I think that I have some sunflower DNA. Have you ever drive by a field of sunflowers. Depending on which side you approach you either see a glorious field of sunflowers or a bland field of stocks. You are probably thinking at this point I am going to speak about my personality being like a sunflower. Nope! Sunflowers will move so that they face the sun.
I LOVE the sun, I love sunshine, it makes me happy, I want to sit in it all day (hummm maybe I am a hairless cat?). I will run outside and flop on the ground anywhere I can find a spot of sun. I will chase it around and climb to high place so I can turn my face to the sun. Sounds lovely I know. The problem is...the sun doesn't love me. If I am in it to long I will get hives which is a sign of sensitivity and should be a warning. The most important reason is that I have had a melanoma. I survived my melamona but not everyone does.
We all know at times it can be so challenging to eat well. There are so many distractions and once we start down a path that little voice in our head tells us "Just this once...tomorrow I will be better". Than tomorrow comes and they same little voice tells us the same thing! I just did that with Girl Scout cookies. "I will only have one serving...okay maybe just eat what is left than I would be tempted!" We all do it.
Part of eating well is creating yummy meals that are healthy and you want to eat. Things that are easy and quick or maybe that you can prepare a head of time. Below are two recipes that I made for a friend of mine and than feel in love with them. Easy, healthy and yummy! I got both of them from the Whole Foods website and it is a wonderful resource for all types of recipes. Modify how you would like. If you are not a fish person use a nice light cod or tilpia and you won't even know you are eating fish.
Baked Fish Packets with Broccoli and Squash
Cooking in a pouch, while fancy in appearance, works quite well for a quick weeknight meal. Simply pile vegetables and fish on a square of parchment or foil, seal and bake. The contents will steam and the flavors will blend. Serve with a mound of fluffy rice. You can adapt this recipe according to which fish and vegetables are at their seasonal peak.
4 (4-ounce) fillets of fish (cod, halibut, salmon, snapper, sea bass, etc.)
1 1/2 cups sliced summer squash
2 cups small broccoli florets
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
4 sprigs fresh herbs, such as oregano, thyme, rosemary or basil
1 small shallot, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut parchment paper or foil into four 12-inch squares and arrange them on a work surface. Fold each piece in half to form a crease down the middle.
Divide squash between the squares, arranging it just to the right of each crease. Top squash with broccoli and garlic, then drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange one fillet on top of each pile of vegetables, then season fillets with salt and pepper. Top each fillet with an herb sprig and some of the chopped shallots.
Drizzle lemon juice over fillets, then wrap up each square of paper or foil to form a sealed pouch. Transfer pouches to a baking sheet and bake until the fish is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Set aside to let cool for 3 to 4 minutes, then cut pouches open and serve immediately.
Per serving (about 8oz/223g-wt.): 380 calories (220 from fat), 24g total fat, 4.5g saturated fat, 35mg cholesterol, 760mg sodium, 28g total carbohydrate (4g dietary fiber, 6g sugar), 14g protein
I added more water to the chili and cooked it with ground dark turkey meat. I cooked it once with the turkey separately and found that the turkey was lean so next time I did it all in the same pan.
Turkey Pumpkin Chili
Turkey Pumpkin Chili
Besides adding a sweet nutty flavor to dishes, pumpkin is a ready source of vitamin A, which boosts the nutrition content of this offbeat chili. Garnish each portion with a dollop of sour cream and chopped cilantro.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
2 jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 pound ground white or dark meat turkey
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with their liquid
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin purée
1 cup water
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, jalapeños and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add turkey and cook until browned. Add tomatoes, pumpkin, water, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and add beans. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes more. Ladle chili into bowls and serve.
Per serving (about 12oz/348g-wt.): 280 calories (110 from fat), 13g total fat, 2.5g saturated fat, 55mg cholesterol, 580mg sodium, 23g total carbohydrate (8g dietary fiber, 7g sugar), 20g protein
Here are seven good tips to help with this holiday season. Don't let three day in the year derail your program. This year, rather than waiting until 2011 to try to get back on track, stay on
track through the end of 2010 with these seven tips from nutritionist
Christopher R. Mohr, guaranteed to help you avoid dreaded holiday weight
gain throughout the holiday season“ and beyond!
- Make sure you get your exercise in first thing in the morning. During
the holidays, you’re going to eat (and probably drink) more calories
than usual, so making time for exercise is a must. Think of it like a
checkbook that needs to be balanced; don’t go crazy and promise you’ll
be more responsible in January.
- Go for a walk, post meal. After you do the dishes,
fight the urge to just collapse on the sofa. Instead, give your
metabolism a little boost with some movement and fresh air (weather
- If you’re preparing the meal, try some slightly healthier alternatives.
While you don’t need to revamp the menu to tofu and wheat grass, there
are some simple strategies that will go undetected by even the finest of
palates. Things like using half the butter and sugar a recipe calls for
and switching from full fat milk to chicken broth for mashed potatoes.
Trust me; your guests won’t even blink an eye!
- Don’t hover over the buffet table. You will eat
more when an entire table of food is beckoning. Pick your options, put
them on your plate and then step away from the buffet table.
- Pick your favorite foods and enjoy small portions of them. Dinner
rolls are a waste of time. You can get them whenever you want. At the
holiday, choose foods that are a bit more unique, the ones you may only
have once a year and enjoy them (in moderation, of course).
- Give away any leftovers. We know there’s nothing
nicer than leftover pumpkin pie for breakfast (ok, and lunch too), but
keeping those delicious leftovers around just equals temptation. Do
yourself a favor and send each guest home with a care package of
- Get right back on track that evening or the next morning,
depending on the time you eat dinner. One meal will never make or break
you. Throwing your arms up in the air and claiming defeat will.