5 Small Changes that Equate to BIG Results

Start and end your day with a mindfulness practice. This could be a 10 minute morning meditation, a midday walk in nature and 5 minutes of writing a gratitude list at night. This simple practice, will help set the tone for your day, bringing mindfulness and attention to task that need to be done, in order to reach the goals you set.

  1. Reduce excess and minimize your living and work environment by decluttering. This simple change can help you shift from living in a state of overwhelm to a more focused and on intentional state of living. Donate what you don’t use, organize your space, and reduce clutter and noise around you. With a clear space, you will be able to better focus on the goals you have set for yourself.

  2. Indulge in a technology detox. There is no doubt that technology can make life easier. However the constant chatter from social media and emails can add more clutter to your headspace, distracting you from the tasks essential to reach your goals. Take a tech break and re-assess where you are in relation to your goals. When you re-introduce technology back from your “detox”, observe your social media feeds and email inbox. Does the content on your screen inspire and motivate you? Or does it leave you feeling negative, searching for comparison, and welcoming self - doubt?

  3. Aim to eat fruit or vegetables at every meal. This is a sure way to start and end your day with good nutrition and balanced meals. The American diet is usually low in fiber, micronutrients, and vitamins and minerals that are offered in vegetables. If you focus every meal on making sure you get in at least one vegetable and fruit you’ll increase these important components and reduce the amount of processed foods.

  4. Leave two bites behind. If weight loss is one of your goals and the idea of eating smaller portions makes you feel like you are on another “diet”, start with simply leaving 2 bites behind at your meals. This simple small change will really add up to a decrease in overall calorie intake and over time, you will see and feel the results!Reaching a new goal does not have to be complex or complicated, but goals do need to be set with intention, and action will be required daily to reach that goal. Start your day with a simple mindful practice to set your intention and remember your WHY. Need a strategy session to map out how you can achieve your goal? Contact me today!

Slow and Easy Ratatouille


Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 3 to 6 hours

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
3 cloves minced garlic
2 medium zucchini, halved and sliced
1 eggplant (about 1 1/4 lbs.), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 medium fennel bulb, quartered and thinly sliced (white base only)
1 small red pepper, seeded and diced
1 small yellow pepper, seeded and diced
1 (29-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1 (6-oz.) can tomato paste
1 tsp each: dried basil, rosemary and thyme
1 tsp sea salt or to taste
Ground or smoked pepper to taste
Snipped fresh basil and grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions:
Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion; cook and stir over medium high heat for 5 minutes. Add zucchini, eggplant and garlic; cook for 5 more minutes. Transfer to a slow cooker with all remaining ingredients except fresh basil and Parmesan. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 hours or on LOW for 6 hours. Serve hot or at room temperature topped with fresh basil and Parmesan. Makes 8 servings.

Quick Stovetop Variation: Prepare as directed above, cooking in a large pot instead of a slow cooker. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 to 45 minutes or until vegetables are cooked to your liking.

(Reproduced with permission of http://www.tomatowellness.com/)

5 Health Positive Ways to Kick Off 4th of July

  1. Start by Being Active: Kick off your holiday by starting your day with a walk, run, bike ride, or swim. Holidays are a great time to get active with friends and family members. Not only will a workout jumpstart your metabolism, but you can also use that time to connect and catch up with a quality conversation!

  2. Drink More Water: Regardless of where you live, July is hot! Be sure to drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated and prevent overheating. The best way to monitor your hydration is through the color of your urine. Dark yellow urine means you need more H2O, whereas pale yellow urine means your body is most likely adequately hydrated.

  3. Savor Seasonal Foods: Tis the season to enjoy fresh summer produce! A few of my favorite July produce include eggplant, corn, avocado, mango, strawberries, pineapple, green peas, watermelon, and zucchini. The number of meals, snacks, side dishes, and desserts that can be made with these foods are endless. Forget snacking on chips and store-bought cookies! And instead, sink your teeth into some savory foods from mother nature’s summer crops.

  4. Keep Cold Food Cold and Warm Food Warm: There is nothing worse than getting a bout of food poisoning from a summer BBQ to ruin your vacation. With an increase in outdoor temperatures during the summer months, we usually see a spike in food-borne illnesses. The warm temperature creates the perfect environment for bacteria that cause food poisoning. The most important thing you can do to combat this is to make sure that cold foods stay cold and warm foods stay warm.

  5. Wear Sunscreen: If enjoying the outdoors is part of your July 4th plans, then wearing sunscreen is essential to having a healthy holiday. Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least 30 SPF and make sure to reapply often. Take the extra step and wear a hat, sunglasses and maybe even a rash guard for extra protection.

What Does Organic Mean?


The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) defines organic as follows:
Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation. Before a product can be labeled "organic," a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards. Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant must be certified, too.

There are four categories of labels relating to the product being “organic”: 

  • “100% Organic” means the product contains all organic ingredients, with the exception of salt and water as these are not certifiable. These products cannot be affected by the “big three”: irradiated, contains genetically engineered organisms (GEO’s), or grown with sewage sludge fertilizer.

  • If the label only says, “Organic,” 95% of the ingredients in the product are organically grown.

  • A label that says, “Made with Organic....,” means that 70% of the ingredients within the product are organic. The “big three” rules apply here, for the 70% organic ingredients as well as the 30% non-organic. The supplier may list up to 3 ingredients that are organic on the front of the label.

  • Labels that list organic ingredients on the side panel of the package contain less than 70% organic ingredients. There can be no organic claims on the front of the label. The “big three” are allowed to be in the non-organic ingredients.

Tropical Avocado “Margarita” Pops

Recipe serving size: 1 pop

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe, fresh avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and mashed

  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk

  • 1 cup of orange juice

  • ¾ cup lime juice

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar

  • 1 cup of frozen mango, chopped

  • 8 lime slices

  • 8 popsicle sticks

  • 8 paper cups

Instructions:
Combine avocado, coconut milk, orange juice, lime juice, and sugar in a blender and puree until smooth. Add mango and pulse until combined.
Divide evenly between 8 paper cups. Top each with a lime slice and popsicle stick.
Freeze until firm.

Watermelon Poke Bowl


This raw fish salad is one of the best of Hawaiian cuisine. It is also rich in the omega-3 fats that are good for your brain and heart. The word "poke" comes from the Hawaiian word for "slice or cut."

Ingredients:
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup watermelon juice

  • 1 teaspoon sriracha chili sauce

  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

  • 2 green onions, cut on the diagonal with whites and greens separated

  • 3 medium cloves garlic or 2 large cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/2 tablespoon minced ginger root

  • 1/3 white onion, thinly sliced

  • 3/4 pound ahi tuna, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

  • 1 small avocado, diced

  • 2/3 cup diced watermelon

  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame seeds

  • serving pickled ginger (sushi ginger or gari)


Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, mix soy sauce, watermelon juice, chili sauce, oil, the white portion of green onions, garlic, ginger root, and onion. Add tuna, toss and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  • 10 minutes before serving, add avocado and return to refrigerator.

  • Plate as *desired and top with watermelon and green onions, then sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve with pickled ginger.

* Watermelon Poke Bowls can be served as individual portions over rice (seasoned with a touch of rice wine vinegar) as a main dish, in small serving bowls as an appetizer or side dish, or on a large platter for a buffet. Garnish with dried seaweed for extra Hawaiian flare.

Recipe by: https://www.watermelon.org/

Summer Guide to Lifestyle Medicine

Lifestyle Medicine is a new buzz word in the world of health and wellness, and while the term might be new, the principles of Lifestyle Medicine are things nutrition and wellness experts have been preaching for years. According to the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Lifestyle Medicine is the use of evidence-based lifestyle therapeutic approaches, such as a plant-predominant dietary lifestyle, regular physical activity, adequate sleep, stress management, avoiding the use of risking substances and pursuing other non-drug modalities, to treat, and prevent chronic disease. 

This month I’m sharing why the summer is the perfect opportunity to embrace Lifestyle Medicine and how you can incorporate these principles into your day to day routine! With Lifestyle Medicine, you’re empowered to take charge of your own health.

Summer Guide to Lifestyle Medicine

Why wait till September or January to start thinking about changing your nutrition and health habits, when you can start today? The summer is actually the perfect opportunity to embrace Lifestyle Medicine and start implementing new habits. Listed below are some easy things you can start doing today and reaping the health and wellness benefits.

  • Eat Seasonal Produce. The cornerstone principle of Lifestyle Medicine is to eat a plant-predominant diet consisting of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, lentils, peas, nuts, and seeds. The summer months are filled with produce harvested in their prime including sweet corn, ripe tomatoes, juicy berries, and more. Take advantage of this season to create new lifestyle habits by eating more seasonal produce. Here are a few ideas to get started: mix in spinach, tomatoes, and peppers into your eggs, enjoy fresh fruit and challenge yourself to add more plants to your meals by cooking with at least three different vegetables.

  • Sign Up for a Summer Rec League. Summer is the perfect season to sign up for a new sport. While you may love watching a good baseball game on a summer evening, there is nothing like playing the game! No need to let your skill level, age, or your busy schedule hold you back. As I like to say, where there is a will, there is always a way! Check out your local rec center and see what adult leagues are offered. From volleyball to softball to pickleball to kickball there is bound to be something that fits your skill level and schedule. If participating in summer sports does not interest you then sign up for a local running club. The key is to not only find something you enjoy but also has a set schedule of practices and events to show up and participate!

  • Maintain a Consistent Sleep Schedule. Avoid letting the temptation of long summer days, lack of school schedule and vacation mindset result in late nights. While late nights catching up with friends is okay to do every now and then, it is not a healthy habit for the long term. Sleep is not only important for your mental and physical health but also for . healing and repair of your muscles, tissues, and more. Chronic sleep deficiency is linked to increased risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes as well as mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.

  • Create White Space In Your Schedule. Stress management is an essential component of Lifestyle Medicine. One thing I’ve observed working with clients is that not having enough time or having too much to do is a big contributor to stress. The summer is the perfect time to address this. Where can you create white space in your schedule to do less? White space, also known as free time, is just as important for your physical and mental well-being as staying active and engaged in physical and social activities. Take the challenge and see where can you create a little more white space in your schedule? How does extra free time help with your overall stress levels? How can you keep this white space protected for your foreseeable future?

  • Soak Up Sunshine! The sun is one of the best ways to get vitamin D, the nutrient essential for bone health and fighting depression, just to name a few. While it is important to wear sunscreen when spending time outdoors and sunscreen will inhibit some vitamin D absorption. However, you will still get some of the benefits. The more time you spend outdoors the more your body will be able to absorb this nutrient over time. Sunshine is also very good for your overall mental and emotional wellbeing. Whenever spending time outdoors be sure to follow the sunscreen guidelines from your physician.

  • Be Mindful of Summer Drinking. Summer can be a challenge for people who’ve struggled with alcohol and other substance abuse issues. Be mindful not to fall into the habit of drinking a few cocktails or glasses of wine during the summer nights on a regular basis. And if you’ve already kicked the habit (like stopped smoking, recreational drug use, or reduced alcohol consumption), don’t fall back into it. If this has been a struggle for you in the past, know that the simple act of self-awareness of what, when and where your struggles are is huge. The next step is to create a support system and plan on how you will not revert to old habits. Lifestyle Medicine is avoiding the use of risking substances because the effects on your overall health and well-being are serious and can be life-threatening.

California Avocado Red, White and Blueberry Salsa California Avocados

Add some color to your summer holiday party menu with festive fruit salsa. It’s an excellent source of Vitamin C and a good source of Vitamin A.

Serves: 4
Ingredients:

  • 1/2 sweet white onion, minced

  • 2 ripe, red tomatoes, diced

  • 2 Serrano chiles, stemmed, seeded and minced

  • 1 Tbsp. minced fresh mint, cilantro or basil

  • 1 ripe, fresh California Avocados, peeled, seeded and diced

  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries

  • 1/4 tsp sea salt



As with all fruits and vegetables, wash avocados before cutting. Check out our tips for how to choose and use California Avocados.

Instructions:

  • Gently combine all ingredients. Let rest for at least 10 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to merge.

5 Reasons Not to Go on a Diet

Before diving into all the reasons to stop dieting, let’s clarify the difference between a diet and dieting. 


According to Merriam Webster dictionary, diet is defined as food and drink regularly provided or consumed; habitual nourishment; the kind and amount of food prescribed for a person or animal for a special reason. Whereas the act of dieting is defined as: to cause to take food; to cause to eat and drink sparingly or according to prescribed rules.


The dieting mentality is associated with a variety of physical and emotional health risk that won’t lead to lasting weight loss and in the long run, could be more detrimental to your health. This month I’m sharing a few reasons not to go on a diet and how you can shift typical diet mentality thoughts into creating a healthy relationship with your daily diet, ultimately creating a healthy lifestyle. 

Here are the reasons:

  1. Dieting actually leads to weight gain. As counterintuitive as it sounds, dieters are more likely to gain weight after the diet than non-dieters. Dieting (aka restricting), triggers an increase in stress hormones which is also linked to weight gain. The rules and restrictions that come with diets have you ignoring and suppressing your body’s natural hunger cues. Over time, this can make you more vulnerable to binge eating and less intuitive about listening to your body’s internal hunger and fullness cues that help naturally regulate weight.

  2. Dieting can slow down your metabolism. Restricting calorie intake can lead to weight loss, however, the drop is due more to a loss in metabolically active muscle mass than actual fat loss. By losing muscle, there is a decrease in the amount of energy the body needs to maintain its weight, meaning a slower metabolism. A slow metabolism burns fewer calories at rest and therefore you have to eat less to avoid gaining weight.

  3. Dieting often means numbers trump nutrition. When following a diet, you are often most concerned about calories than anything else. This leads to eating foods based off a number rather than actual nutrition, and let’s face it, not all calories are created equal. A hundred calories of Swedish fish isn’t the same as a hundred calories of Greek yogurt and fresh berries. Foods labeled as “reduced-fat” often means more sugar or other additives to make it palatable. Taking out the fat means taking out some of the flavors, and eating foods with less flavor often leads to consuming more to feel satisfied. By just focusing on calories, you lose sight of the nutrition your body needs. However, eating a balanced diet takes into account the nutrition that is essential for regulating hormones, fighting diseases, managing cravings, and giving your body energy to thrive.

  4. Dieting sets off a self-shaming cycle. Beyond the negative physical and health consequences, dieting can have a negative impact on your psychological health and wellbeing. You start your new plan feeling good and optimistic that these rules and restrictions will help you reach their goals. During the first week, you lose a few pounds and you are motivated this will continue. Then you hit a plateau, the scale does not budge. You begin to feel frustrated that your weight is not changing as fast as promised or expected. This leads to feeling upset and maybe a little depressed, feelings of deprivation start to creep in and eventually you give up. You eat something “off limits” from the diet rules, this leads to a binge followed by feelings of despair, shame, and frustration. These feelings lead back to the cycle of dieting -> deprivation -> overeating -> feelings of shame and unworthiness. Over time this cycle can be extremely detrimental to your mental and physical health and this is a big reason diets don’t work!

  5. Dieting can lead to eating disorders and disordered eating. “Diets” have you depending on rules telling you what, when, and how much to eat. While this works for a short period of time, eventually you will fall off the diet. Falling off your diet intensifies the feelings of guilt and shame, which contributes to the cycle of restricting, purging, bingeing or excessive exercise. Over time this can develop into a serious eating disorder, leaving you with long term disordered eating habits. Other side effects of dieting include increased risk of depression, decrease in self-esteem, emotional distress and more weight gain.

Greek Egg Mug

Prep Time: 1 minute, Cook Time: 3 minutes, Yields: 1 serving

This delicious Greek egg mug cup is packed with protein and ready in just 4 minutes!

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup chopped spinach

  • 1 tablespoon onion, chopped

  • ½ cup Eggland's Best Liquid Egg Whites

  • 2 tablespoons diced tomatoes

  • 2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese

  • Basil, garnish


Instructions:

  1. Spray a large microwave-safe mug with nonstick cooking spray.

  2. Add spinach and onion; microwave for 1-2 minutes, until softened.

  3. Dry up any excess liquid from the spinach with a paper towel.

  4. Add Eggland’s Best Liquid Egg Whites and microwave for 1 minute.

  5. Stir in remaining ingredients. Microwave again for 1 minute or until egg whites are just set.

  6. Stir and allow to slightly cook before enjoying!


Recipe by Eggland’s Best 

Eggs...To EAT or NOT TO EAT?

Dear Confused Client,

Let me begin by saying thank you for reaching out and seeking my advice on this topic. Please know you are not the only one confused, the latest study about eggs and their impact on heart health has left many people asking: “Are eggs good or bad for me?” I hope my response helps you understand how to apply the study findings to your own life.

On March 15, 2019, the journal JAMA released a study, Associations of Dietary Cholesterol or Egg Consumption With Incident Cardiovascular Disease and Mortality. This study found that eating three to four eggs per week was linked to a 6 percent increase in a person's risk of developing heart disease and an 8 percent increase in their risk of dying from any cause during the study period, compared with not eating eggs.

The initial shock that consumers (along with health and nutrition experts) felt is understandable. Since 2016, when the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans were released and the recommendation on limiting eggs because of cholesterol was dropped, we (as a society) have been on an egg-cellent egg cooking, egg consuming journey. (*Note, when I reference the term “we” I am referring to our general society and how “we” have perceived nutrition information or misinformation.)

However, before the 2016 report was released, there was a general consensus among consumers and many health experts that consuming too many eggs or other foods high in cholesterol was associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Nutrition and health experts recommended limiting egg consumption to 3 - 4 egg yolks a week.

With the surge in diet trends such as low carb, paleo and keto - along with the new “green light” to eat more eggs, we did what we do best - we assumed that if there is no limit on eggs, then more must be better! We stopped eating eggs in moderation and instead began to eat eggs for breakfast, at lunch and dinner. New food trends emerged serving fried eggs on salad, burger, pizzas and more. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Americans are now consuming 280 eggs per person per year, which is significantly more than consumed a decade ago.

I am sharing this to say I don’t believe eggs are bad or need to be avoided, as they do provide a variety of nutrients such as protein, essential amino acids, iron, and choline. However, this also doesn’t mean they should be consumed in unlimited quantities. There has been a lot of research published on this topic and the general consensus finds that low to moderate egg consumption (about 3 - 4 yolks per week) is not associated with an increase in heart attack or stroke.

At the end of the day, the full spectrum of your nutrition and lifestyle habits matter and will impact long-term health and disease. Eat more plant-based foods, limit animal products, eat more fiber-rich foods (from plant-based sources) reduce added sugars in the diet, if you drink alcohol, drink in moderation and participate in regular physical activity.

Please remember we can also set up an appointment to discuss in further detail and customize a nutrition plan to maximize your health.

Sincerely,

Juliana

Daily Mantra: "I am Enough"

Here is a list of short mantras you can repeat to yourself to empower yourself to love yourself just as you are.

  • I am perfectly imperfect. My imperfections make me unique in this world. I embrace my imperfections and embrace the imperfections of my loved ones.

  • I choose my path. My path may include bumps, uphill climbs, and even a few detours, but these obstacles make me stronger and wiser as I continue on the journey.

  • I choose to be grateful for all of it.

  • I have done enough for today and I did the best I could today.

  • I have everything I need.

  • I am worthy of love. I am worthy of being cherished by others.

  • My gifts are worth sharing with others.

  • I will not compare myself to my family or friends, I am on my own journey.

  • I will walk my path and support my loved ones as they walk their path.

  • I am strong enough to handle whatever is given to me.

  • I trust that I will find the strength within me to do what I need to do if an obstacle feels too overwhelming for me.

  • I am tougher and braver than I appear.

  • I got this!

  • I am enough.

Beyond a Sweet Treat: 7 Perks of Dark Chocolate

Beyond simply tasting delicious, a dose of dark chocolate adds a variety of health perks that are sure to have your body (and taste buds) thanking you! The good-for-you properties actually come from the minerals and antioxidants found in the cocoa, hence why the darker the chocolate (think 70% or higher), the better for your health. 

7 Perks of Dark Chocolate


1. Enhances Brain Function.
 Yup, it’s true - a small dose of dark chocolate may help you think better. Dark chocolate is naturally rich in the stimulants caffeine and theobromine, two compounds that can add a short term boost to overall brain function. Theobromine has been found to improve focus, concentration and visual processing of information. Dark chocolate may also improve blood flow to the brain.

2. Rich in Antioxidants including Polyphenols, Flavanols, and Catechins. The darker the chocolate, the more antioxidant power, which means the more perks for your health!

3. Decreases Cancer Risk. The antioxidants found in dark chocolate have been found to neutralize free radicals that increase the risk of cancer. Therefore, enjoying a dose of dark chocolate can help decrease cancer risk.

4. Improved Heart Health. Researchers have linked the flavonols in cocoa to decreasing cholesterol levels, blood pressure and arterial plaque.

5. Lowers Blood Pressure. The flavanols in chocolate have been found to support the production of nitric oxide, which in turn helps relax blood vessels and improve blood flow.

6. Mood-Boosting. This one comes as no surprise, but there is scientific evidence that supports the fact that dark chocolate really does make people happier. Not only does it add a sweet treat, but it will help boost endorphins, lifting your mood.

7. Bonus Nutrients. While dark chocolate doesn't provide a significant amount of essential nutrients, it is rich in iron, fiber, copper, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus.

And don’t forget there is no BAD food. Everything can be enjoyed in moderation.

One Sheet Pan Tuscan Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs chicken breasts skin on, cut into halves if needed to make each piece equal in size (For a healthier version, remove the skin before cooking)

  • 12 oz small new potatoes, sliced 

  • 8 oz button mushrooms

  • 1 yellow onion, sliced

  • 3-4 cloves fresh garlic, minced

  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes

  • 1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes

  • 1 cup green, or black olives, pitted

  • 2 Tbsp avocado oil, or olive oil, divided

  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

  • 1 Tbsp raw honey

  • 1 tsp oregano

  • 1 tsp thyme

  • 2 Tbsp fresh thyme, chopped for garnish

  • sea salt & pepper, to your taste 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350f.

  2. Line a baking tray with foil, then place the chicken breast in the middle and the potatoes on the sides.

  3. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp oil, and season generously with sea salt and pepper.

  4. Roast in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes.

  5. In a large bowl, add in the mushrooms, tomatoes, olives, sliced onion, garlic and sun dried tomatoes.

  6. Drizzle remaining oil, balsamic vinegar, raw honey and add all the seasonings. Mix well to get all veggies coated.

  7. Once the chicken is almost cooked, add the veggies mixture to the sheet pan, and roast for an additional 10 minutes, or until the chicken is golden brown and fully cooked.

  8. Remove from the oven and garnish with fresh thyme and season to your taste.

  9. You may keep it in the fridge for a max of 4 days for food prep.

Enjoy!

by Rachel Maser @ cleanfoodcrush.com

Tips for Creating Healthy Dining Habits

  1. Fill up on fiber and lean protein. 

    A meal high in protein and fiber can help keep you satisfied and prevent overeating. Use the Fast Casual Cheat Sheet in this newsletter, to help identify best meals to fill you up!

  2. Be stingy with the extras. 

    Things like bacon, cheese, mayo, and salad dressings will not only add to your food bill but also add unnecessary calories and fat to your meal.

  3. Watch out for the sneaky salad toppings. 

    While salads can be a nutrient-packed meal, they can also be higher in calories, fat and sodium than a hamburger. Fancy toppings like cheese, bacon, salad dressing, dried fruit, nuts, and croutons can really add up.

  4. Substitute sides. 

    Most restaurants default to serving fries, chips, onion rings, bread or mashed potatoes as their side. Often these are eaten out of habit and not because you are really hungry and need the extra food. Ask if you can substitute the high-calorie side dish with a side salad and light dressing, steamed veggies, baked sweet potato or a fresh fruit cup.

  5. Embrace the flavors of baked, broiled, grilled chicken or roasted lean meats.

    Avoid fried and battered foods as they are high in calorie, fat and sodium. By shifting your mindset to embrace the flavors of baked, broiled, grilled chicken or roasted lean meats you are opening yourself to a new relationship with food.

Vegetable Minestrone Soup

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 2 large carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)

  • 2 stalks celery, sliced (about 1 cup)

  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

  • 4 cups Vegetable Broth

  • 1 can (about 15 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained

  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained

  • ¼ cup uncooked pearl barley

  • 2 cups firmly packed chopped fresh spinach/Kale


Heat the oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, celery, and onion. Cook for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender-crisp, stirring occasionally. Stir in the broth, beans, tomatoes, and barley and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 30 minutes or until the barley is tender. Stir in the spinach and cook until the spinach is wilted. Season to taste.

Yes, you can enjoy the Holiday Season eating healthy!

The holidays are a time for family, friends, good food and creating great memories. Our schedules are filled with shopping, decorating, and holiday party hopping. The busy days can make it challenging to maintain healthy exercise and sleep habits, making it easy to turn to food for a quick energy rush or comfort when feeling sad or lonely. 

When you combine lack of sleep with skipped workouts and poor food choices, it is easy to see why so many people complain of weight gain over the holidays. However, with a few simple strategies, you can fend off the unwanted holiday weight gain and prevent unhealthy habits from sabotaging the season!

Here are some of my favorite tips:

#1 Sip on soup. Soup is a low energy dense food, which means it provides fewer calories per gram - therefore you can eat a nice serving of soup, relatively low in calories. Having a cup of broth-based soup before a meal can help fill you up, so you don't overindulge in higher-calorie foods.

Bonus Tip: eat soup 30 minutes before your main meal to let your stomach register your food, helping to eat smaller portions of the more calorie-dense foods being served.

#2 Move away from the munchies. When socializing, avoid positioning yourself close to the appetizer and hors-d'oeuvre spread. This will not only help keep you more engaged in the conversation, but you will also not be tempted to eat between every other word. By stepping away from the food, you can focus on the people you are with.

Bonus Tip: When you eat, serve yourself on a plate. Think about the food you are eating, enjoy the smell, taste, and flavors of the meals. When talking, talk.

#3 Stock up on healthy foods. Prepare for your success by planning in advance. Be aware that life will get busy, you will get hungry, and your body will need food to function. Therefore, empower yourself by stocking up on nutritious and portable foods you can stash in your desk, car, gym bag, briefcase or purse.

Bonus Tip: Avoid going shopping or to a party on an empty stomach. Keep office goodies out of view or in an inconvenient location.

#4 Delay satisfaction. What should you do if you are at an office party? Instead of depriving yourself, which will probably lead to overindulging later, take it home for later. Often times delaying satisfaction can lead to realizing you did not need another serving or save it for when you can you can slow down and savor it.

Bonus Tip: Allow yourself to be more flexible this time of year. By giving yourself permission to savor holiday foods you'll be less likely to overeat and binge when your favorite foods are offered to you.

#5 Maintain a health and wellness journal. Food journaling has long been known as one of the most useful tools for helping people manage their weight. However, sometimes a food journal can get mentally exhausting if you are only thinking about the calories you consumed. Instead, shift the focus to health and wellness journaling. Track sleep habits, physical activity, mindful food moments, holiday joy, and if you choose to track food intake, pay attention to hunger and fullness cues along with your enjoyment of the foods.

Bonus Tip: Use the journal to explore what makes you feel both mentally and physically healthy.

Happy Holiday Season!!!

Yours in health,

Juliana

Healthy Habits To Better Blood Sugar


 Make a new holiday tradition...
 
Instead of crashing on the couch before AND after your holiday feast, create a healthier tradition by encouraging your family and friends to get outside and play a game of football or frisbee together. You could also simply take a walk with your family to prevent those spikes in blood sugar when eating larger amounts of food. Research has shown that routine physical activity can help to improve blood glucose levels and even lessen your need for insulin or oral diabetes medications. Remember, the more you move, the less spikes you will have!
 
Additional perks of exercise:

  • Increased level of good cholesterol (HDL)

  • Leaner, stronger muscles

  • Stronger bones

  • More energy

  • Improved mood

  • Lower blood pressure

  • Weight management

  • Better sleep

  • Stress management

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars By Swerve

Ingredients

Gluten Free Cinnamon Crust

1 ½ cup Pamela’s GF Nut Flour Blend

1 cup almond flour

2/3 cup Swerve, Confectioners

10 tablespoons butter, melted (can also use coconut oil)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling

16 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 cup Swerve, Confectioners

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 eggs (room temperature)

1 cup canned pumpkin

2 teaspoons pumpkin spice

Instructions

Gluten Free Cinnamon Crust

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Mix Pamela’s flour blend, almond flour, Swerve, melted butter, and cinnamon until well blended. Press mixture into buttered or parchment paper lined 9 X 13 casserole dish. Bake for 15-17 minutes. Edges will slightly brown. Let cool before adding filling on top.

 

Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling

Change oven temperature to 350 degrees F. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine softened cream cheese, 3/4 cup Swerve and vanilla until well blended. Add eggs and mix just until eggs are incorporated. Mix 1/4 cup Swerve, pumpkin and pumpkin spice into a separate bowl. Take pumpkin mix and place dollops on the cooled crust. Pour cheesecake filling evenly over the cooled crust. Cut through batter several times with a knife to create marbleized effect (pumpkin will begin to look swirled). Bake for 40- 45 minutes or until center is set. Bring to room temperature and serve. You can also refrigerate the bars overnight, but let them sit out for about 30 minutes before serving.

 

Makes 20 servings.

 

Nutrition Facts: Serving Size 1 square Servings 20

Calories 220, Total Fat 20g, Cholesterol 55mg, Sodium 85mg, Total Carbs 19g, Dietary Fiber 3g, Sugars 2g, Added Sugar 0g, Swerve 13g, Protein 4g, Net Carbs: 3g

Don't Let Halloween Treats Scare You Into An Unhealthy Obsession

Halloween is here and there are savory and sweet treats everywhere. It is becoming more and more common for people to make comments about “healthy” and “unhealthy” food everyday - from the media, to your family, friends, and everyone in between. As a nutrition expert, I understand and agree with some of these comments. However, living a healthy and balanced life also means learning to enjoy food while also enjoying the experience of being with friends and family.

Heading into any social situation, especially during Halloween time, can sometimes be a little scary if you have struggled with food issues, disordered eating, or your inner food police screaming “eat this, not that”. If you have suffered from an eating disorder, you know these words and situations can trigger you back into old habits and behaviors, if you are not equipped both mentally and physically. This issue is designed, to help you enjoy the tricks and treats of the seasons without letting the food police creep into your life and take control of the fun!

Here are a three things you can start doing today to keep yourself mentally and physically strong while not getting spooked about all the “food rules” you may read about. 

  1. Avoid skipping meals. Whether it's breakfast lunch dinner snacks skipping meals is a surefire way to find yourself in a place you might eating beyond comfort a popular Halloween treat. Everyone, every once in awhile, will find themselves in a situation where they may overeat, remember you're human. However, as part of recovery, it important to practice self-care and fuel properly throughout the day. When you fuel right throughout the day, you are equipping yourself to go to a social gathering feeling satisfied and not deprived. Practicing this step can help enjoy the event while also helping you stop eating beyond comfort.

  2. Taste your treats. When deciding to enjoy a Halloween treat, like your favorite candy, cookie, or chips and dip, take the time to actually taste what you're about to eat. If you're eating out of boredom, stress or pure mindlessness this is not the time to grab that peanut butter cup. Instead wait to enjoy your treat when you have the time to sit down, taste & savor it - without any guilt!

  3. Don’t be scared to serve it up. Instead nibbling on random Halloween candy and treat throughout the evening, make a conscious decision on what you want to eat. After you make the conscious decision on what you actually want, then take the next step and serve yourself a portion on a plate. Once you have served your portion, find a place where you can sit, taste, and enjoy your food. This simple act of conscious eating will help you stay in tune with your body. As you are eating, refer back to step #2 and make sure to taste your treats...without any guilt!


Does this issue make you want to discover how you can make peace with food and enjoy more guilt free social situations? Contact me and let’s explore working together!