©2007 Kari Tse
April 2007
Thursday and Friday April 12th and 13th - I will be taking a couple of days off to spend with my kids during their spring break holiday.  If I haven't already rescheduled your Thursday and Friday session to earlier in the week, check my schedule to see if another session time will work.  There are still a few open sessions available.
Eating tip of the Month
Who among has hasn't been confused by what is written on labels and packages?  In the last newsletter, I talked about what some common terms that are found on labels can really mean. In my next installment on reading labels, I have listed some things that can result in some common mistakes.
  • A label may say that the food is reduced fat or reduced sodium. That means that the amount of fat or sodium has been reduced by 25% from the original product. It doesn't mean, however, that the food is low in fat or sodium. For example, if a can of soup originally had 1,000 milligrams of sodium, the reduced sodium product would still be a high-sodium food.
  • Don't confuse the % DV for fat with the percentage of calories from fat. If the % DV is 15% that doesn't mean that 15% of the calories comes from fat. Rather, it means that you're using up 15% of all the fat you need for a day with one serving (based on a meal plan of 2,000 calories per day).
  • Don't make the mistake of assuming that the amount of sugar on a label means that the sugar has been added. For example, milk naturally has sugar, which is called lactose. But that doesn't mean you should stop drinking milk because milk is full of other important nutrients including calcium. What you can do is look at the list of ingredients. If you see the words high-fructose corn syrup or sugar high on the list of ingredients, it probably means refined sugar has been added to the product.
  • A common mistake people make, especially with packages dispensed from vending machines, is to assume that a small item contains one serving just because the package is small. If you eat a bag of pretzels from a vending machine, for example, you may find that it contains 2.5 servings. So you need to multiply the numbers by 2.5 to figure out how many calories and the amount of sodium and other nutrients you are eating.
Sources: Food Labels (lifeclinic.com), Food Labels (University of Michigan)
"Alli" is FDA approved, but will it knock out obesity?

Early in February of this year,  the FDA approved a 60mg dosage of orlistat to be sold over-the-counter (OTC) as Alli. It is projected to hit the market early this summer.

Orlistat is a lipase-inhibitor designed to prevent the absorption of fat into the body. Clinical studies had proven orlistat's effectiveness in preventing weight re-gain and weight loss, but only in conjunction with a reduced-calorie, low-fat diet and regular exercise. Although 120mg orlistat has been available for nearly a decade in prescription form (i.e. Xenical), Alli represents the first time the FDA has approved any weight loss aid for OTC use. Needless to say, it has generated some controversy.

According to GlaxoSmithKlein, which manufacturers the drug, Alli will help people lose about 50% more weight than dieting alone. Researchers claim that participants lost on average 5 to 10 pounds over 6 months using diet, exercise and Alli. Interestingly, this only represented a 2 to 4 pound greater weight loss compared to controls. This has medical professionals wondering whether taking Alli is worth the risk of certain uncomfortable side effects or the $12 to $25 it will cost per week.

Common side effects of Alli include: bowel changes, gas with oily spotting, loose stools, and more frequent stools that may be difficult to control. GlaxoSmithKlein recommends keeping fat intake to less than 15 grams per meal to reduce the risk of these effects.

Some physicians have expressed concern over Alli because they suspect an increased risk for colon cancer. The general medical consensus is, however, that it will likely be limited in harm. On the other hand, the medical community also speculates that it will also be limited in the amount of good it does.

Alli acts as a lipase-inhibitor, Alli may reduce the absorption of some fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) and beta-carotene. Anyone taking Orlistat should be advised to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables in addition to taking a daily multi-vitamin to ensure adequate nutrient intake.

Medscape. February 2007
Recipe of the Month:
Shrimp Potpies with Oyster Cracker Topping - this recipe became a fast favourite in my household.  The kids love shrimp and served with a fruit salad with a lemon-ginger dressing and garlic bread, this is very easy dinner to prepare.
1 tbsp butter
1cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrot
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsps brandy
1/2 cup half and half (you can get fat-free!)
3 tbsps tomatoe paste
2 (8 oz) bottles clam juice (I used Clamato once!)
1 1/2 tbsps cornstarch
2 tbsps chopped fresh parsley
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3/4 lb cooked shrimp, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
Cooking spray
1 cup oyster crackers, coarsley crushed
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion, celery, carrot, and garlic; saute 5 minutes or until tender.  Add brandy' cook 30 seconds. Stir in half and half, tomatoe paste, and clam juice; bring to a boil.  Cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Combine cornstarch and 1 tbsp water.  Add cornstarch mixture, parsley, salt, pepper, and shrimp to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
3. Divide the shrimp mixture evenly among 4 (10 oz) ramekins coated with cooking spray.  Top each serving with 1/4 cup cracker crumbs. Arrange ramekins on a baking sheet.  Bake at 400 for 10 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned.  Yield: 4 servings
Calories 267, fat 8.8g, protein 21.5 g, carb 19.9, fiber 1.8 g, chol 188 mg, iron 4.5 mg, sodium 787 mg, calc 111 mg

Fruit salad with lemon-ginger
Combine 2 cups halved strawberries, 1 cup cubed canteloupe, and 1 cup cubed pineapple.  Combine 1 1/2 tbsps honey, 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice, 1 tsp olive oil and 1/4 tsp minced peeled fresh ginger; stir with a whisk.  Drizzle over fruit, toss to coat.

Trying to make the world a fit place, one person at a time!!
cell: 408-813-8325
scheduling: http://calendar.yahoo.com/inshapewithkari@sbcglobal.net