Speak Another Language?

Friday, December 12, 2014

Cranberry and Blackberry Sauce

Are you looking for something new and exciting to share with your family and friends this holiday season?  We have just the thing that will WOW your guests!  This sauce is delicious served over turkey, chicken or white fish!  Or, try it as a side dish over rice or quinoa!  Want to add a little “kick” and spice things up a bit?  Try adding a diced up jalapeno pepper or a sprinkle of cayenne pepper (see tips). 

We hope you enjoy this sauce and the wonderful holiday season with your family!

Cranberry and Blackberry Sauce
Serves 4-6

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small sweet onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1 cup fresh orange juice
½ cup honey
12 oz fresh or frozen cranberries (unsweetened)
2 tsp orange zest, chopped
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp cracked black pepper
2 cups fresh or frozen organic blackberries
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

Directions:
  1. Add olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion to pan and sauté until onions begin to soften (approximately 4-6 minutes). Add ginger and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Pour in orange juice and honey to mixture before adding cranberries. Increase heat slightly as cranberries begin to pop and break apart. Bring mixture to a boil. Continue to cook; stirring frequently until mixture thickens.
  3. Reduce heat to low. Add orange zest, salt, and black pepper and fold in blackberries along with parsley (if using). Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Chef’s Tips
  • If using frozen cranberries and/or blackberries, allow to thaw before using.
  • For an additional kick, add one jalapeno pepper, seeds removed and diced along with ginger in step #1 or 1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper along with salt and black pepper in step #3.
  • Remember, if you have a gluten or wheat allergy; be sure that all canned and packaged products are manufactured in a gluten-

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Bake

Do you ever get tired of eating the SAME thing for breakfast day after day?  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my oatmeal, eggs and smoothies, but sometimes I crave something different.  With the winter months approaching, it is a definite plus so introducing a new breakfast option that warms the belly! While searching for something to satisfy my craving for a change, I came across a recipe for Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Bake.  Now I have experimented with Quinoa for breakfast before with a Breakfast Quinoa Bowl, and had much success.  So when I found this easy bake that can be prepared on a Sunday evening, and enjoyed all week long, I had to try it.

The house smelled delicious as it cooked and I couldn’t help but have a taste rather than wait for the morning.  I must warn you, that straight out of the oven, it was pretty crumbly, but wow was it delicious! The morning after I rushed the kids out the door to the awaiting school bus, I cut myself a nice piece of this delicious breakfast bake, warmed it up in the microwave for a few seconds and that’s it…instant breakfast!

This would be an amazing breakfast to serve to family or friends that join your for holiday festivities! Prepared the night before, it can be a welcoming aroma when guests arrive and a delicious treat to enjoy with your  loved ones!  Enjoy!

Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Bake

1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ground cloves
2-3 apples, peeled, diced
½ cup raisins
2 eggs
2 cups milk of choice
¼ cup maple syrup or honey
1/3 cup almonds, chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 7 x 11 inch baking dish with coconut oil.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the uncooked quinoa with the spices.  Pour into greased dish.
  3. Sprinkle the apple and raisins on top of the quinoa.
  4. In that same small bowl, beat the eggs.  Whisk in the milk and maple syrup.
  5. Pour the egg-and-milk mixture over the top of the fruit and quinoa.  Lightly stir to partially submerge the fruit.  Sprinkle the chopped almonds on top.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the casserole is mostly set with only a small amount of liquid left.
  7. Allow to cool, and then cover and refrigerate.  In the morning, cut a square and warm up using the microwave.  Try serving with a few dollops of Greek yogurt for an added treat!




Sunday, November 30, 2014

More Jingle and Less Jiggle

The Holidays are upon us and it seems that the motivation to exercise can fall away like leaves on a tree. How quickly we blame the busyness of the holidays to why we can’t make it to the gym.  Let’s keep the bag full of excuses that you pull out every holiday in the closet where they belong. It’s time to create a new tradition.

Please answer these questions honestly.
  •  Does exercise feel like an expectation or obligation?
  • Do you feel guilty when you don’t work out?
  • Does the guilt of not working out then affect your eating and drinking choices later?
  • Does one missed workout turn into days, weeks and then the entire holiday season of no workouts?
What are your top excuses for not working out?

Excuses (no matter what they are) give us permission to not do something while removing the guilt. As long as it someone or something else’s fault for why we can’t work out, it relinquishes us from taking responsibility for our own life and results. Wow! Looking at excuses in this light, makes us realize that we give up our power every time we use excuses. So instead of making excuses, let’s make choices.
We have a choice on how we spend our time and what exercise looks like during the holidays. If we choose to fill our schedule and not plan for a workout, that was our choice and we need to own it. Period.  If you are committed to working out and realize you CHOOSE whether or not that happens, you will fit exercise into your day.

This small shift in how you approach exercise through the holidays can make ALL the difference in the world. Remember, EVERY excuse is power given away and every CHOICE is power regained!
Here are some great ways to fit exercise in during the holidays if you are willing to have exercise look differently.

·        Buy a pedometer.  Walking 10,000 steps is one of The Five Healthy Edge Daily Goals and it absolutely counts as a workout. If you are shopping and running errands, make choices to create opportunities for you to walk!  Having this physical device provides accountability and ensures you hit your goal!
·        Workout Videos. If you struggle making it to the gym but you like to be told what to do, workout videos are great. I LOVE workout videos. Ask yourself, do you like to dance? Do you like to use weights? Do you like yoga? Choose the genre of exercise you most enjoy and choose workout videos that incorporate what you like to do. You can also get workouts with varying lengths so you can choose the workout depending on the time you have available.
·        Workout at Work. For those of you that spend time in an office all day, you can incorporate short breaks throughout your day to squeeze in mini workouts. Here are some of my favorites:
o   Wall-Sits. When you are talking on the phone or reading, put your back against the wall and slide down into a seated position. Hold that position and feel the burn!
o   Squats or Lunges. Our business partner Brandon, did this when we was a high school wrestler.  Every time he went to the refrigerator or bathroom, he would do 20 squats and then do lunges to travel to where he wanted to go. Choose something you do often throughout your day and create a workout around it!
o   Push-ups. Once every hour, drop and do 20 – 50 push-ups. You can do push-ups against the wall, on your knees or good ole athlete style.
o   Stairs. Every opportunity to take the stairs is an opportunity to get a great leg, buttocks and cardio workout. I purposely run up and down our stairs 3-5 times after sitting for long periods of time. Track how many “sets” you do each day and set goals to increase.
o   Lunch Break. If you work a traditional job, you probably enjoy a 30 – 60 minute lunch break. If you choose to walk for ½ of your lunch break, how amazing would you feel? Who else could you enroll to walk with you? If it’s too cold outside, find a flight of stairs and go for it!
o   Yoga. If you are familiar with some basic yoga poses, this is great to do at the beginning of your work day, during lunch and at the end your work day. Five minutes and 2-3 poses is all that is required.
·        Join a Class. If you lack self-motivation and need accountability, join a workout class. Choose a time that is convenient such as immediately after work or during your lunch break so it is built into your schedule and driving route. This only needs to be 1-3 times a week. Everything matters!
·        Make it a Family Affair. How can you get your family involved? Do the kids have a Wii that has games such as Just Dance, Exerbeat or NFL Training Camp that makes moving fun?  Does your family enjoy skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing or sledding? These are all considered exercise!

If you are willing to look at exercise as part of your day and you are not committed to what it looks like then these tips can work for you. The result will be less jiggle in your middle and a renewed sense of confidence.
The Healthy Edge is hosting a 31 Days of "Fit"mas challenge throughout the month of December!!  Try it FREE for 7 Days Here!



Friday, November 21, 2014

Healthy Holiday with Alcohol!

Get ready to explore the inside secrets to how to maintain (or reclaim) a healthy mind and body during the holidays. Previously we have talked about how to avoid overindulging at holiday parties by focusing on the hours before the party. We must be willing to ignore the voices in our heads telling us to “save up calories.” or “It’s the holidays, you deserve it!”  Now, let’s address another set of voices that we have around alcohol. Yes, I am going to talk about your wine…but remember it’s my wine too!

I’ve been there. I have had those crazy voices tell me:
  • Don’t eat, just drink.
  • Just drink vodka, it’s clear and less calories.
  • I will just “drink” my dinner.
  • I won’t feel bloated if I just drink and don’t eat food.
  • I need alcohol to relax. I deserve it after the week I’ve had!
  • I need alcohol to get through the emotional rollercoaster of the holidays.

Identify the voice that most closely represents how you feel during the holidays, or perhaps it is one that is not mentioned. Now choose whether or not you view these thoughts and subsequent actions as something you want to change.

Personally, I made a commitment to not struggle through one more holiday season drinking away my sorrows. At 23 my mom died of cancer and for five years I drank to get through the holidays. It was too much to bear that she wasn’t around. My belief was the holiday season would never be the same joyous time I had remembered as a kid and each year I relentlessly punished my body and drowned my sorrows in alcohol. Some of you know exactly what I am talking about, although the tough memories may be different from mine.  People with these voices spend holiday parties drinking so we can relax and act happy to hide how we are really feeling. For people experiencing sadness and loss during the holidays, there is healing, but it’s not at the bottom of a bottle! You can do it!

Okay, enough of the serious talk! Let’s first get something straight, I enjoy me some red wine and those of you who know me can attest to this! During the holidays, however, it seems that the once a week party/event can easily turn into a four day a week drinking binge if we are not careful. This can absolutely affect !our health and our waistline, not to mention our moods. So, how do we enjoy “spirits” without taking out the fun or being anti-social?

Here are five tips to enjoy your “spirits” while still being “spirited”:

1.     Sip, don’t chug. You can make a glass of wine last five minutes or all night. It’s how you approach the drink. A trick that works for me is to order the most expensive glass of wine on the menu. Although your husband may give you the look of death, the reasoning is that I drink a $6.00 dollar glass of wine much different (and faster) than a $25.00 glass of wine! This is a reality check behind the reason you are drinking. Are you drinking to relax, stuff your feelings or be someone different or do you really enjoy drinking the wine? Is it about quantity or quality?


2.     Fake it. Sometimes I just want to hold a really pretty glass with a cute thin straw. There doesn’t even need to be alcohol in the glass, although it will appear to others that there is! If you are a social drinker and sometimes feel pressure to drink at EVERY event because everyone else is, try having ice, spritzer water, a splash of cranberry juice, a squeezed lime and a straw! This is not only delicious, but it looks like a legit cocktail!  I love to have these ingredients on hand at home during the holidays if I feel like enjoying a fun drink to kick back and relax with.

3.     BYOB. If you are attending a party where you bring your own drinks, ONLY bring the amount you want to drink! Make this decision while you are rational and not caught up in the moment of the party. Leave no room for a conversation with yourself about overindulging. If you don’t have it, you don’t drink it.

4.     Drink Water. You have probably heard this before, but have you done it?
Drink water between every alcoholic drink. It works. Drinking alcohol is EXTREMELY dehydrating and is very toxic, so your body will appreciate an opportunity to detoxify and rehydrate. Sip the water, don’t chug.

5.     Create a Safe Environment. Because of my tendencies to get sad during the holidays, I choose to keep my home safe and free of wine because it is a trigger for me. Is alcohol in your home a trigger for you? What specifically? Do you find yourself using “it’s the holidays” as an excuse to indulge throughout the week either by yourself or with your partner? Don’t rely on willpower when it comes to alcohol in your home! Set yourself up to win!

Remember, you first have to evaluate your behavior and reasons for indulging in alcohol and determine if you want something different this holiday season.  It is empowering for me to have other outlets to deal with my sadness, stress, frustrations, etc. without alcohol.  A glass of wine no longer controls whether I stuff or unload my emotions. You can have this same freedom too! Cheers to your health and empowerment!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Tips for Fixing Holiday Meals

The holidays are a wonderful time of food and fellowship, but they can definitely be overwhelming!  If you are on any kind of health journey and want to stay true to the journey, you may need some tips for fixing holiday meals to ensure that you are creating meals that everyone will love and not spending hours in the kitchen. Here are our top five tips for fixing holiday meals that are healthy and tasty!

Tip #1: Be prepared.
You have to have a game plan and this game plan needs to be created longer than 24 hours prior to your meal!  Even if you are not a planner, this is crucial to preserve your sanity and to keep you organized and focused. List all categories or types of recipes you are searching for; soups, dips, stuffing, gravy, potatoes, turkey, desserts etc. If you need some simple and healthy ideas for traditional holiday meals in these categories, check out this economical cookbook.  Print out or copy every recipe that you will be preparing and from those recipes, create your grocery list, putting down only the items you will need to purchase from the store. 

Tip #2: Create a timeline.
What recipes are you able to make one, two or even three days before your holiday gathering? Fixing holiday meals does NOT need to happen all in one day (or by one person, see next tip)!  Many dips and desserts can be made well ahead of time. What meals have to be prepared the day of? Put your recipes in order of most time to least amount of time they will take to prepare and cook or chill. Set the time you want dinner served and work backwards to create a timeline of when each recipe needs to begin in order to be put in the oven and/or refrigerator and ready by dinner.

Tip #3: Ask for support.
This is my favorite tip for fixing holiday meals! Are you a “do it all” type of person? I bet that shows up in your life a lot! Many times your friends and family will ask if there is anything they can bring to the feast. How often do you say “yes” and also offer them a recipe to prepare? If you have a “vision” of what the feast will look like and people are eager to contribute, let them bring recipes that are already on your menu for the meal! If you are also focusing on creating a healthy holiday meal, this will ensure that your theme stays true.  Asking for support is also useful when it comes to finding recipes that fit into your healthy criteria! What have other people done? (Be sure to ask people that are actually on a health journey or you may be disappointed with the recipes they suggest.)


Tip #4: The cook doesn’t do the dishes!
I had to throw this tip in! This is a simple rule that works if you use it. After fixing a holiday meal for hours (or possibly days), the LAST thing on your “fun list” is doing the dishes. We have a rule in our house that you either cook or clean. If the women are cooking, then the men are cleaning! It’s only fair! After all, lowering your stress and relaxing is a healthy way to end a healthy meal!


Tip #5: Record what worked.
For some of you these tips for preparing holiday meals are something you search for EVERY year! Jot down what worked well, what recipes people loved and what would have made your life easier. There is a ton of insight during and immediately following these types of events, to take advantage of the lessons learned!
These tips for fixing holiday meals are only useful if they are applied! Make this the holiday season that you do something different to avoid feeling overwhelmed 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Five Tips for Healthy Edge Holidays

Do you believe it is possible to go through a holiday season and not put on an additional 5, 10 or 15 pounds? What about the possibility to actually RELEASE weight during the holidays? There are MANY people who make it through the holidays without gaining weight…it has been done. However, if you don’t believe YOU can do it, you will find yourself repeating the same pattern from years past. The only limits you have are the limits you have placed in your life. Are you ready to breakthrough and create something different and exciting in your life?


Let’s start with the foundation of our healthy journey: remembering your “WHY” for being healthy. There is not a better time than the holidays to remember what is really important in life. As you spend time with the people who mean the most to you, realize that your health is what allows you the time and energy to truly enjoy the experiences and memories. Being sick, depressed, tired and overweight is no way to spend the holidays or your life for that matter.

Here are some guiding principles of The Healthy Edge lifestyle to maximize your health during the holidays.

1. EAT! Skipping meals or starving yourself to “save up” calories for a holiday dinner/party is an  equation for disaster. This leads to carbohydrate binges, overeating, energy crashes, decreased  metabolism and unwanted storage of fat all wrapped up in some self-loathing. Be sure to eat a low-glycemic breakfast within an hour of waking and continue to fuel your body every 2-3 hours to keep your metabolism burning, your energy soaring and your appetite in check.


2. Drink 80 oz. or more of water daily. As one of the guiding Healthy Edge principles, drinking water will keep you energized and supports weight release. Many people mistake “hunger” for “thirst” and as “spirits” flow at your holiday events, water can ensure that the next morning isn’t accompanied by a headache.




3. Create new traditions with food. Instead of Great Grandma’s pound cake or the “cheese ball” you make each year, what about embracing the idea of doing something different (and healthy)? Prepare and bring “Healthy Edge” dishes to parties so you can feel confident of your food choices! Raspberry Quinoa Applesauce, Brown Basmati Rice and Apple Stuffing, Smashed Sweet Potatoes and Cauliflower Gratin with Gruyere Cheese are among the favorites! What a treat to enjoy flavorful and healthy food and not end up on the couch with your pants
unbuttoned!

4. Commit to exercise. I know, when do you possibly have time to exercise during the holidays? Make a minimal commitment of exercising three days a week instead of taking the entire holiday season off. Workout DVD’s are great during the holidays when the weather keeps you inside. Cleaning your house for guests can become an opportunity for a built in workout. Exercise makes you more sensitive to your insulin levels, revs up your metabolism and puts you in a better mood along with the amazing health benefits for your heart and lungs.

5. Keep your environment safe. Probably the most powerful tip in The Healthy Edge lifestyle is controlling your environment. Commit to keeping your refrigerator and pantry a safe haven, full of whole grains, fruit, vegetable, lean meats, nuts and beans. Choose to NOT bring home leftovers or sweets from the office or parties. The Healthy Edge Cookbook is an incredible resource for quick, easy and delicious recipes and can be found at your local Marlene’s Market.

Believe in yourself and the value of your health and your family’s health. The Healthy Edge is your lifestyle resource for living your abundant life. Check out The Healthy Edge program opportunities at  www.getthehealthyedge.com.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Be a Party Girl, Without the Party Pooch

It would happen EVERY year. The holidays would come along and all self-control (and reason) went out the window. I remember the evil little voice inside me saying, “Come on, it’s a party!” or “It’s okay, it’s the holidays, indulge!” and the almighty “You deserve it”.  Fast forward to after a couple glasses of wine and the voice would say, “Well, since you’ve come this far, you might as well go for it and really blow it!” Please tell me I am not the only one who hears these types of voices.

I remember feeling the guilt of the choices I made the night (or even week) before as I would drive to the next evening’s festivity. My guilt and bruised self-esteem would allow the voice to kick in and say, “Go for it Amber, after all, the holidays only last a couple of months. You’ll get back at it in January!”  But after too many holidays that left me feeling run down, sick, pudgy and depressed, I decided enough is enough! So for all you people, who feel enough is enough, read on!

I discovered there are ways to not only ENJOY the holidays, but preserve and perhaps rediscover your self-worth while dropping a pant size. YES, ladies, it is possible to actually drop a pant size (or more) through the holidays and I’m not talking about buying a pair of spanks or getting it sucked out of your gut. Seriously, how amazing would you feel if you didn’t gain one single pound this holiday season and you didn’t have to do the dreaded “d” word (diet)? This is the year, my friend!

Here is the first tip and the essence of my personal “party animal” mode for the holidays. I never, ever (did I mention NEVER) show up to a party or event hungry…EVER! The “old self-sabotaging” Amber denied herself all day in order to save up calories for a party. Some of you are chuckling, because you know EXACTLY what I am talking about.  Somehow the math added up in my head that if I barely ate all day then I deserved to eat and drink uncontrollably and it wouldn’t affect my weight. Unfortunately our body’s metabolism (that some of you claims has STOPPED) doesn’t appreciate this type of behavior and it will ultimately backfire (if it hasn’t yet, TRUST me it will!). Not only will you consume more calories, your body will REFUSE to efficiently burn those calories because of the deprivation that happened earlier in the day. For those non-believers, read on!
  • How many of you are mothering a cute little “pooch” around the mid-section? Ladies, pooches are cute, but only if they bark quietly and poop outside the house. 
  • Have you ever tried to “lose” (I prefer the term release) weight and no matter what how many calories you cut or how many painstaking hours you spend at boot camp, the weight is just NOT coming off…or at least not in the places you want it to come off?
  • Are you tired?
  • Are you bloated?
  • Would people say you are moody? (Don’t take your opinion for it, ask someone…but please don’t bite their head off if you don’t like the answer.)
  • Are you feeling depressed or unmotivated?
  • Are you not sleeping well?
  • Not pooping? (Oh yes, ladies I said it and we need to talk about it!)
All of these things can be linked to our obsessive behavior of calorie counting, deprivation and then binging. This is NOT going to get us the body and health of our dreams.
So in order to be in control of every situation and make decisions with our heads and not our empty stomachs, we have avoid living in the EXTREMES of being either stuffed or starved.
Here are some basic guidelines:
  1. Eat breakfast, even if you are not hungry. Be sure it is low-glycemic and whole food based.
  2. Drink water all day long.  Dehydration = hunger.
  3. Eat every 2-3 hours after breakfast.  Some of you calorie counters are about ready to have a heart attack, but trust me, it works.
  4. Have a light snack immediately before the event.

The result of these small shifts in behavior will be an increased energy level.  People will be commenting on how great you look rather than asking you “what’s wrong”. (“What’s wrong” usually means “you look like poo.”) You will enjoy the true reason you love to attend parties in the first place which is to connect with people you love and meet new people you can love!

So what’s the worst thing that could happen if you follow this advice?

·        You have one or two glasses of wine instead of a whole bottle.
o   You save yourself from being “that woman” at the holiday party that people are talking about the next day.
·        You choose a small side plate and fill it with a sampling of what is being served and you actually look at the food, chew the food and appreciate the taste the food, rather than acting like an animal eating out of a trough.
·        You carefully choose a dessert on the dessert tray and because you are so full, you split it with a couple of friends and perhaps have a bite of one of their desserts.  
·        You leave with your dignity and your pants stay buttoned on the drive home!

If this scenario sounds AWFUL to anyone, I don’t know what else to tell you. But if you feel hopeful and excited, these tips will work for you.


If you would like more tips on staying on track and empowered during the holidays, we have a FREE presentation for you HERE! Check it out! 
Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More