February is American Heart Month and it brings with it an awareness that what we put into our body and how much we eat impacts our heart health. We can talk about low fat food, gluten-free food, low carb diets, etc. but we should consider other health options like mindful eating.
What is mindful eating? I’m glad you asked. When you practice mindful eating you focus on the food and the enjoyment that comes from eating it. You also learn to pay attention to your level of hunger and any triggers that might cause you to overeat.
There are so many excellent resources online where you can learn how to become a mindful eater and we’ve listed a few of our favorites below.
The Center for Mindful Eating
12 Mindful Eating Tips That Will Change Your Relationship With Food
Mindful Eating 101 – A Beginner’s Guide
Mindful Eating: 5 Easy Tips To Get Started
6 Ways to Practice Mindful Eating
Tea is a drink that has been around for thousands of years. No one knows for sure where tea harvesting originated but it seems that it originated in China as a concoction used for medicinal purposes. We have to thank the British for making tea a daily popular drink in the 17th century and they used India for tea production in order to compete with the Chinese.
Tea is incredibly popular today and is used in medicine as well as a hot and cold beverage. You can find tea in many flavors available in loose tea leaves, tea bags, bottled or in cans. However, the true way to enjoy tea is to make it at home. Following are some our favorite tea recipes.
Slow Cooker Chai
Homemade Black Apple Tea Mix Recipe
Hot Cinnamon Apple Green Tea
Pumpkin Spice Tea
Hot Orange Spiced Tea
Vanilla Green Tea Latte
Now that Thanksgiving is over, the holiday season is truly in full swing. Preventing weight gain over the holiday season is challenging when there’s a food blitz everywhere. Here’s a few tips to help you get a handle on the holiday food and prevent weight gain:
- Use an online tracker or wearable device: Keep track of food intake and your daily activity. Studies suggest that tracking what you do each day helps to keep you mindful of what you eat.
- Set Limits Around Alcohol: Alcoholic beverages are empty calories and often stimulate appetite. Alcohol also reduces self-control. This can be problematic at parties where alcohol and food are served. Develop a strategy to keep alcoholic beverages to a minimum.
- Makeover High Calorie Recipes: If you have calorie-rich traditional recipes to prepare, consider using alternative ingredients or techniques that help lighten the load. Substitute whole milk for heavy cream, and use less butter or sugar. Many times a recipe can withstand a reduction in sugar, butter, or heavy cream by 30-50%.
- Keep on Weighing yourself: Step on the scale at least once a week. A recent study found that people who weighed themselves frequently lost more weight over a six month period than those who seldom weighed themselves.
- Get Adequate Sleep and Manage Your Stress: The holidays are a stressful time for many people. Lack of sleep adds to the stress. Make sure you get adequate sleep, maintain regular physical activity, and keep your time-management realistic for a more stress-free holiday season.
Did you know that July is National Ice Cream Month? We all love ice cream, right? Unfortunately, ice cream is filled with fat and sugar and isn’t a healthy option for most of us. Despite all this we still want to eat ice cream when the temperature tops 80 degrees! Following are some homemade ice cream recipes that are healthier options for ice cream lovers.
10-Minute Vegan Strawberry Ice Cream
Lemon-Buttermilk Ice Cream
Key Lime Pie Ice Cream
Blueberry-Cinnamon Swirl Ice Cream
Cherry & White Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream
An avocado is a berry with a large pit and grows on a tree also called avocado. Avocados grow in Mediterranean climates around the world. The nutritional advantages of avocados are numerous including good fats, Vitamins A, C, D, K and E, folate and potassium. They are incredibly versatile and easy to include in your diet. Following are some of our favorite avocado recipes!
Avocado and Blueberry Fruit Salad
Avocado and Melon Breakfast Smoothie
Baked Egg in Avocado
Avocado Strawberry + Goat Cheese Sandwich
Avocado and Tuna Tapas
Heirloom Tomato and Avocado Stack
We love our slow cooker (crockpot) all year round but it holds more appeal over spring and summer. Heating the oven to cook dinner every night just makes us more hot and miserable and we end up running the air conditioner to counteract the heat.
If you use your slow cooker your house will stay cooler and cleanup will be a breeze. Following are some of our favorite warm weather recipes that will keep you cool:
BBQ Pulled Chicken
Springtime Crockpot Minestrone
Slow Cooker Quinoa Breakfast Casserole with Tomato and Spinach
Slow Cooker Honey BBQ Baked Beans
Slow-Cooker Bacon-Ranch Chicken and Pasta
Slow Cooker Frittata with Kale, Roasted Red Pepper, and Feta
Slow Cooker Spinach and Mozzarella Frittata
Slow Cooker Light Almond Milk Tapioca Pudding
There is something so delicious and uplifting about spring recipes. After a long and dreary winter spring brings back the sun along with a tasty array of fruits and vegetables. Days get longer, the air warms and eating outdoors is a wonderful option. To help you enjoy your spring we have compiled a few websites that offer some of the most wonderful spring recipes.
Food and Wine
Taste of Home
BBC Good Food
Everyone has a few recipes that they love but never make because of the fat content. You can reduce fat by using less butter or oil than what the recipes calls for. It is possible to make some common sense reductions or substitutions to salvage your favorite recipes so you can enjoy them without the guilt.
Try these tips to reduce fat in your recipes:
- Cheese. Use reduced fat cheese.
- Milk. Use low fat or skim milk.
- Cream cheese. Use low-fat Neufchatel cheese or low-fat ricotta.
- Frosting: Replace butter or shortening with marshmallow cream.
- Butter. Use applesauce, egg whites or plain yogurt.
- Eggs. Swap each egg for two egg whites or 1/4 cup egg substitute.
- Cream. Use a one to one swap with evaporated skim milk.
- Sour cream. Use plain or Greek low-fat yogurt.
You’ll need to test these substitutions to make sure that the texture and taste of the finished product is acceptable.