No, Chipotle Doesn’t Make You Chubby

Written by: on Thursday, September 3rd, 2015
ChubbyChipotle

When you see a full-page ad attacking a business that’s been doing extremely well, become very suspicious.

So, I was catching up on the New York Post this morning—and was amazed to come across this full page ad basically bashing Chipotle. Hmm…I thought. Chipotle has been doing extremely well and businesses like McDonald’s have been doing poorly, shutting down restaurants around the country and laying off employees. “Could McDonald’s be behind this?” I thought. “Why else would anyone spend this kind of money to bash Chipotle in a way-too-obvious attempt to negate all the positive feedback Chipotle has been getting.” Or it might be Monsanto: king of the push for GMO’s that’s not doing too well either (Chipotle has vowed to go non-GMO). Some big money group is definitely behind a full-page ad, which can run into the tens of thousands of dollars…if not more.

Turns out my suspicions are justified: This ChubbyChipotle ad is the work of a seemingly innocuous and “helpful” group called The Center for Consumer Freedom, a “nonprofit coalition which opposes activist interference with and legal restrictions on the sale of food and drink, etc…” (according to their website). The only problem: this group is one of many created by Washington, D.C. Public Relations (PR) executive and lawyer, Rick Berman, who heads up a PR group called Berman and Company.

No surprise as I dug deeper, Rick Berman is paid for by big money; while you would never get hold of his client list (most companies have their clients front and center on their websites; this guy supposedly firewalls his list so no one knows whom he represents). This is the same guy behind other websites opposing PETA, GreenPeace, unions, raising the minimum wage, and regulation of trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Click on this independent website to get a bit more background information on this guy (warning: it ain’t pretty).

Chipotle burrito

Burritos can be healthy for you—but don’t load them up with high-calorie cheese and sour cream.

First of all, when it comes to weight gain—eating too much of ANYTHING can make you fat. But choosing Chipotle for your meals definitely won’t make you chubby unless you’re eating 2 giant burritos, plus chips, plus a giant soda at every meal. Moderation is the key to healthy eating and keeping your weight stable. And beans, rice, avocados, tomatoes, lettuce, and a variety of other healthy ingredients that make up Chipotle’s delicious menu are good for you. (Yes, I’m a Chipotle fan—as well as being an advocate for the truth when it comes to your health and wellbeing).

And when it comes to ads like this, dig deeper because there’s some spinmaster at work behind the ad, trying to make you believe something other than what your gut is telling you is right.

Bottom line: when it comes to your health, always, always trust your gut. If you believe, for example, that organic food is healthiest for your family—don’t listen to the cacophony of negatives against organic food saying that organics are no better than foods sprayed with pesticides. If you believe that genetically modified (GMO) foods aren’t good for your health, stick to your guns because there will be plenty of these ads—and even research studies paid for by these companies not telling the entire truth—based on spinning the truth to make you believe that companies like Monsanto are good and are actually there to feed the world and help prevent hunger. (Not)

Your gut is all you have to rely on because where there’s big money, there are big lobbying groups like Berman and Company working to spin the information so they can all make big money (and you’re left with a host of diseases 10/15 years from now).

As a matter of record, I have received no money from Chipotle to write this post—and in fact, have never received anything free from Chipotle. I choose to eat there with my family because I know it’s healthy food—and the ingredients are fresh. My kids love it. And what’s more: none of us are chubby.

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The Right (& Wrong) Ways to Lose Weight

Written by: on Wednesday, March 4th, 2015
woman strength training

Remember: cardio and strength training are both important parts of your exercise regimen.

Exercise is medicine. This is a key message that’s worth reminding everyone of. Given that two-thirds of Americans are either overweight or obese, and that healthcare costs (to say nothing of quality-of-life costs) are staggering, we need to figure out how to turn this ship around. Here are eight truths about diet and exercise that anyone trying to lose weight (or even maintain weight) and stay fit should know:

1) Miracle slim-down diets (aka “crash diets”) do not work. Is it true the less you eat, the more weight you will lose? No. A big slashing of calories poorly predicts how much weight you will lose because your body adapts to perceived “famine” conditions by conserving energy.

close up of broccoli

The secret to weight loss: a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables (like broccoli), whole grains, legumes, healthy fats (like olive oil), and lean meat and dairy (if you eat dairy).

In a three-month study, young, healthy women were given a diet to lose weight. One diet had a moderate (-400) calorie deficit; this group lost six pounds in 3 months. The other diet had a severe (-850) calorie deficit; that group lost only 8 pounds. This was far less than predicted and related to a drop in resting metabolic rate. The body’s ability to conserve energy is quite powerful! If you want to lose weight, plan to chip off just a few hundred calories at the end of the day, rather than starve yourself by under eating all day.

In fact, men who want to lose weight should not crash diet, either. They will lose not only muscle but also testosterone (a muscle-building hormone). In a three-week study, soldiers ate a high-protein diet (3 x the RDA; 2.4 g pro/kg/day) but under ate calories by 40% below the amount needed to maintain weight. While the very high-protein intake helped counter loss of muscle, it did not maintain testosterone levels. Remember: chipping off a few hundred calories is preferable to a chopping off a thousand. Two fewer cans of soda or beer a day can make a difference in weight!

2) It doesn’t matter how often you eat; what matters is calories. Are dieters better off eating three small meals plus three small snacks—or eating the same amount of calories but in just two meals? For two weeks, obese middle-age women ate calorie-controlled packets of food either two or six times a day. Either way, the subjects reported being hungry. Eating six smaller meals did not appear to improve appetite response. So take your choice how often you want to eat, being sure to keep the total calories within your daily calorie budget.

Cup of coffee

Coffee has many health benefits—thanks to its antioxidants—but weight loss is not one of them.

3) No, coffee can’t curb your appetite (sorry!). Many dieters drink coffee for breakfast, swearing it curbs their morning hunger pangs. Yet, a study with 12 subjects reported no differences in appetite (and subsequent food intake) when their breakfast and mid-morning beverages were 1) water, 2) water+caffeine, 3) decaffeinated coffee or 4) decaf+caffeine. At lunch (4.5 hours after breakfast), the subjects reported similar amounts of hunger and ate similar amount of calories, regardless of their caffeine intake. The coffee did not effectively curb their appetites.

4) Listen to your body. What happens to food intake when healthy college men who exercise regularly are told to sit for 10 additional hours a week for 8 weeks?  They naturally eat less! At baseline, the subjects ate about 2,600 calories a day (47% carb, 18% protein, 32% fat). When they were told to be more sedentary, they intuitively ate less than baseline. They chose the same foods, just smaller portions. Only 1 of the 8 subjects ate more than at baseline. The moral of the study: If you get injured and cannot exercise, your body can naturally desire fewer calories. The trick is to listen to your body’s cues.

5) Regular exercise does more than just keep you fit. Exercise can impact not only weight but also the kinds of microbes that grow in the gut. In mice, the kinds of microbes differ by 40% between sedentary lean and obese mice. Even mice made obese by a high-fat diet—but allowed to use an exercise wheel—had a lean phenotype compared to the sedentary obese mice with no access to the exercise wheel. The exercised mice had distinctly different gut microbes. We need more research to understand how exercise impacts gut microbes in humans and how those microbes impact metabolism and weight.

Dumbbells

Lifting weights boosts bone density and your resting metabolism (which is key to how many calories you burn a day).

6) You’ve got to lift weights. Female athletes commonly have low bone mineral density. Is this related to their being light in weight? Having low body fat? Less muscle? A study of 44 female D-1 athletes (from cross-country, tennis, basketball, and soccer teams) suggests that bone mineral density significantly relates to muscle mass. The more muscle, the better the bone density. Keep lifting those weights!

7) Any exercise is better than no exercise. Does very slow walking (1 mile/hour) on a treadmill desk offer any health benefits? Yes. In a study, 32 college students consumed 300 calories of glucose and then either 1) remained sedentary for two hours or 2) for two hours, alternated walking on a treadmill workstation for 30 minutes then sitting for 30 minutes. The results suggest even very slow walking helped with blood glucose control. Bottom line: being sedentary is deleterious to health.

8) Getting older? Make it a point to move more. Regular leisure-time exercise patterns drop from childhood to adolescence and become unacceptably low in adulthood. One reason may be that we spend many hours at our desks working—with little time for leisure or even vacation. This is why it’s even more important to make an effort to fit in exercise as often as possible. And try to get up from your desk at regular intervals….and walk (even around the office) if you can. Remember, every little bit helps!

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Edible Seeds & Why They’re Good for You

Written by: on Monday, November 3rd, 2014

I love this chart highlighting the benefits of seeds. We’re not conditioned to think of seeds as a food here in America—but we should. (I personally love flax and chia seeds because they’re chockfull of omega-3s [I sprinkle them on my oatmeal every day] — and sesame seeds, which I sprinkle on my salads, because they’re high in calcium.) Take a look and find a seed to try in your diet.

6 Edible Seeds: Here is why you should sprinkle them into your diet
“6 Edible Seeds” on Health Perch

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Super Foods: Do They Need to be Exotic?

Written by: on Sunday, September 7th, 2014
turrmeric

Turmeric is a potent anti-inflammtory long used in Chinese and Indian systems of medicine. The yellow or orange pigment in turmeric is curcumin.

Do you ever get tired of reading yet-another headline about The 10 Best Super Foods, only be instructed to buy exotic fruits, ancient grains, and other unusual items? Do we really need chia, spelt, and quinoa? Is anything wrong with old-fashioned peanut butter, broccoli, and brown rice? Doubtful! Powerful nutrients are found in standard foods that are readily available at a reasonable cost. You know, oranges, bananas, berries, oatmeal, almonds, hummus, lowfat yogurt, brown rice, tuna … basic, wholesome foods. Are those foods exotic? No. But do they still do a great job of offering super nutrition? Yes!

To add to the confusion about exotic foods, the sports food industry touts their list of engineered super sports supplements. Ads lead you to believe you really need to buy these products to support your athletic performance. The question arises: Are there really special nutrients or components of food that can help athletes to go faster, higher or stronger? If so, can they be consumed in the form of whole foods or do we actually need special commercial supplements?

At a 2014 meeting of Professionals in Nutrition for Exercise and Sport (PINESNutrition.org), exercise researchers from around the globe discussed that topic and provided answers to these questions:

Cup of coffee

Coffee is also rich in health-promoting antioxidants.

Is there any difference between consuming pre-exercise caffeine in the form of pills, gels or coffee?

Regardless of the source of caffeine (pill, gel, coffee), it is a popular way to enhance athletic performance. Take note: High doses of caffeine (2.5 to 4 mg/lb body weight; 6 to 9 mg/kg) are no better than the amount athletes typically consume in a cup or two of coffee (1.5 mg/lb; 3 mg/kg). Hence, drinking an extra cup of coffee is unlikely to be advantageous, particularly when consumed later in the day before an afternoon workout, which is when it ends up interfering with evening sleep!

Do tart (Montmorency) cherries offer any benefits to sports performance? If so, what’s the best way to consume them?

Tart cherries (and many other deeply colored fruits and veggies) are rich in health-protective antioxidants and polyphenols. Tart cherries can reduce inflammation, enhance post-exercise recovery, repair muscles, reduce muscle soreness, and improve sleep. Athletes who are training hard, participating in tournaments, or traveling through time zones might be wise to enjoy generous portions. Yet, to get the recommended dose of cherries that researchers use to elicit benefits, you would need to eat 90 to 110 cherries twice a day for seven days pre-event. Most athletes prefer to swig a shot of tart cherry juice concentrate instead! (One study found that drinking 8 ounces of tart cherry juice twice daily helped insomniacs sleep 84 more minutes per night than when given a placebo juice.)

Blueberries

Colorful fruits like blueberries are rich in antioxidants called polyphenols as well as other nutrients; organic is always best.

What about food polyphenols such as quercetin and resveratrol?

Polyphenols are colorful plant compounds that are linked with good health when they are consumed in whole foods. Yet, polyphenol supplements, such as quercetin or resveratrol, don’t offer the same positive antioxidant or anti-inflammatory benefits. An explanation might be that once in the colon, where most polyphenols go, parts leak into the bloodstream during heavy exercise. These smaller compounds create the anti-inflammatory effect. Athletes who routinely eat colorful fruits during endurance training offer their gut the opportunity to distribute good health!

Does curcumin reduce chronic inflammation?

Curcumin (an active constituent of turmeric, the spice that gives the yellow color to curry and mustard) has beneficial properties that have been shown to help prevent cancer, enhance eye health, and reduce inflammation. Subjects with osteoarthritis (an inflammatory condition) who took curcumin supplements for 8 months reported less pain (due to less inflammation) and better quality of life. Unfortunately, curcumin is rapidly metabolized and therefore has low bioavailability when consumed in the diet. To increase absorption, supplements often contain curcumin combined with piperine (black pepper extract).

Green tea is rich in catechins, antioxidants that fight and may even prevent cell damage.

Green tea is rich in catechins, antioxidants that fight and may even prevent cell damage.

Does green tea help improve body composition? What is the best way to take it?

Green tea reportedly enhances fat oxidation and helps with weight loss, particularly when combined with caffeine. But the amount of additional fat burned is minimal, and the 10 to 12 cups of green tea needed to create any effect is a bit overwhelming. (Hence, most studies use a green tea extract.) Because green tea has not been studied in lean athletes, we can only guess that it is unlikely to offer a significant improvement in body composition.

Is watermelon juice a powerful stimulant for sports performance?

Watermelon juice is a source of L-citrulline, an amino acid that contributes to production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps relax the blood vessels and thus enhances blood flow so more oxygen can get transported to the working muscles. One study with athletes who consumed L-citrulline supplements reports they attained a 7% higher peak power output as compared to when they exercised without L-citrulline.

slices of watermelon

Watermelon contains about 250 millligrams of citrulline per cup.

Yet, when athletes were given watermelon juice (contains L-citrulline) or apple juice (that has no L-citrulline), the peak power was only slightly higher and the L-citrulline gave no significant benefits. The bottom line: Watermelon is a nourishing fruit and a welcome refreshment for thirsty athletes. You would need to eat a lot of watermelon to get the equivalent of L-citrulline found in (expensive) supplements. Your best bet is to enjoy watermelon in standard portions as a tasty addition to your diet.

What can be done with pea, hemp, or other plant protein to make them as effective as whey for building muscle?

In general, plants (such as peas, hemp) contain less leucine than found in animal proteins. Leucine helps drive the muscle’s ability to make new protein. Hence, to increase the muscle-building properties of plant proteins, you need to either eat large portions of, let’s say, hemp or pea protein (to get a bigger dose of leucine), or you can combine those plant-foods with leucine-rich proteins, such as soy, egg, or dairy foods.

The bottom line: Your best bet to optimize performance is to optimize your total diet. No amount of any supplement will compensate for lousy eating, though a few just might enhance a proper diet.

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Eat Brownies (and Still Lose Weight)

Written by: on Sunday, September 7th, 2014
Jamie Lichenstein

Trying out freshly baked brownies!

In the past 16 months, I’ve excluded sugar, dairy, gluten, carbohydrates, and red meat from my diet in an effort to lose weight—and gain much-needed confidence. (I also began to exercise five days a week.) The result: I’ve lost 40 pounds and I’ve never felt better.

During the first month of my diet I was challenged: temptations were all around, my friends didn’t understand, and amidst final exams at the end of last school year, Entenmanns cookies were the most common study snack, but I forced myself to remember why I started my diet in the first place: I felt badly about my body and wanted to change that.

Not to generalize, but I have learned that my peers, teenage girls, either eat whatever they want and don’t care—supporting the YOLO (You Live Only Once) lifestyle—or others will choose to skip eating all together, setting themselves up for serious eating disorders. So, when I decided to adopt a routine that was not similar to theirs, I was met with confusion and opposition. “Why would you do that?” They would ask. It wasn’t clear to anyone but me. This was something I had to do for myself.

After those first four weeks, the diet became more of a lifestyle: ordering chicken and veggies became natural and skipping dessert wasn’t a big deal any more. Eventually my friends stopped pressing me.

The result: I’m happier and healthier than I have ever been before, and now I get emails and texts from people all the time asking me for “weight-loss tips”.

Healthy Ingredients for Brownies

The ingredients for my favorite brownies.

With that said, I wanted to share this amazing recipe for sugar-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free chocolate fudge brownies. They are delicious! So, I hope you enjoy these brownies and understand that just because there isn’t sugar in my diet, it doesn’t mean my life is any less sweet! (I found the recipe on this great website, sugarfreemom.com.)

P.S. Just as I was cooking these brownies, my mom said to me, “I don’t get the point of these. If you can’t have sugar, dairy, or gluten, why eat these at all?” Well, to those of us who have very restrictive diets, it is nice to often be rewarded, albeit with non-traditional desserts. One of the greatest lessons I have learned from my diet is there is always a way to enjoy yourself, but without sacrificing calories or confidence. Now, I respect myself for having such strong will power, and I feel better about my body than I ever thought I could.

Sugar, Dairy, and Gluten-Free Brownies

Just click on this recipe to enlarge…and follow!

 

 

 

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Healthy Vegetable Frittata

Written by: on Friday, June 6th, 2014
Healthy Vegetable Fritatta

Fritattas make a perfect breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

Looking for a quick and healthy meal that tastes fabulous? Your search is over. My Spring Vegetable Frittata is super easy to make. Plus, it’s loaded with fresh asparagus, tomatoes, and onions. (You can also add other veggies of your choice like peppers and spinach.) Besides using quality ingredients, the key to making this recipe is your skillet. Make sure you use a really good pan so your frittata cooks evenly and slides out easily. Watching your cholesterol? Go ahead and use egg substitute or instead of 6 eggs use 4 whole eggs and 4 egg whites. My family loves eating a light dinner like a frittata or quiche on warm spring or summer evenings. Last time I made Spring Vegetable Frittata, my teenage son informed me, “Guys don’t eat frittatas, they eat skillets!” Needless to say, he cleaned his plate! Your family is going to love it, too.

Spring Skillet Frittata

4 Servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

 

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

6 small red potatoes (12 ounces), each cut into 8 pieces (I used new potatoes)

2 cups asparagus, cut-up into bite-size pieces

4 plum tomatoes, sliced

3 tablespoons green onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

6 large eggs

1/3 cup skim milk (or almond, rice, or hemp milk if you’re dairy free)

Salt and pepper (optional)

½ cup feta cheese or dairy-free cheese (optional)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

 

Directions

1 Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot. Add potatoes, cover and cook about 10 minutes or until almost tender, stirring occasionally. Add asparagus, tomatoes, onions, and garlic; cook 4 to 5 minutes or until the asparagus is almost tender, stirring occasionally.

2. Meanwhile, beat the eggs in a medium bowl. Add the milk, salt and pepper if using, and beat well.

3. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables in the skillet. Sprinkle with the feta cheese and basil. Reduce the heat to medium-low; cover and cook about 12 minutes or until the eggs are set. To serve, cut into wedges.

Nutritional information per ¼ frittata serving (with dairy) 327 calories, 17 grams protein, 25 grams carbohydrate, 18 grams fat, 6 grams saturated fat, 296 milligrams cholesterol, 3.5 grams fiber, 341 milligrams sodium

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Whole Grain Applesauce Bread

Written by: on Friday, May 9th, 2014
Applesauce bread

Top this bread with peanut or almond butter for an even healthier snack.

In honor of Applesauce Cake Day (coming up on June 6) check out my recipe on Playdate Place  for Homemade Applesauce Cake. My family gave it two thumbs up. Still feeling inspired, plus I had some leftover applesauce, I decided to lighten up my mother-in-law’s applesauce bread. She gave me her recipe 25 years ago and let’s just say, it was time for an update. For starters, I cut back on the sugar. To add fiber and grains, I used whole-wheat white flour instead of the usual all-purpose white flour. Rather than butter (I know it tastes so rich), I used heart-healthy canola oil. The makeover was worth it! Thanks to the applesauce and buttermilk, my Whole Grain Applesauce Bread is super moist and still has a buttery flavor. I have no idea who came up with National Applesauce Cake Day but I love applesauce! Check out my recipe for homemade applesauce. It’s so easy and fun to make with your kids. In the mean time, enjoy my applesauce bread. I wonder what my mother-in-law will think?

 

Whole Grain Applesauce Bread

Makes 12 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour

 

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups whole wheat white flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon baking powder

3 large egg whites

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup canola oil

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup raisins

1/4 cup buttermilk

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9 X 5-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and baking powder together. Set aside.

Beat the egg whites, sugar and oil. Blend in applesauce and buttermilk. Add flour mixture and stir until moistened. Stir in raisins. Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan.

Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

 

Nutrition Information per slice 228 calories, 3.5 grams protein, 33 grams carbohydrate, 9.5 grams fat, 0.5 grams saturated fat, 0.5 milligrams cholesterol, 2.5 grams dietary fiber, 78.5 milligram sodium

Different type of flour to bake with

Try substituting different types of flour in this recipe: We tried substituting gluten-free flour for whole wheat and it worked great.

 

Alternative to Milk in Recipes

We also tried making this recipe dairy free by taking out the buttermilk—and it worked. We substituted rice milk (you could also use almond milk) for buttermilk and added a tablespoon of chia seeds soaked in 2 tablespoons of water.

 

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A Delicious, Super Healthy Snack

Written by: on Monday, April 28th, 2014

Chia Pod BananaI picked up some Banana Chia Pods while I was doing my weekly grocery shopping—and I have fallen in love! This convenient snack only contains three! ingredients (which follows my simple, healthy eating philosophy): chia seeds, coconut milk, and real bananas. The banana definitely tastes fresh…and there are no added sugars! Plus, one container contains 259 milligrams of potassium—a mineral key for so many things like regulating blood pressure and keeping your kidneys healthy.

These snacks are also rich in fiber and omega-3s (of course, because chias are chockfull of omega-3 fatty acids). Take a look at the ingredient label, below. Bottom line: definitely try these yummy treats—particularly as a substitute for more sugary snacks. (You can buy a 12-pack for $40, about $3 a snack, at thechiaco.com.au; just be sure to click the US flag at the bottom of the page…otherwise, you’ll be ordering from Australia!) The only downside: they use a lot of plastic for this one snack (plastic top, plastic spoon included, and plastic cup); while I do recycle plastic, I want to find a way to re-use these snack pods to make buying these worthwhile. (I think they’d make a great on-the-go snack container for kids on long car rides!) And while I’m not a fan of plastic at all, glass chia pod containers are never going to happen unless I make my own banana chia pudding…stay tuned!

Chia Pod Nutrition

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Great Info About Gluten!

Written by: on Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Gluten
Source: MPHOnline.org

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A Healthier Manhattan Clam Chowder

Written by: on Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

 

clam chowder

Did you know? Clams are mineral powerhouses, with plenty of phosphorus, potassium, copper and selenium.

This Manhattan Clam Chowder is so easy to make. Plus, it’s a broth-based soup, which means it has a lot fewer calories compared to New England Clam Chowder, which is cream-based. If you’re not digging clams, try some of my other healthy and delicious soup recipes: Turkey Tortilla Soup, Southern Corn Chowder and Slow-Cooker Chili. Soup really is good food and made the right way, it can be good for you, too!

 Manhattan Clam Chowder

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

2 (10 ounce) cans fancy whole baby clams, rinsed under running water

1 1/2 cups clam juice

1 cup celery, chopped

1 cup sweet bell pepper chopped (red or green)

1/4 cup carrot, chopped

1 green onion, chopped

2 cups finely chopped, peeled potatoes

1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes

2 cups low-sodium chicken stock (homemade tastes best!)

1/2 cup dry red wine (optional)

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Salt to taste (optional)

Directions

1) Drain the clams but save the juice! Pour the clam juice into a measuring cup. You should have at least 1 1/2 cups of clam juice. If you don’t, add extra water until you have 1 1/2 cups.

2) In a large saucepan, combine the clam juice, celery, sweet bell pepper, carrot and green onion. Bring everything to a boil; reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

3) Add all of the remaining ingredients to the saucepan except the clams. Bring it back to a boil; reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 10 more minutes.

4) Stir in the clams and return to a boil; reduce the heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes more.

Nutrition Information per serving 115 calories, 10 grams protein, 18 grams carbohydrate. 2.5 grams dietary fiber, 0 grams fat, 0 milligrams saturated fat, 20 milligrams cholesterol, 370 milligrams sodium

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