Orange and Spice Sweet Potato Souffle {Casserole}

Just found this one and had to share..haven’t tried it yet, but going to!  Thank you “food to glow.”  If you want to really clean it up, try omitting the topping and just top with nuts.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.  May you have a relaxed time surrounded by family and friends and get to do something really fun on your Thanksgiving Day, even if it is a small something for you.

food to glow

sweet potato soufflé // food to glowIs it a soufflé? Is it a casserole? Who knows. Most recipes for sweet potato casserole/soufflé contain a couple of eggs, making it veer rather sharply into soufflé territory. Imho. But the name seems to be interchangeable. And it matters not a jot once you taste it.

If you have never experienced this Southern US delicacy, you are in for an unexpected treat: light, fluffy, warmly spiced whipped sweet potato topped with crunchy, sweet and very slightly salted topping. As a side dish. I know that it sounds odd to pop a {heaped} spoonful of something sweet onto your otherwise savoury dinner plate. But trust me, it works.

My food to glow version is not quite the Southern US specialty of my youth: loads less sugar and fat. And then there’s the little matter of a complete – and, for some, sacrilegious – lack of marshmallows. But it gets the job…

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The world is now threatened by obesity.

This article was published by Geoffrey Smith in Fortune 500 magazine this week.  I am sure you have seen an article like it somewhere else also.  We, as a Nation, are not the only ones letting nutrition slip, it is slipping all over the world.  The results are going to be not only physically damaging, but financially costly as well to all of us.  Take a read and I’ll add my two cents worth at the end (in green).  

“The global obesity epidemic now costs the world economy more than alcoholism or climate change, study says.

Obesity is now a threat to the world economy to rival war and terrorism, according to a new report published Thursday.

Taking together the costs of healthcare, of lost productivity and other spending needed to mitigate its impact, consulting firm McKinsey reckons the annual cost of obesity fat now tops $2 trillion, or 2.8% of global economic output. That compares with an estimate of $2.1 trillion for war and terrorism, and for smoking, and is way ahead of alcoholism ($1.4 trillion), illiteracy ($1.3 trillion) and even climate change ($1.0 trillion).

The report is the latest evidence of the spiralling costs of unhealthy lifestyles that combine low levels of exercise (often due to desk-based jobs) with a taste for fatty and sugary foods. And while the problem may have originated in the U.S. and other rich economies, it is now firmly entrenched and growing fast in many countries that are, by most standards, still poor.

The U.N.’s World Health Organization estimates that over one in three adults was overweight in 208, while more than one in 10 was obese. Twice as many people worldwide live in countries where more die from being too fat than from being undernourished. The most frequent causes of death include heart disease and type-2 diabetes. McKinsey estimates that almost half the world’s adult population could be obese or overweight by 2030 if current trends continue.

McKinsey looked at 74 types of ‘intervention’ that could help reverse a rising trend, ranging from public education programs for parents and children, to workplace wellness schemes and reduced portion sizes at fast food restaurants. Almost all of them deliver far more in benefits than they would cost to implement, McKinsey claims, although it stresses that there is no single “silver bullet.”

McKinsey took the U.K. as a typical case of a developed country with a rising obesity problem. At present, the country invests less than $1 billion a year on programs preventing obesity–only 1% of the total social cost of the problem.

The consultants said that if the U.K. could roll back obesity to 1993 levels, its stretched National Health Service could save $1.2 billion.”

This trend is damaging on so many levels and it is scary that this generation of children may not outlive their parents.  This is the first time this epidemic has hit our world in such a dramatic and influential way.  We CAN reverse this by individually committing to not be a part of it.  Making a commitment to eat healthier, move more, and take care of ourselves is a big step even though it may seem small.  When it comes down to it, we only have control over ourselves and the decisions we make personally.  They will influence others, and believe me they are watching!  Take a small step today, just today, and do one thing to make your own health a priority.  A small one, like reaching for an apple rather than the bag of chips or making time to walk for 30 minutes after dinner.  Then do another small thing again tomorrow and then next day.  Just one thing a day will add up to 365 things over a year, to 1825 things over 5 years, 3,650 over 10 years…and so on.  All you have to do is one each day!  Just doing this will influence your friends and family to do the same and then we are headed back in the right direction. (off my soap box now)

Could what your drinking be damaging your bones? or Too much Calcium?

I ran across this article yesterday and felt the need to share it.  So many of us think about bones and calcium, in fact it has been drilled into our heads by the dairy industry.  But calcium and magnesium have a tight relationship that is often misunderstood.  So many foods and beverages have been fortified with calcium that we are in danger of getting too much of it.  In this case, too much is not a good thing.  A really good question then becomes, are we balancing out our magnesium intake with all the calcium we are taking?

 “Magnesium is involved in over 500 different enzymatic reactions,
far more than any other nutrient. Additionally, the over-emphasis on Calcium (primarily
due to aggressive marketing by the dairy industry) has led to even further imbalances
in Magnesium. Calcium and Magnesium have a somewhat interdependent and competing
relationship. Generally speaking a person needs about twice as much Magnesium as they
do Calcium yet most don’t get anywhere near that.”  – NAFC

And what about Vitamin D?  It is a vital part of absorption of Calcium.  Without the right amounts of these three, that extra calcium finds places it doesn’t belong to build up..like arteries and our organs.  Ideally, the ratio of Magnesium to Calcium should be 2:1. The right key is balance of these nutrients and moderation in intake.  Be sure your multivitamin provides an adequate amount of Magnesium in relation to Calcium (2:1 ratio).  Yes, 2x the magnesium to calcium!  Consider increasing your Vitamin D intake during winter months or times when you know you won’t be outside to get natural Vitamin D in regular doses(ie. busy work months infront of the computer).  Not only will you balance out your nutrient intake, but your moods may be effected positively as well.  If you are concerned that you are not getting enough Vitamin D or Magnesium, do your research and consult your doctor.

What about what you are drinking?  Could it be damaging our bones also.  Interestingly, this study links the consumption of Colas and Coffee to loss of bone density in women: however, some colas (clear liquids) and teas (with or without caffeine) do not.  This points to the fact that it is not the caffeine in these beverages that reduce bone density, but scientists are not quite sure yet what the influencing factor is exactly.Check out the following study by the Cleveland Clinic about bone density studies and their connection to different common beverages.

Sodas, Tea and Coffee: Which Can Lower Your Bone Density?

Studies show cola connection in women, but not men

By

Colas and coffee appear to have some effect on women’s bone density and could lead to osteoporosis. But tea — even the kind with caffeine — and other sodas do not. And men are not affected at all.

Confused? You’re not alone.

While scientists have gathered data that links consumption of colas and coffee with loss of bone density, researchers are still looking for the reason why,  says rheumatologist Johnny Su, MD.

“Whether there is a causal relationship, and what the exact mechanism of that relationship is, is unclear,” Dr. Su says. “While several studies have shown those relationships, the data overall are not entirely conclusive.”

Possible connections

One reason drinking cola or coffee could impact bone density is that drinking more of these beverages means you’re drinking less beverages like milk, which do promote bone health, Dr. Su says.

Another reason could be that the phosphoric acid in cola leaches calcium out of the bone. Supporting this line of thought is that sodas such as lemon-lime drinks or ginger ale, which are not linked to osteoporosis, lack phosphoric acid.

But, Dr. Su points out, doctors do not recommend cutting back on other foods with high levels of phosphoric acid, like chicken and certain cheeses.

Lastly, it might be caffeine intake that might lead to lower bone density in women. Supporting this theory is that colas — which contain caffeine — and coffee are linked to osteoporosis, while ginger ale and lemon-lime sodas are not. That, however, could be explained by the non-cola drinks’ lack of phosphoric acid.

Further confounding the caffeine theory is that black tea, which contains caffeine, does not impact bone density, Dr. Su says.

Everything in moderation

So while it’s not entirely clear if caffeine consumption lessens bone density, physicians agree in general that excessive amounts of caffeine may have a negative impact, Dr. Su says.

“If you drink those beverages in low amounts — less than 400 milligrams — that’s probably OK,” Dr. Su says. “That means less than four cups of coffee per day might be fine, and less than two cans of cola a day. But if you can cut these beverages out altogether, that’s even better.”

If you still want to drink carbonated beverages, one alternative could be switching to non-caffeinated beverages, Dr. Su says.

A lifetime of weight-bearing exercise and consuming adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D are the best protection against brittle bones and the health risks associated with osteoporosis, Dr. Su says.

Dairy products, such as non-fat milk and yogurt, are naturally high in calcium, as are vegetables such as kale and broccoli. Also, some foods and beverages, such as orange juice and cereal, are enriched with calcium.

 

 Don’t take my word for it, do your research and decide for yourself!  My goal here is to keep you “in-the-know!”

 

Thanksgiving is coming! A side dish to share…

I am not typically the one with the flair “to dress” up my dishes for the Thanksgiving table, but here is a fun idea to dress up a recipe full of clean ingredients, low in salt, and low in sugar.  Add it to your table in addition to all the traditional staples and load up on it’s healthy ingredients.

On that note, I encourage my clients to enjoy their Thanksgiving feast, by keeping their portions in check (protein, carbohydrates and fats).  Have what you want, just in moderation!  Also remember to jump back on track the next day or that evening with clean meals.

This is perfect with roast turkey or chicken!

This is perfect with roast turkey or chicken!

Festive Wild Rice Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash and Cranberries

  • Difficulty: easy

Ingredients:

1 cup wild rice

½ cup brown basmati rice

¾ teaspoon salt

1 medium white onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided (may substitute grapeseed oil)

1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed

3 stalks celery, diced

1 cup dried unsweetened cranberries

1 large apple, peeled and diced

1 cup pecan halves

3 green onions, thinly sliced

Dressing:

¼ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

salt and pepper

Method:

Preheat the oven to 400° F.

Rinse the wild rice in cold running water. Place in a medium saucepan with 2 cups water and ½ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and reduce heat to low and cook for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the water is absorbed. Set aside to cool.

Rinse the brown rice in cold running water. Place in a small saucepan with 1 cup water and ¼ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and reduce heat to low and cook for 25 minutes, until the rice is tender and the water is absorbed. Set aside to cool.

In a large skillet, sauté the onions in 1 tablespoon (grapeseed or olive oil) until they become translucent. Add the garlic and sauté until the garlic becomes fragrant. Set aside to cool.

Toss the butternut squash cubes with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet( or foil lined). Roast for 20 – 25 minutes until they are cooked and golden. Set aside.

In a small skillet, toast the pecans over medium heat, until they become fragrant. Set aside.

Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl.

In a large salad bowl, gently toss together all of the salad ingredients. Just before serving, add the dressing and toss again. Serve immediately.

This can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 days. It will last longer, but the nuts will begin to soften.

(Courtesy of Pinterest, modified by eatlivefit.net)

Holiday Eating Triggers – Take Note

The holidays are fast approaching and here are some tips to keep the stress and festivities in balance. I am sharing this post from a fellow blogger that supports my postition on eating triggers. I will only add a few tidbits of my own advice to the mix. Stay away from the dishes you traditionally eat at home when out at a party (i.e. plain chicken). It is a party after all! Keep your portion sizes to sample size so you can indulge without the guilt. This is a time when treats abound and you don’t have to look the other way completely or duck in the coat closet to avoid them. Make sure to always look for lean sources of protein (ie. steamed shrimp) so your plate doesn’t become too carbohydrate laden. Look for the appetizer sized plates rather than dinner plates at events so it is easier to keep your portions in check. Staying hydrated is a big part of the battle as well, so be sure to keep your water intake up. If your lips are dry, it is a good indication that you are dehydrated and nothing will quench it like a few good glasses of water. More to follow, but for now, enjoy these tips from Lisa’s Lentils.

7 Tips to Help You Not Gain Weight During the Holidays! « Shelita WilliamsWith the holiday season upon us in just a couple of weeks, we all want to recognize which factors can lead to those extra holiday 7 lbs this season and how to avoid the pile on.  Check it out:

  • Travel  – If you are one of the many traveling this season you are probably aware of disruptions in your regular schedule.  You may dine out more often while on travel and exercise less in a different environment.   You might be craving sugar, caffeine and carbs for quick energy and you may be exhausted.  Research has shown that our appetites can increase up to 25% when we are tired.  Be aware of this when you are on travel.  Find time to exercise daily, even if it’s just a 30-minute walk and keep in mind your diet while away.  It might be handy to have a small notepad with you so…

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One Question..how would you answer it?

dog in dishwasher

Was this you last weekend except not in the dishwasher but the Halloween candy stash?

Never fear, I hope you indulged a little, but even if you dove completely in, there is still today and everyday to get back to eating clean and healthy.  That is the beauty of eating clean, your body remembers it and loves to feel it’s best.  So jump back on the eating clean plan for your health!  Don’t succumb to the sweatpants advice, but take the first step back into a healthy routine and each step after will be easier.

Bathing suit vs sweatpants

 

Welcome to Fall folks!  In the next few weeks I will be searching and sharing recipes to make you Holiday’s full of flavor and REAL ingredients.  I hope you will add a few to your table spread this season.

So by now you are wondering if that was THE question..NOPE!  This video clip from Upworthy.com is very telling and I wanted to share it’s message with you.  How would you answer the question?

http://www.upworthy.com/50-people-are-asked-1-intimate-question-the-adults-answers-made-me-sad-the-kids-made-me-smile?c=ufb1

I agree that the kids take the prize this time around.  Be mindful of how you see yourself and treat yourself today.  Be kind to you!  This life it hard enough without you being hard on you.