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

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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!

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! 🙂 **

 

Healthy Twist French Toast

Remember those Saturday mornings when you’d wake up to cartoons and the amazing smell of French toast pouring out of the kitchen? Well, French toast is back; and it’s healthy! (Even if you’re making it for one!) Pair it with some fresh fruit or yogurt to top it off! I created this recipe because A. I needed to figure out how to make French toast for one person and B.  I LOVE breakfast, but not the unhealthy refined sugars or breaskfast meats (bacon, sausage, etc.) that are packed with saturated fat. So, in order to still eat what I love without it being a thousand calories, I make a few easy switches anyone can do. The result? Not only was the French toast healthy, but I could add a kick of protein to my breakfast by cooking the extra egg whites! Bye, bye, bacon!

 

Healthy Twist French Toast

Ingredients:

2 slices 100% whole wheat bread (lite around 40-45 calories per slice)

3 egg whites

1/4 cup Egg Beaters (original)

2 packets Stevia

Apple pie spice

Organic maple syrup (use sugar-free as long as it’s made with an all-natural sweetener such as stevia or monk fruit) or Blue Agave Nectar

 

1. Preheat flat griddle pan on stove (medium heat)

2. Crack the 3 eggs, only leaving the egg whites in a bowl. Add the 1/4 cup of Egg Beaters french toast 1

3. Mix well with fork or whisk.french toast 2

4. Take a piece of bread, lay one side on top of the eggs until coated. Flip and repeat on the other side.

5. Place the bread coated in the egg mixture on griddle pan. french toast 4

6. Repeat with other piece of bread.

7. Take one packet of Stevia, sprinkle evenly over the top of one piece of bread. Repeat with other packet/piece of bread.french toast 3french toast 5

8. Sprinkle apple pie spice evenly  onto each piece of bread. french toast 6

9. After about 2-3 minutes, flip each piece of bread over. (should be slightly browned on cooked side)

10. Continue cooking for about 3-4 more minutes then remove from griddle.

*Each person has a preference when it comes to how “done” they like the bread to be.  So, cook it how YOU like it.

11. Pour leftover eggs from the bowl onto the griddle pan (as if you were making an omelet).french toast 7

12. Once the eggs no longer appear “runny” on top, flip eggs and cook the other side (about an additional 2-3 minutes). Remove from griddle, fold in half onto plate with French toast.

13. Pour and spread maple syrup onto each piece of French toast (about the size of a nickel or quarter).

14. Add some yogurt or fruit, and ENJOY!french toast 8

This recipe is so easy, fast, and great for those cooking only for themselves. However, this can easily be turned into a breakfast for the entire family! Just double or triple the recipe. Better yet, have your kids cook their own French toast and eggs (with your help/supervision of course!). Make it a family affair. 😉

Calories per serving

(with lite bread and 2 tbsp. all natural, sugar-free syrup)~ 180 cal.

(with lite bread and 2 tbsp. pure maple syrup)~ 260 cal.

*pure maple syrup: 2 tbsp= 100 cal., 13 g sugar

Protein:  17 g

 

 

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.

Your Affair with Sugar: The Real Deal

A constant desire for sweets and sugar may go beyond just a simple craving. I’ve heard many people say “I just can’t help myself, I have to eat that (cupcake, cookie, ice cream, you get my point).” I’ve sensed so much frustration from clients who feel they can’t stop giving into sugar cravings. Well, the battle with sugar may go beyond a craving. I read an article in the IDEA Fitness Journal about a study conducted at Connecticut College. In this study, researchers found that, when given a choice, rats preferred Oreo cookies over rice cakes, cocaine, or even morphine! Their study supports the  theory that high-fat/high-sugar foods are addictive, and stimulate the neurotransmitters in the brain the same way drugs do. Thus, kicking the sugar habit may require strategies similar to those used when overcoming an addiction.

Finding a friend, family member, colleague, etc,, to hold you accountable and offer support when you feel an overwhelming craving is a great place to start. Replace those sweet treats in your house with healthier options. Don’t try to just go cold turkey and throw away anything with a bit of sweetness from your kitchen. You will get there! Try sugar-free chocolate pudding, replace cane sugar with Stevia, have a fruit bar instead of ice cream, or just don’t make that batch of cookies you’re craving. (Bonus: Stevia has NO calories, and is an all-natural sweetener made from the stevia plant– win, win? I think so!)Stevia With any habit or addiction, it’s important to find a replacement behavior~ When you crave cookies, cake, ice, cream, etc., find something else to do. Go for a walk, read a book, play with your kids (or dog if you’re like me 🙂 ), do some work in the garden, or call a friend. Step thinking you are “weak” or “have no control.” This thinking is counterproductive, as it can lead to emotional eating and food choice inhibition. Be proactive; you can win this battle. Step-by-step, you can prevail over sugar!

 

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** featured sugar image above provided by http://www.abcnews.com