Christmas is a busy time of year. Don’t let it be an excuse to not eat healthy meals prepared at home. My favorite kitchen aid is my crock pot. It serves up delicious meals without a lot of fuss. Plus it makes the house smell good all day while it cooks. Here are three meals when served with a salad will keep you on track nutritionally.
Salsa Style Pork
Combine pork loin, salsa, chilies, and black beans in crock pot and mix well. Cover and cook for 6-8 hours on low. Sprinkle cheese and cilantro over top and serve.
Herbed Turkey Breast
Place vegetables in the bottom of the crock pot. Top with turkey breast. Combine seasonings and chicken broth. Pour over the top. Cover and cook on low heat for 5-7 hours.
Sirloin Tip Roast with Horseradish
Combine seasonings. Spread over roast halves. Place in slow cooker. Add broth. Cook on low 6-8 hours. Remove from cooker. Let stand for 15 minutes before slicing diagonally across the grain. Scoop juices from crock pot into gravy dish. Serve with horseradish if desired.
It's not the food that makes the holidays, it's the memories you make.
And those calories are coming from everywhere! But no where seems worse than the place we spend the majority of our day. The office.
There's clients, reps, patients, and business associates who send or bring in all sorts of goodies.
There's the staff office parties which typically means a catered lunch or... ten, depending on where you work.
And then there's your co-workers. The overachievers who want to show off all of their superb culinary skills by bringing everyone in the office high-calorie, delicious homemade goodness. And insist on watching you try "just one."
Add to all of that, the end of year work related stress that leaves you short-fused, and sleep deprived and you are primed for a sugar-laden calorie bomb before noon! Here's my top tips for handling this:
Do you need a make over to a Thanksgiving Favorite?
Sweet Sweet Potato Casserole
2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 3 medium), peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 8-ounce can of crushed pineapple, don’t drained
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
Place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain well and transfer to a food processor. Process until smooth. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat an 8-inch-square broiler-safe baking dish with coconut oil. Whisk whole eggs, cinnamon, oil, coconut milk, vanilla and salt in a large bowl until smooth. Add the sweet potato; whisk until smooth. Stir in pineapple and its juice. Spread the mixture in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with pecans. Bake the casserole until heated through and the edges are bubbling, 35 to 45 minutes. Set aside while you make the topping.
As the “biggest eating holiday” in the US, it’s an important time to maybe pull the reins back a bit.
Now, I’m not here to say live off celery and tofu for Thanksgiving.
But what about setting up a little challenge with yourself.
Most importantly, have a Happy Thanksgiving!
To Your Best Health,
If you still need some help to Handle the Holidays at Home check this out.
Sticking with our Handling the Holidays theme... I’m back at it with today’s topic: Too many calories.
I’ve heard more than one person complain of all the sweets and baked goods that are around this time of year.
And unless you plan on checking yourself into a spa for the next two weeks, it's hard to avoid. There's the food YOU make at home (for your family or other people), the food that people give TO YOU, and the food that's brought into the office.
And that's not counting office parties and holiday parties that take place in the last 2 weeks of the year, either.
What's a goal-oriented clean eater to do?
Since there's so much to discuss on this one, I'm breaking it down into separate newsletters.
Today we tackle the home environment.
The easiest place to control excess calories this holiday season is your own home. Watch what food you bring in, encourage company to take leftovers and goodies with them or give away what you can.
Remember it's not the food that makes the holidays, it's the memories you make.
To Your Best Health,
P. S. Need Help Handling the Holidays with some great appetizers? Click here
We're kicking off our Thanksgiving suggestions very fittingly -- with the dish people think of first, appetizers.
As if Thanksgiving doesn't have enough calories associated with the dinner alone, we always start it off with hors d'oeuvres or what my friend’s toddler calls, HAPPYtizers.
Now these can play a critical role, especially if there are hours between when your guests first arrive and when the REAL meal is served. But the calories can also quickly add up, particularly if you are snacking mindlessly.
So here are my strategies for handling appetizers, food and drink that is tempting, and that will be around for a good bit pre-meal. Note: these strategies are good for later that evening with dinner and dessert as well.
1 small white onion
4 portabella mushrooms
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, fine diced
1 pinch nutmeg
1 pinch black pepper
1/2 cup sherry
¼ cup Vegetable stock
1 cup feta cheese
Chop onion with 1/8 dice, remove ribbing in mushrooms, cut ribbing and stems of mushrooms. Add oil to a sauté pan. Sauté onions, diced mushrooms and nutmeg through veggie stock, then add garlic until aromatic. Add the feta cheese and stir to combine. Stuff mushrooms with mixture, sprinkle with a bit of Parmesan cheese, and a drizzle with olive oil. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Cut each portabella mushroom into quarters to serve.
Antipasto Sausage Skewers
12 ounces fully cooked Italian-style poultry sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup lightly packed fresh basil
1 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained, rinsed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces if large
1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage; cook, turning 2 or 3 times, until warmed through and browned, about 8 minutes. Thread 1 small or 1/2 large basil leaf onto a small wooden skewer. Add a piece of roasted red pepper, sun-dried tomato, artichoke and sausage, arranging them on the skewer so that it can stand up on the sausage end. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make about two-dozen skewers.
Green Goddess Dip (great with veggies)
1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted and peeled
2 scallions, green and white parts, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup fresh tarragon
1/4 cup fresh parsley
3 Tablespoons white vinegar
3/4 cup buttermilk
Vegetable sticks, for dipping
Place the avocado, scallions, tarragon, parsley, vinegar, buttermilk and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a blender; puree until smooth.
Enjoy your Holidays.
To your Best Health,
P.S. If you need some help handling the holiday stress click here!
The word “carb” is ingrained into our minds, and usually when we think of it in the term of nutrition we think of all the “Low Carb” diets out there – not so much fun.
Carbohydrate is not a dirty word. Your body functions best when you eat carbohydrates, that’s not really the question.
Let’s put it this way. If I ask most people what they think about when they hear the words “Carb” or “Carbohydrate” this is the answers I get:
And they are right, those all contain a lot of carbohydrates.
But here’s another list:
These are all carbohydrates too! The big difference is the way your body handles these carbohydrates.
The first list is made up of simple carbs. Simple carbs are made up of one or two sugar molecules and break down very quickly and easily.
The second list are what we call complex carbs. These are comprised of more than two sugar groups, and these take much longer to break down in your system.
Both of these, simple and complex carbs, are digested into simple sugars before the body uses them.
But there is a big difference in the speed of digestion between a cinnamon roll and a string bean, or even a bowl of oatmeal for that matter.
This speed of digestion is also a factor in how much insulin is released into our bloodstream.
When you’re eating for weight loss, the slower the better. When you’re eating for health, the slower the better. There are no BAD foods, but there are better choices. Choose wisely.
To your best health,
I can't even begin to tell you how pumped up I am to be teaming up with Dan DeFigio, the bestselling author of "Beating Sugar Addiction For Dummies", to help you get off sugar and help you take back control of your eating.
The goal of Sugar Free Me is ambitious. To give you the education, resources and support you need to overcome your addiction to sugar and carbs, and regain control of your life!
Now some of you may think I am going overboard with the word "addiction". After all while we know eating too much sugar isn't great for us, does it really reach that level? Evidence suggests it can, as sugar has been shown to stimulate the same pleasure centers of the brain as some drugs.
I don't think it's any big secret that sugar and sweets are a big "go-to" when we are stressed, or tired, or lonely. The kick of dopamine that sugar gives us can lead to a very destructive cycle, actually altering our neural pathways , and it's also no secret the cycle of sugar addiction can be hard to beat.
Sugar Free Me is a 28-day step-by-step education, accountability, and strategy course that helps you understand the root causes of sugar addiction, how to address them to create your plan of action, and help you kick the cycle of eating excess sugar.
What we are going to learn:
We are also going to fill up your "Sugar Free Me Toolbox" with six new tools that are going to help you Avoid Temptation, Find and Avoid Your Food Triggers, and explore What You REALLY Want when you reach for the sweets. (Hint: It's not sugar)
The most valuable thing you are going to get over the course of this course (see what I did there) 🙂 is daily accountability and incredible support from both those taking this journey with you and our incredible team of coaches.
You will have your own account created in a really cool program called "Coach Catalyst". Every day you will get an email or message to your phone that delivers your daily "Sugar Free Me" lesson and asks the question: "Did you avoid eating all added sugars yesterday?"
Don't underestimate the power of answering that daily question honestly. This simple action does a couple of very important things. It creates a record for you to look back on and evaluate under what conditions and in what circumstances you tend to reach for the sweets. But it also helps your coach know when you need a little extra help to get moving in the right direction.
You also get access to our Private Facebook page, where you can hang out with folks on the same journey and where your coaches can offer more support. We have found these groups are a powerful way to stay connected and see that you are not the only one struggling. Take advantage of this page!
I really appreciate Dan making his resources and expertise in this area available to us. His full online course is priced at $95, but we are able to offer the 28-Day Sugar Free Me course for only $27. This is an incredible deal for everything you get!
The next "Sugar Free Me" starts October 2, 2017!
For someone who loves sweets (like I do), you may be wondering what you might be getting yourself into.
As with anything we do that is "new", it's going to take a little time to adjust to your "new normal". Here's a thought to consider.
Did you know that one of the keys to success and happiness in life is to practice self-compassion?
We are SO hard on ourselves when we don't live up to our expectations for ourselves, and that usually leads to a downward spiral of guilt and feelings of failure. I have lived it, and it usually meant reaching for more food. That's how I got to 280 pounds.
But I learned really fast that to take it off I needed more than education (I knew eating junk food wasn't good for me), or more willpower (when I am tired or feeling blue I have none). I needed a strategy for dealing with the inevitable stuff that comes up to derail me perfect plans - I think it's called life! 🙂
And that is what Sugar Free Me is all about. Sure there is an education component involved, but more importantly we are going to give you real world strategies to set yourself up to succeed, including what to do if (when) you aren't perfect and fall off the wagon.
No program is magic. Change takes effort and self-reflection. It takes a willingness to step out of your comfort zone and embrace something new.
Salespeople everywhere are going to shudder, but DON'T invest in this program if you can't or won't take the 10 or 15 minutes a day it will take to read the lessons and get involved with the group. The last thing I want is for you to have another reason to beat yourself up.
If you want to talk to Nancy or I to see if this 28-Day focus is right for you, you can drop us a line here.
To your success,
Lose weight with three mindset tips.
Stop chasing the quick fix and focus on the basics to lose pounds and inches.
To lose weight we need to be in the right frame of mind. I believe too many people enter into a nutrition or fitness plan without mentally preparing for it first.
Weight loss is possible, being healthier is possible, getting stronger is possible. Everybody knows that. The challenge is getting started. And that takes the right mental attitude and social support. I’ve worked with scores of men and women who want to lose weight, but the most successful ones – the ones who keep the weight off – are the ones who have the right mental disposition before starting.
Follow three mindset tips for permanent weight loss:
1. Surround yourself with the right people.
People need to understand they will need to make some different lifestyle choices to change how they look, feel and act like right now. Starting a new healthier life will include physical training and nutrition changes. In order to keep progressing in your healthier life and keep the weight off, it will involve further changes. Some of those changes may very well mean not being able to socialize with others who are a negative influence. You’ll need to find others that have the similar goals and hang out with them. That camaraderie will be like a secret driving force or accountability.
2. Don't expect it to be easy.
While losing weight doesn’t have to be an all-consuming chore, those seeking weight loss need to come to grips with the fact that it is going to take effort. Anything worth doing is going to take work. Accept the fact that there are obstacles to overcome. This is another great reason to surround yourself with positive people, as they will help you get over the inevitable hurdles.
3. Don't expect rapid progress to continue forever.
When starting a fat loss program, many people see dramatic results right away. But hang on because it won’t always be that way. People need to shift their focus from short-term losses to long-term results. Permanent lifestyle changes need to be made in order to prevent unwanted fat and a decreased health from coming back.
To your best health,
Fun facts to know and tell about water. These are absolutely worth sharing.
We’ve talked about the importance of drinking enough water and how it affects muscle soreness and fat loss.
Here’s some more good reasons to keep that water bottle handy…
Are you drinking the amount of water you should drink every day?
To your best health,
Let's face it. Life is getting busier and busier, and sometimes something has just gotta give.
For many that "something" is time in the kitchen, cooking and eating. Whether it's late nights at the office or running the kids all over creation, more and more the choice is "eating out".
One of the problems this creates less control of portion sizes, and the vast array of choices makes it oh-so-easy to eat way more than is helpful for our health and fitness goals. The fact that so often we are stressed and rushed when we are doing makes it even more likely our choices will be, let's say, less than optimal.
But first let's get some perspective.
If you go out to eat once or twice a month, or less, indulging in something you enjoy is not going to set you back for very long, if at all. There is some amazing food out there to taste, and I enjoy it as much as the next person.
But I know people who eat out two, three or more times a week, either out of necessity or choice. And travel is a whole 'nother animal, right?
When that's the case, we need a strategy to navigate through all those big portion sizes and calorie traps. It's a losing battle to eat out without one.
And that's what the Restaurant Cheat Sheet is all about.
Actually I think "Cheat Sheet" is selling it short, as this 53 Page e-book offers nutritional guidance and menu ordering tips for:
Get yours for absolutely free below, and let me know how it has helped you.
Some people talk about continuing education as if it’s an option. Especially when you are talking nutrition and your own health, you have to keep on learning.
Let’s face it, our lives are very different than when we were kids. The time my kids spend playing is astounding to me. I wish it wouldn’t change but I know it will. Think back to when you were just driving. The amount of freedom it afforded you also cascaded to other choices and options. For me, I had the freedom to drive myself to work and therefore stop at any convenience store I wanted to buy what my paycheck could afford to feed me. That meant a lot of Little Debbie’s snack cakes.
Life has changed again. I am now the mother of 6 and Gigi (grandmother) to 3. I work full time. I rarely just ‘play’ and I certainly don’t have a whole lot of use for Little Debbie’s. While they still might taste good, I have learned what a diet of those can do to a teenager, and I don’t want to experiment with a 50-year-old body.
! am constantly learning about new hormones my body is not producing as well or hormones that are raging that I didn’t know effected sleep so much. I am glad there is someone out there who is knows all this medical stuff to help me out.
Don’t stop learning. While your circumstances are different from person to person and your life is constantly shifting gears, you have to match your nutritional needs to you.
I can help you do that. There are far too many barriers in health, but once you’ve started to make changes to your system (it could be the system of how you think about food, how you look at each meal, how you put portion sizes on your plate, etc), the opportunity to level up is largely driven by you. Level up the field by what you choose, by how much your chose, how often you chose to go outside of the plan and by who you choose to learn from.
To your best health,