It is a new year and this is the time that people normally reflect on the last year and make new resolutions for the upcoming year. Do resolutions really work? Did you stick to your resolutions last year? Some research points to New Year’s resolutions not working because people either don’t allow themselves to fail (and try again), set unrealistic goals, or never even try once they make their resolutions!
Why not make a resolution this year to not have resolutions, but to make life changes! Allow yourself room to fail, and then pick yourself up and try again. Learn from your mistakes and become stronger for them. Set realistic goals that you can see yourself doing for life, not just or the short term. Let 2016 be the year you change your life, not simply stick to a set of unrealistic boundaries you set for yourself on January 1st.
By the end of the month you will probably be planning your Super Bowl party. The big game is being played on February 7th this year. Super Bowl parties are normally filled with fried foods and loads of grease. What if I told you that I had some amazing alternatives that you could make from home, with real food that is healthy for you and just as tasty? It’s true!
My favorite is my recipe for Super Bowl Sunday Nachos; this is a great stand-in for a balanced meal at any Super Bowl party!
- 3 Large whole wheat tortillas
- 2 cups caned pinto beans, drained & rinsed
- 10 oz lean ground turkey
- 2 teaspoons taco seasoning
- 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
- 1/3 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend, 2% fat
- 1/4 cup diced canned jalapeño pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
About This Recipe
This is a great stand-in for a balanced meal at any Super Bowl party!
Nutrition Facts per serving: 381 cals., 28 gm protein, 45 gm carbohydrates, 10 gm fat.
Step 1 – Preheat oven to 375°F.
Step 2 – Cut each tortilla into 16 chip-sized pieces
Step 3 – Spread the pieces on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until crisp.
Step 4 – Remove the chips from the oven, leaving the oven on.
Step 5 – Transfer the chips to an oven-proof serving dish and spread the beans evenly on top.
Step 6 – Coat a skillet with cooking spray, and place over medium high heat.
Step 7 – Add the turkey and taco seasoning and cook, stirring to break up the turkey.
Step 8 – When the turkey is still slightly pink, add the crushed tomatoes and reduce the heat to a simmer.
Step 9 – Simmer for approximately 5 minutes or until turkey is fully cooked and any liquid is cooked off.
Step 10 – Spread the turkey over the beans and chips, the sprinkle with the cheese, chilies, green onions, and cilantro, in that order.
Step 11 – Bake the nachos for approximately 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
Instead of greasy, full-fat fries, why not try these; a new spin on fries that is super high-presentation and surprisingly easy – and no peeling necessary!
Purple and Sweet Potato Fries w/ Herb Dip:
- 1lb purple potatoes (or sweet potatoes if you cannot find purple)
- 1lb sweet potatoes
- 1 tablespoon herbs de Provence
- sea salt
- cooking spray
- 1 cup low fat Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
- 1/4 bunch flat leaf parsley
About This Recipe
This new spin on fries is super high-presentation and surprisingly easy. No peeling necessary.
Nutrition Facts per serving (serves 8):
120 cals, .5 g fat, 23 gm carb, 5 gm protein, 3 gm fiber, 27 mg sodium
Step 1 – Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and cut potatoes in to 1/2 inch wide pieces, each piece cut lengthwise into 1/2 inch wide strips.
Step 2 – Place strips on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle herbs de Provence, sea salt and pepper over potatoes and lightly toss potatoes to evenly distribute seasonings
Step 3 – Spray potatoes with cooking spray.
Step 4 – Place baking sheet at the top 1/3 of the oven and roast for 25 minutes.
Step 5 – Using a spatula gently turn over fries and coat again with cooking spray. Roast for another 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Step 6 – Combine all ingredients into a medium bowl and mix with a spoon until herbs are well blended.
Step 7 – Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Step 8 – Garnish with fresh flat leaf parsley and serve with potato fries.
Instead of ordering delivery or take out, add this to your menu! Pizza. It is one of those soul-satisfying foods that is generally the enemy of weight loss due to the huge amount of fat and calories in most pizzas. But when you need it there just is no substitute. That’s why I had to create this quick & healthy version.
- 1/4 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup shredded fat-free mozzarella cheese
- 1 Toaster size whole wheat bagel
- 1/2 cup marinara sauce, divided
- 2 black olives sliced
- bell peper
About This Recipe
Pizza. It is one of those soul-satisfying foods that is generally the enemy of weight loss due to the huge amount of fat and calories in most pizzas. But when you need it there just is no substitute. That’s why I had to create this quick & healthy version.
Nutrition Facts per serving: 382 Cals, 24 gram Protein, 49 grams Carbs, 11 grams Fat
Step 1 – Preheat oven to 375°F.
Step 2 – Spread ¼ cup marinara sauce on each half of bagel.
Step 3 – Add cheese, olives, and your favorite veggies and place on a cookie sheet covered with aluminum foil.
Step 4 – Toast in over for 10 minutes or until desired doneness. *Can also be done in a toaster oven
This month is Human Trafficking Prevention and Awareness Month. This cause is near and dear to my heart as a lot of the work I do with The Jonathon D. Fischer Foundation (JDFF) is devoted to partnering and funding organizations that have programs, research, and facilities dedicated toward ending trafficking in the United States and around the world.
The only way to end trafficking is to first make people aware of what it is, the dangers it brings, and how individuals can get involved. Human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery involving the illegal trade of people for exploitation or commercial gain; most commonly we hear of those who are forced into the commercial sex industry like prostitution or for the purpose of creating pornography and of the individuals who are forced into hard labor. There are over 300,000 victims of trafficking in the United States alone and the average age of a victim is 13. You can find out more facts here.
I have had the privilege of working with the LA Dream Center and Project Hope, Their residential recovery program for adult female survivors of domestic human trafficking is based in Los Angeles and is making a huge impact on many women who have been rescued from trafficking. By giving these girls a safe and protective environment, support, and education they are giving them a hope for their future. Find out more about this program by going to their website here.
Here are some facts in one infographic that the LA Dream Center put together on their website on a page called The Facts. You can also see it in picture form by clicking here. This is a great image to share on social media during the month of January (and every month!) to spread awareness.
If you would like to see my work with JDFF and the LA Dream Center, you can visit the JDFF website and see my full story here. You can also learn more about Project Hope and our involvement by clicking here.
Another organization that is making a huge impact on taking a stand against human trafficking is Thorn. Thorn tackles another aspect of this battle by taking a stand against the sexual exploitation of children. Since there is an ever-growing concern of technology and the use of the Internet to victimize children, Thorn is using the same technology to fight back. Taken directly from their site: “We partner across the tech industry, government and NGOs and leverage technology to combat predatory behavior, rescue victims, and protect vulnerable children.” You can learn more about this issue and how you can contribute on their website here.
To learn more about what human trafficking is, how you can spread the word and how you can get involved, you can visit EndCrowd.org – a great source of information.
Be Happy; Be Healthy – Here’s to a great 2016!