Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Keep your calories in check!

It's time for good food and cheer with family and friends!

Hope your holidays are Merry and Bright!

It is that time of year we put aside our crazy schedules to be with friends and family.  With that, brings us many festive holiday treats, appetizers and cocktails.   This is the toughest time of year to keep our calories in line, avoiding the overindulging that can cause a bit more "spare tire" around the middle or making our jeans a bit tighter around the hips.

Make this holiday about making new acquaintances.  Asking what is new and wonderful with the people you are with.  Find out about their favorite vacation or holiday tradition.   Don't let the food take over the meaning of the holiday.

Here are a few helpful hints to make it through your festivities without sabotaging your diet.  
  • Work out extra hard the week before adding an extra 15 minutes of cardio.
  • Juice Veggies and/or Blend Smoothies at least once a day the week before, or day of big occasion.
  • Eat something light and healthy before attending events so you aren't starving when you arrive.
  • Drink lots of water before and during the event.
  • Bring a healthy appetizer of your own to share, or to eat if no other healthy options are there.
  • Try not to binge, but don't deprive.
  • Make better choices, cheese with apple or fruit is better than cheese with crackers.
  • Stay away from the endless dessert or cookie trays.
  • Try not to socialize around the food tables, move to a different area.
  • Use only a small plate and don't fill it up.
  • Stick with veggie and hummus type dips instead of chips and sour cream dips.
  • Chew gum when baking at home so not to taste test too much.
  • Chew gum at party to keep from overeating.
  • Choose red wine, or Vodka with Seltzer and lime, over cocktail mixes with lots of sugar and calories. 
 If you fall off the wagon:
  • Don't let the overindulgence turn into a bad day.
  • Hang in there, worse things can happen.
  • Never beat yourself up, just pick up and start fresh!
  • Juice the next day to semi-cleanse.
  • Get back on the wagon at extra speed!!!
And by all means, please have a wonderful safe holiday and a Happy New Year!


Yummy desserts can be healthier and taste good too!

Yummy Pumpkin Pie!

Take an ordinary recipe for pie, sweet bread, cookies and you can make it into a less disastrous dessert by changing a few ingredients in the mix!

My daughter and I made this pumpkin pie from real pumpkins that we baked first in the oven while we made the pie crust.   (Cut pumpkin in half and place in pan cut side down, with 1/4" water, bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes depending on the size of the pumpkin.)   At first she thought the pumpkin was too lumpy but trusted me that when cooked it softened right up, and it did.   The flavor was extraordinaire!

You can do this with pumpkin bread also.  Here are a few healthy substitutes from a standard pumpkin bread recipe (original recipe from my sister Marilyn):

Pumpkin Bread

Original Ingredients
First, Mix and put aside:                       Healthy Substitutes

3½ Cups            Flour                         Whole Wheat or Millet
2 tsp.                Baking Soda               Aluminum Free Baking Soda
1½ tsp.             Cinnamon                   Shaved Cinnamon
1 tsp.                Salt                           Pink or Gray Salt

Then, Mix until no lumps:
4 Eggs                                               2 Whole Eggs + 2 Egg Whites
2/3 Cups            Water
2 Cups               Pumpkin                    Bake a real pumpkin!
1 Cup                Oil                            ½ Cup Unsweetened Apple
                                                           Sauce plus ½ Cup Real
                                                           Softened Butter (No EVOO)
2-3 Cups            Sugar                        *Honey, Maple Syrup, Agave,
                                                           Molasses, Stevia. I prefer
   Maple Syrup.

Now, Blend the two mixes together.
Fold in raisins or nuts as desired (pumpkin seeds are good for magnesium or walnuts for omega 3).
Grease and flour bread pans, filling ½ way.
Bake 350 Degrees for 1 hour 15 minutes.
*For Sugar Substitutes see the site below for correct measure of substitute.  I do not approve of any artificial sweetener except for the natural herb Stevia. 

Sugar Substitutes

The internet is amazing to refer to when you want to substitute any ingredient in a recipe.  Good Luck and happy baking!


The Beautiful Bounty of the Farmer's Market

The Beautiful Bounty of Farmer's Market

Oh how wonderful it is to come home with such wonderful food purchased at the Saratoga Springs Farmer's Market!   From organic fruit and veggies, to pasture raised/fed meats and sustainable fish.

Yummy Kale to make kale chips, or saute with mushrooms.  Lots of veggies to grill.  Carrots and spinach to juice, love my salad with fresh tomatoes, basil and mozzarella cheese.  Fresh melon for breakfast along with berries for my oatmeal.   Fresh chicken for homemade chicken soup, and yummy lamb for burgers with mint.  Awesome fresh fish to grill.  Everything I choose can be made simply and quickly for a totally healthy nutritional meal.   For example, tuna and scallops on grill with chopped up veggies mixed in olive oil, garlic and pepper.  Quick saute of Kale, garlic and mushrooms throwing in a few walnuts.  That is all very quick and easy! 

Before you go to the farmer's market be sure to think through your week.  The last thing you want to do is spend money on these fresh foods only to throw them out if you are not allowing time to be home to cook for a short time a couple nights a week.  So, think about when you are home.  How long will the fish stay fresh.  For example, if you buy fish on Saturday, although it's fresh, it may only be good till Monday night's dinner.   Also, with the greens, they stay fresh for a few days but can become wilted.  Sometimes I make my green juice drink with spinach within a couple days of purchase, if I add lemon and lime to the juice drink, it will last a few days in the fridge.   

Another thing is watch your spending and budget for the day.  I find I am compulsive with many of the ready made items such as dips and pesto, easily going through my budget before I have purchased all my necessary items.   Keep with your intentions with a couple smaller additions.  I find I spend less time and money at the mass grocery store because I am planning better trips to the farmer's market and health food stores. 

Find one new recipe to make from whole foods from the market in season.  This is so rewarding to do after your purchases to create something so yummy and healthy!  There is usually a booth from your local co-oporative service that provides great recipes and information.

To find the farmer's market in your area go to,  http://www.localharvest.org/


Enjoy the natural healing of nature in your back yard, observe free spirited children..

Nature's Natural Beauty

It is amazing how our children tend to bring us back to nature.  My daughter saw these clouds and immediately wanted to take a picture of them for the beauty that they are.   In our busy lives we don't take the time to take in one of the most precious beauties around us, nature.  When was the last time you looked into the night sky and truly looked at the stars?   When was the last time you turned all the technology items off and listened to the birds outside your window?  When was the last time you just sat, still, without noise, only listening to the sound of your breath?

One of the cheapest forms of medicine for the heart and soul is right outside your door.   Our country is in a "Nature Deficit" for our children, and also for us adults.   Part of nurturing yourself is to take yourself outside and take a deep breath, close your eyes, feeling the breeze on your face.   Yes, we know we are all too busy, but for your health and wellness the drug of nature can be your start to reconnect to your inner self.   Take a moment and meditate, meditation doesn't have to be in a room sitting with hands on your knees, it can be standing outside for 5 minutes listening to the sounds of nature while you focus on your breath.  Be mindful, in the moment you are in, for just 5 minutes, you deserve this time for yourself.  Start by meditating 5 minutes a few times a week, you will begin to appreciate what peace it gives you.  Work up to 5 minutes every day.  It can happen before you get out of bed in the morning, or just before you fall asleep, it can happen while you are waiting for your child to get done their activity, sit in the car, turn your phone  and radio off, and take 5 for you, you are so deserving of this 5 minutes of peace.

When you start feeling better connected with nature you will also feel better connected with yourself.  Give it a chance and just try it one day, sooner rather than later. 

Visit your local farmer's market to connect to the bountiful foods from your local area, it is said you can connect more to your local nature just by eating the foods grown in your area, enjoy your local farms and the wonderful foods they produce.   Have you ever taste tested an organic food item against the non-organic.  Give it a try, you can do this with baby carrots, apples, strawberries.   Close your eyes and try a sample of each.  As you eat more whole foods and decrease the processed foods from your diet you will find your taste buds are much more sensitive.    Try a tongue cleaner to get rid of all the build up on your tongue, it will feel so refreshed!   Then foods will taste even better!

These are just a few things that a Health Coach can help you fit into your schedule.  The benefits are far more rewarding than you think, give it a try!


Quinoa, One of the healthiest most versitile grains!

What a wonderful wheat free, gluten free food this is.    You can eat it as a breakfast or lunch or dinner, make enough ahead of time so it is easily transferred into wonderful meals in minutes!    One of my clients commented she opens the fridge and whatever is in there can be mixed with quinoa.

Here are some ideas:

For Breakfast:                                                                      For Lunch:
Walnuts                                                                                   Scallions/Pearl Onions
Raisins                                                                                    Feta Cheese
Gogi Berries                                                                           Butternut Squash
Maple Syrup                                                                           Nuts
Strawberries or Banana's or any fruit                                     Cabbage
Scrambled Egg                                                                       Cherry Tomatos
Pancetta                                                                                  Cucumber
                                                                                                Chicken or Fish

I have a favorite balsamic from Ballston Lake Apiaries in Ballston Lake, NY.  It is the Balsamic & Honey Concentrate that works wonderfully with the Lunch Quinoa.  See below:

Ballston Lake Apiaries Quinoa with Balsamic & Honey Concentrate

Cook Quinoa as directed on box, while hot, add in Balsamic Concentrate (amount to your liking) and let sit until cools to room temperature.    At room temperature, add to Qunioa 1/2 cup chopped cherry tomatos, 1/8 cup walnuts, 1/8 cup chopped red onion or scallions, 1/4 cup cilantro 1/4 cup feta cheese.  Mix all together adding more Balsamic Concentrate if desired.    YUM!!!  This keeps in the fridge for a couple days.


My Juicer Choice is The Omega Vert350HD Juicer

Omega Vert350HD
Omega Vert350HD in Action

As a Health and Nutrition Coach, people have asked me about juicers.  I have personally researched which juicer works for me, and I am very pleased with the Omega Vert360 purchased from Discount Juicers.  Here is the description of the juicer from the website......

"The Omega VRT350HD Juicer is Omega's newest single auger Heavy Duty juicer. Its low speed of 80 RPMs results in minimal heat build up and oxidation promoting healthy enzymes and longer lasting juices."

Please check out the website for more information on this juicer.   It was an investment $379.99 (with a ten year warranty),  but what it gives me in nutrition will save me in medical expenses, hence WELLNESS APPROACH!  Watch for the lower speeds as they are the most nutrient dense producers, maintaining the fiber in the juice.   I have used my juicer every week since September at least 2-3 times a week for myself and my family.  I love Dr. Oz's Green Drink.  My son loves the carrot and pineapple drink which you can find in Elaine LaLanne's Total Juicing Recipe Book.    The reason I love this book is because along with great juice recipes, you are given options of what to do with the pulp from the produce items.   Elaine suggest using tomato pulp for your red sauce or salsa, along with many other useful tips for the pulps remaining after juicing.   I also love the option of making your own juices for cocktails such as Bloody Mary's, eliminate the alcohol and you have an awesome V6 juice.  You need to think outside the box when juicing, adding more apple if you like it sweet, or throw in horseradish to the V6 to give it some zing.  One of my clients put balsamic honey in the V6 and it was awesome!

What is best about juicing is that it is portable.  When I am on the go, I whip up a nutritious juice drink, put it in my portable drink container, and I have a quick healthy drink on the go, especially after an exercise class.  This is much better energy food than anything you can buy at any convenience store or fast food restaurant. Some recipes are good for a few days in the fridge, you can make an extra serving for the next day or two.

Visit your local farmer's market for the best organic produce to use in your juicer drinks.  They will have a longer shelf life because they are so fresh.  If the farmer's market isn't an option, check out your organic produce at your local grocery stores.   

If you look at these drinks as a healthy nutrient dense food providing your body with natural energy and vitality, you will be hooked into juicing as a way of healthy living!  The closer to whole foods you put into your body the better it is for you in all aspects.


Kale and How to Fit in Your Diet

As we all know, Kale is a wonderful food, considered one of the top 10 healthiest foods you can eat.  It is full of nutrients such as fiber, calcium, vitamins A and C and it is very low in calories.    You can simply toss some kale leaves in olive oil, sprinkle with a bit of sea salt and bake in the oven for 5-8 minutes at 425 degrees.   I usually do this as a start to dinner preparation, having it as an appetizer, my kids and I love it! 

I highly suggest the cook book, "Greens Glorious Greens" by Johnna Albi & Catherine Walthers, which will guide you through many wonderfully nutritious greens that should be staples in your diet.  It explains what the different greens are, their nutrient values and how to buy and cook them, including some awesome recipes that I have personally tried and love, they are quick too!!! 

I am sharing their White Bean Soup with Kale, on page 172......

1 Tbsp Canola Oil
2 Onions, Peeled and Chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 Tbsp Curry Powder
1/2 Tsp Cumin
4 Cups Cooked White Beans (soak 2 cups beans overnight then drain, cook in 5 cups of water)
1 Tsp Dried Sweet Marjoram or Basil
3 Cups Butternut Squash, Peeled, Seeded, and Cut into 3/4 Inch Pieces
2-3 Cups Shredded Kale, Leaves Only
6 Cups Bean Cooking Liquid, Vegetable Stock or Water
Sea Salt to Taste
Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice

1.  Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.  Add onions and saute over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until softened and translucent.  Add garlic, curry, and cumin and saute for an additional 2 minutes.

2.  Add the cooked beans, marjoram or basil, squash, kale, bean cooking liquid (and stock, if necessary to equal 6 cups).  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, add salt, and cook for 20 minutes, until squash is tender.

3.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  Add lemon juice to taste before serving.

Beverly's notes:  In a pinch of time, I used organic white canned beans, using the juice too, adding to organic vegetable broth for the soup base.   Be sure to always chop more butternut squash for any other dishes you may want to cook up another day, it is easier to have it on hand for quick preparation of a rice dish.


Take this time to set a healthy goal.

Some of you may be celebrating Ash Wednesday and have chosen something to give up for Lent for the next 6 weeks.  Some of you that are not Christian may simply take this time to give up an unhealthy habit.   Whatever the case may be this is a good time to choose one habit that is not good for your health or wellness, giving it up for the 6 week term.

You can also try to add in something that is really good for you, whatever it may be, exercise such as walking outside in the fresh air instead of a closed in gym environment, adding in a good nutrient dense food like kale (check out new recipes online), getting more sleep by turning off the TV or computers and head to bed an hour earlier.

It is recognized that it takes 6 months to truly break a bad habit, or gain a good habit, so this 6 weeks will kick start it for you!

(Picture from Cabo Mexico, Lover's Beach, in April 2011.)


Water, how beautiful it is!!!

WATER, something so simple and easy, yet some of us find it hard to gulp down one of natures best medicines.   It can help you drop calories from your diet, keep you naturally hydrated and make you feel better overall.  Drink water instead of soft drinks and specialty coffees loaded with sugar, any of those empty calorie drinks, even black coffee and diet soda that just aren't good for you, especially when intake is daily.   How much should you have in a day?  Many experts suggest 8 glasses a day.  Go by how you feel, how your skin is looking, different body size requires different amounts of water intake.  If you are exercising you will need more water to replace what you sweat out.  If you are drinking alcohol you will need to hydrate to help avoid dehydration, resulting in headaches.  Dehydration, low energy, cravings and other symptoms can be cured by just drinking water.  

The late Dr. Fereydoon Batmanghelidj is a physician that claimed regularly drinking water can treat many illnesses, "You are not sick, you are thirsty," he states in his best-selling 1992 book, Your Body's Many Cries for Water

We all know it is hard to completely give up something we have been having for months/years, so try this........"Crowd Out" unhealthy drinks by adding more water to your day.  Start by drinking a full glass of water upon waking (better than before bed to avoid waking to urinate).  Keep a cup by your bathroom sink so as soon as you wake you can chug it down.   During the day keep a container filled with water by your side and sip all through the day.   While weening off drinks like alcohol, coffee or sodas, drink one glass of water to each glass or cup of those non-nutrient drinks.  If you need to add a little something to your glass of water because you are not a plain water drinker, try a slice of lemon, lime or cucumber.  I add about a 1/8th cup of R.W. Knudsen's Just Cranberry juice (no sugar or artificial sweeteners added) to my glass of water (beware of juices with sugar, natural or artificial).   Is seltzer water considered as beneficial as water?  There are different thoughts on this matter, for now I am focusing on less seltzer and more pure water!! 

Good luck!!!


Brussel Sprouts and Pancetta Recipe

Brussels Sprouts recipe with pancetta and feta cheese.  Hi everyone, so yesterday was a day that I had 1 1/2 hours to devote to cooking up some good stuff for the rest of the week.  Seriously, I got home at 11:30, started cooking/juicing at 11:45 and within 1 1/2 hours I made Dr. Oz super green juice drink, pineapple and carrot juice, kale greens with pine nuts and raisins, chopped up my butternut squash to put in something this week, boiled a chicken for my chicken noodle soup, made 2 cups of forbidden black rice, again for this week, and I made the brussels sprout dish you see here.   My friend Caroline hooked me into this dish, here is the recipe......

4 Cups Fresh Brussels Sprouts (or frozen which is what I had on hand so I went with it, thawed of course)
1/2 Vidalia Onion Chopped
2 Cloves of Garlic Chopped
1/2 Cup Pancetta chopped (Italian Ham, or use 1/2 cup bacon chopped)
1/2 Cup Craisins or Raisins
1/2 Cup Feta Cheese
Crane Crest Real French Dressing (or your favorite vinegarette dressing)

Place brussels sprouts, chopped onion and garlic in a 9 x 12 roasting dish, cover, place in 350 degree oven for 1/2 hour (if you use thawed brussels sprouts it will take less time maybe 20 minutes).  Take out of oven, stir, sprinkle pancetta and craisins, drizzle dressing on top, stir, place uncovered in oven for 10 more minutes.  Take out of oven toss and sprinkle the feta cheese on top.  YUM!!!


Elihu Farm Lamb Burger your kids will love too!!!

Choose lamb to change your protein up a bit.   Here is a lamb burger with organic lamb purchased at the Saratoga Springs Farmer's Market at Elihu Farm booth.  Their adaptation of the recipe from Bon Appetit in 2008 is quick and wonderfully delicious. 

All you need is 1/2 cup of fresh mint, (or 1 1/2 tsp dried mint), 2 tsp. paprika, 3/4 tsp. cinnamon.   I personally loved using the fresh mint, also available at the farmer's market.    Mix it all together then saute in a heavy skillet if you have one.  Yum in minutes!!  The Meat House has a wonderful Tzatziki sauce for those of you (like me) who love condiments.    My kids loved them!!!!  That meant no leftovers though!! To make dinner quick I also included tomato's 1/2'd with a spoon of pesto of your choice then broiled in the oven for 5 minutes.  I also added in some greens with crumbled feta, chopped red onion, olive oil and red wine vinegar.    For a grain cook up some hearty rice (remember to make extra for lunch the next day).

So next Saturday, pick up your lamb, mint, tomato's, greens and cheese at the farmer's market, and pop out this splendid quick and easy yummy lamb dinner!!!  Thank you Bob and Mary Pratt for good quality lamb!


Hannaford's Fresh Meals in Minutes

Sorry about the orientation of this photo but I wanted to share with you Hannaford's Fresh Meals in minutes items.

OK, so it isn't organic, BUT for those of us that need a really quick but healthy dinner, I just made it in my WOK in 10 minutes, NO KIDDING!!  The only thing I did was use my sesame oil to cook the chicken and veggies in, then I added their ginger sauce.

I bought the Asparagus Mix, Ginger Scallion dressing and made my own rice, I did buy the sliced chicken but will buy my organic chicken next time.  Depends on how strict you are about organic.  You can purchase whole grain carbs there too.  The nice thing is it is all located in one spot in the store, meat section.  You go in directly to that section and in 10 minutes you are out of the store (unless you are like me and pick up a couple other things....).    Like I said this isn't something for everyday but it does help to make dinners easy and healthy on those fly by nights!!!   I give it a thumbs up!!


Glorious Greens Recipe

Sauteed Greens with Pine Nuts and Raisins

Prep Time:  10 minutes
Cooking Time:  10 minutes
Yields:  6 servings

1/4 cup Pine Nuts
2 Tblsp. Olive Oil
1/2 Bunch Mustard Greens, chopped
1/2 Bunch Kale, chopped
1/2 Bunch Dandelion Greens, chopped
1/2 Tsp. Sea Salt
1/3 Cup Raisins (or Craisins)


1.  Toast pine nuts on a cookie sheet in a 325 degree oven for 5 minutes.  Set aside.
2.  Heat olive oil.
3.  Add greens, sea salt and raisins. Stir and cook 5 minutes.
4.  Turn off heat, add in pine nuts and transfer to serving dish.

Notes:  Sprinkle with lemon juice before serving.
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