10 Tips for a Healthy 2017

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Each New Year comes with new goals to reach. The start of 2017 is the perfect opportunity for you to make some changes. You know that diet you keep putting off? The gym you keep telling yourself you’ll go too? That one snack you told yourself you’d stop eating the whole box of? Well, now is the time to finally start making those changes and start living a healthier life.. We have put together “10 Tips to a healthy 2017” to help make 2017 your healthiest year yet! From everyone at Kelly’s Choice, Happy New Year! We wish you nothing but health and happiness in 2017.

  1. Eat more veggies:

Half of your plate should be fruits and vegetables. As a dietitian I am always pushing veggies, whether they be frozen or fresh. Any way you can get them, eat more veggies!

  1. Eat more whole grains:

Half of your grains should be whole grains. Whole grains have vitamins, minerals, and lots of fiber, which are all beneficial to your health. Switch to whole grains like whole wheat bread, brown rice, and whole wheat pasta.

  1. Eat a variety of proteins:

When people think of protein, they usually just think of meat. Try focusing on eating a variety of protein like nuts, beans, soy products such as tofu, eggs, and seafood. If you eat a variety of protein, you get a variety of vitamins and minerals too.

  1. Plan out your meals for the week

Take the time to plan out your meals for the week. This can be fun—get your family involved, let each person pick a dinner to make, post the dinner menu in the kitchen so no one has to ask “What’s for dinner?”

  1. Meal prep

Pick a day to meal prep for the week so it’s easier to eat healthy on a busy schedule. Make all of your meals for the week ahead of time or just pre-package some snacks- anything helps!

  1. Drink more water

I am always encouraging everyone to drink more water! Carry a water bottle around with you at all times.  Staying hydrated is so important, especially for my athletes!

  1. Get more sleep

Make sure you’re aiming to get 8 hours of sleep per night. Not getting enough sleep can be really detrimental to your health.

  1. Get more exercise

Start exercising more! Whether it be getting a gym membership or starting to take walks after dinner, get up and move more!

  1. Positive Mondays

Start every Monday with three new goals you have for the week. Be positive on Mondays to start the week off strong! A positive Monday makes for a more productive week.

  1. Strive for balance

Over the years, I’ve realized how important balance is. When it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, don’t forget to treat yourself once in a while.

 

 

 

 

Ten tips for a Healthy New Year’s Eve

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We all love gathering together with friends and food to celebrate the holidays; New Year’s parties are centered around food as much as they are around the ball dropping in Times Square.  Here are my 10 favorite tips for surviving those parties without adding on the inches to your waistline.

Tip # 1: If you are the one hosting the party, you can serve healthier options without sacrificing the yum factor. In your cheese and cracker platter, use low-fat cheese and whole grain or rice-based crackers. Look for turkey pepperoni instead of the traditional. Tortilla chips and guacamole is a god option too, You can’t go wrong with veggies and hummus, and I love serving a beautiful platter of fruit.

Tip # 2: Start NYE healthfully with a great morning workout and a hearty breakfast–this will set the stage for a healthy afternoon and evening.

Tip # 3: If you are going to a party, eat a healthy meal beforehand, even if it’s something simple like a tuna fish sandwich on whole grain bread and an apple. Also, I might eat a delicious, healthy snack (like a Kind bar) on the way to the party, to further satisfy me.

Tip # 4: While at the party, apply the concept of sample and savor. Take very small portions (three-bites) of food that you know is amazing, but also, is high-calorie. And then, be sure to focus on the healthier options like the veggie platter.

Tip # 5: If you know what is going to be served at the party, check out calorieking.com beforehand and learn what exercise you would need to do to counteract a popular party food. For example, in order to counteract just four cubes of full-fat cheddar cheese, you have to run for 31 minutes or cycle for 42 minutes.

Tip # 6: When I am invited to holiday parties, I also make sure to bring one of my personal favorite healthy dishes. That way I know that I have a healthy option available to me.

Tip # 7: An important rule of thumb to help you stay healthy at holiday parties is to stay away from the buffet table; this rule will prevent the nibbling that you may not even acknowledge you are doing.

Tip # 8: Also,  watch those liquid calories! Keep the wine, liquor, and beer to a minimum. Avoid soda as well. Drink plenty of water.

Tip # 9: Does your NY resolutions involve health? Get a head start at the NYE party! For example, want to juice more in the New Year? Bring a big bottle of green juice as a role model to others. You’ll feel great and less tempted.

Tip # 10: 

At parties, be the one talking and connecting. The more you talk, the less you will eat! Most importantly, have fun and remind yourself how proud you will be if you make it through the party without sabotaging your health.

Healthy Red and Green Food Choices for Christmas

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The cookies are still out to get you, aren’t they? Let’s get festive without kissing our health goals goodbye! I am reflecting on my favorite red and green fruits and veggies and why I love them. Let me share them with you.

The Radical Reds

Red foods are loaded with quercetin, a powerful anti-inflammatory flavonoid. Sinus infection? Turn to these red foods to fight the inflammation! So, let’s take a closer look at some of my favorite reds:

A red onion adds amazing flavor to salads. I love it in my tuna too. And want to try something really tasty? Sautee sliced red onions in a teaspoon of olive oil; it caramelizes and tastes as sweet as any Christmas cookie, I promise. So delicious on top of a bed of green salad! Red onions also contain sulphur compounds, which gives it a further boost in its anti-inflammatory powers!

Did you know that you can fulfill your daily vitamin C requirements with just five California strawberries? Gobble them up. The fiber will do you wonders too. They’re so magnificently sweet—yummmmmy!

Raspberries are my absolute favorite. They are loaded with antioxidants; scientists now know that metabolism in our fat cells can be increased by phytonutrients found in raspberries, especially rheosmin (also called raspberry ketone). I love adding them to my yogurt or oatmeal every morning.

The Glorious Greens

We all know that green veggies are excellent for your health. Leafy greens especially are filled to the brim with antioxidants. Some of my favorite greens are leafy and some are not. I love all green veggies, but here are my top three.

Brussels sprouts fall in the cruciferous category, making them great protectors of cancer. Loaded with fiber, I love them! So many clients of mine won’t give them a chance. If you have decided you don’t like them, roast them with a little bit of olive oil and sea salt and I promise you will change your mind.

Peas are so versatile. They’re one of the ways that I get veggies in my girls’ meals when I’m in a jam. Add them to rice, soups, on salads and you get an awesome dosage of fiber and protein too!

Last but not least, yup, it’s true, I’m a pushover for Seaweed. Serve gimMe’s health food seaweed snacks at your next party and people will neglect the chip bowl in favor of the seaweed. The crunchy nori will satisfy that salty craving that makes you reach for greasy potato chips.

Truthfully, seaweed is becoming more sought-after than kale! It’s not just for sushi anymore. Foodies and restaurateurs have discovered phenomenal ways that seaweed can add flavor to anything from soups to meat and even dessert! The fact that seaweed is jam-packed with nutrients (iodine, vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin E, iron to name a few) makes choosing seaweed as a food to learn to love, a no-brainer!

Get in a red and green frame of mind with these healthy food picks and you’ll breeze through Christmas without gaining a pound!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Top 10 Hacks for Holiday Baking

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My busy schedule doesn’t allow much time for baking, but I do love making sweet treats for my friends and family. Shhhh…little do they know that these sweet treats are actually healthy. Here are some tricks that I use:

  • I always replace sour cream with Greek yogurt. This cuts down the calories big-time; it’s especially delicious in coffee cake!
  • Replace oil with applesauce. For every 1 cup f oil the recipe calls for, use ¾ cups of applesauce. Make sure you use unsweetened apple sauce!
  • Decrease the sugar, increase the spice! I always decrease the sugar in holiday recipes and increase the cinnamon, allspice, or nutmeg. Works like a charm to create amazing without being intolerably sweet!
  • If you insist on very sweet treats, at least use natural sugars like maple syrup, agave nectar, or honey.
  • Use whole wheat flour instead of white flour. Whole wheat flour doesn’t go through the crazy refining flour that white flour does; white flour is bleached too…ewwww! Whole wheat has more fiber and more nutrients.
  • Or try gluten-free flours. Many people are discovering that they can’t tolerate gluten so well so try some gluten-free whole grain flours like brown rice flour, millet flour or gluten-free oat flour.
  • Add nutrient-dense foods. I sometimes sneak in some ground flaxseeds or chia seeds to boost the healthy fat, fiber, and protein content of baked goods.
  • Use lower fat dairy products. I always use 2% milk instead of whole milk in my baking or “light” cream cheese instead of full-fat cheese and the difference isn’t even noticeable.
  • Baked banana-based cookies or muffins. Bananas are so nutritious and so sweet. I call them the “cake of fruit.” Most recipes that call for banana tend to be at least semi-healthy. If the recipe calls for unhealthy additional ingredients, use some of the hacks I described above.
  • Last, but definitely not least, if you do not have time for healthy baking and aren’t so precise with measuring, try a healthy mix. I recently fell in love with Among Friends Baking Mixes. Their cookie and brownie mixes are to-die for. Best of all, they’re healthy and are made with whole grains. There are several gluten-free mixes you can try too.

I hope these hacks help you.

 I close this blog with a giveaway! There are several ways you can get entries to win an alec-package-and-brownie-2Among Friends Baking holiday baking kit that we have put together.

The kit contains:

Here are the ways you can enter the giveaway.

  • Comment on this blog with your favorite holiday baking tip for two entries to the giveaway.
  • Like the giveaway on Facebook for one entry.
  • Share the giveaway on Facebook for one entry.
  • Comment on the giveaway on Facebook for one entry.
  • Retweet the giveaway for one entry.
  • Like the giveaway on Instagram for one entry.

All of these entries must be submitted by noon on Friday December 16. The winner will be announced later that evening!

 

The Most Satisfying Snack to Help You Resist the Holiday Cookie Tray

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How are you doing resisting the high-sugar, high-in-fat and undeniably delicious holiday cookies and sweets lurking around? It’s so tough, right?! I have found my answer—Setton Farms’ Dark-Chocolate Pistachios. They are so scrumptious and essentially-guilt-free. Just combine the healthy properties of pistachios with the amazing health benefits of dark chocolate and you have one superbly healthy holiday snack that will capture your attention to the point where the unhealthy holiday candy and cookies will completely lose their appeal.

Here’s the lowdown:

Pistachios are packed with amazing nutrients, such as B-complex, healthy mono-unsaturated fats, protein, fiber, vitamin E, copper, potassium, and other minerals. Studies show that daily consumption of nuts, like pistachios, may reduce the risk of heart disease and may lower blood pressure.

Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants. It’s good for the heart and circulation. A recent study found that dark chocolate helps prevent your arteries from clogging.  It has also been shown to reduce levels of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and raise levels of “good” cholesterol, also potentially lowering the risk of heart disease. Researchers in Finland have found that chocolate consumption lowers the risk of suffering a stroke.

There’s more! The flavonols in dark chocolate can protect the skin against sun damage. The flavonols are also thought to reduce memory loss in older people, and the anti-inflammatory qualities of dark chocolate have been found to be beneficial in treating brain injuries such as concussion.

Lastly, I turn to dark chocolate for a mood boost, which is soooo necessary during the holidays. It instantly sparks my holiday spirit and not just because it tastes so good. Chocolate contains phenylethylamine (PEA), which is the same chemical that your brain creates when you feel like you’re falling in love. PEA encourages your brain to release feel-good endorphins.

To sum it up, pistachios and dark chocolate are such an amazing health-boosting combination. A serving of dark chocolate pistachios 2-3 times a week can help lower your blood pressure and the risk of heart disease. Your mood will be cheery and don’t forget about the amazing effects that fiber-rich snacks like these have. You’ll feel satisfied with just a little. Fiber is a friend to anyone who wants to maintain a healthy weight.  You can obtain as much dietary fiber from a serving of pistachios as from a half- cup serving of cooked broccoli.

You definitely want to check out these tasty treats made by Setton Farms. They come in handy 5 oz. packages and can be found in major grocery chains across the country as well as Amazon.com and Puritan.com.

 

 

 

 

Top Five Healthy Stocking Stuffers

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Looking for some fun yet healthy stocking stuffers to make your loved ones happy this Christmas? Have I got some great ideas for you! Here are some of my absolute favorite gifts that spark smiles among old and young!

  • Fruit of course! Pears, apples, or oranges are great stocking stuffers (and they take up ample space too)!
  • Stress balls (you know those squishy, rubbery things that you squeeze)? They are phenomenal and inexpensive items that almost everyone I know could use…some more often than others!
  • Spiral Slicer Okay so this one is more for adults than kiddos, but this is a way to substitute veggies for pasta! How fun (and healthy) is that?
  • Go nuts! You can’t go wrong with shelled nuts and a nut cracker! Nuts are filled to the brim with healthy fats, protein, and fiber, not to mention a plethora of essential minerals. Think the stocking receiver won’t like putting work into cracking the nuts? Try one of my favorite nut-based treats instead—Setton Farms Pistachio Chewy bites. They are oh-so-good and satisfying for those with a sweet tooth too! They are a protein and antioxidant packed snack that is a combo of pistachios and cranberries with a hint of sea salt!
  • Journal Again, more adult-based but good for teens or tweens, especially if they are involved with sports. I recommend using a journal to track your food and exercise too. Make sure to include vitamins and meds you may take and how much water you consume. This is a great way to keep track of your health. If you have chronic pain, fatigue, digestive problems or stress. Track episodes in your journal too and you may see a pattern of how food choices relate to those ailments.

Happy Holidays to all! I hope it’s a great  (and healthy)season for you and yours!

Happy Eat a Red Apple Day

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I have written about apples many of times, but as the holiday cookie madness begins, I am compelled to write more about apples. And today is actually an apple-related food holiday—“Eat a Red Apple Day.” I am serious—check out this site. Now, as you know, while Red Delicious may be the most popular red apples, I love other varieties like Gala apples—so crunchy!

Here are some simple apple snack ideas that will help you say no to those cookie trays!

Apples and almond butter: A delicious combination and very satiating with the added protein and healthy fats from the nut butter!

Chopped apples and walnuts in Greek yogurt: Have this for breakfast or a snack; it’s so delicious!

Baked apples: I swear this is so simple and as delicious as apple pie minus tons of calories. Core an apple; pill the hole with cinnamon, chopped nuts, and raisins. Bake in a pan with ½ inch of water at 350 for 30-40 minutes. It’s amazing!

Apple grilled cheese: This is one of my favorite dinners with a warm soup. Use whole grain toast and a skim cheese with thinly sliced apples to make this hearty sandwich. Dinner never tasted so great—you won’t even crave a dessert afterwards.

Apple Carrot Mango Juice: Chop an apple, a mango, and a steamed carrot into small pieces. Blend until smooth. This is a great sweet drink to help reduce your cocktail cravings!

Enjoy and look forward to more blogs on how to conquer the holiday cookie tray temptation!