December 2010 - Advanced Physical Medicine
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10 Tips to Not Gain Weight During the Holidays

Gaining weight over the holiday season from November through January is a long running tradition that doesn’t have to be in your future.  There are ways to stay on track and keep up the hard work that you’ve been doing throughout the year to lose and maintain the proper weight.  A couple of big meals needn’t completely throw you off track if you plan ahead and stay smart with your choices; here are 10 tips to help you stay svelte and healthy.

1. Keep track of what you eat by writing it down which makes you hold yourself more accountable for eaten items and also helps you to remember exactly what you ate.  Don’t skip putting down the samples that you noshed in the store or the glass of wine that you sipped while decorating the tree!  Every calorie counts.

2. Plan your meals ahead of time.  If you know that you love grandma’s famous sweet potato casserole swimming in butter, sugar, and marshmallows, allow yourself to have some but plan to only eat a little and keep the goal of loading up on other veggies in mind that are a bit more healthy.  By planning out the meal (such as thinking ahead to having a slice of turkey, three scoops of green beans, a dollop of dressing, and a spoon of sweet potato casserole) then you feel more empowered and have something to stick to, instead of just winging it and hoping for the best.  You can look up the calories in the planned foods ahead of time to really let you know where your goal intake should be.  Sparkpeople.com is a great resource to track calories.

3. Keep active!  Yes, running around shopping is a good way to burn calories, but also keep to a fitness schedule such as a workout dvd or 30 minutes on the elliptical.  This way you won’t feel so bad about an extra scoop of ice cream on top of Uncle Henry’s amazing 7-Up cake.  If super busy, write in exercise on your schedule like you would everything else that you are doing and then you may be better motivated to stick to your schedule if working out is actually IN the schedule.

4. Substitute in some low fat/low calorie ingredients to old family classics.  Test out the recipes before hand and see where corners could be cut and a bit of fat could be left out.  Most old school recipes that are passed down were not created with fitness and health in mind, such as creamy homemade frostings or rich home recipe side dishes, but some can be updated for a more health conscious mind-frame, like

5. Watch drink consumption!  This doesn’t mean just alcohol, but all drinks!  A lot of people count calories and completely forget to add in the yummy ginger ale punch from Aunt Ruth or the holiday cocktails that were consumed.  Another reason to keep alcohol consumption low is that when inebriated, you may decide to eat things that you wouldn’t have sober, such as a huge piece of cake because you are drunk and it’s in front of you.

6. Share the wealth!  If you find that there are too many tempting treats in your house at holiday time, take some to work or parties that you are invited to.  Someone gave you a box of chocolate to be kind, but you paying it forward by letting your coworkers intake some (most) of the box is a win win for everyone!

7. Pack healthy snacks while holiday shopping because being tempted towards an ooey-gooey Cinnabon is so easy when you haven’t eaten all day.  Instead, have trail mix, carrot sticks, or an apple in your purse so that you can still snack on something without throwing away all of your hard work.

8. Drink plenty of water so that you stay hydrated and also curb your appetite.  If you drink water before and during a meal, you are less likely to overeat because you will get full faster.

9. Refrain from skipping meals in order to save calories for a later feast where you overeat.  The body isn’t made for that gameplan, so it will only backfire by holding on to calories from a meal that it can’t use as fuel all at once because your metabolism is slow from not eating all day.

10. Slow down, savor the meal, enjoy the friends and family that you are surrounded by.  If you are busy talking and slowly eating to appreciate the full flavors, then you are allowing your body to know when it is full and has had enough.

Happy holidays!

Top 10 Vegetarian Recipes for The Holidays

Celebrating the holidays with vegetarian fare doesn’t have to mean only eating the green bean casserole with a bit of cranberry sauce on the side!  There are sumptuous eats that will make other guests forget that there is no meat involved and allow the vegetarians to feast along with everyone else on warm, hearty food for the holidays!  Here are some awesome recipes to bring to the Christmas table and start some new holiday eats traditions:

1. Baked Polenta with Asiago and Mushoom Sauce

Polenta:
6 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups polenta-style (coarse) corn meal
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Asiago cheese - divided use

Sauce:
1 (approximately 8-ounce) jar roasted red bell peppers, drained
1 pound medium mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 (16-ounce) jar fresh-style spaghetti sauce
1 cup water
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 cup chopped parsley

  1. For Polenta: Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Bring the water to a boil; add the salt. Add the cornmeal slowly, stirring constantly. Cook, continuing to stir, until the polenta begins to thicken, about 5 minutes. Stir in half of the cheese.
  3. Pour into a buttered 8x8-inch baking pan. Bake until firm, about 35 minutes.* Cool for 25 minutes. Sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese after 25 minutes. While the polenta bakes, make the sauce.
  4. For Sauce: Puree the peppers in a food processor or blender; reserve.
  5. Over high heat, brown the mushrooms in oil. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and reserve.
  6. In the same pan, place the reserved pepper sauce, spaghetti sauce, water, and rosemary. Simmer over medium heat until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Stir in the reserved mushrooms and the parsley.
  7. To serve, cut the polenta into pieces; serve topped with the sauce.

Makes 6 servings.

2. Cheese and Spinach Soufflé Squares

3 tablespoons grated Wisconsin Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup sour cream
7 large egg yolks
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Wisconsin Sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Wisconsin Parmesan cheese
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach
7 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

  1. Generously butter a 13x9 inch baking dish. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese over bottom of baking dish.
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in saucepan over low heat. Blend in flour, salt and pepper. Cook and stir mixture until smooth and bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in sour cream. Heat until thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat again.
  3. Beat egg yolks until thick and lemon-colored. Stir 1/4 cup sauce into egg yolks. Stir yolk mixture back into sauce. Add cheeses, mixing until well-blended.
  4. Cook spinach according to package directions. Drain and squeeze out excess liquid. Stir into cheese mixture. Cover and set aside.
  5. In a large bowl, beat egg whites until frothy. Add cream of tartar; beat until stiff but not dry.
  6. Stir about 1 cup of egg whites into cheese mixture. Gently fold mixture into remaining egg whites.
  7. Pour into prepared baking dish.
  8. Bake at 350°F (175°C) for 20 to 25 minutes, or until knife inserted halfway between edge and center comes out clean. Serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings.

2. Deep-Fried Tofurky

1 Tofurky roast
2 Tbsp. melted margarine
3-4 Tbsp. Cajun or Creole seasoning
Peanut oil for frying

• Thaw the Tofurky according to package directions.
• Bake, covered in foil, in a 300°F oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and remove the foil.
• Spread with the margarine and sprinkle liberally with the seasoning. Fry in a deep fryer for 10 minutes, or until golden brown.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

3. Vegetarian Lentil Loaf "Meatloaf" with Oats Recipe

Serves: 6
Preparation time: 10 minutes to prepare and 30-40 minutes to cook.
This version of Lentil Loaf is a classic. It's high in protein, yet free from soy. It is flavourful and has a lovely texture - this loaf is a perfect starter vegetarian dish. Appreciate lentil loaf for its unique taste - it doesn't try to copy the flavour of meat.
Because Vegetarian Meatloaf is smaller than a turkey, there is plenty of room left in the oven for roasting vegetable side dishes like sweet potatoes, turnip, or squash.
Ingredients:

  • 1 (19 oz.) can lentils, drained, rinsed, and slightly mashed
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 cup rolled oats (quick or large flake)
  • ¾ cup grated old cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ – 2/3 cup spaghetti sauce or barbecue sauce
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • ¼ – 1/2 tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix lentils, onion, oats, and cheese in a large bowl and mix well.
  3. Add the beaten egg and mix well.
  4. Add the sauce, garlic, basil, salt, and pepper.
  5. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and pour/scrape the lentil mixture in. Even out the top surface with a spatula or fork.
  6. Bake uncovered 30-40 minutes or until top is golden and crispy.
  7. Let cool at least 5 minutes.
  8. Turn out onto serving platter and garnish with parsley, if desired.

4. Vegetable Lasagna

1 package (about 8 ounces) dry lasagna noodles
4 carrots (about 3/4 pounds total), cut into 1/4-inch slices
3 zucchini (about 1 pound total), cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
1 medium-size onion, chopped
1/2 pound mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon each dry basil, dry thyme, and dry oregano
1 (30-ounce) jar marinara sauce
2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 cup ricotta cheese
3 cups (12-ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  1. In a large pan, bring 3 quarts water to boil over high heat. Add noodles and carrots; cook for 6 minutes. Add zucchini; continue to cook until noodles are barely tender to bite, about 4 more minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again. Set noodles, carrots, and zucchini aside, keeping noodles and vegetables separate.
  2. In pan used to cook noodles, combine oil, onion, mushrooms, basil, thyme and oregano. Cook over high heat, stirring often, until onion is soft and liquid has evaporated, about 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in marinara sauce.
  3. In another small bowl, mix spinach and ricotta cheese.
  4. Spread a third of the sauce over bottom of a shallow 2 1/2 to 3-quart baking dish. Arrange half the noodles over sauce. Over noodles, evenly layer half each of the carrots, zucchini, spinach mixture and mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers, ending with sauce.
  5. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. (At this point, you may cover and refrigerate until next day, if desired.)
  6. Place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet and bake, uncovered, in a 400°F (205°C) oven until lasagna is bubbly and heated through, about 25 minutes. If refrigerated, bake, uncovered, in a 350°F (175°C) oven until bubbly and heated through, about 50 minutes.
  7. Let lasagna stand for about 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

5. Cream of Pumpkin Soup Topped with Curried Pecans

INGREDIENTS
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
2 cups vegetable broth
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup pecan pieces
1 (14-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
PREPARATION
1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion. Cover and cook until softened, 5 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the curry powder and the pumpkin puree, then whisk in the broth until smooth. Add 2 tablespoons of the maple syrup and season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes to allow flavors to develop, stirring occasionally.
2. While the soup is simmering, make the curried pecans. In a small bowl, combine the pecan pieces with the remaining maple syrup and toss to coat. Sprinkle with the remaining curry powder, tossing to coat. Place the pecans in a small baking dish and bake until toasted, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
3. Meanwhile, use an immersion blender to puree the soup right in the pot. Otherwise, transfer the soup to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Stir back into the pot. Return the soup to the stovetop, turning the heat to low. Whisk in the coconut milk, taste to adjust seasonings. Heat until hot, do not boil. Serve the soup garnished with the pecans.

6. Citrusy Root Vegetable Puree

INGREDIENTS
2 pounds celery root (celeriac), trimmed, peeled, and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
6 garlic cloves, peeled
1 lemon
1 orange
4 tablespoons margarine or butter
1 teaspoon salt
PREPARATION
1. In covered 4-quart saucepan, place celery root, carrots, parsnips, garlic, and enough water to cover; heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to low; simmer 15 to 18 minutes or until vegetables are very soft. Drain vegetables in colander.
2. Meanwhile, from lemon, squeeze 2 tablespoons juice. From orange, with zester, remove as many slivers of peel as possible for garnish; squeeze 2 tablespoons juice.
3. In batches, transfer vegetables to food processor with knife blade attached; puree until smooth. Return puree to same saucepan. Stir in lemon and orange juices, margarine, and salt; reheat. (If you prefer a chunky texture, return vegetables to same saucepan after draining and mash with potato masher until desired consistency.)
4. To serve, spoon puree into serving bowl; garnish with orange-peel slivers.

7. Basmati Rice Pudding

INGREDIENTS
3/4 cup white basmati rice
1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
4 1/2 cups soy milk
1/2 cup organic cane sugar
1 slightly heaping tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
pinch of fine sea salt
PREPARATION
1. Combine 1 1/2 cups water, the rice, and the salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over very low heat 8 to 9 minutes, until most of the water is absorbed. Check frequently and stir to make sure it doesn't stick. Add 3 1/2 cups of the soy milk and the sugar. Continue simmering on very low heat for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, until the rice is soft and most of the milk absorbed. You want a spongy texture, with no bite. Remove the rice from the heat.
2. Pour 1/4 cup of the remaining soy milk into a bowl and whisk in the cornstarch to dissolve. Add the vanilla extract and cardamom. Pour the cornstarch-milk mixture along with the remaining 3/4 cup soy milk into the hot pudding and stir to combine. Add a pinch of salt. Serve warm or at room temperature.

8. Carrot Pistachio Cupcakes

INGREDIENTS
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon fresh-grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
3 cups grated carrots
1 1/2 cups chopped dried apricots
1 1/2 cups chopped pistachios
4 large organic eggs
1 1/2 cups olive oil
1/2 cup organic milk
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
PREPARATION
1. Make the batter: Heat oven to 350°F. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans and line an 8-cup muffin pan and set aside. Combine the flour, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice in a large bowl. Toss the carrots, apricots, and nuts in the flour mixture and set aside. Whisk together the eggs, olive oil, milk, and vanilla in a medium bowl and add to the flour mixture. Stir until just combined. Transfer 3 cups of batter to each cake pan and 1/4 cup batter to each cupcake liner. Bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean - about 40 minutes for cakes and 20 minutes for cupcakes. Cool cakes in the pans on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Release cakes from pans and cool completely on the rack. If freezing, skip to Step 2. Frost with your favorite icing.
2.To freeze: Double-wrap the cake layers in plastic wrap or place each one in a large resealable plastic bag, removing excess air. Place cupcakes in a plastic container with an airtight lid and freeze for up to 2 months.

9. Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium mushroom broth
  • 1/3 cup dry red wine
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, and cut into large dice
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds cremini mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 medium celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 5 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 medium celery root, peeled and small dice
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and small dice
  • 2 medium parsnips, peeled and small dice
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2/3 cup whole milk

Directions

In a medium bowl, whisk together broth, wine, tomato paste, and flour until evenly combined and smooth. Stir in dried mushrooms and set aside to reconstitute, at least 30 minutes. Strainmushrooms before using, reserving liquid.

Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with heavily salted water by 2 inches. Bring potatoes to a boil and cook until fork tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.

Heat the oven on broil and place a rack in the upper third. Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a 3 to 4-quart Dutch oven (or oven-ready saucepan) over medium-high heat. When it foams, add half the mushrooms and cook, stirring rarely, until mushrooms are browned, about 5 minutes. Remove mushrooms from pan, season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and set aside. Repeat to cook off remaining mushrooms.

Return pan to stove over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of the butter, onion, celery, and garlic, and cook until softened and golden, about 2 minutes. Add celery root, carrot, parsnip, andherbs, and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook until browned and softened, about 6 minutes.

Add wine mixture to pan and deglaze by stirring and scraping up any browned bits. Let cook until simmering and slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in reserved mushrooms and any juices that have accumulated and simmer until slightly thickened, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and reserve in pan.

When potatoes are ready, drain well. Return to pan and mash until uniformly smooth. Fold in remaining 2 tablespoons butter and milk, and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. If necessary, keep warm over low heat.

Dot potatoes over vegetable mixture and spread to edges of pan to cover completely. Rough up the surface of the potatoes so there are bits that will get browned and crunchy. Bake until top is golden, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve.

10. Tofu Peanut Butter Pie

Ingredients:

  • 16 ounces soft (silken) tofu
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp soy milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 pre-made pie crust

Preparation:

Combine the tofu, peanut butter, sugar, soy milk and vanilla in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.  Spoon into the pie shell. Refrigerate at least 2 hours and serve.

We hope that you and your family enjoy the yummy treats shown here today!  Happy holidays and eat well.

6 No-No’s of Dieting

Weight loss is an ever present goal for many people and with that goal in mind, they fall into fad diets, yo-yo diets, healthy lifestyle changes, and many other means to reach that end.  On the road to losing weight, there are certain dieting no-nos that will be detrimental to achieving long-term weightloss and health.  Wonder just what those no-nos are?

  1. NO mindless snacking - people often eat absentmindedly in front of the television or computer and it adds up to over eating!  Snacking without paying attention can equal devouring an entire bag of chips when only 1/4th of the bag was the caloric goal.  As well, eating without hunger as the motivation can wreak havoc on a diet. Bored eating or emotional eating will lead to weight gain instead of loss.
  2. NO sabotage/Have the right team of support for your diet - friends and family around you that will encourage your efforts and won’t sabotage what you are doing.  The right team will try and workout with you, keep an eye on your snacking or “bad foods” intake, and applaud when you reach goals!
  3. NO out of control proportions - when dining out, have the restaurant pack up half of the meal before it even comes to you because proportions at restaurants are too large these days.  Make sure that the dining plates at your own home are small/medium in size so that you don’t overeat and have half of the plate be vegetables.
  4. NO unrealistically strict diet plans - you won’t stick to your diet or make the needed LIFESTYLE changes if you build up a diet that is impossible to maintain.  Figure out a plan that works for your life and then stick to it, with sporadic treats so that you aren’t mentally miserable on the mission to healthy living.
  5. NO starving yourself - trying to starve for weight loss will have the opposite effect and make you gain more rapidly once normal eating commences and your body will hold on to any food.  Keep snacks such as baby carrots, trail mix, celery sticks, peanut butter and crackers, or other healthy treats with you to munch on through out the day.
  6. NO giving up - it didn’t take a month to gain the weight so don’t beat yourself up if it takes more than a month to lose it.  Realistic goals will be key to ensuring that you can go the distance with your diet plan.  Know that you’ll have to workout, you will have to change your eating habits, but most importantly, you’ll have to change your mindset.  Slipping up every now and again is inevitable, but get back on track and your svelte healthy figure will be an amazing reward!
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