Spring is in the Air
With spring comes longer days and warmer weather. It is also a great time to review your lifestyle goals. The start of spring often motivates people to make changes to their eating habits and physical activity levels. But before picking up the latest diet book that promises to shed unwanted pounds before summer, take a moment to think about your long-term health and lifestyle goals. It is true that most diets will result in weight loss, but often the weight that is lost is due to water and muscle loss rather than fat loss. It is also very difficult to continue with the restricted habits and weight is often regained. I always say to people that fad diets do not work – if they did, there would not be a new one popping up each week.
Instead, I encourage you to focus on overall health. Eat a well-balanced diet, be active, and reduce stress. Healthy lifestyle choices have multiple health benefits including reducing your risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis. Use the start of spring as the perfect time to make some positive changes. Focus on one thing at a time and choose something that is easy for you to change. It may be to eat a serving of vegetables at supper, include a fruit at breakfast, or to walk your dog after supper. Whatever it is, start small and make sure it is something that you can do for the long term. If you are looking for more information on making changes to your eating habits, ask your health care provider for a referral to a Registered Dietitian or visit Eat Right Ontario at http://www.eatrightontario.ca.
Black Bean Brownies
1 can (540 mL) black beans, drained and rinsed
⅓ cup canola oil
2 tbsp vanilla extract
1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp baking powder
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 9” square metal baking pan.
- In food processor, puree beans, eggs, oil, and vanilla for 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth.
- In a large bowl, combine sugar, cocoa, and baking powder. Pour in bean mixture and stir until smooth.
- Pour batter into prepared baking pan. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely in pan on a rack.
Makes 12 servings.
Nutrients per serving: Calories 195; Fat 7.9 g ; Sodium 172 mg (7% DV); Carbohydrate 29 g; Fiber 4.0 g (16% DV); Protein 4 g.
Excerpted from Dietitians of Canada Cook! by Mary Sue Waisman © 2011 Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca. Reprinted with permission.