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I Confess

 


Article posted by Sherri Sacconaghi, February 13, 2012

 

 


I don’t like to cook. There, I said it. I love food and nutrition but a chef I am not.

I enjoy spending my days working with people on how food can affect our bodies and our mind. I even find myself happily flipping through magazines and websites looking for fabulous, healthy recipes. I have racked up quite a library. I just don’t particularly enjoy making the meals I find in them.

Just to clarify, when I say cooking I mean following a recipe and creating wonderfully delicious and beautiful dishes. This is what my neighbor Michelle, down the street loves to do. She is always whipping up some delight she found in a cookbook. Sometimes healthy, sometimes not but always delicious. I am lucky enough to be the recipient of her food experiments. I even save the recipes for my clients who love to create as well.

This does not mean I do not prepare healthy meals at home. I do. Breakfast , lunch and dinner. I pre plan, shop, chop and prep ahead. I have a small repertoire of healthy, simple meals that can be thrown together between work, school and family activities. It is part of my daily routine and I have to admit, most of what I throw together is quite delicious. I don’t follow recipes ( unless it has 5 ingredients at the most), I just make it up as I go.

Being a nutrition expert ( and Italian), I felt like I should be creating wonderfully complicated meals to delight and impress. I tried, and while it made my husband happy, it made me a little stressed out. So I decided to get over it and do what I enjoy. Chop, peel and grill. Simple, easy, delicious.

So whether you are a wonderfully precise chef or a throw it together kind of person, the important thing is that you are preparing the meal so you can ensure it is fresh, healthy and delicious. For me, I am looking forward to coming home and seeing what delight lay in the Tupperware on my doormat. Thanks Michelle.

 

Posted by: Sherri Sacconaghi
Certified Health Coach and Personal Fitness Trainer
www.themissionofnutrition.com
Ph: 503 621 7549
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The Good White Food

Article Posted by Sherri Sacconaghi, January 24th, 2012

 


 


You have heard it a million times. Stay away from white food. I agree, stay away, except from this white one. Cauliflower.

Cauliflower is not only a nutritional powerhouse but as you will see it is amazingly versatile and an easy way to sneak veggies into your diet ( or your kids’ for that matter).

Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable that has been strongly linked to cancer prevention. It provides nutrients that help the body to get rid of toxins . It is an excellent source of vitamin C. It’s broad spectrum of antioxidants support our cells from stress which in turn lowers cancer riskl. It provides an excellent source of vitamin K which helps lower inflammation in the body. Let’s not forget to mention fiber. You will get 12 grams in every 100 calories of cauliflower.

Many people think of cauliflower as that mushy tasteless lump our moms slapped on our plate beside the mushy tasteless tuna casserole. Forget that. Try tossing cauliflower florets in olive oil and roasting them for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Or stir fry them in a skillet with a little lemon and olive oil for 5 minutes with the spice of your choice.

Here is my favorite way to prepare cauliflower. Cauliflower Puree.

  • 1 head of cauliflower, steamed until very soft ( don’t worry it gets better).

  • ¼ cup warmed vegetable broth

  • Spices of choice. I use garlic, cilantro and stone ground mustard.

  • Blend in a food processor until creamy.

Cauliflower puree is a perfect side dish instead of potatoes or rice. It goes exceptionally well with seafood. Or you can do the following.

  • Mix the puree with brown rice for a creamy risotto.

  • Mix the puree with mac and cheese to give it an extra nutritional boost. Great idea for kid’s meals.

  • Mix it with scrambled tofu and spinach and put it in a whole wheat wrap.

  • Stir it in any soup, or chili for a creamy texture.

  • Reduce the amount of creamed soup or sour cream you may use in a recipe and add the puree to cut calories, sodium and add nutrients.

I admit that cauliflower is not one of the more glamorous foods in the produce aisle. But it is versatile and packs a nutritional punch. When cooked correctly it can become the star of your meal.

 

 

Posted by: Sherri Sacconaghi
Certified Health Coach and Personal Fitness Trainer
www.themissionofnutrition.com
Ph: 503 621 7549
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Happy Meals

Article Posted by Sherri Sacconaghi, January 9th, 2012

 


 

The holidays are over and the gray gloom of winter has settled over us. It is common for many people to feel a little blue. If you are feeling tired, lethargic or just needing an extra boost to get out of bed in the morning, a little change in diet may be all you need.

Our mood is regulated by the production of the “happy hormone” serotonin in the brain. Our levels of serotonin may shift throughout the year, most noticeable in winter here in the Northwest. Luckily, there are some natural ways to boost your mood, keeping those winter blues at bay.

Pump up the following foods in your diet for a natural mood booster:

  • Folate. Otherwise known as Vitamin B. This vitamin keeps the blood and nutrients flowing to the brain, allowing for healthy hormone production. Folate can be found in spinach, broccoli, beans, kale, brussel sprouts and mushrooms. So eat your veggies.

  • Omega 3’s. Studies have shown an improvement in mood with the consumptions of this essential fatty acid. Foods rich in omega 3’s include salmon, tuna, walnuts, and flaxseed. A quality fish oil supplement is helpful as well.

  • Vitamin D. The body makes vitamin D from sunlight and helps in the production of serotonin. Winter brings a decrease in sunlight so down goes our happy hormone production. Vitamin D food sources are limited, so a supplement is highly recommended throughout the year.

For an energy boost, it is tempting to reach for the simple carbohydrates like pretzels, cookies and white bread. These can instantly make you feel happier and more energetic. Too good to be true, right? Yep. These offer a quick fix, often leaving you more tired and lethargic an hour later. Instead keep these healthier options on hand:

  • Oatmeal

  • Eggs

  • Nut butter

  • Fruits and veggies (always of course)

  • Whole grain crackers

  • Cottage cheese

And let’s not forget my favorite. A couple of squares of rich dark chocolate are a mood booster any time of day. If you can stop at a couple of squares. The “more the better” rule does not apply here unfortunately.

Like anything else, if your symptoms are severe or linger for months on end, it is best to seek medical advice. For mild winter blues, your best defense is a healthy diet and some hope that spring comes early this year.

 

 

Posted by: Sherri Sacconaghi
Certified Health Coach and Personal Fitness Trainer
www.themissionofnutrition.com
Ph: 503 621 7549
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Pressure is Off

 


 

Article Posted by Sherri Sacconaghi, December 27th, 2011

 


In my Kitchen in May of 2004, on vacation on the Oregon Coast in July of 2008, and in my sister's living room in March of 2009.  These are the places I found myself when I made the 3 lifestyle changes that have had the biggest impact on my health and happiness.  What do these three dates have in common?  Not one of them takes place on January 1st.  I, like many of you, have made countless New Years resolutions in my life but I cannot recall one of them that has stuck.  Why?  Because I was not ready to make the change I resolved to make. There is nothing magical about January 1st that makes you ready to lose weight, go back to school, eat more vegetables or be a more patient parent.  Changes to our lives and our routine can be frightening and sometimes overwhelming, and if you are not ready to commit and do the work required for lasting change, you are setting yourself up for failure.
So this year, take the pressure off of yourself. And if you must make a resolution, resolve to listen.  Listen to your body throughout 2012.  It will tell you when it has had enough.   Enough stress, enough weight, enough boredom or whatever it may be for you.  It is only when you have had enough that you will be more committed to making a lifestyle change.

Here are some tips to make those goals easier to stick with when you are ready to make a change.

  • Make it specific. “ I want to get in shape” is not specific. I want to lose 20 pounds and run a 5K is specific. The clearer you are, the more successful you will be.

  • Make it measurable. This will help you know when your goal has been met. Wear a size 6, earn $5,000, or go to Italy to find your long lost cousin. Make it easy enough a 10 year old could tell if you have achieved your goal.

  • Make it Relevant. It must mean something to you. Doing something because you “should” will lead to frustration. A goal is relevant if the thought of the outcome ( a successful race, a diploma, mastery of the piano) is motivating to you on a daily basis.

Each of my mid year resolutions mentioned above, put me out of my comfort zone.  They required time and discipline and some bumps along the way but I was ready to make them, and I am so glad I did. What will make a difference in your life?

 

Posted by: Sherri Sacconaghi
Certified Health Coach and Personal Fitness Trainer
www.themissionofnutrition.com
Ph: 503 621 7549
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The Greatest Gift

 


Article posted by Sherri Sacconaghi, December 12th, 2011

 

 

 
Bambie Brown wanted to save a life, but first she had to save her own.

It was early spring when Bambie Brown began the organ donation process. She wanted to donate a kidney to an individual in need of a life sustaining gift.

It did not take long for doctors to refuse Brown’s request. They rattled off a list of health concerns. Brown was: More than 60 pounds overweight with a Body Mass Index of 28. (Healthy is between 18-24) She was borderline diabetic, with a higher than healthy blood pressure, who also suffered from asthma and night sweats. She was too unhealthy to help.

A couple for months later, Brown decided to change that. She joined Jenny (formerly Jenny Craig), and learned portion control. She began including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and low fat dairy into her daily meals. She recorded her eating habits in a food journal and then, began to walk regularly for exercise. She found the support in weekly meetings with her Jenny consultant. Support, that Brown says, was critical to her progress.

And soon, Brown’s life began to change. Within 5 months she dropped 60 pounds to reach her weight goal. She started living an active lifestyle and has made walking on a treadmill as essential to her daily routine as brushing her teeth. Her Body Mass Index dropped nine points and the asthma and night sweats are gone. She is no longer at risk for diabetes or high blood pressure.

But the most important outcome, Brown says, was that once she saved her own life she could help someone else. In November she donated a kidney to a stranger, knowing only that the recipient had two children and had been waiting a “long time” for an organ. Brown recovered quickly from the surgery, due in part to her spirit and good health. She was back walking on the treadmill within 6 days and back at work in less than two weeks.

I feel sexy, confident, and FAR younger than my 35 years. Since my donation, I also feel proud and blessed. My scar is a badge of honor.

My weight loss saved my life and-- through my donation-- it saved a stranger's life as well.”

Sometimes the greatest gift of all is when you take care of yourself so that you can then care for others.

 

Posted by: Sherri Sacconaghi
Certified Health Coach and Personal Fitness Trainer
www.themissionofnutrition.com
Ph: 503 621 7549
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Bookmark with:

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