Warmin’ Up

As the temperature outside decreases and the number of blankets we layer up with increases, the thoughts of comfort foods begin to roll in. Many of the health-conscious try to dodge these thoughts, staying loyal to the dietary goals they’ve set. Luckily, curling up with a favorite bowl of soup doesn’t have to be a thought dodged by anyone.

There are health benefits to eating soup, especially when the soup is properly prepared and homemade. Using low-sodium stocks and slow cooking vegetables can increase the nutritional value of the soup. Clear broth soups, like chicken noodle, can aid in re-hydrating, calming inflammation, settling stomachs and reducing congestion. More vegetable-based soups help achieve proper dietary intakes for nutrients and fiber.  Meat-based soups provide the body with proteins and amino acids. Adding spices such as tumeric, garlic or pepper increase the body’s circulation, warming you up! Additionally, garlic is known to be “an antibiotic, antiviral, and antifungal agent…” (Total Health Nutrients, 2010). No wonder the infamous any-kind-of-illness remedy is chicken noodle soup (especially if it’s chuck full of garlic and veggies). 

Recipes for the Favorites

French Onion- http://www.health.com/health/recipe/0,,10000001842491,00.html

Broccoli Cheddar- http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/healthified-broccoli-cheddar-soup-recipe/index.html

Chicken Tortilla- http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipe/soups/chicken-tortilla-soup/

Curried Cauliflower- http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/andrew-weils-curried-cauliflower-soup

For a full listing of recipes, visit http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/healthy-soup-recipes/RE00122.

How-to Video

Dr. Oz and Dr. Weil Make Curried Cauliflower Soup

With these easy and healthy recipes, the days of feeling guilty indulging in your favorite comfort soup are long gone!


*As always, remember to consult your doctor before changing your diet or treating symptoms of any illness.*

For more information, visit any of the above links or http://totalhealthnutrients.com/?p=1875 that was utilized in creating this post.
(Picture of Broccoli Cheddar soup from http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/healthified-broccoli-cheddar-soup-recipe/index.html )

Portion Control

In a world of all-you-can-eat style dining, super-sized options and bottomless servings, it’s no wonder society’s idea of what constitutes a “normal portion” is skewed. At fast food joints, the old large became the new medium and the new large now requires two hands to hold. People assume upgrading to the super-sized option for an extra $0.89, or chowing down at an all-you-can-eat buffet is really getting their bang for their buck. In reality, society is purchasing a one-way ticket to obesity, heart complications, and sky-high pharmaceutical and medical bills. Granted, eating until the button on your pants pops one or two times isn’t going to cause a huge detriment to your health; allowing these eating habits to become part of your daily routine, can. To prevent this from happening, here are some ways to remind us all what exactly is a healthy portion…

First and foremost, you eat with your eyes before anything else. When you’re “starving”, filling an entire plate with food seems logical- to your eyes. But, have you noticed the sizes of our plates? A platter and plate should not be interchangeable! Utilizing smaller plates will first and foremost keep your portion sizes down while still thinking you’re getting the satisfaction of a full platter-sized plate.

Second, tailor your portions to your lifestyle. If you’re physically active for multiple hours a day, the nutrients your body needs will vary significantly from those needed for a couch potato. Eat to replenish your body with nutrients, not until you’re stuffed. Also, by eating at a slower pace, you gain the sensation of being full faster. So, enjoy your meal- don’t make it a race.

Finally, use familiar objects when thinking of correct portion sizes. For example, when preparing protein, the portion should be no larger than a deck of cards. Or, if you’re indulging in frozen yogurt, the healthy portion size is said to be half of the size of a baseball. Inkling for a baked potato? Make sure it’s no larger than a desktop mouse. Having waffles or pancakes for breakfast? Measure up with a CD! By comparing portion sizes with things you can easily visualize in your head, you can ensure you’re preparing the healthiest portions!

Questions about this topic? Check out the trusted links below that were utilized in creating this post!






Fall into, not out of, a motivational season

Signs of Fall approaching doesn’t mean that summer-inspired workout routines and “eating clean” have to fall to the way-side. Maintaining the progress you made this summer throughout the Holiday months can be difficult- but it doesn’t have to be! “Cheating” on your summer routine throughout the autumn and winter then holding off until January 1st to make a promise to yourself to live healthier that, let’s be honest, will probably be broken within the first week, is the biggest setback you can create for yourself. Let the change in season be a motivation to keep the change in you! Stick to these five tips, and you’ll keep yourself on track! Remember, it takes thirty days for a body to adapt and fall into to a new routine!

1. Watch your favorite TV shows regularly. Yes, you read that correctly. Here’s the difference; instead of working your arm to grab the remote and skip over commercials or reach into that bag of chips, be truly active. During the show, utilize your free-weights or use that couch as a support for triceps dips. Move your stationary bike, elliptical, or treadmill in front of the TV. Try to do X amount of crunches before the commercial break is over. Your favorite show can turn your living room into the perfect gym, and you don’t even have to put your shoes on.

2. Look at the leaves. Throw on a sweater, lace up an old pair of boots, and go for a hike. With the leaves changing, why not utilize beautiful scenery while staying active? Natural landscapes and cool, fresh air provides a tranquil setting contrary to that stuffy gym atmosphere.

3. Make football game munchies. There’s no reason to deprive yourself while “eating clean”. Eating in moderation and tweaking some traditional recipe favorites won’t steer you off of your clean-eating course. Instead of loading up nachos, make home-made guacamole or salsa with your choice of healthy cracker or baked pita. Turkey burger sliders hit the spot just as well as a traditional beef patty would. Or, to satisfy that sweet tooth, caramelize your fruit of choice. Remember to be mindful of the amount of sugar you add or additional items you top it with, like frozen yogurt!

4. Be artsy. Create an inspiration board and strategically place it where you will cross its path multiple times a day. Kick the thought of staying in bed when it’s cool or rainy outside- read your board and adjust your plan for the day. There’s no harm in self-motivation. Remind yourself of your goals and of the good attributes you possess.

5. Take personal time. One important thing about living a healthy lifestyle that many overlook is to be just as conscious of your mental and emotional health as you are of your physical health. Today’s society urges people to be busier than ever. Allot some time for yourself and do something you love to do it. Creating a healthier lifestyle doesn’t imply to drop what you love to do. Providing yourself with happiness can prevent eating out of stress, becoming unmotivated, and excessively sleeping.

Some information from “10 Tips for Fall Fitness” on WebMD.com