Healthy Holiday Eating…Hmmm

Healthy Holiday Eating…Hmmm

Ok….I have to go there.  No one wants to hear about how to eat healthy during the holidays.   Seriously,  isn’t that what the holidays are all about….gatherings, celebrations, all centered around good food? I know Thanksgiving in particular, is the one time of the year when we can feast.  That is true.

The good news is that we can still feast without sacrificing our health goals!

For some, it is very important to manage health conditions such as keeping a target blood sugar range or a good blood pressure so you’re not feeling crummy at the end of the day or the next day.

Tips for healthy holiday eating:

Fill up on lean protein and non- starchy vegetables.  Turkey is a lean protein which means it is ok to get seconds.  Non- starchy vegetables are also low in calories (when not cooked in fat) and have very little carbohydrates which will not spike the blood sugar.  Non-starchy vegetables such as green beans, collards, cabbage, okra, or squash should be the go to at holiday gatherings.  Choose fresh herbs to season vegetables and other foods instead of salt.

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Plan ahead. Eating healthy during the holidays requires a little bit of planning.  For example,  choose a low calorie breakfast on Thanksgiving morning.  It is not the time to fill up on pancakes and syrup (sigh).  Also, do not skip breakfast.  It is important to not skip a meal to avoid overating at the next meal.  Desserts are a must, so plan ahead for them by eating smaller portions of other heavy carbohydrates such as mac/cheese, rice and potatoes.

Move!  While food is a central point of our holiday gatherings, don’t forget the other F’s….family, friends and fun.  Get everyone together and go for a walk either before or after you eat.   Choose activities that will get every one moving and involved.

Enjoy every bite.  Eat mindfully by not eating fast.  Create a plate that appeals to the eye and enjoy every single bite.

Get back on track.  Even if you don’t meet your health goal at a holiday gathering, remember there is always tomorrow.   Don’t beat yourself up….start again the next day.

Let’s live!

Tekeela

 

 

Veggies, Veggies, and more….Veggies!

Veggies, Veggies, and more….Veggies!

We all heard growing up that we ‘must eat our vegetables’.  While some of us may have mastered this task, getting the recommended servings each day can be a challenge.  I love the idea of eating lots of veggies because it is a way to fill our plates up without adding alot of calories.  Plus, they add lots of needed vitamins and minerals.  Fiber from vegetables can aid in weight loss, lower cholesterol levels, and assist with proper bowel function.

According to Choosemyplate.gov (click on link for more tips),  “the amount of veggies we need to eat depends on our age, sex, and level of physical activity“.

While we may have some vegetables that are our least favorite, there are so many to choose from!  Below are some tips to add veggies to each of your meals and snacks:

Breakfast

Add veggies to omelets.  Veggies such as spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, and peppers can add color and taste to those boring eggs.

Add veggies to smoothies.  Veggies such as spinach and kale is a sneaky way to get the veggies in without sacrificing the taste of the smoothie.  Adding avocado can give your smoothie a rich texture.

Add veggies to juices.  Juicing is back on the scene and is a perfect way to toss in veggies that maybe we normally wouldn’t choose (beets and radishes).

Lunch 

Add veggies to salads.  Salads are a go to for lunch but they don’t have to be boring.  Choose dark, leafy veggies such as spinach or kale to be the base of your salad.   Change the veggies from day-to-day (also salad dressing) to give you a different taste.  Don’t overlook veggies such as red cabbage, scallions, snow peas and green peppers which can add a lot of flavor to your salad.

Add veggies to your sandwiches and wraps.  Just like with salads, choose different veggies to change the taste.  Drizzle olive oil or even use pesto to add more flavor to your salad/wrap.

Dinner

Add veggies as the main side to your dinner.   There are so many veggies (click on link) to choose from so be creative.  Try roasting them in the oven to add variety ( just rub on the olive oil and season).

Snacks

Yes! Veggies can be wonderful for snacks as well.  Ditch the carrots and cucumbers (maybe) and opt for sliced zucchini, squash, or peppers.  These are great uncooked and if you have already used them in your morning omelet or salad,  just save some over for snacking.  Sweet potatoes when roasted may satisfy the sweet tooth (especially if you sprinkle on some cinnamon).  Finally, make up some kale chips (hmmm) by roasting kale.  I had to save that one for last because kale chips may sound a bit interesting but don’t knock them until you try them!

Challenge yourself!  See how many vegetable servings you can get in a day!  I would love to hear from you!

Let’s Live,

Tekeela

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Simple….Move More!

I do not own the rights to this song.

Can you believe how fast the summer is flying by?  It has been a busy summer for me and my family.  Adjusting to a ‘non-school’ routine is always interesting especially when kids are home.  Plus, I work from home, so there is a bit of an adjustment when you have others home with you during the work day.  One thing is for sure, I am totally off my routine.  Since I am a creature of habit, I tend to not be as productive, but I am learning to adjust.  Keeping up with an exercise routine…out the window.  I have adopted a new mindset which is just MOVE MORE!

I think my childhood and where I grew up has molded me to be somewhat of a ‘wanderer’ anyhow.  Summers as a child meant getting outside and moving!   We lived near a lake so my sister and I would walk to the lake or several nearby ponds.  We voyaged the nearby woods scavenging daily for plums, blackberries, muscadines and even pears (we had most of these in our own backyard).  Also, we made several walking trips to our grandmother’s house and continued on to find family and friends who we could play baseball and kickball with.  I miss those times!  I also think just being outside is what I prefer even to this day.  Therefore, it is very hard for me to hit a gym.  When it comes to exercise, we are all different.  The key is to find something that we enjoy and will simply keep us moving!

Leisure Activities

Playing a game of kickball or simply shooting hoops will get our hearts moving.   It doesn’t mean we have to move around like Lebron James (haha); simply standing in front of a hoop and shooting the ball in the basket, gets us moving. My pre-teen is always dancing and making videos.  Dancing is not one of my strengths at all, but jumping in on one of my daughter’s routines, not only gets me moving, it is also a way for me to spend time with her.  Children can be a great resource to keep us moving!

Sneaky Exercise

Chores…we all have them.  So why not make the most of them!? Turn on some music and get the duster, mopper and brooms going.  Set a timer, don’t stop, and get those chores done!   If you have to head outside, there is always mowing the lawn and planting flowers that will keep you moving as well.

Partner Up

My husband and son do a great job of sticking to an exercise routine.  They will hit the gym and think nothing of it.  I look to them for accountability; finding others we can be accountable to is very important when making lifestyle changes. In my previous job, we had “Walking Wednesday’s” where a group of us would meet up for a quick walk outside at a specified time.   It was a way for us to catch up and made moving fun and easy!

Exercise Resources (click on links below):

What type of exercises are important? 

Exercise and goal setting

Exercise and Mental Health Benefits

Exercise and Aging

Exercise for those with limited mobility

Remember, it is important to speak to your health care provider before starting a strenuous exercise routine.  The most important thing is to never give up!  We got this!

Let’s Live,

Tekeela

Heart Health

Heart Health

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Good heart health is essential to feeling good.  The month of February is set aside as American Heart Month.  It is a time for us to review some key heart health factors:

Blood Pressure Below 120/80
Total Cholesterol Below 200 (may need to be lower depending on other health conditions)
LDL (bad cholesterol) Below 100 (may need to be lower depending on other health conditions)
HDL (good cholesterol) >40 (the higher the better)
Triglycerides Less than 150
Blood Sugar Less than 100 fasting

Tips for good heart health:

  1. Stay Active
  2. Stop Smoking
  3. Decrease alcohol intake
  4. Reduce Stress
  5. Meal Plan

Take your Heart Score (American Heart Association).