Posts Tagged ‘eating habits’

Spring Clean Your Body

spring cleaning Spring is the time of year many people deep clean their houses of the winter grunge.  I think it’s also a great time to do the same for our bodies.  We have been cooped up for months and probably running pretty sluggish as well.

There are many ways we can detox our bodies.  Some prefer the help of medical shakes and supplements while others like to rely on the natural properties in a number of spices and produce to do the work of the medical foods.   As a whole, bitter, pungent foods are in this category.

Here is a list of natural body cleansers:

  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Mint
  • Parsley
  • Lemon
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Asparagus
  • Arugula
  • Radishes

Foods to avoid during a cleanse would be:  heavy, oily, salty foods, red meat and dairy.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Cauliflower-Crust-Pizza-2 We went over to a friend’s house a couple weeks back to meet their handsome new baby boy and play a bit with his older brother.  They had us over for dinner and made pizza.

First I have to say, if someone is gracious enough to make a meal, I will eat whatever is put in front of me and be thankful for every bite.  I may be a health coach but I am not a food snob!

My friend had in the past made a gluten free crust and decided to make one pizza with that recipe and one with a regular dough crust.  The gluten free crust was actually made of cauliflower, and was delicious!  It was so good, my husband and I made pizza that very next week and used the recipe again.

There are many renditions of gluten free crust but this just happens to be the one that I am forwarding to you.  Experiment with this recipe and other ingredients such as corn or rice flour and so on.  Find your favorite and fill the top with lots of great veggies!

Cauliflower Pizza Crust


  • Fresh Cauliflower, 1 cup
  • Egg, 1 large
  • Cheddar Cheese, 1 cup, shredded (The higher quality the better.)
  • Fennel, 1/2 tsp
  • Oregano, ground, 1 tsp
  • Parsley, dried, 2 tsp


Rice or finely chop the cauliflower.  (Remove the cauliflower from the main stem, soak it in cool salt water for about 5 minutes before you grate it or chop it.)  Beat egg, add the cauliflower, and shredded cheese.  Mix the ingredients, squeeze out remaining liquid and press into a greased pizza pan then sprinkle with the spices. Bake at 450 for 12 to 15 minutes. If you double the recipe cook 15 to 20 minutes.  (I also noticed that if you make the outside of the crust thicker than the middle, it bakes more evenly.),

Add desired pizza topping (not included in nutritional info) such as red sauce, mushrooms, green pepper, onions, cheese, etc.  Bake until brown and cheese is bubbly.  (I left mine in about 8 to 10 minutes.)

This makes 6-8 smaller pieces.

Organized Chaos

To Do I can only imagine how chaotic most households are on a weekly basis.  We don’t have any children and there are times that I can’t tell what is up from down!  For those of you who have children, what are your techniques to staying organized in your day to day activities?  There are a few things that I can suggest that work for us, but I would love to hear your ideas as well.

  • First, I am definitely a Type A personality, so lists and I go hand in hand.  Not only is it easier to remember items and activities that are in need of my attention, but it’s a great feeling to mark off the list as it’s accomplished.
  • Second, making a weekly schedule of activities that need to be done (and sticking to it) seems like a fail-free way of getting done the tasks that I really don’t want to do, but in return, having time for the fun activities as well.

I remember growing up; my brother and I had chores to do every week.  How is it in your household?  Does everyone have their own list of chores?  Are they held accountable?  Just as with any sort of partnership, when everyone chips in, the list gets done that much quicker!

What favorite ways do you stay on top of your household chaos?  Being a person who enjoys structure and clever ideas, I’m always looking for new ideas to help me stay organized.  I want to hear yours!

Fish en Papillote

En Papillote While on vacation we ate quite a bit of fish.  One of the more memorable meals was a white fish that they baked en Papillote.  I had done this in cooking school years back but hadn’t thought much about it since.  It looks complicated but is actually really simple and the end result it always yummy.

This recipe looks exactly like what we ate on the island and it was delicious. The quality of the fish and herbs is what will make or break this meal.  I also added a link that explains the steps of wrapping the parchment in more detail.  Be a bit adventurous and try it out.  You won’t be disappointed!

How to cook en Papillote

Fish en Papillote

Recipe courtesy Melissa d’Arabian

Prep Time:20 min    Inactive Prep Time:15 min    Cook Time:12 min
Serves:4 servings


  • 1/2 red onion, julienned
  • 1 zucchini, julienned
  • 1 large carrot, julienned
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 (4-ounce) sole fillets, hake, flounder or other white fish
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced, seeds removed
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 pats butter
  • 1/4 cup white wine

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a bowl, mix together the onion, zucchini, carrot and garlic. Adds the oil, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and toss to combine. Put each fish fillet in a large square of parchment paper and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Arrange the vegetables on top, dividing evenly. Top the vegetables with 2 lemon slices, 2 sprigs thyme, a pat of butter and 1 tablespoon white wine, layering in order. Fold the parchment paper around the edges tightly in 1/4-inch folds to create a half moon shape. Make sure you press as you crimp and fold to seal the packets well, otherwise the steam will escape. Arrange the packets on a baking sheet. Bake until the fish is cooked through, about 12 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. To serve, cut open the packets and serve directly in the parchment on a plate or remove the fish to the plate using a spatula, being sure you don’t leave the juices behind.

Happy New Year!

resolutions Welcome 2013!  Am I the only one thinking that 2012 absolutely FLEW by?  It’s almost scary how fast it came and went.  The saying is true.  The older you get, the faster time goes by.

So what are your plans for the year? Any good trips or house renovations planned?  Have you set any health improvement goals yet?  What are your well-intended New Year’s resolutions?

This year, I intend to run another half marathon.  I’m still trying to find a spring race out of state but might just end up running Dam to Dam and then wait until October to run the Des Moines half.

Share your plans and goals with me!  Sometimes, just vocalizing your goals and aspirations is all it takes to set them into motion.  Happy New Year!

Score 1 for the health coach!

Of all the things I thought I would never hear come out of my husband’s mouth, requesting organic ANYTHING probably tops the list.  But that’s exactly what he did!  Evidently, the produce he had been picking out just wasn’t cutting it.  Well let me think… of course I will!!  Score for the health coach!

Happy Holidays!

‘Tis the season… for overeating!  This is such an exciting time of year.  There are plenty of opportunities to get together with family and friends.  If gift giving is included, you get to watch the recipient of your gifts’ face as they open it, and the FOOD!!!

I, for one, find it very easy to get caught in the moment and not take in to consideration the amount and quality of food that might find its way to my mouth.  Now I’m no scrooge, the holiday season shouldn’t be about resisting the urge to try a piece of your Grandma’s famous peanut brittle or your friends’ home-made cheesecake.  That would lead to a bad attitude and lots of resentment.  No thanks!

How about just planning ahead a bit and getting through the holidays without gaining a bunch of weight and fueling our bodies with high in fat, sugar and empty calorie foods.  Does that sound like a compromise?  Here are a few of my tips that have helped me out in the past.

  • First, if you know you’re going to a function that will most likely have all snack foods and desserts and not much of an option in foods with substance, eat before you go.  Eat a healthy meal that will leave you feeling satisfied so you won’t be as tempted to fill up on the sweet stuff.
  • If they have a fruit and veggie tray available, fill your plate with that first.  Then, if you absolutely can’t live without a macaroon, have one, not five.
  • Between get-together’s, focus on a clean, healthy diet to keep your body fueled and well-balanced.  Lots of water and plenty of exercise will compensate the good times that shouldn’t hinder your holiday season or your healthy eating habits.
  • Above all else, enjoying a splurge isn’t a deal breaker to healthy eating.  Just don’t make it a daily occurrence and you’ll be fine.  Enjoy the holidays, they only comes once a year!

Let’s talk about compromise…

Living in a household where everyone might not be on the same page when it comes to eating habits, compromise is a must.  My home is no different.

My husband is all about the butter!  He loves flavor and fat and creaminess.  I’m not going to say that I don’t love these palate pleasers as well, but not on a daily basis like my husband would prefer to have them.  Do you find yourself in this position?

It has taken years, literally, to get to an agreeable compromise between myself and my husband.  And it’ still a work in progress.  For instance, when we first started dating, he would eat the Hungry Man frozen dinners.  It took me a little “educating” to explain how much salt, preservatives and lack of nutrients there are in them.  But, he finally agreed that there plenty of other options out there to fill his belly.

Then it was cold cereal every morning.  Again, not harping but “educating” led me to get him to eat a true breakfast in the morning instead a bowl full of sugar and refined carbohydrates.  Actually, when he realized how much fuller his stomach was for longer, I could easily rest my case.

Even just the other night, he wanted fried shrimp.  We compromised on coconut encrusted, sautéed shrimp over a spicy edamame salad.  It was delicious and we both loved it! So what is your compromise looking like at your house?

Daily Goals

The alarm goes off and you stumble out of bed to begin your daily grind.  One by one, items and routines are mentally marked off as you make your way through another day.  Do you have room for one more thing to add to your list?

Along with the usual hustle and bustle of a day, why not set a goal for yourself?  Could be a small goal or it could be a big goal.  Although it might take a few tries to keep it in your thoughts throughout the day, the rewards will be well worth the effort.  Write it down and keep track of when you take actions steps towards meet your goal.

For instance, you wake up and make it a goal to drink 60 ounces of water throughout the day.  Right there you are creating a mindset to actively think about what fluids you are consuming.  Then, midway through the morning when you would usually go for another cup of coffee, you choose water instead to help reach your goal.  Logging that you are getting closer to your goal will be a bigger ego burst than you think!  Trust me, setting goals and reaching them is very addicting!

So what are some ideas for goals?  There are plenty to choose from but here are some of my favorite daily goals to keep you motivated.

  • Drinking 60 ounces of water a day
  • Limiting yourself to 1 cup of coffee
  • Counting all the grams of sugar you drink in a day (remembering that the average intake of sugar TOTAL a day is 40 grams)
  • Writing in a food journal
  • Taking stairs anytime they are available
  • Using a pedometer, set a goal for 8,000 or more steps a day
  • Walking outside for 30 minutes
  • Cutting back your portion sizes by a quarter
  • Getting to bed in time to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep

After you master the daily goals, move on to bigger and better.  The sky is the limit!

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