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A Better Kind of Tortilla

tortillaI’ve been on the lookout for a better option to a flour tortilla.  Most often I try and stay gluten free but once in a while it’s nice to have a yummy quesadilla or breakfast burrito.  I’ve also had clients looking for a better option as well.  I’ve tried homemade options and corn shell options. Whether it’s due to time constraints or flavor, nothing seemed to be a good option.

My husband came back from the store the other day with a grin on his face and a great find. http://www.tortillaland.com/tortillas

Of course the first thing I did was turn it over to look at the ingredients list.   I was pleasantly surprised.  Because they aren’t fully cooked, they don’t have preservatives!

INGREDIENTS: Wheat Flour, Water, Canola Oil, Salt, Sugar.

They have a corn option as well as one with flax seed in them.

This option may take an extra three minutes to finish them off on a skillet but I’ll take that over eating an ingredients list that looks like this any day (which is a typical tortilla):

Ingredients:

Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Water, Modified Wheat Starch, contains 2% or less of: Brown Sugar, Flaxseed, Salt, Leavening (Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Aluminum Sulfate, Corn Starch, Monocalcium Phosphate and/or Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Calcium Sulfate), Vegetable Shortening (Interesterified Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Partially Hydrogenated Soy and/or Cottonseed Oil, Palm Oil), Wheat Starch, Soy Lecithin, Wheat Fiber, Guar Gum, Preservatives (Calcium Propionate, Sorbic Acid and/or Citric Acid), Dough Conditioners (Fumaric Acid, Sodium Metabisulfite, Distilled Monoglycerides), DATEM, Enzymes, Canola Oil, Triglycerides.

See what I mean?!  Give them a shot and see what you think.

Personal Contracts

This is part II of my last Blog on Balance 😉

Finding My Balancebalancing_elephant

There are times in our lives that we need to take a step back to reorganize, reassess and redirect our efforts.  This should be a scheduled occurrence.   It could be once a year, every six months, maybe even monthly.  It gives us a time to reflect and move forward in a more positive and productive manner.

In conversation with a friend of mine, we decided that a great way to do this would be to write up contracts for ourselves.  And to keep ourselves accountable, we would send the signed contracts to each other.

We are both working on businesses and trying to find balance with productive schedules that still leave time for us to have a life.  So our contacts were based on those areas of concern.

This idea could also be used in families or relationships.  Not only would it be a great relationship builder but it would assure that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals.

What would your contract look like?  What areas of your life would it cover?  Believe it or not, the act of producing and signing a contract that came from your feelings and needs is quite liberating and empowering.  Give it a shot!

Balance

Are there any Professional Life Balancers out there?  Get in touch with me, I need some help!  Anybody else feel like they need some help in this department?

Of course, if there were Professional Life Balancers out there for hire, I’m sure they would recommend time management, goal setting and learning to say no as part of their words of wisdom.  What other advice could you give from experience?

Balance

These words of wisdom can be shifted to many parts of our lives, I’m sure.  Think about where your balance is off in your life.  Can any of those recommendations be applied in that situation?

I’m no Professional Life Balancer but I can tell you one thing that gets me through the tough days… knowing that today is today and tomorrow is tomorrow.  Be grateful for today and plan for tomorrow.

Portion Control

Anyone who is trying to watch their weight will tell you that portion control is one of their best allies.  But what is portion control?rasp

By definition: Portion control is understanding how much a serving size of food is and how many calories or how much food energy a serving contains.

It’s very evident that the American diet no longer consists of true portions.  A perfect example would be an order of pasta.  Today’s average serving is enough to fill a 10 to 12 inch plate or bowl.  Even just 10 to 15 years ago, the same order would be equivalent to a side order portion today.

Also consider that it’s not just at a restaurant or at home that portions can sneak up on you.  When you read labels and see the information given, make sure to look at the serving size and how many servings are in the container.  It might say it’s only 50 calories in a serving but there may be 2 to 3 servings per container.

Some people find that actual measurements help keep them in line where others prefer a visual to compare to.  I’ve put together a list of both measurements and visuals to help guide you to better portion control.

Of course these examples are just averages.  For more accurate readings use a calibrated kitchen scale (I purchased a cheap one at Target) or measuring cups and spoons.

  • Fist = 1 Cup of rice, pasta, fruit or veggies
  • Palm = 3 ounces of meat, fish or poultry
  • Handful = 1 ounce of nuts, seeds or raisins
  • Thumb = 1 ounce of hard cheese or nut butter
  • Thumb tip = 1 teaspoon of oil, butter or sugar
Other serving size references:

1 serving:

  • 1/2 cup, cooked pasta
  • 1/2 cup mashed potatoes
  • 1/2 cup cooked vegetables
  • 1 cup ( 4 leaves) lettuce
  • 1 medium apple
  • 1/2 grapefruit
  • 1/2 mango
  • 1/2 cup berries
  • 1 cup yogurt or milk
  • 1 1/2 ounces of cheddar cheese
  • 1 small chicken breast
  • 1/4 pound hamburger patty

Stuck on Cilantro

I am in LOVE with Cilantro!  I love the spiciness of it as well as the texture. And check out all of the added benefits Cilantro in your diet can provide!

It is such a versatile herb.  Here are a few of the ways I’ve been using it this summer:cilantro

  • In a marinade (Awesome for grilled chicken)
    • Olive oil
    • Agave
    • Salt and Pepper
    • Cilantro
    • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • Hummus – Find your favorite Hummus recipe and throw in some Cilantro.  It’s awesome!
  • Juicing or smoothies – I know, it sounds weird but it is so refreshing.
  • In a salad – This is the easiest of them all.  Throw in a handful of leaves into your next salad be wowed by the punch of spice that it brings.  It’s perfect with a sliced apple on top.

Hydration

drinking-water If I could ask my clients to make one change to their lifestyle, do you know what I would suggest?

Although all small changes really do have an impact on your health, there is one thing in particular that I think EVERYONE could work on…HYDRATION.

Did you know that the average human body is made up of 60% water?  That’s a lot of water!  And consider this; as stated on About.com, “People feel thirsty when they have already lost around 2-3% of their body’s water.  Mental performance and physical coordination start to become impaired before thirst kicks in, typically around 1% dehydration.”

It is thought that nearly 75% of Americans are dehydrated on a daily occurrence.  This can lead to many side effects, including:

  • Mood change
  • Exhaustion
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Palpations
  • Inability to sweat

By observing the slightest changes in your body, you can beat dehydration before it reaches impairment levels.  These are symptoms to be aware of:

  • Dry, sticky mouth
  • Sleepiness or tiredness — children are likely to be less active than usual
  • Thirst
  • Decreased urine output — no wet diapers for three hours for infants and eight hours or more without urination for older children and teens
  • Few or no tears when crying
  • Dry skin
  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness or light-headedness

Lack of hydration is an easy issue to remedy.   Drink more water!  Not pop or most teas and juices, plain water.  Of course, you could always seep cucumber, berries or herbs in your water.  As long as it is high quality, filtered water.

That is where the easy answer ends.  In research, there are many equations and guidelines mentioned as to how much of it to drink.  I found this website questionnaire to be the most precise.

How Much Water Do You Need?

After going through and answering all of the questions it brought me to an answer that is the same as I would have gotten by just following this advice.

Take your weight, divide it by two, and that is the amount in ounces that you should be drinking per day.

Dehydration leads to a slew of physical and mental impairments.  Let’s take an easy preventative step and work on staying hydrated.  Have a water bottle with you at all times.  Soon enough it will be a habit!

Package Price Changes

Wow!  Where is time going?  I can’t believe it’s already been 8 months since I started Achievable Health.  To say the last 8 months have been a learning experience is such an understatement.

In many ways, I’ve met very little resistance as I’ve made my way through the weeks.  In fact, most of the resistance has been ME!  I’m learning pretty quickly to just get out of my own way and enjoy the process as the business has been growing and changing.

There is one area of change that is in need of some revamping that I wish I didn’t have to deal with, price changes.bigstock-Green-field-at-sunset--24967112 smaller

Over the last few months, I have begun working with more couples and families on top of the individual clients.  Working with families and couples has been such an amazing experience.  Seeing them acknowledge their goals, work through the challenges and exceed their goals together has been incredible.

I’m finding out quickly that while working with multiple clients in one package, I’m spending more time with them on location as well as at home doing notes and research.   Because of this, I have decided to re-price the packages accordingly for those who choose the packages as a couple, group or family.

I’ve thought very hard about this price increase.  I would love to work for free and I truly hope someday I am in the position to do so.  Right now, however, I need to act as a business owner and take this advised action.

Effective August 15, 2013, the package prices will be as follows:

Package 1 – Heart of the Home
  • Single $125
  • Couple/Family $125
Package 2 – Kick Start Your Health
  • Single $125
  • Couple/Family $187.50
Package 3 – Compact Journey
  • Single $350
  • Couple/Family $525
Package 4 – Confidence in Commitment
  • Single $575
  • Couple/Family $850

The Nut Butter Debate

nut butter I can about guarantee that most of you, if not all of you, have some sort of nut butter sitting on your shelf.  Nut butters are a great source of protein and a healthy snack option.  But not all nut butters are created equal.

Let’s dig deeper in to the most popular of the nut butters, peanut butter.  I grew up on Jif’s Creamy Peanut Butter.  Let’s just say, I’m glad I know now what I didn’t know then.

  • Ingredients:  MADE FROM ROASTED PEANUTS AND SUGAR, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: MOLASSES, FULLY HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OILS (RAPESEED AND SOYBEAN), MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES, SALT.

That’s a lot of oil!  At least there’s a better choice of peanut butter out there these days.  In fact, this is my choice of readily available peanut butter; Smucker’s Natural Creamy Peanut Butter.

  • Ingredients:  PEANUTS, CONTAINS 1% OR LESS OF SALT.

Now, you might wonder why I choose the natural over the organic option that Smucker’s has.  It’s all in the ingredients.  The organic option’s first ingredient is ROASTED ORGANIC PEANUTSTo roast the peanuts, unless it says dry roasted, they have to use oil.  It doesn’t say what type of oil they use.  Tricky, I know!!

There are great options available made from other nuts as well.  I love to splurge and get sunflower seed butter once in a while.  But I also like to keep it simple.   I figure, any nut butter is a high fat food.  If I’m going to splurge and eat it, I want to know exactly what I’m eating.

With all of the options out there these days, you really have to be cautious of what you’re buying.  Here’s an example of tricky marketing.  This is what some companies are trying to pass off as healthy these days.  Sorry, Nutella, I’m going to pick on you.

  • Ingredients:  SUGAR, PALM OIL, HAZELNUTS, COCOA, SKIM MILK, REDUCED MINERALS WHEY (MILK), LECITHIN AS EMULSIFIER (SOY), VANILLIN: AN ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR.

Hazelnut is the third ingredient!  And I guess they didn’t think hazelnuts were oily enough; they had to add palm oil.  Not to mention the worst phrase ever: artificial flavor.  No thank you.

Let’s also take a look at PB2.  I wish I could say I like this product but I have a few issues with it.

  • Ingredients:  ROASTED PEANUTS, SUGAR AND SALT.

There’s that word again, ROASTED.  Not to mention they had to throw sugar into the mix.

This is what it boils down to; if you want to splurge and eat a high fat treat such as nut butters, look at the ingredients list not the nutritional values and enjoy it in moderation!  Or, there are local stores in the area that have machines available to make your own nut butter.  Go for it!  Then you’ll really know what it’s made of!

Information Session in Ankeny

Round Two – Information Session at Back to Wellness Chiropractic in Ankeny

Well, the first round didn’t kill me so how about a round two!  I may just start to like doing these 😉

Session #2 Marketing Poster for B2W - Copy

Whole-Wheat Waffles

My hubby made me this yummy weekend breakfast treat!

Whole-Wheat Waffles

whole wheat waffles

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ¾ cups almond milk
  • ¼ cup oil (I used coconut oil, make sure to heat it up a bit so it’s not solid going in)
  • 1 tablespoon honey or agave
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ cups whole-wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Warmed 100% pure maple syrup or agave for serving

Fresh fruit for serving (Blueberries or strawberries would be great in or on top of these)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your waffle iron.
  2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, oil, honey, cinnamon, and baking soda until well combined.
  3. Add in the flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk together just until the large lumps disappear.
  4. When the waffle iron is hot, dab it with a little butter or spray and then ladle some batter onto the center of the iron.  Follow the instructions that came with your waffle maker to know how long it should be cooked (mine takes about 3 – 4 minutes each).
  5. Keep waffles warm until you finish cooking all of them. Top with pure maple syrup and fruit. Enjoy!
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