Foods, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

How To Make Your Thanksgiving Menu Healthier with Recipes

How To Make Your Thanksgiving Menu Healthier with Recipes

 

 

Preparing a traditional Thanksgiving dinner that’s lower in fat and calories but still thrills the crowd isn’t hard. All it takes is a few ingredient substitutions and some clever fat-busting techniques. Let’s take a look at how to make a delicious, healthier Thanksgiving meal.

The Turkey

If you’re hosting a small gathering, buy a turkey breast rather than the whole bird, as breast meat is lower in calories than dark meat.

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

“This is simple and delicious, and certainly not rocket science,”  “No need to really add anything or change anything other than the cooking time — mine was done perfectly at 5-1/2 hours. The meat is tender, juicy, and delicately seasoned.”

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast
Photo by Lori

 

 

Cranberry Stuffed Turkey Breasts

Ingredients

 

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Prepare stuffing mix according to package directions. Set aside to cool.
  2. With a sharp knife, butterfly breasts open to lay flat. Place each breast between two sheets of waxed paper, and flatten with a mallet. Spread the prepared stuffing to within 1/4 inch of the edge of each breast. Sprinkle each one with chopped pecans and dried cranberries, reserving some of the cranberries for garnish. Roll up tightly in a jellyroll style, starting with the long end. Tuck in ends, and tie in sections with string, about 4 sections around the middle and one running the length of the roll to secure the ends.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully brown rolls on all sides.
  4. Place skillet in oven, uncovered. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven for 1 hour, or until the internal temperature is at 170 degrees F (78 degrees C) when taken with a meat thermometer. Do not let these get overly dry.
  5. Allow rolls to set for 15 minutes before removing string, and slicing into 1/2 to 3/4 inch circles. Leave one roll whole, and slice the other for presentation. Stuffing will be spiraled into meat. Present on your prettiest platter on a bed of curly lettuce, and garnish by sprinkling with the remaining 1/2 cup pecan halves and the reserved dried cranberries.

“This one is a keeper,” “I make it every thanksgiving instead of the whole turkey — it turns out beautifully every time! Very pretty presentation, too!”

Cranberry Stuffed Turkey Breasts
Photo by lutzflcat

 

If you do buy a whole turkey, avoid “self-basting” turkeys, as they often contain added fat. And, it goes without saying, stay away from the deep fryer this year, and roast or smoke the turkey. Stuff the turkey cavity with whole or halved onions, halved lemons or apples, and sprigs of fresh herbs such as sage, marjoram, thyme, and/or rosemary. Rather than rubbing the skin with butter or oil, spray it with an oil spray and season it with salt and pepper.

Guilt-Free Gravy

Gravy is one of the biggest calorie culprits on the table. Use vegetable oil rather than turkey drippings when making the gravy — it’s still fat, but vegetable oil is lower in saturated fat and is cholesterol-free.

If you use turkey drippings to add flavor, use a gravy separator. Pour the gravy into a separator and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Some of the fat in the gravy will rise to the top of the glass where you can skim it off easily. Better yet, make a low-fat broth-based gravy or a vegetarian gravy instead.

Lightning Gravy

Ingredients

Directions

  1. In a microwave safe dish heat water and bouillon on high, stirring occasionally until just boiling.
  2. In a small bowl combine the cornstarch and cold water and mix together; stir into the hot broth and cook on medium for about 1 minute, or until thick, stirring at 30 second intervals.

“This is awesome because it’s low fat, low cal, (for gravy!) and quick,” “I added a black pepper and a small pinch of ground sage.”

Lightning Gravy
Photo by Marianne

 

Slimmed-Down Sides

Instead of loading up your mashed potatoes with lots of butter and cream, add some of the starchy water you used to boil the potatoes. The starchy water will give your mashers a low-cal creamy texture and help cut back on fat.

You can also add turkey or chicken broth, evaporated skim milk, or fat-free sour cream to your mashed potatoes. For extra flavor, stir in roasted garlic and herbs. For added nutrition, add pureed cooked cauliflower, parsnips, or turnips — or replace the potatoes entirely with Mashed Parsnips or Mashed Turnips.

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Combine potatoes and chicken broth in a slow cooker.
  2. Cook potatoes on Low for 3 hours. Add cauliflower and continue cooking on Low another 3 hours.
  3. Stir milk, butter, sour cream, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and salt into the potato mixture. Mash with a potato masher or blend with an immersion blender to desired consistency.
  4. Continue cooking until hot, about 10 minutes more.

 

“This was good and a great way of adding extra veggies into a meal,”  I had mine along side some corn and stuffing. It was the perfect accompaniment and easy to make.”

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower
Photo by bd.weld

Cndied sweet potato casseroles in favor of a low-fat, naturally-sweetened sweet potatoes. Try a cranberry relish or cut down on the amount of sugar in your cranberry sauce by adding fruit juices or apple sauce.

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Ricotta Cheese

 

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Pierce potatoes with a fork and bake until soft, about 1 hour. Remove from oven and cool until potatoes can be handled, about 20 minutes.
  2. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a large baking sheet.
  3. Meanwhile, place olive oil in small skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and cook and stir until softened and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out pulp, leaving a thin shell. Set shells aside. Place pulp into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add ricotta, salt, pepper, ginger, and sugar to the blender; blend until smooth.
  5. Return potato mixture to a bowl; stir in shallots, Parmesan cheese, and sage. Spoon mixture back into potato skins. Place potatoes on prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake until heated through, about 30 minutes.

“These were absolutely fabulous,” says “We aren’t fond of sweet potato dishes that have a lot of added sugar, so this was really to our taste.”

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Ricotta Cheese
Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes with Ricotta Cheese

y, where it absorbs fat from the turkey as it bakes. It’s hard to slim down a stuffing recipe, so take a small serving if it’s your Thanksgiving favorite. If you can avoid recipes using too much sausage or bacon; wild rice and grains are more nutritious than bread stuffings.

Cranberry, Sausage and Apple Stuffing

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Cook and stir sausage in a large skillet over medium heat, crumbling coarsely, for about 10 minutes. Remove sausage to a large bowl with a slotted spoon. Empty pan of grease.
  2. Into the same pan melt the butter. Add the leeks or onions, apples, celery and poultry seasoning; cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the rosemary, dried cranberries and cooked sausage. Mix all with the dried bread cubes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Moisten with the chicken stock.
  3. Stuff turkey with about 5 cups for a 14 pound turkey. Add additional chicken stock to moisten stuffing if needed. Remaining stuffing can be baked in a covered buttered casserole at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 15 minutes to brown top.

 

LivinOurLuvSong. “I left out the sausage and used veggie broth. I baked it in a pan and it was perfect.”

Cranberry, Sausage and Apple Stuffing
Photo by alexandra5

Crustless Pumpkin Pie

Most of the fat in a pie comes from the crust. Try a crust-free pumpkin pie recipe or a reduced-fat graham cracker crust.

Pumpkin Pie Squares

Ingredients

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Mix in flour. Fold in oats. Press into a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  3. Bake in preheated oven 15 minutes, until set.
  4. In a large bowl, beat eggs with white sugar. Beat in pumpkin and evaporated milk. Mix in salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Pour over baked crust.
  5. Bake in preheated oven 20 minutes, until set. Let cool before cutting into squares.

 

“This is a great recipe,” raves LAURA J JOHNSON. “It makes homemade pumpkin pie much easier and it tastes great.”

Pumpkin Pie Squares
Photo by CC
Remember, We Are In This Together!
-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-
Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

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Lifestyle, Uncategorized

10 Toxic Habits That You Should Get Rid Of Immediately

10 Toxic Habits That You Should Get Rid Of Immediately

 

Bad habits are behaviors that we’ve internalized and carry out almost without noticing. We might not realize some of these habits right away, but they usually make themselves apparent in the long-term. This is why it is so important to be conscious of these toxic habits and do what we can to erase them. By recognizing and erasing our toxic habits from our lives, we’ll improve well-being and quality of life.

 

1. Not recognizing mistakes

We’ve all make some mistakes, but admitting them is probably the hardest part. Mistakes can affect our self-esteem negatively, but learning to accept and take responsibility for our mistakes is a big part of learning and growth. If we let ourselves believe that we never make mistakes and are never responsible for things going wrong, we don’t leave ourselves any room to grow.

What to do: Admit to yourself when you’ve make a little mistake, like putting too much salt on your food. You can say something like “I made a mistake and I used too much salt. Next time I’ll be more careful”. Start off with small mistakes, and work your way up to more important ones. By doing this, it’ll be easier for you to take responsibility for mistakes and ask for forgiveness when it affects others.

Thinking negatively quote

 

2. Thinking negatively

Negative thoughts are a threat to our self-esteem and mood. If we constantly tell ourselves that we’re not good enough or that we’re stupid, we’ll start to really believe and internalize it. Berating yourself continuously can lead to more serious disorders, like depression and anxiety.

What to do: Sometimes we have these thoughts without realizing it and without doing it on purpose. Learning how to realize when we’re having these thoughts is important for being able to stop! Write down your negative thoughts on some paper and try to figure out some alternative thoughts.
good-vs-bad-posture-infographic

3. Poor posture

Our body language and posture can say a lot about us, but it can also affect our mood. According to a study, sitting with your back straight makes you feel more confident than slouching, and other research shows that it can help us feel more powerful and relieves stress.

What to do: The first step is to feel more confident in your own body. Practicing yoga or mindfulness techniques can help us understand our body better, and it can help improve posture. Try to keep your spine straight when you’re sitting, standing or walking. Imagine that you’re a marionette puppet and that you have a strong thread coming from the top of your head. Your head guides the rest of your body- if you look down, your spine will bend. Look with your head up, focused on the world in front of you.
Sleep Loss Infographic

4. Poor sleeping habits

Sleep is one of the most important things for our bodies and our brains. Our bodies use sleep time to restore itself and integrate all of the new information that it learned. Lack of sleep has been shown to produce impairments equivalent to those of alcohol intoxication, and can lead to various problems, like irritability, slower processing speed, poor decision making, low cognitive performance, increased risk of depression, obesity, and cardiovascular problems.

What to do: Most people need about 7-8 hours of sleep, but some people only need 6, and others can’t perform well if they don’t get 10. Try to get in bed an hour early and meditate, listen to relaxing music, or read. This time should be for relaxing, so turn your phone on airplane mode and put it on the other side of the room. This is also a good way to help become a morning person!
procrastination-infographic

5. Procrastination

Procrastination seems to be a modern epidemic. Continuously postponing things that we have to do actually impacts our motivation and self-esteem negatively. Procrastination can lead to stress and keeps us from completing projects, assignments, etc.[5] It also prevents us from starting those tasks and goals that we’ve given ourselves, which can result in feelings of worthlessness.

What to do: Have a list of things you need to do and divide the tasks into smaller, easier tasks. Avoid distraction and visualize yourself reaching that goal.

poor diet

6. Poor diet

Our diet affects our brain, which is why it’s so important to eat well. Poor nutrition weakens mental functions and causes us to under-perform. A healthy diet doesn’t only help our brains work better, but it also improves our physical health and our self-esteem.

What to do: To make sure that our bodies and brains are getting all of the nutrients it needs, you don’t necessarily need to only eat those “miracle” foods that everyone is talking about. Eat more fruits and vegetables and cut down on processed meat (like hamburgers, hotdogs, and cold-cuts). Also try to reduce your intake of sugars and salt, especially in pre-packaged foods. Drink water when you’re thirsty and stay away from sugary drinks (even if they’re diet).
multitasking-infographic

7. Multitasking

Our society is constantly asking more of us- we want instant feedback and automatic updates. We want to do everything as quickly as possible, which causes us to multitask. There are some things we can do without thinking, like walking or eating, which hardly use any mental resources and is why we can walk and talk, or eat and read. The problem comes when we want to do two things that require more attention, like study with the TV on, or talk to someone and surf the web. In these cases, one (or both) of the activities will be affected.

What to do: Practicing mindfulness can aslo help us here. Do one thing at a time. First study, then watch TV. First cook, then help your kids with their homework. This way, we’ll be able to put all of our cognitive resources towards one activity and the outcome will be much better.
blaming quote

8. Blaming others

It can be easy to fall into the habit of blaming other people. “People don’t listen to me”, “I was late because they wouldn’t let me leave”…if you do this, you’re not taking responsibility for what is your fault.

What to do: Are other people in charge of your life? No. Take responsibility for things in your life. Obviously a vase falling on your head while you’re walking down the street isn’t your fault- accidents happen and you shouldn’t blame yourself for them. However, there are many other things that you are responsible for, like what you do when you’re faced with a problem and how you handle when things don’t go your way. If there is something in your life that you’re not happy with, change it. Don’t blame other people for your situation.
Taking things personally

9. Taking things personally

You’re not the center of the world. We often think that other people’s actions are related to us, but they usually don’t. Taking it personally when someone is rude or mean to us without any reason will just make us feel badly about ourselves and hurt our self-esteem. People have bad days and may just be taking it out on you without any reason.

What to do: When you think that you have something to do with that’s going on, determine if you really have proof. Think about possible alternative explanations. Ask the person directly if their reaction had anything to do with you. You’ll realize that most of the time, it’s not related to you at all.

10. Haste

Going everywhere in a hurry isn’t good for us. It’s true, just like with multitasking, society generally expects us to do things quickly and hurriedly, but some things need to be taken slowly. Cooking for example, will take time, and you should let it. If we do everything quickly, we don’t have time to enjoy life! Besides, it can also cause stress and anxiety, which can cause serious problems.

What to do: Practice some relaxation techniques or exercise. Physical exercise can help reduce stress and help you stay in the present moment. Take your time when doing your daily tasks. Leave your house earlier in the morning so that you’re not running to get to work. Start your project earlier so you’re not stressing at the last minute. Take the time to read a book or cook a great meal- you’ll be more relaxed and have time to enjoy life!

 Are Your Daily Habits Toxic To Your Brain Health Infographic

Remember, we are in this together!
-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-
Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

WordPress:  https://healthandwellnessassociates.co/

 

Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Nutrition Plays An Important Role In Brain Shrinkage

Nutrition Plays An Important Role In Brain Shrinkage

 

Those with diets high in a number of vitamins as well as omega 3 fatty acids are not as likely to get the brain shrinkage linked to Alzheimer’s disease than those whose diets aren’t high in these nutrients. According to the research, elderly people with higher amounts of a number of vitamins as well as omega 3 fatty acids within their blood had much better results on mental acuity tests and also less of the brain shrinkage found in Alzheimer’s disease – whereas “junk food” diets resulted in exactly the opposite.

These omega 3 fatty acids as well as vitamin D are found mainly in fish. The B vitamins as well as antioxidants C and E are found mainly in vegetables and fruit. The research also revealed that those that had diets that were high in trans fats were more prone to have brain shrinkage as well as lower scores with the memory and thinking tests than those that had diets that were low in trans fats. Baked goods, prepackaged food, fast food, fried food and also margarine spreads are the main foods that trans fats are found in.

The research involved 104 individuals with an average age of 87 with very few memory and thinking problem risk factors. Blood tests had been made use of to ascertain the amounts of various nutrients within the blood of each person. Each of the participants also took memory and thinking skill tests. Forty two of the people had MRI scans to determine their brain volume.

On the whole, they had good nutritional status, but 7 % were vitamin B12 deficient and 25 % were vitamin D deficient .

The nutrient levels within the blood accounted for a lot of the variation in both brain volume as well as memory and thinking scores. The levels of nutrients accounted for 17% of the score variations for the memory and thinking tests. Other factors like age, amount of years of education as well as hypertension accounted for 46 % of the variation. The levels of nutrients accounted for 37% of the variation for brain volume. The potential to help stop brain shrinkage just by adjusting diet is exciting.

Everything You Need to Know About Fast Food Infographic

 

Remember we are in this together!

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-
Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

WordPress:  https://healthandwellnessassociates.co/