Thursday, December 21, 2017

Kick- Starting the New Year

As the New Year approaches, we all start to think about our new year’s resolution. Often time weight loss is at the top of the list. Here are three holistic ways to set healthy life styles changes,

1)      Drink lots of water. This suggestion seems so simple, but you would shocked by the number of individuals who hardly drink water. Water refuels our organs and ensures they are running efficiently.  It also promotes weight-loss giving the body the boost it needs during the weight lost journey.
2)       Make realistic meal changes.  You can first start with portion control. Many of us are visual learners and need to see it in order to understand it. Having a plate that clearly sections protein, fruit, vegetables and whole grains will take the guess work out of portioning each meal. Here is what an adult portion sizes should look like.

The Adult Portion Plate - Food

3)       Meal Preparation makes the working week less stressful and also forces you to be accountable to your healthy lifestyle. It also minimizes the possibility of  eating out.  Planning our meals according to seasonal fruits, vegetables, and other food items, ensures we will also save.  Here is a link to seasonal fruits and vegetables chart,  The seasonal chart does a great job of breaking down which vegetables, fruits, and seafood are available through-out the year.

Healthy Holiday Delight

The holiday season is a great time to kick-start your healthy lifestyle. It is possible to enjoy delicious holiday treats while being conscious of our health. Vanilla Candy Cane Peppermint Bars are a perfect balance of healthy and sweet. It is also diary-free, nut-free, soy-free, low in sodium, and vegetarian friendly.

Vanilla Candy Cane Peppermint Bars 

Image result for Vanilla Candy Cane Peppermint Bars  
Nonstick cooking spray
¾ cup sugar
⅓ cup canola oil
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
⅓ cup crushed peppermint candies
3 ounces dark chocolate, melted

1) Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, extending foil over edges. Coat foil with  cooking spray.
2) In a medium bowl beat sugar, oil, egg, and vanilla with a mixer on medium 2 minutes or until slightly thick and pale yellow. Beat in flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt just until combined. Stir in 2 Tbsp. of the peppermint candies. Spread batter in the prepared pan.
3) Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until edges are puffed and top is golden. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Using foil, lift uncut bars out of pan. Cut into bars.
4) Line a tray with parchment paper. Dip one corner of each bar into melted chocolate and place on the prepared tray. Sprinkle chocolate with the remaining peppermint candies. Let stand until set.

What's in Season - December Vegetables

Broccoli is one of several hearty vegetables in season during the winter. It is a great source of dietary fiber, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin E, manganese, phosphorus, choline, vitamin B1, and vitamin A.  According to world healthiest food, Broccoli has anti-inflammatory benefits such as the ability to detox the body of potential harmful toxins (  Here is a list of other vegetables you will be able to find in the market this December month, artichokes, arugula, beets, bok choy, cauliflower, carrots, celery, and collard greens.    

Soups are quick way to incorporate vegetables into our diet while keeping us warm and healthy during the winter.  Today, we will provide a delicious spin on the classic broccoli soup.

Healthy Broccoli Soup

Healthy Broccoli Soup

  • 1 large head of broccoli
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup chopped leeks, cleaned
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, more to taste
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Optional: 1/2 cup cheddar cheese

 1) Cut broccoli into florets. In a pot over medium heat, bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add in broccoli florets, reduce heat to medium, and parboil until fork tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and transfer broccoli to a bowl and set aside.
2) In your pot, heat butter and sauté leeks and garlic for 1 minute. Add in half of the broccoli and sauté for 3 minutes until veggies are sweating and broccoli is soft.
3) Add in vegetable broth, bring to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer for 15 minutes until the soup reduces slightly.
4) Using an immersion blender, blend soup until smooth. Add in remaining broccoli florets, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Let simmer for 15 minutes. If adding cheese, do so here and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
Serve hot.