Army H.e.a.l.t.h. Arsenal
March, 2016

The Is My Food Safe? App answers all your food safety questions. From listing safe internal cooking temperatures for meat to learning about when to toss and when to keep left overs, the app is a quick resource for those who are on the go.

The app was designed in part by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. By cooking food to proper temperatures and learning when to throw it out, you can reduce your risk for food poisoning.

The Is My Food Safe? app is available for free in the app store for iPhone and Android.

Sleep Corner

What is Microsleep?

A. Have you ever been sitting at work or driving when all of the sudden you realized you had just nodded off? That is microsleep. Microsleeps are brief, unintended episodes of loss of attention. They can range from head nodding to prolonged periods of eye closure. These episodes are most common while driving and when sitting in front of a screen (TV, computer, laptop, etc.). They usually last from 5-10 seconds.

Micro sleeps become dangerous when they happen while you are driving. Driving while sleepy has been compared to driving while under the influence of alcohol, because your senses and reflexes are numbed. They can also be dangerous while on the job, especially for those who operate heavy machinery.

People who are sleep deprived or suffer from insomnia are most likely to experience microsleeps. The best way to prevent microsleep is to try to get enough sleep. If you are driving, try to avoid driving early in the morning, late afternoon, or late night, as these are the times of day the body is naturally programmed to experience an energy slump. If those aren’t an option, try drinking some caffeine or pulling over.

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How can I add flavor to my food while still ensuring it is healthy?

If you’re one of those rare people who enjoy eating plain grilled chicken breasts and plain steamed veggies, congratulations. For the rest of us, finding new ways to add flavor to healthy foods can be challenging. The good news is that although it is challenging, it is also complete doable. You may even discover that you like a spice or flavor that you previously disliked.

The Basics
Start out by trying a variety of basic dried herbs and spices. Oregano, garlic powder, thyme, paprika, cinnamon, nutmeg, chili powder, Italian herb seasoning blend, thyme, and rosemary are all staples that go well with poultry. Additionally, if you are preparing chicken or turkey breast, try the BBRRR method of baking. This method helps ensure your poultry is tender and flavorful, with just the right texture.

Since vegetables are also a staple of any healthy eating style, try switching up the method in which you prepare them. Most of us who are in a hurry tend to microwave or steam vegetables. By taking just a few extra minutes to roast vegetables, you will discover the enhanced flavor and texture. Almost any vegetable can be tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roasted in the oven. Beware, once you roast vegetables, you probably won’t want to go back to steaming. Try these roasted carrots or zucchini for starters.

Start Experimenting
When you get tired of the basics, try exploring new, more specific flavors such as curry powder, turmeric, cumin, clove, coriander, garam masala, or bay leaf. You may want to try out different combinations such as lemon-pepper or cinnamon-clove. You can also experiment with heat by adding jalapeno peppers, chipotle peppers, or adobo sauce.

Marinating is another great way to add flavor without adding a lot of calories. Using vinegars or citric juices such as lemon, lime, and orange can add depth of flavor and also tenderize (if using meat). If cooking grains such as brown rice or quinoa, try cooking with vegetable or chicken broth in place of water.

Lastly, don’t forget to garnish. A little fresh lemon juice or zest can go a long way, especially when it comes to seafood. Garnishing dishes with a few slices of avocado can add flavor as well as a creamy texture. Salsa, hot sauce, and balsamic vinegar are also great finishing touches that add flavor without adding a lot of calories.

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Is it better to increase the speed or incline when I’m on the treadmill?

A. Depending on how long you’ve been running and what your goals are, both can be a great option. For those who are new to running, it’s best not to rush into things. Start out at a pace that you feel comfortable, 3.5-4.0 MPG for most people. From there, slowly increase the incline by 2-3 percent each week. Increasing the incline will engage different muscles such as the glutes and calves. It will also help to build muscle and burn fat. Be sure not to increase the incline before you are ready, as this can lead to shin splints or knee problems. Additionally, try not to hold onto the rails, as this negates the work you are doing.

More seasoned runners may be ready for speed training. The best way to train for a race is by training with increased speed, not incline. Interval training is a great way to do this. Try running 60 seconds at an increased speed, and then allowing 60 seconds of “rest”, at a lower speed. Repeat.

In summary, both incline and speed training have their benefits. Always ease in slowly when starting a new routine, as this can help minimize risk of injury.

Mindful Moment

Be mindful of the flavor you are adding to your foods...take time to enjoy the aroma of the food and to notice that taste of the seasonings. This will allow for a more enjoyable food experience without the addition of any unnecessary calories!

Bottom Line

Thinking of new ways to make healthy food is essential to maintaining a healthy diet and keeping up with your weight loss or weight maintenance goals. Experimenting with different spices, marinades, and cooking methods are all ways to add flavor without adding calories. Another great way to make cooking healthy easier is to add in a few slow cooker recipes, such as the featured recipe this month. Using the featured app will help you to ensure that you are cooking foods to the proper temperature, which will reduce your risk for food borne illness.

Whether changing up the incline or speed, make sure to ease your way into a new treadmill routine. Starting out slowly will help to reduce risk of injury. Once you are warmed up to your new routine, you will find that increasing the incline is a great way to burn more fat while still maintaining a low impact cardio session. Adding speed is a great way to train for a race or the APFT. Whatever you choose, switching it up will also help to fight boredom.

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Featured Recipe: Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas

These slow cooker chicken fajitas are a quick and easy go-to healthy meal that can be thrown together in the morning and ready to go in 8 hours. You could also cook these ahead of time and place in the freezer.

Loaded with protein, fiber, Vitamin C, and Vitamin A, this dish is a well balanced meal that will leave you feeling full and satisfied without the energy rush and crash that many high sugar dishes have.

  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 red, orange and green bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 large yellow onion, halved and sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 9 whole wheat tortillas

  • Pour half of the canned tomatoes into the bottom of a slow cooker. Top with half of the peppers and half of the onions. Next, add the garlic and chicken breasts.

    In a bowl whisk together chili powder, cumin, paprika, coriander, salt and pepper. Evenly sprinkle half of the seasoning over chicken breasts then flip chicken and sprinkle in remainder. Top with remaining half of the tomatoes, then layer in remaining peppers and onions.

    Cover and cook on HIGH heat 3 - 4 hours or low heat 6 - 8 hours, until chicken has cooked through and veggies are tender (note that if you want to be able to cut chicken into strips cook more near lesser time on HIGH or LOW, otherwise it will probably just shred, which is also fine).

    Remove chicken, and cut into strips, or shred. Ladle out 1 cup of the broth in slow cooker (mostly tomato liquid) and discard. In a small bowl whisk together lime juice and honey and add to slow cooker along with chicken and season with additional salt to taste if desired. Gently toss. Sere warm in warmed tortillas with plain Greek yogurt, guacamole, or salsa if desired.

    Nutrition Information:
    Servings: 9      Calories: 254      Carbs: 27g      Fiber: 14g      Sugar: 4g                Fat: 6g            Protein: 26g        Sodium: 854mg     

    Featured Exercise: Strength and Balance

    Featured Recipe from Cooking Classy.