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Bison Veggie Pasta Salad Aug 14, 2012

Bison Veggie Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad Ingredients

1 lb roasted bison meat (cut into strips)
4 cups dry whole wheat rotini pasta
1 small head of cauliflower (cut into florets)
6 oz snow pea pods
2 zucchini squash coarsely chopped
1 sweet red pepper sliced or chopped
2 green onions finely chopped
1-2 tbsp fresh parsley finely chopped

Bison Veggie Pasta Salad

Dressing Ingredients

1/3 cup olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp sugar
1/4 -1/2 tsp salt

Add the dressing ingredients to a shaker bottle. Shake for about a minute before using.

Boil pasta in 3 quarts of salted water until barely tender. Drain, rinse pasta under cold water. Set cooled cooked pasta aside, leaving it in the strainer until needed.

Bring 2 to 3 quarts of water to a boil. Add the cauliflower florets, cover and blanch for 2 minutes. Drain immediately and cool under cold running water. Drain the cauliflower florets again and place them in a large mixing bowl.

If using the snow pea pods, blanch them in 1 to 2 quarts of boiling water for a minute. Drain and cool under cold running water. Drain again and add to mixing bowl.

Add the zucchini squash, sweet red pepper, green onions, parsley and set aside pasta. Toss until combined, add dressing and toss again.

Serve on dinner plates topped with cold roast bison strips. Sprinkle with salt and pepper if so desired.

Jill Purvis –

Teriyaki Tuna Steaks Jul 23, 2012

Teriyaki Tuna Steaks

Super simple and full of flavor!

Teriyaki Tuna Steaks

4 Tuna Steaks
Mrs. Dash Teriyaki Marinade
8 thin pineapple slices

Marinate the tuna steaks for about 20 minutes in a storage bag with Mrs. Dash. Use a grill basket, place a pineapple slice down, place tuna steak on top and then top with another pineapple slice.  Discard remaining marinade. Place on medium-high setting on grill.  Grill for 3-5 minutes each side, depending on how well you like your tuna steak. Enjoy!

Jill Purvis

Sugar is the ‘Devil” Jun 27, 2012

Sugar is the ‘Devil”

In food, sugar is classified as either naturally occurring or added. Naturally occurring sugars include lactose in milk, fructose in fruit, honey and vegetables and maltose in beer. Added sugars originate from corn, beets, grapes, and sugar cane, which are processed before being added to foods. The body cannot tell the difference between naturally occurring and added sugars because they are identical chemically. Although, food sources of naturally occurring sugars also provide vitamins and minerals, while foods containing added sugars provide mainly calories and very few vitamins and minerals. For this reason, the calories in added sugar are called “empty calories”.

no sugar

Sugar causes energy ups and downs and can add to health and weight problems. Unfortunately, reducing the amount of candy, cakes, and desserts we eat is only part of the solution. There are large, hidden amounts in things like bread, pasta sauce, margarine, instant mashed potatoes, frozen dinners, fast food, soy sauce, and ketchup. Sugar is found only in foods of plant origin.

Some things you can try are to eat naturally sweet food such as fruit, natural peanut butter or peppers to help calm that “sweet” craving.  One 12-oz soda has about 10 teaspoons of sugar in it, more than the daily recommended limit! Try water with lemon, sliced cucumbers or with fresh berries in it.


Be sure to read food labels! Sugar is often disguised with terms such as:

Cane sugar or maple syrup
Evaporated or crystalized cane juice
Honey, molasses
Brown rice syrup
Fruit juice concentrates
maltodextrin  or dextrin
Dextrose, Fructose, Glucose, Maltose, or Sucrose

So how much sugar should we be consuming daily? As little as humanly possible! White refined sugar is very bad for the body. It seems sugar is in everything we eat and drink, more now than 100 years ago and Americans are also fatter than ever today. No doubt, sugar is one of the causes. Although, food sources of naturally occurring sugars also provide vitamins and minerals, while foods containing added sugars provide mainly calories and very few vitamins and minerals. For this reason, the calories in added sugar are called “empty calories”.

no sugar 2

High intakes of sugar promote overeating because of its stimulating taste. Excess calories consumed over time result in obesity with its myriad of health risks and problems. Sugar is one of three kinds of carbohydrate: starch, fiber and sugar. Try to keep your processed sugar and food items to a minimum. Never cut out your fruits and veggies though!

Jill Purvis –

Greek Yogurt verses Regular Varieties Jun 25, 2012

Greek Yogurt verses Regular Varieties

I recently jumped on the Greek yogurt bandwagon, and probably not for the reasons you think.  I was recently asked by a friend which is better.  I automatically answered Greek. When she asked why, beyond nutrition, my answer was because I eat a lot less of it than regular yogurt. I usually only use yogurt to top fresh berries, and only need about ½ the amount of Greek, basically because of the taste. So half the calories! There are also the nutritional reasons….

First, to be clear: Both Greek and regular yogurt, in their plain, nonfat or low-fat forms, can be part of a healthful diet. They’re low in calories and packed with calcium and live bacterial cultures. But Greek yogurt—which is strained extensively to remove much of the liquid whey, lactose, and sugar, giving it its thick consistency—does have an undeniable edge. In roughly the same amount of calories, it can pack up to double the protein, while cutting sugar content by half. Those are two things dietitians love!

greek yogurt

Are you still undecided on which team to join? Compare the labels of Dannon’s regular and Greek varieties. (Other popular brands of Greek yogurt include Chobani, and Stonyfield Farm’s Oikos.)

Greek (5.3 ounces, nonfat, plain)
Calories: 80
Total fat: 0 grams
Cholesterol: 10 milligrams
Sodium: 50 milligrams
Sugar: 6 grams
Protein: 15 grams
Calcium: 15 percent on a 2,000-calorie diet
Regular (6 ounces, nonfat, plain)
Calories: 80
Total fat: 0 grams
Cholesterol 5 milligrams
Sodium: 120 milligrams
Sugar: 12 grams
Protein: 9 grams
Calcium: 30 percent on a 2,000-calorie diet.

Although experts agree that Greek yogurt has an obvious nutritional edge, you need to stick to plain, nonfat, or low-fat varieties of any yogurt that you choose. Remember, Greek yogurt can be used as vegetable dips when seasoned and it can replace sour cream, cream cheese, mayonnaise, and butter.

Jill Purvis

Buddy Workout 6/21/2012 Jun 21, 2012

Buddy workout 6/21/2012

I did this workout with a friend who is just starting over on the weights. We did a leg/abdominal interval workout.  Do the workout 3 times through.

 Me (more advanced)                         Buddy (beginner stage)
 Bench Step-ups – 15 ea leg                     Stationary Lunges (with chair for balance) 15 reps ea leg
 Plies w/12 lb DB – 20 reps                      Plies (with chair for balance) 20 reps
 Dead Lifts w/12 lb DB – 20 reps            Glute Raises (1 foot on BOSU) 15 reps ea leg
 Bench Crossovers (curtsey squats)   15 reps ea leg TRX Crossovers – 15 ea leg
 Boat knee ins (on edge of bench)         Boats (raise 1 leg at a Time) 10-15 reps
 Hanging abs 20 reps                                 Bench knee ins*  20 reps

 TRX Mogul Jumps – 1 to 2 mins    Treadmill 2 1/2 mins as fast as possible

*lay flat on bench – knees bent above hips. Straighten legs towards front wall – keeping feet as low as possible without lifting back off bench.

As you can see, we are working the same muscle group with each exercise we do together. Just shows you how you can start and progress as you get stronger and more fit.  Everything can usually be modified!

Jill Purvis

Health Benefits of Papaya Jun 20, 2012

Health Benefits of Papaya

Exotic papaya fruit or pawpaw is packed with numerous health benefiting nutrients. The fruit is one of the favorite of fruit lovers for its nutritional, digestive, and anti-aging properties. Papaya tree is grown extensively all over the tropical regions and cultivated for its fruits and latex papain, an enzyme that is used in food industry. It is an excellent source of Vitamin-A (provides 1094 IU/100 g) and flavonoids like beta carotenes, lutein, zeaxanthin and cryptoxanthins. Vitamin A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is essential for vision. These compounds are known to have antioxidant properties; help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play role in aging and various disease processes. Consumption of natural fruits rich in carotenes has known to protect body from lung and oral cavity cancers.


Fresh, ripe papaya is one of the fruits with highest vitamin-C content (provides about 103% of DRA, more than in oranges, or lemons). Research studies have shown that vitamin C has many important functions like free radicals scavenging, immune booster, and anti-inflammatory actions. The fruit is very low in calories (just 39 cal/100 g) and contains no cholesterol. Papayas contain soft, easily digestible pulp/flesh with good amount of soluble dietary fiber that helps to have normal bowel movements; thereby reducing constipation.

Papaya is rich in many essential B-complex vitamins such as Folic acid, pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), riboflavin, and thiamin (vitamin B-1). These vitamins are essential in the sense that body requires them from external sources to replenish and play vital role in metabolism. Fresh papaya also contains good amount of potassium (257 mg per 100 g) and calcium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids and helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure countering effects of sodium.

Papaya and Avocado Recipe

1 avocado
1 papaya
1 lime
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ TSP salt (optional)
½ TSP Black Pepper

papaya and avocado

Prepare on a platter starting with slices of papaya; add a slice of avocado on top of each slice of papaya.  Drizzle lime juice over, then evoo, sprinkle with salt & pepper.  Enjoy.

Jill Purvis –

Ways to Manage your Cholesterol Jun 19, 2012

Ways to Manage your Cholesterol

To work towards managing your cholesterol levels and start living healthy, your doctor may have recommended making some lifestyle changes. Examples of these changes may include: eating healthy, fresh foods, getting more exercise and getting your regular cholesterol check-ups to monitor your levels.

ldl hdl

Incorporating an exercise program into your daily routine can provide many benefits. Examples of these benefits may include:

  •  Burning calories and helping you lose weight
  •  Lowering cholesterol levels and blood pressure
  •  Strengthening heart and lungs
  •  Increasing muscle strength and bone density
  •  Reducing physical and mental stress

There are so many benefits and more! And almost everyone can find some kind of exercise to enjoy. You don’t have to run a marathon or compete in bodybuilding. Remember that everything counts: walking the dog, riding a bike, dancing, or playing a round of golf. Be sure to choose what works for you, but always be sure to check with a doctor before beginning any exercise program.

Eating healthy is making a commitment to eating fresh, whole foods. A healthy diet may help you to:

  •  Manage weight
  •  Lower bad cholesterol
  •  Lower blood pressure
  •  Gain energy
  •  Reduce health risks


Making a change in your diet and exercise habits is a big commitment. Be sure to focus on what’s good, instead of what you miss. One thing that can help is to take a moment each day to notice how much better your body feels when you eat right and exercise. Also feel proud about the progress you’re making to live a healthier lifestyle.

While you might think your current medical treatment is enough, you can never be too careful when your health is at stake. This is why it is important to consider every option available to you to lower your cholesterol. Herbal supplements are one of many important options. We have all your cholesterol management supplements here at

Jill Purvis –

Fast Food “Healthy Option” Traps Jun 13, 2012

Fast Food “Healthy Option” Traps

You might be tempted to hit the drive-thru during these hectic summer months. Fast food restaurants are offering some “healthier” options that might make you feel a little better about pit-stops for feeding your family. But are there alternatives healthy? Experts have picked the 5 worst kids meals that might be surprising to some caregivers.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine came out with the 5 worst “Healthy” kids meals:

Burger King

fast food

Top of the list is Chick-Fil-A’s grilled nuggets kids’ meal which contains the same amount of cholesterol as a
McDonalds Big Mac. McDonald’s cheeseburger Happy Meal has as much sodium as 13 orders of McDonald’s kids fries even though they have incorporated fruit. Burger King also made the list with their kid’s meal containing as much cholesterol as 6 pieces of pork bacon.

In addition to increasing body weight, these food meals can contribute to high blood pressure, water retention and over-all not setting children up to a healthy lifestyle later in life. There are some better options available and helping your children now to reach for healthier options or even pre-plan by packing food.  Even though these restaurants are offering healthier choices, those options are often misleading.

Jill Purvis –

Lack of Sleep can lead to Strokes Jun 12, 2012

Lack of Sleep can lead to Strokes

We all know the importance of getting our 8 hours of zzzzzzz.  Just another reason to get your much needed sleep is that if you habitually sleep less than six hours a night, you still could be boosting your risk of a stroke. This is regardless of your health habits, you could be thin and fit and this still applies to you.


Getting too little shut-eye appeared to more than quadruple the risk of stroke symptoms among healthy, normal-weight people aged 45 and older, according to a study of some 5,600 people followed for up to three years. That’s the surprising conclusion of a new study being presented at SLEEP 2012, the annual meeting of the nation’s sleep experts. Experts are saying sleep habits are just as important as exercise and diet. Healthy adults are recommended to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night.  According to a recent study, 1 in 3 working adults get less than 7 hours of sleep regularly.

It’s no surprise that adults function best with more sleep than six hours a night, experts say. Chronic sleep
deprivation caused by getting too little most nights may boost the risk of stroke because it causes changes in the autonomic functions of the body, including blood pressure, heart rate, inflammation and glucose levels. It not only affects the blood vessels to the heart and body, but also to other extremeties.

lack of sleep

So be sure to get those all-important 8 hours of shut eye!

Jill Purvis

Muscular Sclerosis and Exercise Jun 11, 2012

Muscular Sclerosis and Exercise

Muscular sclerosis (MS) is caused by the gradual damage of the fatty coating that surrounds the motor neurons. The cause of MS is currently unknown, although genetic, viral and environmental factors are still being tested. MS symptoms include numbness & tingling in one or more limbs, muscle weakness, fatigue, blurred vision, heat intolerance, and leads to loss of balance, coordination and overall muscle function.

Muscular Sclerosis and Exercise 

For those individuals who have been diagnosed with MS, special exercise considerations include the following:

Chair aerobics, stationary cycling, or water exercise may help with balance issues compared to treadmill activities and high/low impact group fitness classes.

Exercise in a cool environment.

Moderate strength training is appropriate for those who suffer with MS – perform functional exercises such as squats whenever possible.

Weight machines may be preferable to reduce need for balance.

Be aware of “foot drop” or weakening in the anterior tibialis. This may increase the chance of stumbling or falling.

There are 4 types of MS which range from a benign form with little or no disability to a progressive, disabling form that brings on acute attacks of dysfunction. Be sure to check with your physician, but in many instances, exercise is recommended. Consider using a personal trainer for proper exercises, form, progression and as a spotter for balance.

Jill Purvis –

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