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By Larry

*Happiest of Birthdays to Fred C., Jeff K. and Leslie P. in Ohio.

*Sleep does a body good. According to specialists, most people need about 7.5 hours of sleep a night. Yikes--I have some catching up to do. Not getting enough rest increases your risk of becoming obese--and the less sleep you get, the greater the risk. Sleep deprivation causes an increase in the hormone gherlin (the hormone that tells you to eat) and a decrease in leptin (the hormone that tells you you're full). Being low on sleep also causes cortisol levels to rise, which gives you a greater appetite. AND, your metabolism slows.

*When you're sleep deprived, the nutrients in your blood aren't getting to your skin in the same amount as when you are rested, resulting in a pale, washed-out look. Also, your body goes into repair mode during the 1st third of your sleep cycle. Growth hormones, which help with tissue and cellular repair, are produced during this time. Not getting enough sleep inhibits the production of these hormones.

*Stay tuned for more helpful sleep information--off for a nap now!

Orecchiette With Chickpeas and Broccoli Rabe

Yield: 4 servings (Serving Size: 1 3/4 cup)

*2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
*1 (15.5-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
*2 garlic cloves, minced
*1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
*8 ounces broccoli rabe (rapini), chopped into 1" pieces (or thereabouts)
*3 cups fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
*4 cups cooked orecchiette (little ears) pasta, 8 ounces dry
*1/8 teaspoon salt

1) Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat; add chickpeas and saute 2 minutes or until they're just beginning to brown. Add garlic and crushed red pepper and saute 30 seconds.
2) Add broccoli rabe and chicken broth to pan; bring to a simmer and cook 3 minutes or until broccoli rabe is crisp-tender.
3) Stir in cooked pasta and salt; cook 2 minutes or until heated throughout.

Nutrition Information:
Calories per serving: 456
Carbohydrate: 67 grams
Protein: 21 grams
Fat: 12 grams
Fiber: 7 grams

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