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5 Easy Weeknight Meals: Your 7 Day Family Jump Start!

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Donut

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT BELOW. KEEP READING!

Okay, so we’re not even halfway through Hanukkah and I can’t believe the gluttony! No judgment here; I promise. Everyone who has a party has to serve donuts and latkes, right? And cookies shaped like menorahs and dreidels with food colored sprinkles… Seriously, I’m not giving you a hard time. It is what it is right now. So what to do?

Hanukkah - Festival of Lights 10

If you do one thing for your health this week….(or during the entire holiday season):

1-Have a contest with yourself or a friend/spouse. Who can eat the most types of fruits and vegetables each day? That way, you’ll keep your nutrition up and your calories down during the day. This is similar to last week’s suggestion of making sure that what your kids do eat during the day this week is really whole food with as many nutrients and as little fluff/processing/fake food as possible. For instance, a banana and nut butter instead of a granola bar. Try to skip any processed carbs. Just make sure you eat enough starchy vegetables/legumes during the day so you aren’t famished at night. For instance, beans (great protein source too!) and butternut squash are great options to keep you satisfied. Throw in a green smoothie as the vibrant greens will just make you feel better all around. A happy person is not one who has to eat half of a buffet to feel satisfied.

2 – That’s another important tip actually…If your main pleasure of the week is stuffing your face every night, make sure to examine why that might be and find other activities to feed your soul. Like the theory of giving experiences instead of more things many of us don’t need…Enjoy yourself at your celebrations, do Hanukkah crafts with your kids, or something else that isn’t all about eating fried food. It is possible to have a reasonably healthy Hanukkah and a healthy holiday season. Quality family time can even mean a walk together before you light candles.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

If you really want to have a healthy hanukkah, and/or a healthy holiday season, please use the Healthy Family, Healthy You books as a foundation and a daily resource. If you’re looking for green smoothie recipes, a healthy dinner that comes together in 15 minutes or less, an action plan for your entire family, and over 100 easy peasy lemon squeezy recipes, please check out The Healthy Mama’s Guide to feeding your family well – simply and sanely!…and…The Healthy Family, Healthy You Cookbook.

DEAL OF THE WEEK!

HFHY Front Cover with dash Cookbook Front Cover

The full price cost of The Healthy Family, Healthy You 2 book set is $36, signed and delivered (locally) by moi. 2 sets is $72.

If you order two sets before the end of Hanukkah (this coming Sunday), you’ll receive a BIG DISCOUNT. Buy two sets (one for you, one for a friend or sister or friend that is like a sister?) and, instead of $72…you will pay only $50! That’s over a 30% discount and something I have never done before (and probably will never do again). I will do my best to deliver at your convenience over the next few days and will definitely deliver by Sunday.

If you are not local, well, the 2 book set is still the perfect gift for yourself or others for whatever holiday you celebrate. Good health is always the perfect gift. If you are not local, you should order from Amazon and receive the books in 2 days with free shipping, whether or not you have Amazon Prime.

Email me at natasha@healthyfamilyhealthyyou.com pronto! I look forward to celebrating a healthy 2016 with you! (See my Facebook page for more information on how to do that with your family and friends!)

Post-Thanksgiving, Pre-Chanukah

How was your Thanksgiving?

Were you “good”? Were you “bad”? Did you eat the treats you wanted to for that special day and you’re just fine with that? Did you take my advice for a healthy, enjoyable, holiday?

I can tell you a few conclusions/recommendations that I came to after this Thanksgiving.

First, get that leftover dessert out of your house!

Pumpkin Pie 2

We all have a limit to our willpower, especially in the face of an onslaught of holiday foods. If you keep your main meal focused on whole foods without lots of flour and sugar, you can splurge on dessert, without guilt. However… the problem is when the leftovers sit in the kitchen. Then you take a little slice here and a little slice there, and soon you’ve eaten half a pumpkin pie in 2 days! All of your healthy confidence can easily go down the drain this way. Don’t let it happen! Freeze the leftovers for a future meal or distribute them among your guests.

During Chanukah, we’re often at a different party or celebration every single day. That’s 8 days of being served fried foods and being told that eating them (including donuts!) is your religious duty! Eek! If you’re not Jewish, can you even imagine??? That makes the xmas season look like nothing!

So what are we going to do? No one is saying you shouldn’t have a latke (potato pancake) and a donut every day for 8 days, if you really think that will make you happy. However, you can prevent feeling yucky and gaining weight if you balance things out. You can also prevent your children from losing their little sugared up minds. How? See below.

The following tips also apply to the holiday party season in general, not just the 8 days of Chanukah.

The Healthy Family, Health You” Stay Sane During the Holidays” Tips:

1. For yourself and your children: Make every meal outside of the parties count. Be careful not to consume additional empty calories. You want to eat nutrition-filled foods, not “food-like substances.” (I think Michael Pollan coined that term?)

2. Think in terms of abundance. How many plant-based foods (fruits, veggies, beans, lentils, whole grains like oatmeal) can you consume during regular meals? This will leave you feeling good about yourself – and not feeling deprived. This way, during festive times, you can pick and choose what you will indulge in with a clear mind, rather than stuffing every sugary thing you find into your mouth. This goes for your kids too. Just like grown-ups, balanced blood sugar and the happy tummies and emotions that come with healthy eating can really change what happens when they get into a treat-filled situation.

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3. Remember, you’re still in charge, and generally, your children listen to you. Do with them what you would (and should, and will?) do for yourself. In fact, take them with you as you do it to model the behavior. That will keep you accountable! What behavior? Be picky. Tell them this is a great day to be picky! Just because it’s a sugary or deep-fried treat, doesn’t mean you must consume it. Survey the offerings and decide what is truly “worth it”? What is a homemade treat instead of something industrial, artificial, and/or available all year. Your grandma’s homemade latkes are worth it. The frozen latkes that really taste like tater tots are not worth it!

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4. Keep your family focused on what real food is by cooking together in the kitchen. In the spirit of healthy, happy families doing healthy things together, check out this family-strengthening gift my children will probably receive this Chanukah:

Click on the picture or find it here!

Check out other healthy ideas and items in the new Healthy Family, Healthy You store!

Share your healthy holiday tips (and recipes) with the Healthy Family, Healthy You community on Facebook.

Happy almost-Chanukah!

 

 

What to Eat for Dinner The Day Before Thanksgiving!

You start cooking for Thanksgiving on Wednesday morning…realizing at 4pm that you have no idea what everyone is supposed to eat for dinner that night. So you order pizza. Sound about right?

Pizza

 

Think about dinner for just a couple minutes on Tuesday (so you can get the groceries when you go shopping for Thanksgiving), and you’ll be all set to eat a healthy, but filling meal Wednesday night. Many people say they’re just not going to eat on Wednesday or only eat salad, etc… that usually just drives them to a mindset of scarcity and straight to eating until they want to throw up on Thanksgiving day!

Here are 3 tips and 2 recipes to make for a fun, indulgent, but not gluttonous, holiday.

1. Self-loathing should never be part of Thanksgiving – or any holiday. Instead, in your mindset of giving thanks, feel thankful for the abundance of food on your table. Sit with it and absorb how blessed you are. No one is taking that food away from you in an hour or two. It will still be there later that day – and the next. If there is really a pumpkin pie emergency, you can always make or buy more. Then, decide to have one bite of everything, savoring each and every one, or choose to have two bites of half the items on the table. If you eat super early, when everyone goes back to the kitchen for leftovers in the evening, you won’t feel guilty for taking a bite or two of the dishes you didn’t get to earlier. And you’ll enjoy them so much more if you’re not so full you want to puke. Make sure that second helping is before 7pm so you won’t even need to get heartburn and your sleep won’t be disturbed by your digestion.

2. Eat well the day before and the morning of Thanksgiving. Focus on raw fruits and vegetables if you can, as there is usually a dearth of those on the traditional Thanksgiving Table (including mine!). For satisfying protein and healthy fat, along with a delicious berry taste, try a smoothie with nut butter, greens and berries, such as Reboot With Joe’s Goji, Cinnamon, Almond Smoothie. Just one glass will keep you going for half the day in the kitchen. If you want to munch while you cook, munch on the raw celery and carrots that will be going into your stuffing. Even better, start your day with a family walk! You’ll be energized and feel great about yourself and your ability to take care of yourself going into the holiday.

Best Friends

3. Keep the guilt-inducing dishes down to only about 1/3, rather than 9/10, as is tradition. For more ideas on how to make your easiest, healthiest Thanksgiving ever, read last week’s blog post here.

Thanksgiving table

The night before Thanksgiving: How to eat a healthy dinner instead of ordering pizza?

Set it and forget it!

Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Coconut Chili from The Fig Tree Blog. We LOVED this in my house. As you may have read in my blogs or on my Facebook lately, these days, I am all about slow cooker or easy one pot meals for Friday night Shabbat dinner. It’s almost always just us. Especially if I’m having company for Shabbat day lunch, it’s fabulous to feel like I’ve done zero work for Friday night.

I made this chili and Chocolate Covered Katie’s corn bread (made into muffins). So easy, healthy and filling! You can even use the rest of the cornbread for a Thanksgiving side or stuffing.

I’ll be taking any last minute healthy recipe requests, or any other requests, suggestions, resource sharing on Facebook and Twitter. You can also always email me natasha@healthyfamilyhealthyyou.com

Have an abundant, peaceful holiday!

Yours in health,
Natasha

Want more easy, healthy recipes? Read the Healthy Family, Healthy You books and join the movement toward better health in a supportive environment!

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