Monday, December 29, 2014

Healthy New Year's Resolution Ideas

It is just about the New Year and that makeover!  Cue the 200 people who say, "January 1st I am starting my diet." If your wondering, I met about 100 of those people at work in the past month. Maybe your looking for something different as a resolution? Or maybe, you want to be "healthy," but don't know where to start. This is where I come in! Here are my top 5 resolution ideas :)

Idea #1: Focus on a Healthy Lifestyle
Weight-loss can sometimes bring on some "not-so-healthy" behaviors. Fad diets, unsafe supplements, and extremely low-calorie plans are just a few of the many methods for the "quick fix." Being healthy is not about being on a diet. It's not about making changes that you can only keep for 3-4 weeks (because they are that extreme). It's not about cutting out everything you enjoy. Being healthy is about choosing nutrient-rich foods, but indulging every once in a while (if you see fit). It's about a long-term commitment to health. There is no magic pill for weight-loss (even though 90% of people who come to me for nutrition advice expect that). Focus on adopting reasonable and healthy habits that your can incorporate into your lifestyle. Try goals like: including a fruit or vegetable at each meal/snack, or cutting back on high-calorie/sugary beverage, or choosing lean meats and healthy fats.

Idea #2: Don't Skip Meals
One of the most skipped meals is breakfast, which if you didn't hear already is the most important meal of the day. Skipping meals can slow your metabolism (impairing your body from burning calories efficiently) and lead to overeating. Think about it, you skip breakfast, run to work, and are faced with the best looking donuts. Your blood sugar has dropped, your energy is poor, and wow those donuts look good. If instead, you had a balanced breakfast (protein, fat, carbohydrates) like eggs and a side of fruit, you might have more of the "willpower" to walk away without indulging. Cheers to a fully and happy breakfast belly! Remember, keep your meals simple and balanced with some healthy protein, fat, and carbohydrates.

Idea #3: Enjoy Family Meals
Eating family meals is a great way to get all members to adopt healthier habits. Make a plan each week to choose and prepare a new fruit or vegetable. Get other family members involved in the meal planning and challenge your family to create their own healthy meal ideas! When everyone gets involved, they are more likely to try new foods.

Idea #4: Exercise
While nutrition is a huge part of the resolution planning, exercise is another. Get fit together with a friend to help keep you motivated. Try new exercise classes, a new walking route, or grab a fitness DVD to change it up! Remember to track your progress and goals to stay with your plan!

Idea #5: Personal Change
Maybe you are not one to partake in the nutrition/fitness aspect of the resolutions. Another idea can be to think about what personal change you want to make in your life. Maybe it is a business endeavor you want to pursue. Maybe you want to start giving back through volunteering. Maybe you want to focus on being a more open-minded person. Whatever the case may be, start with a year long goal first and then break that into small short-term goals to keep you on track.

Wondering what my New Year's Resolution is? I am going to spend more time on starting my private nutrition practice, aka stop being afraid of making the big decisions :)

Click here for my --> blog <--on how to make those resolutions stick!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Tips for Keeping Your New Year's Resolutions

It is just about that time of the year again! What time do you ask? The time to start making your New Year's Resolutions. I bet many of you are thinking, "this year I really am sticking to my resolutions," or "I want to lose weight this year" or "I'm really going to start going to the gym." Whatever you are planning to do in the New Year, here are some tips to make your resolutions stick!

Tip #1: Be Specific!
Write down your goals and be as specific as you can. Saying "I am going to eat healthier," is too vague. Plus, do you know what "healthier" is? Do you know how you plan to "get healthy." Create action goals like "eat at least 2 fruits per day" or "replace 1 sweetened beverage per day with water." Goals like this are specific and can help you to reach your "get healthy goal."

Tip #2: Make it Meaningful!
Don't just make a "weight-loss goal" or "give up chocolate" because that is what everyone else is doing. Make a goal that is important to you and you are more likely to see it through.

Tip #3: Choose Your Reward!
Keep yourself motivated by offering a reward after you reached each small goal. These rewards can be: a massage, movie night, etc. You can also stay motivated by tracking your success on a calendar. Let's say that your resolution is to "Eat 2 fruits per day for 3 days/week." For each day you had 2 pieces of fruit you can put a smiley face on the date.

Tip #4: Make it Realistic!
Don't set your goal too high where you are setting yourself up for failure. A non-realistic goal would be to lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks. While losing 20 pounds can be a good end goal, think about how much weight-loss per week is realistic for you! Set up small steps to reach your goal and keep you on track!

Tip #5: Make it Timely!
Keeping tip #4 in mind, think about how long you want to give yourself to reach your goal. Will your resolution take 1 week? 1 month? 1 year? An example could be,"I will lose 20 pounds in 4 months." Keeping in mind tips #1-4 you can also say, "I will reach my goal by exercising 3 days per week for 30 minutes, etc." Putting a time on your goal can keep you motivated and heading in the right direction.

Remember to keep your goals simple and practical for the most success!

Stay tuned for my next blog on Healthy New Year's Resolution Ideas.

Happy New Year

Friday, December 5, 2014

Healthy Cooking Tips for One

It can seem difficult or overwhelming to cook for only one person when so many recipes give a yield for 4-6 people! Maybe you have been used to cooking for a large family or maybe just another loved one. Whatever the case may be, I am going to give you tips on how to shop and cook healthy for one. So, lets get started!

Tip #1: Make a Plan!
Use a calendar or some scrap paper to make your menu for the week. See what you already have in your cabinets so you are not spending extra money on things you don't need. It doesn't have to be super specific. For example: Monday (chicken with rice and veggie casserole), Tuesday (scrambled eggs with veggies), Wednesday (chicken soup using leftover rice), etc. Just having an idea for the week can help to keep your budget and health on track.

Tip #2: Be Careful with Fresh Produce!
Fresh produce is a great choice; however, if you don't plan correctly, you can be throwing away money. Be strategic with your fresh produce. If you buy lettuce, be sure to use it early in your weekly menu so it won't go bad. For fresh fruit, freeze it before it goes bad for use in smoothies or yogurt toppers later.

Tip #3: Use Frozen Fruits and Vegetables!
Frozen produce are just as nutritious as fresh produce and they won't spoil quickly. When choosing frozen options, look for ones without added sauces. You can use frozen produce for smoothies, soups, stir-fries and more!

Tip #4: Use Canned Fruits and Vegetables!
Canned beans can be a great addition to any salad or entree! Beans are a long-lasting food item on the shelves. Other canned vegetables can be a great option to fresh or frozen. To cut back on the sodium for canned veggies, buy low sodium options or drain and rinse. For canned fruits, buy them in their own juices or with the label "No Added Sugar." Again, canned fruit can be a great alternative to fresh or frozen. If I go for canned fruit, I love pairing with cottage cheese or Greek yogurt for a protein source.

Tip #5: Cook Different Ways!
When you cook your meals, think about ways you can re-invent it into another meal. For example: Cook rice/quinoa as a side dish on Monday, then use for a casserole or soup for Tuesday. Baked chicken can be made into chicken salad!

Tip #6: Make Eggs for Dinner!
Don't feel like spending much time in the kitchen? Have eggs for dinner! Eggs are a great source of protein and choline. Make an egg scramble with veggies. Or, hard boil a batch of eggs for a quick snack or salad topper.

Tip #7: Make Your Favorite Casserole!
Just because you are only cooking for one, does not mean you cannot make your favorite casseroles. Make 1/2 or 1/4 the recipe and bake in a loaf pan (9x5 or 8x8).

Tip #8: Bulk Cook and Freeze!
If you don't want to make involved dinners every night, think about making your own freezer meals. Take 1 day to cook extra food and freeze in containers (labeled with date/contents). Then, you can just pull out and cook for a quick meal.

Tip #9: Bulk Buy and Freeze!
Supermarkets sell individually frozen chicken breasts/fish fillets; however, these can be quite costly. For a cheaper alternative, buy larger packages of meat/fish (look for sales) and pre-portion before you freeze at home.

Tip #10: Freeze Your Grains!
Cook rice/quinoa (or other grains) and freeze in muffin pans. After they are frozen, store "muffins" in a freezer baggie. Then, you can just defrost as needed!

I hope these tips help you in cooking for one! Try the Egg Strada or Pizza Tops recipes below :)

Egg Strada
2 eggs
1/4c milk
1/4c cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4c each diced onions and peppers
1/4 tsp each garlic, oregano, black pepper
Dash salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray oven-safe fish with non-stick spray.
2. Beat eggs and milk. Add veggies and cheese. Toss to coat.
3. Pour into dish and bake for 25 minutes.

Pizza Tops
Pita bread rounds (or bagel/sandwich thins)
Tomato/pasta sauce
Toppings: chicken, veggies, cheese

1. Place rounds/thins on small baking sheet.
2. Top with sauce and additional toppings.
**For this recipe, feel free to use leftovers from another meal for a small snack or light meal!