Healthy Alternatives

  • Focus On: Stevia

    WHAT IT IS: Stevia is an extract from the plant Stevia rebaudiana, which originated in the rainforests of Brazil and Paraguay. Stevia is used as an alternative to sugar. The flavor comes from glycosides—particularly stevioside, which is 200 to 300 times sweeter than table sugar.

  • Substitute This for That!

    While losing weight and keeping it off is definitely a lifestyle change that takes place over time, there are small habits that can help get you started. First you must create a calorie deficit. This can be accomplished in several different ways, but the simplest is to change your diet. These quick and easy food substitutions can give you an edge in shedding winter pounds.


    Quick and easy food substitutions
  • Finding Youth and Vitality in Foods

    Making a quick trip to the grocery store seems harmless, but most times it isn’t. People on the go tend to gravitate towards foods they know of that are easy, but may not be the healthiest choice out there. Eudene Harry, MD, author of Live Younger in 8 Simple Steps, gives some simple food combos for shoppers who are looking to eat healthy this year.

  • Black Bean Burger with Kefta Spices

    Weekly Recipe: 
    Makes: 4 servings

    15 ounces cooked black beans

    1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro

    1 small onion

    1 teaspoon ground cumin

    1 teaspoon ground paprika (sweet or smoked)

    1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

    1 clove garlic, peeled

    1 teaspoon pure olive oil

    2 eggs, white only

    1/2 cup breadcrumbs, preferably whole wheat

    Salt to taste

    Place onion and garlic in food processor. Process until fine. Add half of the black beans and oil. Process until beans are of mashed consistency. Place in a medium mixing bowl. Add remaining beans, spiced breadcrumbs, parsley, and egg white. Mix thoroughly, cover, and refrigerate for at least an hour. This allows the flavors to blend and allows moisture to be absorbed by the breadcrumbs. If too wet, add more breadcrumbs. Shape into eight small patties, packed firmly. Sauté on medium-high heat until browned on both sides. Lower heat to warm throughout. Serve with the topping of your choice. The bean patties may be frozen in a tightly sealed bag. Browning the burger before freezing will allow the beans to firm for later use on the outdoor grill. Recipe courtesy of The Kardea Gourmet by Richard Collins, MD, and Robert Leighton with Susan Buckley, RD

  • BBQ the Right Way

    When barbequing this summer, it’s good to have all your favorite foods available to toss on the grill or to accompany a feast. Of course, all those summertime favorites, like chips, pies and beer, really load on calories and fatty substances. Not to mention your body will see the effects of months of this eating habit!

    Healthy and easy items for the perfect grill-out.
  • Sweet Madness

    Sugar is popular for a reason—it can make any food taste amazing. Sugar became a commodity in the early 1500s, yet there is evidence of people chewing sugarcane for its sweetness as early as 350 AD. While those who lived in ancient times didn’t know exactly what made sugarcane so sweet and delicious, they continued to use the sugarcane for the quick burst of energy it provided.

    Sugar changed the world, but don't let it change you!
    By Brooke Holmgren and Cara Lucas
  • A Healthful Crunch

    Among Americans, 44 percent surveyed said they tend to eat healthy most of the time, and 42 percent make an effort to snack on foods that are healthy. However, 39 percent of snackers say they will likely nibble on some less-than-healthy treats this year. In addition, 16 percent believe that preparing a healthy snack takes more time than other snacks.

  • Simple Side Dishes

    Like many people you try to make healthy meals; but between busy workdays, carting kids around to activities, and doing regular household tasks, a healthy dinner seems impossible to tackle. To prepare an all-around nutritious meal, you need to include healthy side dishes. Off-the-shelf sides like Rice-ARoni, for example, contain nearly half the daily recommended amount of sodium.

    Healthy side dishes round out a nutritious meal.
    by Dick Benson
  • The Breakfast Club

    Often you are too busy in the morning to prepare a large breakfast, so you are forced to either scarf down a bowl of cereal, eat a sugar-packed pastry, or skip breakfast altogether.

    Jump start your metabolism in the AM for a fresh start.
  • Gotta Eat and Got No Time?

    Living an on-the-go lifestyle can often make it tough to maintain a wholesome madefrom- scratch diet. Of course, in an ideal world, we would know exactly how all of our food is prepared—from yard to table. But, unfortunately, both time and money don’t always allow for that. Using a combination of healthy prepackaged foods is a smart way to stretch your dollar.

    Take a look at some prepackaged foods that are healthy and convenient.
    By Cara Lucas