Healthy Holiday Eating (part 7)

Drinks

Honestly writing this was a toughy for me, I am a water girl through and through. I am completely happy with just drinking water and nothing else! But I know that that isn’t the case for everyone so here are some options to get that yummy beverage while watching your calories

* Skip the punch, to be honest I’m not really sure why punch is just a common things at events but just skip it. If you are hosting, don’t make punch, I promise that no one will miss it if you still provide yummy drinks

* Drink water! Just do it lol. I know that not everyone loves water, but you will learn to and its so good for you! Can’t stand just plain water? Add some fruit, herbs, or veggies. My favourite is cucumber and lemon but here is a link that has some awesome combinations that you can be serving your guests. For best results make the night before so that the flavours can infuse into the water. http://www.52kitchenadventures.com/2012/09/17/fifty-awesome-flavored-water-recipes/

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* Do you like the fizz in soft drink? Look for low calorie or zero calorie soda, but skip the ones that say diet! Diet soda usually has artificial sugars in them which will do your body more harm than good. Try perrier or Zevia, both are tasty and have no calories, while having natural ingredients.

* Remember that coffee and alcohol are diuretics, these drinks will make you have to pee more, and may contribute to dehydration, so be sure to drink water to help combat this if you are drinking these type of drinks

* Juice, while its often thought that juice is a healthy alternative to pop it can still be high in calories and sugar. It is ok to have once and a while, especially if you want something on the sweeter side.

Alcohol

I know that not everyone drinks, but if you choose to drink at your holiday event here is some tips to keep the calories down. Remember to drink these in moderation to also help keep the calories down.

* Mixed drinks are usually full of sugary pop, and juices and not only can they add up in calroies but the sugar in them will contribute to a hangover. I will post some mixed drinks that are low calories

* Wine, when choosing this option remember that a serving size is 5oz (127 calories), and there is about 5 pours in a bottle. When pouring in traditional red-wine glasses (which are larger than white-wine glasses), stop once the wine reaches the “bell,” or the widest part of the glass. Usually this will be around four or five ounces. Choose red over white as this has been shown to have health benefits if you have one serving per day.

* When it comes to beer they can really vary in calories, in general the lower the percent of alcohol the lower the calories are in the drink.

* The lighter the beer, the lower the calories, makes sense but just a reminder 🙂

Mixed drinks (some of these recipes call for diet sodas, look for options that don’t have artificial sweeteners such as perrier, instead of diet soda)

http://postgradproblems.com/6-low-calorie-mixed-drink-options-thatll-get-you-good-and-liquored-up/

http://www.glamour.com/health-fitness/2008/12/5-best-low-calorie-cocktails/1

http://www.itallstartedwithpaint.com/low-cal-margarita-in-a-mason-jar-of-course/

http://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/travel-dining/advice/a2392/low-calorie-summer-cocktail-recipes/

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Healthy Holiday Eating (part 6)

Main courses

This is where the portion control really come into play! Once and awhile treats are allow and we can indulge as long as it’s in small proportions. Remember to fill up on veggies and low fat meats. This will keep you full without feeling stuffed and bloated afterwards.

Around Christmas everyone seems to add more butter to everything! When you are deciding on what to pick to fill up your plate look for these things:

* Salads (dressing on the side if possible)

* Steamed veggies

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* Turkey or Chicken

* Roasted or boiled potatoes

What to avoid:

* Salads with creamy dressings

* Dishes with lots of butter added to them ( mashed potatoes, some roasted veggies)

* Dishes with candied nuts, marshmallows, or onion crisps

* Dishes with glazes (aka sugar)

* Dishes with lots of sauces, cream, or cheese

* Foods that are cured, or have a lot of salt added to them, usually meats and ham

If you are cooking remember my post about healthy cooking? This is when you can put all of those tips into play! But here are some highlights to keep in mind.

* Skip the salt, most recipes don’t need salt, we get so much sodium from everything else no one will notice if you don’t put salt in your food, and if they do they can add their own 🙂

* Cut back on oils and butter, if a recipe needs oils use coconut oil, and use sparingly, not recipes can be cooked with less than the amount of oil than is called for

* Cook with water when possible, steam veggies instead of roasting with butter, or adding a sugar glaze. Add herbs or spices to add flavor

* Keep things simple, and focus on enhancing the natural flavour in dishes. For example, beans are yummy on their own, but try adding some garlic to kick up the flavour.

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Recipes http://addapinch.com/cooking/shrimp-avocado-salad-recipe/ http://www.theyummylife.com/Best_Roast_Turkey http://peasandcrayons.com/2014/11/honey-roasted-butternut-squash-cranberries-feta.html http://familyspice.com/recipes/recipe/?recipe_id=570 http://www.cookingclassy.com/2015/11/winter-fruit-salad-lemon-poppy-seed-dressing/

Family eating Christmas dinner

Healthy Holiday Eating (part 5)

Healthy cooking

I believe that almost every recipe can be transformed into a healthy one simply by switching ingredients with healthier ones or cleaning up the recipe.

Here are some tips to make any recipe healthier

  1. For baked goods half the fat and replace the remaining volume with unsweetened applesauce or mashed banana. Sometimes the fat can’t be fully replaced but can be swapped out for a healthier version. Use coconut oil (virgin cold pressed) or olive oil when possible

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  1. Reduce the sugar by up to a half in baked goods
  2. Use whole grain or at least whole wheat for any breads, pasta or rice
  3. Use the lowest fat option whenever possible; such as skim milk instead of 2%, extra lean ground beef (or even ground turkey).
  4. Make your own! Items such as store bought dips, dressings and desserts can have a lot of unneeded additives and calories that can easily be reduced by making it at home
  5. Change your cooking methods: try steaming veggies instead of sauteeing in oil, or poaching instead of frying. Use less oil (or use water when possible), and non stick pans.
  6. Add veggies! If a recipe calls for veggies already try adding more, and cutting back on other items such as carbs. If the recipe doesn’t call for veggies try adding some in anyway. I always add spinach to my mac and cheese because it doesn’t change the flavour.
  7. Carbs can be replaced with veggies. Try using a spiralizer to make zucchini noodles instead of pasta. Love lasagna? Try replacing the noodles with zucchini or eggplant. If you can’t make that sacrifice at least add veggies to a couple of the layers
  8. Use spices and herbs instead of salt. This is a great way to add flavourand cut down your sodium intake

 

  1. Use natural sugar options such as honey or stevia. Both are usually sweeter than honey so consider cutting back on the amount.

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Although it may be tempting to look for the low calorie/low fat/low sugar option it’s not always the healthiest option. Stop and read labels. Make sure that when items such as sugar or fat is removed it isn’t added with other things such as salt, or chemicals.

Healthy Holiday Eating (part 4)

Portion sizes.

Portion sizes is a very important skill to use when learning how to eat healthy, but it can be confusing, difficult and hard! Here are some visuals to help you use your hands and well known objects to visualize what the correct portions are for each food group. I do have to say it was surprisingly difficult to find ones that didn’t include correct portion sizes of ice cream, chips and pretzels. I know that those things are ok once and a while, but I was shocked that they were in almost every guide that I looked through.

This is the season to be eating out a lot whether it be at a restaurant or at a friend house. Not being in control of what is being served or how much food is on your plate can make it difficult to eat healthy. When eating out remember that serving sizes are often much larger than what you would have given  yourself if you were at home.

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Don’t wait until you are stuffed to ask for that take out container. Once you order your meal kindly explain to the server that you would like a takeout box as soon as your meal arrives so that you don’t eat the whole thing. Portion your serving out and put the rest in your box, out of site out of mind. You will be able to eat guilt free, won’t feel stuffed or bloated and will have dinner for the next day! If you are eating at a friends or a families house try to serve yourself if possible, this way you have control over how much food you are eating. I have included pictures of plate sizes and how your should fill your plate to help you determine what and how much food you should ideally be eating.

Remember that food is a large factor in any weight loss or fitness journey. If you can learn your portion sizes you will have a head start on your goals. The next step is choosing what foods you eat.

I have included pictures from the Canadian Food guide that talk about how many servings of eat food you should ideally eat, and what foods are in each group. A good tip to help you determine if a food is healthy is; try to eat foods closest to how they are found in nature. Raw fruit is better for you than a sugary fruit topping, or fruit in a granola bar. Remember that this is a guide and maybe a little high in calories and carbohydrates if you are trying to lose weight or tone up.

As you may know I am a fitness coach. If portion sizes are something that you struggle with feel free to message me. I would love to help you learn about portion sizes and feel confident about eating healthy.

Healthy Holiday Eating (part 3)

Appetizers

When I think of appetizers I usually think of anything fried, with phyllo pastry, filled with cheese or coated in breading! As yummy as these things are they aren’t the best for our waistline, or our health! Appetizers are usually high in fat and calories, but this doesn’t need to be the case! Below I have posted some of my favourite healthy appetizers that you can bring to your next party

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In a rush? Just grab a veggie tray! Healthy, simple and easy.

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Tips to make it through the appetizer section of your party without overindulging

* Use a napkin instead of a plate, they can’t hold much so you won’t over do it

* Skip the dip. Dips are often high in fat and calories.

* Fill up on veggies. Stay away from the carbs, high fat items (fried or lots of cheese), and sliced meats (bacon, salami etc).

* Be wary of appetizers covered in sauce! That sauce, although may taste yummy, can add up in calories quickly

* Drink water, this will help you feel fuller and not over indulge on appetizers even before the main course has come out.

http://www.goodlifeeats.com/2011/12/cucumber-feta-rolls-holiday-recipe-exchange.html#_a5y_p=988391 http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/5-ingredient-pear-pomegranate-salsa/ http://blissfulbasil.com/2014/03/24/sweet-potato-avocado-bites/ http://www.budgetsavvydiva.com/2013/04/caprese-bites/

Healthy Holiday Eating (part 2)

Desserts!

I think that desserts are possibly my favourite thing ever! It’s really too bad that they are usually high in sugar and fat. I could eat sweets just about every day! Here are some tips that I have used to keep eating my “sweets” but keeping it healthy. Ill also post some recipes in the Recipe photo album along with some links to some online.

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Homemade ice cream: Blend your favourite frozen fruit together with some ice to create healthy ice cream, cocoa powder or vanilla can be added to extra flavouring

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Add fruit or veggies when possible: beets in brownies to help with sugar content, extra veggies such as carrots in zucchini bread

Try to reduce the added sugar. From what I have found recipes can have their sugar content halved without a lot of taste difference. Or use agave instead. It has a lower glycemic index and is sweeter so you don’t need as much.

Avoid chemical sweeteners such as sucralose, aspartame, and sugar twin, and use natural sweeteners instead such as: honey, maple syrup, date sugar, coconut sugar, agave, and stevia

Switch out half the fat for blended beans, apple sauce or bananas

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Cut down the fat in the milk required. If a recipe asks for homo try 1%. Milk fat can affect the outcome of some recipes so be cautious to not change the percentage to much

Use two egg whites instead of one whole egg

Make your serving sizes smaller than what the recipe calls for.

Here are some links to my favourite desserts:

http://eclecticmomsense.com/2015/03/no-bake-energy-bites.html https://maeganblinka.wordpress.com/2015/02/09/chocolate-pudding/ http://eatfirmlove.com/21-day-fix-recipes-banana-oatmeal-cookies/ http://www.kellifinch.com/2015/01/dark-chocolate-oranges-with-sea-salt.html

Check out these images for my favourite recipes too.

Check back tomorrow for part 3 or this 7 part series

Healthy Holiday Eating (Part 1)

I absolutely love sharing tips and tricks to healthy eating. This holiday season I hosted a week long group on Facebook, focusing on healthy eating through the holidays. It has so much success that I couldn’t resist sharing all this amazing information with all you readers!

I know that eating healthy with all the family, friends and work Christmas events that you have going on can be challenging but it’s possible!

christmas photo

Here are my top tips to eating healthy when going out to Christmas parties.

  1. Eat your veggies! Almost every event that I have gone to has some sort of fruit or veggie platter. Load up on this but skip the dip! Veggies are great to snack on but won’t make you feel stuffed or bloated the next day
  2. Avoid fried or battered foods. These seem to be really popular at Christmas events but don’t give in! They won’t help you feel full or any better at the end of the night
  3. Avoid sugary drinks. Skip the punch or the hot chocolate. Look for drinks such as soda water, fruit infused water or even a small glass of red wine. If you are going to drink skip the sugary mixed drinks, they will contribute to a hangover.
  4. Water! Drink it! Make sure to drink a full glass of water before during and after the event. It will help keep you hydrated (which your body can mask as hunger) and help you feel full so you don’t overindulge on food
  5. Bring your own food. Talk to the host and offer to bring a plate of food. Be sure to bring something healthy that you love so that you know there will for sure be one item that you are confident won’t detrail your healthy eating.
  6. Don’t go to the event starving! Make sure to have a healthy snack before you go. No need to have a full dinner, but enough to curb any hunger that you may have, especially if you are coming straight from work. Skipping meals will leave to overindulgence once you get to the event because you are so hungry.
  7. Avoid sauces, gravy, whip cream etc. These really add up in calories quickly
  8. If dinner is being served skip the appetizers. If you are absolutely needing to eat before dinner is served grab a handful of veggies, fruit or soda water to help curb your hunger
  9. Eat smaller portion sizes. It’s ok to eat the things that you really like, even if they may not be the best for you, but just take a small amount. It can be so easy to pile up on everything but resist! Take a small plate and take healthy items that you love. Don’t overfill your plate and try to keep space between your items (this will help prevent you from taking too much food at once). If you are still hungry after you ate. Wait and drink some water. If you are still hungry go back for more food following the same strategy.
  10. Make sure to catch up with friends and coworker. It’s hard to overeat when you are talking a lot, because no one wants to see you chewing while talking 🙂

Check back tomorrow for part 2 of this 7 part series.

Table setting for Christmas party

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When the going gets bad.. Read

It pains me to see when people don’t take care of themselves. I am not talking about outward appearance, although that is also important. I mean talking care of you needs and taking time to grow yourself as a person. Leadership-Words

If you aren’t taking care of your who will? I think personal development is so important, regardless of where you are in life. Whether you just want to improve yourself or you have a lot of work  to do (this is where I am right now) it’s so beneficial to everyone. Life throws us curves all the time. We may not see them coming and it may hit us hard, but constantly growing yourself will allow you to bounce back quicker. Developing yourself isn’t easy, it takes work and it means taking an objective look at yourself, something that not everyone wants to do. It involves looking at your weaknesses and then working to improve them.
When my marriage wasn’t going well I started reading personal development books about relationship. I tried reading “5 Languages of Love” and “Hold me Tight”. Both amazing books on relationships, but I kept getting frustrated and not finishing the books. My partner at the time wasn’t interested so I felt like I was the only one trying. I got discouraged and down on myself and my relationship. I wasn’t ready to take a hard look at my life and evaluate it and work to improve it.  Something that desperately needed to be done. If I was willing to do the hard work at the time things may have been different. But I ignored my problems and things got worse. 12241367_10153102470261360_1294170821042300284_n

When my marriage finally didn’t work I decided that I want to be the best version of myself. Both physically and mentally. I realized that my marriage breaking down wasn’t one sided. We were in that relationship together and it wasn’t just one personal that caused it to fall apart. I was determined to never let that happen to me again. But I knew that wouldn’t happen if I just sat around and did nothing. I also knew that I was passionate about helping people. I may not have known how I wanted to help them, but I knew that my passion was to make a difference in peoples lives, and there was no way that I could do that unless I helped myself first.  I started reading personal development books, reconnecting with old friends, working out and eating healthy.4238f839864ba2a5055b863f546140c8
I had so much energy even though I was busier than I had been in a long time.
One of my favorite books to read was called “The Happiness Project“ by Gretchen Rubin. I totally judge books by their cover and this one was a bright blue and drew me in, and it said happiness project. Sounded perfect for a girl who was at the lowest point in her life.

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So I read it! And I loved it! Just the act of reading this book made me happy. It had a website that you could visit and a blog of its own where you could learn more about the writers happiness project and even start one of your own! This book was the kick off to my personal development journey. Since then I have vowed to always be reading a personal development book to help build myself up and make myself stronger every day.

If you are looking for “The Happiness Project“ resources check out her website here: https://gretchenrubin.com/

What personal development book are you reading right now?

Not My Plan

Living with my parents, divorced (well almost) and in debt.

Not exactly where I thought I would be at 26. Who am I kidding this is nowhere near where I thought I would be at 26. I pictured myself married, with our own house, working my dream job (dietetics I think?), one child and maybe another on the way. Boy did I get that wrong!! I had the marriage, I had the house. But something was missing. I certainly wasn’t happy.

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And then it all fell apart.

My marriage crumbled, and I moved back in with my parents. Looking back, would I have done things differently? Maybe but maybe not. I made mistakes, ones that I’ll always have to live with. I wish I didn’t hurt the people I did, but I also wish that I wasn’t hurt in the process. A marriage doesn’t fall apart just because of one person, we were in it together. Unfortunately we couldn’t make it work but I know I am happy because of the tough choices we made.

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I wouldn’t be the person I am today without all my mistakes. And I’m pretty happy with who I am. Yes I have things to work on, but we all do. I have quirks, I’m a little crazy, but most importantly I’m happy. A happiness that comes from me. It’s not dependent on anyone else. Yes others may make me happy but I don’t need them to be happy. It’s taken me a very long time to get here. It’s not easy and it’s still something that I have to work at every day but I’m getting there.

After everything is said and done despite not being where I thought I would be in life I know this will work out. I know I will be better because of everything that has happened to me. My life these past couple months have been indescribable. But I have never doubt God’s ability to look after me, love me, and show me his plan. I have finally taken the passengers seat to my life and let him take the wheel. I know that he will be able to take me places I never dreamed of. I have been in awe of his work in my life in this short amount of time. He has certainly removed a lot of things from my life that I never thought I could live without. But I can now see that he was making room for bigger and better things for me.

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I so excited for my life now. I know God has big plans and while I can’t imagine what he has planned. I can see the people he has brought into my life and their amazing gifts. I know that he has placed everyone in my life for a reason. I am ready to start living and giving this life 200%. I’m ready to grow!
I have always had the desire to help people and I believe that the timing of my life and the struggles I have been through have finally out me in the position where I can make a difference in other people’s life. I’m excited for the journey and I’m read to stay others be as happy and healthy as they can be. I’m ready to build a team and make a difference