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Eating Seasonally


Posted by Sherri Sacconaghi, on October 3rd, 2011

 


Maintaining balance in our body is key to living a healthy life. One way to do this is to eat seasonally.

If you listen to your body you may find yourself doing this naturally. As the weather turns cooler it is common to bypass the lighter foods of summer such as lettuce, berries and zucchini for the heavier foods of fall. Just this morning I found myself rummaging through my pantry, looking for my slow cooker recipe book, in search of my favorite chili recipe. My body speaks loud and clear.

Our ancestors ate seasonally because they had no choice. Fresh greens grew in the spring, root vegetables were available in the fall and animal food helped them survive through the winter. As our bodies prepare for the colder months to come it is natural to crave heartier foods because the body wants to feel more solid and protected from the cold.

We are fortunate to have an abundance of food available to us year round. This can also make it a bit confusing as to what may be the freshest seasonal food on the shelves. A great resource is your local farmer before the farmers markets start to close down for the winter. But here is a quick reference of some of the most common foods that are harvested in the Fall:

Winter Squash

Apples

Beets

Brussels sprouts

Mushrooms

Grapes

Parsnips

Pomegranates

Pumpkin

Sweet potatoes

Swiss chard

 

And because I found my favorite chili recipe, I thought I would share.

 

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili with Sweet Potatoes.

(Real Simple, January 2011).

 

1 Medium Red Onion Chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 Tblsp. chili powder

1 Tblsp. ground cumin

2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

1 -28 oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes

1- 15.5 oz. can Black Beans, rinsed

1 -15.5 oz. can kidney beans, rinsed

1 medium sweet potato peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces.

Sour cream, sliced scallions and tortilla chips or radishes for serving.

 

In a 4-6 quart slow cooker, combine the onion, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, coca, cinnamon, 1 tsp salt and ¼ tsp black pepper. Add the tomatoes and their liquid, beans, sweet potato and 1 cup of water.

 

Cover and cook until the potatoes are tender and the chili has thickened, on low for 7-8 hours, or on high for 4-5 hours.

 

Serve the chili with sour cream, scallions, radishes and tortilla chips.

 

What is your favorite fall recipe?

 

 

Posted by: Sherri Sacconaghi
Certified Health Coach and Personal Fitness Trainer
www.themissionofnutrition.com
Ph: 503 621 7549
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Take A Deep Breath


Article Posted by Sherri Sacconahgi, on September 21, 2011

 


Just take a deep breath. I say it to my kids, my husband and my clients when I want them to just relax and slow down. Deep breathing can be one of the most powerful tools you have when it comes to living a healthy life.

Many of us power through our days without giving a thought to how we are breathing. If you have ever been in a stressful situation like a big game or before an important presentation, you may have learned that taking a big deep breathe can calm your nerves, and slow a rapid heartbeat. But deep breathing goes even deeper than that. Here are some reasons that taking a deep breath is good for you.

  • Elevates Mood. Deep breathing releases neuro chemicals into the brain, inducing a happy feeling. Like chocolate, without the calories.

  • Strengthens the Immune System. Oxygen helps the red blood cells utilize nutrients and vitamins needed to ward off colds and flu.

  • Boosts Energy Levels. Next time you are dreading boot camp class, take a deep breath nail those pushups.

  • Releases Toxins. 70% of your body is designed to release toxins through breathing. Without proper breathing your other systems have to work harder to keep you healthy.

  • Aids in Digestion. If you ever have rushed through a meal, you know it can be uncomfortable. Oxygen helps food digest more efficiently.

And one of the most surprising reasons? Deep breathing can help you lose weight. Oxygen helps raise your metabolism. According to Psychology of Eating expert, Marc David, “If you want to maximize metabolism, breathing is one of the most effective tools because the greater your capacity to take in oxygen, the higher you metabolic burning power will be.”

Here is how to get the most out of every breath.

  1. Inhale through your nose and expand your belly, then fill your chest. Do it slowly counting to five. Imagine positive energy filling your body.

  2. Hold it for about 3 seconds.

  3. Slowly release through your mouth for a count of 5. Imagine your body releasing waste and toxins.

If you can set aside about 10 minutes every day for deep breathing exercises that is optimal, but like any form of exercise, the important thing is you just do it in when you can.

So next time someone tells you to take a deep breath, go for it.

 

Posted by: Sherri Sacconaghi
Certified Health Coach and Personal Fitness Trainer
www.themissionofnutrition.com
Ph: 503 621 7549
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Don’t Just Survive; Thrive, Throughout the Holidays and Beyond

Don’t Just Survive; Thrive, Throughout the Holidays and Beyond


We all need a little support getting through the holiday season – and Certified Nutrition Coach, Sherri Sacconaghi will provide it during a Free Teleclass Lunch Series on Novemebr 16th, 2011. Each teleclass will include a Q&A and plenty of specific information to help you maneuver through the holiday madness and ease into 2012 feeling happy and healthy.

CALL IN:

November 16th Noon-1pm (PST):  To gain insights into mindful eating, as well as some tips for managing the holiday parties and buffet tables too.

December 14th Noon -1pm (PST):  For diet strategies that make a difference –No resolutions needed. Instead you will get tools to make lasting changes.

The teleseminars are FREE but space is limited  so register by emailing me at : 

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You will receive a confirmation with the call information shortly after registering.

Don't let the Holidays derail your health and happiness.  Take part in this free teleseminar series.  One hour- once a month- just for you.


Sherri Sacconaghi is a Certified Health Coach and Fitness Trainer. She works in Portland, Oregon and has a private practice, coaching clients on how to reach their goals for health, weight loss and stress reduction. Additionally, she presents workshops and lectures on living a healthy, balanced life. Please contact her for more information.

 

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


Article Posted by Sherri Sacconaghi, on September 12th, 2011

 

People are not perfect and we should not pretend to be. We worry too much about what other people think of us and less about what we think of ourselves. The result is that we start living an inauthentic life.

In my 20’s I worried too much about having the right clothes or the right car. In my 30’s I felt my house always had to be clean in case someone stopped by, or my kids had to be perfectly behaved or someone might think I was a bad mom. Now in my 40’s my house is in constant disarray and my kids have been known to say things that could make your jaw drop. I’m becoming okay with that. Not only have I stopped worrying so much about what other people think of me , I have actually started indulging in guilty little pleasures every once and while that make me happy. Little activities that, a few years ago, would have me worried people would think I was lazy or scatter brained. Turns out these little bouts of “being bad” have made me a happier wife, mother and Health Coach. It has helped me put myself back in charge of my life. It is not about pleasing other people all the time. It is sometimes about pleasing ourselves.

Breaking free from the everyday restrictions we put on ourselves can have health benefits too. Such things such as taking a 20 minute power nap can lower stress levels, reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke. Checking out of the office for a business meeting and getting a pedicure instead can recharge your batteries allowing you to be more productive when you return to the office. And allowing a little dark chocolate in your diet stimulates endorphins that can boost your mood.

Notice that adding a little “bad” into your life does not have to be a big production. It can be something that makes you feel happy, something you enjoy doing. Something that makes you feel like you are in control of your life.

So what does being bad mean to you? Sleeping in late on weekends? Watching a Kardashians marathon instead of grocery shopping? Shutting your office door when your chatty co worker is heading your way? If you have a good one, please share.

Find a way to implement a little “bad” into your week and see how good it feels.

 

 

Article by: Sherri Sacconaghi
Certified Health Coach and Personal Fitness Trainer
www.themissionofnutrition.com
Ph: 503 621 7549
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Lunch Box Blues

 


Article Posted by Sherri Sacconaghi, August 6th, 2011

 

 


Now that Labor Day weekend has ended, that means school is starting. That also means the end of throwing together fresh summer foods for lunches whenever the mood strikes. It is time to start planning what to pop in those lunch boxes that will keep your kids full and energized throughout the day.

If your kids are like mine, peanut and butter and jelly will only be accepted until about mid October. Then the complaints about how boring their lunches are start rolling out. I have had to get creative. It is important to ensure kids are getting the proper nutrients to carry them throughout the long school day. When packing lunches try to ensure there is a protein such as chicken, beans, peanut butter or Greek yogurt. This will help keep them fuller longer. Add in a whole grain carbohydrate to help give them the energy they need for recess all the way through math class. Pop in a fruit and a veggie and they are good to go.

Here are some ideas for healthy lunches that think outside the sandwich. These have been grade school kid tested and approved.

  • Quiche or sushi

  • Turkey with string cheese and whole grain crackers. Pop them in a divided Tupperware with a bite sized candy bar for your own healthier “Lunchable”.

  • Whole grain pretzels with a peanut butter dip

  • Fruit kabobs ( cut up melon, apples, strawberries and grapes and put them on a skewer)

  • Celery filled with cream cheese or nut butter and topped with raisin ( aka: Ants on a log)

  • Stewed apples topped with cinnamon and granola

  • Whole wheat pita bread with a refried bean dip

  • Baked potato ( or sweet potato) topped with cheese and veggies

  • Cold leftover corn on the cob or other roasted veggies

  • Sliced turkey or ham wrapped around sweet or dill pickles.

  • Artisan bread in place of plain old wonder bread. Use avocado, pesto or hummus as a spread instead of mustard.

  • Make your own trail mix. Let the kids choose the ingredients then throw in an airtight container. (Mine use cheerios, almonds, cranberries and mini chocolate chips).

Then there is the king of the lunch box. Pasta. Make it cold or hot, with marinara, pesto, or olive oil. Whatever you have, throw it in. Here is my favorite recipe:

Shaped noodles such as bowtie or rotini, boiled and drained.

Diced chicken, tofu (or other lean protein). Leftovers work great.

Broccoli florets, steamed and cooled.

Frozen peas, boiled and cooled.

Mix the above ingredients together with some pesto. Store it in the fridge. Kids love it hot or cold and depending on the pickiness factor, you can serve it for days.

 

We all need help creating fun meals for our family. If you have a great lunch idea that will ensure that an empty lunchbox comes home every day, please share.

 

Article 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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