Sensational Autumn Parfait

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Yes, it is still autumn amidst these snow flurries!

Parfait in French means “perfect.” It’s quite fitting because a parfait can be a perfect meal!

A parfait is simple, light, and delicious. You can have it for breakfast, a snack, or even dessert. It can be pretty much anything you want, but usually consists of yogurt, fresh fruit, and granola.

This is a meal I often have for breakfast because it’s quick and easy! It’s also satiating, which can help you deny those holiday treats that are flooding into your office this time of year!

I like to use Greek yogurt in my parfaits because it packs a ton of protein: about 20 grams per cup, as opposed to the 8 grams you get from a cup of milk.

To assemble your parfait, all you need are the three ingredients I listed above. You can use any kind of fruit and any type of granola, though I do recommend using a granola with a lower sugar content as many granola may seem healthy, but when you check the nutrition label they can be packed with sugar. Find a granola with less than 8 grams of sugar per serving! A great brand I use is Barley+ granola. It provides a high fiber content with low amounts of sugar per serving.

Try out this fall parfait for a yummy treat:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sweetener (maple syrup or honey)
  • ¼ cup pumpkin purée
  • ¼ cup  granola
  • 1 apple cut into small chunks

Directions:

  1. Combine yogurt, sweetener, pumpkin, and cinnamon in a bowl.
  2. Spoon a few tablespoons of yogurt into you bowl or cup.
  3. Then add a layer of granola, followed by apples.
  4. Complete this until you’ve finished your supply of ingredients and enjoy!

 

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How to Curb your Sweet Tooth from now through the Holidays

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Halloween is just a couple of weeks away. Such a weary time for the health conscious! The office candy bowl is always filled with little “pick-me-ups” calling out your name. How do you curb your sweet tooth to resist the temptation of the ubiquitous candy? I have a few suggestions for you:

  • Eat a filling breakfast with complex carbs.

Don’t skip breakfast. You are doomed if you do. Breakfast sets the stage for the entire day! And did I say carbs? Why yes I did. A good complex carb (like oats) will fill you and stabilize your blood sugar so that a.) You won’t resort to candy to cure that “hungry” feeling and b.)Your sugar cravings won’t be so high. Click here to try my yummy overnight oats recipes.

  • Make sure your lunch has a good protein and fat source.

Do you often feel ravenous around 2-3:00 PM in the afternoon? This is the mid-afternoon slump and I find this to be common with many of my working clients. Why is that? Because either they skip lunch or they eat a lunch that lacks protein and healthy fats. So if you think you are doing a good thing by eating a salad for lunch, you may be wrong. Make sure your salad has protein and fat. For a double whammy food choice that has both healthy fats and protein, add some tuna, salmon, or walnuts. Add some chickpeas, kidney beans, or grilled chicken to your salad for protein. And an olive-oil based dressing will give you some fat as well. The added protein and fat will keep you satisfied throughout the afternoon, helping you to defeat the allure of the candy bowl!

  • Try incorporating some healthy seasonal sweets derived from the earth!

There is no better time than now to have an apple for a snack! Curious which apple you’d like best? Read my blog about the wide variety of apples that I love. Roast some butternut squash and sprinkle some cinnamon on it; add a handful of dried cranberries to it…such a delicious snack. Bake a sweet potato and eat ½ as a snack! Again, so yummy. Though winter squashes and sweet potatoes aren’t traditionally viewed as snacks—change your thinking because they actually make awesome snacks. And these truly natural sweets will help you to resist candy, I promise you.

I hope these recommendations help you from now through the holidays…because the sweets are out to get you from Halloween through the end of the year, sad, but true! You can beat the battle; I know it!

 

Food Choices to Reduce your Risk of Breast Cancer

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salmon fillet with vegetables and basil

Approximately one in eight women will develop breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.  And sadly, the death rate for women with breast cancer is higher than any other form of cancer except for lung cancer. While there is not a food recommendation that can guarantee that you will not develop breast cancer, I will discuss some food choices that will help keep your risk for breast cancer as low as possible.

#1: Eat Plenty of Fruit and Vegetables

Aim to eat at least five cups of vegetables and fruit a day. A recent study has found that carotenoids (nutrients) in fruits and vegetables can reduce your risk of developing breast cancer. Make those salads as colorful as possible; experiment with fruit and veggie combos (spinach, strawberry and a sprinkling of feta cheese; diced tomatoes, avocados, and mangoes; arugula, pecans, pears, and dried cranberries). The more colorful your fruits and veggies diet, the more variety of powerful carotenoids!

#2: Load up on Fiber

A study of 99,534 women, published earlier this year, found that those who ate more fiber in early adulthood had up to a 19% lower risk of developing breast cancer, depending on how much more fiber they ate. Some great high-fiber food choices include: apples, pears, berries, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, oats, almonds, chia seeds, and sweet potatoes.

#3: Eat Foods High in Omega=3 Fatty Acids

Several studies have suggested that the higher your intake of omega-3 fatty acids, the lower your chances of getting breast cancer. Fish is the greatest source of omega-3s. If you are not a fan of fish, consider a fish oil supplement. Other food choices that have an attractive amount of omega-3s include flaxseeds and walnuts, both of which I love adding to a bowl of oatmeal!

When you are deciding what to eat, think of the return on investment you get when you make healthy food choices. Not only does that choice help you to maintain a healthy weight, but also, it may be helping to reduce your risk of developing diseases like breast cancer. Choose the apple over the candy bar and the grilled salmon over the burger and watch your quality-of-life improve!