Apple, Cheddar & Virginia Ham Flatbread

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Serves 2-4

10″ – 12″ round flatbread

dijon mustard

apple butter

grated aged white cheddar

country ham, thinly sliced, julienne

large apple, cored, very thinly sliced (peel on)

baby arugula

olive oil

sea salt & pepper

Pre-heat oven to 450°F

Mix dijon & apple butter, spread on flatbread

Top with cheddar, country ham & thinly sliced apples

Bake 7-10 mins, until cheese is melted & golden

Toss arugula with olive oil & s&p; mound on top of pizza

Note: can sub prosciutto or pancetta and smoked gouda

 

Habits That Stop You From Eating Healthy

healthy-eating

Like most people, I struggle to maintain healthy habits, especially as we enter into the busy season of back to school & sports.  Of course, one can always find excuses as to why they aren’t maintaining their healthy habits.  However, there are some habits that always interfere with eating healthy, despite the season. Summer Tomato came up with a great list of Habits That Stop You From Eating Healthy:

Avoiding the Grocery Store:

Not Sleeping Enough

Not Keeping A Stocked Pantry

Buying out of Season Veggies

Ignoring your Dirty Kitchen

Over- Exercising

This article gives some great basic tips and reminds me it is quite simple to adjust my habits to keep my on track when it comes to healthy eating (& exercise). 

Fig & Goat Cheese Salad / Flatbread

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Serves 8

​¼ c apple cider vinegar

2 t dijon mustard

1 T honey

1 t sea salt

½ t freshly ground black pepper

1 c extra virgin olive oil 

2 qt mixed greens (with arugula),roughly chopped

1 c fresh or dried figs, quartered

¾ c goat cheese

¾ c​ candied pecans 

Dressing

1. Mix vinegar, dijon, honey, s&p; whisk in olive oil

2. Toss greens with ½ of vinaigrette, add more as desired

3. Top with figs, goat cheese & candied pecans

Note: For flatbread: spread with goat cheese, top with figs & chopped arugula, bake. Top with more arugula.

Summer Veggie Flatbread

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Serves 2-4

tomato, sliced or chopped

zucchini, squash &/or eggplant,

thinly sliced

vidalia onion, thinly sliced

s&p

olive oil cooking spray

naan bread

basil pesto

goat or mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat grill or broiler

2. Slice tomato & eggplant, lightly salt & drain on rack (15 mins), pat dry

3. Spray squash, eggplant & onions with cooking spray; season s&p

4. Grill or broil squashes & eggplant (2-4 mins), set aside

5. Spray both sides naan bread with cooking spray. Broil or grill 1-2 mins per side

6. Spread naan with pesto, top with grilled vegetables, tomatoes & cheese

7. Grill or broil 2-4 mins, until cheese melts

Note: sub Udi’s Gluten Free Pizza Crust

The Number One Reason You’re Not Losing Weight

losing-weight

I recently came across this article on a popular fitness blog. I almost immediately dismissed the article as another piece telling the reader they are eating too may calories, not fasting enough, not burning enough calories, etc, etc. I was pleasantly surprised that this was not the case. It is not a topic that is often discussed when talking about weight loss, but “too much” dietary restriction is often the culprit when weight loss fails.

Metabolism 101 is that the body will go into starvation mode and store what food it does get when it’s not being fed. I see this often when working with college students who believe extreme calorie restriction is the answer to their weight problems. We all know calorie restriction can be a slippery slope, so what is the best approach? As the author states, eating enough calories to keep you satiated, but enough to create a calorie deficient that results in a 1 to 2 pound weight loss per week. It’s not a glamorous recommendation or a magic bullet, but one that is proven to work.

Long-Term Healthy Lifestyle Behaviors

veggies8jul2015

“Bikini season” is now in full force. I will admit giving into this phenomenon by purchasing a DVD that claims to have your body bikini ready in one week.  Full disclaimer, I do not buy into this marketing ploy, I just happen to be a fan of this fitness person’s exercise regimen   As I sweat through the vigorous workout and listen to her drone on about getting bikini ready, I do wonder how many people actually believe this work out will result in bikini worthy abs.  Realistically, working out for a week will not result in Olympic style abs, but that doesn’t mean you should give up exercise and healthy eating all together.  Establishing long-term healthy lifestyle behaviors will enable you to enjoy food and meet your health & wellness goals.

A few healthy eating tips courtesy of appforhealth:

  • Reduce overall calories to promote fat loss. Excess fat is quickly mobilized from the middle, so you’ll quickly see changes to your mid-section, if you lose just a few pounds.
  • Reduce or eliminate nutrient-poor carbohydrates (read: candy, soda, baked goods). Simple sugars cause rapid rises in blood sugar and have been linked to excess belly fat. To know the 46+ names food manufacturers use for sugars in their product, use this tool. 
  • Keep saturated fat to recommended levels (7-10% of total calories) Again, saturated fat has been shown to be linked to larger waistlines, so eat more poly and monounsaturated fats in place of foods rich in sat fats.
  • Avoid man-made trans fats, which are still in many foods. To tell if a processed food contains trans fats, look for partially-hydrogenated oil in the ingredient list.
  • Eat more whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Diets rich in these foods are consistently associated with smaller waistlines.
  • Enjoy nonfat or lowfat plain Greek yogurt.  Yogurt may help whittle your middle and the beneficial probiotics may help alter your gut bacteria to keep your GI tract healthy.

Mexican Chopped Salad

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Serves 6-8

Dressing

½c  fresh lime juice

3 T  honey

1 t  cumin

2  cloves garlic

1 t  sea salt & black pepper

½ c olive oil

Salad

1 head romaine, chopped ½” pieces

½ ea red & orange pepper, ¼“ dice

½ med red onion, diced in ¼” pieces

½ med jicama, peeled & ¼” dice

1med zucchini, ¼” dice

4 med tomatoes, seeded & ¼” dice

3 c corn kernels, fresh, grilled (or frozen)

1 can black beans, drained & rinsed

½ c cilantro, finely chopped

tortilla strips, crispy

Dressing

1. mix lime juice, honey, cumin, garlic, s&p, whisk in oil

Assembly

1. combine all vegetables, toss with dressing, top with tortilla chips

5 Words You Should Stop Using When Talking About Food

food-words

This blog post by Ellie Krieger completely resonated with me simply because these are words commonly associated with food that are negative, shame inducing & scientifically inaccurate. 

Though the actual blog provides much more detail, I have summarized Krieger’s main points below. 

Detox: As Krieger points out the word “detox” implies that your body is unable to rid itself of harmful compounds & unless you engage in a radical eating plan, your body will be filled with toxins. What many detox proponents fail to mention is that our kidneys & liver do this job adequately.

Cleanse: Same idea as detox (Krieger likens these terms to cousins). A promise of body purity that never lives up to its claims.

Skinny: Our world is inundated with images of skinny bodies. When skinny is used to describe food products, we fail to see the purpose of food, which is to nourish our body.

Never: Applying the term never to any situation almost always backfires, especially when it comes to foods. The term never sets the stage for food obsession & rebellion.

Perfect: A toxic term when used to describe food behaviors and body image.

Grilled Peach, Brie, Basil Flatbread

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Serves 4

1          prepared pizza crust or oval flatbread

2 T       olive oil

2-3      peaches, peel on, sliced ⅓”

¼-½ Ib brie cheese, rind removed, sliced

¼ c      basil leaves, torn

s&p

cooking spray

1. Pre-heat grill to medium

2. Drizzle peach slices with 2T olive oil, toss to coat

3. Grill peaches, 2 mins per side, remove

4. Coat both sides of crust with cooking spray

5. Grill each side, 1-2 mins

6. Top crust with peaches & brie

7. Put pizza on grill rack or pizza stone, cook 3-5 more mins

8. Remove to cutting board, sprinkle with basil, slice

Note: can do final cooking of whole pizza in a 400 ̊ oven.

Spotting Added Sugars in Food

cookies

Calorie In, Calorie Out. That is a term I heard over and over again in my training and continued research into the science of weight loss.  Of course, this old adage doesn’t take into account the complexities of human beings and what drives us to eat (or not eat).

The latest villain in the diet world is sugar and although we know large consumption of sugar can be harmful, sugar is not toxic when ingested in modest amounts.  Carbohydrates (i.e. sugar) is the primary fuel our body uses to give us energy.  What type of sugar should we be ingesting?  Natural occurring sugars from fruits, vegetables, low fat milk/dairy foods.  The sugar that increases our risk for diseases such as obesity & diabetes comes from “added sugars” that simply contribute empty calories (calories with little to no nutritional value).  Added sugars include: brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, fruit juice concentrate, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, molasses, honey, invert sugar, lactose, maltose, evaporated cane juice, molasses, raw sugar, sucrose & table sugar.

For more information on how to spot added sugars in foods check out this blog on appforhealth.

 

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