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You CAN Build Good Nutritional Habits Over the Holidays

Traditionally, Halloween marks the start of the holiday season. With Halloween and the start of the holidays just a few days away you may think that starting a nutritional overhaul is an invitation to failure. But, with the right plan you can build a healthy lifestyle without having to give up the food and fun of the holidays.

Simple things like: eating slowly, drinking plenty of water, eating 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, choosing lean protein, and getting plenty of rest can make a big difference in building a healthy lifestyle.

My nutritional coaching plan is based on simple nutrition and lifestyle habits that will help you look good, feel great, and maybe even lose some weight this holiday season all without depriving you of your favorite foods. Find out more at https://procoach.app/wellnessphx

The plan progresses slowly giving you a new healthy habit to practice every 2 weeks along with daily lessons that help explain and reinforce your new habit. Over the course of a year you will develop a set of habits that you can use for the rest of your life to help you look and feel your best. And the best part is you get 1-on-1 access to me, your coach, through out the program, so you are never alone.

The next program starts Monday November 18th. There are 15 slots left and they will fill quickly, so don’t wait too long.

Because I want to help as many people as possible successfully navigate a healthy holiday season, I am offering a 20% early bird discount for the next 2 weeks. That makes the price of the program $127/month! That is an amazing value for all of the lessons, tips, and personalized feedback you receive. After November 11th, the price goes back to $159/month, still a great value, but why wait: Sign Up Now!

Having fun over the holidays and following a solid nutritional plan ARE possible, IF you have the support and guidance to help you build good habits and keep you motivated. Make 2020 the year you don’t make losing weight or eating better one of your resolutions, get started now, click here to get started now!


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Declutter to Achieve Your Nutritional Goals – Clear Your Cabinets

So far this month we have cleaned out your refrigerator, pantry, and kitchen drawers. This week, we tackle the kitchen cabinets.

Now in case you have forgotten, we have devoted this month to improving our nutritional habits by decluttering our kitchen. The faster, easier, and more efficient it is to locate healthy food and cooking implements the more likely you are to prepare nutritious meals and snacks.

Depending on the size of your kitchen, clearing the cabinets can be a long and arduous task, so I recommend setting aside 20-30 minutes each day over the next week or 2 to clearing out 1 cabinet per day.

  • Sell or donate any small appliances you no longer use: toaster, coffee maker, ice cream maker, waffle iron, etc.
  • Sort and stack your plates, bowls, cups, and glassware. Give away anything that you have not used in the last year.
  • Get rid of plastic food storage containers that are warped, discolored, or missing a lid (or vice versa).
  • Look through your pots and pans and get rid of any that have a scratched nonstick surface, permanent scorch marks, or broken handles. Stack the pans neatly and organize the lids in an extra baking pan or large plastic storage container.
  • Inventory, sort, and stack serving platters/bowls, mixing bowls, cutting boards, strainers, etc. Throw away anything that is cracked, scratched, bent, or broken. Donate or sell anything you haven’t used in 2 years.
  • If it is broken or otherwise does not work, throw it away!
  • Purchase cabinet organizers for things like cookware lids, baking sheets, paper products, small appliance accessories, etc.

Here is an example of a few of my cabinets:

While it may seem like a boring pointless task, decluttering and organizing your cabinets is a great way to motivate yourself to eat healthier by making it quick and easy to prep and cook healthy meals and snacks. You will be amazed at how much more pleasant it is to use your kitchen when things are tidy and in their place.

We are almost done with our kitchen decluttering project, just a few more things to clean up. Next week we move on to the freezer. Until then, have a happy healthy week!

Decluttering your kitchen is just 1 habit that can help you reach your health and nutrition goals. Eating slowly, drinking plenty of water, adding more fruits and vegetables, and even getting plenty of rest are a few more ways you can achieve your nutrition goals. To find out how to build these and many other lifelong habits that will keep you on track, visit my website: https://procoach.app/wellnessphx


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Declutter to Achieve Your Nutritional Goals – Purge Your Pantry

Last week we discussed how decluttering your environment can have a powerful positive affect on your life. From reducing stress and increasing productivity, to helping you feel happier, more optimistic and even improving the nutritional choices you make. If you want to review last week’s post or get caught up, click here.

Decluttering your kitchen makes preparing healthy meals faster and easier. When there is plenty of room in your fridge for healthy foods like vegetables, lean protein, nuts, and fruit you are more likely to choose those rather than eat processed junk food. The easier it is to navigate your pantry and cabinets the better the chance you will prepare nutritious meals as opposed to stopping for take out or ordering pizza.

Your task for last week was to clean out your refrigerator. I showed you what mine looked like before I cleaned it out and I promised to show you the after. So, here they are:

I make a habit of decluttering and cleaning my fridge every few months, so there wasn’t a big difference, however it is definitely easier to find what I am looking for post-cleaning.

Now, if you took the time last week to declutter your freezer as well as the fridge, bonus points to you. But if you didn’t, don’t worry, we will get to that in a few weeks.

Now, on to this week’s task. Much like the refrigerator, your pantry can become a collection of stale crackers, half-eaten bags of chips, expired cans of food, nutritional supplements you haven’t used in years, and cookbooks and magazines with recipes you will never actually cook. Over the next week, take 10-15 minutes each day to declutter 1 shelf in your pantry. Throw away anything that is expired or stale. If you have canned goods you won’t eat yourself, donate them to a local food bank. Use baskets and tiered organizers to make it easier to see what is in the pantry. Store nuts, grains, cereals, etc. in clear glass/plastic containers to keep them fresh and easy to find quickly. Don’t forget to label them so you remember what they are. Go through your cookbooks and magazines and tear out the recipes you use regularly and create a binder or computer file to store them neatly away. Wipe down the shelves and line them with shelf paper if you choose. I’m pretty OCD, so I alphabetize everything based on category: spices, canned goods, baking supplies, oils, etc. It makes finding things quick and easy, but it is a bit extreme.

Once you have your pantry decluttered, cleaned, and organized, take stock of what nutritious foods you still need to prepare healthy meals such as: grains, spices, nuts/seeds. Add these items to your shopping list.

Having a pantry that is organized and easy to navigate will make preparing nutritious and delicious meals faster, easier, and more enjoyable as well as keep you on track with your nutritional goals.

Until next week, happy decluttering!

Decluttering your kitchen is just one easy habit that will help you stay on track with your health and wellness goals. Building a series of healthy habits is the best way to maintain your goals for life. My nutritional coaching program is designed to teach you how to build a healthy nutrition routine that you can maintain for life. Learn more about how I can help you achieve a balanced and healthy lifestyle by visiting my website today!


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Declutter to Achieve Your Nutritional Goals – The Refrigerator

Back in elementary school, I had a teacher that frequently “reminded” us, “A messy desk means a messy mind”.

It turns out she was right, scientific research proves that clutter can have a negative effect on many aspects of our life, from our career, to our relationships, finances, and yes, even our health and wellness.

A cluttered home or workspace can lead to increased feelings of stress, depression, and unhappiness. Remember that time when you were facing a deadline at work and you had files, reports, and binders all over your desk? How much did you enjoy working on that project?

Clutter also has a negative effect on nutrition. Studies show that individuals with a messy kitchen are more likely to choose highly processed, fat and sugar laden foods. Also, if your cabinets and drawers are full of pots, pans, plastic takeout containers, broken measuring cups, and melted spatulas, it can be difficult to find the tools you need to cook a healthy meal. Additionally, if your fridge is loaded with jars of pickle juice, multiple containers of ketchup, expired milk, and a moldy mystery container, there is no place to put healthy fruits and veggies. And those 5 bags of potato chips in the pantry, well let’s just say they are not giving you a good return on your pantry shelf investment.

The point is, if preparing healthy meals in your kitchen is difficult or impossible, you are more likely to stop for take out, or binge on those chips in the pantry, neither of which supports healthy nutritional goals.

This month we are going to be working on decluttering our kitchens. Don’t worry. We will take it slowly. Over the next 4 weeks I will share a short project designed to help get your nutrition and your kitchen into tip-top shape.

This week’s task is to clear out and clean your refrigerator. You will need about 15-20 minutes, a large trash bag, and a recycling bin if that’s your thing.

    Go through your fridge and toss out anything that is expired, moldy, or otherwise unappetizing in appearance.
    Combine all of those partially empty ketchup bottles (you know you have at least 2). Repeat with the other condiments.
    If you haven’t used a sauce, salad dressing, or condiment in months, put it in your trash bin.
    Consider donating any unopened cans, jars, or packages of food to your local food bank.
    Look at each item left and decide if it helps support your nutritional goals, if it does not then into the trash it goes. It is ok to have a few small treats, I keep some chocolate in my refrigerator at all times, just make sure the majority of the items favor your goals.
    Once you have cleared out all of the old food, condiments, etc. give your fridge a good cleaning. Wipe down all of the shelves, drawers, and walls.

Now that your refrigerator is free from clutter, restock it with fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, and protein. Invest in containers that can neatly store precut vegetables, precooked grains, nuts, seeds, etc. The more organized and easier it is to find things in the fridge the more likely you are to use them to prepare yourself a healthy meal or snack.

I declutter my refrigerator every 2-3 months and it’s due for a good cleaning. Here’s what it looks like right now:

Check back next week to see what it looks like after I declutter.

Decluttering does not have to be hard work, it just takes a little time and the willingness to let go of things that are not serving your health and happiness.

Until next week: Happy Decluttering!

If you want additional help reaching your nutrition and fitness goals, my coaching program can help. Learn more today!


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Eat a Rainbow – Go Neutral

Welcome to the final week of our, “Eat a Rainbow” series, the WHITE and BROWN group.

This is the smallest and least exciting group, but don’t let this group’s lack of pizazz fool you. What these foods lack in color, they make up for in nutrition.

Fiber – Many of the foods in this group are high in fiber content, which you already know is important in maintaining a healthy digestive system, including reducing the risk of some cancers.

Quercetin – Known to have anti-inflammatory and antihistamine effects, quercetin has been shown to lower blood pressure and help prevent heart disease.

Allicin – Allicin is a phytochemical found in garlic, leeks, and onions. Allicin is a powerful immune system booster due to its antimicrobial effects. Allicin is activated when the chopping/cutting process exposes the cells of garlic, onion, or leek to oxygen.

Polyphenols – Polyphenols found in dark brown foods like tea or chocolate have been shown to protect the body from heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and cancer. They may also stimulate bowel movement and support the digestive process.

Foods in the WHITE and BROWN group include:

White and brown foods can help protect against bacterial, fungal, and viral infections, help prevent heart disease, and some cancers, as well as support healthy digestion. That makes them an important part of an “Eat the Rainbow” plan.

Remember, as with the other colorful fruits and vegetables mentioned in this series, foods in this group can interact with some medications or illnesses, so it is best to talk to your pharmacist or a medical nutritionist about adding any new foods to your diet.

Here are a few recipes to help you add more white/brown foods to your daily routine:

Basic Cauliflower Rice

Kale Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

If you need help adding more colorful fruits and vegetables to your daily diet or if you want to develop better nutritional habits, my nutritional coaching plan can help. Fill out the contact form below so we can set up a time to talk and create your nutritional plan.

 


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Cauliflower Rice Recipe

We all know we should be getting 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. But, if you are like many of my clients, this can seem a daunting task.

Fortunately, there thousands of ways to add more vegetables to your diet.

One of my favorites is cauliflower rice.

Cauliflower rice is easy to make and can be used in place of regular rice, pasta, or couscous in most recipes, making it a nutritious and lower carbohydrate option.

Even if you hate cauliflower, using it in this way minimizes the cauliflowery taste.

Don’t worry about making too much, cooked cauliflower rice can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days and raw cauliflower rice can be frozen for up to 1 month.

Basic Cauliflower Rice

Ingredients:
  • 1 large head cauliflower (about 1-1/2 to 2 pounds); rinsed, leaves and stems removed
  • 1 Tablespoon rice bran oil
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  • Cut cauliflower into 1″ pieces
  • Divide into 2-3 batches
  • Place a batch of cauliflower into a food processor with a grating or shredding blade and pulse until the cauliflower resembles rice. Repeat with the remaining batches.
  • **If you do not have a food processor, you can use a box grater with medium holes to grate the cauliflower until it resembles rice
  • Place riced cauliflower on a paper towel and squeeze out any excess water
  • Line a baking sheet with foil and oil lightly with rice bran oil
  • Place riced cauliflower on the baking sheet and roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes until cauliflower is softened. Stir 2-3 times to prevent sticking
  • Use straight from the oven in recipes or allow cauliflower to cool before putting it in the refrigerator

*If you don’t want to turn on the oven, you can cook the riced cauliflower in a skillet. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium heat, add cauliflower, and cook for 5-7 minutes until soft. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

Your cauliflower rice can now be eaten alone or used in a variety of delicious and nutritious recipes. Be creative, experiment, and enjoy!


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Eat a Rainbow – Be Blue

Welcome to week 5 of our series, Eat a Rainbow. So far we have talked about the health benefits of eating a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables including: GREEN, RED, and YELLOW/ORANGE.

This week we are talking about foods in the BLUE and PURPLE category.

The fruits and vegetables in this group contain a variety of nutrients important for maintaining a healthy mind and body.

Anthocyanins are antioxidants. Anthocyanins can pass through the blood-brain barrier and therefore can improve brain functions like learning and memory. Anthocyanins are also known to help improve balance, as well as reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, and cancer. They can also minimize skin damage due to sun exposure. Berries, grapes, eggplant, and purple cabbage are good sources of anthocyanins.

Ellagic Acid, found in berries, is a phytonutrient that may minimize the effect of estrogen on the growth breast cancer cells.

Resveratrol is an antioxidant and phytonutrient. Resveratrol’s anti-inflammatory properties help reduce the build up of plaque in the blood vessels, known as atherosclerosis, which can lower the risk of heart attack and stroke. Resveratrol also helps prevent some cancers. Like anthocyanins, resveratrol can cross the blood-brain barrier making it an important nutrient for protection against Alzheimer’s and dementia. Good sources of resveratrol include: blueberries, cranberries, red/purple grapes, red wine, and raw cocoa.

The BLUE/PURPLE group is quite possibly the most fun and delicious group, with most of the selections being fruits like grapes (aka wine) and blueberries. Thankfully the foods in this group also pack a solid nutritional punch. In combination with foods from the other color groups, blue/purple foods can help round out a healthy diet.

Try these recipes to add more BLUE/PURPLE foods to your daily diet:

Ratatouille
Berry Delicious Avocado Toast


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Eat a Rainbow – Here Comes the Sun

This is week 4 in our series, Improve Your Health,Eat a Rainbow. So far we have looked at the GREEN and RED groups. This week we are exploring the YELLOW and ORANGE foods.

Foods in the orange/yellow group contain Vitamin C, alpha-carotene, and the phytonutrient, hesperidin.

Vitamin C is important for tissue regeneration, decreasing cholesterol and triglycerides, and strengthening the immune system. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and can help prevent cancer. Vitamin C also helps the body absorb iron.

Alpha-carotene is a member of the carotenoid family, that also includes beta-carotene. Carotenoids are antioxidants that reduce free radical damage to tissues that can lead to cancer and heart disease. In addition, the body converts alpha and beta carotene to Vitamin A. Vitamin A supports healthy skin, eyes, and immune system.

Hesperidin, found in citrus fruits, is a flavonoid with anti inflammatory properties and can improve circulation.

Orange and yellow foods can boost your immune system, protect against cancer and heart disease, and keep your skin and eyes healthy and beautiful. Adding 1 or 2 orange/yellow fruits or vegetables to your daily diet can help you reach your goal of 5-7 servings per day.

Try these recipes to add more orange and yellow foods to your diet:

Butternut Squash Lasagna

Pineapple Papaya Salsa

Are you ready to learn more healthy nutritional habits? Join my nutritional coaching program and learn how you can get in the best health of your life. Join now! Invest in your health and your life!


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Butternut Squash Lasagna

Lasagna is one of my favorite comfort foods. Unfortunately, like most comfort foods it is loaded with fat and processed carbohydrates. Not the best option if you’re trying to be healthy.

This lasagna recipe uses butternut squash in place of traditional lasagna noodles, for a healthier take on this old favorite. Make this recipe your own by changing up the vegetables, spices, or using dairy free cheese.

Butternut Squash Lasagna

Ingredients:
  • 2 pounds butternut squash, seeded, peeled, and sliced into thin rounds
  • 8 ounces frozen spinach, thawed, chopped, and drained
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup zucchini, chopped
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese or low fat cottage cheese
  • 32 ounces jarred pasta sauce or 4 cups Rustic Marinara Sauce*
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, divided
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Instructions:
  • Peel butternut squash and cut into thin slices using a sharp knife or mandolin.
  • Heat olive oil in a heavy sauté pan, add onion and garlic and sauté until translucent. Add carrots, zucchini, and mushrooms and cook until vegetables a soft, stir often to prevent burning. Set aside to cool.
  • In a large bowl, combine ricotta cheese, spinach, basil, oregano, salt, pepper and cinnamon. Mix well.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Lightly oil a 9×13 baking pan.
  • Spread 1/2 cup pasta sauce on the bottom of the pan.
  • Begin layering lasagna: butternut squash slices, 1/3 sautéed vegetables, 1/3 cheese/ spinach mixture, 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, 1 cup pasta sauce. Repeat layering 2 more times.
  • Cover with a lightly oiled sheet of foil.
  • Bake covered for 45 minutes.
  • Remove foil and bake an additional 15-20 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before cutting.

Serves 6-8 people

Leftovers can be frozen.

*To prevent the lasagna from being too lumpy, purée marinara sauce until smooth.


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Eat a Rainbow – Go Green

Last week I introduced you to the idea of “Eating a Rainbow“. As a brief review, eating the rainbow means consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables from 5 different color groups to ensure you get all of the vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients you need to keep you healthy.

This week we are exploring the GREEN group of fruits and vegetables.

Green fruits and veggies are loaded with health enhancing compounds including:

  • Lutein-an antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation, fight cancer, and protect the eye from damage from the sun, blue light, cataracts, and macular degeneration
  • Folate-also known as vitamin B-9, an important factor in red blood cell formation, health cell development, treating depression, and preventing birth defects
  • Vitamin K-a vitamin necessary in the clotting of blood
  • Isothiocyanate-a group of phytonutrients that help fight the effects of carcinogens, cancer causing agents
  • Chlorophyll-a powerful antioxidant
  • Insoluble Fiber-helps support a healthy digestive system

It is important to remember that some vitamins, minerals, and other compounds found in these fruits and vegetables can interfere with certain medical conditions and medications, so it is best to talk to your medical professional about which green fruits and veggies are safe for you to include in your diet.

Fruits and vegetables in the green color group can help prevent cancer, reduce inflammation in the body, support healthy digestion, promote eye health, and boost the immune system. They are a delicious addition to your daily diet and add 1-2 servings per day can help ensure you meet the minimum daily requirement for 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.

Check out these recipes designed to help you add more green to your diet:

Bok Choy and Radish Coleslaw

Brussels Sprout, Kale, and Mango Salad