Help! This Gal needs a Chip

tortilla chips

No tortilla chips? No problem. You can easily make your own!

Usually, I have plain ol’ corn tortillas around the house. So, this recipe is easy peasy!

Turn oven to broil. Using a pizza cutter, quarter small(taco size) corn tortillas. Cut as many as you like. Put one layer cut tortillas on baking sheet. Lightly spray with olive oil, add salt to taste. I add paprika too for the smokey flavor. You can add any spice you like to taste.

Put in oven on broil (middle rack) for 2-3 minutes. Remove from oven, flip the chips over and broil another 2-3 minutes. Make sure to watch them–all broilers are different and you don’t want with burnt chips.

Enjoy! Serve with salsa or smashed avocado. Store leftovers in airtight container. 

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It’s true: I’m the crazy planner lady.

The past few months I’ve realized how much my family has shaped me, even my crazy tendencies. It’s true. I admit it. I’m a little crazy.

Don’t we all have our own little brand? Some like to collect troll dolls, others prefer to put everything in a specialized storage systems, and I LOVE to plan. There, I said it! I plan bills, vacations, outfits, time during my day and most importantly, back-to-basics, no-nonsense, balanced dinner menus. Let me share a story with you.

It’s genetic, this planning thing I have. As a child I’d visit my grandmother at least once a month. Sometimes I’d stay for the weekend and other times we’d just visit for a couple of hours. Every single visit, I’d march into Nanny’s kitchen, climb up on the stool by her oven and look for her hand-written menu. Sometimes it was on a notepad but it most likely would be written right down the middle of a paper plate. I can close my eyes and see her handwriting noting that we’d be having for lunch or dinner that day.

Who knew my curiosity about those menus would shape my future? My genetic drive to plan has become something that helps me feed my own family and helps me teach my clients to move towards a healthier lifestyle by planning ahead.

There you have it. I’m the crazy planner lady. Now, don’t go getting all black and white thinker on me–I can go with the flow and be spontaneous as well (even order pizza). But, most of the time I have a plan. Do you have trouble planning, particularly your supper meals? I’ve found that to be a common issue among those who try to improve their self-care routines, eat well and get a tasty, balanced meal on the table. I’m sooooo excited to announce…

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Let’s stay in touch! Click here to sign up for my free dinner planner form & updates.  You’ll get tips about how planning and perspective could lead to healthier, happier life and you’ll be the first to get information on my dinner menu membership. Now get to planning! :)

Cranberries & BBQ? You bet!

We often think about cranberries around the holidays, but these versatile, nutrient-packed berries can add flavor and health benefits year-round. Not only can these tart little berries aid in maintaining and preventing urinary tract infections, a review in Advances in Nutrition suggested that cranberries also play a role in cardiovascular health. So, it’s a good idea to keep cranberries in mind for year- round dining. For example, this Cranberry BBQ sauce, is a tangy addition to a BBQ sandwich of your liking.

Cranberry Barbecue Sauce (recipe provided by The Cranberry Institute)

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 cup minced yellow onion (don’t like onions, no sweat, leave them out)

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 tsp. dry mustard

1 tsp. chili powder

1.5 Tbsp. tomato paste

1.5 cups cranberry sauce (can use 12 oz can)

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1 Tbsp. dark molasses

1/4-1/2 cup water, if needed

Directions:

In a saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and saute at least 2 minutes until transparent. Mix in garlic, mustard and chili powder and continue cooking 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste and cook 1 more minute. Add cranberry sauce, vinegar and molasses. Bring to a simmer, whisking often until mixture becomes smooth. Lower heat and simmer 15-20 minutes until sauce thickens. Add water if sauce gets too thick. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Store in covered container in refrigerator until ready to use. Reheat before using.

Suggestions for use:

-Top your BBQ sandwich, chicken or pork are both super tasty with the sauce.

-Add to coleslaw for a tangy punch.

-Use as a dip.

-Mix with olive oil for a Cranberry BBQ vinaigrette.

-Jazz up your plain ol’ turkey sandwich.

Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I was compensated by The Cranberry Institute to do a tv segment, but was not compensated to write this blog.

 

School’s Out for Summer: Time for Vacation!

I’ve teamed up with Kendra Thornton, travel advocate, TV personality, PR expert and fellow mom-trepreneur to get you set for a healthy vacation season. Thanks so much Kendra for some great travel advice!

With busy jobs and families on the move, vacation planning can sometimes be stressful and maintaining a healthy routine often gets left behind. These quick tips can make preparing for a healthy vacation a snap. It only takes a little planning.

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  • Make movement part of your itinerary. This is something I often think of when I’m planning my vacation. I tend to select destinations with a great pool. After sightseeing during the day, a nice swim or play can be a great transition. Kendra suggests other games and activities like volleyball, football, biking, whiffle ball, horseshoes, paddle boating, or canoeing. She makes it a point to plan in outdoor activities each day. Active play doesn’t even feel like a work out!IMG_4076
  • Hydrate often and consistently. We often forget to pack something so basic as a reusable water bottle. My Nalgene bottle is always number one in my carry-on. Staying hydrated can help regulate hunger cues, keep your bowels happy, and help reduce the onset of fatigue. So make frequent water refills a priority. Kendra suggests carrying a water bottle in a backpack and extras in your vehicle if you’re traveling by car.
  • Explore Local Fare. Eat as the locals do. Fruits and veggies picked up at local farmers market can be a fantastic “convenience” food. Look up farmer’s market days prior to leaving for your trip so you can plan when to stop in. Visiting a new farmer’s market can also be a learning experience for kids (& adults). My husband and I had fabulously tasty time exploring the local fare in Miami this year. Kendra suggests looking for local restaurants that serve fresh and local bounty on their menus.
  • Use Travel Search Sites. Kendra says to help keep up a routine that makes you feel great use travel sites like Gogobot. She used it to help navigate all the many places to stay in Orlando that had a great workout facility and kid-friendly activities. She also suggests that maintaining this routine helps her children have familiarity when away from home. She adds that planning ahead to maintain healthy habits has made a positive impact in our lives, and our family vacation memories!

Have a travel tip that keeps you feeling great? Share with us in the comments. Safe travels!

Trend Alert: Kids Are Trying Juice Cleanses

Leslie Schilling, MA, RD, CSSD, LDN:

Let’s be clear. Drinking a fresh juice and juice “cleansing” are not the same thing.

http://wreg.com/2014/05/02/trend-alert-kids-are-trying-juice-cleanses/#ooid=U4bHdxbTq6lhjfAchvUkQbUXGI21z5y0

 

Originally posted on WREG.com:

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(Memphis) One of the newest diet crazes sweeping the Mid-South has people replacing meals with liquid kale and carrots, claiming quick and easy results.

The craziest part? Parents are doing juice cleanses with their children.

“I really think parents are fearful of their children becoming overweight,” said registered dietician Leslie Schilling.

She said many teens are asking her about cleanses because they see Hollywood stars like Beyonce and the Kardashians doing them.

“I wouldn’t want my kid to ever be on a diet of some sort. Kids have increased protein needs and increased energy needs, because they are growing,” said Schilling.

It’s becoming a growing craze across the country.

More and more companies are marketing towards kids and posting pictures of little ones, even babies, drinking liquid meal replacements.

Companies claim it gets rid of toxins and even helps children sleep better.

A California based company, DHerbs.com

View original 168 more words

Perspective: Could it even improve your health?

Source: Esty, mbartstudios

I have this friend.

She seems to be happy all of the time. One day I was chatting with her about happiness, irritations and such…. She told me that growing up she had learned that happiness was a choice. We can decide to look at the bright side (or simply a different side) of a situation. It’s all about perspective.

You’re probably no stranger to the phrase perspective is everything. We’ve all heard it, and even said it so many times. But what does it really mean? We have events in our lives that really give us perspective yet we don’t always apply it to our day-to-day choices. What would happen if we did? What would our self-care: nutrition, sleep, relationships, physical activity, down time, etc… really look like if our perspective was different about those things? Could our current perspective be a major barrier to our self-care or ability to change behaviors?

  • What if, instead of thinking of breakfast as just another obstacle making run late for work, you decided to think of it as fuel for an awesome day?
  • What if, instead of thinking of getting up early to walk with a friend as another task before you’re already crazy day, you decide to allow your mind to truly present to really listen to what’s going on with your friend?
  • What if, instead of thinking of packing a lunch as boring and time-consuming, you viewed it as a way to use leftovers and eat more healthfully while saving money for a vacation (or manicure, massage, movie outing, etc…)?
  • What if, instead of thinking of reading a book just for fun as a thing of the past, you recognized it’s potential for allowing your mind to drift to calm and happy place just in time for bed?
  • What if, instead of thinking of saying “yes” to another obligation, you started to realize you’re actually saying “no” to yourself?

What if? The list could go on and on. How could changing your perspective help you lead a healthier & happier life? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Finding Value: Not the Money Kind

Have you ever had one of those moments where everything that mattered at the moment really didn’t matter at all? I had one of those moments (weeks) recently. It was scary and hard but out of the darkness came light—the beautiful and bright light of perspective.

Quickly I realized that one of things that mattered most was my relationships. I wondered if I truly showed love and interest when I was in their presence. If I were gone tomorrow, would my time
spent with them be memorable and valuable? I really started to wonder, do I add value to their lives and even my own. Wowsas! If that’s not a perspective-building question, I don’t what is.

Value, not necessarily in the monetary sense, but value by way of connecting, loving, providing hope, increasing happiness, or simplifying one’s life, can be incredibly powerful. It can also be an important way of viewing even our day-to-day tasks. Value-based thinking about tasks, self-care, and how we spend our time can help make something boring, challenging, new or scary easier to tackle. Check out my examples…

Cooking breakfast means I have to get up earlier and plan and make more dishes and smell like bacon (ok that’s not all bad :))… If you were thinking about cooking breakfast with a value-based approach, it may sound a little more like this…

  • How would cooking breakfast for my kids add value to their day? Hmmmmm—-fueled better means they may feel better, test better, and learn better.
  • How would cooking breakfast for myself add value to my day? hmmmmmm—fueled better means feeling better, working better, learning better, and having more energy to interact with others.

Working out takes so much time out of my day and I’m just too tired to even think about it. Here goes the value-based stuff…

  • How could adding activity to my day bring me value? I’d feel a sense of accomplishment. I would be maintaining my muscle mass which is so important as I age. I could meet new friends at the gym or listen to a book on my phone while I worked out.
  • How could adding activity to my day bring value to others? A more active me could mean a healthier me for the long haul. A healthier me may mean I can travel and explore with ease when I’m retired.

Those are just two things to look at but there are so many to consider like finding value in journaling your feelings and how it impacts your eating, or the value of reading to yourself or your kids, how about the value of putting your phone down and looking at who your talking to, or what about the value of scheduling time to yourself daily or weekly…

How will you use this value-based way of thinking? I’d love for you to share in the comments. I sure hope you have a valuable week!