Monthly Archives: November 2013

Halloween Came, I Sneezed, It’s Christmas

Yes, the holidays are coming up quickly.  “To Do” lists are getting longer and longer and time for yourself is becoming nonexistent, so you think…….

This year I will enjoy the holidays without self-sacrifice.

Holiday experience of old:

  • Lengthy To Do list
  • Time for self eliminated (weekly workouts, healthy meals, sleep, breathing, etc.)
  • Increased stress level
  • Meals and snacks on the go
  • Resentment
  • Guilt for not finishing the To Do list
  • Exhaustion
  • Catch a cold or worse
  • Holiday enjoyment – none
  • Thrilled the holidays are over

Let’s collectively choose not to go there!  Take a breath, delegate what you can and try this:

Make your lengthy list.  Mine had 20 items.  Pick the top 5 things “To Do” that bring YOU the most joy.  Put these items in your planner.  Pick 3 more to do when your top 5 have been completed.  The rest can stay on the original list which I like to keep out of sight.

Sounds simple, but I’ve been doing this for the past few years and it has helped considerably.   Nothing to put in the “Guilt Bag” (got rid of that years ago too).

Mental fatigue is more exhausting than physical fatigue

Try to eat as nutritiously as you can, drink lots of water and get as much rest as possible!  Make this your most joyous holiday season ever!

What If…

  • we’re all here for a very special, personal reason?
  • our spirit had the opportunity to pick its human form?
  • all the hardships and challenges we have faced and will face are meant as  learning experiences?
  • we realized we are not supposed to be like anyone else?
  • we didn’t take anything personal – good or bad?
  • we gave up judging others and ourselves?
  • we stopped punishing ourselves over and over for what is in our past?
  • the world outside ourselves was just a mirror of our own inner thoughts and feelings?
  • stopped obsessing on acquiring more “stuff” took a moment to enjoy the people in our lives?
  • we thought of our human form as our spirit’s home?
  • we ate food and exercised for the purpose of health not sex appeal?
  • we took a moment to talk to our being as we would talk to a friend in need?
  • we took a moment to listen to our being respond?
  • we asked our being what it needed so that our spirit may fully express itself?
  • our lives truly are unfolding as they should?
  • we trusted the process?
  • our authentic self stood in front of us, what would she look like?
  • we stopped punishing others for what is in their past?
  • we accepted our journey and all of its winding roads, hills, ditches and mountains?
  • today we made the decision to not be a victim, but rather a champion?
  • we said “No” to a few requests every once in a while?
  • we had the confidence to speak up for ourselves?
  • when it comes to our own needs, we ask “how can I fit this in” instead of saying “I can’t because…?”
  • we were the president of our own fan club?
  • we try to do our best everyday and be ok with whatever that might be?
  • we looked at ourselves in the mirror and said, “I love you”?

No More Broccoli Please!!!

If you’re like me, broccoli loses its appeal after a few meals.  Try waking up your taste buds with these green vegetable dishes.  Add some chicken and Ezekiel cereal or brown rice – you’ve got yourself a meal!  The best part is you can make all these recipes in bulk.

  A refrigerator full of prepared food = a successful fitness / nutritional experience.

Kale Salad

Ingredients:

  • kale, chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

*This salad will last 3 days in the refrigerator (unlike regular lettuce).

Kale & Garlic Saute

Ingredients:

  • kale, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in pan, medium heat.
  2. Add garlic and kale.
  3. Using a spatula, fold ingredients several times throughout cooking process.
  4. Saute for 8 – 10 minutes.

Italian Zucchini Medley

Ingredients:

  • 3 green zucchini, sliced
  • 1 yellow zucchini, sliced
  • 1 (14 oz) can Italian style diced tomatoes
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in pan on medium heat.
  2. Add green and yellow zucchini.
  3. Saute for 5 – 8 minutes.
  4. Add onion and garlic.
  5. Saute for 5 minutes.
  6. Add can of diced tomatoes.
  7. Cover and simmer on low heat 10 minutes.

Italian Style Green Beans

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag frozen cut green beans
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 (14 oz) can Italian style diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken stock.
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a pan on medium heat.
  2. Saute onion and garlic until softened.
  3. Add green beans, chicken stock and diced tomatoes.
  4. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer on low heat 10 minutes.

Comfort Food For The Cold Weather

The cold weather is upon us and nothing would make us feel better than some warm comfort food.  Over the years I have made these recipes part of my Fall/Winter nutritional plan.

Tips:

  • Make a few seasoning packets in advance.  This way you have them when you need them and the idea of making something from “scratch” doesn’t seem so overwhelming.
  • Make these recipes in bulk.  I usually cook 2-3 x the amount and make use of freezer bags.
  • Portion out your freezer bags.  Use a measuring cup scoop your food into the bag (1 – 2 cups per family member).

Turkey Chili

Original recipe makes 8 servings
  • 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (16 ounce) can canned kidney beans – drained, rinsed and mashed
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp group cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Place turkey in the pot, and cook until evenly brown. Stir in onion, and cook until tender.
  2. Pour water into the pot. Mix in tomatoes, kidney beans, and garlic. Season chili powder, paprika, oregano, cayenne pepper, cumin, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 30 minutes.
  3. Serve over brown rice, quinoa or couscous.

Chicken “No Pie”

Original recipe makes 1 9-inch pie

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast halves – cubed
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1 1/2 cup sliced carrots
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp celery seed
  • 1 3/4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2/3 cups low-fat milk (1% or skim)
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  2. Combine chicken, carrots, peas, and celery in a saucepan. Cover with water. Boil until chicken is no longer pink in the middle and vegetables are fork tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain, and set aside.
  3. Cook and stir onions in butter in a saucepan over medium heat, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and celery seed. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick, about 5 minutes. Stir in parsley and remove from heat. Set aside.
  4. Place chicken mixture in bottom of the casserole dish; pour hot liquid mixture over. Cover with tin foil, seal edges.  Make several small slits in top to allow steam to escape.
  5. Bake in preheated oven until filling is bubbly, 30 to 35 minutes.
  6. Serve over brown rice, quinoa or couscous.

Black Bean Soup

  • 3 cans of black beans – drained, rinsed and mashed
  • 2 (14 oz) cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 onion, chopped or 1 cup frozen chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped or 1 cup frozen chopped green pepper
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth

Directions

  1. Sauteed onion, garlic, green pepper in 1 tbsp olive oil until soften.
  2. Add cumin and stir
  3. Add drained beans, diced tomatoes, chicken broth.
  4.  Stir all ingredients together. Bring to a boil uncovered, simmer on low heat for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  5. Eat and enjoy!

*Option:  Let cool, pour soup in to a food processor (will need to split soup in half to fit) or blender. This option produces a creamy soup.