Classic Macaroni and Cheese

This recipe proves you don’t have to give up your favorite dishes to eat heart healthy meals—here’s a lower fat version of a true classic.

2 c macaroni
½ c onions, chopped
½ c evaporated skim milk
1 medium egg, beaten
¼ tsp black pepper
1 ¼ c (4 oz) low-fat sharp cheddar cheese, finely shredded

As needed, nonstick cooking spray 1. Cook macaroni according to directions, but do not add salt to the cooking water. Drain and set aside. 2. Spray casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350° F. 3. Lightly spray saucepan with nonstick cooking spray. Add onions and sauté for about 3 minutes. 4. In another bowl, combine macaroni, onions, and rest of ingredients and mix. 5. Transfer mixture into casserole dish. 6. Bake for 25 minutes, or until bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Yield: 8 servings Serving size: ½ cup Each serving provides: Total fat: 4 g Cholesterol: 34 mg Total fiber: 1 g Carbohydrates: 29 g Calories: 200 Saturated fat: 2 g Sodium: 120 mg Protein: 11 g Potassium: 119 mg

Source: NHLBI

Take Action on Stress

February 22nd, 2017 | Posted by Kimberly Vanderpoel in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Taking Action on Stress

Not all stress is bad. But chronic (ongoing) stress can lead to health problems.

Preventing and managing chronic stress can help lower your risk for serious conditions like heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, and depression.

You can prevent or reduce stress by:

  • Planning ahead
  • Deciding which tasks need to be done first
  • Preparing for stressful events

Some stress is hard to avoid. You can find ways to manage stress by:

  • Noticing when you feel stressed
  • Taking time to relax
  • Getting active and eating healthy
  • Talking to friends and family

What are the signs of stress?

When people are under stress, they may feel:

  • Worried
  • Angry
  • Irritable
  • Depressed
  • Unable to focus

Stress also affects the body. Physical signs of stress include:

  • Headaches
  • Back pain
  • Problems sleeping
  • Upset stomach
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Tense muscles
  • Frequent or more serious colds

Stress is different for everyone.

What causes stress?

Change is often a cause of stress. Even positive changes, like having a baby or getting a job promotion, can be stressful.

Stress can be short-term or long-term.

Common causes of short-term stress:

  • Needing to do a lot in a short amount of time
  • Experiencing many small problems in the same day, like a traffic jam or running late
  • Getting lost
  • Having an argument

Common causes of long-term stress:

  • Death of a loved one
  • Chronic (ongoing) illness
  • Caring for someone with a serious illness
  • Problems at work or at home
  • Money problems

What are the benefits of managing stress?

Over time, chronic stress can lead to health problems. Managing stress can help you:

  • Sleep better
  • Control your weight
  • Get sick less often and feel better faster when you do get sick
  • Have less neck and back pain
  • Be in a better mood
  • Get along better with family and friends

Take Action: Plan and Prepare

Being prepared and feeling in control of your situation will help lower your stress. Follow these 9 tips for preventing and managing stress.

1. Plan your time.

Think ahead about how you are going to use your time. Write a to-do list and figure out what’s most important – then do that thing first. Be realistic about how long each task will take.

2. Prepare yourself.

Prepare ahead of time for stressful events like a job interview or a hard conversation with a loved one.

  • Picture the event in your mind.
  • Stay positive.
  • Imagine what the room will look like and what you will say.
  • Have a back-up plan.

Take Action: Relax

3. Relax with deep breathing or meditation.

Deep breathing and meditation are 2 ways to relax your muscles and clear your mind.

4. Relax your muscles.

Stress causes tension in your muscles. Try stretching or taking a hot shower to help you relax.

Take Action: Get Active

5. Get active.

Regular physical activity can help prevent and manage stress. It can also help relax your muscles and improve your mood.

  • Aim for 2 hours and 30 minutes a week of physical activity. Try going for a bike ride or taking a walk.
  • Be sure to exercise for at least 10 minutes at a time.
  • Do strengthening activities – like crunches or lifting weights – at least 2 days a week.

Take Action: Food and Alcohol

6. Eat healthy.

Give your body plenty of energy by eating healthy foods – including vegetables, fruits, and lean sources of protein.

7. Drink alcohol only in moderation.

Avoid using alcohol or other drugs to manage your stress. If you choose to drink, drink only in moderation. This means no more than 1 drink a day for women and no more than 2 drinks a day for men.

Take Action: Get Support

8. Talk to friends and family.

Tell your friends and family if you are feeling stressed. They may be able to help.

9. Get help if you need it.

Stress is a normal part of life. But if your stress doesn’t go away or keeps getting worse, you may need help. Over time, stress can lead to serious problems like depression, anxiety, or PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

  • If you are feeling down or hopeless, talk to a doctor about depression.
  • If you are feeling anxious, find out how to get help for anxiety.
  • If you have lived through a dangerous event, find out about treatment for PTSD.

A mental health professional (like a psychologist or social worker) can help treat these conditions with talk therapy (called psychotherapy) or medicine.



Do you ever have those nights where you are running behind and need a quick and easy supper? Last night was one of those nights at our house. I was in the mood for chicken but tired of cooking it the same ol’ way~I was so pleased with the results that I decided to share them on this week’s Try-It Thursday.

Chicken In A Hurry

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 can Campbell’s Healthy Request, low sodium Cream of Chicken Condensed soup
1/2 cup plain unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup low-fat shredded cheese
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt.

I took 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts and seasoned them on both sides with some smoked paprika, a smidge of black pepper and sea salt. I placed them on a skillet (with just a tiny bit of olive oil.) While the chicken breasts were sauteing (2 to 3 minutes on each side), I poured a can of cream chicken soup (Campbells Healthy Request, low sodium), 1/2 cup plain unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 cup low-fat shredded cheese and 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt into my baking dish. Mixed all these ingredients together. Added my chicken breasts and baked for 30 min at 350 degrees.


February is Heart Month!

Learn your risk for heart disease and make your heart health a priority. Start by making simple lifestyle changes that will help you reduce your risk for heart disease and talk to your doctor for guidance. Taking care of your heart will improve your overall health and will allow you to enjoy quality time with your loved ones. Make a commitment to yourself and share it with a loved one for support.

Are You at Risk for Heart Disease?

Here are the risk factors in more detail: 

High Blood Pressure

High Cholesterol

Infographic on high cholesterol as a risk factor for heart disease.

Physical Inactivity

Being Overweight or Obese

Diabetes and Prediabetes

Tobacco Use

For more information and article source: National Institute of Health


This week I could hardly wait for Try-It Thursday. We tried a new recipe at our home this week and it was a smashing hit!! We enjoyed them with our evening meal and then the next day we had them for lunch. (They warmed up great.)

Mini Turkey Pizza Meatloaves

1 lb Lean ground turkey
1/2 c Onion, diced finely
1 (14 oz) can Pizza sauce (I didn’t have any pizza sauce so I made my own. See below for the recipe.)
1/4 c Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp Pepper
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder or Salt
1 tsp Pizza Seasoning


1/2 c Mexican Style, shredded
1/2 c Quesadilla, shredded
1/4 cup pepperoni, cut into small pieces

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Place 1/4 cup pizza sauce, seasonings, and the ground turkey in a large bowl. Use hands to combine mixture thoroughly, but be careful not to over mix, or meatloaves will get tough.

Divide mixture among 12 muffin tins. Divide the remaining sauce evenly over each meatloaf, followed by shredded cheese, and pepperonis.

Cook for 35–40 minutes.

**This recipe could easily be converted to Paleo or Whole 30.

Homemade Pizza Sauce

1 (12 or 12 oz) can Tomato Sauce
1 small can Tomato Paste
2 TBSP Pizza Seasoning
2 garlic cloves, peeled

This pizza sauce recipe made more than I needed for this recipe, so I refrigerated the extra sauce to be used this weekend.

Mix all ingredients together. Enjoy!

Source: This recipe was changed and adapted with the ingredients I had on hand. The Original Mini-Turkey Pizza Meatloaf recipe is found at Dashing Dish.