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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Cooking Light's 12 Healthy Habits

I LOVE Cooking Light magazine!  I get some of the best and most delicious "light" recipes from there!

This year they are doing something called 12 Healthy Habits--one for each month.

In January, we are to:  Eat More Fruits and Vegetables--Add 3 or more servings of fruits and/or vegetables to your diet each day. 

Sometimes, this is easier said than done for me.  I tend to eat the most of my vegetables at dinner.  I'm trying to incorporate fruit into my breakfast (which for me usually is peanut butter on whole wheat--I'm not a lover of breakfast), and may have some fruit or veggies for a snack.  I really need to do this one.  One of my issues is leaving too much time between my meals--making me ravenous when it's time to actually eat.  I can always add a salad to lunch, or just load that sandwich with some crunchy lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers. 

How will you add more?

An easy way to incorporate a fruit or veggie into a healthy snack--eat a small banana or apple, or few pieces of celery with a Tbls of peanut butter--can you tell I love the stuff?  Or, eat a few baby carrots or celery with some hummus.  The protein in the peanut butter or hummus will help you stay fuller than just eating the fruit or veggies alone.

Who doesn't love a smoothie?  It's one of easiest ways to get more fruits and veggies (think mild veggies like carrots added to a fruit smoothie)--or make a spicy vegetable smoothie with tomato juice and a dash of Worcestershire, add some plain yogurt and you have a satisfying snack or meal.

This link will take to you the website where it lists all 12 healthy habits.
Cooking Light 12 Healthy Habits
Plus you'll get to see all the other things that Cooking Light has to offer.

Enjoy your fruits and veggies!  I think I'm going to go make a smoothie...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Studio Walk Through

What does your studio look like?  Here's a few pics of mine.  I'd love some feedback on what you think I'm doing right and what I might improve on--yes, right now I'm very organized in a haphazard sort of way! :)
 My work space is in my family room.  So that puts more pressure on me to keep it neat.  The table that I use is actually a former kitchen island that I made from stock oak cabinets that I screwed together and added a counter top onto. It's nice because it is counter height and I stand when I am working, so I don't have to bend over. It stores and hides things nicely too!
 If only I could do something with all the stuff on top :)
This table is the bottom of a baker's rack from my kitchen. Found the box (top pic) at Home Depot, a friend of mine gave me that great tower in the back.You can see one of my paintings in the back, & I've got to have my tunes when I work!  You can't see it, but my toaster oven is next to the stereo.
I have a couple more storage units--a file cabinet and small dresser on the floor in the back.

Right now it's working for me, but I know I can make it more efficient.  Any advise on how to make it look neater without having to put everything away would be much appreciated!  When I re-organize, I'll re-post.  Until then, happy creating!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Setting Realistic Fitness Goals

Are you one of the many millions of people who set fitness goals this New Years?  Here's a few tips on making those goals a reality.

1.  Come up with a main goal or goals--Exercise more, lose weight, eat healthier, etc.  Put a realistic time frame on it--a month, 6 months, a year, depending on the goal.  Make sure to talk to your doctor before starting any new fitness regimen or diet of any kind.--actually I don't recommend dieting at all--it should be a lifestyle change in the way you eat.

2.  Now break that main goal up into smaller more specific ATTAINABLE  weekly or monthly goals.  Don't sabotage yourself by making your first goal to lose 10 pounds in a week, or to get up tomorrow and run 10 miles!  Smaller goals such as making time to exercise at least 5 days this week--whether it be for 15 min or 1 hour--getting into the habit is more important than the actual time spent right now.  Or, drinking an extra glass of water a day for a week, or eating healthier snacks for the week.  I think you should NEVER put a specific number on how much weight you want to lose in a week--maybe a month or year, but not a week.  Instead, get on the scale and be happy about any amount of LOSS you have.  Actually, the slower you lose, the more likely you will keep it off.

3.  Reward yourself for keeping these smaller goals.  NO, not with FOOD!!!  It can be as simple as buying something for yourself like a new pair of running socks to getting a massage.

4.  NEVER say NEVER!  The minute you say, "I will NEVER eat or do that again," that is all you are going to obsess about.  Instead, say "I will only eat that on special occasions or in 1 bite increments." or something similar to that.

5.  Learn about portion sizes.  Read labels--they will tell you what a portion truly is.  If you have a hard time with this, spend the extra money in the beginning and buy things in single serve packages and only eat that serving.  This is good for everything--whether it's a snack package or a lunch or dinner entree.  Remember you can always add a salad with just a bit of dressing to give you more food to eat.

6.  Lastly, make and eat more soup!!!  No, not canned--WAY too much sodium!!!!  Soup is one of easiest and most satisfying things that you can make and eat.  Have some leftover vegetables?  Throw them into a pot!  Add some broth--low sodium is better, or a small can of tomato sauce and another can or two of water.  Add some seasonings--garlic, oregano, thyme--whatever you like--Simmer for 15-20 minutes (more if the veggies are raw) Dinner!  Start from these basics and the sky's the limit--you can add in some cooked diced chicken, or canned beans for a protein boost.  If you like "cream" soup, throw some of the veggie mixture into a blender and add just a bit of skim milk or lowfat sour cream.  Add a salad and a piece of whole grain bread--YUM!

Here's a recipe for healthy Cream of Broccoli soup from the Cooking Light website:  ENJOY!

  • YIELD: 6 servings (serving size: 1 cup)
  • COURSE: Soups/Stews
  • Ingredients

  • 6 cups small broccoli florets
  • 2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • Dash of ground mace
  • Preparation

  • Combine first 3 ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Place half of broccoli mixture in a blender; process until smooth. Pour broccoli mixture into a bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining broccoli mixture. Return pureed mixture to pan.

  • Combine milk and flour, stirring with a whisk until well blended; add to broccoli mixture. Cook over medium heat 3 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken, stirring frequently. Add lemon juice, butter, salt, pepper, and mace, stirring until butter melts.

  • Nutritional Information
  • Amount per serving
  • Calories: 91
  • Calories from fat: 31%
  • Fat: 3.1g
  • Saturated fat: 1.8g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 0.8g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.2g
  • Protein: 6.2g
  • Carbohydrate: 10.8g
  • Fiber: 2.3g
  • Cholesterol: 10mg
  • Iron: 0.8mg
  • Sodium: 418mg
  • Calcium: 136mg