Tips for Getting Healthy in 2016, Week 4

Copyright_Stephanie_Kay_Photography

Copyright_Stephanie_Kay_Photography

It is the last full week of January, and how are you measuring up to your New Year’s resolutions?  If you find yourself back in the thick of struggling with old habits that you are not proud of, then this blog post is for you.  This week, I want to highlight on some things that I want you to consider not only in January, but for all of 2016.

 

Focus on what you CAN eat, not what you cannot.

When you turn the tables and really celebrate all the food choices still available to you, rather than focusing on those foods you cannot enjoy, your whole mindset makes a positive shift.   By beginning each day in a state of gratitude, you will start to see how endless nutrient-rich food possibilities actually are, and in time you will start to get excited for plain Greek yogurt topped with berries and walnuts and craving less for a piece of double chocolate cake for dessert.  By keeping your focus positive, it will become easier and easier to eat healthy and really enjoy the benefits of a nutritious diet. Continue reading

Tips for Getting Healthy in 2016, Week 3

Picture Courtesy of Best Western Hotel Cantur's Photostream

Picture Courtesy of Best Western Hotel Cantur’s Photostream

Can you believe the 3rd week of January is just about done?  How many of you are still keeping up with your New Year’s Resolutions?  Did you know that it takes about 21 days for a new habit to form?  And today is the 21st day of 2016….so how are you doing?  This week’s tips will give you some insight on how to make SMART goals and maintain the motivation to keep you working towards a healthier you for 2016.

Set SMART Goals

A very successful method that helps my clients achieve their goals, is using the SMART strategy.  A SMART goal is Specific, Measurable, Accountable, Realistic, and Time-bound.  Instead of stating “I will go to the gym 3 days a week”, I encourage my clients to really plan out their goal.  A revised SMART goal would be stated as follows: “I will go to the gym and use the elliptical for 30 minutes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings from 6-6:30am”.    This goal is specific, measurable, accountable, realistic and time-bound.  Continue to revise your goals into SMART goals, and you will see a difference in how you approach and ultimately achieve them over time. Continue reading

2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Dietary_Guidelines_Image_2015_2020The 8th edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans are a welcome change! Instead of the previous editions focusing on individual food groups, the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines now focus on healthy eating patterns’ food and nutrient characteristics. When I work with clients, I repeatedly emphasize the importance of balanced meals with good combinations of complex carbs (whole grains, fruits and veggies), lean protein (fish, poultry, beans, lean cuts of pork and red meat) and heart healthy fats (olive oil, nuts, seeds, and avocados).  This daily combination can minimize risks for chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and heart disease.  It is exciting to see that the Dietary Guidelines now emphasize this sort of balanced nutrition as well. Continue reading

Tips for Getting Healthy in 2016, Week 2

Hope you are off to a healthy start for 2016!

Last week, I gave 5 tips on how you can start helping yourself to become more healthy in 2016.  This week’s set of tips is going to challenge you on eating a protein rich breakfast, monitoring portion sizes, trying out some vegetarian main courses, incorporating more fish in your weekly meal plans and how to make meal planning a breeze.

This week’s tips include:

Protein, its what’s for breakfast.

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Blueberry, Greek Yogurt, and Whole Grain, High Protein, High Fiber Cereal Parfait with Strawberry, Greek Yogurt, and Milk Smoothie

When you eat a breakfast that is high in protein, you will feel full for a longer period of time and have more energy throughout the day.   It is best to aim for about 25 to 30 grams of protein before noon each day to feel this effect.   It is easy to do, for example, pair 5 oz. of plain Greek yogurt with 3/4  cup unsweetened high fiber cereal topped with walnuts and fruit OR pair a smoothie made with Greek yogurt and milk with two eggs and an oatmeal blueberry muffin.  The increased protein within your breakfast will keep you satisfied for the rest of the morning. Continue reading

Tips for Getting Healthy in 2016, Week 1

 Happy 2016!

At the beginning of every new year, many people make resolutions.  However, by the end of January, sadly many people are often frustrated and disappointed that their resolutions did not take hold.  Over the next couple of weeks, I am going to share with you some tips to help make 2016 be your year for nutritional health and wellness.  Each week, I hope that you try out the newest set of tips.  The key to any long-standing behavioral change, is to go slow and steady.  When you take on too much too soon, no matter how good the intentions may be, you almost always set yourself up for failure.  When I work with clients, we set weekly goals that are SMART and attainable.  It takes time and effort, but if the changes are consistent and small over time, success is within your reach.

This week’s tips include the following:

Forgo the strict and boring diet.

copyright Andrei_Zdetovetchi_Dreamtime_Stock_Photos

Copyright Andrei_Zdetovetchi_Dreamtime_Stock_Photos

First and foremost, I really dislike the word “diet”.  To me, it is the four letter word of healthy nutrition.  Rather, I want you to think of your new eating habits as healthy meal plans. It is important to keep your meal plans exciting not boring.  Variety is key to consuming all of the nutrients your body needs to be healthy.   Be sure to include fruits and veggies that you really like.  Not a big fan of kale?  No worries, use baby spinach or romaine lettuce in your salads and smoothies.  By including fruits and veggies that you like in your meals, you will actually look forward to eating your food, versus arriving at the table with a sense of dread. Continue reading

7 Diet Mistakes Sabotaging Your Weight Loss – US News

Excellent article that highlights many of the common mistakes people make when trying to diet.  Remember lifestyle changes, and modifying your intake to include a healthy combo of complex carbs (increased fiber intake), lean protein (chicken and fish), and heart healthy fats (olive oil, nuts, avocados) will help you succeed at weight loss.  You can even have some of your favorite foods from time to time….just watch those portion sizes!

Source: 7 Diet Mistakes Sabotaging Your Weight Loss – US News

Got Chickpeas?

Since it is National Nutrition Month®, I thought I would get crafty to find a good wholesome snack that was high in fiber, protein, complex carbohydrates and heart healthy fats. Over the past few months, I have seen various articles rave about roasted chickpeas.  So I started to experiment with some of my favorites seasonings with chickpeas.  What I ended up with is a yummy snack that pleased my taste buds and satisfied my appetite.

IMG_1303Chickpeas are a great source of protein, fiber, iron, phosphorus, zinc, folate and polyunsaturated fat. When you combine chickpeas with spices and oils, you make them even better.  For my experiment, I simply used some garlic powder, cayenne powder, honey, and olive oil.  The result was a wholesome snack that rivaled pretzels.  Continue reading

Nutrition for a Better Mind?

When many people think about weight loss, they often think about the types of foods that they should avoid.  Foods like donuts, pies, cookies, white bread, chocolate, etc.  But it is National Nutrition Month®, and I would like to offer a positive twist to the typical weight loss diet.  Instead of focusing on the foods that you should avoid, let’s consider the types of colorful and flavorful foods you should be eating not only to slim your waistline, but to also protect your brain’s cognitive skills.

File:Berries (USDA ARS).jpg

Courtesy of Scott Bauer, USDA ARS [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

There are many new research papers talking about the cutting edge pharmaceutical treatments that can protect against dementia and Alzheimer’s. However, prevention may be as simple as what you eat.   There is an increasing body of research that focuses on healthy diets and their possibility to delay or even prevent cognitive decline.

When you include heart healthy fats such as omega 3s you may be able to give protection to your mind.  The same is true with an increased intake of flavonoids, such as those found in berries. Continue reading

Healthy Cooking: Shrimp Fajitas

During National Nutrition Month®, I challenge you to get into your kitchen and try some new and healthy recipes.  In this post, I wanted to share with you how to make one of my all time favorite recipes—fajitas.

Fajitas can be healthy IF you choose lean meats, control the amount of oil you use, and increase the amount of veggies to meat ratio per tortilla. Shrimp are a great alternative to the typical fajita meats of chicken or steak.  Shrimp are low in saturated fat and high in vitamin B12, iron and selenium (a powerful antioxidant that can help decrease the risk of chronic diseases).

Continue reading