6 Ways to Conquer Holiday Food Cravings

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(BPT) – Sweet treats at work. Extravagant family dinners. Buffets brimming with holiday indulgences. There’s plenty to savor this time of year, and it doesn’t have to lead to a bigger waistline.

Licensed naturopathic doctor Dr. Aimée Gould Shunney believes the holidays are a time to enjoy good food and time with family and friends. With her expert insight, you can make smart eating decisions while avoiding the most notorious food traps of the holiday season.

Avoid: Eating holiday sweets to satisfy hunger

Eat: Proteins followed by just a bit of dessert

“Many of us don’t cook and we simply show up to the party hungry, craving something sweet,” says Shunney. “My suggestion is to have some dessert … after you have proper sustenance. Make sure you eat regularly throughout the day. Keeping your blood sugar stable will help you make good choices when you get to the party. Be sure to have plenty of high quality protein and fat, like fish, meat, beans, nuts and seeds, as well as fiber, so any sugar you do eat takes longer to metabolize. And then, since you will be sated, you can have a small portion of your favorite dessert. It’s a win-win.”

Avoid: Meat and fatty main dishes

Eat: Flavorful and festive fish as a main course

“Fish contains the essential long-chain omega-3 fats EPA and DHA that are so helpful for a healthy stress response, for blood sugar balance, for mood, and for heart health. Who doesn’t need an extra dose of that at the holidays?” says Shunney. “The truth of the matter is most people rarely eat fish often enough — at least once a day — to get a therapeutic dose of EPA and DHA. Supplementing with two to four caps daily of Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega or Algae Omega, is an excellent way to supplement fish in the diet and ensure the myriad health benefits associated with long chain omega-3s.”

Avoid: Overindulging on chocolate goodies

Eat: Healthier alternatives that use raw cocoa powder

“Sugar cravings are often a sign of low blood sugar,” Shunney says. “It’s your body screaming for quick energy. But remember, while something sweet may confer a quick energy burst, it will also drop you on your bottom sooner than you can say, ‘Oops! I did it again.’”

Shunney suggests eating protein or opting for a healthier chocolate alternative like Chocolate Avocado Mousse. (Recipe by Chef Jenny Brewer at www.nourishingnutrition.com)

Ingredients:
3 dates, pitted and soaked in warm water for at least 10 minutes
2 large ripe avocados
1/2 cup raw cacao or cocoa powder
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions:
Pulse dates in a food processor until broken down, as close to a paste as you can get them. Add avocados, chocolate, and vanilla and puree until smooth, scraping the sides as needed. Note: taste and add more cocoa and dates if desired. Serve with fresh berries and a few crushed nuts for crunch.

Avoid: Eggnog, holiday cocktails and other high calorie drinks

Eat: Water or unsweetened juice mixed with mineral water

Shunney suggests: “Water, water, water — not very festive, but it really is the best thing to drink for your mood and metabolism. Additionally, a bit of unsweetened juice with sparkling water is a perennial non-alcoholic favorite that feels a bit more special when toasting and doesn’t overload you with sugar and empty calories.”

Avoid: Eating everything at a holiday buffet

Eat: Your favorites surrounded by veggies and protein

“Take small amounts of your favorites, otherwise you’ll be miserable and overeat everything else,” says Shunney. “Then surround those with veggies and protein. Ideally, you should have about 1/4 of your plate be protein and 1/2 to 3/4 of your plate be veggies, and no more than 1/4 of your plate be starch. It’s more doable than you think — especially if you allow yourself to have small amounts of the things you love.”

Avoid: Baking with tons of sugar and refined flour

Eat: Baked goods with smart sugar and grain substitutes

“Recipes always call for way more sugar than needed, so do some research or experiment with cutting sugar in half,” Shunney says. “You can also sweeten with fruit, fruit juice, dates or coconut sugar for added nutrition and to keep the sugar and calories down. Substituting whole grains for refined grains is an excellent way to add fiber and vitamins, and adding whole nuts or using crushed nuts as crusts is a great way to add good quality fat to stabilize blood sugar.”

Seared Salmon Tacos (Recipe)

I came across this recipe this morning on the amazing Peas and Crayons blog and had to share…
Enjoy!
~Erica


fish tacos 600x brightened watermark 2Seared Salmon Tacos with Honey-Lime Slaw + Sriracha Ranch

From Peas and Crayons.com

what’s in it?

Fresh wild Alaskan salmon [enough to yield several tacos]
1-2 large ripe avocado, sliced
4-5 corn tortillas
1/4 cup crumbled feta or cotija cheese [optional]
chipotle olive oil [or your favorite oil!]
1 lime, wedged

the spices

paprika
ground cayenne pepper
garlic +/or onion powder
dried parsley
salt and pepper
+/or your favorite spice blend

the sauce

3 TBSP homemade or store-bought ranch dressing
1 TBSP Sririacha chili sauce

the slaw

1 heaping cup cabbage, finely chopped/shredded
1/4 small red onion, sliced thin
1-2 TBSP apple cider vinegar [optional]
1 TBSP honey
1/2 tsp dried or fresh cilantro, to taste
1/2 tsp lime juice
1/4 tsp garlic powder
a pinch of salt

Read all the directions here…

3 Day Detox Diet Preparation Tips

Before you get cracking on a 3 day detox diet, there are some things that you need to gather or source so that you have them ready for when you start. Many of these you will already have, or will know where to get hold of, but you should do this in plenty of time. Having them ready makes your detox diet program go smoothly and a little preparation is never a bad thing.

Stay tuned tomorrow for actual Detox Diet.

Talk to you soon!

~Erica

Before you get cracking on a detox diet, there are some things that you need to gather or source so that you have them ready for when you start. Many of these you will already have, or will know where to get hold of, but you should do this in plenty of time. Having them ready makes your detox diet program go smoothly and a little preparation is never a bad thing.

Check list of essentials:

Airtight food containers Tupperware, for example.

Steamer Metal or bamboo (the type you put over or in a pan of hot water to steam vegetables or fish).

Skin brush Natural bristles. The bristles should be firm but not too stiff, otherwise they may irritate your skin.

Exfoliating creams or salt Use up odds and ends of creams to save money. If they are not exfoliants add a tea-spoon of salt or sand and this will do the job.

Loofah or flannel mitt Use a toweling or natural fiber mitt.

Somewhere to exercise Gym, bedroom, stairs, lounge, etc.

Bath or shower Access to both a bath and shower is ideal but one or the other is fine.

Check list of optional or luxury items:

A juicer This is a definite luxury but what better time to try making your own juice than during a detox diet?

Organic foods There are many suppliers of organic fruit, vegetables and fish prepared to deliver nationally. Alternatively, many supermarkets now stock organic produce which is fortunately not too much more expensive than regular produce. But beware of the food going off quickly. The secret with organic food is to buy little and often. Using organic foods will automatically reduce your intake of pesticides (which are routinely sprayed on most conventionally grown fruit and vegetables). Organic foods are not essential – the fact that you are actually going to be eating fresh foods over the next month is probably enough of a change. But if fruit and vegetables already form the basis of your diet then try organics and see if you notice a difference.

Shopping list:

There are some more unusual items – on top of your meals – that you will be required to eat or drink every day and these should be bought in advance as you are unlikely to have them in stock. Some may sound a bit odd but all will be revealed!

Vegetable juice – Bottled carrot or beetroot juice is usually available from your local health food shop. Start with one bottle. Alternatively, if you have a juicer, buy fresh vegetables and juice your own.

Olive oil – Try to buy extra-virgin, cold-pressed or first pressed oils as these are purer. They are available in all supermarkets – 1 liter (2 pints) will do to start.

Fresh garlic and odorless garlic pills. From greengrocers and health food shops – buy enough pills for one a day or a large bulb to start (i.e. one clove per day).

Kelp tablets. Kelp tablets will help control your metabolic rate and maintain a constant detox state. Ask at your local health food shop for a good-quality supplement and follow the daily dosage instructions on the box.

Honey. Try to buy a pot from someone who stocks good quality, home-made honey. The less refined the honey, the better.

Fresh lemons. Three to start.

Sprouted beans. From your health food shop or buy a sprouter and \’do your own\’. You can also sprout your own beans on blotting paper or any absorbent paper. Simply dampen the paper, sprinkle on the seeds and leave in a light, sunny place. Make sure the paper doesn\’t dry out and the beans will sprout in a few days. Mung beans, chickpeas and alfalfa are all good. (If you cannot find these, replace them with a daily supplement of alfalfa pills.)

A hot spice of your choice. One or more hot spices, e.g chili, cayenne, lemongrass, ginger (raw is best but powdered will do).

Water. Filtered or bottled, tap if necessary. Flat is preferable to fizzy – save the fizzy for evenings out! You will need enough for 1.5 liters (3 pints) a day for the first three days.

You can gather these items together in preparation for the first day of your detox diet program, but most of the foodstuffs should be bought as and when you would normally do your shopping.

The fresher the foods, the more nutrients you will get. Fresh, crisp vegetables will leave you feeling fresh and crisp yourself. Old, limp vegetables … need I say more!

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/baseball-articles/3-day-detox-diet-preparation-tips-1527481.html

Author: Michelle Spencer


 

About the Author

We are bombarded with toxins, pollutants and man made chemicals every day of our lives, so it’s critical to our long term health that we follow a liver detox diet every few months to help boost our internal detoxification system. Doing a 3 day detox diet is probably one of the best and easiest ways to get started.

Peach Oat Smoothie (Recipe)

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I love peaches! Especially straight-off-tree peaches. Now unless you have an orchard in your backyard like I did growing up, that may be a challenge to come by, but with all the Farmer’s Markets around, you may be able to come close 🙂

This recipe feature fresh peaches, a banana for sweetness, chia seeds and oats for thickness and awesome nutritional value! and best of all… it’s Vegan 😉

Enjoy!
~Erica


Prep time 10 mins – Total time 10 mins

Author: Minimalist Baker
Recipe type: Beverage
Cuisine: Vegan
Serves: 2

Ingredients

2 ripe peaches, quartered, pits removed
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/4 cup rolled oats (gluten free for G-free eaters)
1/2 frozen banana (peeled before freezing)
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
OPTIONAL: 1 Tbsp agave, maple syrup or stevia for added sweetness (or honey for non-vegan), Mexico Avocados Add Delicious Nutrition

Instructions

Add all ingredients to a blender and let set for 5-10 minutes so the oats and chia seeds can soak. Then blend until smooth. To thicken, add another quarter-half a frozen banana. To thin, add more almond milk or OJ. Taste and adjust flavor as needed. I added a touch of agave. Serve immediately.

Notes
Nutrition information is a rough estimate for 1 smoothie; half the recipe. Substitute nectarines for peaches for a very similar taste.

Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/2 recipe; 1 smoothie

Calories: 142 Fat: 3 g Carbohydrates: 28 g Sugar: 14 g Sodium: 46 mg Fiber: 5 g Protein: 4 g

Personal Vegetarian Deep Dish Pizza (Recipe)

Not sure why my eye keeps going to pizza recipes this week… but this looks delicious 🙂 Enjoy!

The Portabella, or Portobello mushroom has a dense, chewy texture and characteristics that make it an amazing meat substitute, while they provide several dietary benefits. Here are a few… The selenium content in portabello mushrooms is high, and plays a primary role in the protection of healthy cells from free radical damage. (Free radicals are the byproducts of metabolism that dodge normal waste removal and wreak havoc on the body. Antioxidants, such as selenium, block their attempts to alter the composition of healthy cells and tissue.) Other antioxidant phytochemicals present in portobello mushrooms include a group called polyphenols. These compounds give portobello mushrooms an extremely high ORAC rating, a measurement of the antioxidant capability of a food…

Personal-Vegetarian-Deep-Dish-Pizza

(Serves 2)

Ingredients:

4 large Portobello Mushroom Caps
2 Cups Spinach, chopped
1 pkg. Meatless Ground meat substitute (I personally would leave this out, not a fan lol)
1/2 small Onion, chopped
1/2 Green Pepper, chopped
4 Jumbo Black Olives, sliced (optional)
1/2 Spaghetti Sauce or Organic Spaghetti Sauce
1/4 Cup Mozzarella Cheese Shreds
1 Tbsp. Fennel Seeds
1 1/2 Tsp. Basil, divided
1 1/2 Tsp. Oregano, divided
1 Tsp. Rosemary
2 Tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 1/2 Tsp. Garlic Powder, divided
Sea Salt, to taste
Red Pepper Flakes, to taste (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cover a baking sheet or pizza pan with aluminum foil.
In a small pot on the stove, heat the veggie meat by the instructions, along with the spaghetti sauce, fennel seeds, sage, rosemary, and 1 Tsp each basil, oregano & garlic powder. Allow to cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Set Aside.
Rinse mushroom caps, remove the stems, then take a spoon and remove the gills inside each mushroom.
In a small bowl or cup, mix the olive oil, garlic powder, basil, oregano and salt, and baste the bottom and inside of each mushroom cap, then place them on the baking sheet.
Fill each cap with 1/4 of the chopped spinach, then top with 1/4 of the veggie meat (if using it)
Top each stuffed cap with 1/4 of the green peppers, onions, and cheese. If using black olives and red pepper flakes, put them on last.
Place in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until veggie meat is bubbly and cheese is melted.
Remove from oven, and serve.

Nutritional Facts: (Serves 2)

306 Calories
10g Fat
21g Carbs
29g Protein


 

See more great recipes at http://thescienceofeating.com/

Mini Margherita Pizza (Recipe)

A delicious, HEALTHY alternative to delivery or Dijorno 😉

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Serves: 8 people

Serving Size: 2 slices

Cooking Time: 15 min

What You’ll Need:

4 (8-inch) flour tortillas*
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder*
3 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced (about 3/4 pound)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

What To Do:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Lightly spray both sides of the tortillas with cooking spray, and place on rimmed baking sheets. Bake for 5 to 6 minutes per side, or until crisp. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with oregano and garlic powder.

Layer the tortillas with tomato slices, basil, and mozzarella cheese. Return to the oven and bake for 5 to 6 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Cut each tortilla into 4 wedges, and serve.

Notes

*To make this a gluten-free recipe, use corn-flour tortillas, nonstick cooking spray with no flour added, and seasonings with no added starch from a gluten-containing source.

untitledRead more at http://www.everydaydiabeticrecipes.com

Salmon with smoked paprika

Fish being the only meat I eat, salmon is always one of my favorites! I can’t wait to try this recipe!
Eat well!
~Erica

DINNER BANK

Fish is great to prepare. You can almost never fail it. Boil, smoke, roast, grill … Everything works and is so good. Wish I could eat fresh fish more often, but in the absence of there’s frozen. I think we all need to eat more fish and sea food as it´s so healthy and good for all of us.

This salmon did served with the Mashed potatoes available in the post below. Served it with Hollandaise sauce. Superb simple and so yummi.
500 g Salmon
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp smoked paprika
salt pepper
butter
Rub salmon with spices and let it get to stand in a cool place for a few hours. Place the fish in an ovenproof dish and with a few pats of butter on top. In the oven 225 c for 15-20 minutes or until the fish had a nice color.

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Dream Water Recipe

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A delicious Dream Water recipe to help get you back on track while also eating your new Greens Chew. To a new you!
Ingredients:
large pitcher of cold filtered water
1 lemon thinly sliced
1/2 cucumber thinly sliced
small bunch cilantro (stems cut off)
small bunch Italian parsley (stems cut off)
handful of frozen cranberries
Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate. Continue to refill with water for 2 days.
Tip: Try preparing the night before so the flavor from the ingredients is stronger.
Drink up!
~Erica

Spinach Artichoke Pasta

Hope everyone had a FABULOUS weekend!! With the time change, my little one’s clock is off, but I loved waking up at the normal time to get ready for work and it being LIGHT OUT!! Doesn’t seem so gloomy that way… we will see about the dark coming at 6pm tonight, though…

Well, here’s a great recipe from “The Pioneer Woman.com” for all you Veggie addicts like me to try this week combining 2 of my favorite things: Spinach dip and pasta! ENJOY!!
Spinach Artichoke Pasta

Spinach Artichoke Pasta

Ingredients

  • 6 Tablespoons Butter
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
  • 2 bags Baby Spinach
  • 2 cans Artichoke Hearts, Drained And Halved
  • 3 Tablespoons Flour
  • 3 cups Whole Milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1-1/2 cup Mozzarella Or Monterey Jack Cheese, Grated
  • 1/2 cup Low Sodium Chicken Broth (less Or More)
  • 12 ounces, weight Penne, Cooked Until Al Dente
  • 1/2 cup Seasoned Panko Breadcrumbs
  • Crushed Red Pepper, To Taste

Preparation Instructions

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large pot or skillet. Add garlic and throw in the spinach. Stir it around until it’s wilted, about 1 minute. Remove spinach from heat and set aside.

Add 2 tablespoons butter to the same pot and raise the heat to high. Throw in the halved artichokes and stir it around until they get a little color, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the artichokes from the pot and set them aside.

Reduce the heat to low. Add 2 tablespoons butter to the pot. When melted, sprinkle in flour and whisk until it’s combined. Pour in milk and whisk to combine. Let it cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until starting to thicken. Add Parmesan, Mozzarella/Monterey Jack, salt and pepper, and cayenne pepper. Stir to melt, and if it’s overly thick, splash in chicken broth.

Add artichokes and pasta, tossing gently to combine. Gently fold in spinach, then pour the pasta into a serving bowl. Sprinkle the top with crushed red pepper flakes and plenty of Panko breadcrumbs for crunch.

Serve immediately!

Check out her awesome pictorial step by step instructions here….