By: Leanne Ely
To date, I’ve dished about barre classes, my diet, getting plenty of rest, and keeping tabs on my thyroid and how this has all made a big difference in my weight.
And today, I’m going to talk about a classic weight loss secret that seems to be totally ignored by so many. Probably because it’s not sexy or considered a “hack” or is geeky enough to grab an ohh or an ahh from anyone.
I’m talking about portion control.
It’s that simple, but don’t freak out!
I’m not talking about weighing food, counting calories, grams, fiber, carbs, etc. I’m talking teaching your body to understand how much you need and eating that amount, period.
I’ll share how I do it, not how it’s traditionally done because that will make your head spin right off its shoulders!
First of all, begin with a plan. Your plan is to eat healthfully as possible. You want lean, clean protein, green veggies, something colorful (think orange, red or yellow veggies), something starchy that isn’t a grain and a nice helping of fat, the good healthy kind.
The key to getting full is this combo: adequate protein, fiber and fat. Each has a role in satiation.
Now that you know what belongs on your plate, you can eyeball what should go there.
If you’re a small woman, a serving of protein should be roughly the size of a deck of cards, a serving a veggies the size of your fist and for your fiber (I like sweet potato or some kind of winter squash), half the size of your fist.
You may not eat exactly this way—you may have rice or some other grain in there and that’s fine, just as long as you get your veggies in.
Now remember I said “if you’re a small woman.” For me, that wouldn’t cut it. I’m 5’8” tall and about 145 pounds. I need about “a deck and a half”. But not always, sometimes, just a “deck” will do, other times, I need more. The point is to learn where your satiation point is and stop eating.
Don’t be a cleaner upper of your plate or anyone else’s. You’re not responsible for world hunger anymore than I am so stop that habit, stat.
Learning how to portion your food according to your needs takes work and practice. Remember, if you call it wrong and you’re hungry, you don’t have to stay hungry—get some more to eat!
There’s more to all of this of course—portion control is just a part of mindful eating.
By: Leanne Ely
It’s citrus season in the Untied States-that time of year when you can find those little citrus sweeties all over the grocery store. Tangerines are in season from November through April.
There are three major types of tangerines that we tend to find here in the western hemisphere: tangerines (tangerine is a type of tangerine), mandarins, and tangelos. These cute little fruit are smaller than oranges, and they also tend to be easier to peel because the peels are much looser, so they make a wonderful snack. Kids love them and, really, who doesn’t?
You start finding tangerines around Thanksgiving. The most common tangerine varieties we find here are Dancy and Fairchild.
Mandarins are known for their exquisite sweet flavor and their light orange color. Satsuma, Clementine, Royal and Honey are the most commonly found varieties of mandarin in the US.
Tangelos are very juicy and have quite a mild flavor. A hybrid between a tangerine and a grapefruit, tangelos aren’t as sweet as the other types of tangerines.
There’s a lot of nutrition packed into these small orange fruits.
A single tangerine contains:
1 gram of protein
2 grams of fiber
45% of the Vitamin C you need for the day
6% of your RDA (Recommended Daily Amount) of Vitamin A
4% of your RDA of calcium, magnesium and potassium
2% of your RDA of manganese, copper, phosphorus and zinc
Tangerines also contain notable amounts of: Vitamin B6, folate, niacin, pantothenic acid, thiamin and riboflavin.
So much goodness in these yummy little guys!
I love tangerine segments in green salads and they’re divine in coleslaw (really!), but don’t forget to pop out the seeds!
PS–Looking back on 2015, it’s clear you had some favorite mealtime solutions that you loved above all. Well good news, I’ve brought my favorite sales from this year back out for a limited time! You can get one, or all of them, for 10% off the sale price. But you have to act fast! Get yours now
By: Leanne Ely
Plump, sweet and juicy red raspberries are my personal favorite.
In honor of my favorite berry, today I’m going to give you a trick, a tip and a brand new recipe featuring these gorgeous little treats!
Now, there is much more to love about raspberries than their amazing flavor. They are also packed with nutrition, as most berries are. Raspberries are especially high in an antioxidant called ellagic acid, which is a potent cancer fighter. Raspberries also contain special flavanoids that have antifungal properties, so eat up!
I love raspberries any which way, but especially in smoothies!
Here’s today’s Trick:
Add raspberries to your salad tonight! They’re especially good with walnuts and my favorite homemade vinaigrette (1:3 balsamic vinegar to extra virgin olive oil with a clove of pressed fresh garlic).
Raspberries go moldy extremely quickly, so you should eat them the day they’ve been picked. You also shouldn’t wash them until you’re just ready to use them.
And a Recipe:
Raspberry Cordial Smoothie
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 to 3/4 cup water (or more almond milk)
1/2 cup raspberries (frozen or fresh)
1 tablespoon cacao nibs
1 scoop Perfect Paleo Protein Smoothie Mix
2 teaspoons Saving Dinner Fibermender (optional)
1 tablespoon Just Juiced Greens (optional)
In a blender, place almond milk, water, raspberries, cacao nibs, Saving Dinner Perfect Paleo Protein, Saving Dinner Fibermender and Saving Dinner Just Juiced Greens (optional); blend until smooth and enjoy! It’s ok to add a tad more milk of your choice, if a thinner smoothie is preferred.
By: Leanne Ely
It is definitely pumpkin season! We know all about those classic orange pumpkins, but what about the pretty blue pumpkins?
Queensland Blue is a gorgeous pumpkin with a light blue, silvery skin. It’s a variety that hails from Australia and was introduced to the United States back in 1932. The Queensland Blue looks quite similar to the Jarrahdale pumpkin—another Australian variety.
Some people think these pumpkins look quite similar to Frankenstein’s head when you look at them from the side, making them perfect for spooky fall decor—but rather than toss it in the compost, go on and eat it after it has served its decorative destiny!
This winter squash—as with all winter squash—is chock full of vitamins and minerals. The sweet flavor and dry flesh of the Queensland Blue make it excellent for baking with.
Now that you’re eyeing up your neighbors’ deteriorating fall display with visions of pie in your head, let’s take a look at your trick!
It can be hard to tell when a blue pumpkin is ripe. It’s ready to eat when the stem is dry and starting to wither.
The skin of a Queensland Blue is very hard, so use a good sharp knife to get into it, and take care of those fingers. Try cutting it in half and roasting rather than peeling and chopping. This makes it easier to separate the flesh from the skin.
Beefy Mushroom Soup
1 1/2 pounds 95% lean ground beef
1/2 cup diced onion
12 oz sliced mushrooms
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 1/4 cups low sodium beef broth
1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (recipe below)
1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup skim milk
In a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, brown ground beef, onion, mushrooms and garlic over medium-high heat; drain off any excess fat. Add broths, water and pumpkin; stir until well blended, thinning with additional water if needed; season with salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Add milk and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes longer.
Cut top off of whole pumpkin. Cut in half, scoop out seeds pulp from center. Cut pumpkin into quarters or even eighths depending on how big it was to start!
Lay pumpkin on baking sheet and bake in 350-degree oven for 45 minutes, or until pumpkin is fork tender. Let cool and then scoop the pumpkin away from the skin with knife or spoon. Process baked pumpkin in food processor until it is smooth.
By: Leanne Ely
Apples aren’t the only fruits ripening on the trees right now. It’s a great time of year for pears! If the best of pear season has ended where you live, there should still be plenty of fresh pears around, so poke around the farmers’ market next time you’re there. Or even better, call your nearest orchard and see if there are any pears available.
I like juicing pears, slicing them on my salads and snacking on them as nature intended.
The most common varieties of pear in North America are Bartlett, Bosc, Anjou, Concorde and Comice. And whichever variety you can find to sink your teeth into, you’ll be enjoying a sweet serving of antioxidants.
Pear skin is extremely rich in phytonutrients. In fact, the skin of the pear is about four times higher in these nutrients than the sweet flesh of the fruit. Those phytonutrients include anti-inflammatory flavonoids, antioxidants, and cancer fighting power.
The skin of a pear fruit is also very high in fiber.
Since you want to eat that pear skin, you better buy organic. If you can’t find organic pears, scrub the heck off of the surface of the fruit before enjoying. If you peel it, you’re tossing away all of that nutrition.
But the peeling isn’t the only nutritionally dense part of this sweet fruit. The flesh and the juice are both beneficial as well.
Pear juice is considered a superior fruit juice. In most cases, the cloudier the juice, the more nutrient-dense it is. Pear juice is quite cloudy.
In addition to the antioxidant, cancer prevention, and anti-inflammatory properties that pears contain, they are also rich in vitamins C and K, easy to digest, and they’re even hypoallergenic!
Here’s one of my favorite pear recipes.
Pear Chicken Salad
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 clove garlic, minced
2 large pears, cored and chopped
4 cups chopped kale
1/2 cup sliced red onion
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon champagne vinegar
1 teaspoon raw honey
1 teaspoon chili powder
In a skillet over medium heat, heat coconut oil. To the oil, add the chicken, salt and pepper and garlic. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink in the center.
In a large bowl, toss the pear, chicken, kale, and onion.
In a small bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients (extra virgin olive oil through chili powder). Pour dressing over salad and serve.