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Maintain Healthy Habits Year-Round

(Family Features)

Tex Mex Stuffed Peppers

According to the National Pork Board’s “Healthy Habits 2011” survey, while 60 percent of dieters have made a health-related resolution, sticking to that goal will be harder than quitting smoking or even winning the lottery.
Luckily, finding nutritious foods, like pork, which taste great and can help you feel fuller longer, is a delicious recipe for long-term diet success. However, the survey also showed that seven out of ten people are not aware that incorporating lean pork into their diet can decrease distracting thoughts about food.
“One of the keys to weight management is managing hunger,” said Dr. Heather Leidy, currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology at the University of Missouri. “There is a growing body of evidence that suggests increasing the amount of lean protein, like pork, in your diet can help decrease distracting thoughts about food to help you achieve long-term healthy eating goals.”
Here are a handful of tips to help you control your appetite:
•    Choose cuts of pork that come from the loin – including chops and roasts – and 96 percent lean ground pork, which are the leanest cuts of pork available.
•    Think about meal frequency. A recent study, published in the journal “Obesity,” suggests that sitting down to eat a real meal three times a day may be a better strategy for weight loss than grazing on several smaller “mini-meals.”
•    In addition to protein, look for foods high in fiber like fruits, vegetables and whole grains to help keep you fuller.
For more information, including recipes to help you maintain a healthy diet year-round, visit www.TheOtherWhiteMeat.com or Facebook.com/TheOtherWhiteMeat.

Tex Mex Stuffed Peppers
12     ounces 96 percent lean ground pork
1/2     cup water
6     tablespoons couscous
4     large red, orange, or yellow bell peppers, or a
3/4     cup prepared salsa, plus more for serving (optional)
1     cup frozen corn, thawed
2     teaspoons chili powder
Salt and pepper
1/4     cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar, Monterey jack, or         Mexican blend cheese

Preheat oven to 500°F.
In small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring water to a boil. Stir in couscous, cover, remove from heat, and set aside for at least 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in large skillet over medium-high heat, cook pork, stirring occasionally and breaking it up, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes.
Also while couscous is softening, remove tops from peppers and scrape out seeds. Set aside.
In large bowl, combine couscous, pork, salsa, corn, and chili powder. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Fill peppers with pork mixture. Arrange peppers in a shallow baking pan and bake for 10 minutes.
Sprinkle cheese on top and continue baking until peppers are tender and stuffing is heated through, about 5 minutes.
Serve peppers with additional salsa on the side if you like.
Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 280; Fat: 6g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 55mg; Sodium: 470mg; Carbohydrates: 55g; Protein:  26g; Fiber: 5g

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