Throw Together Soup.......

Posted on December 14 by
in Blog
During the winter months, I like to throw together a soup to accompany my salads each day.
 
Start with some chicken or vegetable broth. I start by simmering the broth and first add the hard vegetables, like carrots and celery. I will then add mushrooms and lastly spinach. (Really any vegetable works with a soup!)
 
Season with white pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and hint of cayenne.
 
Add some cut up left over chicken to make this a nutritious and filling bowl of soup.
soup

EAT MORE PLANTS TO FIGHT THE WINTER BLUES

Posted on December 02 by
in Blog
The winter blues are very common, but this year is even more difficult with stress and lack of socializtion. During this time, you may find yourself feeling down and overall more lethargic. One of the primary culprits of winter blues is the lack of natural sunlight during the fall and winter months, along with a possible increase in refined carbohydrates, sugar, and fats from holiday foods. 
 
While battling the winter blues is never fun, there are some foods that can actually help combat your gloomy feelings. This month, I will be sharing with you my best nutrition and lifestyle tips to fight the blues and improve your energy!
Eat More Plants to Fight the Winter Blues
Research has found that eating a plant-rich diet can significantly improve depression, anxiety, and overall productivity. Between you and me, even if you are not struggling with the winter blues, who isn’t looking to be more productive in 2021? Isn’t that why New Year's resolutions are so popular? Anyway, keep reading as I share tips on how to eat more plants to fight depression, decrease anxiety, and increase productivity.

Your mood-boosting answers are in eating more antioxidant-rich foods
Researchers have found a link between an increase in fruit and vegetables with a decrease in depression, anxiety, and overall poor mental health. Foods rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals help combat inflammation, reducing oxidative stress in the brain, and let’s face it, any way to reduce stress is a very good thing! A few foods rich in antioxidants that are also associated with a boost in one’s mental health include blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, spinach, kale, and apples.

Snack on foods that promote a boost in serotonin
Serotonin is a chemical believed to boost mood and to promote healthy sleeping patterns, something the winter months often disrupt. Eating foods that are high in the essential amino acid, tryptophan, help your body produce more serotonin. Plant-based foods that are high in tryptophan include spinach, non-gmo soy, nuts, and seeds. Salmon, poultry, and eggs are also good sources of tryptophan.

Munch on sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, and chia seeds
Rich in omega-3 fatty acids and also naturally high in tryptophan, seeds are powerful in helping to boost mood and fight depression. Next time you are looking for something to munch on, swap out your standard bag of chips with a handful of sunflower or pumpkin seeds. Other ways to incorporate more mood-boosting seeds into your diet include adding flax or chia seeds to your oatmeal, smoothies, salads, "puddings" or paleo panckaes and muffins.

Sip on green tea
In a study published by the Public Health of Nutrition, people who consumed about four cups of green tea a day had about a 50% chance of feeling happier than the non-green tea drinking counterparts. The study found that the more green tea a person drank, the less depressed they felt. Not only is green tea rich in antioxidants, but the actual ritual of making and sipping on hot tea can help slow down and calm the mind, resulting in a positive mood shift.

Spice things up in the kitchen
Using spices for medicinal treatment has been going on around the world for thousands of years. Research has revealed that spices can be effective in improving mental health and well-being. Some of the most powerful mood-boosting spices include turmeric, cloves, capsaicin, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Please note that while nutmeg is a good mood-boosting spice, consuming two or more teaspoons at a time can be toxic.

Moral of the story - eating more fruits and vegetables can help fight the winter blues by making you feel happier, calmer, and more energetic.
Beyond Plants, 5 Ways to Boost Your Mood

 
  1. Soak up sunlight. Sunlight helps to naturally boost serotonin production and overall mood. Therefore, during the winter months, it is essential to get outside.
  2. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day. Often referred to as nature’s antidepressant, exercise boosts serotonin and endorphin levels, resulting in an immediate mood lift. For this reason, maintaining a regular exercise schedule during the winter months is essential.
  3. Stick to a regular sleep schedule. Normalizing your circadian rhythms, your body’s physical, mental, and behavioral patterns, are essential to managing the winter blues. One of the best ways you can do this is by creating and sticking to a regular sleep schedule.
  4. Avoid overindulging in simple carbohydrates and high sugar foods. While it’s tempting to overindulge in sweets due to the immediate “feel good effect,” this feeling is usually temporary and followed by a quick drop. This leads to feelings of depression. Combat the desire to overindulge by incorporating more of the tips discussed above and by eating a plant-based diet.
  5. Make time for fun. Even when you don’t feel like getting out of the house, make plans to do the things you can safely enjoy.  Stay connected with your loved ones, and ask for their support in helping you beat the winter blues this season!
  6.  
Featured Recipe
Mason Jar Salad

 
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegarette
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, cooked
  • 1 medium avocado, diced
  • 1 mango, diced (or 1/2 cup berries for sugar reduction)
  • ½ cup black beans
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced

To assemble the salad, place the salad dressing in the bottom of the canning jar, followed by spinach, cooked quinoa, avocado, mango or berries, black beans, tomato, and red onion. Twist lid tightly to seal the jar. Shake, and serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator for future use.
(TWO SERVINGS)

 

Leftovers with out the weight gain!

Posted on November 25 by
in Blog
-Cauliflower mash instead of mashed potatoes
-Mashed butternut squash instead of sweet potatoes
-Homemade low sugar cranberry sauce instead of canned cranberry sauce
-Broccoli instead of green beans with canned cream soup and onion strings
 
#MAINTAIN DON'T GAIN
 
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Holiday Recipes....

Posted on November 24 by
in Blog

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