Friday, December 18, 2009

Artichoke and Spinach Dip

Getting together with friends this weekend? Serve something healthy with the fabulous dip below--and no one will know!

Serves 10; serving size ¼ cup

2, 14.5 oz cans of artichokes, rinsed, drained and chopped into ¼ pieces
(this is NOT the kinda that are marinated in oil)
¾ cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained thoroughly
¼ cup light mayonnaise
¼ cup light sour cream
½ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1 tbsp garlic, minced
½ tsp black pepper
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce (to taste)
½ tsp tabasco sauce (to taste)

Preheat oven to 400◦ F.
In a food processor pulse to combine all ingredients.
You may also choose to mix by hand.
Spread into an 8-in. square baking dish that has been lightly sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until heated thoroughly.
Serve with whole wheat pita wedges or crudités.


Instead of fat free mayonnaise and light sour cream, you may substitute ½ cup of Fage 0% Greek Yogurt.

For additional nutrition value and color, top this dish with Red Bell Pepper strips.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Fruited Cinnamon Oatmeal Recipe

Beath the chill in the air with this warm winter breakfast!

Serves 10, serving size 1 cup

8 cups water
2 apples, diced
20 dried apricot halves, diced
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp honey
3 pkgs splenda
3 cups oatmeal (NOT instant)

In a heavy sauce pan bring water to a boil.
Stir in apples, apricots, cinnamon, honey and Splenda.
Stir in oatmeal.
Return to a boil; reduce heat.
Simmer 3-5 minutes until desired consistency is reached.
Optional toppings may include fresh berries, yogurt, craisins, raisins, and roasted nuts.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday Motivator--Surviving the Holidays

Take control at home

Be generous and give food as a gift. Do not stockpile candy and other goodies.

Avoid preparing excessive quantities of food. Freeze leftovers immediately or give them away.

Keep low-calorie favorites on hand within easy reach.

Serve special low-cal beverages and foods such as spiced tea, fruit, popcorn and snack mix to your guests.

Give away fruit baskets and breads.

Do not make high-calorie food gifts for others.

Cut desserts in half.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Monday Motivation--Increase your activity!

While you might feel exhausted, exercise helps manage stress, suppress appetite, and improve mood, so don’t try to manage your schedule by cutting back on your exercise routine. Just 30 minutes of moderately intense exercise provides incredible health benefits. Consider adding a morning workout or two each week during the holiday season. You’ll get the workout in, and save time from going later in the day and having to shower and clean-up twice in one day. On those days when you can’t fit in a 30 minute workout, remember that “three 10 minute bouts of brisk walking accumulated throughout the day are at least as effective as one continuous bout of equal total duration in reducing cardiovascular risk and improving mood” (Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, vol. 34, no. 9, pp 1468-1474). Something, even 10 minutes, is better than nothing.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Omega 3

There's a new number for you to watch. Hopefully you already track your total cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure numbers. Here's a new set of important digits—your Omega-3 Index. Find out what your number should be and how it can help protect you from heart disease in the latest edition of the Cooper Wellness Insider.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Corn Souffle

This Thanksgiving,offer healthier side dishes like our Corn Souffle!


Serves 8, serving size ½ cup

1, 14.75 oz can cream style corn
1, 12 oz. can evaporated skim milk
¼ cup sugar
3 tbsp corn starch
2 eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 350◦ F. In medium bowl combine corn and milk. Set aside.
In small bowl combine sugar and corn starch. Set aside.
In another small bowl beat two eggs together and set aside.
Combine corn mixture with sugar mixture.
Add beaten eggs and combine well.
Pour into 8x8 pan that has been coated with non-stick spray.
Bake for one hour. Serve warm.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving Leftovers Recipe

Thanksgiving dinner always leads to leftovers. This year, be ready. Create a delicious and healthy salad with the extra turkey. Enjoy!


Serves 4, serving size ½ cup

6 ounces thick sliced deli turkey, cubed
3 stalks celery, diced
1 apple, diced
4 tbsp raisins (or black currants)
2 tbsp walnuts, chopped
2 tbsp light mayonnaise
2 tbsp light sour cream

Combine above ingredients and stir. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Want a healthy glow? November is National Healthy Skin Month, so it's a great time to look at your skin and prepare for the dry winter with these tips: Drink plenty of water, use sunscreen at least 30 mins before you go outside, get 8 hrs of sleep, exfoliate once a week, and take your vitamins. Vitamin E & A help with elasticity and skin repair and vitamin D aids healing.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Let's Talk Turkey--Holiday Eating

Are you still nibbling on Halloween candy? If so, give it away, or throw it out! Thanksgiving, and the rest of the holiday season, is fast approaching, and with these holidays comes the temptation for us to overeat.

Get out your calendar now, and see how many holiday meals, parties, and open houses you have scheduled between now and January 2. Being generous, we counted up ten events - Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Day, New Year's Eve and Day, plus two company parties and three open houses. Over the next 51- days, we'll eat a total of 153 meals if we eat three-meals-a-day. Wow - do you realize that our 10 special event meals account for fewer than seven percent of the total meals?

The goal between now and the end of the year is to eat healthy, and watch our calories, for the 143 meals that are not special events. That way, when we finally get to our special events, we can feel good about eating, in moderation, everything that's offered.

With a little bit of planning, the clothes we are wearing today will still comfortably fit in early January.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Omega-3 fatty acids – What they are; why we need them and how to compare products

Omega-3 fats are polyunsaturated fatty acids, the “good fat” found in fish and some plants. Since our body cannot make omega-3 fatty acids, we must get them through food or supplements.

The impact of seafood’s omega-3s on heart health has been widely studied. The long running Nurses’ Health Study (which includes 80,000 women) reported back in 2001 that women eating one to three servings of fish per month cut their risk of heart disease by 20 percent, while eating at least five servings a week lowered heart disease risk by 40 percent. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends we eat fish, particularly fatty fish, at least two times per week. Two to three servings a week of fatty fish (about 8 ounces) leads to an average daily intake of 500 milligrams (mg) of EPA and DHA, which is associated with a lower risk of heart disease.

The AHA suggests that people with documented coronary heart disease (CHD) consume about 1 gram (1,000 mg) of EPA+DHA per day, preferably through fish consumption (which means eating fatty fish four- to five times a week), otherwise in supplement form. Patients who need to lower their triglycerides will need 2- to 4 grams of EPA+DHA per day.

Other research indicates omega-3 fatty acids provide benefits in the treatment of depression, inflammatory bowel disease, and autoimmune disease such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

There are two major types of omega-3 fatty acids in our diets. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are omega-3 fats found in fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, albacore tuna, sardines, and anchovies. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is the omega-3 fat found in plant foods, mostly seed and nut oils (such as canola, flaxseed and walnuts). Our bodies can convert ALA into EPA and then DHA, so researchers used to assume that eating foods with ALA provided the same benefits seen in eating fish, with its EPA and DHA. Studies now show that humans are relatively inefficient in converting ALA into EPA and DHA. One study reported that boosting ALA to more than 10 times the current average U.S. intake caused only small increases in blood levels of EPA and DHA.

Studies show that EPA is important for optimal brain function and contributes to the reduction of inflammation. DHA has been recognized for brain, visual, and nervous system health and development. EPA and DHA work together to contribute to good heart health.

So, do you need omega-3 supplements? The answer depends upon your diet and overall health. If your heart is healthy, and you’re eating at least two servings of fatty fish every week, you’re probably fine. However, if your diet is fish deficient, or contains fish such as tilapia and catfish which aren’t fatty, then supplements are a good option. You should also consider supplements if you have CHD, elevated triglycerides, depression or inflammation issues

Grocery, health food stores and discount club shelves are full of “fish oil” and Omega-3 fatty acid products, and like everything else there are more than enough options to quickly overwhelm us. The trick to deciphering all the options so you can compare products “apples to apples” is to go to look on the back of the bottle to the supplement facts portion of the label. Once there, add up the amounts of EPA and DHA documented to be in each serving. For example, here’s the supplement facts panel for Cooper Complete Advanced Omega-3:

Supplement Facts

The daily dosage of 2 softgels provides:




% Daily


Fish Oil Concentrate 

 Omega-3 Fatty Acids

 EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid)

 DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)

2,258 mg

1,400 mg

1,000 mg

  200 mg





* Percent Daily Value not established.

** Percent Daily Values based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

The amount of EPA (1,000 mg) + DHA (200 mg) = 1,200 mg total EPA/DHA combined in each 2 softgel serving. The purchase price is $14.25 for a 30 day supply. So, the cost of getting 1,200 mg EPA/DHA per day is 48 cents. ($14.25 / 30 servings = $0.48.)

Below is a supplement facts panel for a competitor’s product (Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega-3:

Supplement Facts

The daily dosage of 2 softgels provides:




% Daily


Fish Oil Concentrate 

 EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid)

 DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)

Other Omega-3’s

2,000 mg

650 mg

450 mg

180 mg





The amount of EPA (650 mg) + DHA (200 mg) = 850 mg total EPA/DHA combined in each 2 softgel serving. The purchase price is $27.95 for 60 softgels. To get the 1,000 mg EPA/DHA required, we’ll need to take 3 softgels daily (which means the bottle is a 20 day serving.). So, the cost of getting 1,275 mg EPA/DHA per day is $1.40. ($27.95 / 20 servings = $1.40.)

The average American eats seafood about once every 11 days. If you’re in this category, consciously make a commitment to start eating at least one serving of fatty fish per week. An albacore tuna sandwich at lunch, a perfectly grilled piece of salmon for dinner, or a snack of sardines in tomato sauce atop a couple of saltine crackers are all great ways to incorporate omega-3 EPA and DHA into our diet. Omega-3 supplements are a great way to augment healthy eating habits.

To purchase Advanced Omega-3, visit the Cooper Store.


ISSFAL – fatty acids, lipids and health studies Global Recommendations

Nurses Health Study 2001 report

Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Cooper Complete Advanced Omega-3 ingredient panel and price information

Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega-3 ingredient panel and price information

Jill Turner is VP Operations for Cooper Concepts, the company that markets Cooper Complete nutritional supplements. Email ( or call 972-560-3262 with your questions and comments regarding supplements.