Wednesday, December 31, 2014

-Let 2015 Be Your Year of Personal Growth-

Tomorrow Starts 2015! Some of us may be spending  tonight dancing, others may be having romantic dinners and some may be relaxing while they count down to the new year. No matter what your plans are, there is one thing we all have in common... New Year's Resolutions. Tomorrow marks the day so many Americans start a healthier lifestyle, join a gym or take the first step towards a goal.

How many years have you or someone you know began strong and determined to fulfill their resolution in January but by May the idea is long forgotten? The gyms are packed in January, but by summer only the regular exercisers are left. 

Make 2015 different! With these five simple tips below, keep your resolution and make 2015 the year of self-improvement!

1. Keep it Simple!
-Stating that you are going to look like a super model, "never" eating out again, or  be completely fluent in Spanish by December 2015 will set you up for failure. Making larger than reality statements will leave you feeling discouraged by March.  
-Along the lines of keep your resolution simple, pick 1 or 2 attainable goals and focus on them. The trap I always fall into is  making a HUGE list of things I want to do this year, I start them all and in the end realize I bitten off more than I can chew. 
-Be specific with your resolution and allow for some flexibility. State that you will "limit" your eating out will allow for wiggle room to enjoy a best friend's birthday or celebrate a raise at your job without feeling like you have already failed.

2. Plan Multiple Milestones in Your Resolution
-Sit down today and think about milestones you want to meet and when you want to meet them. Having a whole year outline set for you now, will keep you on track all year long!
-If your goal is to lose the 20lbs of baby weight by next December, don't try to tackle all 20lbs now. Instead, set healthy reasonable goals. Example: losing three pounds by March 1st and another 3 pounds by Mother's Day. Having check points throughout the year will get you re-fired up this Summer, and help you keep your goal all year.

3. Set Reminders
-Most people think about resolutions in Janurary... but have long forgot them by August. Along with tip #2 in making your resolution a multiple step goal.. set reminders NOW to remind you LATER of your resolution. 
-Having checkpoints throughout the year that will pop up on your phone, computer or written on your calendar will remind you of the resolution you are trying to attain this year. 

4. Do it for you and let everyone know!
-Your 2015 resolution should be something you want to achieve! Be sure that you want this resolution; it is for your personal growth and no one else.The partner system can be a double edged sword. Partners can begin together in January, but by May your partner could have fallen of the wagon. You may then decide to quit yourself because "you don't want to do it alone" or "we will try together again next year." Remember this is YOUR 2015
-With that said resolutions aren't a secret and you should be proud to share yours with friends and family. This way they all know what your goal is, can keep you accountable and cheer you on!

5. Don't let one bad day/week/month ruin your year!!!
-2015 is 12 full months. If you have a stressful March and forget about your resolution, don't give up there!! Life happens, unexpected things come up, but that does not have to ruin your overall goal. The reminders you set yourself in Tip #3 should pop up and remind you to not give up. If you need to start over just do it then!  

Prepare for 2015 now... Enjoy tonight... 
Let tomorrow begin your journey!
Pop the Champagne and make 2015 one for the books!


Sunday, December 28, 2014

What is Crispy and Crunchy But Not Fried?

 Baked Sweet Potato Fries

  • 1 Bag of Crinkle Cut Sweet Potato Sticks
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 cup Panko crumbs
  • Seasonings of your choice (I used a Tuscany Blend)

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees
-Line a baking sheet with tin foil, or coat with non-stick spray
- In a small bowl mix up egg
- Mix panko crumbs and seasoning on a plate
-Dip sweet potato sticks in egg  then roll in panko crumbs
-Place prepared sweet potato sticks onto the baking sheet
-Bake for 25-35 minutes until crispy
-Serve with organic no sugar added ketchup

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Reindeer Droppings

Dark Chocolate Trail Bites

  • 1 Bag of Dark Chocolate Morsels
  • Mix of nuts, seeds, cranberries

-Create a double boiler out of pot of hot water and glass bowl
-Cover baking sheets with parchment paper
-Melt dark chocolate morsels over the boiling water
-Dab quarter size melted chocolate onto the parchment paper
-Sprinkle on nuts, seeds, cranberries 
-Cool in refrigerator for 45 min
-Enjoy a simple healthier treat, bring to holiday parties, or package as gifts

  • Dark Chocolate may help with lowering blood pressure, preventing blood clots, and improve overall circulation in the body. It has also been thought to help with cognitive function due to increased blood flow to the brain.  The increase in blood flow as well as flavinoids in dark chocolate has been thought to help prevent insulin resistance (the mechanism of Type 2 Diabetes). Dark chocolate is also low glycemic index and thus does not cause a large spike in blood sugar as opposed to other sweets.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Creamy Without The Cow

"Creamy" Cauliflower and Radish Soup

  • 1 head of cauliflower chopped
  • 1 bag of radishes chopped
  • 1 32oz container of  Low Sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • Salt, pepper, olive oil to taste

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees
-Sprinkle vegetables with olive oil, salt and pepper
-Roast vegetables for 30 minutes
-Place vegetables in a large pot and add in broth
-Bring mixture to a boil then reduce to simmer
-Blend in blender or with an immersion blender until smooth

Monday, December 15, 2014

*Helpful Hints for Eating Healthy During the Holidays*

Grandma's pie...My Aunt's cheesy potatoes... It's the Holidays...My diet starts January 1st

Yes the holidays are a time of year that is meant to spend with family and friends, but it is not a hallpass from your health. The New England Journal of Medicine reported that on average adults will gain one pound over the holiday season. While that doesn't sound "too bad," adults have been shown that they never lose this pound and over the years these pounds just keep adding up.  This report was also done on adults who are are a healthy weight; adults who are overweight gain up to five pounds over the holidays. 
Remember Toe Socks?! hehe
I know I have always fallen into the trap of celebration eating and indulging on foods around the holidays... birthdays... vacations... residency interviews... really any excuse I can come up with! 

Cookies, cakes, candy and cocktails.....
Dinners, appetizers, desserts.......

These "cheat meals" were my excuses to eat things I knew that are not the healthiest options, and when I started thinking about it.... these meals were way more frequent than just one day a year with my extended family. When I read that my habits can lead to a one pound weight gain throughout my adult years, I quickly started researching tips to help prevent this from happening, and here they are!

Tips for eating healthy during the holidays:

Have a plan in place to help you enjoy and not overindulge over the holidays: before going into a holiday season think about the big picture. Is there one dish you look forward to the entire year? Make sure this dish is the one you indulge on in a reasonable portion. 

-Check out the party before jumping into food: grab a nonalcoholic drink or chew a piece of gum and mingle with friends and family. Survey the food during this time and think of which items are healthier options or the one indulgent item 

-Be picky! Enjoy the foods that are only made at the holidays, pick that one dish to indulge in and savor it in a reasonable portion. Skip on things that aren't you favorite or can be enjoyed during the rest of the year. It's easy to think that you must try everything.... you don't!! 

-No Skipping Meals: People who try to skip eating all day before a party to "save up their calories" end up overeating once they get to the party. Be sure to continue a regular routine of eating meals to prevent from being starving and in front of a buffet. Try having a high protein breakfast to keep you full, then a normal lunch and a healthy snack (apple and peanut butter or a small salad) before the party.

-Limit Alcohol: Alcohol has the effects to lower our self control and I think we have all had a few drinks.... then ate an entire pizza at 3am. Limiting alcohol will only help you feel better the next day, stay hydrated, and not overeat. Set yourself a limit before entering any occasion... Tell yourself "I will sip on two drinks." Another tip is to alternate alcoholic drinks with nonalcoholic ones, this will cut your calories from drinks in half and help you stay hydrated. 

-Skip on appetizers: most are full of fat and calories without satisfying your appetite. Try having  a healthy snack before the party instead, or if you do have an appetizer for for fresh fruit or veggies or a small handful of nuts

-Eat Slowly and wait between seconds: Your body is not programmed to know immediately when you are full. Some have stated it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to get the signal from your stomach that it is full.  This is why when you sit down with a full plate, eat quickly, and get seconds.... then a few minutes later you feel so full you're sick to your stomach. Take the time to talk with friends and family while you eat. Wait about 15-20 minutes before you decide on seconds, this will give your body time to tell you if it is full or not.

Monday, December 8, 2014

It's Not a Yetti.... It's a Sas-SQUASH!

Spaghetti Squash with Spicy Red Sauce

  • 1 Medium Spaghetti Squash
  • 1 6 ounce can of Tomato Paste
  • 1 15 ounce can of Fire roasted Tomatoes
  • 3 Tbls Olive Oil
  • 3 Tbls Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Tbl cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tbl crushed red peppers
  • 3 Tbl minced garlic

-Cut squash in half and scoop out the seeds
-Sprinkle squash with olive oil and black pepper
-Bake in microwave for 6 minutes or until tender
-Create "noodles" by scrapping the squash with a fork

Spicy Red Sauce:
-Mix tomato paste, roasted tomatoes, vinegar, olive oil, peppers and garlic over medium heat
-Stir occasionally
-Once heated, fold into squash "noodles" and enjoy

-For additional protein: add in lean ground beef or meatballs

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Apple doesn't Fall Far From the Pie

Baked Apples

  • 4 Granny Smith Apples
  • 1 pre-made pie crust
  • 1 Tbl Apple Pie Spice
  • 2 Tbls Honey
  • 1/2 Lemon 

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees

-Slice off tops of apples

-Scoop out the inside of the apples with a spoon

-Dice the apple tops and insides

-In a bowl, mix apples with apple pie spice and honey 

-Juice 1/2 lemon over the apple mixture, this prevents the apples from browning 

-Spoon mixture into apples

-Sprinkle apple pie spice over pie crust, cut pie crust into fourths, then into strips

-Lay strips of dough on top of apples in lattice pattern

-Place apples in a baking dish 

-Bake for 25 minutes until crust is golden brown

-Enjoy these baked apples as a healthier alternative to traditional apple pie during the holidays!