New Year slimming secrets

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Two years ago, Japanese supermarkets couldn’t keep bananas on the shelves after a man revealed the secret of his weight-loss success on a leading social network. Now a healthier version of his diet is catching on in America, thanks to the fruit and nutrition experts at Dole.

The Go Bananas 2-A-Day Challenge was originally created in 2009 by the Dole Nutrition Institute as a healthier sequel to Japan’s phenomenally popular Morning Banana Diet.

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Pineapple Salsa Chicken

Dole’s expanded version for 2011 is part of larger multimedia initiative created by Dole Fresh Fruit for Americans looking for a healthy way to kick off the New Year. The Go Bananas Challenge substitutes well-balanced meals and nutritious recipes instead of the “all-you-can-eat” approach popular in Japan.

Going beyond the original two-banana morning routine,

Dole nutritionists created a comprehensive two-week regiment of lunches, dinners and snacks to help participants boost their energy, increase their intake of fruits and vegetables, and improve their overall health while they lose weight.

“We know that increasing consumption of fruits and vege­tables in general, and bananas in particular, can help support healthy, sustainable weight loss,” said Nicholas Gillett, Ph.D., of the Dole Nutrition Institute. “What we did at Dole was expand this simple principle into a well-balanced, two-week plan that can serve as the basis for a long-term healthy lifestyle.”

Go Bananas 2-A-Day Challenge participants begin each day with two bananas and at least eight ounces of water, a combi­nation that specifically aids in weight loss.

(For more information on the Dole Banana Diet, or Dole Bananas in general, including recipes, serving suggestions and nutritional information, go to http://www.dole.com/bananas. You can also follow Dole Bananas on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/DOLEbananas.)

Sample of a Day’s Menu

•Breakfast
2  Dole Bananas and 8 ounces of water

•Morning Snack
5  slices Dole Pineapple (3-1/2 inches in diameter x 3/4 inches thick)

•Lunch

Caribbean Black Bean and Fruit Salad

1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained
2 tablespoons prepared salsa
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 ounce feta cheese, crumbled (optional)
1 large Dole Banana, sliced
1 Dole Orange, peeled and sliced
Combine beans, salsa, cilantro, onion, orange peel, lime juice and cumin in large bowl. Spoon onto lettuce-lined platter. Sprinkle cheese on top of salad, if desired. Arrange banana and orange slices alongside of salad. Squeeze additional lime juice over bananas.

•Afternoon Snack
1/4 cup almonds

•Dinner

Pineapple Salsa Chicken

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups chunked, fresh Dole Tropical Gold Pineapple*
1/4 cup Dole Pineapple juice
1/2 cup finely chopped Dole Red Bell Peppers
1/4 cup finely chopped Dole Green Bell Pepper
1 tablespoon chopped Dole Green Onion
2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
2 tablespoons chopped jalapeño chilies
Grill or broil chicken 5 to 10 min­utes on each side or until chicken is no longer pink in the center. Com­bine pineapple chunks, juice, bell pepper, onions, cilantro and chilies in bowl. Serve salsa with grilled or broiled chicken.
*May substitute 1 can (20 ounces) Dole Pineapple, chunked, drained.

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