Monthly Archives: November 2014

Activate your Next Vacation

DSC08825-2A week ago I returned from a 10 day trip to Hong Kong and boy was it amazing! At every turn, my senses were overwhelmed with sights, sounds and smells that I had never experienced before. We went to ancient temples, visited remote islands, tried all the local cuisine, and immersed ourselves in the craziness of the city. As I look back on everything we did and experienced, my favorite memories are of the days we hiked and soaked in the beauty around us. These active parts of our vacation were by far the best.

Vacations are some of the best times to get out and hike, bike, run, paddle, and just move your body. Besides burning calories, being active on a vacation often times allows you to see views you couldn’t see anywhere else. Whether it’s the view from the top of a mountain, or the sunrise on an early morning run, staying active on vacation only makes it better.

If you’re not convinced yet, think about how much money you can save by hiking instead of going to the movies, or visiting a national park instead of an amusement park. Anytime to get outside and move your body, you end up feeling more alive and having a blast!

Paleo Sweet Potato Casserole

For a few years my family lived in Ohio. We were far away from family at the time, and so my husband and two children would usually spend our Thanksgiving with some dear friends. We made a delicious feast every year and one of my favorite sides was the maple syrup glazed sweet potatoes my friend would make.
Fast forward to today, and we live close to our extended family. We spend Thanksgiving with them every year, and they prefer a sweet potato casserole with their Thanksgiving meal. Now, my mother-in-law makes a delicious sweet potato casserole, but it is packed with heavy cream and brown sugar. The Thanksgiving Menu always seems to be heavy on the dairy side which can be a bit of a problem for my son and I since we’re both lactose intolerant. So this week I tested out the Paleo Sweet Potato Casserole recipe that was dairy free and also a whole lot lighter on the sugar. I was hoping to find a sweet potato casserole recipe that would please the family and also fill my longing for that maple glaze!
Paleo Sweet Potato Casserole
This dish has so much flavor! The cinnamon, nutmeg and orange juice do a great job of making this dish flavorful without it having to be loaded with sugar. The maple syrup that you use is really a small amount and compliments everything nicely. In place of the cream that so many sweet potato casserole’s call for, this recipe uses coconut milk. That makes one more side I can add to my Thanksgiving Menu that is dairy-free. The pecan topping added a perfect contrast to the smooth sweet potatoes. It gave each bite a nice crunch. The maple syrup glaze over it reminded me of Thanksgivings from a few years back which makes me happy. It’s always nice to remember family and friends around the holidays and sometimes food is just the thing to take us back.
This recipe was simple to make and so tasty while saving on some of the calories that come with the traditional sweet potato casseroles. Even if you’re not living the Paleo Diet, I strongly recommend giving this recipe a try.

Diet Challenge #30

We’re having gratitude this week here at Diettools.com. One thing we are really grateful for is family and friends. We’re also grateful for good food. Isn’t sharing good food with family and friends one of the best parts of life?
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The Challenge

Have family or friends over and share a healthy meal.

The Details

Here are 4 Tips to Avoid Dinner Party Indulgence. Healthy Cooking for a Large Crowd can be easier by including dishes you can make ahead and by making a cooking schedule and timetable. Remember that this time of year is a time of sharing. Sometimes it can be intimidating to share your Healthy Recipes with the Ones You Love, but they may be pleasantly surprised by how delicious a healthy meal can be!

Happy sharing!

Fitness Challenge #30

With the celebration of Thanksgiving next week, we’ve been thinking about being grateful here at Diettools.com. Each week we issue a fitness challenge for you to push yourself a little harder. This week, we’re focusing on being grateful and content.
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The Challenge

Think positively and be grateful for all the things your body can do.

The Details

Our bodies are amazing! It can be easy when trying to lose weight or gain muscle to notice where we are lacking. Have you taken the time lately to take stock of all the wonderful things your body can do? If you’re having a hard time, check out Confidence Through Fitness, Learn to Love Your Mirror and How Do You Stay Motivated.

Thanksgiving on the Skinny

thanksgiving_on_the_skinnyAlthough Thanksgiving Day is the one day a year you can eat your heart out and not worry about calories wouldn’t it be nice if you knew what you were eating wasn’t all that bad for you? Do you know the typical Thanksgiving Dinner will cost you around 3,000 calories? I know it sounds impossible, but all the calories add up fast. So, here’s the good news. We’ve created an entire Thanksgiving Day Menu that includes dishes that are low fat, low sugar, low calorie, but really delicious! With our help, you can enjoy your day with a little less guilt.

Your main course will be a Honey Glazed Turkey that is easy to make, and extremely succulent. On the side you’ll serve warm and fluffy Light Wheat Rolls, low calorie Sweet Potato Casserole, and add some greens with a Cranberry Spinach Apple Salad.  Your healthy potato dish is a Dill Potato Bake, and you’ll combine your stuffing and cornbread with perfectly portioned Corn Stuffing Muffins. Top everything you’d like with Pomegranate Cranberry Sauce and Low-Fat Cider Gravy. Finish off this amazing meal with a Healthy Pumpkin Pie that will leave you completely astonished.

After the meal is done, sit back, relax, and enjoy the day with those you love.

Ketogenic Approved Thanksgiving Feast

ketogenic_thanksgiving_menuThe Ketogenic Diet has been around for a very long time, but has recently resurfaced in the media, and is increasing in popularity. When you read about all the health benefits associated with this diet, it’s nearly impossible not to give it a shot. By focusing on whole foods, and avoiding processed foods, your body is better able to burn fat and lower your risk for countless chronic diseases. With the holidays coming up, finding recipes to fit this diet is important, so we’ve created an entire Thanksgiving menu that is delicious and completely Ketogenic approved.

You main course will be a Greek Style Roast Turkey with a side of Cheesy Smashed Cauliflower, and a healthy portion of Green Bean Bundles.  You will also serve light and flaky Low Carb Biscuits,  fresh veggies dipped in Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce, sweet and creamy Low Carb Twice Baked Yams, and get in your greens with a Pumpkin Festive Salad. After the main meal is complete, you can relax as you sip your Eggnog Latte with Whipped Cream and spend time with the ones you love.

Thanksgiving the Paleo Way

paleo_thanksgivingWhen we think of Thanksgiving, we’re reminded of our history, and all that’s unfolded to bring us to where we are today. It’s about celebrating the past, the present and the future. Those who abide by the Paleo Diet know this better than anyone. By eating like our ancestors did, we not only connect with them on a physical level, we are reminded how similar we are to those who have come before us. We want to help honor these ancestors by helping you create a Thanksgiving Day menu they would enjoy.

Your main course bill be a 4 Herb Glazed Turkey that enhances all the natural flavors of the bird, topped with Gluten Free Gravy and a side of 3 Ingredient Cranberry Sauce.  To accompany this you’ll serve sweet and crunchy Paleo Sweet Potato Casserole, a healthy serving of Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, delicious low starch Mashed Cauliflower with Garlic, and a Pumpkin Apple Salad to add some healthy greenery.  Your meal will conclude with a Gluten Free Pecan Pie that will leave you utterly full and completely satisfied.

As you sit back, relax and enjoy the rest of your evening, you can be proud knowing you’re continuing an amazing legacy of nutrition that’s made us who we are.

Here’s to an Animal Free Thanksgiving!

vegetarian_thanksgivingThanksgiving is one of the most indulgent days of the year. We gather with our family members, friends and loved ones to eat delicious food, celebrate all the things we’re thankful for, and create new memories. Food is the center of the celebration, and it’s important to make sure the meal represents who you are. If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, it’s sometimes hard to find dishes that work for Thanksgiving. To help with this, we’ve created an entire menu with dishes that are all completely dairy and meat free. Now you can celebrate your way, and still enjoy an amazing meal!

The main course for your meal will be a Vegan Style Meatloaf that is tender, juicy and full of delicious flavor. On the side you’ll serve incredibly moist Vegan Cornbread, fluffy Lactose Free Dinner Rolls topped with the World’s Best Cranberry Relish. Pile on some sweet and crunchy Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole, a spoonful of fresh White Bean and Pumpkin Salad, and the unforgettable Vegan Green Bean Crunchy CasseroleYou’ll finish off your Thanksgiving meal with creamy and delectable Lactose Free Pumpkin Pie.

When the day is over, you can sit and relax with a full stomach full of delicious food made from all the plants you love to eat, and relish in another year you can look back on fondly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do People Really Run Commando Style?

A fit and beautiful woman isolated on a white backgroundWhen you hear the word Commando, what do you normally think of? Maybe I don’t want to know the answer to that question, but it does get you thinking. The first time I really thought about it in relation to my life was when I started to train for my first half marathon. I noticed that my underwear kept giving me wedges, and I didn’t like that one bit. One day my hubby joked around about me running commando style, and to my surprise, that didn’t sound like such a crazy idea. Come to find out, a good deal of runners do it all the time, so I decided to try it out for myself.

It did feel odd at first running without any underwear on, but I got used to it, and really loved the absence of constant wedgies. I continued to do this for the next several months, then once day it started to bother me again. I didn’t like the feel of it, so I went online and ordered some tight fitting runner underwear that was supposed to be breathable and wedgie free. I tried these for a while and they did work very well, except they were a little tighter than I’d like.

Fast forward 6 months and now I am back to wearing regular underwear again when I workout. You’re probably wondering why I am sharing this story with you when it went full circle and lead me back to where I was in the beginning. Here is my take home message. There is no right or wrong wear to dress for running. If you like to run commando, go for it. If you like to wear regular underwear, have at it. If you like to wear running specific underwear, more power to you. Stay in tune with your body and do what feels best for you.

Start your Turkey Day with a Little Exercise

Miriam-finishing-Cold-TurkeThanksgiving Day is one of the most gluttonous days of the year. Most people eat around 3X their normal amount of daily calories in just one meal. I know it sounds crazy, but all the calories in meat, gravy, sweet potato casserole, rolls and pumpkin pie add up in a hurry. There is cause to throw out worry and just enjoy this one day of indulgence, but I prefer a different approach for calorie compensation.

In most places around the country, you can find a number of races Thanksgiving morning. These are held rain or shine, and are often times geared towards families. On Thanksgiving morning you get up early, go for a quick race, then head home for a wonderful afternoon meal. The run not only gets you up and ready for the day, it gets your metabolism going so you burn all of those extra calories more quickly.

I included a picture of me crossing the finish line of a Turkey Run a few years ago. Yes, it was cold, and yes, it was hard to get my legs moving, but afterwards I felt great. This year my husband and I are rallying the troops and getting two of his siblings to join us in a cold Thanksgiving morning run. Our three families will continue the tradition in style.