Saturday, December 6, 2014

Holiday Season Tips...FRUIT

Many people have fruit on hand over the holidays. There is the store bought fruit the is a regular staple in your home as well as the fruit basket gifts that arrive at the doorstep when you just returned from the store.

Fruit is a delicious component of our daily diets but only has a short shelf life.

What can be done with the fruit that would add a festive touch to the holidays?

APPLES: Make applesauce! Cut/core the apples and put in a saucepan. Add some butter. Cover and cook on low until apples break down. Stir from occasionally. The applesauce can be served chunky or blended to make it smooth. Cinnamon can be added ... cinnamon is a great spice to enhance the metabolism!Applesauce will stay good in the refrigerator for a few weeks.

Pears: Make Pear Soup! Cook down the pears as you would apples to make the applesauce above. YOU CAN STOP and make pear sauce...OR as you put the pears in the blender...add a teaspoon of sage. The soup can be served hot or cold. The soup can be eaten for any meal. Suggestion...1 TSP sage per 6 medium size pears.

Berries: If they start to ripen too quickly, you can freeze them and add to recipes later OR make a berry jam. All you have to do is saute the berries and add chia seeds. This recipe could be for a single kind of berry or a mixed berry combination. Cook down about 3 cups of berries. Taste. Add honey or agave as needed to sweeten...add as little as possible...let's try to keep the fruit flavor as NATURAL as possible! Add 1/4 cup of chia seeds. Stir. Let sit. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Holiday Season Tips...Hot Water with LEMON

Start your day with a mug of HOT WATER and LEMON. An article lists the 35 benefits of Lemon according to Ayurveda.

Starting your day with HOT WATER and LEMON not only cleanses your mouth (yes takes away bad breath!!) but also stimulates your digestive system. It is a great way to detox and start each day anew.

You may find that this practice will lead to a DECREASE in your need for caffeine...You will be alert without a stimulant. After all, caffeine is highly addictive...but coffee and tea taste great! This will help you lose your dependance so you consume caffeine at a more moderate rate.

How much lemon should you add to a mug? A small wedge is perfect!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Holiday Season Tips ... TRAVEL SNACKS

Many people looks to find ways to make it through the holidays without weight gain. Recipes can be modified to make them healthier, but many of us may not bee the cook for a holiday feast. Many of us meet with friends over a meal during the holidays...oftentimes at a restaurant. Let's focus on controlling what we can control.

If you are traveling via plane or train you need to pack a snack or purchase what is available for you on board. My suggestion...pack a snack. You can control your quantity...that means a variety of food groups and GOOD fats. A few suggestions ... all are can be made gluten free:

Pack a peanut butter and jelly, turkey and cheese, or ham and cheese sandwich with a piece of fruit or carrot sticks. (Even better...use homemade peanut butter). Use Whole Grain Bread (Gluten Free or Not). Add greens like spinach or kale to your turkey or ham sandwich.

Pack your own cheese and crackers. Slice cheese and combine with your favorite whole grain crackers. (This can be gluten free or regular crackers...look for LOW sodium crackers here.)

Cut up apples and bring portable peanut butter (many manufacturers have "to go" sizes).

Create a snack mix of nuts and dried fruit. Opt for roasted and unsalted nuts here.

Hummus and vegies is another great option. It is high fiber and you will feel full from healthy foods! (Even better - make your own hummus)

When traveling...drink lots of fluids. Bring an empty water bottle through security and fill it after you have cleared!

Enjoy the holidays. Create memories with family and friends. Make healthy choices ... you want to remember the holidays for the memory...not an expanding waistline.

It takes 30 days to create a habit. Let's start today and take it one day at a time!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Homemade Ginger Tea

I am fighting something and decided to begin my homemade experiment with GINGER TEA. I took two inches of ginger (I peeled the ginger and cut it in half lengthwise.) in a medium saucepan filled with 4-6 cups of water.

I brought the contents of the pan to a boil and let it simmer for 20-30 minutes.

I experimented with serving it with and without honey. That would be according to your taste. I did a half teaspoon of honey when I tested it out. The honey did enhance the flavor of the ginger.

A healthy can be made while you are doing something else around the house. Much more economical than purchasing a box of GINGER tea bags...You could always make a portion ahead of time and refrigerate and microwave when you are ready to for a warm cup of tea.

JUST REMEMBER...add the honey to the warm liquid, if you do add it, do NOT heat the honey as it is known to reduce its medicinal benefits.

A New Year...A New Idea...

I have decided to do my best to eliminate packaged foods from my diet. I know it cannot be avoided from time to time, but I can eliminate what I can control! One of my favorite blogs to read is 100 Days of Real Food. I have been eliminating processed food from my diet for almost 2 years. When I decided to become Gluten Free for my HEALTH I saw how many items in my pantry I could not use. Over the past 20 months I have rid my cupboards and refrigerator of gluten laden ingredients.

What I have noticed is that WHAT I am purchasing as gluten free alternatives has quite a bit of sugar. This year I am looking to eliminate some of those purchased foods and create them from scratch.

I am a full time high school teacher and a group fitness instructor. I care about my health and the health of my family. My time is limited so the changes I make need to be gradual and become a routine. That will allow them to stick...that will allow them to be accomplished while doing everything that I do.

My first three goals:

Look for recipes and pictures to come!