Stuff Your Turkey~ Not Your Stomach This Thanksgiving!

From Fitness Expert Jaime Brenkus:

Thanksgiving celebrations are a fun time to celebrate and give thanks for all the good things in your life. Thanksgiving holds traditions that date back centuries. Turkey Day traditionally is centered on a bountiful feast. This year, use the guide that’s attached in this email to help you indulge in all the great offerings that come with the holiday without going overboard.

Most men need about 2,000 calories a day, and most women need about 1,500 calories a day to maintain a healthy weight. Your Thanksgiving meal should make up about one-third of your daily calories if you plan on eating three meals on that day. In other words, women should aim for a Thanksgiving meal consisting of 500 calories and men for one consisting of 700 calories.

Simple Solutions:

1.  Divide your plate into thirds :  One third of your plate -vegetables, one third grains or starches, one third with protein.

2.  Enjoy smaller portions of the food your really want–Shouldn’t be ‘all or nothing.’

3. Eat regular meals the day of a holiday party.  Saving up the day’s calories doesn’t work because you end up so hungry –that you overeat.

No one sits down at the Thanksgiving table expecting a light meal. But between drinks, dinner, seconds and a slice of pecan pie, you might unwittingly be downing more calories than most adults should in an entire day.

LOOK: Can You Guess How Many Calories Are On Your Thanksgiving Plate?

1,144 calories 

“Keep stuffing portions under one cup (the size of a baseball),” Blatner says. “Traditional recipes contain a stick or two of butter.”

937 calories

“Instead of filling your plate with every side option, pick your top three,”

861 calories

“This dessert sampler contains more calories than a typical Thanksgiving meal. Variety stimulates appetite.” Try to choose one favorite instead of taking bites of everything.

Try these great tips and ENJOY Thanksgiving without that awful “can’t move I’m so full feeling!”

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Yours in health and resiliency,

~Dana

new logo 2.png 2

Nutrition is the King. Exercise is Just a Pawn.

  • Some people think exercising for three hours a day will get them the body they want. First of all, who has the time to do that? Second, if the person goes home and eats a large pepperoni pizza, that workout was sort of a waste of three hours.

  • If you want to lose weight, tone your body, and create definition, nutrition is key. 80% of your physique is dependent upon your nutrition, and only 20% is dependent on exercise. So, no matter how many hours of exercise you pack into one day, it’s still not going to dismantle the harmful effects of a poor diet.

 Think about it this way:

  • Your physique will look like and your body will feel like the food you consume. So, if you want to look like an egg roll, greasy pizza, or one of those KFC fried chicken sandwiches, go right ahead. But, keep in mind the ramifications poor nutrition has on your body, your confidence, self-esteem, and overall wellness. If, in a day, you make a healthy choice 8/10 times, you are on the right track. I think that is a reasonable goal, don’t you?

3 Awesome Ways to Use Apples

It’s not fall without apples, right?

Apple cider, apple pie, caramel apples… Hold up, I need to keep it healthy here! 😉 (Even though apple cider is oh so delicious!)

Tip 1:

Use apple butter or applesauce to replace the margarine, butter, or oil when baking. It adds just a little sweetness and the moisture needed to make what you are baking just as soft and delicious….. with way less fat! I do this with any kind of boxed cake or dessert, with graham cracker crusts, or even for homemade cookies (if it’s a fruit-based cookie).

Tip 2:

Add apples into a salad with chicken for a little sweet/salty combo. Or, try putting some thin apple slices on your boring old turkey sandwich to liven it right up. In the morning, nothing feels more like fall than warm healthy oatmeal with some apple pie spice and fresh apples mixed right in. Try it, you’ll love it~

Tip 3:

If you pack it, you’ll eat it. Before you go to work, take an apple with you for a snack. Or, if you have kids, make sure to throw one into their lunch bags. Apples are at their best this time of year, so get as many fresh ripe apples while you can! Apples are great in the morning too because they give you ENERGY! Some research has shown they provide more energy than reaching for that extra cup of coffee….. Plus, they have a lot of fiber to make your stomach happy too…. Convinced yet? 🙂 I hope so!

4 Easy Steps to Baking Spaghetti Squash

I have always heard people talk about using this squash as a substitute for pasta. So, I finally decided to try it. Maybe I was worried it would be a long process or wouldn’t know how to cook it, but it only took 4 simple steps: Cut, Scoop, Bake, and Shred.

 

What you’ll need:

1 medium spaghetti squash

Large knife

9×13 glass baking dish

1/3 cup water

Fork

Spoon

Bowl (2 salad or one large bowl)

 

 

Cut

  • First, cut the squash in half length-wise. I am accident-prone, so I put a kitchen towel underneath to hold it. It didn’t slip at all. spa squash 1

 

Scoop

  • It’s very similar to a pumpkin inside, so this will be good practice for Halloween. Taking the spoon, scoop out of the seeds and messy part, leaving only the squash flesh. It should look like an empty bowl. spa squash 2

  • spa squash 4

Bake

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

  • Pour the water into the 9×13 glass baking dish spa squash 3

  • Place both halves of the squash flesh-side down into the baking dish

  • Bake for 37-42 minutes

  • When you can easily put a fork all the way through the flesh to the skin, it’s cooked thoroughly. The outside becomes almost “crispy.” spa squash 5

Shred

  • Taking your fork, start to scrape the inside of the squash from one side to the other (as best you can).

  • You will notice that what you have scraped turns into what looks like spaghetti! Place the shredded squash into a bowl. spa squash 6

  • Continue until all squash has been shredded and removed. The only thing left will be the outer shell. One half of the squash literally fills up an entire salad/soup bowl. So, keep another one on hand!spa squash 7

  • Do the same with the other half of the squash.

  • Voila!spa squash 8

 

I have read various ways to serve the squash. Some people pour marinara sauce over the squash, just like pasta. Others will add seasonings, olive oil, chicken, and vegetables to make almost a pasta salad. The squash isn’t like butternut squash. It’s actually kind of bland. So, you can really experiment! Have fun baking this at home- just four easy steps!

7 Satisfying Protein Snacks For Moms

http://www.parenting.com/gallery/7-satisfying-protein-snacks-for-moms?page=1

** Great snacks for new moms! We all know how busy you are, so these snacks will help keep you full longer and stop blood sugar spiked that, let’s face it, you don’t have time for! 🙂 **

 

The Biggest Loser~ The Secret Behind The Weekly Weigh-In

Each time I watched the Biggest Loser, I remember thinking to myself: How is it possible for someone to lose 15 pounds in one week? Well, I was recently given an article that answered my question: “They aren’t.”  Recently, one of the contestants, Andrew “Cosi” Costello came forward with some shocking truths about the secrets behind this astonishing weight-loss. He said the “weekly weigh-in” was never filmed after just one week. In reality, there was up to a 25 day gap between weigh-ins. There’s a big difference between 1 week and 3 1/2.  He said exactly what I was thinking: People get inspired to get off the couch, get moving, and eat healthy, But, in the real world, when people work all week and don’t lose that kind of weight, some people feel like they’ve failed and give up. That, right there, is the problem. This misconception isn’t just caused by The Biggest Loser, but by society as a whole. I want to change that.

The reason I’m sharing this has nothing to do with creating drama or whistle-blowing. I am sharing this because of the effect I think it has on people who are trying to lose weight and get into shape in real-life. I can sense the frustration of those watching this show, witnessing people lose 10-20 pounds, while they may have lost 1 after working out and eating healthy all week. If it was me, I’d be wondering what I was doing wrong, why I wasn’t losing weight that quickly. I’d become discouraged too. That’s when the frustration leads to setbacks and eventually, giving up. It makes me really upset because it gives the world a completely distorted perception of what is possible and not possible when trying to lose weight and become more healthy. Everyone is different and everyone will lose weight at a different pace. However, for people to think that they should be able to lose 10 pounds per week or they “aren’t doing enough” just isn’t right. So, I need you to understand the implications of this so that you aren’t so incredibly hard on yourself over something that isn’t even comparable. There’s a big difference between the progress someone is able to make in 7 days vs. 25 days. Plus, the people on the show workout for an unreasonable amount of hours per day and, as it said in the article, were also extremely dehydrated before the weigh-in.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I think this show is great because it motivates and inspires others to live a healthy and happy lifestyle. It shows people that everyone can get out there, workout, and lose weight. Just keep it realistic when comparing it to your own life. You do you! Work hard, eat healthy, love life. That’s what you need to do to change your life. The inches will come off, so please, please don’t quit. You can do this…. keep it in perspective, and don’t be defined by the scale.

20140415-113850.jpg

No, No, GMOs!

I had heard of the term, “GMO,” seen “Non-GMO” on various food labels, and even read articles that referred to “GMOs.” But, I never really KNEW what a GMO was until I did some research.

 

What are GMOs?

GMO stands for “genetically-modified organism.” Sounds delicious, right? According to the World Health Organization, GMOs are organisms whose genetic material (DNA) has been changed in a way that does not occur naturally in the world. They are found in animals and plants that have been genetically altered through the addition of bacteria, viruses, or DNA from other animals and plants of different species. In fact, they were first used by pharmaceutical and medical research companies. Now, they are most prevalent in the agricultural industry. Eek.

 

Are GMOs Harmful?

Now, keep in mind, this is what I’ve read. My intent is not to make anyone completely paranoid on his or her next grocery shopping trip. In the book, The Athlete’s Plate (Kellinson, 2009), it was stated that the danger lies in having those modified food genes transferred into our own bodies and genetic make-up. Also, there is a potential risk that the DNA from GMOs can be transferred into a developing fetus via the placenta. Plain and simple: Avoid these foods as much as you possibly can. Eat whole foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables, organic meats, eggs, and milk, and stay away from processed foods. Think of processed food as food that can’t be found in nature. They don’t occur naturally. You can’t pick them off a tree. So, just to name a few, Oreos, hot dogs, many cereals, and, yes, potato chips should be crossed off the grocery list! No crying. They’re not healthy anyway.

 

Why are people on a “Non-GMO” mission?

Even though surveys have shown that Americans want to know if the food they’re purchasing has GMOs, biotech lobbyists have succeeded in keeping the public blind to this information. Basically, lobbyists are preventing the FDA from requiring companies to put labels on their food products that contain GMOs. Talk about unethical. Because of this, groups like the Non-GMO Project were created to provide consumers with the information they need and deserve to make healthy choices. Companies are now joining the movement and giving you peace-of-mind when purchasing quality food for you and your family. Lists of participating retailers in your city/state can be found on the Non-GMO project website.

 

How do I find products that are Non-GMO? How do I know if a certain food has them?

I’m not going to lie; avoiding GMO foods is time-consuming and will definitely be challenging at times. I’ve found that if you eliminate processed foods, you lower your chances of consuming food with GMOs. What is an easy way to find food without GMOs? Choose USDA certified organic products- GMOs are prohibited, so there is no guessing. If you go to the Non-GMO Project’s website, www.nongmoproject.org, you can enter products and brands into the “Find Non-GMO Choices” generator to see if they are verified Non-GMO products. On their site is also a list of verified Non-GMO grocery stores and even an iPhone app which helps you determine if a product has GMOs. Here’s the amazing part- People are so passionate about keeping GMOs out of food that the Non-GMO Project is completely non-profit. Its funding comes from donations and fundraising. So, all of these resources, research, and tech tools have been provided to consumers for free.

Here’s my thing: I always say, the more obsessed people get about certain foods, the more stringent they are about straying even a hair away from their standards, and the less they enjoy life and food. When you go to your grandma’s house, are you really going to tell her you refuse to eat the food she has slaved over to cook for the past 5 hours? I think not. Our society is very social, and usually those gatherings revolve around food. Make recommendations or ask if the group wants to go to a restaurant that you know serves Non-GMO verified food. However, I think it’s overkill if you refuse to go out to a restaurant and spend quality time with friends or family once in a while. That’s just how I feel about it. Live and love your life. In order to do that, you have to take care of your WHOLE being, which means making sure you fulfill the human need for love, support, conversation, and honestly, human contact!

I get it, organic products are expensive, trust me. But, fresh fruits, vegetables, even bread or pasta can be purchased for much less at a farmer’s market. Try to buy locally! Also, keep in mind foods with these ingredients almost ALWAYS have GMOS: soybeans, canola oil, corn oil, and sugar made from sugar beets. So, by avoiding those foods, you are taking the first step towards living a GMO-free life.