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Plan, Plan, Plan

So you have made your New Year’s Resolution to start eating   healthier.  Great!  Now what? 

time-to-plan

Now it’s time to start planning.  Planning a weekly menu is the key to successful healthy eating.  Take a little time to write down what you will eat for each meal and snack, then make your grocery list from your menu.  You can use a menu sheet like the example here to help menu-planneryou. When you hit the grocery store, stick to your list while you shop. Getting yourself into the habit of doing this weekly will save you time, money, stress and calories!

Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Look at your schedule for the week to see what you have time to cook and when you don’t.  Days you don’t have a lot of time, use your slow cooker or have leftovers.
  2. For a budget friendly menu, check store ads for sales and coupons.
  3. Plan balanced meals that include protein, vegetables and fruits, whole grains and dairy.
  4. Save your menus and rotate them out.  Make sure to note where to find the recipes you use.
  5. Cook once, eat twice.  Double some of your recipes and either eat leftovers later in the week or freeze for a future, quick meal.

Here is one of my favorite quick and healthy weeknight meals. 

2-ingredient-slow-cooker-mexican-chickenTwo Ingredient Salsa Chicken

(Makes about 2 ½ to 3 cups shredded chicken and servings will depend on how you’re using the chicken)

Ingredients:
1 lb. (about 2) raw boneless chicken breasts
1 ½ to 2 cups salsa, your favorite

Instructions:
1. Place whole chicken breasts, which have been seasoned with a bit of salt and pepper, in your slow cooker and cover with salsa. Toss chicken with salsa until well coated.
2. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 6-8 hours. Remove each chicken breast out of the slow cooker and onto a cutting board or plate to shred with a fork. Add shredded chicken back to the slow cooker and toss with remaining salsa and juices. Serve immediately in your desired recipe, or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
My favorite way to serve this is over brown rice and a sprinkle of shredded cheese and avocado chunks.  I like to pair this meal with a simple green salad, making the dressing with salsa and a little olive oil for a southwest kick.
For more planning tips, check out MyPlate, MyWins website: https://www.choosemyplate.gov/myplate-mywins-tips-meal-planning-made-easy

Happy Planning!

goal-without-a-plan

 

 

Disclaimer: All exercises and other forms of physical activity can be dangerous, especially if performed without medical advice, proper supervision and/or pre-exercise evaluation. The videos, techniques, ideas, and exercise suggestions presented on this website are not intended to be professional training advice. Always consult your physician or health care professional before performing any exercise, especially if you have any chronic or recurring condition, and/or if you are pregnant, nursing, or elderly. All exercises you perform at your own responsibility and at your own risk.

New Year’s Resolution – Keep it Simple

Start on January 1

Changing habits are hard!  No matter what your New Year’s resolutions may be, statistically speaking, you probably won’t achieve it.  I don’t mean to be downer, but only 8% of people are successful with their New Year’s Resolutions.  Since losing weight is  the top pick every year, let’s figure out a way to beat the odds!

  1. Break down your goal into simple, monthly steps.  Instead of saying, “I’m going to lose weight” as your goal,  make your first goal to change something in your diet for the better.  Maybe that’s decreasing the amount of soda you drink from 5 a day to 1 a day or if you eat out a lot , your goal is to cook at home 4 days a week.
  2.  Make your goals realistic.  You want to make changes you can stick with for a lifetime.  Cutting out something that you love, like dessert, probably won’t last forever.  Instead of cutting it out completely, just modify it to be healthier, such as only having dessert 1-2 times a week. change ahead
  3.  Just start!  Often getting started is the hardest part.  We can make excuses as to it not being a good time, but life usually doesn’t slow down, so just start.  Once you take action toward your goal, the momentum starts and you are more likely to continue toward your goal.
  4. Accountability.  Find someone or something to help keep you accountable.  If there is a family member or co-worker that has similar goals, try working together to reach your goals.   They could be your work out buddy or lunch buddy, or maybe you just touch base on the phone weekly to see how each other is doing and keep each other motivated. If you don’t have someone, use an app, website or journal that you can input your goals and it will help you see your progress.

The USDA is launching a new program on 12/28/16, called My   Plate, My Wins!  You can go to their website  at  https://www.choosemyplate.gov/myplate-mywins for tips and tools to help make small, practical changes for a healthier lifestyle.

Wishing you health and happiness in 2017!

healthy-new-year1

 

 

 

Disclaimer: All exercises and other forms of physical activity can be dangerous, especially if performed without medical advice, proper supervision and/or pre-exercise evaluation. The videos, techniques, ideas, and exercise suggestions presented on this website are not intended to be professional training advice. Always consult your physician or health care professional before performing any exercise, especially if you have any chronic or recurring condition, and/or if you are pregnant, nursing, or elderly. All exercises you perform at your own responsibility and at your own risk.

Take Control this Holiday Season

holiday-pic‘Tis the season to overindulge!  Let’s break the cycle this year.  Enjoying the holidays doesn’t mean all rules go out the window for the month of December.  One day of indulgence is fine, just not a whole month.  Here are some tips to help you avoid the common holiday weight gain:

  1. Keep holiday candy and cookies in a cupboard or pantry.  Out of site, out of mind (hopefully).  Leaving goodies on the counter makes it tempting to eat a little every time you walk by, before you know it the bowl is empty.
  2. Focus on protein foods.  Protein will help you feel full and satisfied longer.
  3. Don’t save up your calories by skipping meals.  This never works.  Eat a high protein, lower carb breakfast and lunch before the holiday party.  This will help you from overindulging.
  4. Share.  Give away or share holiday treats given to you.  Also, give away leftovers to family and friends or freeze them for a  later time.
  5. Bring a high protein, healthy appetizer to the party.  This way you know you have at least one healthy alternative to all the high calorie, high carb foods.  Here are some appetizer ideas to bring to the party:
    • Deviled Eggsdeviled-eggs
    • Shrimp Cocktail
    • Mini Meatballs with Marinara
    • Hummus with vegetables
    • Prosciutto wrapped asparagus or cantaloupe
    • Dips made with plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream or mayonnaise
    • Crispy Chickpeas (recipe below)

crispy-chickpeasCrispy Chickpeas

Rinse and drain 2 cans of chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans). Spread on a sheet pan lined with paper towels.  Dry well, remove towels and let sit out for about an hour to thoroughly dry.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat evenly with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt and seasonings of choice (ex: garlic powder, cayenne pepper,  paprika, curry powder, rosemary). Bake for 30 minutes, stirring  occasionally.  Turn oven off and leave chickpeas in oven for an hour to get crispy.  Store in airtight container for 3-4 days.  4 servings.      236 calories, 9g protein, 20g carbs, 8g fiber.

Wishing a happy and healthy holiday season to all!

 

Disclaimer: All exercises and other forms of physical activity can be dangerous, especially if performed without medical advice, proper supervision and/or pre-exercise evaluation. The videos, techniques, ideas, and exercise suggestions presented on this website are not intended to be professional training advice. Always consult your physician or health care professional before performing any exercise, especially if you have any chronic or recurring condition, and/or if you are pregnant, nursing, or elderly. All exercises you perform at your own responsibility and at your own risk.

Pumpkin – Not Just for Pie and Jack O’Lanterns

fall-trees

Every year when October comes around, I get excited because I love the colors of fall. Growing up in Arizona, brown is about all the color I use to see this time of year.  I love that I now live in a state that has trees that change color, it is a beautiful time of year!  I also get excited because I love pumpkin!  Pumpkin is delicious and healthy. I know the most popular uses for pumpkin is in pumpkin pie or carved into interesting faces, but this delicious and nutritious fall food can be used for so much more.

If you are trying to watch your waistline pumpkinsor just get a little healthier foods in your diet, pumpkin should be at the top of the list.  Pumpkin is full of vitamins, like vitamin A, C and E, it is loaded with antioxidants, as well as a good source of fiber.  Don’t throw away those pumpkin seeds either!  Clean and bake them for a healthy snack that gives you protein, fiber, iron, zinc and mono-unsaturated fats (the healthy fats).

Try this hearty soup recipe adapted from ibreathimhungry.com. It’s low carb, gluten and dairy-free. It’s a healthy-kind of comfort food!

Happy Fall!

Turkey Sausage, Kale and Pumpkin Soup

sausage-kale-and-pumkin-soupIngredients:

  • 1 lb sweet Italian turkey sausage
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3 cups chopped pumpkin or butternut squash (fresh or frozen)
  • 4 cups chopped kale (fresh or frozen)
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 cups water

Instructions:

  1.  Cook sausage in a medium sized saucepan.  Add onions and saute until translucent.  Pour the broth and water into the saucepan and bring to a boil – reduce heat.
  2. Add the kale and pumpkin and simmer until the pumpkin is soft, about 20 minutes
  3. Serve hot, garnished with grated parmesan and crushed red pepper flakes.

Nutrition Information
Calories: 118    Carbohydrates: 7g     Protein: 11g  Fiber: 1g  Sodium: 558mg

 

Disclaimer: All exercises and other forms of physical activity can be dangerous, especially if performed without medical advice, proper supervision and/or pre-exercise evaluation. The videos, techniques, ideas, and exercise suggestions presented on this website are not intended to be professional training advice. Always consult your physician or health care professional before performing any exercise, especially if you have any chronic or recurring condition, and/or if you are pregnant, nursing, or elderly. All exercises you perform at your own responsibility and at your own risk.

How Bad Do You Want That Sweet Tea?

“You can’t exercise away a bad diet.”  This is something you may hear in our office, often by Dr. Weckenbrock.  Many people think if mcd-on-a-treadmillthey exercise then they don’t have to worry about what they eat.  This just simply is not true.  What you eat not only affects your weight, but your overall health.  You may not see the affects today, but it will catch up with you at some point.

One example Dr. Weckenbrock likes to remind our patients is “a large sweet tea from McDonald’s takes two hours on a treadmill to burn off.” Now try to do the math for how long you would have to live on a treadmill to burn off a supersized meal! Maybe it would be easier to start making some healthier food choices.

So how cfood-in-a-potan you start eating healthier?  Spend more time cooking in the kitchen.  Eating from home will always be a healthier choice then anything you find eating out.  Why?  Because you are in control!  You control the quality of ingredients, the amount of sodium and the overall calorie count of foods you cook yourself.

To get you started cooking, try this chili recipe for a healthy and delicious one-pot meal just in time for tailgating.

Beef and Butternut Chili

Serves 6

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Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
  • 1 ½ lbs ground beef
  • 1 ½ cups chopped onion
  • ½ cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 2/3 cup beef broth
  • 1 packet low sodium chili seasoning
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, no salt, undrained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped carrot
  • 6 tablespoons plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves

Preparation

  1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat and coat with 1 teaspoon oil. Add beef to pan and brown. Remove beef, drain fat and set aside.
  2. Add 2 teaspoons oil to the pan. Add onion and bell pepper, and sauté 3 minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes. Return beef to pan.
  3. Stir in chili seasoning, tomatoes, and kidney beans, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 1 hour. Add butternut squash and carrots, and simmer for 1 hour.
  4. Top each serving of chili with 1 tablespoon yogurt and 1 teaspoon cilantro.

*Chili tastes even better the next day!

Nutrition Information

Serving Size: 1 1/3 cups

Calories: 450    Protein: 29 g      Carbohydrates: 34 g    Fiber: 9 g   Sodium: 364 mg

If you want more information, click here to review an article published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine that discusses why what you eat is more important than exercise for weight loss.

 

Disclaimer: All exercises and other forms of physical activity can be dangerous, especially if performed without medical advice, proper supervision and/or pre-exercise evaluation. The videos, techniques, ideas, and exercise suggestions presented on this website are not intended to be professional training advice. Always consult your physician or health care professional before performing any exercise, especially if you have any chronic or recurring condition, and/or if you are pregnant, nursing, or elderly. All exercises you perform at your own responsibility and at your own risk.