression, and comes as good news to those looking to treat these common problems found in millions of Americans.

aileenmeyers's picture

Protein-Rich Breakfast Prevents Unhealthy Snacking later in the Day

Look everywhere, especially in the health and fitness industry, and you will find high protein powders, shakes, and snack bars for exercise enthusiasts.  While the reasoning may vary from person to person, the general consensus is that proteins curbs hunger better than carbohydrates.  In a new research project, presented at the Obesity Society’s annual scientific meeting, researchers found that eating a high protein breakfast curbed hunger throughout the day as compared to eating a high carbohydrate meal or skipping breakfast. When making breakfast for yourself, opt for the lean sausage and egg omelet meals or try a protein shake.  Avoid the pancakes, bagels, and waffles as they only lead women to snack more later on in the day.

steak, eggs, potatoes

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