Monday, July 11, 2011

10-Minute Three-Bean-Chili

This is an incredibly easy, very fast bean chili / taco soup that is tasty and nutritious and takes just minutes to make.
1 Can Pinto Beans
1 Can Kidney Beans
1 Can Black Beans
1 Can Whole Kernel Corn
1 Can Diced Tomatoes
1 Jar Salsa
1 Tsp Smoked Paprika
1 Cup Water
Drain and rinse the beans and corn. Rinsing canned beans and vegetables considerably reduces their sodium content. Put all ingredients into an 8 qt cooking pot and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes - Serve!
You can add 1 lb. ground turkey or lean ground beef sauteed with onions, to please a meat-eating crowd, or for the vegetarians in the bunch, grate in two large carrots and one grated zucchini to get an extra serving of vegetables.
While this recipe is delicious just as it is, and is great while counting calories, you can jazz it up by topping it with chopped onions, chopped cilantro, freshly diced tomatoes and avocado, black olives, grated cheese, and a dollop of plain greek yogurt.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Go back a little to leap further - John Clarke

One of the hardest obstacles to overcome when making big lifestyle changes are the little regressions along the way. You know what I’m talking about. For months you’ve been exercising every day, counting your calories and watching what you eat. You’ve made great progress - many of you dropping large amounts of weight - but then you regress for a weekend, or maybe a week. The regressions come in many forms - Family reunions or celebrations, holidays, travel. Perhaps it’s burn out. You’ve been working so hard and you just want to take a break and revert back to what’s easy and familiar. Sometimes you’re just plain busy. You don’t have time to pack a lunch or log your calories. You get take out more than usual.
You gain a few pounds - So now what?
First and foremost, don’t panic! Don’t beat yourself up, don’t feel guilty and don’t give up!
It’s fine to feel frustrated. It’s o.k. to feel disappointed. Acknowledge those feelings, and then look to the big picture. You’re human, and you need to live life. You don’t always have control over the foods that are available and there are going to be times when you choose to celebrate. That generally includes eating “fun” foods.
Remember, you have tools. You didn’t come all this way by accident, you made it happen. You’ve done the work and you’ve seen results and you will continue to see results. You’ve just got to stay committed. 
The changes you’ve made these last months are habit changes. You’ve been teaching yourself to eat healthy, and to exercise regularly. Chances are you feel better. You’ve been living healthier and it feels fantastic. 
When you get off track, ask yourself how that makes you feel. Very likely not so hot. Remember, this used to be your old normal. You knew you didn’t feel good, but you probably didn’t know you could feel great. 
Use this opportunity to  give yourself credit for how far you’ve come. Acknowledge the amount of energy you now have. How good you feel. How strong you are. How committed you’ve been. Look the regression in the eye, and now get back to your new normal!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Let's Snack!

Just as we avoid unhealthy snacks by keeping them out of our cupboards, the best way to eat more fruits and vegetables, is to make sure they’re always within reach! 
Start with your staples - carrots, celery, radishes, fresh peas - As soon you’re home from the market, cut off their ends, peel the carrots, shuck the peas, and store them in airtight containers in the fridge. Slightly submerge the carrots, radishes and celery in water to keep them from drying out. Stack the containers front and foremost in your fridge where you’ll be reminded to eat them. We’ve all had the experience of buying vegetables only to discover them decaying at the bottom of the vegetable bin - They won’t serve you there!
Watermelon - It’s a summer classic. But how often have you left one sitting on the counter, passing it up for the chips or crackers because it’s just such a hassle? 
Once again, break it open as soon as you get home, slice it, cube it, remove the rind - chill it in the fridge - you’ll be surprised how fast it goes! 
Peaches, nectarines, apricots and plums - Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and grapes - keep seasonal table fruits displayed on counter tops. Their enticing aroma will be hard to resist - Eat them up! They’re lovely and perishable, so don’t give them special status. Enjoy them. They’re healthy and delicious.
It’s important to eat fruits and vegetables fresh. Their peak nutritional value is just after they’re picked. As beautiful as they are, it can be easy to overbuy fruit. Don’t fret. Just wash and slice and freeze whatever you can’t eat. Fresh frozen fruit makes wonderful smoothies and are a delicious replacement for ice cubes in cool summer drinks. Buy carrots with their tops on. If the greens are fresh, so is the carrot. Nothing can replace the taste of a hot vine ripe tomato! 
With such great produce available all summer - It’s the perfect time to try something new. Challenge yourself to eat the unfamiliar. You won’t know if you like it, unless you try it! It may soon discover you’ve got a new favorite!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Yogurt-Dill Potato Salad

Potato salad is a classic staple of summer picnics, but most of us have grown to fear it with it’s countless hidden calories. This refreshing, creamy-dill potato salad is made with greek yogurt in place of mayonnaise, so you can indulge in this holiday favorite without sky rocketing off your daily allowance.
Did you know that just two and a half tablespoons of mayonnaise has more calories than one cup of greek yogurt?! Calling for just a quarter cup of yogurt, in the whole salad, you will be getting a fraction of the calories without compromising on taste, using this delicious dressing.

2 lbs. yukon gold or russet potatoes

1 stalk chopped celery
1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
2 teaspoons dill
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon crushed pepper 
1/4 teaspoon salt
Cube and steam the potatoes until fork tender. Place steamed potatoes and chopped celery in a medium sized mixing bowl. In a separate small cup mix remaining ingredients, pouring the dressing over the potatoes and stir.  If your potatoes are dry, you may want to add an additional tablespoon of yogurt. Salt to taste. Cover and chill - Enjoy!