Posts Tagged ‘goals’

Crock Pot Lentil and Sweet Potatoe Soup

Here’s a yummy recipe for these cold, cold days we’ve been having!  Love the simplicity of crock pot meals.

Crock Pot Lentil Sweet Potato Souplentil soup

Ingredients:

  • 4 large carrots, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1.5 cups chopped green beans
  • 2 cups green lentils
  • 1/2 tsp minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 64 oz vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Turn heat on low and cook for 10 hours, adding a little more broth at the end if soup seems too thick.

Time:

10 hours

Nutrition Label Changes

nutrtion label

Missing the Point

I just read an article about the FDA revising what information will be shown on the food labels we see on food packaging.  Here is the link if you’d like to read over it.

My ability to keep an open mind on their perspective is proving quite difficult after reading the article.  I do agree with them that trying to read information seen on a food labels is like trying to read Greek, and they did have positive changes proposed.  But, my first thought was that they are missing the point.

From what I gathered, they are still focusing on calories and the sugar and fat content.  My suggestion would be to focus on ingredients instead.

For example: When you read the food label on the average health bar, you see low calories, sugar and fat.  First glance, it’s a winner!  But then you look a little further down and realize that your “health bar” has 27 ingredients listed, some of them you can’t even decipher.  Is it still a good choice?

This is just my opinion but I think many informed consumers would agree; the ingredients list trumps the calories, sugar and fat numbers listed.

Think of it this way.  Wouldn’t you prefer your sugar to come in the most natural form instead of high fructose corn syrup or aspartame?  When you see the number after sugar on the label, it doesn’t say the source of the sugar.  Yeah, it might only be five grams but the source is a sugar substitute that will wreak havoc on your digestive system.

I’ll give the FDA some credit; they are trying to keep up with a more informed society (we’re slowly getting there).  And regardless of their efforts it is OUR responsibility to make informed choices.  So continue to check the ingredients list!

Show Yourself Some Love!

LoveLove… EVERYDAY!

‘Tis the season of love!  The month when we love up on significant others, family members, even pets.  So how about we love up on ourselves a bit too!

I’m not suggesting buying ourselves a five pound chunk of chocolate and breaking off a bite every 15 minutes.  I mean, let’s take a moment to be thankful for our bodies and having the ability to make it better.

In my latest newsletter, I mentioned that I find it very interesting that society puts so much emphasis on one day of the year to show to others how much we love them.  I also correlated that we use the month of January to do the same for our bodies.

Would you agree that love or better health is not going to be had by working on it for just a day or even a month for that matter?  What I’m getting at is this: Our body is our own masterpiece.  It is what we put in it.  Ha!  Literally and figuratively speaking, actually!

That’s a different way to look at it, isn’t it?  Just like a loving relationship, it takes patience and continual work to reap the benefits of a healthy body.  Take this time to put a plan into action on ways to treat your body better.  The benefits are SO worth it!

Holiday Damage Control

The holidays are upon us once more.  There have been plenty of opportunities to jump ship on our health goals. healthy holidays So how do we do damage control before the end of the year and we’re five pounds heavier?

If you’ve already set your routine to help you through the season, stick to it.  If not, here are a few ideas.  Something is better than nothing, just like one pound gained is better than five.

  • Water.  Water.  Water.  Drink it before, during and after your get-togethers.  It will keep you feeling full, hydrated and hopefully not so apt to binge on the tray of sugar and carbohydrates.
  • Eat clean during the week.  No sugar, flour or dairy.  And for good measure no alcohol.   You’ll have plenty of opportunity for that at your gatherings.
  • Eat well before you go to a party.  Get some substance in your belly before you walk in to temptation.
  • Get a move on.  The more you move, the more you lose or keep off.  Take every opportunity for an extra few steps of workouts.
  • Take a dish to a gathering that you feel good eating.  At least you know you’ll have something on your plate that you won’t feel guilty about eating.

Above all, keep calm and stay merry!  The key to beating the emotional eating cycle is keeping your cortisol and glucose levels steady.

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!

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

Informational Session!

The time has come for me to face a HUGE fear!  I have always had a hard time getting up in front of a group of people and speaking.  But now I need to face the fear and do it anyway.

Please join me at my very first Information Session!  I decided to start with an overview of Health Coaching and its benefits and then move on to more challenging topics at later sessions.

If you are able to make it, thank you for being my guinea pigs!  If anything it will be very entertaining.  Bear with me and let’s hope my face doesn’t stay the shade of red that I’m sure it will be turning .

Session #1 Poster for Website & Newsletter

Glycemic Index

GI Have you heard of Glycemic Index?  It is a great tool that can help those who are watching their blood sugar levels with diet.

The Glycemic Index (GI) is a numerical scale used to indicate how fast and how high a particular food can raise our blood glucose (blood sugar) level. A food with a low GI will typically prompt a moderate rise in blood glucose, while a food with a high GI may cause our blood glucose level to increase above the optimal level.

There are many websites with lists of foods and their GI score available on the internet.  Some of those include:

A couple of things to keep in mind, portion control is a huge part of any healthy food lifestyle.  Also, these items are listed separately.  It does not take in to consideration the changing factors of preparation and how the items may change their GI when digested together.

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.

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