Stuffed Pork Chops

In a saucepan, sauté onion in butter until soft. Add orange juice and bread cubes and mix well. Cut a pocket in each chop, leaving about 1/2 inch intact around 3 sides. Stuff bread mixture into chops, sealing opening with a toothpick. Grill over medium heat, turning occasionally until done.

Yield: 4 Servings

Sodium Category: LowSodium


Like many folks I know, I’m kicking off 2010 with a cold so I decided to use this opportunity to concoct a healthy, cold-fighting meal.

Of course, the best cold medicine is Mom’s chicken soup, but my Mom lives 1000 miles away and being that I’m on a sodium restricted diet, chicken soup sans salt tastes kind of blah.

Yesterday I decided to go the Chinese Hot Pot route and include lots of health promoting ingredients!

Ginger – Ginger is one of those super-foods that provide a multitude of benefits across a variety of ailments from upset stomach to arthritis. It also happens to be a natural decongestant as well as an antihistamine, making it the perfect remedy for colds!

Garlic – The sulfur compound allicin is responsible for garlic’s unique odor, and has been shown to be effective in fighting common infections like colds and flu.

Scallion – Scallions, like other members of the onion family, have several anti-inflammatory agents that render them helpful in reducing the severity of symptoms associated with respiratory congestion.

Cabbage – My cabbage of choice in this instance was baby bok choy. Cabbage is loaded with Vitamin C and as we all know, you can never have enough V-C when battling the sniffles!

Shitake Mushrooms – Shitake mushrooms contain lentinan, a compound that has been shown to fire up the immune system.

Chili Peppers – Nothing opens up the nasal passages like some good hot chili peppers. The capsaicin in chili’s act as a decongestant for upper respiratory symptoms.

Susan’s Cold-Fighting Soup

3 cups Imagine Organic Low Sodium, Free Range Chicken Broth
4 scallions, sliced
3 long slices of ginger (for flavoring the broth)
8 baby bok choy, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
12 shitake mushrooms, halved
8 large shrimp, cleaned and tail removed
Black pepper, to taste
Red chili pepper flakes, to taste

Combine first 6 ingredients and let simmer on stove for 15 – 20 minutes. The ginger and garlic will help flavor the broth. Add shrimp and cook until shrimp turn pink, approximately 5 minutes.

Dipping Sauce

1 Tbsp House Of Tsang Less Sodium Soy Sauce (the lowest sodium soy sauce I’ve found)
1/4 Tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp fresh ground chili paste

Serves 2

I use chopsticks to grab the shrimp and mushrooms out of the broth to dip in the spicy sauce, and eat the rest with a spoon. I kept the broth simmering on the stove top and revisited it throughout the afternoon. It did a pretty good job keeping my congestion under control and to make the dish more filling, I mixed in a little brown rice later in the afternoon.

Nutritional information, per serving (not including the brown rice): 163 calories; 5 grams fat (1 gram saturated fat); 24 grams carbohydrates; 11 grams protein; 340 mg sodium

Train hard; stay strong.



Happy 2010!

Happy New Year! May your year be filled with happiness and good health!

Grilled Tuna Steaks

Tuna steaks tend to get tough if you cook them too long, so take them off the grill while they are still pink in the center to keep them juicy

1 lb Tuna Steaks
1/2 c Balsamic Vinegar
2 T Sugar
1 T Italian Seasoning
1/2 t Garlic Powder
1 T Olive Oil
1 T Lemon Juice

Combine all ingredients except tuna and lemon juice and pour in a glass baking dish. Add tuna and marinate 15 minutes, turned frequently. Heat grill to high. Place fish on grill and grill until medium doneness, about 3 minutes per side. Place on serving plates and squeeze lemon juice over.

Yield: 4 Servings

Sodium Category: LowSodium

Soda Kills

This past September subway billboards was the media of choice in a highly aggressive campaign warning against the danger of sugary drinks; a major factor in our current obesity epidemic.

This time around the New York City Health Department is utilizing YouTube for its anti-obesity campaign.

Love them or hate them, these campaigns definitely stir up emotion as can be seen from the hundreds of comments rolling in across the web and social media. Comments range from “It got me…I’ll? never drink soda again. ” to “Nothing like spending millions of tax dollars on this silliness.”

[Sources: YouTube and NY Daily, respectively]

Some folks believe that shock-advertising grabs your attention and makes you think, while others believe it can be downright insulting.

What’s your opinion?

Train hard; stay strong.


Flu Fighting Fruit

Yet another friend of mine fell victim to the flu this week.

The good news is that according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) during the week of November 22-28, 2009, influenza activity continued to decrease in the U.S.

Hopefully we’ll see an end to this years flu season sooner rather than later.

In the meantime, go to the store, buy yourself a bag of apples and start munching! Yes,and apple a day may actually keep the doctor away as apples are a great source of quercetin, a flavanoid that may help to protect the body against influenza. It is chemically related to resveratrol, a compound that has also been shown to have some antiviral benefits in laboratory studies.

Other benefits of quercetin include reducing high blood pressure, minimizing the risk of heart disease and potentially minimizing the risk of developing some forms of cancer.

In addition to apples, good sources of quercetin include onions, raspberries and green and black tea.

Train hard; stay strong; stay healthy!



Broth Injected Turkey

You can get the same kind of extra juiciness that the commercial meat packers are doing while saving lots of sodium by injecting your own turkey. Using a low sodium chicken broth adds almost no sodium per serving. You can find injectors in the gadget aisle of many large supermarkets or any kitchen supply store or buy one online somewhere like cooking.Com for only a few dollars. Starting the cooking at a high temperature seals in the juices and gives you a nice juicy skin.

12 lb Turkey
1 c Low Sodium Chicken Or Turkey Broth

Preheat oven to 500F. Using a hypodermic needle or baster-injector to inject the broth into the turkey. Put turkey in the oven. Let cook for 20 minutes or until the exterior is crisp, but not golden brown. Reduce heat to 375F. Let bird roast until finished.

Yield: 24 Servings

Sodium Category: LowSodium

Sodium 83 mg

Honey-Pineapple Sweet Potatoes Recipe


  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple
  • 1 can (8 ounces) pineapple chunks, drained
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans, optional


  • Place sweet potatoes and water in a 2-qt. microwave-safe dish. Cover and microwave on high for 8-10 minutes or until potatoes are tender; drain.
  • Drain crushed pineapple, reserving juice. In a large bowl, combine the crushed pineapple, pineapple chunks and sweet potatoes. Transfer to a 2-1/2-qt. baking dish coated with cooking spray. In a small bowl, combine honey and reserved juice; pour over sweet potatoes.
  • Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 10 minutes. Stir; sprinkle with pecans if desired. Bake 15-20 minutes longer or until heated through. Yield: 13 servings.



Nutrition Facts: 3/4 cup (calculated without pecans) equals 105 calories, trace fat (trace saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 7 mg sodium, 26 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 1 g protein. Diabetic Exchange: 2 starch.

Crockpot Beef Barbecue

A quick and easy way to shredded beef barbecue sandwiches for dinner. Put this in the slow cooker and some rolls in the bread machine and when you get home, dinner will be almost done.

2 lb Beef Chuck
1 lg Onion
1/2 t Liquid Smoke
1 c Salt Free Barbecue Sauce

Slice onion and place in bottom of crockpot. Place beef on top. Drizzle liquid smoke over. Cook on low 10-12 hours. Remove meat and onion, drain and shred. Add sauce and mix well.

Yield: 6 Servings

Sodium Category: LowSodium

Sodium 111 mg

Holiday Fat Loss Tip – Plan Your Workouts

I have always really struggled to keep up with my fitness goals when it comes to the month of December. Not only is there all of the holiday hoopla going on, but my birthday also falls in December so the month feels like one long party.

We all know that our schedules are going to be hectic this time of year. We’re shopping, cooking, visiting with family and friends and joining in the holiday cheer.

With all of those other activities it’s easy to find yourself missing a workout or two (or three, or four) along the way. Guess what? The more workouts you miss, the more pounds you are likely to pack on.

Staying on top of your training routine will take some planning and serious time management skills.

What works for me is keeping a printed calendar of all of my workouts for the month. I actually plan the time of day I will be working out and jot that on the calendar so that I can make certain not to schedule a conflicting event.

It’s important to be detailed. ‘Winging’ it is when we get ourselves in to trouble – especially this month when there never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done.

What are your tips for staying on track with your fitness goals during the holidays?

Train hard; stay strong.