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Pumpkin Brownies

Posted on November 21, 2014 by

Moist pumpkin squares made flavored with cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.

You'll never miss the pie!

You’ll never miss the pie!

Ingredients
1 cup canned solid pack pumpkin
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup packed dark brown sugar (or brown sugar substitute)
1 tsp low sodium baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup low fat buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs , well beaten
1/2 cup walnuts , finely chopped
Cooking spray
Directions
1 Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a 13″ x 9″ x 2″ baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2 Combine all ingredients and beat well, about 400 strokes. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes.
3 Cool on baking rack; cut into bars.
Additional Information: Fresh pumpkin can replace canned version. Just boil, drain and mash.
Nutrition Facts
Makes 24 servings
Serving Size: 1 piece
Amount Per Serving:
Calories 104
Total Carbs 15 g
Dietary Fiber 1.5 g
Total Fat 4.5 g
Protein 2 g

Print Recipe – Pumpkin Brownies

From dlife.com

Doc Weight Loss – Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

Posted on November 19, 2014 by

Tips for a Restful Night’s Sleep

Posted on November 17, 2014 by

Sleep Deeply~

Sleep Deeply~

It is a well-known fact that stress causes a number of negative side effects – exercise helps and so does something we take for granted every day of our lives. Sleep!

According to the National Institute of Health, the average adult sleeps less than seven hours per night.  Are you average?  If so, you may be getting enough to get by but not enough to function at your best!

Your sleep directly affects the quality of your waking life. Mental sharpness, your productivity and emotional balance, creativity and physical vitality, even your weight can be tied to the amount and quality of sleep that you get. No other activity delivers so many benefits with so little effort.  While you are asleep, your brain stays busy.  Biological maintenance is taking place!  Hormones are coaxed back into balance.  Energy and efficiency are being restored.  But it’s not just the number of hours  – the quality of those hours really makes a difference. You may have noticed at times that your sleep is disrupted.  Your internal clock can be affected by shift-work, traveling across time zones, irregular sleeping or even too much artificial light at night.

Melatonin is one of the naturally occurring hormones produced as a result of light exposure.  It helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle.  Spending time away from natural daylight and too much time around bright light at night may suppress your body’s production of melatonin and make it harder to sleep.  Try getting in some time in the sun each day and step away from the computer or TV before you turn in for the night.  Melatonin is available as a supplement as well, see Cat or Tina in the store if you think this might be for you.

Tips for a Restful Night~

  • Set a regular bedtime and don’t change the routine on weekends just because it’s tempting to stay up late.  Create a relaxing routine and make sure that your bed is comfortable.
  • Wake up at the same time every day.  You should be able to wake up without an alarm clock.  If this isn’t the case, try going to bed a little earlier.
  • Nap to make up for lost time instead of sleeping late.  Try an early afternoon nap (30-45 minutes) so that you don’t disturb your natural sleep pattern.
  • Avoid falling asleep on the sofa.  If you find yourself drifting off after dinner, get up and do something that is mildly stimulating to avoid throwing off your routine.
  • Stay away from big meals at night and cut back on caffeine.  Caffeine has been known to cause sleep problems as much as 12 hours after drinking it!
  • As little as 20-30 minutes of daily exercise will help.  The more strenuous  exercise should be done earlier in the day but relaxing exercises like yoga or gentle stretching can be done in the evening.

‘Early to bed, early to rise, makes one healthy, wealthy & wise.’  There may be something to that proverb after all!

 

Baked Orange Roughy

Posted on November 14, 2014 by

Baked orange roughy topped with green and red bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, and olives.

baked orange roughyIngredients

1 tbsp olive oil

5 each medium garlic cloves

1 each medium onions

1 each chopped green bell peppers

1 each medium red bell peppers

1 each medium tomatoes

3/4 tsp salt

36 oz orange roughy fillet

1 each cooking spray

1 1/2 oz pitted calamata olives

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. In nonstick skillet over medium-high, heat oil and sauté garlic, onion, green and red bell pepper 5 – 7 minutes, until onions are translucent.
  3. Add tomato and salt, cook 2 additional minutes, stirring often.
  4. Lightly coat 13″ x 9″ baking dish with cooking spray. Add fish, top with onion mixture and olives.
  5. Bake 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork.

 

Makes 6 servings.

 

Nutrition Facts:

Calories 204

Total Fat 4.5g

Total Carbohydrates 5.9g

Dietary Fiber 1.5g

Protein 32.4g

Print Recipe – Baked Orange Roughy

From dLife.com

Looking for a Little More Energy?

Posted on November 10, 2014 by

everythingI love Fall!  The crispness of the air and leaves crunching under my feet makes me feel invigorated!  Even so, we are headed into a very busy time of year and many of you may feel like you don’t have enough energy to tackle what lies ahead for the day.  Let’s take a look at possible causes.

There are a number of reasons why you might be lacking energy such as lack of quality sleep (especially if you suffer from sleep apnea), lack of fitness (it seems as if exercise may cause fatigue but actually, the opposite is true), or eating the wrong types of foods or the wrong “ratio” of macronutrients.  This final reason is what I am going to focus on here.

Primary macronutrients are the only energy sources that help maintain and repair your body.  There are three primary ones briefly summarized below:

Carbohydrates are the body’s most efficient source of fuel.  Whether simple or complex, they are all broken down into sugars – called glucose.  When your muscles and organs have used all the       glucose it needs, your body then stores this sugar as body fat.

Proteins break down into amino acids which are used to build and repair your body’s tissue.  Animal proteins (meats, fish, poultry, dairy and eggs) are complete proteins while plant proteins (beans, rice, vegetables, nuts) are considered incomplete.  The exception to this is soy protein.  You cannot live without protein!

Fats also provide energy but not as readily as carbohydrates.  Food fats are essential for the proper functioning of your body.  They provide essential fatty acids that your body cannot make.  They are found in meats, fish, poultry and dairy products.

So in a very simple explanation, you may get quicker energy from carbohydrates but once broken down into sugar (rather quickly), your blood sugar increases and your pancreas begins to produce the hormone insulin.  Insulin then causes your blood sugar to go down (often causing transient        hypoglycemia depending upon the amount and type of carbohydrate ingested) and can result in      feelings of fatigue, hunger, nausea and other negative symptoms.  You may then eat to combat these symptoms and begin this cycle all over again.  By the way, another side effect of insulin is fat storage.

I mentioned you might lack energy because of the wrong “ratio” of nutrients.  As the simplest           explanation (even works for my kids), you should try to eat foods that have at least double the amount of protein than the amount of carbohydrate (2:1 ratio of protein:carbohydrate) to            combat these swings in your blood sugar and excessive insulin production.  Keep your blood sugar stable and those negative symptoms usually improve (and you have more energy as a result).  Of course, there is more to it than that but that’s why I created My Weight Loss Academy™ and Weight Management University™!

 

Baked Fennel and Gorgonzola

Posted on November 07, 2014 by

This delicious, cheesy side dish is a perfect accompaniment for any meal.

 

Ingredients

6 each fennel bulb

2 cup fat free reduced sodium chicken broth

3/4 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese

3 tbsp Bread Crumbs, plain, grated, dry

1 pinch salt

 

Directions

  1. Cut stalks from fennel, saving approximately 1 cup of the fennel fronds. Slice off roots, any damaged parts, and rough fibers from fennel bulbs. Wash and divide each head in half from stem through root end.
  2. Place fennel halves in a large frying pan and cover with broth. Cover pan and, over high heat, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and continue to simmer until fennel is fork tender, about 20 minutes. Move fennel to a 2-2 1/2 quart casserole dish; cut side up, reserving broth in frying pan.
  3. Continue to boil broth until reduced to 1/3 cup. Roughly chop reserved cup of fennel fronds and combine half with remaining broth. Ladle mix ture evenly over fennel.
  4. Combine cheese and bread crumbs and scatter evenly over fennel.
  5. Bake, uncovered, in a 375 degree oven F for 25 to 35 minutes. Cheese should be golden brown and bubbling; fennel should be hot. Sprinkle with remainder of the fennel fronds. Season with salt to taste, if desired.

 

Makes 12 servings.

Nutrition Facts:

Calories 69

Total Fat 2.3g

Total Carbohydrates 10g

Dietary Fiber 4g

Protein 3.3g

Print Recipe – Baked Fennel and Gorgonzola

From dLife.com

Is Weight Loss Surgery Right For You?

Posted on November 05, 2014 by

Can You Cultivate Optimism?

Posted on November 03, 2014 by

It's a choice.

It’s a choice.

Would you describe your glass as ‘half-full’?  With the current economy and other issues that may be pressing on our mind, sometimes maintaining an optimistic attitude is a constant struggle!  You can probably think of people you know that always seem to see the sunny side of things. Are optimists just born that way?  You may think that but it’s not necessarily so.

Researchers at Duke University conducted a study and determined that optimists tend to work harder, save more money and lead healthier lives. Who doesn’t want to lead a more successful and satisfying life?  But how or where do you start? Below are certain steps that you can take to cultivate a positive outlook:

1.  Become aware of your pessimism

Unfortunately, pessimism tends to encourage more pessimism so reversing that downward spiral is your first order of business.  In order to do that, you must first be aware of those negative thoughts.  This allows you to take control and change the way you approach each issue.

2.  Acknowledge your optimism

This may take practice!  Be patient and persistent.  By moving the negative thoughts away from the center of your consciousness, you’ll have room to put the positive ones.  Repeating those  positive mantras will allow optimism to become habitual.  Habits are habits—both good and bad.  You can replace the negative with positive.  Say it out loud, “Yes I can!”

3.  Strengthen your inner circle

Fortunately, just like with pessimism, optimism is contagious!  Surrounding yourself with people that you view as optimists will lead you toward a more positive outlook. Peer pressure is a great motivator.

It is very possible to change the way you think.  Consistency is the key.  You can learn to control your thoughts and responses. Practice every chance you get and you may notice yourself adapting to healthier habits and even smiling in the face of adversity.

 

A positive attitude gives you power over your circumstances instead of your   circumstances having power over you.   ~Joyce Meyer

 

Parmesan Crusted Broiled Flounder

Posted on October 31, 2014 by

Moist & delicious and ready in minutes!

Parmesan Crusted Broiled Flounder

Parmesan Crusted Broiled Flounder

Ingredients

¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese

2-3 Tbls. mayo

2 tsp. lemon juice

¼ tsp. basil

¼ tsp. pepper

1/8 tsp. onion powder

1/8 tsp. celery salt

½ lb. flounder fillets

 

Directions

  1. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Preheat broiler to low setting.
  3. Rinse fillets and pat dry.
  4. Place fillets on baking sheet.
  5. Mix remaining ingredients in small bowl.
  6. Place baking sheet on top rack under broiler and watch closely.
  7. Broil fillets for 3-4 minutes.
  8. Remove baking sheet from oven and turn fillets.
  9. Top each fillet with equal parts of cheese mixture.
  10. Place back under broiler and allow cheese mixture to bubble and brown. Approx 2-3 minutes.
  11. Serve immediately.

 

Makes 2 servings (recipe is easily multiplied)

Nutrition Facts:

Calories 260

Total Carbohydrates 2g

Dietary Fiber 0g

Protein 20g

Print Recipe – Parmesan Crusted Broiled Flounder

Making Home Workouts Fun!

Posted on October 27, 2014 by

_MG_8873_ppEveryone understands how great exercise is for you.  Sometimes it’s just the issue of finding the time and/or the motivation.  Or, it could be the matter of finances.  Taking fitness classes at the gym can be very motivating, especially when a loud and inspiring Aerobics Instructor is commanding you to push “out of your comfort zone.”  However, the gym scene is not for everyone.  Some people find it an intimidating environment.  So, how are you going to get your workout in?….. At home!!!

For most people, saying “I don’t have time to exercise” is obviously an excuse because it’s truly about FINDING the time.  If you aren’t able to hit the gym, or are unable to free up time during your lunch hour, the final option is working out in the convenience of your own home.  It takes motivation to either get up earlier in the morning, or commit to exercising when you get home.  That means putting everything aside:  dirty dishes, folding laundry, doing the bills, etc…  There will always be distractions. Let’s start making home workouts fun!

A 30-minute home circuit workout can be done three times a week and will provide you with cardio and resistance.  Circuit classes are fun and the time goes by quickly.  This workout can be done without having to purchase any equipment! AND, you can watch your favorite TV program at the same time!

First, warm up for 5 minutes.  Example:  walking quickly in place or briskly around the house.  Or, stand in place and do knee lifts and ham curls.  Shoulder rolls, back rolls, and step touches.  Stations are 45 seconds and should be performed three times. Catch your breath between stations as needed.

Station 1:  PUSH-UPS (hands on the wall, a table, or a couch for modification)

Station 2:  STAIRS (step up and down or run up and down)

Station 3:  TRICEP DIPS (sitting on a couch)

Station 4MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS (hands on a table or couch for modification)

Station 5SQUATS (either against the wall or in front of a chair or couch)

Station 6PLANK HOLDS (hands on a table or couch for a modification)

Station 7:  JUMPING JACKS (step out one leg at a time for a modification)

Station 8:  RUN IN PLACE/HIGH KNEES

No workout should feel easy.  Results come by pushing past your comfort zone and challenging yourself. The last 5 minutes is for cool down.  Stretch all major muscle groups for 20-30 seconds.  Stations should  be switched out every few months to avoid exercise plateaus.

Finally, I would suggest purchasing a punching bag (the kind that sits on the floor).  It adds fun and challenge to your circuit.  Punching bags are great for your arms, legs, and core.

Only $9.99

Only $9.99

Our Sit & Get Fit DVD offers 2 great workouts that you can do at home – 30 minutes of cardio fun and a 30 minute strength training session to build lean body mass – get yours today!