Green Eating: Healthy for the Body and the Planet!

Today is Earth Day! Healthy eating and sustainable eating go hand in hand. Try one or more of these tips to help reduce your carbon footprint and improve the environment! 

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Support Your Local Community: Shop your local farmers market and buy locally produced items like fruits and vegetables. Eating food that’s in season where you live lets you choose the highest quality, most nutritious produce, while cutting down on imported foods that come with a heavy fossil fuel cost.

Try Meatless Meals: Meat production is inefficient and environmentally costly, it takes more water to raise cattle than it does to plant produce. Cattle ranching has contributed to forest destruction to make way for grazing land. Simply cutting back on your meat consumption can make a difference: try going meatless once a week – Meatless Monday!

Eat with the Seasons: A peach at the height of summer is fragrant, juicy, and flavorful. The same peach in winter, though, is hard, mealy, and bland, and has probably traveled many miles to get to your plate. Fresh fruits and vegetables tend to lose nutrients every day after they are picked, so locally grown in-season produce is high in nutrients & tastes better!

Grow Your Own: Growing a garden lets you enjoy fresh, delicious produce that tastes better than anything you could ever get at the store. It could save you money, and it also decreases your dependence on a food system that relies on fossil fuels to get produce to market.

Try New Things in the Kitchen: Knowing a few basic cooking techniques – how to make a stock, stir-fry vegetables, cook whole grains, whip up a salad dressing – can help you to reduce your carbon footprint and save you money. Restaurant meals and prepared foods require more water and energy to produce, and entail more waste. When you are at ease in the kitchen, you can find creative uses for leftovers, garden produce, and foods that are in season or on sale.

Limit Your Waste: A large amount of food is thrown away every day in the United States. Cutting down on waste is an easy and gratifying way to save money and reduce your impact on the earth. Shop with a menu in mind: buy small amounts of perishable foods (meat, dairy, fresh produce) at a time, and use them right away. Clean your fridge every week, so you can use what you have before it goes bad.

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Chicken with Artichoke Pan Sauce

This easy recipe for pan seared chicken with a freshly made artichoke pan sauce is perfect for a weeknight spring meal. Serve with fresh vegetables and whole wheat orzo or couscous for a complete meal. 
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Directions: 
1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
2 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 1/2 tsp grated lemon rind
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, divided
1 tsp garlic powder
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
2 oz pancetta, finely chopped
1 Tbsp chopped fresh garlic
1/2 cup dry sherry
1 cup frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and halved
4 tsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided

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Corned Beef Hash with Root Vegetables

St. Patrick’s day is right around the corner! I know I plan on making Sean’s Favorite Baked Corned Beef with a side of Cabbage. I usually make reuben sandwiches with the leftover corned beef, but this year I was thinking about making a hash instead! Check out this recipe from Martha Stewart.

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Ingredients:
3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
8 oz yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
8 oz carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
8 oz parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
8 oz turnips, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, halved and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
8 oz corned beef, cut into 1/2 inch dice
2 Tbsp grainy mustard
4-6 eggs, fried (or any method you prefer)
freshly ground pepper Continue reading

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Kale Artichoke Dip

Superbowl Sunday is this weekend! If you are either hosting a party or attending one, I am sure you will be surrounded by plenty of unhealthy, high calorie appetizer foods. If you make and bring your own healthy option, you will know what can fit into your healthy lifestyle. Try this lightened up kale & artichoke dip for a healthy alternative, and serve with fresh veggies and/or whole wheat pita chips.
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Ingredients:
12oz frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
10oz frozen kale, thawed and drained
4oz light cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella Continue reading

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Glazed Grilled Chicken with Szechuan Noodles

Fresh and spicy asian inspired dinner. Serve with steamed fresh broccoli for a complete meal. In the winter, you can still grill inside on the stove, or just use a pan to sear the chicken. 

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Ingredients:
1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon lower-sodium soy sauce
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds)
Cooking spray
6 ounces uncooked udon noodles (thick, fresh Japanese wheat noodles) or whole-wheat linguine
1/4 cup bottled Szechuan sauce
1 tablespoon reduced-fat creamy peanut butter
2 teaspoons lower-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 cup matchstick-cut carrots
1/2 cup matchstick-cut green onions Continue reading

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16 Health Tips for 2016

Need an idea for a new year’s resolution? Start with one of these healthy tips to get your new year off on the right foot!

  1. Eat Breakfast: Start your day off on a healthy foot with a nutritious breakfast! Include a protein, whole grains, and fruits and/or vegetables.
  2. Make Half Your Plate Fruits & Vegetables: Fruits and vegetables are a lower calorie option full of fiber, vitamins & minerals. Aim for 2 cups of fruit and 2 ½ cups of vegetables per day.
  3. Watch Portion Sizes: Using smaller plates, bowls, and glasses can help you keep your portions under control. Try measuring your food to see how much you are putting on your plate.
  4. Be Active: Start with as little as 10 minutes per day and gradually build up to at least 30 minutes 5 days a week.
  5. Fix Healthy Snacks: Snacks can sustain your energy levels between meals. Pair a fiber rich carbohydrate with a lean protein for maximum energy & satiety.
  6. Read Food Labels: Learn about portion sizes and understand what you are consuming! Read the ingredient list and choose foods with easy to understand ingredients.
  7. Get Creative in the Kitchen: Make healthy cooking at home fun! Try new recipes and experiment with new ingredients.
  8. Drink More Water: Water helps to regulate temperature, transport nutrients and oxygen to cells, carry away waste products, and much more! Try adding a glass of water to each meal and throughout the day.
  9. Dine Out without Ditching Your Goals: Plan ahead, ask questions, and choose foods carefully. Swap out higher calorie side dishes for veggies or fruit.
  10. Enact Family Meal Time: Turn off the TV and other electronic devices and enjoy the mealtime with family or friends. Family meals promote healthier eating.
  11. Follow Food Safety Guidelines: Reduce your risk of foodborne illnesses by washing your hands often and keeping raw meats and poultry away from ready to eat foods. Use a food thermometer to ensure food is thoroughly cooked. Refrigerate leftovers quickly
  12. Plan Your Meals Ahead of Time: On the weekend, plan your meals out for the week! With pre-planned meals, you will be more likely to stay on the healthy eating track & avoid any of your fast food cravings.
  13. Make Half of Your Grains Whole Grain: Whole grains are full of fiber & nutrients. Try using brown rice and whole wheat pasta instead of white. Or, try a new grain like quinoa, wheat berries, or barley! Whole grain intake has positive health benefits, learn more here.
  14. Go Meatless Once a Week: Studies show that going meatless as little as once a week (“Meatless Monday”) you decrease your intake of saturated fat and cholesterol, which benefits heart health.
  15. Eat Mindfully: Be in the here and now when you are eating. Focus on each bite of your food instead of a TV, computer screen, or book. You will be more aware of your body and your fullness cues, all while having more satisfaction from your food.
  16. Consult a Registered Dietitian: Got a nutrition question? Want to get on the right track? Contact a dietitian today, and get the right facts from a nutrition expert.

For more nutrition information and healthy tips, check out www.eatright.org

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Six Steps to Setting New Years Resolutions That Stick

Every year many people make New Years resolutions to better themselves for the new year. Majority of people do not meet their goals. Here are some tips on setting and meeting your goals for 2016. 

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  1. Change One Behavior at a Time: When setting your goal for the New Year, make a list of all you want to accomplish in 2016, then choose to focus on one goal that will either have the greatest impact on your life, is easy to accomplish, or simply is the greatest chance of success.
  2. Break Your Goal into Multiple Action Commitments: Break your goal down into smaller steps, and hold yourself accountable for each step. This will help take a long term goal, and bring it into the short term. With small, attainable goals, you will be more likely to stick to the big goal.
  3. Put Your Goal & Action Commitments into Writing: Keep your goal posted somewhere visible so you can review it and re-engage on a regular basis.
  4. Talk About It: Enroll a friend in a goal setting partnership where you support each other on a weekly basis to meet your goals. Consider joining a support group to reach your goals, such as a workout class, or a weight loss program.
  5. Don’t Beat Yourself Up: Perfection is unattainable. Minor missteps are normal and OK. Don’t give up completely if you fell off the wagon, pick yourself back up and jump back on. Use the slip as a learning opportunity on how to prevent it from happening again.
  6. Reward Yourself: Give yourself some kind of acknowledgement when the action steps are accomplished and a big reward when the final goal is reached. Do not make the rewards counteractive to you reaching your goal. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, choose a reward such as a new pair of shoes instead of a food reward.

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