Following the last post of questions to ask yourself to save time in the kitchen, here are the recipes I used. All of this created and cleaned up in (drum roll) 47 minutes!
Ideas & Inspiration for Your Path!
Interested in Videos and Blogs by category? At the bottom of a post, just click on the category or tag name.
A huge deterrent to eating healthy? CLEANING UP! That is definitely a part of cooking I don’t enjoy.
So, I’ve made a couple of videos to help you, using my Kitchen Aid food processor. This video takes you through questions to ask as you are planning your cooking.
Now that you have the staples and spices you need to stock your pantry and you have the boxes/bins to organize them (Part One), it is time to invest part of a weekend cleaning out and organizing.
Why? It is so much easier to cook when you can get to everything you need quickly, without having to reach over other stuff or have things knock over.
So here’s your final step:
Clean out everything that is expired or that you know you will never use.
Then group items into your bins, leave a little space for new foods you may purchase, and LABEL so everyone knows where to put food.
When my husband saw this transforming, he said two things -
“This makes it look appealing to cook.” (So, I get more help in the kitchen.)
“Now I know where to put something back.” (Which means I don’t have to look for things later.)
This seems to be the time of year for deep-organizing house projects. It is too cold or rainy to be outside, or even open the windows, so everyone is cleaning out closets and junk drawers. I challenge you to makeover your pantry this weekend - it is one adventure that will help you eat healthier the rest of the year.
To really deep-organize your pantry for healthy meals, I teach a simple six step process. You’ll need parts of two weekends, so I’ll walk you through this in a two-part series.
This weekend focus on Steps One - Five. Next weekend is Step Six.
Step One: Review your menus for a Powerful Plate. Do you have enough combinations of vegetable, protein, fats, and complex carbohydrates? What ingredients do you need to stock up on?
Step Two: Purchase the foods you need for a Powerful Plate and order any specialty items so they will arrive by next weekend.
Step Three: Look through the food in your pantry. Begin to organize it in your mind. What goes with what? For example, “protein powder” for me could go with protein snacks (since I use it as a shake) or with breakfast/oatmeal (since I use protein powder in my oatmeal every morning).
Step Four: Take measurements. Both of the shelf space and of any items that you are going to group and crate together. For example, if you usually keep 20 cans of fruit, vegetables, and tomato sauce in stock, measure how wide a bin you will need to store them.
Step Five: Decide on the supplies you need and then go shop. Shelf liner? Plastic bins? Wood crates? Glass jars? Shelving unit pull-out for a deep pantry?
Step Six - next weekend is clean out and organize.
Eliminating the hassle of expired ingredients - or simply not having healthy options on hand - will make these two weekends worth your effort. Turn on some music, get the family involved … whatever it takes to make it fun and make it happen.
The Cleveland Clinic recently released an exercise study. Basics?
Retrospective (so we’re looking at correlation, not causation)
Results: People with elite fitness levels (2 standard deviations above the mean - a.k.a. off-the-chart) had significantly greater longevity (a.k.a. they lived longer) than moderately fit people.
Their Conclusions: “Everyone should be encouraged to attain very high fitness levels.”
Yes and no. I have mixed feeling about their conclusions. If I were writing the conclusion, I’d say “Everyone should be encouraged to attain their personal best fitness level, knowing that fitness/longevity is dose-response. A 5 mile walk yields greater results than a 3 mile walk. But don’t be discouraged - a 3 mile walk is more effective than a 1 mile.”
Here’s more …
Celebrating National Heart Health Month … let’s talk about 10 ways to improve your heart health and decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Step number one: When was your last annual check up with your doctor? If it has been over a year, stop reading this and call to set up your appointment. Getting your baseline “blood work” (blood sugar, cholesterol, etc.) and talking with your doctor about your heart health is foundational.
While you are waiting for the appointment day, start walking 20 minutes a day for 3 days a week. In a 2001 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association even “1 hour of walking per week predicted lower risk” of heart disease.
3. Got that baseline walking as a habit? Then let’s build up the walking to 20 minutes to an hour on 5 days per week. This will lower your risk even more.
4. Trouble fitting in the extra walking? No worries. Your heart doesn’t care how it gets worked, it just wants to get worked. Try cleaning house at a brisk pace or washing your car by hand or push mowing your lawn. Or try these other ideas.
5. Needing some family time? Playing tag and throwing Frisbees can get your heart pumping. (Especially if you are like me - walking to get it when I don’t catch it.)
6. Smoking? Exercise can help you kick the habit. Seek the help you need to stop.
7. An apple a day … or oatmeal … or beans … or nuts/seeds … or even avocados. These are all rich in the type of fiber that helps to lower “bad” cholesterol.
8. Laugh. A. Lot. It is great to help reduce blood pressure…which relates to #9.
9. Stress less. What are your stress triggers? How do you relieve stress? Stress comes at us all, so have a plan.
10. Strength train. Once you have your walking or other heart-pumping exercise in habit, add some strength training to increase your “good” cholesterol. Even two strength training sessions per week will help your heart health.
Questions? Let me know.
Is it a waste of time to start a fitness plan?
Perhaps. (Heads up - I have a gift for you that will keep you from wasting your effort. Scroll to the bottom to get your gift.)
The truth is starting may be a waste, IF you start WITHOUT knowing what it takes to stick.
One of the reasons you start/stop/start/stop/start/stop is thinking it shouldn't feel weird ... that somehow a new habit should feel like second nature.
It won't feel normal at first. You have to fake it, at first.
(This video teaches you about the principle. The video below gives you some examples.)
Here are some examples of what you should expect to feel weird:
- Eating at the table vs. in front of the computer
- Walking for 1/2 of your lunch break instead of scrolling your phone
- Shopping in different parts of the grocery store
(There are more examples in the video)
Tired of wasting time with start/stop/start/stop?
I have a gift for you.
The last 7 days of January, join me for 7 minutes a day to learn (and apply) the 7 principles to stick with your new habit until it feels like, well, like you've always done it.
I admit. I never thought I’d like immersion blenders (after a bad experience years ago). Now? It’s fun seeing what can be pureed.
This recipe has topped my list, because once it is made we eat it as soup, pasta sauce, or as a chicken sauce. Spicy - but not too spicy. Rich - but fresh and light. If you prefer chilled soups, this is probably not going to be a favorite. But who wants chilled soup in January, anyway?
Yesterday I got to chat with a woman who is celebrating months of keeping weight off. She participated in a transformational multi-week course I taught and she changed her lifestyle.
She lives a busy life as a nurse. (In fact, we had scheduled to talk yesterday because it was to be her day off, but she got called into work and headed there immediately after we filmed this.) Her lifestyle had gotten out of balance during/after college and she kept putting on weight even though she was exercising.
Through teaching her the principles of Intuitive Eating, a Powerful Plate, overcoming barriers to change, and stress management - and her diligence to experiment with the lessons - she lost 15 lbs, kept it off even during the holidays, increased her energy, balanced her emotions, and has inspired her dad to change to a healthier lifestyle, too.
You can do the same.
Before the sun was up on New Year’s Day I was working with a very dedicated client. She has worked diligently and started this year, for the first time in her adult life, at her goal weight.
You can do it, too! Yes, it does take faithfulness - though a pre-dawn workout on New Year’s Day is not required.
I was recently at the dentist creating a plan to extract a loose baby tooth and implant a permanent tooth. (As I write this, the tooth has been extracted and in a few months I will have the permanent one.)
I began thinking about the habits in our lives we have held onto for years that need to be extracted to make room for a better life.
What beliefs, thoughts, behaviors, habits, relationships do you need to let go? What do you need to permanently add?
I enjoyed running into a friend of mine at a business seminar. (Full disclosure: she is a friend from whom I purchase some of my makeup and I get makeup advice from. So, a friend-visor?)
She graciously agreed on-the-spot to let me ask her some questions, unplanned, about healthy make-up. In addition, we talked about the ministry her business supports to rescue girls from sex-trafficking.
Here’s our conversation -
Oh what a treat of a recipe this is. I use fresh tarragon grown in a pot, but you can use dried instead. If you don’t have fresh figs, then dried might do. Or berries - if you serve it over a salad instead of leeks. (I’ve never tried berries with steamed leeks, but it doesn’t sound appealing.)
Plain Greek yogurt or sour cream, 1 cup
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
Fresh tarragon and parsley (a couple of tbsp minced each, to taste). A tiny bit of rosemary too, if you like.
Fresh figs, quartered
Served over steamed rice or cauliflower rice, with steamed leeks
You have a lot to accomplish during the holidays. To do that your #1 priority is to take care of your spirit, mind, and body.
When you don’t? Well, here’s an example from history of what could happen.
Don’t just sit and watch Christmas movies — get up and move with these fun ways to celebrate the holidays.
I trimmed back a rosemary bush and had to come up with several ways to use a ton of rosemary.
Of course, my favorite way is #9!
When clients are concerned about overeating during the holidays, here is some of the advice I share:
A listener asked me “What does a fresh fig look like and what would I do with it?”
I understand the question, because until we began growing a fig tree a few years ago, I had no idea either.
Here are a few ways I enjoy fresh figs!
It is my favorite time of year. Not just because of time with family and friends - but because the sweet potatoes have cured and are ready to eat!
A few years ago when we started our garden we were somewhat intimidated by the mass of vines and not knowing how potatoes would be found under the soil. How deep would they be? How far would runners go? What are the ways to get them out? Just pull or get rid of the vines first?
Before you watch the video of the steps we took, here are a few other tips:
Dig what you cut that day. We had sweet potatoes in three beds. We cut down only the beds we could harvest that day because all of the experts say potatoes will rot in ground if the vines are cut off and left for days. We’ve not tested it. We just go with it.
For the size bed we have in the video (4X8 feet) it took about 6 hours for two adults to cut, dig, set up to cure, and clean up the mess.
Curing? Directions say “warm” place and then after 2-3 weeks to cool storage. We’ve never created an ideal environment for curing. We just lay them out, not touching each other, on cardboard in the garage. If it is September, it might be warm. If it is October, it is cool, especially on the garage floor. But they’ve always cured beautifully over 3 weeks.
Every November you have a choice:
Either say “The holidays are coming, the year is practically over - I’m just going to start again next year on ______.”
Or say “I have two months left in this year and I am going to finish strong.”
If the thought of finishing strong intrigues you, please take a few minutes and listen to this. Then pull out a piece of paper (or your laptop) and jot down what one result you would like to have by the end of this year. Focus.
This time of year - Celebrate with family and friends. Take time to rest and recharge. AND don’t throw away your dreams until next year. Finish strong.