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Friday, March 29, 2013
This Week's Topics
Spinach & Chickpeas
Worthwhile Links
Positively Healthy
Processed Meat? No, Thanks
Measure YOUR Metabolism!

Spinach & Chickpeas


Serves 2



2 tsp olive oil

18 oz fresh baby spinach

1 clove garlic, minced

1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (NOTE: Opt for BPA-free cans, such as Eden Organics)

2 tbsp dry whole-wheat bread crumbs

1/2 tsp sweet paprika

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp sea salt

Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

1 tsp red wine vinegar



Heat oil in a skillet on medium-high. Add spinach and garlic and sauté until spinach is just wilted, 2 to 3 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine chickpeas, bread crumbs, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Add chickpea mixture to spinach and cook until beans are heated, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vinegar.


Nutrition Analysis

Per 1 1/2-cup serving: Calories: 345, Total Fat: 8 g, Sat. Fat: 1 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g, Carbs: 70 g, Fiber: 21 g, Sugars: 2.5 g, Protein: 19 g, Sodium: 574 mg, Cholesterol: 0 mg



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No one is surprised to hear that Americans are not moving enough! Whether this is because we are all
DWover scheduled, spend too much time in front of the TV or computer or just because we have fallen out of a regular exercise routine, the bottom line is that most Americans are not getting the recommended amount of physical activity. 
Another problem, according to many health professionals and researchers is that recommendations on physical activity vary depending on who you talk to. This is why two senators
recently introduced the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Act (S. 531).

This bill would direct the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to prepare and promote physical activity guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence every ten years and call for a best-practices review every five years to ensure the best recommendations are made available to the public. 

If you're interested in learning more about this bill click here, and please follow the link to 
ask your senators to co-sponsor federal physical activity guidelines legislation.


Have a healthy week!



Positively Healthy

Thumb's upDo you tend to see the glass half full or half empty? We already know that positive thinkers experience lower rates of depression, distress and even have an increased life expectancy, but what about food choices? Are positive people healthier eaters?


To test this idea, researchers investigated the relationship between individual's attitudes about the future and serum levels of several antioxidants. Antioxidants such as carotenoids (colorful plant pigments that can be converted to vitamin A) and vitamin E can help prevent heart disease and some forms of cancer and are found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.


In this study, the association between optimism and antioxidant concentrations was evaluated in 982 men and women from the Midlife in the United States study. The researchers measured serum levels of nine antioxidants and compared these values to self-reported optimism (assessed with the revised Life Orientation Test).


The results of the study show that participants with more positive attitudes had 13% higher carotenoid levels (though no change in vitamin E levels) than participants who were less optimistic. The most positive participants averaged at least three servings of vegetables per day compared to the least positive participants who averaged fewer than two servings of vegetables per day. The participants with the most positive attitudes tended to eat more fruits and vegetables, exercise and were less likely to smoke.


Bottom Line: Are those who are more positive better eaters or does eating well increase our attitude? Either way, eating healthfully and having a positive outlook are two ways to be a more healthful you. Are you positive? Take this survey to find out.



Processed Meat? No, Thanks

Processing meat was traditionally a way to preserve precious animal flesh through long winters and hot summers. Today, processed meat is more of a novelty than a necessity. Usually processed meats are high in calories, saturated fats and sodium. Examples of processed meats include bacon, bologna, sausages, ham, hot dogs, salami and pepperoni.


While these faux meats may be tasty to some, consumption has been linked to premature death. In a study published in BMC Medicine, researchers report a link between eating processed meats and early death particularly due to cardiovascular disease.

In this large study, 448,568 men and women ages 35-69, without prevalent cancer, stroke, or history of a heart attack, were asked to complete a lifestyle questionnaire that included information about their diet, tobacco use, physical activity habits, height and weight.


With this data, the researchers investigated the association between meat consumption and death. They found that in general, a diet high in processed meat was linked to other unhealthy choices. For example, men and women who ate the most processed meat ate the fewest fruit and vegetables and were more likely to smoke. And men who ate a lot of meat tended to have a high alcohol consumption.


Most importantly, researchers found that a person's risk of premature death increased with the amount of processed meat eaten. Overall, the researchers estimate that 3% of premature deaths each year could be prevented if people ate fewer than 20g of processed meat per day.


Bottom Line: Cutting back on processed meats may lower your risk for cardiovascular disease and cancer. Try limiting the intake of processed meats and replacing them with lean, fresh proteins like chicken and fish, or even better, beans. 



About Sensible Nutrition 

How is YOUR metabolism? 

Ever wonder if your metabolism is keeping you from reaching your weight goals? Let a Sensible Nutrition RD measure YOUR metabolism and tell you the truth! Call 781-741-5483 or send an email to to schedule your appointment.  


About Sensible Nutrition

Sensible Nutrition is a consulting firm established in 1994 that provides nutrition and fitness services to individuals, universities, corporate wellness programs and nonprofit groups. SN's client list includes the United States Coast Guard, Blue Cross Blue Shield, EMC, Putnam Investments, Corcoran Jennison, Harvard Business School, the Boston Ballet and Children's Hospital. For more information about our corporate wellness services, please check us out at


SN services: One-to-one counseling, fitness counseling and training, group lectures, metabolism measures and more! Let the Sensible Nutrition staff develop a nutrition program to help you finally reach your health and weight goals! Gift certificates are available!


Debra Wein, MS, RD, LDN,  President and Co-Founder writes a regular nutrition column for the National Strength and Conditioning Association's  Performance Training Journal, has been quoted in Family Circle, Muscle & Fitness, Shape, Self, Men's Health, Allure and Prevention and has appeared on Fox 25, Channel 56, Channel 5, New England Cable News and several radio stations.


Contact us at or 781-741-5483.

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