Thursday, November 29, 2018

A Holiday Ham to Remember

Tis the season for a delicious spiral-cut glazed ham! If you’re looking for a tender, juicy dish that will WOW your guests at your next holiday feast, this ham is sure to please the crowd!

What you will need: 
1 (7- to 10-pound) spiral-sliced bone-in half ham
1 large plastic oven bag
1 recipe glaze (recipes below)

Preparation: 
Leaving ham’s inner plastic or foil covering intact, place ham in large container and cover with hot water; set aside for 45 minutes. Drain and cover again with hot water; set aside for another 45 minutes.

Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 250 F. Unwrap ham; discard plastic disk covering bone. Place ham in oven bag. Gather top of bag tightly so bag fits snugly around ham, tie bag, and trim excess plastic. Set ham cut side down in large roasting pan and cut 4 slits in top of bag with knife.

Bake ham until center registers 100 degrees, 1 to 1 1/2 hours (about 10 minutes per pound).
Remove ham from oven and increase oven temperature to 350 F. Cut open oven bag and roll back sides to expose ham. Brush ham with one-third of glaze and return to oven until glaze becomes sticky, about 10 minutes (if glaze is too thick to brush, return to heat to loosen).
Servings: 12-14

Start to finish: 1 hour, 45 minutes (plus 1 hour, 30 minutes for soaking)

Glazes:

Maple-Orange Glaze:
Makes 1 cup

Ingredients:
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup orange marmalade
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Prep: Combine ingredients in small saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 1 cup, 5 to 10 minutes; set aside.

Nutrition information per serving:  390 calories; 157 calories from fat; 17 g fat; 7 g carbohydrate

Cherry-Port Glaze:
Makes 1 cup

Ingredients:
1/2 cup ruby port
1/2 cup cherry preserves
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon pepper

Prep: Simmer port in small saucepan over medium heat until reduced to 2 tablespoons, about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 1 cup, 5 to 10 minutes; set aside.

Nutrition information per serving: 463 calories; 151 calories from fat; 17 g fat; 25 g carbohydrate

Source: The Associated Press

Monday, November 19, 2018

Reduce Stress During the Holidays



Planning for the holidays can leave us feeling overwhelmed and stressed out. There are some key things you can do to minimize the stress that comes with the holidays.

Try these five tips from the American Heart Association:

1. Keep up healthy habits.
Make a pact with yourself during the holidays. For example: “For the next three weeks I will move more and do something active every day, have a healthy breakfast and limit the sweets, and get at least seven hours of sleep each night.” If you don’t completely give up your healthy habits, you won’t feel like you have to start over once the holidays are in the rear-view.

2. Beware of party perils.
Special holiday events often serve up extra helpings of less-than-healthy foods.  If you’re a guest, eat a healthy snack before you go to avoid overdoing it at the event. If you’re the host, challenge yourself to offer some delicious and healthier options using our recipes and cooking tips. Your guests will thank you.

3. Stay active — even in the hustle and bustle of the season.
A full holiday social calendar might lead to some missed workouts. Instead of beating yourself up about it, sprinkle some healthy activities into your daily routine. For example, if the weather isn’t too frightful, ride your bike to work or school. If dinner is going to be a feast, opt for a light lunch, then take a vigorous walk. And keep the family moving. When the kids are home from school, squeeze in some active chores and trips to the park.

4. But not too active.
Give yourself the gift of peace. When the invitations pile up, don’t be afraid to say no to some of them. If you need some down time to recharge for the next big party, declare a me-treat and do something that relaxes you. Try yoga, meditation or spending time in nature.

5. Make a plan for the new year.
Your poinsettia’s pooped and the gifts are all gone. Now what? It’s a great time to reset for the new year — but don’t go dashing through your to-do list too fast or you might not stick to your plan. Lay out realistic, sustainable steps for the months ahead. For example, start a daily walking routine and sign up for your local Heart Walk before you set your sights on that marathon!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Thanksgiving Dinner on a Budget



Thanksgiving is just around the corner! That means it’s time to plan your holiday feast. If you are on a budget, don’t worry! There are some thrifty ways to create the perfect Thanksgiving dinner party.

Follow these five steps for a delicious holiday feast without breaking the bank.

Visit your local farmer’s market. Seasonal ingredients are often cheaper and almost always better quality than what you’ll find at your local grocery store. While you’re at the market, load up on herbs! They’ll pack stocks with flavor, add nice garnishes and give an extra layer of flavor to your dishes.

Take an inventory. Before you head to the market, be sure to take an account for what you already have in stock. You may have several canned goods leftover from last year’s dinner preparations.

Shop around. Several markets and grocery stores will offer discounts during the holiday season. Start your planning by checking out the sales online. You might find a great bargain for a turkey at one store and another sale on all the fixings at another.

Buy in bulk. When you can, purchase pantry items like flour, salt, olive oil and the like in bulk. If you cook regularly, do the same for onions and garlic, which are often cheaper by the bag. You can also look out for co-ops and large supermarkets that sell grains, nuts and dried fruit by the weight, allowing you to buy as much or as little as you want.

Make it a family and friends affair! You can always opt to have a potluck dinner party. Plan your meal and let your guests prepare and bring entrĂ©es, appetizers and desserts. Be sure to plan carefully and ahead of time so you don’t end up with double dishes.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Bounce Back After the Holiday Feasts!


We often indulge during the holiday season. From turkey dressing to that sweet, creamy pumpkin pie, it can be difficult to stay on track with diet and exercise. Avoid sinking into a slump after the holidays and boost your energy with exercise.

Try these three tips to help you get back into your fitness routine.

Take it one step at a time! After the holiday festivities, try to ease back into your routine by taking brisk walks. Walking is the most convenient and affordable form of aerobic activity. Studies have shown that brisk walking for at least half an hour, five times a week, has nearly the same health benefits as more vigorous exercise. People who take brisk walks have a lower risk for heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, colon cancer, osteoporosis and perhaps other diseases. Even mental health problems are less frequent in regular walkers.

Invite a friend! An exercise buddy can provide you with the social and emotional support you need on your wellbeing journey. They are also there to hold you accountable for what you are eating and how often you exercise. The motivation can help you to maintain focus and reach your wellbeing goals.

Choose an activity you enjoy and breathe! Rhythmic, repetitive activities such as walking, jogging, swimming or bicycling can be calming and relaxing. Once you get under way, become aware of how your breathing complements the activity. Breathe rhythmically, repeating a focus word, phrase or prayer you’ve chosen. Remember to adopt a passive attitude. When disruptive thoughts intrude, gently turn your mind away from them and focus on moving and breathing.

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