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,


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Another reason to love pine trees~

Dana’s Daily Dose~

Fun fact: ‘tis the season for those wonderful, memorable, holiday smells. Smells such as cranberries, fresh baked cookies, Christmas dinner, and especially pine trees fill the air. Pine has that refreshing, wintery, smell that reminds us of crisp walks in the snow, decorating the tree, and snowball fights. But, did you know that the smell of pine also has healing effects? Check out this article from Health about the “Healing Power of Pine.”,,20428734,00.html

Healthy Holiday Linzer Cookies

These are by far my favorite holiday cookies. As far as cookies go, these linzer cookies are a really healthy choice. They are made with whole grain oat flour, egg whites, almonds, and organic, all natural oil-derived butter. Use different shaped cookie cutters to create a fun afternoon making them with kids! Here’s my best tip: After these cookies have cooled, seal them in a Tupperware container. Put them in the fridge and leave them a least overnight (even though it will be hard not to eat them right then and there!). Even better? Leave them for a couple of days. They soften with time and become more delicious each day. Baking these may become your new holiday tradition 😉 Enjoy!

Linzer Cookies 

2 tbsp. Earth Balance buttery spread**

½ cup stevia

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 egg whites

1 ½ cups plus 2 tbsp. whole grain oat flour

½ cup cornstarch

¼ cup ground blanched almonds

1 tsp. baking powder

¼ cup plus 2 tsp. sugar-free raspberry jam

2 tbsp. (optional ) powdered sugar

  1. Beat Earth Balance spread at medium speed of an electric mixer. Add ½ cup stevia, beating until blended.
  2. Add vanilla and egg whites, beating well.
  3. Combine oat flour and next three ingredients.
  4. Add butter mixture to the flour mixture, beating well.
  5. Divide dough into four equal portions. Using one portion at a time, roll dough to 1/8 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface.
  6. Cut dough, using a 2 ¼ inch scalloped or round cookie cutter (you can also use a shape that is about the same size).
  7. Cut centers from half of the cookies (about ¾ of an inch). If using a shape, cut a similar size circle in the middle of the shape.
  8. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Place cookies about 1 inch apart. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. (Do not let the cookies brown)
  9. Remove from cookie sheets, place on baking racks to cool.
  10. Repeat procedure with remaining dough.
  11. Spread ½ tsp. of jam on the flat side of each solid cookie. Top with cutout cookie.
  12. Sift powdered sugar over cookies (optional-keep in mind sugar adds calories)
  13. Store in Tupperware container. Yields about 28 cookies.
  14. Leave overnight or longer so the cookies will soften.

Per cookie:

70 calories

2 g fat

3 g protein

14 g carbohydrates

0 mg cholesterol

40 mg sodium

** Earth Balance is certified organic butter spread made from healthy oils;. It has “good for you” fats such as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat, omega-3’s, and has 0 g trans fat. It’s also lactose-free, gluten-free, non-GMO, and casein-free. It’s a better alternative to margarine, which is made from processed, non-organic ingredients, and full of preservatives.


Oil or cream??….. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Oil or cream??..... Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Since then, it has been hilarious chaos 🙂 I don’t think he’s stopped yet! ha ha I love family! The good news? Once the sugar crash hits, he is going to be lights out asleep, tko 🙂 So yay for my cousin!

“When witches go riding, and black cats are seen, the moon laughs and whispers, ‘tis near Halloween.” ~Author Unknown

This Motivational Monday is, of course, all about Halloween!

Bags and bags and bags of candy, candy here, candy there, candy everywhere. Turn the corner: candy, open a door: candy, walk into the grocery store: candy paradise. I don’t know when Halloween became the biggest party day of the year for Hershey’s, Mars, and Willy Wonka, but I’m pretty sure back in the day kids were bobbing for APPLES 😉

As you look around at all that candy, the volume of your inner voice can turn up to an ear-piercing level saying: “This stupid holiday is just torture, look at all the candy I can’t have. I don’t get to enjoy anything.” “I am a horrible person with no willpower if I eat this mini Twix bar” “Why can everyone else defeat the temptation of eating all of this candy and I can’t? I must just suck. I might as well forget it and start digging in. I’m just not worth it” All I hear is a lot of negative self-talk, beating yourself down, and this dread that you are going to have to fight temptation allll night or else you’ve failed. Does anyone hear that? Well STOP it!

“It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not.” I love this quote and I’m sure this isn’t sure first time you’ll hear it. Stop telling yourself who you AREN’T instead of standing up for who you ARE. Guess what? The only person you’re battling with is yourself. Halloween, or any holiday for that matter, should be about fun, family, laughter, and celebrating, not about struggling with this internal doubt, pain, and frustration. Change your thinking, because if you are always thinking you’re not this or not that, how are you ever going to reach any goal?

Believe in your strength and willpower, and cut yourself some slack. Have a piece of candy; it’s gonna be okay!! Just don’t eat the ENTIRE bag of Snickers mini-bars! It’s all about moderation. Enjoy that candy in the moment instead of feeling like the only way you can reach fulfillment is by eating ever single piece. That’s when the guilt creeps in. I don’t want you to dread Halloween because all you do is worry about whether you can win this internal candy guilt battle. Is it really about candy, or is it about your beliefs about yourself? You are surrounded by temptation every day and can overcome it, so you can do the same thing on Halloween. It’s just another day! Don’t give up what you want most for what you want now.

Halloween and Trick-Or-Treat Tips

If you’re like me, you love handing out candy on Halloween. All of the kids dressed up in their costumes, so excited to walk from house to house saying “trick-or-treat!” and having candy put into their bags, the first-timer’s look of total and complete shock that all they had to do was say three words and they get candy, carving pumpkins and putting out the jack-o-lanterns, hiding in the bushes and jumping out at them as they run screaming down the driveway…. Wait, just pretend I didn’t say that one 😉

Now, you’ve done a fantastic job of not taking a couple of pieces of candy for yourself each time the doorbell rings, but what do you do at the end of the night when trick-or-treating is almost over, there don’t seem to be many kids left, and you have at least two whole bags of candy left?? You don’t want to be stuck with that candy in the house, softly calling you name as you take a couple out thinking “ok, just a couple more and I’m done.” Next thing you know, those two bags are gone! There must have been a candy thief or something that broke into the house and ate all of it!! Oh wait, that you would be you.

So, how you solve this? Well, here’s a strategy I use: Check the clock every now and then so you know how much longer you can expect trick-or-treaters, knowing that the traffic will slow down as it gets closer and closer to the end of the witching hour. If you notice you still have a ton of candy leftover, give the next couple of kids a little more than you typically would…..say, a couple handfuls? That way, you know you’ll run out by the end of the night or maybe even close-up shop early. Their parents may not be super thrilled, but the kids will be! So will you when the temptation is no longer there.

I LOVE Halloween, so I’m so excited to share this love with you all this week!