Sunday, December 30, 2012

Countdown to the New Year! 1...

We're almost there. Just one day left until the New Year!

The start of the new year is an opportunity for a fresh start. Have you thought about your resolutions for 2013 yet? Do you want to improve your diet? Exercise more regularly? Cook more meals at home? Make more time for family and friends?

Whatever goal you decide to set for yourself, set yourself up for success by making it realistic. We may start the New Year off excited to work on our goals, but that excitement can wane fairly quickly as we get back into the hustle and bustle of daily life. Think about what you can realistically achieve. Once you achieve that goal, you can always set a new one!

Click here to read more about setting realistic goals for lifestyle changes.

This marks the end of our countdown to the New Year! I hope you have a fun New Year's Eve and ring in the New Year with healthy, happy aspirations. See you in 2013!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Countdown to the New Year! 2...

2 days left!

I hope this post finds you relaxing at home, cozied up in your pjs, enjoying some time away from work with family and friends. If so...that calls for a special breakfast! Try one of these recipes--all perfect for breakfast on a wintery Saturday at home.

How about a fancied-up version of the Egg McMuffin? This "green eggs and ham-"inspired recipe is egg, ham, cheese, tomato and Spicy Spinach Pesto on a whole wheat english muffin.

Scroll down for more tips from our New Years countdown.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Countdown to the New Year! 3...

3 days to go...

Make a date tonight with your honey and/or kids to go ice skating. It's a fun and romantic way to spend a winter night. Plus it will keep you moving at a time of year when we could all probably use an excuse for more exercise. If your town has an outdoor ice skating rink, that's even better! Bundle up and enjoy an activity that never gets old, no matter how old you are!

Scroll down to read more tips from our countdown.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Countdown to the New Year! 4...

4 days to go...

Do you have some yummy holiday leftovers? Don't let them sit in the fridge and tempt you into re-creating the holiday feast time and time again. Pack them away for freezing in portion-controlled containers or get creative by turning them into some new meals.

Get some ideas here in my article on Yahoo! Shine.

Scroll down for more tips from our countdown.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Countdown to the New Year! 5...

Only 5 days 'til the New Year!

Go outside today and burn off some of those extra Holiday calories!

Do you have snow?
  • Build a snowman
  • Go sledding
  • Go skiing or snowboarding
No snow? It's still a great time to enjoy winter activities.
  • Go for a walk--in the neighborhood, at a park or on a local trail
  • Go ice skating
  • Hit the post-Christmas sales! Walking while shopping counts too :)
Scroll down for more tips from our countdown.


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Countdown to the New Year! 6...

Merry Christmas! Enjoy yourself today!

You can have fun, enjoy the food and festivities, and be mindful of your calorie intake too. Here are a few tips for portion control at the festivities today:
  • Socialize away from the appetizer table! Take only one small plate-full including lots of veggies. Don't graze.
  • Alternate between alcohol and a calorie-free beverage; this helps you limit the amount of calories you take in. Choose wine, light beer or alcohol mixed with a calorie-free mixer.
  • Eat one plate at dinner. Try to make 1/4 meat, 1/4-1/3 starch and the rest veggies (about 1/2 your plate).
  • Take one small piece of your favorite dessert.
Scroll down for more tips from our countdown.

Related posts:
Keeping Holiday Calories Under Control
5 Stratagies for Staying on Track During the Holidays


Monday, December 24, 2012

Countdown to the New Year! 7...

It's Christmas Eve! 7 days until the New Year...

Are you ready for Christmas tomorrow? Share your favorite recipe with me and the GoodFood community by commenting below or posting on Facebook. Snap a pic of something you've prepared or just dish about your favorite recipe. I'd love to see which foods help you celebrate the holiday season.

I'll get the ball rolling:
The centerpiece of our Christmas meal is prime rib with homemade horseradish sauce. Mmmm... I've been a steak and potatoes girl for as long as I can remember, so needless to say, this is one of my favorites.

Scroll down to read more tips from our countdown.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Countdown to the New Year! 8...

8 days left...

During the holiday season, you're probably taking in more calories than usual. After all--we're surrounded by yummy treats and seasonal foods that only come around once a year! So what's the best way to balance extra calories so that you're weight management plans don't soar out the window? Physical activity, of course!

Tonight go for a walk and take in the beautiful sights of the holiday season...Christmas lights and decorations, the sparkling snow on the ground or winter's evergreens. It's a great way to experience the magic of the season and burn some calories too.

Scroll down for more tips from our countdown.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Countdown to the New Year! 9...

9 days to go...

Looking for a last minute Christmas gift? Check out the awesome food-lover's gifts in The GoodFood Shop. From cookbooks, to kitchen gadgets to gardening and exercise gear, you'll find something perfect for the health enthusiast on your list. Everything in the shop has been handpicked by RDbyyourside and all purchases support the GoodFood blog. Last day to order to get your gift by Christmas Eve!

More about the GoodFood Shop: My shop is set up through Amazon. If you have an Amazon account, you're good to go! Your purchases will be processed through Amazon. If you have an Amazon Prime account, you'll get free standard shipping and 1-day shipping for as low as $3.99. Plus a portion of your purchase goes to the GoodFood blog. Your support is appreciated!
Scroll down for more tips from our countdown.


Friday, December 21, 2012

Countdown to the New Year! 10...

We're summing up the holiday season and the year 2012 with a countdown of holiday and cool-weather tips, ideas and activities. Check back each day for a quick idea for finishing off your year healthfully!

10 days to go...

Here's your first tip:

If you're finishing your holiday shopping this weekend, pack a snack to take with you to the mall so you can keep your energy level up while avoiding temptation at the food court. Here are some healthy and totable snacks:
  • Dried fruit
  • Trail mix
  • Whole grain granola bar (I like Nature Valley, Kashi, Balance Bar, Lara and Kind bars--find many of these in the GoodFood store)
  • Whole grain snack crackers, such as Triscuits
  • Peanut butter crackers

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Eat Mindfully, Lose Weight. And More!

Mindful eating (or avoidance of mindless eating) is a phrase that is becoming increasingly popular. Brian Wansink was one of the first notable authors to write about the concept in his published book, Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think, in 2006. Lilian Chueng, D. Sc., RD is the co-author of Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life, published 2010. She writes about attaining a healthy weight while leading a life that is more satisfying by practicing mindful eating.

Mindful eating is a simple-sounding strategy; briefly it means paying attention to what and how we eat. According to Cheung, instead of dieting, which is difficult to adhere to long-term, practicing mindful eating becomes rewarding in more ways than just your waist measurement. Aside from losing weight by consuming smaller quantities of higher quality foods, mindful eaters find themselves gaining energy, emotional stability, compassion, gratitude and joy through learning to enjoy and appreciate food more.

Since the holiday season seems to revolve around food, it is the perfect opportunity to practice “mindful eating.” Mindful eating creates a healthy relationship with food and also speaks to the compassion, joy and giving of the holiday season. So amidst all the decorating, parties and gift-giving of the season, take a moment and be mindful of your food. You'll benefit in more ways than one. Here's how to get started:

7 Principles of Mindful Eating (featured in the book, Savor by Lilian Chueng and Thich Nhat Hanh)

1. Honor the food. 
We take food for granted because it is so easy to attain. Chueng notes, "You press the button on the vending machine and the food just comes out." To be more mindful, remember where your food comes from and how it came to you. Think of how it was grown–the sun, the rain and the farmers who cultivated it–and also the drivers who brought it to the store and the supermarket employees who stocked the shelves. It’s really had quite a journey!

2. Engage all your senses. 
Notice the beauty of the food you eat, how it smells, tastes and feels. Think about the flavors and textures in the foods you eat as well as how these flavors complement each other when combined. How do you feel when you look at and eat your food? Do you feel differently when you eat a home-cooked meal made of fresh ingredients versus a fast-food meal?

3. Be mindful of portion sizes. 
Large portion sizes drive us to eat too many calories, which can in turn lead to weight gain. We have the innate desire to want to fill our plates and finish what's in front of us–so using a larger plate means you’re more likely to eat more. Don’t allow “your eyes to be bigger than your stomach.” Start with a modest portion size on a plate no bigger than 9-inches.

4. Chew. 
That sounds easy! Focus on chewing your food thoroughly and not eating too fast. The longer your food is in your mouth, the more you taste the flavors. When you swallow your food, you no longer taste it. Chewing thoroughly also helps begin the process of digestion and leads us to the next principle...

5. Eat slowly. 
Yes, you’ve heard it before. But how often do you practice it? Eating slowly allows you to take more time to chew and taste the food you’re eating. It also gives your stomach a chance to signal your brain that it is getting full, so you eat less.

6. Don’t skip meals. 
Skipping meals usually backfires, causing you to get hungrier and eat a larger portion at one sitting than you would at multiple meals spread throughout the day. Eating regularly also helps keep blood sugars stable and the metabolism working, aiding in weight management and loss. Always begin the day with an energy-sustaining breakfast containing whole grains, protein and whole fruit. Eat throughout the day and don't go too long between meals.

7. Eat a plant-based diet. 
Chueng notes, “Research shows that eating red meat increases our risk of heart disease, diabetes and colon cancer. A recent study by Harvard School of Public Health also found that red and processed meats may contribute to weight gain.” Plant foods are very nutritious, low in fat and high in fiber.

Watch Dr. Cheung discuss the 7 Practices of Mindful Eating here.

Are you ready to try mindful eating? Challenge yourself to try one principle at a time. There couldn't be a more perfect time to start. 

Source: Huffington Post
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