KHVN understands that good nutrition is an important part of leading a healthy lifestyle. Combined with physical activity, your diet can help you to reach and maintain a healthy weight, reduce your risk of chronic diseases (like heart disease and cancer), and promote your overall health. Here are some great healthy and easy dinner ideas for your family:
Mom’s Apple Squares
“Traditional recipes for apple squares often use plenty of trans fat–laden shortening in the crust. We replaced it with a mixture of canola oil and butter and swapped out half the all-purpose flour for whole-wheat pastry flour for a little fiber. They are best enjoyed slightly warm. Gently reheat any leftovers in the oven or toaster oven to recrisp the crust. ”
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar, plus ¾ cup, divided
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
5 tablespoons canola oil
⅓ cup ice water
1 large egg, separated
4 cups thinly sliced firm tart apples, such as Granny Smith, Empire or Cortland, peeled if desired
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Directions1 Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Cut butter into small pieces and quickly rub them into the dry ingredients with your fingers until smaller but still visible. Add oil and toss with a fork to combine. Whisk water and egg yolk in a small bowl. Add to the flour mixture and stir until it begins to come together. Knead the dough with your hands in the bowl a few times until it forms a ball. Divide the dough in half and shape into 5-inch disks. Wrap each in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
2 Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray and line the bottom and sides with parchment paper.
3 Combine apples, the remaining ¾ cup sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl.
4 Roll one portion of dough between sheets of parchment or wax paper into a 9-by-13-inch rectangle. Peel off the top sheet and invert the dough into the prepared pan. Peel off the remaining paper. Trim the dough so it covers just the bottom of the pan. Spread the apple filling evenly over the dough. Using the parchment or wax paper, roll out the remaining dough, invert it over the filling and trim the edges so it just covers the filling. Whisk the egg white in a bowl until frothy and evenly brush over the top crust. Lightly sprinkle the crust with additional sugar, if desired.
5 Bake until golden brown and bubbling, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool for at least 1 hour before cutting into 12 squares.
Make Ahead Tip: Prepare the crust (Step 1), wrap tightly and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 6 months.
Equipment: Parchment paper
Lets get walking!
Walking is a great way to improve or maintain your overall health. Just 30 minutes every day can increase cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, reduce excess body fat, and boost muscle power and endurance. It can also reduce your risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers. Unlike some other forms of exercise, walking is free and doesn’t require any special equipment or training.
Physical activity does not have to be vigorous or done for long periods in order to improve your health. A 2007 study of inactive women found that even a low level of exercise – around 75 minutes per week – improved their fitness levels significantly, when compared to a non-exercising group.
Walking is low impact, requires minimal equipment, can be done at any time of day and can be performed at your own pace. You can get out and walk without worrying about the risks associated with some more vigorous forms of exercise. Walking is also a great form of physical activity for people who are overweight, elderly, or who haven’t exercised in a long time.
Walking for fun and fitness isn’t limited to strolling by yourself around local neighbourhood streets. There are various clubs, venues and strategies you can use to make walking an enjoyable and social part of your lifestyle.
Health benefits of walking
You carry your own body weight when you walk. This is known as weight-bearing exercise. Some of the benefits include:
increased cardiovascular and pulmonary (heart and lung) fitness
reduced risk of heart disease and stroke
improved management of conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, joint and muscular pain or stiffness, and diabetes
stronger bones and improved balance
increased muscle strength and endurance
reduced body fat.
Walking for 30 minutes a day
To get the health benefits, try to walk for at least 30 minutes as briskly as you can on most days of the week. ‘Brisk’ means that you can still talk but not sing, and you may be puffing slightly. Moderate activities such as walking pose little health risk but, if you have a medical condition, check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program of physical activity.
Building physical activity into your life
If it’s too difficult to walk for 30 minutes at one time, do regular small bouts (10 minutes) three times per day and gradually build up to longer sessions. However, if your goal is to lose weight, you will need to do physical activity for longer than 30 minutes each day. You can still achieve this by starting with smaller bouts of activity throughout the day and increasing these as your fitness improves.
Physical activity built into a daily lifestyle plan is also one of the most effective ways to assist with weight loss and keep weight off once it’s lost.
Some suggestions to build walking into your daily routine include:
Take the stairs instead of the lift (for at least part of the way).
Get off public transport one stop earlier and walk to work or home.
Walk (don’t drive) to the local shops.
Walk the dog (or your neighbour’s dog.
Make walking part of your routine
Try to make walking a routine – for example, try to walk at the same time each day. Remember, you use the same amount of energy, no matter what time of day you walk, so do what is most convenient for you. You may find that asking someone to walk with you will help make it a regular activity. Some people find that keeping an activity diary or log also makes it easier.