Sunday, February 6, 2011

Super Bowl Sunday and Veggie Chili Recipe

It's Super Bowl Sunday and most everyone is talking NOT about the game, but WHAT they plan to eat for the Game. This can be a real disaster for those of you watching your weight this year, so I am going to give you some tips to help you tackle temptation and have a winning strategy.

In many parts of the country, the Game starts around dinner time. The most important thing is to eat lunch! You don't want to go to the party ravenous and eat everything in sight! So, hopefully, you had lunch. Next,check out what is being served first. Try to avoid the sourcream dips and choose salsas instead. If they are serving a main course, try to hold out for that instead of filling up on chips and dip. If you want chips and salsa, just take a designated amount on your plate. Don't sit over the bowl and keep eating. If you are eating buffalo wings, try to remove the skin and eat just the meat. This will reduce the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in the wings.

The Super Bowl can get quite stressful, so chew on celery or carrots instead of chips to help with your frustration.

Easiest way to lighten up any dish is to reduce or avoid cheese altogether or substitute guacamole or salsa for sour cream. If you choose to eat items that you would not normally eat, just sit down and chew it well. Just don't think..."Well, I 've blown it...and then lose all sense of control!" I don't want you to feel deprived, so take a little of what you want and enjoy it! We tend to gobble down "bad" things. If that was your choice, sit down, chew it well and enjoy it! You will make better choices at your next meal. It is not about failure! It is about making healthier choices. So ENJOY the Game!!!

Here is my vegetable chili recipe. It is SO easy to make and if you have the items in your can just whip it up.

Vegetarian Chili
1 15 oz. can of kidney, pinto or black beans, drained and rinsed
1 14.5 oz. can of crushed tomatoes, Organic Muir Glen Brand
3/4 cup of onion, diced
½ cup of carrots, diced
½ cup of either sweet or white potatoes or rutabaga, diced
1/2 cup corn, frozen or fresh
½ cup peas, frozen or fresh
2 Tbsp. Sesame Oil or Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. oregano
Sea salt
½ tsp. black pepper
¼-1/2 tsp. cinnamon powder
Sea salt
Scallion or cilantro, finely sliced
Heat oil and sauté the onions with a pinch of sea salt 1- 2 minutes. Add carrots and sauté 1- 2 minutes. Then add chili powder, cumin, oregano, cinnamon and ½ tsp. sea salt and sauté a few more minutes. Add the potatoes and the tomatoes (with the liquid) plus 1 can of water and stir well. Add additional water if you like a thinner consistency.

Cover, bring to a boil and then simmer 15 -20 minutes.  Add beans, corn, peas and ½ tsp. sea salt and ½ tsp. black pepper, simmer 5-7 minutes. Taste and season more if needed.

Garnish with scallion, cilantro or any other chili toppings you prefer.

Note: This can be served over pasta, rice, couscous etc. Or you can crush tortilla chips onto the chili.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Easy Things You Can Do to Help Your Diet

I have heard so many of you have started a weight-loss or fitness challenge. Hopefully, you have started to incorporate the Healthy Eating habits I listed for you last week. This week, I have listed little things you can do to improve your food choices that will not only improve your health but you will shed some pounds!

1. Eat "Real" Food Again: Read ingredient labels for the actual ingredients listed in the product. The ones that are listed first, are the most predominate ones in that food product. So, the fewer the better. Also, if you need a science degree to understand them, choose another item. Make better choices when dining out or stay home and cook. Hidden sugar can be listed as "Evaporated Cane juice", Dextrose, Sucrose, Fructose, etc."

2. Add Good Quality Oil: Many people believe "low fat" is the key to weight loss. Lack of good quality fat (oil) actually creates our cravings for potato chips, french fries, ice cream and chocolate. Oil keeps us warm in cold weather and provides us with energy. Regularly eating veggies sauteed in healthy oil, such as sesame, olive or vegetable, will keep you satisfied and cravings at bay.

3. Cut the Soda: Stop all diet and regular soda, flavored waters and carbonated beverages. There are 10 teaspoons of sugar in a 12 oz. soda. Cola beverages also contain phosphoric acid which depletes calcium. Diet beverages are no better because they contain artificial sweeteners, which slow down your metabolism.

4. Substitute Beans for Animal Protein Two Meals a Week: There is a growing movement in this county called "Meatless Mondays". Beans are a great source of protein and fiber. They are easy to digest and they don't contain saturated fat and cholesterol. If you are on a budget or want to improve your health, beans are a great addition to your meal plan.

5. Add Leafy Greens: Leafy greens such as kale, collards, bok choy, mustard greens and spinach are wonderful sources of vitamins and minerals, including calcium. These are great sauteed, steamed or added to soups, stews or pasta dishes.

6. Say No to Cheese, Mayo and Sour Cream: One of the easiest ways to lighten a meal is to say no cheese, mayo and sour cream. These items are loaded with saturated fat and cholesterol. So, if you are eating a sandwich, substitute mustard for the mayo. If you are eating Mexican food, substitute guacamole for the sour cream. Over time, you won't even miss these items and will help you lose the pounds!

7. Make Your Life More Active: If you don't have time to go to the gym, park farther away in parking lots and take the stairs whenever possible. You don't have to walk in 30 - minute intervals to achieve the benefits. Make your life more active and it will all add up.

I hope you become more conscious of HOW and WHAT you are eating! Please email me back if you have any questions! Good luck!

Monday, January 10, 2011

5 Secrets to a Thinner, Healthier You!

The New Year is here and you want to make a fresh start. Food and lifestyle changes are the only way to lose weight and become healthier. HOW you eat is just as important as WHAT you eat. Here are five things you can do to not only shed pounds but improve your health too.

1. Do Not Skip Meals: Eating 3 meals a day at regular times keeps your metabolism active and blood sugar up so you won't binge:

2. Eat Without Distractions: Eating while watching TV, working , reading or driving becomes mechanical. When you eat with distractions, you have no idea what or how much you are eating. As a result, you tend to overeat and are not satisfied after what you ate.

3. Sit Down Whenever You Eat or Drink Anything: We tend not to count the food we eat while standing up. In addition, we have no idea how full we are unless we are seated. We will be more satisfied with the food we eat and we will eat less.

4. Eat Slowly and Chew Your Food Well: Digestion starts in our mouth. The better we chew our food, the more nutrients we receive. It takes our body 20 minutes to know if we are full or not. Putting your fork down in between bites will help you slow down and enjoy your meal better. You will also feel more satisfied with your meal and eat less.

5. Do Not Eat 3 Hours Before Bed : Our body cleans and repairs itself at night. In order for this process to be efficient, your stomach must be empty. On average, it takes three hours for food to leave the stomach. If you eat before you go to bed, you will have a hard time waking up and be grumpy when you do.

If you adapt these 5 healthy eating habits, you will improve your health and lose weight, no matter what you are eat.