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How to get more "Plant Based" in your Eating

Hi all.  Want to have a more "plant based" diet but not sure where to begin? 

Here is an easy way to start.  

Stock up on:  1 can of each- black beans, white beans, chickpeas
whole wheat tortillas (8-10 inch)
brown rice
quinoa or whole wheat couscous 
jar of pitted kalamata olives
sharp cheddar cheese
parmesan cheese
lettuce (dark green leafy- spinach, kale, romaine, red leaf)
fresh sliced peppers (red, green and/or orange)
rinsed, sliced and stemmed mushrooms
or any other vegetables

When you need a quick lunch or dinner, open a can of the beans, rinse them (to remove the sodium)
put in tortilla.  add 1/8 cup cheese, any leftover fresh or frozen veggies, 1/4-1/3 cup rice, top with salsa
roll up,  microwave for 2 minutes- done!

coat a nonstick pan with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 minced clove garlic, 1 can of rinsed beans (your choice) ,add 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning and 1/8 cup parmesan, and fresh or frozen veggies of your choice.  Sauté for about 5 minutes.  Serve over 1/3 cup brown rice. 

 open a can of chickpeas, rinse.  Cook quinoa or whole wheat couscous according to package instructions. 
Serve beans over a plate of salad greens and any other fresh chopped veggies.  Add 1/4 cup shredded cheddar or crumbled feta cheese, 1/3 cup quinoa or couscous.  You can even add 8-10 pitted kalamata olives.  Use a balsamic/olive oil dressing. 

If you always keep these ingredients on hand and replace after using you will always have these "go to" meals!


Chicken for lunch- Easy!

Here is a quick, healthy lunch idea!

First, marinate about 3-4 chicken breasts in 1/4 cup dressing for at least an hour. 

Use an olive oil based dressing (Good Seasons or Paul Newman's are some ideas)

If you have a George Foreman Grill, preheat to medium high, then spray with cooking spray and place on grill for 15 minutes for thin cuts or 20 minutes for thicker

If you do not have a George Foreman you can either grill outside or sauté for about 20 minutes until cooked through. 

Slice them up and add to salad or a sandwich or wrap or pita!  Save the leftovers for tomorrow's lunch!

Remember the safe internal cooking temperature for chicken is 165 degrees.


Have leftover collard greens?

Collard greens sautéed in garlic, olive oil and red pepper flakes makes a great topping for pizza! ( I just buy the pre-made dough in the grocery store refrigerated section, add pizza sauce (Classico is pretty good), add part skim mozzarella and cook according to package directions. Add the collards after you take the pizza out of the oven for a healthy, delicious pizza topping! Plus, the red pepper flakes give it a little bite. This is especially great if you have leftover collard greens from making a soup or another dish. Re-purpose I say!!!

10 Tips for Eating During the Holidays

10 Tips for Eating During the Holidays
1.     Be Mindful.  Of conversation, of food, of drink, of your surroundings!

2.     Focus on the gathering for conversation, not just the food.

3.     Eat regular meals and snacks prior to your holiday meal.  Don’t “save up” and not eat all day. You will probably end up    eating more later and will probably be more uncomfortable after eating later on in the day if you do that.

4.     Check in with yourself BEFORE you are full.  Put your fork down and wait a few minutes.  Remember it takes 10-20 mins for the stomach to fill up.

5.     Stop before you are stuffed, stop when you are just satisfied.

6.     Bring the healthy side dish or vegetable or salad.  That way you know there is something to fill up on first.

7.     If you drink alcohol, have a full glass of water nearby for every drink you have.  Also, try to stick to the lighter beers or a glass of  wine. This will help to prevent dehydration and to keep you from drinking too much!

8.     Take a walk.  Get your group to take a walk after dinner or maybe you have time to go in the morning before your gathering.  Just make sure to move around during the day.

9.     Even if family pushes you to eat more, stop if you are full.  Try asking for a to-go container or a bag to take it home in so you can have it later.  “I would love to but I don’t have anymore room..” I would love to try it tomorrow when I have a little more room...looks delicious” are some good responses.

10.When eating dessert, have a small slice of one thing or a  tiny sliver of a couple things.  If you are stuffed (try not to be!) you may want to forgo the dessert and take it home for later. 

And, most importantly, ENJOY!!!!

How to Talk to the Kids about the Hot Dog/Lunch Meats study

DISCLAIMER:  I am not a therapist but as a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist I do work with many children and adults with eating disorders and disordered eating.  These tips are meant to be used as a guideline. Thanks!

Wondering how to talk to the kids about the recent WHO studies which showed a link between hot dogs, lunch meat, etc. and cancer?  

My advice:  don't create panic.  I would just explain (only if they are old enough for this conversation) that they should not eat those foods on a regular basis but if they are offered a hot dog at the BBQ or ballpark they will not suddenly get cancer.  It's probably better to have this discussion with the older children because they may start hearing about it in school.   With toddlers and young elementary students you have the control to not serve these foods.  They are probably too young for this conversation.

The reason this is a delicate subject is that you don't want to create a fearful situation around these foods.  Children need to know that this study was about what would happen over time.  

Children may develop anxiety if they think one time eating the food can cause cancer.  The more you can reinforce once in awhile is ok, and not all the time can help to take away the "all or nothing" way of thinking out of the picture.  This explanation may help to alleviate some of the anxiety if they were to eat one of these products. 

Hope this helps!

No ham, No salami, No deli turkey??? What Do I Eat?????

EEEEKKK!!!!!!!! What can I eat anymore now that lunch meat and hot dogs and salami cause cancer?????

Does this sound like you?  Don't know what to eat?

Read below to get answers!!!!!

Ok, so you are not going to buy that salami, ham or deli turkey anymore, right??

Right.  Here are some new lunch ideas:

Grill or bake chicken, then add a little reduced fat mayo and some parsley to make chicken salad.  Add lettuce and tomato.  You can put this in a whole wheat wrap or on whole wheat bread OR just slice the chicken and add lettuce and tomato (with a little mayo or mustard) on your sandwich.

You can also make a chicken caesar salad- just be sure to have a whole wheat roll on the side to get some whole grain carbs!  Just put sliced grilled chicken over greens, add as many veggies as you like and add a low fat caesar dressing or  I would highly recommend Organic Goddess dressing by Annie's.

Buy precooked turkey at the deli and have them slice it -(the one without any preservatives, etc)- you
also can make a turkey salad, or add a slice of cheese, lettuce and tomato and have a turkey sandwich. 

The ol' pb and j is always a good standard.  

Have a whole wheat wrap with hummus and tabouli (usually can find both in the deli area of           your grocery store).  Just add some lettuce greens and you're good!

Egg salad!  Just try and not go overboard on the mayo.  Use a little of the Hellman's light.  Yes, eggs are fine (1 per day for most, 3 a week for diabetics).  Or, sliced egg sandwich. (It gets really fun when you have one of those egg slicers-whoo hoo!)

Tunafish is ok once per week also.  Get some water packed tuna, drain it, add celery and parsley- can also put this in a wrap or on whole wheat bread with some lettuce and tomato. 

Add 1/2 cup of your favorite beans to a vegetable salad (my personal favorite are chickpeas).  Drizzle on an Italian or balsamic dressing, add a small whole wheat roll on the side.  

Go Greek-  a greek salad (with toasted pita on the side)  or a wrap with:   feta cheese, pitted kalamata olives, arugula or spinach, lettuce,  tomato.  You can add chickpeas to this one for extra fiber and taste!   I also recommend a balsamic vinegar based dressing for this one.  

Buy some fresh mozzarella and slice it (or pre sliced mozzarella is ok too), avocado slices, sliced carrots, lettuce and tomato.  Drizzle with a balsamic salad dressing (like Paul Newman's) and put on some nice Ciabatta bread.  

Leftovers are also always a simple, easy idea!

Hope this gives you HOPE for your lunches!!


Do You Go into AutoPilot with Your Food Choices?

When you go into autopilot mode while driving around stressed from place to place you are usually not going to make the best food choices.  

Here's a tip for you:  Just for today,  just notice how many times your hand ends up in the candy bowl at work (yes, autopilot!) or when you stop and grab that snack at Starbucks (autopilot!) or Dunkin Donuts(autopilot!).  Or  maybe you grab a quick lunch at McDonald's (autopilot!) because you have no time to eat. 

Solution?  Plan the day before.  Look at your schedule.  Pack a lunch      ( sandwich or wrap with some protein and veggies, and fruit) and some healthy snacks (cheese sticks and crackers or yogurt and granola, protein bar,  to name a few). Have these items packed with you in the morning in your cooler bag.  It does take some planning but it is worth it!  You will be more prepared, and will be eating more healthfully.  

To Carb or Not to Carb?


Do I really need carbs?

I get this question all the time.  
And yes, the answer is yes. 
Your brain needs them for functioning
Your muscles need them (especially before and after exercise) 
They provide your body's PRIMARY energy source
They help regulate blood glucose
They prevent the use of protein for meeting energy needs
They provide fiber, which helps you feel more full (esp. whole grains)
Aim for at least 6-8 servings per day
Did I convince you? Did I?

Artichoke Chicken Lunch Recipe!

Hi everyone!  I just came up with a great Mediterranean lunch recipe.  I must admit that I took some ideas for this recipe from my George Foreman cookbook.  Recipe called "Artichoke Stuffed Chicken".   

In a food processor throw in one can of drained artichoke hearts, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese and 1 clove of chopped garlic, and 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.  

Grind until it is blended. 

Put some mayonnaise (1 tsp per slice) on each slice of a nice whole grain bread.  Add some grilled sliced chicken breast.  Put the artichoke sauce over the chicken (about 1/8 cup).  Add some roasted red peppers (from the jar is fine- quicker!).  Throw on some slices of lettuce (dark greens- romaine or spring mix, etc).  And you have yourself a great healthy sandwich!


Need healthy breakfast ideas?

Hi  everyone.  As we are getting our New Year off to a new start, I thought I'd share some healthy breakfast ideas with you.  

To keep full (so you don't have as many urges to overeat later) , have low sugar and high fiber I recommend the following:

1/2-1 cup of bran flakes cereal, low fat milk or soy milk and 1/2 cup berries or a regular sized banana (1/2 if large)

1 cup of Wheaties and milk/fruit mentioned above

1-1 1/4  cup Cheerios, milk, fruit

1/2 cup Wheaties or Cheerios and 1/2 cup Kashi GoLean Crunch Honey Almond Flax with milk and fruit

1 cup of homemade oatmeal with 1-2 tsp. brown sugar, 1/4 cup chopped walnuts and raisins mixture (throw on some milk too if you like it with milk) 

1-2 slices whole wheat toast with 1-2 tsp. real butter, Greek nonfat or low fat yogurt on the side 

1-2 eggs and 1-2 slices whole wheat toast, 1-2 tsp. real butter, fruit on the side
OR put scrambled eggs in a whole wheat burrito, sprinkle on a little sharp cheddar cheese (1/8 cup approx) add some salsa, and roll up!

For waffles, I recommend Van's multigrain.  Have 1-2 with fresh fruit and a tablespoon real maple syrup.  Also add a glass of low fat milk or yogurt.  

Hopefully these ideas help you to get healthier in the New Year!


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