Archive | October, 2015

November Challenge: Reduce Your Stress for the Holidays

31 Oct

stress_cereal_breakfast

Stress comes in many forms and can be underlying or apparent.  The holidays can create extra stress with worrying about planning parties, visiting family and money.  This month, we challenge you to find ways to reduce your stress and get more joy out of your holidays.

Your November Challenges:

•  Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep most days, if not every day.
•  Prepare for your next day the night before by preparing and packing your lunch and laying out your clothes.
•  Find 2-3 days per week for stress reducing exercises.
•  Re-vamp a favorite Thanksgiving dish to make it healthier.

Simply Baked Apples

24 Oct

shutterstock_125443724

4 apples – peeled, cored and sliced
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cloves
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Grease a 2 quart casserole dish, or coat with non-stick cooking spray. Place apples cored side up in the casserole dishes.
  3. Mix spices together and distribute evenly over the tops of the apples.
  4. Pour water into the casserole dishes, just enough to cover the bottom. This will help keep the apples moist.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 45 to 60 minutes, or until soft; allow to cool slightly.

*Optional: Top the apples with chopped walnuts and raisins

How to: Snack Healthy

17 Oct

yogurt

It’s mid-morning and your stomach begins to growl, but it’s not lunch time yet.  What do you do?

If you just ate within the hour, drink a full glass of water and wait 15 minutes.  If you are still hungry and if weight loss is your goal, the best thing you could do is to eat a snack.  Allowing healthy snacks into your weight-loss or weight-management plans keep you from reaching for a quick fix as well as help keep you from bingeing at meal time.

Snacks between meals should be around 100-150 calories, while snacks before exercise should be around 150-200 calories to help fuel your body.

The options for healthy snacks are vaster than you may think. Yes, fruits and vegetables are the best option as they provide water, fiber, vitamins and minerals, while contributing relatively few calories, but they are not the only option.

Other snacks that are healthy options include:

  • Air-Popped Popcorn – Two cups of air-popped popcorn, hold the butter, provide 62 calories and is a whole-grain.
  • Non-fat Yogurt – While Greek is a great option as it provides more protein, regular yogurt is just as good for a snack. Choose plain, vanilla, or honey and opt for no fruit on the bottom to curb your sugar intake.
  • Hummus – Being made from mostly chickpeas, hummus is a great source of protein and a wonderful compliment to your vegetables or whole-grain crisps.
  • Peanut or Almond butter – another wonderful compliment to your vegetables or whole-grain crisps, these nut butter provide healthy fats and protein. It is best to keep snack potions to 1 Tablespoon to limit the fat content.
  • Nuts – Almonds, Cashews, Pistachio, and Walnuts are all excellent sources of healthy fats, Omega 3s, and magnesium. Keep servings to ¼ cup.
  • Canned or fruit packs that are packed in their own fruit juice, not syrup.

Keeping these healthy snacks on hand or packing them for your work day will help keep you on your plan to success. Do keep in mind, snacks are not added on top of your daily intake but worked into your daily plan.

How to Build a Green Smoothie

10 Oct

smoothie_greens_fruits_vegtables_juicing

Green smoothies are easy to make and can be taken with you on-the-go. They are also a great way to increase your consumption of fruits and leafy green vegetables.
To build a Green Smoothie, you will need the following:
  • 1 Cup of leafy greens (mix & match) – Spinach, Kale, Romaine, or Swiss Chard
  • 1 Cup of a liquid base – Water, Coconut Water, Coconut Milk, or Almond Milk
  • 1-1.5 Cups of ripe or frozen fruit (mix & match) – Mango, Banana, Berries, Orange, Avocado, Peach, Pear, Apple, Pineapple, or Grapes
  • 1-2 tablespoons of chia seeds, ground flax seeds, or cinnamon if you’d like an added nutritional boost.
When you have your ingredients chosen, tightly pack the greens and the liquid in a blender & blend until slightly smooth.  Then, add your fruit and blend again until smooth. If the taste is bitter, try adding a squeeze of lemon.
Incorporating Green Smoothies into your diet will help increase your energy, assist in natural weight loss (fiber!), and boost your immune system!

Broadening Your Grain Horizon

4 Oct

bread

Carbohydrates and starches are staples in the Western diet, but not all are created equal.  When making conscious health choices, be sure to swap white, refined, and processed grains (otherwise known as Simple Carbohydrates) with whole grains and whole wheat (Complex Carbohydrates) options.

Simple Carbohydrates include:

  • White bread, pasta, and rice
  • Packaged goods such as pastries and crackers
  • Sugary cereals

Complex Carbohydrates include:

  • Whole grain or whole wheat bread, pasta, and rice
  • Oatmeal
  • Quinoa
  • Couscous
  • Amaranth
  • Bulgar

and so much more!

Swapping Complex Carbohydrates for Simple Carbohydrates not only helps with weight-loss but improves many other aspects of your health. Complex Carbohydrates are great sources for Energy, Fiber, Iron, Magnesium, B Vitamins, Phosphorus, and overall Heart Health.

Although it is still important to adhere to food sensitivities and allergies, do not be shy when it comes to trying new grains. The more variety your diet has, the more health benefits you receive!

October Challenge: New Season, New Foods

1 Oct

fall

Eating a variety of foods is important when creating a healthy diet. Vitamins and minerals have different nutrients based on their color category, so be sure to taste the rainbow of fruits and vegetables for an abundance of nutrients!

Your October Challenge:

This month, we challenge you try a new food that you haven’t had before or have not had in a while.

  • Try a new grain for your side dish or in a recipe
  • Try a green or fruit smoothie
  • Swap an unhealthy snack for a new, healthy and nutrient dense snack
  • Try a new food for the Autumn season”

 

*Please be conscious of and do not try any foods you may be allergic or sensitive to.”