Too Close for Comfort

If you are working from home, the kitchen can be too close for comfort. Snacking at arm’s length can lead to 15 extra unwanted pounds unless you put some thought into it.

“Have cut up veggies ready to eat in the fridge and plenty of fresh fruit available,” said Elyse Marrone, registered dietician, and clinical director of The Lifestyle Nutrition Institute. Elyse suggests planning meals ahead of time as a family and keeping the meals easy and healthy as well as cooking together.

It’s important to focus on health and self care. Fit in daily exercise plus drink plenty of water or hydrate with coconut water. Here are some other tips from Elyse:

• Shop with your menu in hand so you can be sure to have all the ingredients available.
• Focus meals around lean proteins (less than 7 % fat content).
• Eat lots of non-starchy vegetables and small portions of whole grains like quinoa and brown rice.
• Try a new recipe each week.
• Manage stress and focus on 7-9 hours of quality sleep.
• If you need personalized support find a functionally trained Registered Dietitian in your area.

Being mindful while snacking and keeping an eye on portion sizes are key points to remember said, registered dietician, Becky Cucalon. She recommends asking yourself questions before snacking: When was the last time I ate? Is it time to snack or have a meal? Am I eating because I am physically hungry or because I am bored, sad, angry or anxious? For the latter, Becky recommends an alternative activity like journaling or walking.

“Choose snacks that will properly ‘fuel’ your body and will help you work better,” Becky said. “For example, I recommend vegetables with hummus or peanut butter, popcorn (without added butter and salt), low-fat cheese strings, low-fat cottage cheese, fruit, Greek yogurt, whole-grain quesadilla and trail mix.”

Healthy options are not just an option but, for the most part, the sure way to a long and robust life. Now, the question is where do we get daily ideas for variety in our food selections?

mix and match mama simmers by Shay, our direct to consumer online store, includes many different cookbooks to choose from for cooks of all ages even those that are in a hurry! If you don’t have much time for cooking use your crock pot and these wonderful recipes at Mix & Match Mama Simmers: Slow-Cooker Creations Your Family All Love by Shay Shull or Make It Fast, Cook It Slow. Just throw the ingredients together and let it slowly simmer. The food will cook by itself and the aroma in your house will let everyone know when dinner is ready!

You can also find books for vegetarians or for those that just want to add a little more veggies to their diet with Pure
Vegan: 70 Recipes for Beautiful Meals and Clean Living by Joseph Shuldiner or Girl Meets Vegetarian Boy by Damaris Phillips. Select your all time favorite cook books for BBQ recipes, southern, or Mediterranean dishes. Delight in the comfort of great all-American food with  Magnolia Table by Joanna Gaines, and The Happy Cook: A Celebration of the Food That Makes America Smile by Steve and Kathy Doocy.

It can even be a religious experience with Cooking with the Saints by Fernando Flores, the Vatican Cookbook and others. Some books are a work of art, and there are others that just pique our curiosity like Mom’s Secret Recipe File: More than 125 Treasured Recipes from the Mother’s of our Great Chefs (Revised) by Christopher Styler.

Little one’s can also browse through cookbooks just for them including The Berenstain Bears Country Cookbook by Mike Berenstain or Cook it in a Cup! by Julia Myall. You have probably heard Food Network’s Guy Fieri say that: “Cooking with Kids is not just about ingredients, recipes, and cooking. It’s about harnessing imagination, empowerment, and creativity.”

Some claim even picky eaters can learn to eat anything! Check out our French Kids Eat Everything : How our family moved to France, cured picky eating, banned snacking, and discovered 10 simple rules for raising happy, healthy eaters by Karen Le Billon. I’m so skeptical that I can’t wait to read it besides, I love French food!

Go online, check our variety of cook books, and have fun making creative healthy choices!