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New Ways to Eat the Foods You Love

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Tired of the Same Old Foods?

Want to eat healthy but not sure what else to come up with that fits into your meal plan? Here’s a list of some of your favorite foods and new ways to eat them.

Banana

  1. Add a half banana and cinnamon to a peanut butter sandwich on 2 Kashi waffles
  2. Bake bananas into bread
  3. Cut a banana in half, spread peanut butter on both sides, slap a stick in between, push together, cover in chocolate and freeze
  4. Roll a banana and peanut butter in a whole wheat tortilla
  5. Blend a banana into a protein shake with Greek Yogurt
  6. Add bananas to pancakes
  7. Trifle with bananas, vanilla wafers, and vanilla pudding
  8. Cut bananas into pieces, freeze for 2 hours, blend in blender and eat!  Instant ice cream.

Greek Yogurt

  1. Substitute Greek Yogurt for sour cream on tacos and baked potatoes
  2. Use as a dip for veggies or fruit. For fruit: blend together with dried cranberries. For veggies blend in cucumber and dill
  3. Add to protein shake instead of, or in addition to, milk
  4. Plop in some honey and nuts for a true Greek dessert
  5. Make your own Greek Tzatziki sauce for gyros and chicken souvlaki http://thehealthyfoodie.com/tzatziki-sauce/

vegan-greek-yogurt1

Tuna

  1. Make tuna salad with with plain Greek Yogurt instead of mayo, and add celery, carrots and/or red onion
  2. Add tuna into pasta salad with fresh crunchy veggies
  3. Mix tuna, avocado and some lemon juice and smear onto a whole grain English Muffin, then add a tomato
  4. Tuna Burgers!
  5. Add walnuts or cranberries to your next tuna sandwich

Whole Grain Cereal

  1. Add whole grain cereal, like any Kashi variety, into Greek Yogurt and fresh berries
  2. Crush the cereal and use as a breading for chicken or fish
  3. Mix with dried fruit for a healthy trail mix
  4. Cereal, milk and fruit can make a great dinner!

Sweet Potatoes

  1. Bake sweet potato and top with plain Greek Yogurt and chives
  2. Mash sweet potatoes with cinnamon or nutmeg and finish with topped pecans
  3. Cut and bake into sweet potato fries and sprinkle with cumin or paprika
  4. Sweet potato and spinach quesadillas http://livehautehealthy.com/2013/02/14/dinner-for-two-spinach-sweet-potato-quesadillas/

So, what do you think? What’s your favorite? Any others to add?

I love hearing from you!

CHRISTINE ARDIGO – Author of Cheating to SurviveEvery Five Years & The Bridges Before Us

The greatest compliment you can give me is when you share this with others.
I sincerely appreciate it:

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Goals to Strive For in 2016

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By Christine Ardigo MSRD

Nutrition & Exercise Goals to Strive For in 2016

Okay, my friends. Holidays are over. Your week-long vacation is over. 2015 is over. Back to work and school tomorrow and a whole, fresh new year is ahead of us. This year will be your year to finally meet your goals. And, I’m right there with you. I know what you’re thinking. Yeah, Christine, how hard could it be for you? You live and breathe it every day, right? Well, no. Not in 2015 at all. Not so much in 2014 either. Why? What? Huh?

As most of you know, I published two books in the summer of 2014, and just completed editing book 3. Many people ask me how I can possibly work full time, raise two daughters, maintain a home, run a Nutrition & Exercise Website, and write books while keeping in shape. The answer is: I can’t. Impossible. (And, I NEED my 8 hours of sleep at night!) Something had to give and it did. My immaculate house is a little less clean, I spent less time with my daughters and friends, AND, exercising was constantly put on hold for my book. Eating healthy all the time, too.

Now granted, I did lift weights here and there, started running on a treadmill and outdoors, and rode my bike over the summer, but, compared to my 7 days a week of exercising, I was lucky if it was once a week.  My butt has left an impression in my desk chair. I’d write for hours, my stomach would growl, and I’d run upstairs and grab a cookie to shut it up. Not good.

I cannot tell you how much I wanted to just finish this book and be done with it. Most importantly, to get back in shape. Starting tomorrow, I am starting the:

21 Day No Junk Food Challenge!

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STEP #1:

I know what you’re thinking: Does Christine even eat this stuff? Well, over the past 2 years, yes. (Especially the chocolate part!) They say it take 3 weeks to break a habit so tomorrow it begins for me. You don’t realize how fast these calories add up, and it takes FOREVER to burn off. (Especially when you’re sitting on you hiney writing.) So, no more. Hopefully I wont crave chocolate anymore after this and less calories means less I have to work off. I have fallen in love with something else!

PicMonkey Collage

I love these suckers!  Plums and mandarins/clementines. I found that after I eat a meal, I hate that residual taste in my mouth, so I’d always reach for a cookie or something sweet to get rid of it. Now I grab one of these. They’re sweet and cleanse my palate and, even better: healthy, less calories, high in fiber. YUM! So, hopefully the added calories from junk will be gone. That is step one for me. Eating healthier, BUYING healthier food for the house, not eating junk.

Step #2

Exercise! I have belonged to gyms for 30 years, I love ’em. I love the music, the fellow exercisers that motivate me and give me great, new ideas, all the billions of machines. What’s not to like? When I transformed my body several years ago, I used to go to the gym on my lunch hour, and that truly was the best time for me with a 1 & 6 year old at home. I did this every single day for 3-4 years, then when I worked at a gym part time as their dietitian, I worked out there, too. I loved it and I was obsessed! But, after four years of rushing out on my lunch hour, and rushing back, I just couldn’t do it anymore. It was draining me. My life had become stressful around then, and I just wanted to rest. Relax. Not run ANYWHERE. I switched to going to the gym after work and this worked for a while, too. Until I started writing my books.

I must say, I love trying new things, and when I fall in love with something, I only want to do that. Like weight lifting, rock climbing, running various races.

exercisecollage

(By the way, I was 41 years old on the left. No excuses!)

Writing became my new passion and that’s all I wanted to do. I’d have my gym clothes in the car, drive within a few blocks of the gym, and then say “No! I’d much rather go home and write that new scene I thought about today.” I tried everything. Working out on weekends. Going directly after work. Working out at home. Biking and running outside. But, nothing would get in the way of writing. Last year, hubby and I bought a home gym for the basement. This was it! We assembled it ourselves and the workout began. I felt great again. February, March, and April I pounded away at the weights. I had two huge reunions coming up in the summer and it was now or never.

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May came and my husband and I were doing so much gardening, ripping out things, relandscaping our entire backyard, and maintaining our pond, that the weights were put on hold. I argued with myself that I was burning so many calories outside, that it was the same as lifting weights. But, by June, I started editing my book. I truly just wanted to finish and get it published, so the weights were put on hold again. I supplemented with jogging and biking around the block. The muscles started to disappear. The muffin top started to appear. Throw in that lovely peri-menopausal “slowing metabolism, while your appetite sores through the roof even though you just ate” and I knew something had to give.

I have almost 3 published books under my belt, but I’ve been miserable. Maybe it was the lack of endorphins I was so used to. Maybe it was my jeans being tighter, my arms not looking as cut, reverting back to old ways of wearing baggy tops (hiding), not being as strong, running out of breath by doing simple things. Who knows, but I had enough. I plan to publish book 3 soon, and I think that will be it. At least for many years. I’ve lost my body, my good mood, time with my family and friends. I kinda want my life back.

So, to jump start my exercise, I had to make a choice. Go back to the gym? Hmm, at this point, winter is here again and I’m not sure I’m ready to jump back into that just yet. Start lifting weights with the full gym again? Sure. I have a great set up downstairs and with the book almost behind me, I have no excuses. But, I missed the atmosphere of the gym, and I know I desperately NEEDED cardio. I am so out of breath I’m angry with myself. I can’t even mop my wood floors without huffing and puffing. So, what did I do? I looked into exercise DVD’s. No, not the ones from the 80’s with leg warmers and 2 lb weights. I needed ones to fit my needs. Ones where they had cardio, but also heavier weights, and fun things like Kick Boxing, and Boot Camp. One without annoying background music or voices that after a while you have to turn the volume off, and play the stereo. Well, after much research I found it:

Cathe

http://shop.cathe.com/ICE-s/119.htm

I bought this 7 DVD collection for myself for Christmas and started doing it every day. Cathe ICE. I love Cathe so far, and she inspires me. The music is a techno sound, but low, and no singing. Her voice is motivating without being too smiley and annoying. There is always one girl in the background that does it with a slower, or less strenuous move. You can choose your own weights. They’re using twelve pounds? Use 3lbs. They’re using 3lbs? Use 10. You can do whatever level you’re at. I hurt my shoulder over the summer while gardening and I learned to not do any moves that involves lifting my arms out like I’m flying. My knees have started to hurt (probably from all the sitting) and I know that I need to do any squat/lunge moves slower. I also lose my breath constantly!  But, the great thing about a DVD? You can pause it and catch your breath as many times as you want. And, if that’s what I need to do in the beginning, I do. Also, if you don’t have time to do the full DVD, do as much as time allows and finish it later, of tomorrow. There are 7 DVD’s so I have 7 different workouts to do every week. Some DVD’s also have bonus tracks (like Ab specific) and you can do those too.

I’m not trying to sell anyone on anything. Just letting you know that there’s always another way, another avenue you can try. My goal is to do these every day and supplement with weights in the basement. I hope to have my body back by the summer. In case you don’t know, there are plenty of Youtube workouts you can do as well. When my legs were hurting really bad from all the sitting, I went to my TV upstairs and Googled “Yoga”, and found a ton to do on my giant screen TV.

As a present to you guys, I pledge to post more often. I went from twice a month, to once a month, and now I haven’t posted in almost 2 months. I miss it and I think it will motivate you and me. I might even post quick, short ones here and there to keep you on your toes. If you’d like daily motivational tips, please join my Facebook Page, where I post a little something EVERY day.

So, what are your Healthy Goals for 2016? Share some on here so we can all be motivated. Do you have specific ones? Any tricks any tips?

I love hearing from you!

CHRISTINE ARDIGO – Author of Cheating to Survive & Every Five Years

The greatest compliment you can give me is when you share this with others.
I sincerely appreciate it:

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My Favorite Meal Plans & Snack Ideas

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My Favorite Meal Plans & Snack Ideas

Let’s start with the one above. Maybe it’s the colors. Maybe it’s the artistic designs. But, I love this visual from Parents Magazine for alternative sandwich ideas. I can’t bear to toss it, although I’ve posted it before. I have piles of Nutrition articles and colorful handouts, but this cute little guy always catches my eye. Great sandwich ideas too! Give one a try this week.

 

meal plan 2

This was actually one of my meal plans that I wrote up. I don’t remember what computer system I was using, but you were able to input everything you ate in a day and it would print this out for you. This was basically what I ate while I was trying to drop my body fat down. (I eat 2 Whole eggs now, though, in the morning.) 

Here is Another One: (I use Steel Cut Oats, but couldn’t find it in this computer system). 

meal plan 1

 

Here’s another ‘cute’ little thing I’ve saved over the years. Again, the artistic designs and colors grab me, but it won’t let me throw it out. Every few years I find it and it makes me laugh. I have no idea where I got this from. It must be over 7 years old.

Meal Plan 3

 

I love this visual. Tired of eating “lame-snacks”? Have a Mini-Meal instead. Same calories but you feel like you’re eating something more substantial. 

 

meal plan 4

 

Last one. High Fiber means a lot of things to different people. I have SO many people tell me they eat a lot of fiber and when they give me their daily recall, they’ve eaten 4 baby carrots and some instant oatmeal. No. No. No. Here is a great visual of 3 different Fiber intakes, and how to make yours better. 

meal plan 6

Mmmm. Much better, eh? Big difference. Try to increase your fiber intake this week and let’s see how you do.

Okay, so I hope my little walk down Nutrition-Memory-Lane from my piles of papers helped you again. There’s some great tips here to make some positive changes today. What do you think?

I love hearing from you!

CHRISTINE ARDIGO – Author of Cheating to Survive & Every Five Years

The greatest compliment you can give me is when you share this with others.
I sincerely appreciate it:

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