A few of my favorite things…

Hello and happy Sunday!

I hope you’re having a lovely day! If you’re in Bozeman, hopefully you’re cozy inside under a blanket drinking some warm tea or coffee; it’s a pretty rainy, windy and chilly day out there so far!

Sunday is one of my favorite days of the week! (The other is Wednesday…) I love Sunday’s, particularly the mornings, because it’s a quiet time of reflection on the week past and the week ahead. For me, Sunday is sort-of like going to Staples or Officemax- every time I walk into those stores I have this premonition about how “together” and “organized” I’m going to be- that’s what Sunday feels like to me; the promise of a perfectly executed week! My laundry will be done and put away, I will have meals planned out and prepared, and all of my administrative duties will be tended to. The “to do” list will be checked off and completed. All of my client planning and programming will be ready to go. Tall order? Maybe? Despite it all, Sunday is a day just for me to do what I want, and I really like that! I hope that you all get similar liberties on your favorite days of the week!

This Sunday is a double-whammy for me; it’s also my favorite season! I love Fall, always have. The days are still long, cool and mostly sunny. It’s the perfect time to get out and recreate without overheating or worrying about your extremities in the cold. I even love days like today. I am planning on hitting up the grocery store in a bit to get some weekly nourishment and the ingredients to make a hearty, healthy soup for this afternoon, and I thought i’d share!

This soup is so tasty and satisfying on a day like today. As with most things, it also gets better with time, so the leftovers are fantastic. Bon appetit!

 

Turkey Soup with Barley and Mushrooms

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1/2 oz mixed dried mushrooms
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 leeks, including tender green parts, coarsely chopped
1/2 lb (250g) fresh white button mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1/4 lb (125g) fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and coarsely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup pearl barley
3 large cloves garlic, minced
2 skinless turkey thighs, about 1 1/2 lb total weight
8 cups (64 fl oz) chicken or beef stock or broth
2 teaspoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepperSoak the dried mushrooms in 2 cups boiling water for 30 minutes.

Drain the soaked mushrooms, reserving 1 cup or the soaking liquid. Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth (muslin) or a coffee filter to removed any grit. Using a kitchen towel, squeeze the mushrooms dry and cut into 1/4 inch dice. Set aside the mushrooms and their soaking liquid.

In a large soup pot over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the leeks and saute until nicely softened, 5-7 minutes. Stir in the fresh button and shiitake mushrooms, carrots, barley, and garlic. Saute for 1 minute longer. Add the turkey and stock, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the barely is tender but not mushy, about 1 1/2 hours.

Remove the turkey thighs from the pot. Discard the skin and cut the meat from the bones. Shred the meat into bite-sized pieces and return it to the pot. Add the reserved mushrooms and soaking liquid to the soup. Stir in the soy sauce and chopped parsley and simmer for 5 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and serve immediately.

Have a great day everyone! Let’s make the week ahead a good one…

Entertaining and Mindful Eating: 8 Tips to keep you eating healthy when out to eat

Good morning!

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Summer in Montana means two things: road construction and visitors! I often work with clients that are struggling to meet their goals in healthy eating because entertaining in this culture is often surrounding food; we meet for coffee, go out for breakfast or grab a quick lunch, and indulge at dinner. Sometimes all of the above! Not to mention any company parties or other work-related social gatherings and obligations are surrounding food, as well! Other than being a hermit and missing all the fun, we can incorporate more mindful practices to help us manage and mitigate these meal challenges.

I’ve mentioned the book Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think in earlier blogs; if you haven’t picked up your copy, I highly suggest you do! You can also check out his website, here. Brian Wansink, Phd. and colleagues have studied human behavior regarding food choices and tackle the subject of social cues which surround eating, some you may not even be aware of! It can be helpful to understand how the world around us sometimes sets us up to eat more, even on a subconscious level. For example, as mentioned in this book, studies have shown we eat quite a bit more when we eat with others:

When we eat with one other person, we eat 35% more than we otherwise would.

When we eat with a group of 7 or more, we eat more than twice as much: 96% more!

For those of us that are trying to watch what we eat and our waistlines, this can be particularly challenging. So what do we do???

I’ve put together a small list of choices you can make that may help make this a little less daunting, and keep you from abandoning all of your healthy habits. Of course, everything in moderation: sometimes you just want that chocolate pot-de-creme at the end of the meal, or cream cheese stuffed french toast. The very occasional indulgence of these tasty tidbits are okay! (YOLO, right?!) However, if you do this a few times a week you’ll notice your pants are fitting just a wee bit tighter…and you’re moving farther from your goals. Some of the following suggestions may help when going out to eat:

1. Look ahead at the menu and decide what to eat. Preparation is key! Don’t leave yourself vulnerable to that creamy delicious-sounding description, already know what you want and stick to it.

2.  Do you get to chose where you go out? If so, chose a lighter fare. Tapas or Asian fusion restaurants may be a better choice than a steak or Italian joint.

3. When your meal comes, ask for a to-go box right away. This a great trick to eating a smaller portion. If you’re riddled with questions, just say, “This tastes so much better the next day!” or “I’m really thrifty! I get to make this meal into two meals!”

4. Have a healthy snack before you go. Keep some almonds on hand, or if you don’t have time, get a side salad first.

5. Eat family-style. Share entrees! This is a great way to create conversation and get the variety of the menu; tapas are a great choice for this style of dining.

6. Stop eating when you’re full! Leave some food on your plate; there’s no need to be part of the “clean plate club” and your leaving food on your plate does nothing for starving children anywhere.

7. One more social tip: pace yourself with the slowest eater; if you eat slower, you may be able to catch that full feeling a little easier.  

8. As for the actual menu, stick with dishes that are “grilled” and “broiled”; avoid fried or sautéed. When ordering salad, ask for salad dressing on the side. Try to avoid using all of the dressing you’re given, and stick with vinaigrettes; avoid ranch or creamier dressings.

 

Most of all, enjoy the company, the sunshine and have fun!

Jess

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Healthy Life

Hi there New Leafers!
I hope that your summer has been a wonderful journey so far; full of adventure, fun, and relaxation!
I just wanted to write a quick note to remind you all that healthy living is your own life’s mission; it is unique to you and your specific goals.

Sometimes we can fall into a habit of comparing ourselves to others. We covet others motivations and want to know what THEY’RE doing, and how we measure up to some social standard. Unfortunately, we can set ourselves up for disappointment and live in fear of judgement from others this way. Find your own self motivation by exploring the basics: what is one thing you can modify to improve your health?

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” Theodore Roosevelt

Tell that inner critic to take a leap. You know that voice. It’s the one which helps you in the comparison to others, saying things like:
“You can’t do that!”
“You’re not doing it right!”
or
“You’re not doing enough!”

One foot in front of the other. Baby steps turn to leaps and bounds, and small changes make a big difference. Focus on one healthy living aspect you wish to cultivate (eating more vegetables and fruits, drinking less sugary drinks, drinking more water, going for a 30 min walk everyday) and get that habit down. Then incorporate the next. You’re learning new behavior patterns; it takes time to let go of the old ones. Be patient with yourself and keep your eyes on the prize; a healthier, happier you! Not someone else, or someone else’s version of what healthy means.

Get out there, have fun, and as always; let me know how I may help!

Getting back to basics!

Happy Monday, folks!

I don’t know about you, but I know that I need to up the ante on taking care of myself…starting today! In case you were wondering: yes, fitness professionals, like myself, get off track with eating right, too! At the very least, I’ve been feeling lethargic, constipated, irritable, broken out, and bloated…it’s not pretty. Kind of scummy and dirty on the inside.

My plan, you ask? Getting back to eliminating nearly all packaged foods. Historically, I’d occasionally have a Kind bar, eat a little pre-made quinoa pasta, etc. Not anymore. It’s been daily, and my body is feeling terrible. For a while, I’d like to get back to all grains, veggies, fruits, nuts, lean proteins and plenty of water and green tea!  Who’s with me? Time to lessen the inflammation in this body and to start feeling “normal” again.

The first step? Meal planning! What’s on my plan? Here’s a starter list:

  • Sweet potato chili (recipe here)
  • Stir fry veggies and brown rice (carrots, celery, mushrooms, bok choy, onion)
  • Brown rice with greens, walnuts and cinnamon (excellent breakfast)
  • Homemade black bean veggie burgers (I’m omitting the parm and bread crumbs to lose the wheat and dairy):

MAKES FOUR 4-INCH BURGERS
1½ cups cooked beans
2 eggs, beaten
½ cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup grated Parmesan
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
¾ cup toasted bread crumbs, plus more if
needed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
2. In a mixing bowl, mash the beans using a potato masher or fork. Fold in the eggs, parsley, Parmesan, mustard, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Fold in the bread crumbs, adding more if the mixture is too loose. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes for the crumbs to soak up some moisture. Adjust seasonings. Shape into 4 patties.
3. In an oven-safe skillet or nonstick sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add the patties and cook until browned on each side, 6 to 10 minutes total. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the burgers are firm and cooked through.
▶ Prep and cook time: 30 minutes

Excerpt From: Volger, Lukas. “Veggie Burgers Every Which Way.” Perseus, 2010-08-17. iBooks.
This material may be protected by copyright.

Check out this book on the iBooks Store: https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewBook?id=473931289

  • Apple cinnamon bars (I’m going to try these)
  • Big-’ol-veggie-filled salads with lean protein (sautéed shrimp, baked or grilled chicken and salmon, are some of my favorites!)

 

Let’s try it for the next 30 days?! Eliminate excess sugar and preservatives. Notice the change in your digestion, skin, energy levels and mood. At least for two weeks? Join me! Let me know about your journey; you know you’ll be updated on mine!

Be well!

Jess

 

 

A love letter to Montana

Good morning, everyone!
It has been a while since I sat down and shared a blog. Lot’s of things have been going on; my business is in full swing and I am now getting the privilege of working outdoors with my clients in this lovely weather here in Bozeman. It’s such a bonus to live here and help people take steps to living healthier lives.
When I moved here 10 years ago this past April, I had no idea that I would fall so deeply in love with my surroundings and the opportunity for adventure that it provides, practically at my doorstep!
Many things in my life have changed over the past 10 years, and in particular over the past year-and-a-half. Change is good. Experiences, events, and the people we encounter, shape who we are and who we become. This is all part of our story and makes us who we are. I have had some wonderful experiences along this journey in life some painful, others full of joy and love; all have led me to where I am right now.
The other day, I awoke with such a love and joy for where I live that I wrote a little love to poem for Montana, and I thought I’d share:

Dear Montana,
I can’t imagine myself falling out of love with your inspiration, energy and versatile beauty. Thank you for helping me to be whole, good and appreciative of life’s best ways to live: through exploration and adventure.

Love,
Jess

I encourage you to review the past, gaze into the future, and relish the present! What brought you where you are today? Where do you want to be tomorrow? What steps can you take today to bring you toward your best life FOR YOU?

Eat well. Get sweaty. Be kind. Laugh and smile…ALOT!

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Have a great day!

Take care of all of you…

Lao Tzu

Taking care of yourself is not only about exercising and eating healthy. Stress management and mental health are enormous components in self care.

Sometimes we get caught up in our own minds. It’s very easy to look ahead to the future and focus on the past. Living in the present can be challenging and painful at times. My advice: try not to wish away today for tomorrow; don’t let the life you’re living pass you by in this very moment!  We can easily get distracted from the steps we need to take to reach our future goals by reliving our story from the past. Set your sights on what needs to happen today to be able to reach that goal for tomorrow.

Be kind to yourself and others!

Let’s live!

 

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It’s mid-February, how are those pesky resolutions going? You know, those things we vowed to change for good just 6 weeks ago? I know for myself personally, I have not lived up to all of my goals, and have faced some pretty interesting challenges. One of my resolutions was to blog more, and we have seen how well that’s been going! So, I woke up this morning with this thought; change can begin at any moment. It’s a conscious decision to create the direction you want your life to go in. Change starts today, in this very moment.

Change. It’s a dirty little word, isn’t it? How many of you cringed just at the sight of it?  We all have things that we want to change: things we recognize would benefit ourselves and others. Instead of beating ourselves up for not changing, let’s take a different approach, one with self-compassion. Give yourselves a big internal hug. Silence that voice in your head that says “you’ve tried this before and it didn’t work”, or “what makes you think that you will succeed, you’ve always failed in the past.” It’s a new day. It’s a new moment that you haven’t lived yet! Let’s be kind to ourselves and make little modifications to strive toward our goals! I found this the other day and fell in love:

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Look. We’re human! This road of life can get bumpy; it’s easy to lose track, get off course and forget what’s important. There’s no perfect road map we’re all supposed to follow; each day is a new day of growth and discovery. The best thing that we can do is to awake each morning and remind ourselves of our purpose, goals and directions in life. To take each day as a chance learn from others and our experience. To think of the sunrise as a fresh new start; not just the first of the year, or your birthday as a new beginning. Heck, not even just at the start of a new week! (Although, I am posting this on a Monday.) Today can be that new day where we can make changes in ways that matter most to us, in health, family, work, and relationships. Not everyday will be perfect. We are not perfect! Human beings are messy; we’re emotional, impulsive, and spontaneous. However, if we set out each day with the intent to be the best we can, then it was a close-to-perfect day.

I believe in you. I believe you can make your day, month, year, decade what you want it do be. You can take small steps to improve your life. Make yourself a priority. Remind yourself what you’re here on this earth to do. Everyone has a purpose. If you’re not sure what that is, or who you are, then find a way to discover what this life means to you. Set small goals for today. Be kind to yourself if you’re not perfect at what you set your mind to do. You’re being present and mindful of your actions, and that’s more than half the battle.

Take care,
Jess

Just a quick hello after the New Year!

I hope you all survived the holidays and are looking forward to getting on with the year ahead. Maybe some of you are thinking that 2014 will be the year for you to get in shape, lose that muffin top, and feel your best? If so, I want you to also consider the health benefits to all of those goals.

It can be nice to put a magazine picture of a bikini body on the fridge for motivation, or to have an idea of wearing a little black dress; but, the reality is that being more active and eating healthy benefits your life in so many other great ways! In this culture, there’s so much pressure to be a certain size and shape, that we lose sight of the health benefits of just caring for our bodies by being physically active, eating healthy and exercising regularly. The benefits to regular exercise are abundant and well-documented:

” Regular physical activity has been shown to lower the risk of early death, help control weight and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression and some types of cancer and a host of other conditions. It lowers the risk of cognitive decline and hip fractures.
And recent research suggests that exercise may be as effective as medication in preventing early death in people who’ve had heart attacks or strokes.”

Remember, restrictive dieting may work in the short-term, but is very difficult to maintain in the long run. Plus, you will lose weight, but what about your fitness level? Rapid weight loss does nothing for strength and endurance, and in fact, depletes muscle mass. I’m not talking about what you can lift or do in the gym, here. I’m talking about climbing stairs without being out of breath.  Or, being able to maintain muscle mass so that in 10-15 years you can pick up your grandchildren. Ladies, it’s about helping your body ward off osteoarthritis by keeping your bones strong and healthy.

Moderation is key to eating and exercise; with any exercise you want to start off slow, as to avoid injury. Working with a fitness coach is key to get started on the right track. Let me know how I may help you have a fitter, healthier, happier 2014!

Winter has arrived, and it’s freezing!

 

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Although it’s SO cold outside-arctic temperatures in Bozeman right now, for those of you that live outside of the immediate area-I hope you’re still finding ways to work up a sweat and stay active.

Whatever that means for you, whether it be bundling up and bearing the cold, dusting off those workout videos, or doing an in-home workout with yours truly; make sure  you’re still making your health a priority, especially during this holiday season! Remember: regular exercise can help keep your immune system healthy, staving off any of the crud that you may be exposed to when out shopping and socializing. 

 

Stay warm!

Jessica

 

Tips to surviving Thanksgiving Day!

Happy Holidays!
I know, they’re here… I don’t know about you guys, but the holidays have snuck up on me this year! Oh well, here are a few ways to have fun and be healthy this year:
1. Have your favorite foods. Often times, there’s an abundance of food on the table, and some of it you may think is tasty, but not necessarily your favorite; have some small portions of all your absolute favorites and leave the rest.

2. Fill half your plate with green veggies. You lessen your load (and may not have to unbutton the top button of your pants) by utilizing this little trick. The fiber from the veggies helps to fill you up so you don’t feel compelled to have that second serving of pie…maybe…

3. Don’t fill up on booze. I get it. It’s the holidays, and if you’re spending them with your family, there may be some past conflicts that surface whilst cramming yourselves in a hot kitchen. Don’t self medicate with alcohol! One reason, is the increased caloric intake quickly without making you full; save those calories for something tasty, like a little pie and whipped cream. Besides, lowering your inhibitions over the holidays is generally a recipe for disaster; do you really want to tell your siblings how they should be living their lives; or to tell everyone what you really think of dad’s new girlfriend?
4. Reduce stress. Keep it light, I’m not talking just food here. Polite conversation on the holidays that does not involve the usual suspect topics: religion and politics, can help to increase the enjoyment of the holidays. (Also, another reason to keep excess alcohol out of the picture.) Stress can be a big trigger for cravings and create a cascade of hormone imbalances which wreak havoc on our system. Try to stay calm and turkey on. Just a 5 minute walk outside will help to reduce stress if you get overwhelmed and can’t get away for too long.

5. Move. That’s right, C&C Music Factory said it right in “Everybody dance now”; MOVE. Go for a walk, jog, hike, bike, skip, dance. Play touch football. That physical activity will help you digest your meal more efficiently, help you to have a clear head, and reduce your likelihood of getting the blues.

Most of all, have a great day, and I look forward to seeing you all very soon!
Much love,
Jessica