How many of you committed to a New Years Resolution? How many of you were sick and tired of being sick and tired by last October and the Holidays hadn’t even started yet? We all want to come into the new year with new goals, idea, bodies, eating habits, exercise habits, etc. But by the time February 1st rolls a round we have fallen off the band wagon and are back at the Wendy’s drive thru. Time and time again I sit down with my clients and ask them what they should be eating and they all know. So if they all know what they should be doing, why aren’t they doing it? I believe that the answer to the question comes in many many forms; time management, unsupported spouse / partner, unrecognized emotional barriers, feeling overwhelmed… but the most commons is setting unrealistic and unobtainable the goals. Instead of committing to eating a salad everyday before dinner, for example, people believe they need to cut out all sugar, caffeine, processed foods, alcohol, wheat and eat nothing but protein and salad washed down with water. Unfortunately this type of sever restriction typically does not lead to long term success.
So what are you supposed to do? Make some goals! What does your “healthy self” look like? Do you want to have better cholesterol? Be 20 pounds lighter? Complete that half marathon you have always wanted to do? Decide what it is you would like to accomplish and write it down (yes- physically sit and write it down – and give yourself a deadline). Then figure out what you need to do to accomplish those goals. For example if you want to run that half marathon; find a local running club / group, see if there is a race coming up that you would like to participate in, see if you can find a good training plan, then get running. All these little steps (or small goals) will lead up to you accomplishing your big goal – running across that finish line. The same goes for your diet! If you want to eat better, start with some small changes that you can make on a day to day basis. For example – I am going to eat breakfast everyday for two weeks. Breakfast is often over looked so if you haven’t been consuming breakfast for the last, say 4 years, start small and grab a banana on the way out the door to work. Having a meal to start your day helps to regulate your blood sugar which staves off cravings and fights mood swings. Your body will thank you!
Another big step toward a healthier, fitter you is getting into the kitchen! Meals cooked at home verses in a restaurant have approximately 40% less fat and calories! If you are someone who eats all of your meals out, a great goal would be to make 3 meals at home. You can sit down on Saturday, make your grocery list, get anything prepped that needs to be prepped, and when you get home from work during the week you aren’t wondering where dinner is coming from. Cooking at home also provides an opportunity for you and your family to cook together, try something new and exciting, share how your day went and maybe even learn a thing or two together! I am going to leave you all with a recipe I have made for my family and friends time and time again. It is comforting, filling, exotic and down right delicious! Happy cooking!
Coconut Chana Saag
Coconut Chana Saag
Isa Moskowitz (from Isa Does It!)
2 Tbs Coconut Oil
1 Medium Yellow Onion, diced
3 Cloves Garlic, minced (I use about 6)
2 Tbs Fresh Ginger
2 Tbs Curry Powder
Salt and Pepper, to taste
½ tsp Crushed Anise (Fennel seeds)
¼ tsp Garam Masala
½ tsp Cumin
¼ tsp Cayenne
1 (24oz) Can Whole Tomatoes
2 (15 oz) Cans Chickpeas, rinsed and drained
8oz Kale, chopped
1 (14oz) Can Coconut Milk (whole fat)
2 Tbs Lime Juice, fresh squeezed
Method: Pre-heat a 4-quart pot over medium heat and add the coconut oil. Sauté the onion in the oil for for 5 to 7 minutes, until lightly browned.
Add the garlic and ginger, sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the curry powder, salt, pepper, anise seeds, Garam masala, cumin, and cayenne and toss to coat the onions, letting the spices toast for a bit (maybe a minute or so).
Add the tomato juice from the can, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Simply hold the tomatoes and let the juice strain through your fingers. Now add the tomatoes from the can, squishing them with your fingers as you put them in the pot, to mash them up. Add the chickpeas and mix well.
Cover the pan ad bring the heat up a bit. Let simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the kale and stir until wilted, then let simmer for 5 more minutes, uncovered, to cook down even further.
Add the coconut milk and heat through. Add the lime juice, then taste for seasoning. It will taste best if you let it sit for 10 minutes or so. Serve over some brown rice, topped with cilantro!