Monthly Archives: December 2015

Resolutions: Keep It Simple

B_ResolutionsKeepItSimple_If you’re working on your New Year’s resolutions, you may be tempted to make a huge list of goals that will be nearly impossible to accomplish. Some of your resolutions might involve eating healthier, exercising  more, or losing weight. If this is what you want, try to follow these three words: Keep It Simple. By making simple changes you can accomplish huge goals that might otherwise seem impossible.

 

 

 

 

In order to help you keep it simple, all month long we will provide you with simple whole food recipes, and simple body weight workouts you can do that really work! Check every Friday for special weekend challenges to make your January even more fun!

5 No’s for the New Year

Say no concept.As you set goals for the New Year, it’s likely some of your goals will involve healthier living. Goals can be hard to follow if they are complicated, or require many steps. The best types of goals are simple, easy to track, and can be maintained for a long time. As I’ve been thinking about which goals I want to set, I decided to come up with 5 things I can say “No” to that will help me stay healthy and give my body more energy. These 5 No’s will decrease your calorie consumption, limit the amount of artificial chemicals that enter your body, and keep your muscles active and strong.

 

1. No Soda

Commit to cutting every type of soda out of your life, including diet soda. Studies have proven that all types of soda increase your likelihood of being overweight, and add unnecessary chemicals to your body that could be very harmful.

 

2. No Second Helpings

Portion control is one of the biggest reasons people gain weight. At every meal, serve yourself a reasonable portion and don’t go back for seconds.

3. No Sedentary Days

Simply moving your body every day can do wonders to your health. Make a commitment to have no sedentary days for the next full year.

4. No Low-Fat

For years we were told that fat is the enemy, but that was wrong. Fat is necessary and good for your health when eaten in the right way. Food items that are labeled low-fat are usually much higher in sugar and sodium, which lead to weight gain. Instead, reach for all natural foods that contain good fats.

5. No Artificial Sweeteners

Although you may have heard that artificial sweeteners are good for your body, they’re not. Anything that is made from artificial chemicals can have a negative impact on your body. Sugar in itself is not bad if used in moderation. If you need to sweeten your food, reach for natural sugar, honey or pure maple syrup.

2016 Fitness Trends Worth Trying

smart watch

The American College of Sport’s Medicine annual survey has come up with a list of the top fitness trends for 2016. With the new year coming up, there are new chances to get fit and improve your health. Here are some of the trends for 2016 we think are worth trying.

Wearable Technology – Wearable technology such as fitness trackers and smart watches can track a variety of information that can help you see your health and fitness progress. They can also be great reminders to get up and move and an encourager of being more active.

Body Weight Training – Forget the weights! Body weight training workouts are popping up everywhere, and the great thing about them is that anyone can try them. You don’t need a gym membership, expensive equipment or a lot of space. Body weight training can be done in the rain or shine.

High-intensity Interval Training – HIIT has been a popular trend for a few years now, but is still worth trying if you haven’t done it yet. It requires intense exercise for short periods of time. This workout can provide an effective workout in a short amount of time and is great option for those with limited time in their schedule.

Strength Training – Not by any means a new trend, but strength training is still as popular as ever. Weights are used by many to reach their fitness goals and maintain muscle strength.

Yoga – There is a form of yoga for everyone! So if you haven’t tried yoga yet, this year is the time for you.

What trend will you try?

Vegan Friendly Holiday Milkshake

Mint milkshakeIf you’re vegan, it may be difficult to find holiday dessert recipes that are delicious, and easy to make. Most of them include butter, eggs or milk, which leaves you with very few options to choose from. I came across this recipe a few weeks ago and had to give it a try. It’s a Vegan Vanilla Mint Shake that requires only 4 simple ingredients you can find at any grocery store.

 

Simply mix the ingredients in your blender and enjoy! You can even add chocolate to your shake if you like. The holidays never tasted so good!

Simple Winter Soups

Simple Winter Soups-text-2watermarkWinter season is the best time of year to make warm and delicious soups for your family. There’s nothing better than coming home after a long, cold day to a toasty, hearty soup waiting there to fill your belly. You can buy pre-made soups from a store, but the really good kinds can be quite expensive. This week, I want to share four delectable winter soups that are quite easy to make and great for a well rounded diet. You can even make these ahead of time on the weekend and freeze them for a quick reheat during the week.

If you have leftover turkey, try this Turkey Minestrone Soup. It’s made with cut up turkey, kidney beans, spinach, celery, and a handful of great spices. Just put all the ingredients in the slow cooker, leave it alone for 4 hours, and you have a delicious meal.

 

If you like pumpkins and sweet potatoes, this recipe for Spicy Pumpkin Potato Soup is definitely for you. It combines these two sweet flavors with cumin, fennel and garlic to give it a kick that will surprise and please your taste buds.

This White Bean Vegetable Soup if fabulous you’re looking for a vegetarian meal. Fresh kale is combined with white beans, carrots, celery and fresh garlic to make a delicious soup that packed full of vitamins and nutrients.

My last recommendation is a new twist on a traditional favorite. If you have fond childhood memories of eating chicken noodle soup, try this Chicken Ramen Noodle Soup. The Asian flare is such a treat, you’ll wonder why you never tried it before.

5 Sides You’ll Want at Your Holiday Feast

Christmas table setting with christmas decorations.For the past 10 years, I have eaten the same Christmas dinner. It is wonderfully delicious, but within the past year my family has made a few changes toward a healthier lifestyle. My traditional Christmas dinner was full of sides that just were not very healthy. I’ve been planning new sides for Christmas dinner this year, and I am excited to share them with you. If you are trying to eat healthier this holiday season, these recipes should make it to your table.

 

Oven Roasted Plums - When you think of side dishes, plums are probably not high on your list, but this recipe will surprise you. This juicy side dish is filled with amazing flavor as is combines sweet plums, cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar.

Cranberry Broccoli Salad - Finally, a broccoli salad without mayonnaise! A quick and easy to prepare dish that will have your mouth water. The combination of dried cranberries and broccoli sauteed together makes for an amazing dish.

Balsamic Roasted Potatoes - Balsamic Roasted Potatoes are an easy side dish full of flavor and easy to make. This recipe calls for Yukon gold potatoes but feel free to use any potato you wish. Roasting potatoes in the oven in balsamic really brings out the flavor.

Pomegranate Spinach Salad  This red and green salad will make your feast festive. A natural food salad with flavors of crisp greens and tart pomegranates that are great together.  Enjoy Pomegranate Salad with the crunchy raw walnuts that are so good for you.

 

Rosemary and White Bean Spread

Rosemary and White Bean Spread

Right now I am in the middle of trying to figure out if my son has a dairy allergy or not. For years we have thought he was lactose intolerant, but lately some of his reactions to dairy foods even after taking an enzyme have made us wonder if it is something more. So, right now we are pulling all dairy from out diet while we try and determine what is best for his body. It has been a challenge to change our diet, especially during the holiday season when there are so many fun holiday treats.

Tonight we had a holiday get together with our family. I wanted a dip for the vegetable tray that was dairy free. I tried this rosemary and white bean spread, and it was just the ticket.  Seriously, so delicious. I love hummus, but I was getting a little bored with it. This white bean dip can be used for vegetables or crackers and has a great flavor.

If you like hummus, this is a great option for pairing with your next vegetable tray. It is healthy and delicious. I added some dried cranberries to mine to make it more festive for the holiday season. Go on, make some today!

Don’t Hide Your Body This Winter!

Winterlich (Corinna)When temperatures outside start to go down, and it’s time to put away your shorts and bring out your sweaters, it’s easy to start hiding your body by adding a few extra layers. Add to this the fact that you might pack on a few extra pounds during the winter holiday and it’s easy to just throw on baggy jeans and an over sized sweatshirt. Is it possible to stay warm this winter and still look fashionable? Here are 6 tips to help you get started.

1. Use Thin Layers

If you like to wear layers, you can still do it, you just need to choose thin layers. If you want a sporty look, reach for Dry-Tec shirts and Micro Fleece jackets that are form fitting. If you want extra warmth for your legs, wear some leggings under your jeans or skirt. They will provide you the warmth you need without the added bulk.

2. Alternating Patterns

By alternating colors and patterns, you can choose to emphasize or de-emphasize certain parts of your body. Wear a plain color on the half of your body you want to look thinner, and a patterned color on the part you want to make look bigger. By doing this, you can make yourself look slimmer without losing a single pound.

3. Add A Scarf Or Hat

You can get away with wearing a thinner shirt if you add a scarf or hat to your ensemble. Because most of your body heat is lost through your head, keeping your neck and head warm will keep the rest of you warm.

 

4. Shawl It Up

If you’re tired of wearing a winter coat, next time try a stylish shawl. You can wrap it around your shoulders and arms to keep you warm without adding any bulk at all. Shawls are also great for dressing up an outfit that might otherwise be casual.

5. Fleece Lined Leggings

If you like to wear legging, but find them too cold in the winter months, try out a pair of fleece lined leggings. The fleece will keep your legs warms while the leggings will give your legs the slim look you desire.

6. Knee High Boots

Tall leather boots are a necessity during the winter months. These are fashionable, versatile, and great for keeping the lower half of your legs warm. You can wear them with skinny jeans, leggings, skirts and dresses.

 

 

Speed up Weight Loss by Slowing Things Down

memo: slow downWhen you want to lose weight, you often times think about fast things, like speeding up your metabolism, running faster, and increasing weight loss. The idea of slowing down seems completely counter-intuitive to your overall goal. Is it possible that the best way to lose weight and live a healthier life is by slowing down? There are some things you can slow down and decrease that will help you attain your weight loss goals. Here are 4 ways to get started.

 

 

1. Choose Slow Food instead of Fast Food

Whenever possible, cook your food from scratch. One of the best ways to lose weight is by eating natural whole foods. Instead of buying frozen pre-cut french fries, buy whole potatoes, then cut and bake them yourself. Resist going through the drive through at Taco Bell, and make tacos from scratch at home. By planning ahead, it’s much easier than you might think, is healthier, and even tastes better.

 

2. Utilize your Slow Cooker

If you struggle to make healthy meals, try using your slow cooker more often. If you look around online, you’ll find there are slow cooker recipes for a huge variety of meals. I’ve made steel cut oats, lasagna, chili, soup and even bread pudding in my slow cooker. Because of their design, they usually require less oil and other unhealthy ingredients to create delicious meals. Knowing there’s a healthy meal waiting for you as you come home each night will also discourage you from grabbing fast food for your dinner.

 

3. Slow your Breathing

Meditation is one of the best ways to get in touch with your body and focus on how your mind and body are connected. When you slow your body and mind down at the same time, it helps you relax and get rid of anxiety and worry that could cause undue stress in your life. Taking a few minutes each day to slow down breathe can make a world of a difference, and could even help you lose more weight.

 

4. Slow Down your Life

When life gets too busy and stressed, your cortisol level increases, which could lead to chronic anxiety and heart disease. Stress has also been found to have a negative impact on weight loss. Even if you exercise and eat well, being too stressed can sabotage your chances of losing or maintaining weight. By forcing yourself to slow down on a regular basis, you allow your body to stay balanced and healthy.

12 Days of Christmas Workout Challenge

snow background grey  2014 with snowflakesDecember is now in full swing, which means trees have been decorated, carols are being sung, children are sipping hot cocoa, and parents are doing their best to keep up with all the craziness. With all this hullabaloo in the air, is it possible to still get in a little exercise? This month we’re giving you a challenge that uses a classic holiday song to help you stay fit. We’ve also included a cheat sheet below that includes images of each exercise to get you started.

 

Twelve days before Christmas start by doing a 1 minute low plank. The next do the low plank and 2 burpees. By day three you’ll be doing 3 leg lifts, 2 burpees and a 1 minute low plank. Keep following the pattern through the 12th and final day of exercises, and you’ll be able to drink eggnog and eat fruitcake with less guilt. It’s also great to do as a family, so get the kids involved!

 

DT-12DaysOfChristmas-Cheat-Sheet