Is Popcorn Healthy?

1 Nov

Is Popcorn Healthy?

When prepared the right way, popcorn can serve as a healthy snack!  The healthiest way to prepare popcorn is by “air-popping”.

To air pop your popcorn, use an air pop popcorn maker, or simply use the microwave!  To use a microwave to air pop, spray the inside of a brown paper lunch bag generously with unflavored cooking spray, add the serving of plain kernels into the brown bag, fold over the top of the bag twice to seal it closed, and microwave for about 2 minutes, or until the popping slows to a few seconds between pops. (Cook time will vary based on microwave.)

Bagged microwave popcorn may be quick and easy, but it has its drawbacks!  These types of popcorn typically contain added salt and fat, even when choosing light or low-fat varieties.  The delicious flavor of salt and butter can be achieved by adding seasonings and other ingredients to your popcorn.  The MWLC Recipes page has tons of popcorn seasoning recipes!

Always add your flavored mixes while the popcorn is hot, as it will hold the seasonings better. Mix all ingredients together then gently sprinkle the mix a little at a time over the hot popcorn.

Use unflavored cooking spray as needed so the flavoring sticks to the popcorn. You can also use a plastic bowl with a lid and shake the popcorn with the added seasonings so it is evenly distributed.

Try these delicious Popcorn Seasoning Recipes!

S’mores Popcorn

1 MWLC Marshmallow Brownie Bar
1 packet Stevia Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp. Pumpkin Spice
1-2 oz. Boiling Water
Vinegar Powder, to taste

Air pop popcorn kernels. Stir the pumpkin spice and stevia brown sugar together and gradually mix into the popcorn. Next, take Marshmallow Brownie Bar and chunk one half into very small pieces. Place the chunks of the bar in the air-popped popcorn. Microwave the other half of the bar in a glass dish with 1-2 oz. of water for about 1 minute until it turns into a liquid, stirring along the way. Once the bar is runny, drizzle it over top of the popcorn while it is still hot. Last, sprinkle vinegar powder to taste, and enjoy!

Spice Cake Popcorn

1 Tbsp. Stevia
1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Ginger, ground
1/4 tsp. Allspice
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
1/4 tsp. Ground Cloves

Mix all ingredients together, then gently sprinkle the mix a little at a time over the hot popcorn.

Smoked BBQ Popcorn

1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp. Onion Powder
1/4 tsp. Smoked Paprika

Mix all ingredients together, then gently sprinkle the mix a little at a time over the hot popcorn.

Visit the MWLC Recipes page for more popcorn seasoning and snack recipes!

WSYM: Introducing MWLC’s TrimXCEL and ThermoPLUS

30 Oct

Medical Weight Loss Clinic offers customized prescription therapy weight loss plans and weight loss plans without the use of prescriptions.  TrimXCEL is a new non-prescription appetite suppressant and ThermoPLUS is a fat burner, both designed for the patient seeking maximum weight loss results with the use of over the counter weight loss productsTracy Strieter discusses these products with WSYM’s Bob and Mary of The Morning Blend this morning!

TrimXCEL promotes a feeling of fullness, and increases serotonin to reduce appetite and improve mood and happiness!  This special formula will also help you convert food into energy and enhance your fat and carbohydrate metabolism.

ThermoPLUS is a thermogenic fat burner that aids in weight loss because it heightens the activity of your central nervous system. This reaction encourages your body to consume more energy and calories to keep up, which contributes to the loss of pure body fat.

Want to learn more?  Book a consultation with Medical Weight Loss Clinic today!  We can help customize a plan just for you!

All About Turmeric

30 Oct

All About Turmeric

Turmeric is a golden colored spice essential for Indian curry or yellow mustard.  Not only does it lend its color and flavor to foods, but it has many purported health benefits too.  Turmeric has been thought to be effective for everything from improved brain function, to cancer prevention; from combating depression and heart disease to preventing Alzheimer’s and arthritis. Others have suggested links to a possible cure for high cholesterol as well as for eczema and psoriasis. But is it really the cure-all everyone’s claiming it to be?


This nubby root with skin similar to ginger root or tamarind has been used in cooking and medicine for thousands of years.  If you break it open, you will see the telltale signature color of turmeric.  Warning – the dyeing properties are great for coloring eggs, but it can also stain clothing, counters, hands and cutting boards.  Turmeric is commonly found in your spice aisle boiled, dried and ground into a powder, but you can also find it fresh at health food stores or organic markets.

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Turmeric is often stirred into pale foods such as eggs, rice or cauliflower to add a little color to the plate.  Turmeric is also commonly paired with ginger.  Have you tried a Fire Shot or our Baked Tandoori Chicken?

Turmeric contains curcumin, a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compound, but curcumin is only about 3% of turmeric’s weight.  Although curcumin extracts have shown some promise in scientific studies for a number of ailments, the amount of curcumin in a food dose of turmeric is not significant enough to evoke any real change.  Some curcumin advocates suggest consuming with black pepper because a component of pepper called piperine can boost curcumin absorption.

If it’s delicious cuisine you are after, start with the turmeric recipes above or add a sprinkle to your favorite culinary creation.  But if it’s health benefits you seek, you may consider a more concentrated dietary supplement or extract by discussing with your physician.

Grocery Shopping on a Budget

25 Oct

You can still eat smart while on a budget!  How?  Check out these 6 tips for eating fresh and staying healthy!

1. It is important to know what foods are in season. When a food is in season, grocery stores have abundance and you will not be over paying. Also, some grocery stores are now offering “misfit” produce at a lower cost. 20-40% of produce that is harvested does not make grocery store shelves due to odd size, shape, color, or scarring. This produce may not look appealing, but is very fresh, tastes great, and costs less!

2. It is a good idea to read ads and compare pricing in different grocery stores. Try grocery shopping at a discount grocery store. When you find a good deal on fruits or vegetables, buy them in bulk. Once you get your produce home, prepare them to be frozen in the serving sizes you want. You may need to wash, cook, and/or cut prior to freezing them. Frozen fruit is delicious in MWLC shakes and smoothies.

3. Buy your meat fresh when it is on sale, cut and weigh serving size to your preference, and then freeze the portions for future use. Buy simple cuts of meat and do the fat and bone trimming yourself. You will pay more for meat that is pre-sliced. Look for other sources of meat in your area, any local butcher shops, meat lockers, or farmers that will sell meat below grocery store price.

4. Don’t forget to shop at your local Farmer’s Markets, some are even open year-round. When you shop at Farmer’s Markets, you are cutting out the middleman (the grocery store) and paying the farmer directly. You will be buying produce in season and in its freshest form. This is a great way to get fresh produce at a cheap price, buy in bulk, and freeze for when produce is not in season.

5. Be conscious of the serving sizes you are looking for when grocery shopping – purchasing a food in bulk (to prepare meals all week long) is often less expensive.

6. Holidays are a good time to fill your freezer! The best discount on turkey is around Thanksgiving and Christmas. Holiday sales can special meat at their lowest prices of the year. Be aware that some grocery stores have a points or rewards system for spending money. These rewards will build up and help discount some of your shopping expenses. Also clip coupons as much as you can to help lower your grocery bill.

Looking for more tips for grocery shopping on a budget?  Give your local Medical Weight Loss Clinic a call today!

U.S. Obesity Rates Have Hit An All-Time High

20 Oct

Forbes Magazine reports that according to troubling new findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 4 in 10 U.S. adults have a body mass index classifying them as obese. Adult obesity rates have continued to increase steadily since the turn of the century, rising from 30.5 percent in 1999-2000 to 39.6 percent in 2015-2016, a record high. Young Americans have also been piling on the pounds and the obesity rate among the country’s youth (aged 2-19 years old) currently stands at 18.5 percent.

Broken down further, one in ten preschoolers aged 2-5, one in five children aged 6-11 and one in five adolescents aged 12-19 is considered obese. That trend is most worrying, given that young people are far more likely to stay obese while childhood obesity is linked to a higher chance of an early death in adulthood. As grim as these obesity figures are, they are only part of a far larger problem in U.S. society. Just over 70 percent of all Americans are either overweight or obese, meaning people with normal weight levels are now a minority.

What can you do to maintain a healthy BMI?  How can you learn how to make healthy choices?  Reach out to Medical Weight Loss Clinic – with 30+ clinic locations, we are ready to help!

Fall Flavors: Pumpkin Spice

19 Oct

It’s that time of year!  Pumpkin Spice is a staple salt-free blend used to season many fall favorites. 

What you need:

  • 4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp ground cloves

Mix the spices together in a small bowl and take a little whiff – smells heavenly, right?  Store the mixture in a small clean jar or spice container and sprinkle it on a hot drink recipe or delicious dessert to add a little fall flavor!

Diabetes: Protect Your Eyes In 6 Steps

18 Oct

October is Blindness Awareness Month.  What does that have to do with Diabetes?  A lot actually – according to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness among adults in the U.S.

Over time, high blood sugar levels from diabetes can lead to damage of the retina, the layer on the back of the eye that captures images and sends them to the brain.

Eye damage can occur without any initial symptoms. This is why it is so important for people with diabetes to get regular eye examinations and catch problems before serious retinal changes occur.  What is the best way to preserve your vision?  Control your blood glucose.  “When you have vision loss from diabetes, it also indicates that your blood glucose levels are abnormal,” says Raj Maturi, MD, associate professor of clinical ophthalmology at Indiana University School of Medicine.  High blood pressure and kidney problems are also risk factors for diabetic retinopathy.  Follow these guidelines to protect your vision.

  1. Do your best to control your glucose by monitoring daily.
  2. Keep your A1C (overall measure of blood glucose control) within your target range.
  3. Avoid extreme and frequent high blood glucose highs and lows, even if your A1C is on target.
  4. Eat healthy foods and maintain a well-balanced diet.
  5. Do aerobic exercises to improve vascular function or check with your physician if you’ve been diagnosed with proliferative retinopathy, detached retina, or other eye problems.
  6. Maintain good eye protection habits such as wearing sunglasses to reduce UV light exposure, taking a multivitamin that contains vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and zinc. The National Eye Institute studied high-dose vision supplements and found that 500 mg of vitamin C, 400 IU of vitamin E, 15 mg of beta-carotene and 8 mg of zinc reduced vision loss from advanced age-related macular degeneration in some people. Discuss these supplements with your physician before taking for eye health.

5 Kitchen Timesavers

16 Oct

Cooking a meal doesn’t have to take up your whole day.  Try these 5 kitchen  tips to save time and make cooking fun.

Get Organized.  
Before you begin cooking, clear your kitchen counters and set up a prep space.  Keep your most used cooking utensils within reach – unflavored cooking spray, cutting boards, and spices – and pull out all ingredients you’ll need before you begin.  Keep your work space clean as you go, it will make cleaning up after your meal much easier!

Make Extra.
When chopping vegetables and fruits, cut up more than you require for your recipe.  Freeze the extra servings and next time you need it, you can skip a step!  Save/freeze extra servings of food for a quick and easy dinner later.

Plan Ahead.
Create a meal plan for the week and commit to it.  This will save you from standing in front of the fridge after work worrying about what to make for dinner.  Make sure you have all needed ingredients ahead of time so you won’t have to make any last minute grocery shopping trips.

Go Simple.
If you’re just learning how to navigate your way around a kitchen, choose simple recipes to start.  Read through the entire recipe when meal planning (to make sure you have all ingredients on hand), and there won’t be any surprises when you begin cooking.

Use the Right Knife.
It seems obvious, but most individuals end up using the same cooking knife for everything from chopping to peeling.  Different knives are made to perform specific tasks, so use the knife that is intended for the task at hand to save prep time when cooking.

4 Fruits & Vegetables to Eat in October

5 Oct

People tend to think of apples, pumpkins and falling leaves when it comes to October, but with autumn’s generous harvest, there are many fruits and vegetables at their peak. Here are four seasonal favorites to look for this month.

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Brussels Sprouts
These green gems thrive in cool weather so they are abundant and affordable at their peak in October. One of the most nutritious vegetables, they are also filled with fiber, folate and cancer-fighting phytonutrients. Roasting them can char the edges, imparting a rich flavor and texture. Top them off with a touch of vinegar for a delightful side. They can also be shaved or thinly sliced to add dimension to salads. Try this delicious Apple Brussels Sprouts recipe!

Many think of grapes as a summer fruit but in the U.S., they are actually grown from May through January making fall the perfect time to enjoy them. Red, green and black grapes are a natural source of polyphenols and antioxidants that contribute to heart health. High levels of resveratrol are believed to play a role in healthy aging. Roast halves with other fall vegetables like Brussels Sprouts or add them to a salad. Freeze clean grapes in a baggie or container and they can double up to keep the contents of your lunch container cool and help keep you hydrated when it’s time to snack.

Although you can find mushrooms all year long, many are at their peak in the fall. Unlike any other plant food, mushrooms have a wonderful meaty texture making them ideal for vegans and vegetarians. Mushrooms are high in vitamins and minerals such as selenium, copper and vitamin B and potassium. Add diced mushroom to ground beef or turkey burgers to boost flavor without adding fat or enjoy them in soups.

Pears are technically in season from August through December but they are at their peak in October. An average pear of any variety can be packed with 6 grams of fiber. At least one study revealed that eating white-fleshed produce like pears helps reduce the risk of stroke as much as 9%. Ripen them by storing at room temperature and eating within a few days for best taste. Slice a pear over an arugula salad or add a dash of cinnamon and clove for a low-calorie dessert.