It is officially fall! Fall is typically a time when most people get organized, back into routines, and create some new health goals. Today I am sharing ten tips to kick start your journey that doesn’t require dieting or counting calories; who wants to do that anyways?!
These tips focus on YOU, how you feel, and just simply making some smarter choices when it comes to food. Now remember, the biggest tip to cleaning up your eating habits is to aim for 90% clean food and 10% “cheat/unclean” food, but be happy if 80/20 is how it turns out some weeks too! You have to enjoy the little things in life, including some tailgating food and pumpkin beer with friends.
- Feed your soul with primary food. What is primary food? Primary food is your friends and family, physical activity, spirituality, and a satisfying caree. All of these things in life give you energy, think of them as food. A lack of primary food creates over-reliance on secondary, edible food.
- Drink water. Most people are chronically dehydrated and don’t even realize. Many people often mistake thirst for hunger. If you feel hungry between meals, drink a glass of water before giving into any cravings.
- Eat mainly plant-based diet. Plant foods are typically lower in fat and calories and higher in filling fiber than meat, dairy, and processed foods, while providing loads of essential nutrients. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables!!
- Chew your food well. Digestion actually begins in the mouth; by thoroughly chewing your food, your body will better digest all of its important nutrients. This mindfulness will also allow you to slow down your eating. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to register that it is full so by eating slower you might feel satisfied with less food.
- Eat real food. Avoid products with high-fructose corn syrup or a long list of unpronounceable ingredients. These foods are highly processed which means they are lacking the nutrients your body needs; essentially they are empty calories.
- Eat breakfast. Skipping meals causes your blood sugar levels to peak and dip, affecting your energy and moods. It can also cause overeating later on because you’re so hungry.
- Eat mindfully. Turn off the TV. Get away from the computer. Sit down and savor the food you are eating with no distractions!!
- Get moving. Do any type of physical activity every day. Find movement or exercise you enjoy.
- Sleep, rest and relax. When you are sleep-deprived or stressed, your body will crave energy, causing cravings for sugary snacks and caffeine as an energy boost.
- Schedule fun time. Boredom and stress can lead to overeating; in order to avoid this make sure to take time to laugh and participate in activities that make you happy.
content via IIN (Institute for Integrative Nutrition)
Pesto Carrot Fries
large bag of whole long carrots; peeled
½ cup pesto (you can make your own or buy premade)
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with tin foil paper, spray with coconut or olive oil and set aside.
Cut the carrots in half to create two sticks of the same length. Then cut them into fry shapes by cutting the halves in halves until you get a small fry like shape.
Toss the carrots with the prepared pesto to coat evenly. You can also brush the pesto on the fries after you layer them onto the baking sheet.
Spread the fries in an individual layer on a cookie sheet and bake at 450 for 30 minutes, turning halfway through. To add an extra crispiness broil for the last two minutes but be cautious as the pesto can easily burn.
Serve hot and Enjoy!!
EASY Tips to Feel More Energized FAST
- Reduce or (if possible) eliminate caffeine. Caffeine causes many ups and downs that include dehydration and blood sugar lows and highs, making mood swings more frequent.
- Drink lots of water – Most of us are chronically dehydrated. Try to drink a glass of water before you go to sugar or caffeine and wait a few minutes to see what happens.
- Eat tons of dark leafy green vegetables. Green is associated with spring, a time of renewal and refreshing. Greens are full of vitamins and nutrients and great for improving circulation, lifting the spirit, purifying the blood, and strengthening your immune system.
- Use real sweets. Avoid sugar and chemical artificial sweeteners. Use natural sweeteners like maple syrup, brown rice syrup, and agave nectar. Eat sweet vegetables such as yams, carrots, and beets or fruit to curb sweet cravings.
- Get Moving. Start with simple activities, like walking or yoga. As this becomes a routine increase the amount or type of exercise.
- Get more SLEEP, rest and relaxation. When you are tired or stressed, your body will crave energy. These cravings are often a result of being sleep-deprived, going to bed late, and waking up early for months and years on end.
- Evaluate the amount of animal food you eat. Eating too much meat, dairy, chicken, and eggs can lead to low energy. So can eating too little! Experiment and see what your body feels the best with.
- Evaluate your close relationships to see if there are people who drain you of your energy. It doesn’t mean that they are bad, but it is good to notice who drains you and why. See if you can transform those relationships by communicating and/or setting boundaries. Don’t be afraid to distance yourself or end the relationship.
- Take time for YOU. Find activities that restore your energy, such as a walk, a bath, a movie, or whatever you might enjoy and schedule some time with yourself to do these things!
content via IIN
Sweet potatoes are hands down one of my favorite foods. Today I am sharing a different way to prepare them that works very well in the summer because you can make ahead and eat cold on top of salads or as a side! The recipe is VERY easy to make and takes little to no time 🙂
Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes
Makes about 10-12 cakes
- 3 medium baked sweet potatoes (no skins)
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1/4 cup onions chopped
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- optional: add a dash of red pepper flakes or cayenne for a spicy kick
Step One: Bake your sweet potatoes thoroughly or if you are short on time microwave the sweet potatoes until they are fully cooked and can easily be mashed.
Step Two: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a baking sheet by lining with tin foil or parchment paper and spray or coat with coconut oil.
Step Three: Place prepared sweet potatoes in a large bowl and mash the potatoes until they are a good consistency (some people prefer small chunks).
Step Four: Stir in the two cups of cooked quinoa, onions, garlic, salt and pepper
Step Five:Using your hands, shape the quinoa mixture into small palm-sized patties and place them on the baking sheet.
Step Six: Brush or spray some additional coconut or olive oil on the top of each cake and place in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown!
These sweet potato cakes are a great salad topper, side dish, appetizer or quick snack 🙂