As the weather starts to cool down, many of us go into “hibernation” mode and start seeking out extra snacks throughout the day. It’s easier to sit inside and curl up with a snack than it is the brave the cold outside. I put together a list of some healthier snack alternatives that will help you stay on track this fall. Enjoy!
· frozen grapes
· rice cakes
· light popcorn or plain popcorn: use coconut oil to pop in a covered pan
· one or two hard pretzels, the large Bavarian variety
· carrots: particularly the super-sweet, organic baby carrots
· crunchy crudités of veggies and dip (hummus, tabouli, vinaigrette, favorite dressing)
· celery and peanut butter (use non-hydrogenated peanut butter)
· hummus with whole grain toast, baby carrots, rice crackers
· fresh, whole fruit
· organic yogurt and ripe fruit
· apples and almond butter
· sprouted date bread with jam
· frozen yogurt: freeze yogurt and make your own!
· dried fruit
· use leftover grains to make sweet porridge: drizzle maple syrup and sprinkle cinnamon, add soymilk and bananas, heat with fruit juice, etc.
· smoothies: mix whatever you have in the kitchen – fruit, ice, soymilk, yogurt, carob powder, etc.
· fruit “ice cream”: peel a banana, freeze, blend in a food processor with nuts, berries or raisins and serve; can be put through the screen of a juicer for a creamier consistency.
· freshly squeezed fruit juices: Make your own and try different combos.
· sweet vegetables: yams, sweet potatoes, squashes (acorn, butternut, kabocha) cut into chunks or fries; sprinkle with cinnamon and bake.
· dates stuffed with almond butter or other nut butter
· organic dark chocolate chips or carob chips
· pickles and pickled vegetables, such as carrot, daikon, beets and lotus root
· tabouli, hummus
· oysters and sardines
· steamed vegetables with tamari/shoyu or umeboshi vinegar
· tortilla chips and salsa or guacamole: try whole grain chips such as “Garden of Eatin” brand and freshly made salsa or guacamole.
· sauerkraut: it will also knock your sweet craving right out!
· fresh lime or lemon juice as seasonings or in beverage
· salted edamame
· small amount of organic cheese
· rice pudding
· dips and spreads, like hummus and baba ghanoush
· puréed soups
· puddings made with silken tofu, avocado or mashed banana
· mashed sweet potatoes
· coconut milk
With Halloween approaching, now is the time to start seriously thinking about the amount of sugar you are consuming on a regular basis. Did you know that most people NEVER lose the one pound of weight they gain between Halloween and New Year’s Eve – EVERY YEAR? Over a lifetime, that adds up to some serious extra pounds.
Sugar has been labeled by many as a toxin, and for good reason. It’s related to diseases that dominate our healthcare system, such as obesity, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes. Many people do not realize that these diseases can usually be reversed through simple dietary measures.
TRY THIS EXERCISE
A simple yet effective exercise is cleaning out your kitchen pantry – start today!
Donate or toss the foods that you know contain tempting sugar. Pay special attention to canned foods and packaged items, which are often the worst offenders.
If you’re not sure it’s sugar, use this list of fancy names to identify the addictive, elusive ingredient. It’s referred to in many different ways, but at the end of the day, it’s all sugar:
||· turbinado sugar
|· cane sugar
||· brown sugar
|· corn syrup
||· raw sugar
||· confectioner’s sugar
When I share this with my clients, they often ask, “what’s left to eat?” The answer is plenty. Next time you’re at the grocery store, choose whole, unprocessed foods free of lengthy nutrition labels. When was the last time you saw an ingredient list on a stalk of broccoli?
Go for these naturally sugar-free, delicious options:
|· whole grains
Remember: whole foods are what belong in your whole body. Keeping your pantry and fridge stocked with colorful, fresh, healthy food is step one. Set yourself up for success!
This Paleo Thanksgiving Stuffing from PaleOMG.com is delicious!!! Definitely going on my Thanksgiving menu for this year!
- 1lb ground pork sausage
- 5 pieces of bacon, diced
- 5 stalks of celery, diced
- 1 yellow sweet potato (is that a yam? or a sweet potato? whatever.)
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 container of mushrooms, diced
- 2 apples, diced
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup pecans, chopped
- 2 eggs, beaten
- ⅓ cup chicken broth
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with foil, throw diced sweet potatoes/yams on it, sprinkle with olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender, then set aside.
- While those cook, pull out a large skillet, place it under medium-high heat and place chopped bacon in it to begin to cook down. When some of the fat has seeped out and bacon has begun to cook, add your chopped apples, celery, and onions.
- When onions begin to become translucent, add ground pork and mushrooms and your white wine vinegar. Let that cook down until pork is almost completely cooked through. You will be placing it in the oven so you want it pretty close to done. (If you’re not sure how long that will be, use your eyes. Pink meat is not what we want here people.) Add salt and pepper, to taste.
- Once the sausage is all done, add mixture to a bowl to cool. Now beat your eggs, add to your sausage mixture, and add your chicken broth, along with your sweet potatoes, pecans, and dried cranberries. Mix well.
- You can now either use a 9×13 baking dish to place your stuffing in OR place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Either way will work.
- Bake at 375 degrees for about 15-20 minutes or until everything is a bit browned.
Organic, humane meat and dairy in moderation offer numerous vital nutrients. However, as consumption rises and quality becomes compromised, the health benefits of animal products decline.
By reducing animal products, you may experience heightened awareness of mind and body, as well as more vibrant health. There are lots of foods you can add to your diet to get the same health benefits that animal products provide – a prime example of “crowding out” questionable foods by increasing great foods.
TRY THIS EXERCISE
Next time you shop, think beyond the meat and dairy aisles – expand your food horizons!
Ask yourself: When was the last time I tried something new?
Often, we become robotic in our food routines, creating habits that may not serve us. Take this time to choose a new item that replaces a meat or dairy staple. Incorporating new foods can reignite your passion for food and life!
Choose one (or two!) from the list below to get started:
||Meat & poultry alternatives
|· almond milk
|· coconut milk
|· rice milk
· hemp milk
When I share these substitutions with my clients, they are often concerned about hunger, as meat and dairy are naturally heavy foods that provide quick satiety. I always reassure them with this easy solution: fill your plate with extra vegetables or have an extra portion of bean salad instead!
Remember: No one diet fits all. Many thrive on good quality meat and dairy while others do just as well without. Try eliminating some animal products from your diet and go from there. Find out what works best for YOU!
Many people believe that we are simply spiritual beings having a human experience. Where do you stand on spirituality?
Personal faith, like food, comes in all forms. Maybe your idea of spirituality is finding solace on a long walk where you feel connected to nature, or perhaps you connect to your local yoga community for a spiritual outlet. There are countless ways to develop your personal faith, and it’s important to remember that we are all connected in the matrix of life.
Consider the last time you found yourself eating an entire bag of chips or cookies – what was the reason? Often we eat not because of hunger or stress, but due to pure boredom or restlessness. Cravings for crunchy foods in particular signal a restless mind. If these emotions resonate with you, perhaps you are unfulfilled due to a lack of spirituality in your life.
TRY THIS EXERCISE
Could your spiritual side use some extra attention? Allow yourself a few minutes and begin by asking yourself these questions:
- Who am I?
- What do I want?
- What contribution do I want to make to the world?
- What is my story?
If you feel these questions are broad, you’re right! The intention is to internally expand on your answers during meditation. Each time you ask yourself one of these questions, pay attention to how you feel and see if you can find deeper meaning in your answers.
Do your cravings decrease the more you connect to your spirituality?
If you enjoy meditating, be sure to schedule times for regular reflection in your planner. Even deep breathing is a great tool – I tell my clients it can apply to almost any scenario. Simply close your eyes, breathe slowly and deeply until you feel calm and in control. You’ll be amazed at how effective it can be!