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On the Coast Magazine

Weight on your New Year’s Resolutions!

01/06/2014 01:15PM ● Published by Nancy Babin

There is a compelling force within each one of us at the end of every year to reflect, mostly on our failures. Whether it is financial goals not met or relationships not fostered, more often than not it is unmet weight loss aspirations. But as usual on January 2nd, the gym will be packed and the produce aisle swept clean. All holiday leftovers and candies will be thrown out, pantries will be restocked with healthy alternatives and visions of the skinny dream begin to dance once again. And the dance is flawless for the first week. Maybe even flawless into the second week, but then the third rolls around and so do those cravings. A misstep here. A misstep there. Then you just trip and fall flat on your face. The dance is over. Oh well, next year! It’s a funny but sad and true reality. This is so upsetting to me because I see so many people, especially women, set their top New Year’s resolution as a weight loss goal and year after year fail. They start strong and then teeter out after only a few short weeks and vow to just try again next year. Why is this?

You have heard many times one of life’s tough proverbial questions, “How do you eat an elephant?” The answer is, “One bite at a time.” Researchers have found that the reason so many people fail has little to do with discipline but rather a lot to do with mental overload. Numbered one to ten, goals are set. Lose 20 lbs. Quit smoking. Get out of debt. These are just a few of the heavy hitters, and all contained on just one list. When so many lofty yet vague goals are set at once including weight loss without redefining the behaviors that got you there, it is a recipe for failure. The reality is that 90% of the goals related to health and fitness will teeter by the middle of January. But I don’t believe you have to fall in that 90%. The words of Theodore Roosevelt are among my favorite quotes, “Believe you can and you are halfway there.” So belief and determination already catapult you up to a 50% shot at success. But the other 50% takes an attainable goal with a solid plan!

So how do you do it?

Simply put, one bite at a time. Focus your energy and break your weight loss goal into manageable and realistic bites. And the biggest bite on the plate is forgetting the word diet and changing your mindset to healthy eating. Begin slowly and make changes that form new and healthy habits for a lifetime of wellness that is as evident on the outside as well as the inside. Here are a few tips because you MUST plan to succeed.

  • Set a goal of replacing one or two bad food choices each week with a healthier alternative.

  • Try to plan your menu at the beginning of the week. You can work in “kid-friendly” options so it works for everyone. Get ideas from healthy eating websites or magazines such as Clean Eating or Cooking Light.

  • Focus your efforts not on the scale but on what you put in your mouth. Remember fad diets don’t work. Lifestyle changes that form new healthy habits do. And they remain when the latest and greatest makes its exit.

  • Make sure you consume enough lean protein, the building block of toned muscle and weight management, and include some in every snack and meal. It satiates and keeps blood glucose levels regulated, inhibiting cravings.

  • Have your healthy options readily available and prepped in the fridge or pantry. Wash and chop fruits and veggies ahead of time, have almonds or walnuts on hand and buy a few RTD (ready-to-drink) protein shakes or bars so you don’t get caught hungry. I always have at least two protein shakes in my car for when I am out which keeps me from the drive-thrus.

  • Find your motivation. I love reading health & fitness magazines that contain testimonies of how other people overcame bad eating habits and look and feel great! I also read and reread motivational quotes to keep me in the dance.

Weight loss is a great New Year’s resolution but seeking healthy-eating lifestyle changes instead will ensure lasting results. Looking good as well as feeling good in your skin will not only foster a positive body image and many health advantages but will empower you mentally and physically to move forward with confidence to conquer other resolutions. Start AND finish strong by making this New Year about the best New You for 2014.

My Sample Day:

Meal 1: 2 whole eggs plus 2 egg whites cooked in 1 tbsp coconut oil, 1 slice Ezekiel toast with sugar-free jam, 3 strawberries

Meal 2: Whey Isolate Protein shake and 12 almonds

Meal 3: Toasted open-faced turkey sandwich on Ezekiel bread with 1 organic Colby cheese slice, salad with romaine lettuce, tomatoes, purple onion and avocado

Meal 4: RTD GNC Total Lean protein shake or Greek yogurt

Meal 5: Salmon, broccoli and ½ sweet potato

*I like to keep Quest Protein bars on hand for that sweet tooth moment. I break a portion off and that nips it in the bud.


Sizzlin’ Sunshine Breakfast Burrito
  • olive oil cooking spray

  • 3 egg whites and 1 whole egg

  • 1 ½ tsp. diced fresh jalapeno pepper

  • 1 8-in. whole wheat tortilla

  • 1 ½ tbsp. drained black beans

  • 1 ½ tsp. FF or reduced-fat cheddar

  • 1 ½ tsp. salsa

  • optional: 2-3 slices of avocado (good healthy fat)

  • optional: extra salsa

Lightly spray olive oil in a non-stick heated skillet. Add eggs and jalapeno peppers to skillet and scramble. Place the scrambled eggs down the center of the whole wheat tortilla. Top with black beans, cheddar cheese, salsa and avocado (if desired). Roll tortilla into a wrap and place it on a microwavable plate in the microwave for 20-30 seconds. Top off with another tablespoon of salsa if desired.


Flamin’ Chicken Wrap

  • 6 oz. chicken tenders

  • buffalo wing sauce (I like Moore’s brand)

  • 1 tbsp. low fat mayo

  • 1 tbsp. plain Greek yogurt

  • salt and pepper

  • sprouted grain or whole wheat tortilla

  • ¼ c shredded Romaine lettuce

  • 1 small tomato, diced

  • 2 tbsp. blue cheese crumbles

Grill or pan-fry chicken tenders until done. I use my George Foreman grill to cook the tenders. Toss cooked chicken until coated in Buffalo sauce. Mix mayo and yogurt together and salt and pepper to taste.  Assemble tortilla: spread mixture on tortilla. Next layer lettuce, tomato and blue cheese and top with chicken. Add any remaining sauce if you like and roll into wrap.


Blackened Salmon

  • 4-6 oz. wild-caught salmon fillet (fresh is best but for time I buy frozen individually-wrapped filets)

  • 1 tsp. Cajun Blackening Seasoning rubbed over fillet

You can grill if you like for 3-4 minutes per side. However, I often use my George Foreman grill or pan fry the fillet for same amount of time. Quick and simple! Serve with brown rice, cooked in chicken broth for more flavor, and steamed broccoli.



Skillet Chicken and Spanish Rice

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil (or enough to coat the bottom of your large deep skillet)

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into chunks or strips

  • ½ tsp. chili powder (separated into ¼ tsp.)

  • 1 tsp. cumin (separated into ¾ tsp. and ¼ tsp.)

  • ¼ tsp. onion powder

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped

  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped

  • 1 green pepper, chopped

  • 4-oz. can diced chili peppers (leave out if you prefer less heat)

  • 2 ½ c low-sodium chicken broth

  • ½ c salsa

  • 1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes (don’t drain the liquid)

  • 1 ½ c basmati rice

Directions:

Heat your oil in a large deep skillet with a tight fitting lid. Add the chicken and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon chili powder, ¾ teaspoon cumin and ¼ teaspoon onion powder. Stir and cook until chicken is done.

Remove the chicken and add a little more oil to the pan, if necessary, just enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the onion, garlic, and chopped peppers. Cook the vegetables until they are tender, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes.

Add the chicken broth, salsa, diced tomatoes, the remaining chili powder and cumin. Bring the mixture to a boil. Stir in the rice and return the chicken to the pan. Reduce heat to low and cover the pan. The rice should absorb all the liquid and be tender in about 20 minutes.

About the Author:

Crystal Tingle, along with her husband of 18 years and 3 boys, has been living in the Destin area since 2005. She is Founder of www.Healthy-Simple- Recipes.com which is a resource website created to teach and empower women to become the best version of themselves at any age through healthy food and fitness. She is a Certified Personal Trainer and Specialist in Fitness Nutrition.





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