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April 2013

Issue #20                            

Activity of the Month
Sport Nutrition Gem
Food of the Month
App of the Month
Featured Recipe

Welcome to the April 2013 edition

of the

 Seattle FoodNut Newsletter!


This month we are focusing on ways to keep fit at your desk and to find relief from spring allergy symptoms without side effects. We hope as always that this newsletter provides you with refreshing insights into food, exercise and health. 

Activity of the Month: Deskercise
Do you spend hours sitting at your desk staring at a computer? After a hectic day at work, do you often feel too tired to exercise? If you answered yes to either of these questions, here are 5 exercises you can do at or near your desk. Try them out and enjoy the mental and physical benefits from these short bursts of activity.  
1. Wall Sits: Stand with your back against a wall and bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold this position for 30-60 seconds. Work up to 3 repetitions. For an extra challenge, cross one of your ankles over the opposite knee and hold for 15 seconds and then switch ankles.
2. Wall Push-Ups: Stand a foot or two from a wall. Facing the wall put your arms straight out in front of you with palms resting on the wall. Then lean toward wall bending elbows, hold for 3 seconds and push buck and fully extend arms. Repeat for 10-15 repetitions.
3. The Silent Ab Squeeze: While sitting or standing, take a deep breath and tighten your abdominal muscles bringing them toward the spine. Hold for 10 seconds, release and repeat for 10-15 repetitions.
4. Chair Lifts: While sitting at your desk, place both hands on the chair arms and lift  yourself off of the chair. Then slowly lower yourself stopping several inches from the seat, hold for 5 seconds, and release. Repeat for 10-15 repetitions.
5. Back Stretcher: While seated in a rolling chair, grip the edge of your desk with both hands. Push the chair back while still holding onto the desk. Your head should be positioned between your arms and facing the floor. Then slowly push yourself back towards the desk. Repeat for 10-15 repetitions.
While these exercises alone will not prepare you for a marathon or triathlon, they can be a wonderful way to take a mental break and work your muscles at the same time. Plus, chances are you will return to your work with improved focus.
 Sports Nutrition Gem :
Head to the Kitchen for Spring Allergy Relief    
Stuffy nose? watery eyes? Frequent sneezing? Are you experiencing any of these symptoms due to seasonal allergies?  About 1 out of every 5 Americans suffers through the sniffles and sneezes of spring allergies. These symptoms may temporarily shut down outdoor exercise routines.  If you or someone you know suffers from spring allergies, relief may be as near as your kitchen. Here are six foods that may ease spring allergy symptoms:
* Yogurt with live cultures:
The probiotics contained in these live cultures have been shown to decrease allergy symptoms.
* Baked fruits:
Fresh cherries, peaches and plums are related to pollen producing plants and may initiate allergy symptoms in the raw state but not when treated with high heat.
* Spicy food especially with turmeric or ginger
The "heat" of spicy Indian or Thai meals can clear the sinuses while turmeric and ginger have anti-inflammatory properties.
* Omega-3 rich fish
Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties but the high heat of frying can diminish the anti-inflammatory effects so be sure to grill, poach or bake fish for peak benefits.
* Apples
The antihistamine properties of quercetin, a flavonoid found in apples, minimizes the classic pollen allergy symptoms.
* Water
Keeping well hydrated helps minimize mucus buildup in the airways due to seasonal allergies.
Increase your weekly intake of one or more of these foods and breathe a bit easier while the pollen and other spring allergens swirl around in the air. 
 Food of the Month: Fresh Spinach Leaves

Spring is a splendid time to enjoy fresh spinach. This vividly green leafy vegetable is packed with nutrients from vitamins A to B to K along with antioxidants including lutein. These nutrients help to prevent cataracts, reduce blood pressure and protect cells from oxidative damage. Plus, spinach is only a mere 40 calories per cup.  Spinach is also a quite versatile ingredient. It can be eaten raw in a salad or the leaves can be sauteed in a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar and/or garlic for a warm side dish. Spinach can also be incorporated in a variety of pasta dishes or steamed and served underneath grlled fish for a colorful and tasty entree. Pick up a bunch of fresh spinach at your local grocery store or farmer's market today and incorporate it into your next meal.

App of the Month:  Evernote Food    Free


This app helps you to plan and document all of your special food memories. Search the recipe database for inspiring food creations at home or search restaurants for inspiring meals away from home. Then summarize your food experiences in the My Meals section of this app. Now you can savor your favorite food experiences long after the meal has ended with Evernote Food. Click on the image for more information.


Available on iPhone, iPad, and Android devices.

Featured Recipe: Strawberry Spinach Salad with Feta Cheese & Pecans 


1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)

6 cups fresh spinach leaves

2 cups sliced strawberries

1/3 cup feta cheese

1/4 cup toasted, chopped pecans

freshly ground black pepper to taste


Whisk maple syrup,vinegar, oil, and salt in a large bowl. Toss in the spinach leaves and strawberries until evenly coated. Distribute salad mix onto 4 plates. Top with toasted pecans and cheese. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and serve.


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All the best,

Amy Reuter MS, RD

President & Chief Nutrition Officer

Seattle FoodNut