Monday, December 31, 2012

Chicken with Clementine and Cranberry Sauce


Clementines are in season right now (YAY!) and help to pull together this easy, citrusy dinner.   I found a similar recipe ages ago and have made changes along the way to get it to something I love and look forward to making!  

TIP, if you don't have a whole chicken, or would prefer to use chicken breasts, you can cook them as usual and follow step 4 to serve with sauce.  Then it is even easier, enjoy!

Ingredients
1 (4-pound) chicken or chicken breasts/thighs
1/2 teaspoon salt (have you tried low sodium salt yet?)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 clementine, quartered
  • 1/2 cup orange juice (about 2 oranges for fresh)
    1/2 cup fresh cranberries
    2 tablespoons sugar or splenda equivalent
    1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
    1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
    2 tablespoons Madeira wine, chicken broth or water
    2 cups clementine sections (about 6 clementines)

    Preparation
    1. Preheat oven to 450°.
    2. Remove and discard giblets and neck from the chicken. Rinse chicken with cold water; pat dry. Trim excess fat. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat. Rub salt and pepper under loosened skin, and sprinkle in body cavity.  If using breasts/thighs, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
    3. Place clementine quarters in cavity. Place chicken, breast side down, on a broiler pan. Insert meat thermometer into meaty part of thigh, making sure not to touch bone. Bake at 450° for 25 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°. Turn chicken, breast side up; bake at 350° for 1 hour or until thermometer registers 180°. Cover chicken loosely with foil; let stand 10 minutes. Discard skin.
    4. Place the orange juice, cranberries, and sugar or splenda in a medium sauce-pan. Cook at medium-high for 5 minutes or until the cranberries pop; add the 1/2 cup chicken broth. Combine the cornstarch and wine or chicken broth/water in a small dish, and stir into the cranberry mixture. Bring to a boil, and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and stir in the clementine sections.
    5. Serve sauce over chicken, enjoy!
    Pic from whatscooking.us 

    Hope you got your daily dose of nutrition today, and thanks for reading! If you enjoy the blog, please share using the buttons below, or in the box to the right. Also, we would love to have you join us! Join this site in the "followers" box to the right. "Like" the blog on facebook, and follow me on twitter (@jennasteprd), tumblr, and pinterest using the the boxes on the right. Thanks, and have a great day! ~jenna

    Thursday, December 27, 2012

    Awesome Appetizer - Tomato and Olive Crostini

     
    Here is an awesome appetizer you can try if you are throwing a New Years Eve Party, or asked to bring something to one!  This recipe makes enough for about 8 little ones, you can alter it for as many as you need or want to make pretty easily.  I usually taste test along the way to get a balance I'm in the mood for.  It is a great recipe as is every time though, enjoy!

    Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup chopped plum tomato 
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
    • 1 tablespoon chopped pitted green or black olives
    • 1 teaspoon capers
    • 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
    • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil 
    • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
    • Dash of freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 1/4 inch slices from a French bread baguette (8 for this recipe amount) 
    • Cooking spray 
    • 1 garlic clove, halved
    1. Directions
    2. 1. Preheat oven to 375º.
    3. 2. Combine first 9 ingredients.
    4. 3. Lightly coat both sides of bread slices with cooking spray; arrange bread slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 375º for 4 minutes on each side or until lightly toasted.
    5. 4. Rub 1 side of bread slices with halved garlic; top evenly with tomato mixture


    Hope you got your daily dose of nutrition today, and thanks for reading! If you enjoy the blog, please share using the buttons below, or in the box to the right. Also, we would love to have you join us! Join this site in the "followers" box to the right. "Like" the blog on facebook, and follow me on twitter (@jennasteprd), tumblr, and pinterest using the the boxes on the right. Thanks, and have a great day! ~jenna

    Thursday, December 6, 2012

    In Season - Grapefruit



    Think the "grapefruit diet" belongs to weight loss folklore? Actually, not quite.  Interestingly, Researchers at the Scripps Clinic found that those who ate half a grapefruit with each meal for 12 weeks lost an average of 3.6 pounds, while those who drank grapefruit juice three times a day lost 3.3 pounds. Many subjects lost more than 10 pounds in the study. Grapefruit's low calorie count (60 calories per 1/2 grapefruit) combined with its high fiber and water content may explain these weight loss benefits.  Grapefruit is also commonly thought to combat sweet cravings.

    While all grapefruit are high in vitamin C, the pink and red varieties are also an excellent source of vitamin A and give you a significant amount of lycopene which is a potent antioxidant.  Lycopene that may reduce the risk of heart disease and prostate cancer. One study, out of the University of Manchester, showed eating lycopene-rich fruit resulted in 33% more protection against sunburn, who knew? Grapefruits are also loaded with other anti-cancer phytochemicals, such as limonoids which research shows may reduce the risk of cancer by stimulating the body's natural detoxification enzymes. 

    It is important to keep in mind that a phytochemical found in grapefruit, naringenin, can affect how some medications are absorbed in the intestine - and may actually raise or lower drug levels in blood. Consult your physician if you are taking prescribed medications and frequently consume grapefruit or grapefruit juice.


    Hope you got your daily dose of nutrition today, and thanks for reading! If you enjoy the blog, please share using the buttons below, or in the box to the right. Also, we would love to have you join us! Join this site in the "followers" box to the right. "Like" the blog on facebook, and follow me on twitter (@jennasteprd), tumblr, and pinterest using the the boxes on the right. Thanks, and have a great day! ~jenna

    Wednesday, December 5, 2012

    Exercise Tips from Celebrity Trainer Jackie Warner



    Celebrity Trainer Jackie Warner has some great exercise tips.  Here are a few of my favorite from her!
    • Long, boring workouts aren't the best way to lose weight. "How long you work out isn't as important as how strong you work out," Warner says. You can get great results from a short (10- to 20-minute) high-intensity workout, making it easy to fit exercise into your busy schedule.
    • Burning muscles mean you're working and you're going to have more tone, Warner says. If you're concerned about bulking up, go with lighter weights and higher repetitions, but make sure your muscles are on fire for the last five to 10 reps.
    • Changing your workout music is just one of many simple ways to stay motivated, Warner says. Plus, studies show that listening to music during your workout can help you work harder and fight fatigue.
    • Don't make weight loss your only goal. "My most successful clients are the ones that set specific fitness goals," Warner says. Find a race that you want to run, work toward doing 5 consecutive push-ups, or simply increase your speed on the treadmill by a certain amount each week.

      Music makes that workout better!  I love this picture :)  Image from here

    Hope you got your daily dose of nutrition today, and thanks for reading! If you enjoy the blog, please share using the buttons below, or in the box to the right. Also, we would love to have you join us! Join this site in the "followers" box to the right. "Like" the blog on facebook, and follow me on twitter (@jennasteprd), tumblr, and pinterest using the the boxes on the right. Thanks, and have a great day! ~jenna

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

    Quick Healthy Holiday Tip


    Try to take the focus off food around the holiday season.  Create new traditions with your family and friends that do not center around meals or treats.  Here are a couple ideas, share your favorite non-food holiday traditions in the comments!
    • Turn candy and cookie making time into making non-edible projects, like wreaths, gingerbread houses (pick candy you aren't tempted by!), or other fun holiday decorations (think pinterest here!)
    • Plan group activities with family and friends that don't center around treats or a meal.  Try ice skating, sledding, serving a holiday meal to the community, looking at Christmas lights, games, or caroling!
    • Other activities could include building a snowman, watching a Christmas movie, volunteering a food bank, or decorating the tree!  Be creative, and make this holiday season one to remember :)
    My sister and I with our cute Gingerbread house!



    Hope you got your daily dose of nutrition today, and thanks for reading! If you enjoy the blog, please share using the buttons below, or in the box to the right. Also, we would love to have you join us! Join this site in the "followers" box to the right. "Like" the blog on facebook, and follow me on twitter (@jennasteprd), tumblr, and pinterest using the the boxes on the right. Thanks, and have a great day! ~jenna

    Monday, December 3, 2012

    Oatmeal Cookies with Caramel and Apple



    Stress of the holidays leave you craving something sweet?  These sweet treats will leave you satisfied, and at only 80 calories a piece, they are perfect!  Recipe from Cooking Light, March 2010.



    Ingredients
    • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (you can try whole wheat flour, it makes the cookie a little bit dryer)
    • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 3/4 cup sugar (try splenda for less calories, or half splenda, half sugar)
    • 3/4 cup brown sugar
    • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened (I like blue bonnet lowfat butter)
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 large egg
    • 3/4 cup finely chopped apple pieces (or you can use dried apple)
    • 3/4 cup caramel bits (can use caramel candies chopped up)
    Directions
    1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
    2. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a bowl; stir well.
    3. Place sugars and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg; beat well. Gradually add flour mixture; beat at low speed until just combined. Fold in apple and caramel bits.
    4. Drop dough by 2 teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Flatten balls slightly with hand. Bake at 350° for 9 minutes (check at 7 min for doneness). Cool on pans 3 minutes. Remove cookies from pans; cool completely on wire racks.


    Hope you got your daily dose of nutrition today, and thanks for reading! If you enjoy the blog, please share using the buttons below, or in the box to the right. Also, we would love to have you join us! Join this site in the "followers" box to the right. "Like" the blog on facebook, and follow me on twitter (@jennasteprd), tumblr, and pinterest using the the boxes on the right. Thanks, and have a great day! ~jenna

    Friday, November 30, 2012

    Less Stress = Better Eating


    This time of year it is so easy to get caught up in everything going on, and find yourself so stressed out, everything falls apart.  Here are a few ways to simplify life and focus on what is really important as we move into the new year.  You are likely to do better with your eating habits, if you aren't completely stressed out.  I promise!
     
    • Learn to say "No".  This is such an important one!  Cut back on engagements and other social get-togethers that you don't really enjoy or look forward too.  Especially this time of year, things can really pile up fast.  Before you know it, every second of every day is booked solid!  Say no to the ones you don't especially want to go to, and save that time and energy for the things that really matter and you love most.
    • Do one thing at a time.  When you find yourself multi-tasking so much that nothing gets your full attention, stop and focus on one thing at a time.  You wont enjoy the things you are doing this season if you are constantly juggling too many tasks, plus you will be exhausted!
    • De-Clutter.  Remove ten things from your closet that you haven't worn this year.  Donate them to a good cause.  Next do this too your toy room, book shelf, dresser, anything that has become over run and could use a going through.  Don't do it alone, enlist the children/teens to help you find things to donate, simultaneously organizing and helping someone in need out.  What a good lesson for the kids, and good before bringing in new toys/clothes from the holidays!


    Hope you got your daily dose of nutrition today, and thanks for reading! If you enjoy the blog, please share using the buttons below, or in the box to the right. Also, we would love to have you join us! Join this site in the "followers" box to the right. "Like" the blog on facebook, and follow me on twitter (@jennasteprd), tumblr, and pinterest using the the boxes on the right. Thanks, and have a great day! ~jenna

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

    Q&A - Lighter Holiday Recipes


    Question: How do I make my holiday recipes a little lighter? 
    Answer: Family recipes are so traditional during the holidays, and we don't want to change them completely!  Here are a few tips to simply lighten them up, rather than any drastic changes.
    -Skim the fat off the top of gravies and sauces.  You can either skim it easily with a slotted spoon, or if you have time, stick it in the refrigerator and let it harden up.  Then you can easily remove the hardened fat off the top.  You can also try dropping a few ice cubes in and the fat will harden up around them.
    -Make sure to use non-hydrogenated oils or trans fat free margarines instead of shortening or butter.  Also, try using a light butter/margarine, Blue Bonnet's light butter comes in sticks and is very easy to substitute!
    -Try adding nuts or fruits to baked goods to add some healthy vitamins and minerals.
    -A few easy substitutions include:
         -Use two egg whites or 1/4 cup egg substitute instead of one whole egg
         -Try evaporated skim milk instead of heavy cream
         -Replace half or all of the oil in a recipe with an equal amount of applesauce (apple sauce in place of oil works best in moist products, like quick breads)
     for
         -Use low-fat versions of cheese and other dairy products
         -Try finding creative toppings for casseroles, i.e. almonds instead of fried onions.

    Hope you got your daily dose of nutrition today, and thanks for reading! If you enjoy the blog, please share using the buttons below, or in the box to the right. Also, we would love to have you join us! Join this site in the "followers" box to the right. "Like" the blog on facebook, and follow me on twitter (@jennasteprd), tumblr, and pinterest using the the boxes on the right. Thanks, and have a great day! ~jenna

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

    Does Cooking Vegetables Mean Less Nutrients?


    Q&A
    I hear this question frequently from my patients, and I found all these great examples on a newsletter from a dietitian site, and thought it answered it quite nicely.  I did not write all of these, but they give permission to share it.
     
    Question:  Does cooking deplete vitamins and minerals?  Should I only eat raw vegetables if I want to absorb all of the nutrients?
    Steamed broccoli - pic from here
     
    Answer: While some foods become less nutritious with cooking, other nutrients actually will become easier to absorb.
    Look at these examples:

    • Heating garlic increases its potential to decrease the risk of cancer

    • Heating increases the availability of lycopene, an important antioxidant that helps prevent several forms of cancer (the richest source of lycopene is cooked tomatoes)

    • Steaming broccoli increases its glucosinolates, which may help to prevent cancer

    • Vitamin A and potassium are not lost during canning; in fact in some foods, such as canned pumpkin, the vitamin A content actually is higher than it is in fresh foods

    Here are some other tips for cooking vegetables:
    • Steaming, boiling, or baking are always better than frying vegetables

    • As Dr Joel Fuhrman says: "Water-based cooking as in soups, steaming, and cooking in a pressure cooker results in very little loss of nutrients and a significant increase in the absorption of phytochemicals. To fear eating a steamed vegetable or vegetable/bean soup is entirely unfounded and without scientific support."

    • Always slice, chop, or crush onions to increase the formation of sulfur compounds, which helps to lower blood cholesterol and prevent heart disease (it’s best to allow cut onions to sit for 10 minutes before using them)



    Hope you got your daily dose of nutrition today, and thanks for reading! If you enjoy the blog, please share using the buttons below, or in the box to the right. Also, we would love to have you join us! Join this site in the "followers" box to the right. "Like" the blog on facebook, and follow me on twitter (@jennasteprd), tumblr, and pinterest using the the boxes on the right. Thanks, and have a great day! ~jenna

    Monday, November 19, 2012

    Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts (great appetizer!)


    So, I have no idea where I found this idea.  My husband and I have been making it for years, and it always is a huge hit.  We have taken it to football parties, holiday gatherings, and many other get togethers where we are asked to bring an appetizer.  They are always gone quickly!

    Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts
    Ingredients
    1 Package of bacon (either center cut or try turkey!)
    2 cans whole water chestnuts
    1/2 Jar Teriyaki Sauce (I use Kikkoman marinade and sauce)
    ToothPicks

    Directions
    1. Cut each slice of bacon into thirds or fourths.  
    2. Wrap each small piece around 1 water chestnut, securing with a tooth pick.  
    3. Line up in rows in a baking Pan (I use a 9x13).  
    4. After all are lined up, pour half a jar of the teriyaki sauce over them.  Try not to get sauce on the toothpick.  Make sure each one has some sauce on it.  (you can use light sauce, and really this is a low cal app!)  
    5. Cover the pan with foil and bake at 350 F for 45 min.  Remove the foil and bake for another 10-15 min.  

    Since the recipe starts with bacon, here is a calorie break down.  Each water chest nut is between 6-7 calories, 1/4 slice of bacon (center cut or extra lean turkey) is 5 calories, and the sauce, if you use 1/2 the bottle, breaks down to about 3 calories per chestnut.  So...we are looking at most, 15 calories a piece!  How do you like that??  Enjoy!


    Hope you got your daily dose of nutrition today, and thanks for reading! If you enjoy the blog, please share using the buttons below, or in the box to the right. Also, we would love to have you join us! Join this site in the "followers" box to the right. "Like" the blog on facebook, and follow me on twitter (@jennasteprd), tumblr, and pinterest using the the boxes on the right. Thanks, and have a great day! ~jenna

    Saturday, November 17, 2012

    Brussel Sprouts (how to get everyone to eat them!)


    For some reason, I know a lot of people that dislike Brussel Sprouts.  I personally love them. But in an effort to make them more accepted by others, I have found baking them with a little lite butter and bacon does wonders.  It adds so much yummy flavor and gets others to enjoy these little nutrient packed vegetables.  

    In fact, one cup has a good amount of fiber, 3-4 grams, 195% of Vitamin K needs, 125% of your needs for vitamin C, and also is a good source of vitamin A, B6, Folate, Thiamin, Iron, Potassium, and Manganese, all while being low calorie!

    Image from here

    So, here is how to make Brussel Sprouts a hit on Thanksgiving!
    Brussel Sprouts (with Bacon) 

    Ingredients

    • 2  hickory-smoked bacon slices (try turkey bacon)
    • 4  large shallots, thinly sliced (can use a red onion if you don't have time to get shallots)
    • 2  pounds  Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
    • 1/2  cup  water or chicken stock 
    • 1/2  teaspoon salt, divided
    • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
    • Cooking spray
    • 2 slices whole wheat bread, dried out (do it with your stuffing bread)
    • 3  tablespoons low fat butter (try blue bonnet or Brummel and Brown)
    • 1/3 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese

    Directions

    1. Preheat broiler.
    2. Cook bacon in a large fry pan over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, saving drippings.  Crumble bacon. Increase heat to medium-high. 
    3. Add shallots/onions to drippings in pan; sauté for 2 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add Brussels sprouts and 1/2 cup water or stock; bring to a boil. 
    4. Cover pan loosely, simmer 6 minutes or until Brussels sprouts are almost tender. Uncover and remove from heat. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper; toss to combine. 
    5. While brussel sprouts are simmering, place bread in a food processor, and process until finely ground. Melt butter in small pan over medium-high heat. Add breadcrumbs and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt to pan; sauté for 2 minutes or until toasted, stirring frequently. 
    6. Spoon Brussels sprouts mixture into a 2-quart broiler-safe glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Top with crumbled bacon.
    7. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over Brussels sprouts mixture.  Top with shredded parmesan. 
    8. Broil 3 minutes or until golden and thoroughly heated.

    You can prepare brussel sprouts the day before, except for broiling them (step 8).  Give them a quick broil on Thanksgiving to heat thoroughly.  Yay for make-ahead dishes!


    Hope you got your daily dose of nutrition today, and thanks for reading! If you enjoy the blog, please share using the buttons below, or in the box to the right. Also, we would love to have you join us! Join this site in the "followers" box to the right. "Like" the blog on facebook, and follow me on twitter (@jennasteprd), tumblr, and pinterest using the the boxes on the right. Thanks, and have a great day! ~jenna

    Friday, November 16, 2012

    Stuffin' Muffin Recipe


    I love making the traditional Thanksgiving foods with little swaps that make them so much better for you, but still classic.  Here is a twist on stuffing, making it into stuffing muffins!  I have seen this idea a few different places, and I like it for a few different reasons.  

    One, its portion controlled, and that is one of the biggest challenges with the grain/carb group.   Two, you can significantly cut down on the fat by preparing them this way.  And three, everyone gets some of the yummy crunchy parts, as well as the inside soft parts, everyone wins!  This recipe is also great for anytime of the year you are wanting a Thanksgiving favorite!

    I couldn't find my own picture from making these, so I found one that looks similar, this picture is from here
     
    Stuffin' Muffins
     
    Ingredients
  • 9  cups whole wheat bread cubes (12 slices bread)
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 7-8 slices Turkey bacon (get that turkey flavor in there!) 
  • 2 tablespoons low fat butter
  • 1-1/2  cups coarsely chopped red onions
  • 3  stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 1/2  teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  • 1 1/2  teaspoon dried sage, crushed
  • 2  large red or green apples, chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 1  tablespoon  minced garlic ( about 4 cloves)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1  cup  chicken broth
  • Small fresh sage leaves (optional)
  •  
    Directions
    1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Spread bread cubes in a 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Bake, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes or until cubes are dry, stirring twice; cool. (Cubes will continue to dry and crisp as they cool.) Or let bread cubes stand, loosely covered, at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours.2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat twelve 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with cooking spray.
    3. In an extra large fry pan, cook turkey bacon over medium heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels; crumble bacon. Drain fat, reserving about 1 tablespoon drippings in pan.
    4. Add butter to pan. Add onions, celery, and herbs; cook over medium heat for 7 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Add apples and garlic; cook and stir for 2 to 4 minutes or until apple is just softened. Transfer to an extra large bowl.
    5. Add bread cubes, crumbled bacon, salt and pepper to vegetable/fruit mixture; toss gently to combine. Add broth and toss until moistened.
    6. Spoon about 2/3 cup stuffing into each prepared muffin cup; press to pack tightly. If desired, top each cup with a fresh sage leaf. 
    7. Bake, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until stuffing is hot and tops are light brown. Cool about 10 minutes. Carefully remove from pans; serve warm. Makes 12 servings.



    Hope you got your daily dose of nutrition today, and thanks for reading! If you enjoy the blog, please share using the buttons below, or in the box to the right. Also, we would love to have you join us! Join this site in the "followers" box to the right. "Like" the blog on facebook, and follow me on twitter (@jennasteprd), tumblr, and pinterest using the the boxes on the right. Thanks, and have a great day! ~jenna

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

    Top 6 Thanksgiving Tips (for staying on track!)

    I'm starting to feel like the holiday season is in full swing.  Let me first say that I LOVE Thanksgiving.  I love all Thanksgiving foods, being with family, the gratefulness that comes with Thanksgiving, and the happy, positive energy this time of year.  I have to admit though, I do start listening to Christmas music and watching Christmas movies once Halloween is over.  Not that I am skipping Thanksgiving!  I just feel like it is the "Holiday Season" and I have too many Christmas movies to watch, to wait until December :)  I know some of you do the same thing!!

    I will be posting my favorite or new Thanksgiving recipes the rest of the week and into next week, for any of you that want new ideas!  Today though, I'm going to give you my top 10 tips for making sure Thanksgiving doesn't derail your healthy eating plans or diet completely.  It can be done!  


    Image from here

    1. Keep Thanksgiving to ONE meal.  Be so careful with those leftovers!  Turkey, great leftover.  Everything else?  Give away or don't take home with you!

    2. Focus on Favorites.  So there are eight different kinds of sweet potatoes to pick from?  Pick your favorite and avoid the rest.  No need to eat and include things that you don't love.  Twelve different desserts?  Pick the one you most look forward too, and skip the others.

    3. Don't Starve!  Be sure to still eat little snacks or meals through the day leading up to Thanksgiving dinner.  You will make better choices and not over indulge too much.  Also, you will consume many more calories with all the tasting and picking through the day, compared with just having a greek yogurt or something to keep you satisfied.

    4. Eat your Calories, Don't Drink Them.  You will feel much more satisfied by eating the traditional favorites on Thanksgiving than by any calories you will get from drinks.  Alcoholic drinks and sugary punches are loaded with calories with calories and will leave you much worse off.  Drink lots of water, and sip slowly any beverage containing calories.  

    5. Up the Vegetables.  Find out what vegetables (green! green beans, salad, brussel sprouts, etc) will be available, and offer to bring one.  Make sure your plate has a good portion devoted to the vegetables, and that will keep the abundance of starchy options down just a little.  

    6. Forget about the Clean Plate Club.  You don't want in that club.  If something doesn't taste good, you feel full, or satisfied, leave the rest.  You can do it.  It is just fine to get full and not finish everything on your plate. Don't keep eating when your body tells you are done.  

    There you have it, some ideas to help you stay on track.  Keep an eye out for more to come as we get closer to the big day :)  What helps you the most to stay on track during the holidays?  Share below!


    Hope you got your daily dose of nutrition today, and thanks for reading! If you enjoy the blog, please share using the buttons below, or in the box to the right. Also, we would love to have you join us! Join this site in the "followers" box to the right. "Like" the blog on facebook, and follow me on twitter (@jennasteprd), tumblr, and pinterest using the the boxes on the right. Thanks, and have a great day! ~jenna

    Tuesday, November 6, 2012

    And The Winner Is.....

    That was a very tight race!  You all did excellent, and I hope it was a good experience!  


    Our first place winner, with 66 points is Debbie Burningham!  She won by 3 points, way to go Debbie!

    We had 6 tie for 2nd place with 63 points, so I put all six names in a hat and drew out 2 for our 2nd and 3rd place winners... The winners for 2nd and 3rd place are: Brittney Q. and Suzanne T., nice work!!

    Honorable mention to others with 63 points include Dennis T, Heidi F, Debbie E, Holly A!

    If the 3 winners could private message me on Facebook your address I will send your prize :)  

    Thank you again to all the participants, and congratulations to those of you who finished!!  We had so many of you at 60 points, and in the 50s range, great job!  I am planning to run another challenge in the beginning of the new year, keep a look out if you want to participate again.  


    Hope you got your daily dose of nutrition today, and thanks for reading! If you enjoy the blog, please share using the buttons below, or in the box to the right. Also, we would love to have you join us! Join this site in the "followers" box to the right. "Like" the blog on facebook, and follow me on twitter (@jennasteprd), tumblr, and pinterest using the the boxes on the right. Thanks, and have a great day! ~jenna

    Wednesday, October 31, 2012

    Day 30 - Prepare to Eat Out


    Day 30!!  Can you believe you made it!?  Congratulations to those of you who completed all 30 days!

    Your last goal is to be prepared for eating out.  Your best bet to be successful when eating out is to check out the nutrition information before you go!  You may be surprised with some of the salads that are outrageous in calories (Chili's Quesadilla Explosion salad at 1400 calories!!), and some of the other options that may work great.  If you have a phone with apps get the "Fast Food" app (little hamburger as icon).  Check out my Restaurant Links Tab for direct links to many restaurant's nutrition information.  Most restaurants have their nutrition information listed on their webpages, but you have to look for it.  Usually if you go to "Menu", there is a small link for the nutrition.  

    My suggestion would be to look at a few of your favorite choices and see what the best option will be before going out.  If you are going to small restaurant that doesn't have nutrition info, pick a comparable chain place and check out their nutrition info for general guidelines (small Italian place?  look at Olive Garden).  To get your point for day 30, look at three common places you go out to eat out, find their nutrition info, and find some good picks for next time you go!  Be prepared to eat out :)

    Hope you got your daily dose of nutrition today, and thanks for reading! If you enjoy the blog, please share using the buttons below, or in the box to the right. Also, we would love to have you join us! Join this site in the "followers" box to the right. "Like" the blog on facebook, and follow me on twitter (@jennasteprd), tumblr, and pinterest using the the boxes on the right. Thanks, and have a great day! ~jenna

    Tuesday, October 30, 2012

    Day 29 - Try Something New


    New Week!  Just like mom always said "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!".  This one you only  have a couple days of, but I recommend trying to do it all week!  Eating breakfast is an important part of starting the day off right, as well as keeping your metabolism moving efficiently.  When you skip breakfast, you get the mindset of "I missed breakfast, I can have this (insert unhealthy food here) to make up for it".  Not a good plan!  Research shows eating breakfast helps you stay on top of your cravings during the day as well.  

    As far as metabolism is concerned, your body does not like to go from dinner to lunch the next day.  It is too long, and in just that amount of time, it will start to worry about when you are going to feed it again.  So instead of using what you are giving it at lunch, it wants to store the carbs/fat/protein in case you aren't going to eat again soon.  Remember, your metabolism does best when you eat every 2-3 hours, and that includes starting off with breakfast!  

    Breakfast does not have to be traditional cereal.  Try a sandwich, wrap, yogurt with berries, eggs (or simple egg muffins, recipe here).  Be creative, find solutions if you don't have time in the morning.  Take a yogurt out the door with an apple.  It doesn't even have to go together :)  Something to get you off to a good start!

    The goal for day 29 is to try a new food.  I see children for picky eating, but I also work with the adults I am seeing for other things on their picky eating!  There are so many great things out there, and part of a healthy diet and not getting bored is new options, and lots of them!  Your new food can come from any food group, and it can even be something you think you don't like, but haven't tried for a long time!  Don't like yogurt but haven't tried the greek kind?  Give it a try!  Have you tried jicama, celery root, parsnips, acorn squash, or spaghetti squash?  All great fall vegetables!  Find a way to use them and see what you think!  For those without power, remember it can be any kind of food, try a new healthy cracker/chip product, or a low calorie bread/bagel.  Try something new out to eat (mashed cauliflower anyone?).  To get your +1 for day 29, try a new food, tell us what you tried, and you get your point :)  Enjoy!

    Hope you got your daily dose of nutrition today, and thanks for reading! If you enjoy the blog, please share using the buttons below, or in the box to the right. Also, we would love to have you join us! Join this site in the "followers" box to the right. "Like" the blog on facebook, and follow me on twitter (@jennasteprd), tumblr, and pinterest using the the boxes on the right. Thanks, and have a great day! ~jenna

    Monday, October 29, 2012

    Day 28 - Tone It Up!


    Hey Everyone!  I hope all our participants on the East Coast are staying safe, warm and dry tonight!  The goal for Day 28 doesn't require leaving the house for all our friends dealing with Hurricane Sandy.  The goal is to get some toning exercises into the day.  Do 15 min of toning exercises for +1.  This can be simply sit-ups, push-ups, planks, lunges, squats, or you can do any toning you already know.  

    For some new ideas, check out fitnessmagazine.com.  Click on "work-outs" and you can pick any body part you want to target!  It will give you easy ideas that have step by step instructions.  I love checking out their work-outs for new ideas.  

    Day 28 is also the last day of Vegetables!  Get your 3 in one more time, and take that habit with you as we move into our final week goal (even though it will be shortened).  Only a couple more days, you can do this!


    Hope you got your daily dose of nutrition today, and thanks for reading! If you enjoy the blog, please share using the buttons below, or in the box to the right. Also, we would love to have you join us! Join this site in the "followers" box to the right. "Like" the blog on facebook, and follow me on twitter (@jennasteprd), tumblr, and pinterest using the the boxes on the right. Thanks, and have a great day! ~jenna

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

    Day 27 - Portion Sizes

    Hey Guys!  Starting in on our last week!  I hope by this point you have some tools to take forward to conquer eating challenges through out the holidays!  

    For day 27, we are going to focus on portion sizes.  The goal is to try measuring the portions that need measured for your different food groups for 3 meals.  If you have to go out, or don't see this before breakfast, it can carry over to Tuesday and you can post your points on Tuesday, just after.  When I first meet with someone, I teach portion sizes, but I stress the most important part of that is balance through out the day.  It is ok to have more than one serving of grains or whatever the group is, as long as your day is balanced (which we have already talked a lot about over the month!)

    Here is a quick run down of the servings:

    Grains - 1/2 cup cooked grains (rice, pasta, quinoa, oatmeal, potatoes etc), grains servings are around 80-100 calories for 1 serving, so looking at a cereal label, how ever much you can eat for about that range equals 1 serving.  Try measuring that cereal out, you will be surprised!  Same goes for crackers, chips, etc.

    Vegetables - 1 cup when they are raw, 1/2 cup cooked - Easy!

    Fruit - check out our fruit day for the full list here

    Dairy - 8 oz milk, 6-8 oz yogurt, 1/2 cup low fat frozen yogurt or ice cream (Ice cream is really shocking to measure!)

    Protein - 1 oz equals = 1 serving.  1 oz looks like 4 dice, 3 oz looks like deck of cards.  It is cooked weight, so if you know the raw weight, subtract 25%. (8 oz raw chicken breast is 6 oz cooked).  If you have a good scale, good day to try weighing some things!  Cheese, nuts and eggs are in this group as well.  (Also, we haven't spent a lot of time here, but you all should be getting at least 8 oz from this group each day!)

    Fat - 1 serving is between 45-50 calories.  1 tsp of oil/butter = 1 serving.  You can use the calorie range for low fat items, sometimes you can have 1 Tbsp, sometimes 2 Tbsp for low fat items like dressing, butter, etc.  

    Ok, so that is a simple, quick run down!  You may have to refer back to this as you measure the foods in 3 different meals.  Here is the thing, I don't think anyone needs to measure the foods or portion sizes forever!  I do think it is important to measure occasionally to get a refresher on what 1/2 cup rice or 1 cup of cereal actually looks like!  It helps you keep those serving sizes in check better when you are out to eat or trying to stay on track.  Give it try.  So to get your +1 for day 27, measure the foods you eat at 3 meals, and you can use meals on Tuesday to help you get 3!  Sound good?  Let me know if you find anything crazy.  *Side note* I did a nutrition class for incoming freshman at a college, and we had them pour how much cereal they thought was 1 serving into a bowl, most poured 6-7 servings!  Oops!  :)


    Hope you got your daily dose of nutrition today, and thanks for reading! If you enjoy the blog, please share using the buttons below, or in the box to the right. Also, we would love to have you join us! Join this site in the "followers" box to the right. "Like" the blog on facebook, and follow me on twitter (@jennasteprd), tumblr, and pinterest using the the boxes on the right. Thanks, and have a great day! ~jenna

    Saturday, October 27, 2012

    Day 26 - 3 Healthy Goals


    I hope you are all having a great weekend!  You are getting so close to the end of your 30 days, time to make some new goals.  The best way to continue losing weight or maintain that healthy weight is by continually setting new goals!  For day 26, I want you to make 3 goals that you can work on for the next month.  Think over the daily or weekly challenges we have had, and pick ones that were especially challenging or really good for you to work on.  

    Making goals will also help you get through the holidays without any unwanted gains!  When making your goals, think about setting "SMART" goals.  This stands for: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-oriented.  You want goals that you can measure your progress on.  

    If you simply set the goal of "more water", how do you know if you have achieved it, or what you need to drink each day?  Instead, making the goal "I will drink 80 oz of water every day for the month of November", is a much more specific, measurable and time-oriented goal.  Also, this would be a great goal if I was only drinking 64 oz of water, because 80 oz is only 2 additional cups, which is doable.  But, if I was only drinking 16 oz, setting my goal for 80oz may not be realistic or attainable, and may leave me frustrated when I consistently fall short on my goals.  You want to challenge yourself, but not have them be impossible.  Find a happy balance.  

    So, for day 26, you get +1 for eating at least 3 vegetables, and +1 for setting 3 "SMART" goals for the month of November.  Have a great day!

    Hope you got your daily dose of nutrition today, and thanks for reading! If you enjoy the blog, please share using the buttons below, or in the box to the right. Also, we would love to have you join us! Join this site in the "followers" box to the right. "Like" the blog on facebook, and follow me on twitter (@jennasteprd), tumblr, and pinterest using the the boxes on the right. Thanks, and have a great day! ~jenna

    Friday, October 26, 2012

    Day 25 - 30 Minutes of Exercise


    You made it to another weekend!  Well done on you challenge success this week!  It's interesting, some people find the week to be the most difficult, and others the weekend.  When is most difficult for you to keep your healthy eating in check?  Have you tried anything that has helped?

    The goal for day 25 (Saturday) is to get in 30 min of exercise.  This can be any number of ways, traditional gym, exercise equipment, workout class, walk around the neighborhood, etc, or you can really put effort into raking those leaves, housework, or other chores.  Maybe you have been wanting to try a hike, go for a family bike ride, attend a fall festival, go to the pumpkin patch?  Get out and do something that has you moving and enjoying the season :)  Or get in that exercise on a day that isn't as crazy as the rest of the week. However you choose to do it, you will feel better after being active!  Have a great day!!

    Hope you got your daily dose of nutrition today, and thanks for reading! If you enjoy the blog, please share using the buttons below, or in the box to the right. Also, we would love to have you join us! Join this site in the "followers" box to the right. "Like" the blog on facebook, and follow me on twitter (@jennasteprd), tumblr, and pinterest using the the boxes on the right. Thanks, and have a great day! ~jenna

    Thursday, October 25, 2012

    Day 24 - Make a New Recipe


    How are you guys doing on vegetables this week?  Do you find it fairly easy to get them in, or does it have to be a more conscious effort through the day?  I know I have even had days where I get to dinner and realize I haven't had any!  I challenge you to try and get your veggies in two different times during the day!  Get some with your eggs in the morning, take them as a snack, have them with lunch!  Don't save all your servings for dinner :)  Every now and then it happens, but if you make the effort to have them with more meals or as snacks it will replace other higher calorie, less nutrient options!  Something to think about...

    The goal for day 24 (Friday) is to try a new (healthy!) recipe.  Now, I know some of you may be working all day, or wanting to go out to dinner, so this will continue to Saturday.   If you don't get a chance to try out a new recipe on Friday, you can on Saturday and post your points after you tried it.  Sound good?  If you want to get a bonus point for day 24, post the recipe to Facebook for us!  Everyone can use new yummy recipes!  The recipe can be for any meal, and as simple or complicated as you want.  Enjoy!

    Hope you got your daily dose of nutrition today, and thanks for reading! If you enjoy the blog, please share using the buttons below, or in the box to the right. Also, we would love to have you join us! Join this site in the "followers" box to the right. "Like" the blog on facebook, and follow me on twitter (@jennasteprd), tumblr, and pinterest using the the boxes on the right. Thanks, and have a great day! ~jenna

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

    Day 23 - H2O with Every Meal


    Day 23 is a pretty simple, straightforward, healthy day!  Keep getting those 3+ vegetables for your weekly goal point, and then choose to drink water with every meal, and snack for your daily point!  If you are used to have juice or coffee or in the morning, add 8 oz water to that.  It should be pretty easy for lunch, dinner, and your snacks!  One glass (8 oz) or more with each counts, and is the key to getting in enough water during the day!

    You guys did awesome during our water challenge week, so this should be a pretty easy one.  To up the challenge just a little, Day 23 will be worth 1 bonus point if you eat 5+ servings of vegetables instead of just the 3.  Get those vegetables in!

    Hope you are all doing well!  As always, I love reading your comments on Facebook, and I know they help others too.  Good Luck!

    Hope you got your daily dose of nutrition today, and thanks for reading! If you enjoy the blog, please share using the buttons below, or in the box to the right. Also, we would love to have you join us! Join this site in the "followers" box to the right. "Like" the blog on facebook, and follow me on twitter (@jennasteprd), tumblr, and pinterest using the the boxes on the right. Thanks, and have a great day! ~jenna

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012

    Day 22 - Omega 3's


    You have made it through 3 weeks!  Good work!!  Wednesday begins week 4, where we make the effort to get in more vegetables each day!  Vegetables are an important part of our diet, and many people can go the whole day without getting any!  I challenge my patients usually to get 5 servings every day, for this challenge, you get your +1 point every day you eat 3 servings.  

    One cup of raw vegetables or 1/2 cup cooked equals 1 serving.  Usually though, if it is a vegetable that doesn't shrink down or change shape when cooked, I still go for a cup to be one serving (does that make sense?).  Try measuring a couple times when you are home to get an idea of what 1 cup or 1/2 cup looks like!  You will be better able to estimate servings if you actually measure a few times.

    Try to get a variety of vegetables in, you get different vitamins and minerals from different colors!  Remember that we don't count potatoes as a vegetable, they are too starchy.  Sound good?  3+ vegetables each day for your +1 point.  We will have a couple bonus days for getting a few more, I will let you know :)

    Your day 22 goal is to get in some Omega 3 Fatty Acids (FA).  The basic way to think about Omega 3 FA is in balance with Omega 6 FA, which we get in abundance.  The goal is to have a 1:1 ratio in our diets, and most Americans are far from this, some research estimates a 50-100:1 ratio between Omega 6 and Omega 3, yikes!  One of Omega 6's functions is to cause inflammation, which is important in the case of injury internally, happens daily.  One of Omega 3's functions is then to come in and get rid of the inflammation.  When we have lots of Omega 6 we get the inflammation, and without Omega 3, there is nothing to get rid of it.  

    Because we find Omega 6 in our diets so abundantly, for example its high in vegetable oil which is then in many food products, and we don't find Omega 3 so frequently we have to search it out and make sure we are getting it!  Omega 3 can be found in Flax seeds, walnuts, tofu, some seafood, highest in salmon and halibut, also lesser amounts in shrimp, scallops, sardines, and tuna.  You can also find good quality supplements that contain Omega 3.  When looking for a supplement, don't get a complex (with 3, 6, and 9), instead buy one that is Omega 3 or Fish Oil only.  Omega 3 has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels, ask your health care provider if you want more information.  

    Make it priority to get fish in your diet a few times a week, eat flax, or eat walnuts daily.  If none of those work, find a supplement to help fill the gap!  

    So, with all that, to get your +1 for Day 22, eat something or take a supplement that has Omega 3's in it!  If you buy Salmon or Halibut to have a day or two later, I will give you your +1 for that as well :)  Sound good?  Questions??


    Hope you got your daily dose of nutrition today, and thanks for reading! If you enjoy the blog, please share using the buttons below, or in the box to the right. Also, we would love to have you join us! Join this site in the "followers" box to the right. "Like" the blog on facebook, and follow me on twitter (@jennasteprd), tumblr, and pinterest using the the boxes on the right. Thanks, and have a great day! ~jenna