Saturday, November 20, 2010

How to eat healthy during the Holidays's that time of year again. Where in the WORLD has this year gone? I swear it was just January 1, 2010 like yesterday! Anywho, I love the holidays. My favorite part is getting together with family. I don't need gifts and any of that hullabuloo anymore...just spending time with family is so wonderful.

Of course, with family gatherings comes food...and, it is so yummy and tempting. Some of my favorite foods are during the holidays...all the sweets...stuffing...etc...yikes! Below are some tips to help you stay with your healthy eating goals. I got these tips from a blog I love, and totally agreed with every one 110%, so just had to post and share!

1. Everything in moderation – Don’t deprive yourself of your favorite holiday treats. If you do, you’re likely to binge or be plain crabby. Have a mug of eggnog, eat your favorite cookie, but remember to practice portion control and try not to overdo it.

2. Keep it moving – You’re bound to be busier around the holidays but don’t let physical activity go by the wayside. Schedule family walks after a big meal, wake up early to do an exercise DVD, and incorporate more NEAT (Non-exercise activity thermogenesis aka activities of daily living). Need to go shopping instead of going to the gym? No problem- consider your shopping cardio! A few good tips: park far away from the stores, take the stairs instead of the escalator, wear comfy shoes so you can walk at a faster pace, and please skip the mall food.

3. Eat normally – Even if you have a big holiday meal planned in the evening it’s helpful to eat breakfast and lunch as you would on any normal day. Your meals can be a bit smaller than your everyday meals, but this way you won’t be ravenous when dinner comes around and you’ll likely make better choices. (I think this is especially many people don't eat breakfast or lunch on Thanksgiving Day...this is bad, bad, BAD folks. If you eat breakfast and smaller lunch before your big meal, you won't pig out as much and be so ravenous)

4. Don’t let one bad day of eating get to you – Say you went overboard at a party and had way too many sugary sweet treats, bacon wrapped dates, and a candy cane martini. Don’t throw in the healthy eating towel. Put that incident behind you and try to pick healthier options at your next meal.

5. Bring healthy dishes and pack snacks – If you’re going to a pot-luck bring a healthy dish to share (like roasted root veggies, eggplant caponata, quick quinoa salad or Tasty Trail Mix Cookies ). At least you’ll know one thing on the menu is healthy. If all else fails, have some healthy snacks like carrot sticks, a nutrition bar or homemade trail mix with you. This is particularly a good idea if you have dietary restrictions.

6. Say no – Remember that you don’t always have to eat everything that’s offered to you. Just because grandma made her special corn pudding just for you doesn’t mean you HAVE to have seconds. Be polite, but assertive when you’re full or don’t really want to eat something.

7. Don’t focus on the food – Most holiday events are centered around food. Eat and enjoy yourself, but remember that it’s not all about the food. Step away from the table and enjoy all the other things the season has to offer – family, friendship, LOVE, reflection, decorating, relaxation, etc.

**What are you doing for Thanksgiving? This is our year to spend turkey day with mi familia. We are heading to my parents beach house in SC and are super excited. Oh, and this year we have a baby in the family (our nephew-James) so I know this will make it even more special and fun. :)


Last weekend, we had our housewarming party. It was the biggest party both Daniel and I had ever we were hoping that all would go as planned. did! It was pretty crazy trying to get a few last minute things done on the house and clean it, but we finished in time. phew! We had a great time and thank those who made the drive to join us in this celebration. We are happy to say that now we are relaxing with the house. We are enjoying it and not doing many projects...HORRAY! This is the best feeling ever. :) It's so nice to have a break and no worry about so many house projects. If you want to read more on our party, go here

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pumpkin Pasta

Ok, this is seriously yummy. I know it sounds weird, and I do have to admit that I was a little nervous as to how it would taste, but is SO GOOD. Will def. be making it again very soon!!!! Daniel loved it much that we had it for leftovers Monday night for dinner. Perfect for a cold, Fall evening....and healthy too. :)

1 pound whole wheat ziti
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion (finely chopped)
3 to 4 cloves garlic (diced)
1 cup fat-free, low sodium chicken stock
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
1/4 cup fat free half and half
2 teaspoons hot sauce
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 pinches ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 package chicken sausage (I used the apple flavored perfect for this dish)
7 to 8 leaves fresh sage (thinly sliced)
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Boil a pot of water and cook pasta to al dente (see box for time). Saute chopped onions and garlic in extra virgin olive oil over medium heat for approximately 3 minutes. Stir in cut up chicken sausage. Then, stir in chicken stock, pumpkin, and cream. Then, season with hot sauce, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer 5 to 6 minutes more to thicken sauce. Taste test and adjust seasoning as necessary. Stir in sage and toss with pasta. Top with grated cheese (to taste).

Here is the link where I got the recipe from. I made a couple personal changes to the original recipe to make it a bit better for you which is shown in the recipe posted.

*I apologize for no picture, again...we were so hungry I couldn't stop for a pic!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Home Reno post #1

I have neglected putting up "Before" and "After" pics of our home. We bought our first home in May of this year, and have been working out butts off remodeling and re-doing. Our home was foreclosed and was previously rented before we moved in. With that being said, it had not been cared for at all. Right when we walked in the home, we instantly had a vision for what it could become. I am proud to say that we can see the light at the end of the tunnel! This, my friends, is our special treat. :)

Many rooms are beginning to be checked off the list of being done. I will focus on one room at a time...for are the before and after's of our dining room. We painted the top half red and the bottom half white. In the future, we'd like to put window boxes on the white...but that'll come in time. We bought our table off craiglist (steel!). My Mom's good friend (she does all my Mom's curtain, reupholstering, etc. things) made the curtains and reupholstered the big dining chairs. I bought the fabric a while ago (around when we moved in) was on super sale and I fell in love with it.