All Posts in Healthy Habits

March 15, 2019 - No Comments!

Keto Reuben Slaw

Since we’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this month, we wanted to share a fun twist to Cornbeef and Cabbage. We enjoy testing recipes from all of the many diets! This one is Keto friendly. Enjoy and eat up!

Ingredients:

 Instructions:

  1. Take the half head of cabbage and cut the end off, then cut the cabbage in half lengthwise.
  2. Julienne Cut the cabbage into roughly 1/4 inch thick strips.
  3. Take the Pastrami or Corned Beef and cut that into roughly 1/4 inch strips as well.
  4. Cut the Swiss Cheese into roughly 1/4 inch strips as well.
  5. Dice up some Dill Pickles.
  6. In a small mixing bowl add the Chosen Foods Avocado Oil Mayo, Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar, Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener, Dill Pickles and mix well.
  7. In a REALLY large mixing bowl add in about half of the cabbage mixture and mix the other half with the Mayo mixture.
  8. Mix both halves of the mixture together.
  9. Serve right away, or store in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.

June 4, 2018 - 5 comments

Baked Falafel

PREP: 1hr 15min (includes 60 min soak time) TOTAL: 1hr 45min SERVINGS: 14 falafel balls

Ingredients

  •    2 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
  •    1 cup dried/uncooked/raw chickpeas, rinsed, picked over and soaked for at least one hour and up to overnight (do not attempt this recipe with canned chickpeas!)
  •    1/3 cup chopped red onion (about 1/4th of a medium red onion, chopped)
  •    1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
  •    1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  •    3 garlic cloves, minced
  •    1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Instructions

1.      With an oven rack in the middle position, preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat a large, rimmed baking sheet or large cast iron skillet with 2 to 4 tablespoons olive oil (use more olive oil for more of a fried effect. I couldn’t fit all of the falafel into my 12-inch skillet so I used my 8-inch skillet as well, into which I poured in 1 teaspoon of olive oil).

2.     In a food processor, combine the soaked and drained chickpeas, red onion, parsley, cilantro, 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Process until smooth, about 1 minute.

3.     Using your hands, scoop out about 2 tablespoons of the mixture at a time. Shape the falafel into small patties, about 2 inches wide and ½ inch thick. Place each falafel on your oiled pan or skillet.

4.     Bake for 13 minutes, then remove the falafel from the oven and carefully flip each one. Return the pan(s) to the oven for another 13 to 15 minutes, until the falafels are lightly browned on both sides.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook.

  •        Do not substitute canned chickpeas for dried chickpeas here! I made that mistake once and ended up with sad falafel pancakes.
  •        Although I haven’t tried it, the original recipe notes that the uncooked falafel patties can be refrigerated on a parchment-lined baking sheet, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, for up to 2 hours before baking.
  •        I’ve found that falafel freezes well, too. It might be a little less crisp after defrosting but it is still very good!

January 10, 2018 - 4 comments

New Year’s Resolution: Sleep!

As you begin a new year and commit to resolutions, don't forget to think about your sleep habits!

Most would agree that Americans work too hard, relax too little, stress too much and don’t get adequate sleep.  Most would also agree that this is an unhealthy lifestyle.  However, most do not understand why sleep deprivation is such a “big deal” for the health of our bodies and emotions. 

A study done by the Harvard Women’s Health Watch found that 75% of people have difficulty sleeping at least a few nights per week.  They suggest that a short bout of insomnia is nothing to worry about; it is the chronic sleep loss that is of bigger concern.  It can lead to health problems such as high blood pressure, decreased immune system function and weight gain.  The average amount of sleep suggested is eight hours, however, the normal range is between six to 10 hours.

We know you’re busy, so take a look at our “Cliff Notes” on the importance of getting enough sleep:

LEARNING and MEMORY

While we’re sleeping, the brain is working to transfer all new information to memory by creating new neuronal connections. So, if you learn something new before bed, you are more likely to remember and perform better later on.

METABOLISM and WEIGHT

This may sound strange, but sleep deprivation affects the way that our bodies store carbohydrates (energy and calories).  

It also alters the levels of hormones in our bodies, which are produced during sleep, like energy levels, digestion, appetite and sex drive. Without exception, these hormone deficiencies can cause disease and lead to endocrine system disorders.

SAFETY

If we don’t get enough sleep at night, we may be more apt to “falling asleep at the wheel.”

MOOD

Sleep loss often results in irritability, impatience, decreased concentration and more mood swings, all of which affects our lives and the people around us.

CARDIO HEALTH

More severe insomnia has been linked to high blood pressure, increased stress hormones and an irregular heartbeat.

DISEASE

Sleep deprivation harms the immune system’s ability to function including, the body’s killer T cells which ward off disease.

GROWTH

Sleep is the time when the body grows, rejuvenates and builds muscle. The REM stage of sleep is associated with learning and creating new memories as well as most of the metabolic rebuilding that takes place in our bodies.

Now that you understand how important sleeping is, you may be wondering how to you ensure you get the right  amount of shut-eye each night? 

  • Avoid alcohol or caffeinated beverages late in the afternoon or evening can also affect our sleep cycles.
  • You may feel exhausted after you exercise at night, but in reality it actually revs up our bodies and makes it harder to get a good night’s sleep.  
  • Try not to perform mental exercise or stressful activities such as studying, doing taxes, paperwork, etc. right before bed often leads to tossing and turning at night.  
  • Environmental factors, like temperature, noise, light, loft of your pillow, size and firmness of your bed.

Try taking a few short minutes to yourself before you turn in for the night.  Plug your phone in to he charger, leave it there and do five minutes of meditation, yoga or deep breathing (the challenge is to not pick up your phone until the morning). Clear your mind and prepare yourself to rest.

Make it a habit to wind-down at night, and soon your body will learn to recognize these cues by shutting your body down and a good night’s sleep will become habit, not just a fleeting dream.

Interested in the stages of sleep? See chart below.

STAGES OF SLEEP
Sleep stage Features
Stage 1 non-REM

Light sleep

  • - Transition between sleep and waking
  • - Easily roused
  • - Fleeting thoughts
  • - Eyes move slowly
  • - Reduced muscle activity
Stage 2 non-REM

Light sleep

  • - Eye movements stop
  • - Brief dreams
Stage 3 non-REM

Deep sleep

  • - Body temperature falls
  • - Person is hard to awaken
Stage 4 non-REM

Deep sleep

  • - Body temperature falls further
  • - Brain’s use of energy decreases
  • - Muscle tone decreases slightly
  • - May sleepwalk in this stage
REM

(REM = rapid eye movement)

  • - Eyes move rapidly to and from
  • - Most dreaming occurs
  • - Heart rate and blood pressure increase
  • - Limb muscles are paralyzed
  • - Brain is very active and uses a lot of energy