Going Beyond the Calories

by Katie Lehn, RD

This time of year sparks a mindset of new beginnings. Unfortunately, resolutions often dwindle before we’re able to fully commit to them. This year, consider committing yourself to not only diet change, but to lifestyle transformation. Sign-on to not just one resolution, but a life aimed towards nourishing your body. In this sense, nourishment is not exclusive to food but encompasses our mind, body and spirit.

Cultivating a Mindful Holiday

As Halloween passes we are in full steam ahead to the holiday season. One must tread lightly; Halloween candy is on sale and this is only the beginning of many temptations to come. Take a moment to think back on your last holiday season. You may notice that health was not at the forefront, and you’re not alone! It’s easy to get distracted by all the ribbons, bows and sparkle of the holidays, but it’s not fair to use this as an excuse.

Cooking for One Made Glamorous

Just as autonomy does not equal monotony, cooking for one doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, it’s far from it! It’s time to put a different spin on single life in the kitchen. Whether you find yourself alone in the kitchen every night or just on occasion when a roommate or significant other is away, cooking alone should, and can, be fun.

Sugar: Time To Get Serious

Do you have a sweet tooth? Chances are that you do. As a survival mechanism humans are programmed to prefer sweetness to other flavors. Couple this inborn preference with the U.S. food supply that provides excessive amounts of sugar, readily-available and in many different forms, and the result is the average person consumes 150-170 pounds of sugar ever year. Nutrition information is always evolving, and as we’ve learned that inflammation is at the root of all chronic disease, the impact of sugar has come under the microscope. Gone are the days when a spoonful of sugar was a benign treat.

Sugar contributes to the development of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and depression in many ways:

Cool Summer Treats

Summer time in Tucson, Arizona (or anyplace for that matter) can be a challenging time for any ice cream fanatic, myself included. While I fully support the mentality of moderation, as the heat rises we may find ourselves being a little less strict on what really qualifies as moderation. It may go from 1 scoop per week to 1 scoop per day and even 1 scoop per meal! When we find ourselves start to slip, a substitution may be our best way out of the deep end. Deprivation is not a healthy way to live, so go ahead, have your ice cream and eat it too! Learn how in our next free class.

No Oven Required Cooking

As the temperature climbs I am noticing myself starting to sweat in the kitchen. Which means it’s time to break out recipes that don’t require the oven heating up the kitchen. Don’t let the desert heat get in the way of preparing flavorful and nourishing meals! Learn to love summer cooking by getting creative and staying cool in the kitchen.

Self-Love 101

It’s common for us to invest the majority of our time and energy into a laundry list of things (work, family, relationships, etc.). While this may bring us joy and a sense of accomplishment, it is crucial to our well-being that we find a balance between caring for ourselves and caring for others. Imbalance in our lives can lead to unnecessary stress, inflammation, poor sleep, and in turn, poor eating habits.

Fat Makes You Fit?

Earlier this year the Dietary Guidelines for Americans changed. No longer is there a limitation on the category of fats/oils. This is huge, and long overdue! For many years fat has been a nutrient unnecessarily limited and this has had detrimental health effects on all of us. But where does this leave us? Can you eat as much fat as you want? Are all fat-rich foods equal?

Redefine Your Beauty

We often talk about the concept of a healthy body, mind and spirit but what is the true meaning behind that? What does a healthy mind look like or more so… feel like? Achieving a healthy mind starts by implementing self-care into our lives daily. Some of us may practice a form of self-care already, such as taking a bubble bath or reading an enjoyable book with a cup of tea. These acts of self-care help to nourish our mind, however some self-care practices encourage us to go a little deeper. Self-love is another concept of self-care, which is defined as the “regard for one’s own well-being and happiness.” Learning to love yourself for who you are is one of the most important steps toward a healthy mind.

Cutting with Confidence – Using Kitchen Knives

Have you ever spent time and effort cooking that led to disappointment when it turned out nothing like the picture? Or, have you avoided even starting out of fear of chopping? Well, you’re not alone! Feeling comfortable with a knife can come in handy for salsas, slaws, salads, fresh herbs and even those hefty (and stubborn) winter squash. Cutting produce is one of my favorite steps in the cooking process but it took time to get there. Proper knife skills will improve the curb appeal of your meals in a snap, but these skills do take practice.

Reconsider your New Year’s Resolution

January is the time of resolutions but it shouldn’t be the time for unrealistic goals. Resolutions can help for some, but setting an unreachable goal will only lead to disappointment.  Most resolutions start of with a bang and end up fading by February (or sooner). Not only are resolutions unrealistic, but they are often confining. Don’t limit your possibilities by putting yourself into a box.