Hotels That Put Your Fitness First

Long gone are the days when a hotel gym meant a small, smelly room tucked away in the basement that housed nothing more than a couple of treadmills and a few sad sets of hand weights. Hotels are increasingly going out of their way to provide guests with ingenious ways to work up a sweat. And their efforts are not going unnoticed. According to a recent survey by the research firm MMGY Global, 45 percent of 18-to-35-year-olds, and 38 percent of 36-to-49-year-olds, say that a hotel’s wellness offerings influence where they decide to stay.

Here are a few places whose commitment to fitness make them worth checking out (and checking into) during your travels.

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
Looking to take your yoga to new heights? Then sign up for the aerial yoga classes at this Arizona resort, where students use hammocks, fabric slings and other props to elevate their practice.

The Venetian Las Vegas
The Canyon Ranch SpaClub inside this luxe Vegas resort houses a 40-foot rock climbing wall where guests can practice their Spider-Man-like climbing skills.

Ritz Carlton Miami
Core Fusion is a ballet-inspired workout with a cult following, and guests at the Ritz can trade happy hour for a body-toning visit to a barre instead of a bar.

Westin Hotels (nationwide)
Forgetting your sneakers is no longer an excuse to skip your workout if you’re staying at a Westin. For just $5 you can rent New Balance workout gear (clothes and sneakers) during your visit. And if you want to take those New Balance kicks out for a run, check out the RunWESTIN program, which organizes guided 3- and 5-mile runs or provides maps to let you go it alone.

1 Hotel South Beach
Soul Cycle is arguably the hottest group-fitness class around, available only at select, boutique Soul Cycle facilities. But if you happen to be staying at this chic Miami hotel, you can cycle your way to sweaty nirvana without ever leaving the property.

Andaz Maui at Wailae Resort
Want to combine the athleticism of stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) with the zen of yoga? Then head to the beach at this Hawaii resort for a session of SUP yoga. You get a killer workout for your core, improve your balance and get to enjoy the beauty of the ocean, all at the same time.

TRYP by Wyndham Hotels (worldwide)
At this hotel chain, the workout can come to you. Book one of their “fitness rooms” and you’ll be checked into a room complete with a state-of-the-art elliptical machine, treadmill or stationary bike — and have the use of free workout gear.

Sally Wadyka is a Boulder, Colorado-based journalist who writes about nutrition, health and wellness.

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Nutrition News: Coffee-benefit boosters, fatty-food sleep effects, health perks of curcumin

Getting the most out of your cuppa joe

Coffee — it not only wakes us up and elevates our mood, but, research suggests, may also protect us against dementia and boost our memory and metabolism. However, Fox News warns, we may be unintentionally undercutting some of coffee’s benefits. The site lists eight caffeine-consumption mistakes to avoid, including buying coffee preground and storing it in its original bag, which increase the level of free radicals, using up the health-promoting antioxidants, as well as drinking it too early, drinking too much, overdoing it with the sugar and drinking the wrong roast. Also, if you’re the sort of person who lets your coffee sit there forever, which increases its acidity, you may be upping your risk of heartburn and indigestion. Plus, if you drink your cuppa joe within 20 minutes of brewing — when, let’s face it, it tastes best anyway — you maximize the antioxidant benefits as well.

Fatty foods and sleep

Indulging in a diet filled with fatty foods may make you sleepier during the day, according to a new study published in the journal Nutrients. Researchers at the University of Adelaide, in Australia, found that men in the highest 25 percent for fat intake were 78 percent more likely to experience daytime sleepiness and nearly three times as likely to suffer from sleep apnea as those in the lowest 25 percent. “Extremely high fat intake is not good for sleep,” the study’s lead author, Yingting Cao, told The New York Times. “So the key message here is to eat healthy.”

Spotlight on curcumin

Does research back up claims that curcumin aids digestion and reduces inflammation? The New York Times’ Well blog recently tackled that question, and reports that, while the compound behind turmeric’s bright orangey-yellow hue has been shown to have “antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and neuroprotective properties in lab and animal studies,” it would be “premature” to claim that it has the same effects on humans because a) there haven’t been that many human clinical trials and b) curcumin has “very poor bioavailability,” according to Barbara Delage, of the Linus Pauling Institute’s Micronutrient Information Center (meaning that because curcumin doesn’t stay in the human body for long, not much of it is absorbed). While scientists are currently working to develop more easily absorbed versions of the plant compound, the Times notes that those “will need to be tested for safety and effectiveness.”

Amy Reiter is a writer and editor based in New York. A regular contributor to The Los Angeles Times, she has also written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Glamour, Marie Claire, The Daily Beast and Wine Spectator, among others, as well as for Salon, where she was a longtime editor and senior writer. In addition to contributing to Healthy Eats, she blogs for Food Network’s FN Dish.

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New at Health Datapalooza 2016: A Day Devoted to Privacy and Security

For many years now, health IT developers, consumer advocates, and representatives from U.S and international governments have converged on Washington D.C. each spring for Health Datapalooza. This national conference brings together the companies, startups, academics, government agencies, and individual innovators working on the newest and most effective uses of health data to improve patient outcomes. […]

The post New at Health Datapalooza 2016: A Day Devoted to Privacy and Security appeared first on Health IT Buzz.

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6 In-Season Sides That Kids Will Love

Buying and preparing in-season produce is part and parcel of maintaining a healthy diet, but it’s much easier to eat nutritiously when the whole family is on board. In a world full of boxed mac and cheese and freezer-friendly chicken nuggets, we can understand why packaged or prepared foods are a reliable fallback. But we’re hopeful that the right seasonings and preparation methods can turn arugula, carrots, spinach and more into healthy homemade dishes for the whole family to enjoy. Here are six recipes that incorporate spring produce in ways that will appeal to even the pickiest eaters.

Arugula
Getting kids to eat their greens can be the biggest hurdle of the day, but this Quinoa Salad with Apricots, Basil and Pistachios makes crisp, peppery arugula appetizing for younger palates. Combine the seasonal green with fluffy quinoa, sweet dried apricots and dollops of tangy goat cheese and you’ll hear zero protests when the dish hits the table.

Avocado
This creamy Avocado Hummus will come in handy when you’re looking for new ways to add a touch of green to your child’s lunchbox or dinner plate. Simply puree ripe avocados with hummus, lemon juice and a pinch of salt — you can even add some jalapeno to the mix if your kids are feeling particularly adventurous — and serve the dip with raw veggies.

Carrots
Nothing instills more fear at dinnertime than knobby carrots, flecked with dirt, looming ominously on top of the kitchen counter. If your kids turn up their noses at the sight of full-grown carrots, then try these approachable Roasted Baby Carrots seasoned with salt, pepper and herbs.

Mango
Ellie Krieger’s chunky Mango Salsa pairs well with pretty much any protein — grilled chicken, slow-cooked pork and seasoned ground beef are all excellent places to start. You can even serve it as an after-school snack with crisp tortilla chips for scooping.

Peas
Soft basmati rice and tender spring peas team up to create a satisfying side dish that will go over well with kids averse to foods with firmer textures. Bobby Flay’s Basmati Rice Pilaf with Peas has just 5 grams of fat and 2 grams of sugar per serving, so you can feel good about serving this.

Spinach
You’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone under the age of 25 who enjoys raw spinach — or any green, for that matter. Ellie turns the tender green leaves into an indulgent Creamed Spinach that’s appealing, especially for young eaters. Have no fear: Using 1-percent milk and fat-free evaporated milk helps to keep the calorie count low.

For more in-season side dishes that kids will love, check out these recipes from our friends:

Creative Culinary: Cheesy Hashbrown Waffles
Devour: Alternative Fries That Will Make Everyone Want to Eat Their Vegetables
The Lemon Bowl: Grilled Corn with Barbecue Sauce
FN Dish: Why Spring Is the Best Time to Get Kids to Eat Their Veggies

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Order This, Not That: Shake Shack

This popular burger joint sprouted from a hot dog cart in Madison Square Park in Manhattan in order to support the Madison Square Park Conservatory’s first art installation. Customers couldn’t get enough of the cart’s famous Shack Sauce, and the lines were endless. Today, Shake Shack can be found in 15 states within the U.S. and in numerous countries throughout the world. Find out what you should order and what you should skip the next time you’re craving a Shack Burger.

Breakfast Sandwiches

Order: Egg and Cheese Breakfast Sandwich
Keep it simple and start the day with a sandwich of a griddled cage-free egg and American cheese for breakfast. The sodium is on the higher side for this lower-calorie breakfast, so mind your sodium during lunch and dinner.

Per serving: Calories 300; Fat 13 g (Saturated 6 g); Sodium 750 mg; Carbohydrate 26 g; Protein 17 g

Not: Sausage Breakfast Sandwich with Double Eggs
Don’t start your morning by downing tons of saturated fat and calories from 2 eggs, pork sausage and American cheese. Your morning will drag, and you’ll feel lethargic. Plus, you’ll be taking in two-thirds of the recommended amount of sodium for the entire day!

Per serving: Calories 570; Fat 36 g (Saturated 14 g); Sodium 1,535 mg; Carbohydrate 28 g; Protein 34 g

Burgers

Order: Single Hamburger
The Shack Sauce is what these burgers are all about. Order it on the side so you can use as little or as much as you please. With 98 calories for the sauce alone, use only half to shave off about 50 calories.

Per serving (with Shack Sauce): Calories 483; Fat 32 g (Saturated 10 g); Sodium 483 mg; Carbohydrate 25 g; Protein 24 g

Not: Double Shack Burger
Nutritionists always advise to eat in moderation, and this double cheeseburger topped with lettuce, tomato and Shack Sauce is just way overboard in terms of portion size.

Per serving: Calories 855; Fat 60 g (Saturated 25 g); Sodium 1,290 mg; Carbohydrate 27 g; Protein 49 g

Flat-Top Dogs

Order: Chicken Dog
Among the three hot dogs regularly offered on the menu, the chicken dog has the fewest calories and the least fat, though it’s a bit higher in sodium than the hot dog. Skip the fries, at 420 calories per serving, or share with a friend if you must have them.

Per serving (chicken dog): Calories 320; Fat 11 g (Saturated 3 g); Sodium 970 mg; Carbohydrate 32 g; Protein 20 g

Not: Shack-Cago Dog
Although the menu describes this dog as being “dragged through the garden,” the addition of vegetables like onion, cucumber and tomato doesn’t offset the calories, fat and sodium in this baby.

Per serving: Calories 380; Fat 20 g (Saturated 10 g); Sodium 1,140 mg; Carbohydrate 33 g; Protein 16 g

Frozen Custard

Order: Single Vanilla Cup
If you’re craving the freshly made rich and creamy frozen custard, go for the single cup of vanilla. It’s a reasonably portioned indulgence you can enjoy on occasion.

Per serving: Calories 220; Fat 12 g (Saturated 7 g); Sodium 170 mg; Carbohydrate 26 g; Protein 4 g

Not: Caramelized Peach Shake
With close to 50 percent of the daily recommended calories, skip this super-high-calorie indulgence and enjoy a cup of vanilla or chocolate with a fresh peach or a few dried peach slices on the side.

Per serving: Calories 825; Fat 39 g (Saturated 25 g); Sodium 510 mg; Carbohydrate 107 g; Protein 15 g

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. She is the author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day.

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Moving toward improved care through information

Seven years ago, Congress passed a law to spur the country to digitize the health care experience for Americans and connect doctor’s practices and hospitals, thereby modernizing patient care through the Electronic Health Records (EHRs) Incentive Programs, also known as “Meaningful Use.” Before this shift began, many providers did not have the capital to invest […]

The post Moving toward improved care through information appeared first on Health IT Buzz.

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Lentil-Crusted Chicken Parmesan

The boneless, skinless chicken breast is one of the most convenient, affordable and healthy kitchen staples out there. Simple yet versatile, chicken can be prepared in many ways and is chameleon-like when it comes to flavor, easily taking on the attributes of seasonings and sauces. I usually roast a batch of seasoned chicken breasts on Sunday to enjoy throughout the week. Then I can add chicken to my salads and sandwiches, or make a stir-fry for dinner in a pinch.

There are some days when I like to make a comforting chicken dish that doesn’t require too much cooking time. Chicken Parmesan certainly fits that criteria. It’s a popular Italian-American dish that traditionally consists of breaded and fried chicken cutlets smothered in tomato sauce and cheese. Just reading that description makes my mouth water. But since I don’t like to fry anything at home (in an attempt to keep my stovetop somewhat clean), I typically bake my chicken instead. And in this version, in honor of the United Nations’ International Year of Pulses, I used red lentils as part of the breading mixture. While you can use regular all-purpose or whole-wheat flour, I chose almond flour to introduce a slight element of nuttiness to the flavor profile.

Once the chicken comes out of the oven, garnish it with freshly chopped basil for a pop of brightness. Serve it alongside pasta or vegetables and this simple and healthy chicken dish is sure to be a hit!

Lentil-Crusted Chicken Parmesan

Serving size: 1 chicken breast
Prep Time: 5 to 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

1 cup red lentils
1/2 cup almond flour
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breasts, sliced in half to make 8
Olive oil cooking spray
1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
Garnish: freshly chopped basil leaves

Method:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a large baking sheet lightly with olive oil spray. Place lentils in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add flour, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to the lentils and pulse until blended.

Transfer flour mixture into a shallow bowl. Dip each piece of chicken in flour, shaking off excess.

Place chicken on baking sheet. Lightly spray a little more oil on top of the pieces and bake in oven until cooked through, about 20 to 25 minutes. Top with marinara sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan and return to oven for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until cheese is bubbling. Once out of the oven, sprinkle fresh basil on top.


Per serving: Calories 250; Fat 10 g (Saturated 2 g); Sodium 450 mg; Carbohydrate 12 g; Fiber 3 g; Sugars 5 g; Protein 27 g

Min Kwon, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian who specializes in food sensitivities. She has a passion for translating the science of nutrition into real-life, applicable advice and tips. In her healthy food blog, The Adventures of MJ and Hungryman, she focuses on sharing simple yet healthy recipes made from wholesome, REAL foods.

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