November Healthy Tips and Yummy Recipes
Squash: This Season’s Superfood
If you don’t think pumpkin is a powerful nutrient – read on! Pumpkin’s benefits include:
- It’s high in fiber (helping you to feel fuller longer)
- It promotes healthy digestion
- It is a good source of vitamin A, which supports healthy vision, bone growth and immune system health
- The vitamin A in pumpkin is a natural source of carotenoids, which help our skin and mucous membranes repel bacteria and viruses more effectively. (Very important during the upcoming flu season.)
- Its seeds contain the amino acid “tryptophan,” which helps the body produce serotonin, which boosts your mood and supports a good night’s sleep!
- The seeds are also high in beta-carotene, which can reduce inflammation and protect against free radicals, lowering your risk of heart disease and cancer.
- The best way to eat pumpkin is roasted or pureed into a soup. Or try my recipe below for an unusual and delicious pumpkin hummus!
Tips for a Healthier Thanksgiving
For many people, the Thanksgiving meal is a yearly favorite. So how can you enjoy without overindulging? Try these time-tested tips:
- Eat a balanced breakfast – don’t “starve” yourself until the big meal. Start your day with a healthy, satisfying breakfast. There is not one right meal choice for everyone, but you should have a balance of protein and healthy fat. If you need help figuring out what breakfast is best for you – let’s talk.)
- Plan your day. If your Thanksgiving meal is in the early afternoon, eat a small midday snack that includes protein, fiber and healthy fat. This will help you feel satisfied and avoid overeating at the Thanksgiving table.
- Skip any foods that you don’t absolutely love. You can still taste your favorite foods without overindulging and feeling bad afterward. Put just a small spoonful of the dishes you love on your plate, and fill in with healthy veggies.
- Don’t drink your calories. Find a festive way to sip, such as sparkling water with cranberries or unsweetened herbal iced tea.
- Get back on track. If you do eat a little more at Thanksgiving than you wanted to, don’t continue to indulge all weekend. Take an evening stroll, pick up your regular exercise routine or classes, and be sure to drink plenty of water: half your weight in ounces of water each day. The faster you get back on track, the less chance you’ll have of gaining weight or suffering from food-related symptoms.
Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes
Pumpkin Cauliflower Roast
* 1 small baking pumpkin, seeded
* 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
* 2 ½ TBSP olive oil
* 1 tsp sea salt
* 1 tsp black or dried red pepper
* 4 to 6 ounces frozen peas, prepared
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse outside of pumpkin and the cauliflower head. Cut pumpkin in half, remove stem piece and scoop out seeds. (You can save the seeds for roasting later.) Cut pumpkin into one-inch cubes. Cut cauliflower into small florets.
- Place pumpkin cubes and cauliflower florets into separate resealable bags. Pour half of the olive oil into each bag and sprinkle in salt and pepper. Shake well to coat all pieces.
- Place coated pumpkin cubes into a 13×9 glass casserole dish. Cover with foil and cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Using oven mitts, remove the casserole dish, uncover and add the coated cauliflower florets, stirring gently. Re-cover with foil.
- Cook an additional 20-25 minutes. Test for doneness: fork inserted into pumpkin cubes should go in easily but not crumble.
- Meanwhile, prepare the frozen peas according to package directions. Drain and cover to keep warm.
- Remove the pumpkin/cauliflower from the oven; using oven mitts, uncover the foil from the glass dish and add the peas. Stir gently. Serve warm.
Pummus (Pumpkin Hummus!)
* 2 TBSP tahini (sesame seed paste)
* Juice of one-half lemon
* 1 TBSP olive oil
* 1 tsp ground cumin
* ½ tsp sea salt
* ¼ tsp red pepper or chipotle pepper
* 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin PIE puree)
* 2 garlic cloves, chopped or minced
* 1 – 2 TBSP toasted pumpkin seeds (optional)
Put first 8 ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth. Spoon hummus into a serving bowl, sprinkle with toasted pumpkin seeds (optional). Refrigerate or serve at room temperature. For dipping, pair with carrots, celery, sliced bell peppers, cucumber slices, or any of your favorite fresh vegetables.
Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks for all the good things in our lives. Family … friends … work … safety … health. If that last one needs some attention, I would like to help you with your health and wellness goals. Studies show that people are twice as likely to reach their goals when they work one-on-one with their own personal Health Coach. Did you know that what you eat may be causing your symptoms or sabotaging your weight-loss goals? Did you know there is a proven process to kicking old habits and forming new, healthier ones?
Please join us for our annual Turkey Busting Workouts-Feeding the Homeless- supporting Path of Life Ministry here in Riverside. Click here for more information.