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Insight: Fiscal Cliff Deal / Health Trends / Eating Better / January Arts


 
Fiscal Cliff Deal We've managed to stave off a nosedive off the fiscal cliff for the time being. What does that mean, and what did lawmakers agree to? Professor Gerald Prante is calling from Lynchburg, VA to talk with us about it. Professor Prante's tax policy work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, The Economist, and various television and radio programs. In-studio is Sacramento Bee's Kevin Yamamura, whose recent article looked at how a stumble over the fiscal cliff could doom California's budget recovery.
 
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Health Trends The Governor has called for a special Healthcare Session, which would allow lawmakers to tackle many of the changing healthcare needs and requirements. In light of the Affordable Care Act, there is quite a "to do" list in 2013. Capital Public Radio's healthcare reporter Pauline Bartolone sits down with us to talk about the AFA, the Healthy Families Program, and other big changes coming to healthcare this year.
 
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Eating Better With the sugar, fat, and salt of enormous holiday meals behind us, how many of you are penning something akin to "diet" in your list of new year's resolutions? Capital Public Radio's food reporter Elaine Corn has another take on how to eat going into a new year, and it doesn't include the word "diet"! Join us for what Elaine laughingly calls her "New Year's Rant". See below for recipes.
 
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The Anti-Diet / Living Well
 
1. Learn to cook--What you put in your body ought to be up to you, not up to the waiter who communicates it to somebody else in the kitchen.  You really don't know everything that's on that plate.  When you start a different eating routine, it's better to take charge and what better way to cook your own food?  It doesn't mean you should never eat out, just do it as often as you can.  This means you'll have control over your budget, your nutrition, your calories, your flavors, and your preferences.  
2. Eat clean--Shop for and simply cook fresh fruits and vegetables, and a piece of meat for dinner.  It's staying away from what Elaine views as "unclean food" that usually poses as low-calorie, frozen dinners which aren't "Lean" on chemical ingredients and aren't true "Cuisine," if you catch her drift. 
3. Stop eating junk--Cheetos, Twizzlers, pizza...just stop snacking altogether.  Eating out every day also falls under this category.  Elaine's #1 tip for eating out: Look over the whole menu and see which ingredients are on it, then basically create your own meal with the ingredients.  For example, ask for the grilled salmon sandwich minus the sandwich, and ask the waiter to add the Swiss chard that comes with the steak that's also on the menu.  They'll make up the price for doing this, but you'll eat better this way.
4. Get used to being a little hungry--Some people say this puts the body into starvation mode, but not in the few hours between lunch and dinner. A few hunger pains means your body is getting accustomed to eating less.  Eat dinner early, so you'll have more time to burn more calories.
5. Go to a farmers market--If you've already been to one, go more often!  We have a gift in this region--we have a farmers market somewhere in this county all year long.  One of the best things about going to a farmers market is that you will eat seasonally by default.  You'll be able to practice one of the best nutrition advice called "Eating Your Colors." http://members.cruzio.com/~dolson/healthtips/colors.html 
5 Tips for The Anti-Diet, i.e. Living Well
 
1. Learn to cook - What you put in your body ought to be up to you, not up to the waiter who communicates it to somebody else in the kitchen. You really don't know everything that's on that plate. When you start a different eating routine, it's better to take charge. What better way to take charge than to cook your own food?  It doesn't mean you should never eat out, it just means you should cook as often as you can. This means you'll have control over your budget, your nutrition, your calories, your flavors, and your preferences.  
2. Eat clean - Shop for and cook with fresh fruits and vegetables, and a piece of meat for dinner. Eating clean means staying away from what Elaine views as "unclean food" that usually poses as low-calorie, frozen dinners which aren't "Lean" on chemical ingredients and aren't true "Cuisine," if you catch her drift. 
3. Stop eating junk - Cheetos, Twizzlers, pizza...just stop snacking altogether. Eating out every day also falls under this category, but if you want really want to spend a night out, here's Elaine's #1 tip for eating out: Look over the whole menu and see which ingredients are on it, then basically create your own meal with the ingredients. For example, ask for the grilled salmon sandwich minus the sandwich, and ask the waiter to add the Swiss chard that comes with the steak that's also on the menu. (They'll make up the price for doing this, but you'll eat better this way.)
4. Get used to being a little hungry - Some people say this puts the body into starvation mode, but not in the few hours between lunch and dinner. A few hunger pains means your body is getting accustomed to eating less. Eat dinner early, so you'll have more time to burn more calories.
5. Go to a farmers market - If you've already been to one, go more often! We have a gift in this region--we have a farmers market somewhere in this county all year long. One of the best things about going to a farmers market is that you will also be eating seasonally by default. You'll be able to practice "Eating Your Colors," one of the best pieces of nutritional advice out there.
 
January Arts It's a brand new year and perhaps your social calendar hasn't yet been filled with things to do and places to be. In that case, make it a point to delve into the regional arts scene and go see a Broadway show, the ballet, or a symphony performance. Capital Public Radio's arts critic Jeff Hudson gives us a heads-up on what we might want to note on our calendar.
 
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MICROWAVE YOUR WAY TO CLEAN EATING   
Refer to sidebar for photos
 

By ELAINE CORN
 
"BAKED" CHICKEN FROM THE MICROWAVE (makes 4 servings)

1 whole cut-up fryer, bones in, pieces rinsed and dried with paper towel
Salt & ground black pepper
About 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon oregano (leafy type, not powdered)
Few sprinkles paprika, for color and a bit of kick

1. To make breasts of relative size to the rest of the pieces, hack the breasts in half crosswise. Arrange chicken pieces on a microwavable large dinner plate like spokes, with the fat ends along the rim of the plate and narrower ends toward the center.
2. Season with salt, pepper, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with oregano and paprika. Do not cover. 
3. In a microwave equipped with a turntable, microwave on High, in 5-minute intervals, for up to a total of 10 to 15 minutes*, until meat is browned and no longer pink inside.
4. Serve with fresh green beans and half a sweet potato.

*Depending on microwave's wattage power, your chicken may cook very quickly or slower. At home, mine is done in about 12 minutes. At a friend's house with an older model, the chicken was done in 14 minutes. You can stop the microwave at any time to check progress.

"BAKED" MICROWAVE SALMON* (makes 1 serving) 

1 3-ounce filet salmon
1 slice lemon
2 tablespoons slices of green onion
Salt and ground black pepper

1. Arrange salmon filet on a small microwavable plate. Top with lemon slice, green onions and salt and pepper. Do not cover. 
2. In a microwave equipped with a turntable, microwave on High for 2 minutes; check doneness. If still too raw inside, continue in 30-second intervals on High, but do not exceed 3 minutes. Fish sections should separate slightly and there should be some milky protein extractions coming out of the done fish, meaning you've done it right! 
3. Serve with fresh green beans and half a sweet potato

*I used wild-caught Sockeye salmon

FRESH MICROWAVED GREEN BEANS WITH A DAB OF BUTTER (makes 2-3 servings)

Instead of reaching for plastic wrap, cover the beans with a plate.
1/3 pound green beans (pick tender ones instead of big fat ones)
Sprinkling of salt
1 pat of butter

1. Trim stems off beans. Set beans in a shallow bowl. Sprinkle with salt. Set dab of butter in center.
2. Cover with a plate. Steam-microwave for 90 seconds. If still too crunchy for your taste, add 15 seconds.

MICROWAVED YAM (makes 2 servings)

This is the easiest type of produce to microwave. Simply halve lengthwise, lay flat on a plate and microwave until the yam is caramelized a bit on the bottom.

1 medium-sized yam
Dab of butter

1. Halve yam lengthwise. Lay both pieces on a large dinner plate, flat side down. Puncture several air slits in the skin for steam to evaporate. Do not cover.
2. Microwave on High for 5 minutes. Test doneness by piercing with sharp knife. If it glides in easily, yam is done. If not, microwave 1 minute more.
3. Turn yam over, cut slits and top each with a dab of butter. Serve hot.

 
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
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