Archive for November, 2019

KEEP CALM AND JINGLE ON

If you are reading this blog it means that you have survived Thanksgiving. Congratulations! It also means that we are officially embedded in the holiday season. This translates into more exposure to treats, parties, treats, stress, treats, crowds, treats, shopping, treats, family, treats, chaos.

It is so easy to get caught up in all of the holiday eating. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that January 1st is right around the corner so you’ll rein it in then. It’s not. It’s a full month away and you can do damage in 30 days if you’re not careful.  I’ve seen this pattern with many of my clients: The holidays bring a few extra pounds that, come January, don’t come off. This is not a problem if it weren’t recurring. However, several years down the road, you might find yourself shocked to be 10-15 pounds heavier. This weight gain is sneaky!

While it will be harder to eat healthier during this time, you can do it. Thanksgiving keep_calm_and_jingle_rustic_holiday_party_invite-r1ec2da3de3334414b7f618dae591eb41_6gd4r_140.jpgwas just one meal. One party is just one party. Christmas dinner is just one dinner. If you are more vigilant at your very next meal, you will walk away from the holiday season unscathed.

Many of my clients find that they eat healthier when exercising consistently. This holiday season, JINGLE ON! (Think of it as the holiday word for exercise.) If you keep calm with your holiday eating and jingle on, you won’t be stuck feeling overwhelmed in January!

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WILD RICE, ALMOND, AND MUSHROOM STUFFING

I will be trying this NY Times recipe this Thanksgiving. I love the nuttiness of wild rice, love that you can make it a few days in advanced AND it seems like an interesting alternative to bread stuffing. (Also a great gluten free option!)  You can stuff the turkey or serve as a side dish. 

ingredients

  • 1 ½ quarts chicken stock, turkey stock or vegetable stock
  • 2 cups wild rice
  •  Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion or 4 shallots, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¾ pound mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • ⅓ cup toasted almonds, coarsely chopped
  • ⅓ cup dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage, to taste
  •  Black pepper, to taste

directions

  1. Bring stock to a boil in a large saucepan, then add wild rice and salt to taste. When the liquid returns to the boil, lower heat, cover and simmer 40 minutes, until rice is tender and has begun to splay. Drain through a strainer, and set aside.
  2. Heat oil over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet, then add onion or shallots. Cook, stirring often, until tender, about five minutes for onions or three minutes for shallots. Add a generous pinch of salt and the garlic. Cook until fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute. Add mushrooms and celery and cook, stirring, until mushrooms have softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in rice and remaining ingredients. Cook, stirring, until sherry has evaporated. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  3. Remove from the heat, and allow to cool before stuffing your turkey. Or place in an oiled baking dish and cover, then warm for 20 to 30 minutes in a 350-degree oven.

(recipe found on https://cooking.nytimes.com/)

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CAN’T GET STARTED? BE CURIOUS!

Many people come to see me wanting to lose weight. (I would love for people to focus, instead, on being healthy, but that’s a topic for another blog.) In most cases, the greatest obvious nutrition obstacle is the time needed to plan, prepare and prep. Even if you’re not cooking a lot, eating healthily still requires having a plan and executing one takes time. My clients and I also talk about the fundamentals needed to be successful, which include:

  • Paying attention to hunger and satiety
  • Drinking a lot of water
  • Trying to eat as many whole foods possible. (Or, trying to eat as little processed food as possible.)
  • Having healthy snacks on hand
  • Watching the amount of unhealthy carbs consumed
  • Moving your body as much as possible

Then, we proceed to the specifics of their life—their lifestyle, their food preferences, their willingness to cook, their family unit, their work, how social they are, and how much time they are willing to dedicate to good nutrition. All of these will factor into creating the right plan for them. Since we are all different, no two plans will be identical.  Once armed with some structure, many people do very well. And many don’t.

If you are stuck and can’t seem to get started, I want you to be curious. Curiosity is a IMG_1275positive!  Unlike self-deprecation, curiosity keeps your mind open. It makes you take a closer look at your behavior, without judgment, so that you can unpack WHY you act (or not) in a certain way. Often times there is a less-obvious obstacle preventing you from achieving your goals. Being curious might uncover something much bigger—something deeper, that you need to address.

A client of mine wanted to lose weight and so we had several discussions and created a plan. When she got stuck, she became curious. And after some painful introspection, she realized that the underlying issue was that she had to  start focusing on her social life (or lack of one). It was much easier for her to zoom in on weight loss—she kept convincing herself that losing weight would be the answer to all of her problems. Once she uncovered this, she was able to address her deep-rooted issue, which was far more important than simply losing some weight.

From my experience, the worst thing that you can do for your mental sanity is to keep starting something, not being able to maintain it, and stopping. This is so damaging and deflating to your sense of well-being. In this blog, I used the example of weight loss but it applies to anything in your life that you keep starting and stopping: exercise, cooking, meditation, making time for yourself, reading more, learning something new, spending more time with loved ones, etc. Instead of yo-yo-ing, take a breath, stop and be curious. Be a detective so that you can uncover the deeper, hidden issue. You will then be better able to tackle your obstacles once and for all!

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WHITE TURKEY CHILI WITH KALE

This chili is amazing!! I added a small piece of chopped chorizo into the onions, which really spiced things up nicely!!! A perfect dish for this cooler weather.

ingredients

2 T olive oil, divideddownload.jpg

1 lb. ground turkey or chicken

2 t chili powder

1 t each ground cumin and dried oregano

½ t sea salt

1 large yellow onion, chopped

2 cups stemmed and chopped kale

4 scallions, chopped light and dark green parts divided

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1, 15-oz can cannellini or great northern beans, drained and rinsed

directions

In a Dutch oven on medium-high, heat ½ teaspoon oil. Add turkey, chili powder, cumin, oregano and salt and cook, breaking up the turkey with a spoon, until no longer pink, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer turkey mixture to a plate and set aside.

In same Dutch oven still on medium-high, heat remaining 1½ teaspoon oil. Add yellow onion, kale, light parts of scallion, celery, jalapeno,  and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in turkey mixture, broth and beans. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook, stirring, until heated through and slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes.

Divide among bowls and sprinkle with dark green parts of scallion.

(recipe found on https://www.cleaneatingmag.com/)

 

 

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