GET HEALTHY…starting NOW.


It's colorful, so it's healthy, right? These are the JOKES....sometimes you should have a BLOODY.

How’d those New Year’s Resolutions work out for ya?

OR

NOT workout? (pun intended)

We all know January always causes a surge in GYM memberships and attempts at NEW DIETS. I’m not opposed to all of it but I’m an advocate of  “Continuous HEALTH and HAPPINESS,” and “CHOOSING habits that are LIFELONG.” I am definitely NOT a fan of starting something (while intentions might have been good ones) doing it for a two week stint OR becoming a weekend warrior.

Running five miles starting on Sunday when you haven’t run in three years turned out to be a bad idea, did it?

AND NO! There’s no magic bullet, go elsewhere for that bullet (wait a second, there is no real bullet!).

It’s okay, you can swallow your pride now and start eating carbs again, you’ll be happier!

PART I: (1-5) 10 THINGS HEALTHY PEOPLE DO:

1. VARIETY

PROBLEM: Are you eating a lean cuisine, turkey sandwiches, possibly a jellied fruit molded something and canned soup on a daily basis? While I know some of us are creatures of habit, you might consider adding something beyond the same 5 foods to your eating regimen. Would you wear the same clothes every day? No. So why eat the same food?

STRATEGY: No idea what SPELT is? CLICK here. No idea what Bok Choy is? Click here.Try any of the recipes or ingredients I’ve used here! I have plenty! Point is, move beyond monotony.

2. MODERATION (sometimes moderation IN moderation)

PROBLEM: You love pizza and once and awhile you want some chocolate but eating them daily could pan out to be a problem. When I say moderation it means:

  • Put the fork down after the second helping of dinner
  • Don’t order a second ice cream cone or sundae
  • One soda was enough(which by the way, eewww chemicals in a can?).
  • AND YES more veggies is always better (if not drenched in butter).

Guess the veggie....

STRATEGY: Fill your plate up, think half veggies, quarter protein + a quarter with a grain and there should be NO reason you’re not satisfied!

Eat the cookie when you want the cookie (you all know I do).

3. ENJOY FOOD & STOP FEELING GUILTY!

PROBLEM: Are you that person who is always telling people how bad or guilty you feel after you ate something?

Or you find yourself saying things like,”I never eat this way, but just this one time.” It’s like we need to admit we’re doing something wrong or shameful by eating that fried zucchini blossom (yum by the way).

STRATEGY: So what, move on! One meal, drink, or dessert is NOT what will sabotage you for a lifetime. Next meal you eat just focus on making it super healthy! If you had cheesecake and wine at dinner the night before then aim for oatmeal with fruit and some nuts for breakfast! Read THIS to create SMART goals.

4. COOK

PROBLEM: Your version of cooking = microwaving a slice of leftover pizza or Lean Cuisine? Sigh. With all the cooking shows, magazines, blogs (like this one), sites (like this one and this one , we’re still not cooking enough?!

STRATEGY: If you cook ZILCH times a week, try it even ONCE!

  • A soup would be easy to start with! You can make a double batch and have it for lunch the next day and/or dinner! Try this one! Or scroll through my soup recipes.
  • Cook on a day you have time.
  • Don’t aim for Monday night when you’re exhausted. Grocery shop with the recipe already planned out.
  • Try a Sunday afternoon, make a healthy lasagna (HINT: it’s got a squash in it!) or casserole type dish so that you have leftovers for Monday.

It's just pretty to look at isn't it?

5. THINK COLOR!

PROBLEM: If you reflect back on what you ate today, was there any color? Green, Red, Orange, Yellow? If you answered NO then what are you eating? Cardboard boxes?

STRATEGY: Okay, things like oats, cereals and grains are all pretty neutral in color, but ADD color by tossing in fruit (dried or fresh), or veggies! I add things like tomatoes, cucumbers, and red peppers to grain based salads for color. Just look what I did to this SALAD or this SALAD!


OKAY, your TURN!

HOW do you FEEL about all THIS?

GOT SOMETHING TO ADD?

WHAT WILL YOU DO NOW after READING THIS? Do you have an EXPERIENCE to SHARE?

Part II (6-10) will be shared next Thursday by noon EST.



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Butternut Squash landed in my Blender

Kinda looks like creamy pudding. I'll drink that!

Yes, I went out on a limb with this one but if I didn’t try this I’m sure someone else would and I’m a good guinea pig for tasting weird food or just combinations that others find weird?

Also, even the slightest TWINGE of SPRING and FLIP FLOPS and I whip out that blender faster than you can say s-m-o-o-t-h-i-e!

It’s hard enough as it is convincing some “veggie haters” to try something new so I really wiped away the cob webs and cleared the dust out of my mind to come up with something different beyond roasting or making a soup (which by the way coconut and roasted butternut squash soup with a touch of Thai flavors sounds really good right now!). Hmmmmm. I know what I’m doing later.

Here’s what I say, “Give it a try, at least once, if it tastes nasty, it goes in the sink or sometimes it can be used as compost?”

INGREDIENT HIGHLIGHT

KEFIR:

You say Kuh-fer I say Kee-fur, but my handy dandy food lover’s companion says it’s pronounced: Keh-feer. You choose. I don’t think the police will stop you if you say it incorrectly and who am I to judge, So it sort of sounds like a type of cheese but this drinkable yogurty beverage (Originally from Camel’s milk now from the Cow) that I found a couple of years ago goes mainly into my smoothies.

Why bother? I dunno, it’s something NEW and I get bored easily, is that reason enough? Kidding, sort of. Seriously, it’s good for you nutritionally speaking. Kefir claims to be a good source of probiotics and you can read an entire article->(Here’s a previous article I contributed to if you’d like to LEARN more about Kefir). It’s gotta be better than those things called Danimals.

Buying: Try to buy PLAIN, don’t worry we’ll pep it up with flavor! Most grocery stores are carrying it now but you’ll be sure to find it in a health food store in the refrigerated section, most likely next to the yogurt or milk because it comes in a bottle.

Look what I did so it doesn’t taste like you’re drinking SOUR CREAM!

Recipe

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz (1/2 cup) roasted butternut squash, cubed *see NOTE below
  • 4-6 oz kefir (plain-I use Lifeway Brand)
  • 3-4 ice cubes
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 Medjool date, chopped
  • Honey or Maple Syrup to taste (optional)

*NOTE: See this recipe for roasting squash directions.

Methods:

Doesn’t get easier than this: TOSS ALL INGREDIENTS IN THE BLENDER! Press BLEND and once all ingredients become smooth, you’ll pour it in a glass!

Don't you just want to lick that spoon full of nut butter?

Happy family

Just a few cocoa nibs made their way on top...Decor folks!


GENERAL SMOOTHIE TIPS: I always play with my smoothies.

1) If you like a slushier/thinner consistency: Add more ice.

2. If you like a creamier consistency: Add more kefir and/or a tablespoon or so of greek yogurt.

3. Not sweet enough? . Perhaps add another date or some honey/maple syrup

You might also like:

Berries + Bananas = Bliss in a martini glass

PB & J Frenchtoastwich (another use for almond butter)

Maple Glazed Butternut Squash and Arugula Salad (another recipe using butternut squash)

DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE SMOOTHIE RECIPE? DO SHARE!

HAVE YOU USED KEFIR?