Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Tips and Tricks for a Healthy Holiday Season

Just when you’ve come out of the Halloween sugar high the Thanksgiving food coma hits and then the holiday parties and treats threaten to undo a whole year of hard work on your health. But just because people are bringing endless baked goods to the office and there are holiday parties every week with fantastic food and drink, it doesn’t mean that you are destined to have Santa’s belly by 2017. Just follow a few simple tricks and trades and you’ll be cheering to your health and pre-holiday body!

Don't go hungry. A great tactic to ensure that you won't overeat at parties or in the break room is to not let yourself get hungry. Eat a light but satisfying snack before you go...100-150 calories should do it. A half turkey sandwich on whole grain bread, veggies and hummus, string cheese, a handful of nuts or a protein shake should do the trick.

Take a step back. You see all the food on the table and you want to make a beeline for the buffet. Go for it, but once you've gone through the line once, plant yourself on a far away and out of arms reach of the gingerbread cookies and peppermint martinis and, better yet, keep your back to the food and drink. With this little trick, you are less likely to absent-mindedly snack.

Work it out. So the holidays can cause stress, right? Lots of shopping, spending, parties and work. Who has time for exercise? YOU DO! Exercise reduces stress so make sure you put your workouts on the calendar and stick to it like you would an important meeting: because it is.

Exercise portion control. Where does it say that just because you can eat a truckload of food, you should? Get one plate of food and make sure that at least half is filled up with veggies, fruits and lean protein, the other half can be your favorite holiday food picks…”favorite” being the key word here. Don't waste precious calories on food that you don't really love. Pick out your favorites and savor them slowly.

Drink Dilemma. If you decide to have a drink or two while celebrating, make sure your drinks are around 100 calories or less. Wine spritzers, 1 oz liquor with a calorie-free mixer, a glass of champagne and light beer all have around 100 calories. And of course, drink two glasses of water to every alcoholic beverage to keep you from over-drinking as well as staying hydrated.

Skip the food or drink hangover. Schedule a sweat session for the morning after a party with a trainer or friend…knowing that you will be going to be working hard the next morning will make you think about how much you’re drinking AND eating that evening, plus, you'll burn calories from your “favorite” treats and zap fatigue and winter blues all at once.

Happy, healthy holidays!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Roasted Root Vegetables's definitely fall now and that means that Thanksgiving is right around the corner. I know for most, it is an all out eat fest and that's great. Even so, I'm really thankful for my health and want to feed my body some really good, yummy, nutritious food even if I indulge in some gravy and pie. Plus, if you are dealing with food allergies and sensitivities, Thanksgiving feasts can be a bit daunting. Therefore, I have worked hard to make the yummiest root vegetable hash possible. Root veggies are amazing. They fight cancer with a healthy dose of antioxidants, fill you up with fiber and can even help you absorb more iron for strong bones and cartilage.

What you need:

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 4 large golden beets
  • 2 cup whole Brussels sprouts (I know it's not a root veggies...but they are soooo tasty in this dish)
  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 6 whole carrots
  • 6 whole parsnips
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • optional: 1 tbsp my favorite spice to put on veggies
                                       What to do:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Peel all veggies and cut into 1 inch cubes (I know this seems like a lot of chopping and such but it took me less than 20 minutes and I passed the time watching my guilty pleasure tv series)
  3. Saute all veggies except butternut squash (they get too mushy) in broth for about 5 minutes to get them just a little soft...but not too soft or they will be mushy
  4. Salt, pepper and drizzle with olive oil
  5. Spread on two separate baking sheets to provide enough room for veggies to roast
  6. Bake until tender or about 20 minutes
Nutrition Facts per one cup serving: 100 calories, 20 carbs, 2.5 grams protein, 2 grams fat, 5 grams fiber

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Pumpkin muffins for under 80 calories

I fed these muffins to my husband, who loves calories, fat, wheat and dairy, and he was shocked that they were low-calorie, low-fat, gluten-free, and dairy-free. Ha, I totally got him! Taste for yourself; they are crazy addictive. My kids ate six of them behind my back (I guess it's fair since they helped me make them). I know that it's pumpkin mania right now, but these are a must try. Plus, you can make these in 30 minutes flat. POW.


Yields 18 regular muffins, 36 mini muffins
(10 min prep, 18 min bake time)

What you need:

  • non-stick cooking spray (or muffin tin liners)
  • 1 cup old fashion oats made into flour (don’t freak out…just put them in your blender/food processor/magic bullet/etc. for like 10 seconds. Congrats, you just made your own oat flour)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup old fashion oats
  • 1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened, original flavor almond milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup 100% pure maple syrup

What to do: 

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine all dry ingredients (oat flour that you made, sugar, salt, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, old fashion oats), then mix in all wet ingredients. Tough, right? Fill your muffin tins ½ full (like ¼ cup for regular sized muffins and about 2 TBSP for mini muffins).  Bake normal sized muffins for 15-18 minutes and mini-muffins for 10-12 minutes. They are done when a toothpick comes out goop-free. Cool before diving in.

Here are the crazy-unbelievable nutrition facts…but don’t get carried away; the entire batch will still set you back over 1,300 calories. But for one normal sized muffin: 76 calories, 15 carbs, 1 gram fiber, 1 gram fat and 2 grams protein. For the mini ones: 38 calories, 7 carbs, 0.5 grams fiber, 0.5 grams fat and 1 gram protein. 


Drink up: H2O is super important!

It’s getting hot outside…are you getting enough water? The body is about 60% water, therefore, it’s important to drink plenty H2O to keep your body properly hydrated. Our body loses a bit over 8 cups of water a day (64 oz) through various bodily processes, so it stands to reason that you need to drink at least 8 cups of water a day to make sure that you replace the lost water. Why is hydration so important for our overall health? Let’s look at the roles that water plays in the body:

  • Water helps rid the body of toxins
  • Water boosts your metabolism
  • Water carries nutrients to your cells
  • Water keeps you energized
  • Water plays a key role in the function of every organ
  • Water aids in digestion

When you don’t drink enough water, you are at risk to become dehydrated. Dehydration can cause minor to major problems including:  
  • Slow Metabolism
  • Low energy
  • Kidney stones
  • Poorly functioning organs
  • Failing kidneys

If the thought of drinking so much plain ol’ water every day doesn’t appeal to you, try to stay away from water mix-ins. These popular fruity powders are full or sugar or worse, chemical sweeteners that have been linked to certain types of cancer and even obesity. Instead, try adding the following natural water enhancers:
  • Lemon, Lime or Orange slices
  • Crushed raspberries
  • Sliced cucumbers
  • Frozen orange juice “ice cubes”

No excuses; drink 1/2 your body weight in oz of water a day. (Example: if you weigh 150 lbs, drink 75 oz of water a day)

On a note for those who exercise regularly:

If you loose a pound or two during a major sweat session, what you’ve lost is not fat, it’s 2 ½ CUPS of water per pound lost from your body-yikes! Dehydration sets in once you loose about 2% of body weight due to water loss (so a 175 lb man could lose only 3.5 lbs of water during a hard workout and succumb to dehydration…scary!)

Sweating is a good thing; it keeps our bodies cool, but it also causes us to loose water and so we must replace what has been lost. It’s super important to drink water before, during and after a good sweat session in normal conditions, but it’s actually a crucial requirement to do such when it’s hot out. Tips to staying hydrated:
  • Remember to drink about two cups (16 oz) of water and hour or two before exercise
  • Drink ½ cup (4 oz or about 2-3 gulps) every 15-20 minutes during exercise.
  • Be sure to continue drinking water even after your workout is complete to ensure that you are properly hydrated.
Remember to listen to your body when exercising in the heat. If you start to get dizzy, light headed or if you stop sweating when you’re working hard, it’s time to quit for the time being and drink some water.
Cheers to your health!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Week night dinners-easy, nutritious, balanced

Anyone else feel like maybe it would be great to just be able to skip dinner every once in a while? I mean, intermittent fasting is good for the body and brain. Unfortunately, my little family really likes to eat in the evening. Every. Darn. Day. So I've come up with a week of fall meals that everyone will eat (at least )in my house) that are less than 30 minutes (or in the crock pot). It makes me feel a bit more sane. Plus, if you have gluten or dairy issues, you can totally make them free of those guys. Here is what our weeks look like right now. Simply click on the link for more information on how to do it the fastest, most efficient way to get this food on the table.

Monday: E.H. Fitness chili in the crock pot.

Tuesday: It's call "Taco Tuesday" in my house; kinda like create-your-own-burrito-bowl of deliciousness.

Wednesday: Baked salmon with rice and mixed veggies.

Thursday:  Balsamic Short Ribs with smashed potatoes and honey glazed carrots

Friday: Get rid of your leftover chili on baked potatoes

Saturday: Honey Soy Chicken with rice and mixed veggies

Sunday: Left overs...go's a day of rest! :)

Basically, there is a formula here: protein, starch and veggies. Once I got that little formula under my belt, planning meals was made easy. Just simple clean meals. Boom.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Fancy-shmancy meal with busy weeknight ease!

Oh goodness...this meal seemed like a big deal in the kitchen with lots of prep and time and such but it was sooooo easy and soooo delicious. Check out this clean short rib recipe that you do in the crock pot and this amazing roasted honey carrot recipe and pop some cauliflower rice in the microwave with some salt and pepper. AMAZING!

Just a little side note that my family loves them some smashed potatoes and frequently we will eat this meal with those instead of cauliflower rice. Again...super easy.