Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Super Bowl XLVI - BBQ Sweet Potato Fries!

If you're tuning into the Super Bowl this Sunday, then I know you're looking for some good eats. Even if you're not watching, you'll still love these sweet potato fries!

Unlike their name, they're baked, not fried - Point one for healthy and delicious.

Sweet potatoes are rich with antioxidants, which rid your body of free radicals. They contain anti-inflammatory agents, which come in handy for jumping up to cheer your team, and they're full of potassium, which keeps muscles from cramping, both on and off the field - 2 Points for comfort and movement.

Last but not least, the spices, smoked paprika, ginger and turmeric are also anti-inflammatory agents. They all aid in digestion and help sooth the stomach - Touch down!

Best reason to bake up these fries? They taste amazing! 

What you'll need:

3 pounds sweet potatoes or golden yams
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. salt

Pre-heat oven - 350 degrees.
Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

Slice potatoes into wedges - You determine peeled or un-peeled.
Wash sliced potatoes thoroughly in cold water to remove starch, and towel dry - place between two dry towels - to remove excess moisture. 

Place in a large bowl - set aside.

In a small bowl or cup, combine the spices until well blended.

Toss the potato wedges with olive oil.
Sprinkle the potatoes with 1/3 of the spices. 
Toss with salad tongs or spoons. 
Continue to sprinkle, and toss, turning the potatoes so that all wedges get spiced.
Toss a few more times for good measure, and then spread wedges on the prepared pans. 

Bake until golden - times will vary depending on your oven - but approximately 35-40 minutes. 
Check them frequently, and turn periodically to keep from burning.

These are great on their own - Or - for a fun healthy meal, serve them with 10-minute three bean chili


Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Patience to Change

The belief in the "magic bullet" leaves only one, defeating conclusion when success is not immediate: that you are not doing enough and must do more of the same. - Changing for Good

It's Sunday afternoon. We're at the end of the weekend, getting ready to go back to work, and while the weekend may have been relaxing, exciting, or an exhilarating combination of both, there's often a bit of anxiety around that which could have been, or of that which we want more. This is the time when our minds begin to spin, and when we land, we find that we've landed in critical mode.

If you're finding yourself evaluating the choices you've made over the last two days, or silently nit-picking your progress over this past month - we're creeping to the end of January, many of us had high expectations around what success would look like by now - remember that change takes time.  

Change does not happen over night. It is the result of consistent, persistent steps, taken day in and day out, to erase the habits which no longer serve us, and then to implement the new.

We are constantly bombarded by sound bites of information, reminding us of who, what, and how we should be. We process that information and expect instantaneous change.

Do not be discouraged! Remember to break your larger long term goals, into smaller attainable weekly and monthly goals. Most importantly, remember to applaud yourself along the way. Look at your tiny accomplishments, and give yourself credit for all of them. Each little success took work, and each tiny accomplishment is bringing you that much closer to your goal.

If you're laying bricks and you stop at the twentieth brick, throw up your hands and say, "This is too small, I'll never get a wall," you're right. You will never get a wall. If however, you look at that twentieth brick, take a break and say, "Wow, laying bricks is hard work! I have a much better appreciation for brick masons," you will get back on track, finish your wall, and for each brick you see, have a story to tell. 

Be kind to yourself, embrace each step along the way, and keep on keeping on. This is a journey - If you take it, you'll make it!


Changing for Good - an excellent read for those working to push through habits that are no longer serving them.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 - New Years Intentions!

It's 2012 and time to set your intentions.

Wait - Intentions you say? What about resolutions?!

It's all about mindset. When making resolutions, we either promise to do something or stop doing something that we feel guilty or conflicted about. Resolutions are generally associated with bad behaviors, and they are vague promises based on a wish without any real plan of action. For example, I wish I could lose weight, so I promise to eat better this year.
It's not surprising that most people give up on their resolutions within a  month.

An Intention, on the other hand, is an aim, a purpose or a plan.

When we set intentions for ourselves, we are setting goals to be completed within a specific time period - in this case, a year - and we're backing them up with a plan of action.

So, let's get started.

Take this first week of January to focus on what you'd like to accomplish this year. As you think about your goals, write them down. Writing down your goals is the first step to committing to them. Once you've written down your goals, set a plan of action. Write down, specifically, what steps you are going to take to make your goals a reality.

Here's an example:

  • My goals for 2012 are to lose weight and get in shape.
  • For my weight loss goal, I am going to join weight watchers, log my food, create a meal plan, and remove all snack foods from my house.
  • For my fitness goal, I'm going to take a step class at the Community Center on Mondays, a Zumba class on Thursdays, and I'm going to join my neighbor on her daily 30-minute power walks.

Once you've set your intentions, commit them to a calendar. If they're set in your schedule, you will complete them.

Create visual inspirations that will excite and motivate you into action. Find pictures of yourself at the weight you would like to return to. Make copies and post them in spots you will frequent throughout the day. Put one next to your bedside table, one on your mirror, in your day-planner, and on your phone. Every time you see this picture, remind yourself, "This is my body, and I am successfully achieving my goal!" We achieve what we believe.

Set out a garment of clothing you would like to fit into again and showcase it in a prominent spot so that you will be reminded daily, of what success looks like.

Break down your weight loss goals into achievable increments. Set a goal weight for the end of the year, and then set short term goals for the months in between. By breaking your ultimate goal into smaller, easily attainable benchmarks, the reward of experiencing successful results will motivate you to strive toward your long-term goal. Remember, on a healthy weight loss plan, you can lose 1-2 pounds per week, so if your goal is to lose 25 lbs. in a year, losing 1-2 lbs a week will bring satisfying and successful results.

Be kind to yourself and remember you are human. When you set intentions, you are implementing healthy habits, which allows for flexibility. You are implementing a lifestyle, and, as with everything else in life, there will be setbacks and surprises. Allow forgiveness for the days that you do not follow through with your plan, and recognize that there will be weeks when you simply do not reach your goal. This is not an all-or-nothing approach. Do not give up! Return to your plan of action, fine tune your goals and re-commit to your original intentions.

Welcome 2012! To health, spontaneous joy, and accomplishment! May your year be filled with great  intention!