Oct. 7, 2005 - I know it's only October, but the holidays are just around the corner. How many of you put on the holiday weight and then make your New Year's resolution to take it off? Here's a new concept: take off the weight before you put it on!
Many of us are yo-yo dieters, perpetually trapped in the cycle of loss and gain and gain and loss. Well, lets make a pact: Take the word DIET out of your vocabulary and replace it with healthy eating! I have been one of those up and down dieters my whole life and have finally realized that starving myself and going on fad diets does not work. You have to make the choice to change your eating and exercise habits.
First, pick a date to start your new regime. Healthy eating requires time and planning. If you're working on a big project at work, wait until you can put your full concentration on starting this new way of life.
Start small. You don't have to starve yourself. Research has shown that if you reduce your sugar intake, lower your starch intake and do some sort of cardiovascular exercise for 20 minutes at least 3 times a week, you will slowly start to see the pounds come off.
Take some time and think about how you can make small changes in your eating habits to induce weight loss. For example: if you usually eat cereal for breakfast, make sure it is a wheat or grain, and use skim milk. For lunch, don't get in the salad rut - it's okay to have baked chicken with steamed veggies (just take off the skin). And instead of stopping for a pizza for dinner, make a nice healthy vegetable stirfry with your favorite meat. Try leaving out the starch, but if you must starch it up, why not try brown rice?
Dieting with a friend always helps because two can share recipe ideas and support. Experiment with your meals and make it fun!
Over the next few months, I will be giving you tips to promote healthy eating. Feel free to email me and tell me how you're doing!
Below is a recipe for spaghetti squash that I think you will enjoy, and it will fill you up like you've eaten pasta for dinner!!
· one medium yellow spaghetti squash
· canned or homemade marinara sauce
· Parmigiana cheese
· lowfat skim mozzarella cheese
· Italian seasoning
· 1/4 cup chopped onion
· 1/4 cup chopped green pepper
· 2 teaspoons chopped fresh garlic
· sprinkle of fresh basil
· ground turkey (1 pound)
· salt and pepper to taste
Cut the spaghetti squash in half - being sure to remove the seeds - and bake at 375 degrees for approximately one hour (this can be done ahead of time). When squash is soft take it out of the oven and scrape the flesh into a mixing bowl using a fork. In the meantime, brown the ground turkey in a pan with the onion, pepper, basil, and Italian seasoning. Drain and add this to the mixing bowl. Throw in the marinara, shake in some Parmigiana, salt, pepper and garlic. Mix thoroughly. Place this mixture in a greased casserole dish and sprinkle to top with mozzarella. Bake until the mozzarella is bubbly and brown, approximately 30-40 minutes. You now have a healthy one dish meal!
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Jennifer Berry of Jen's Gourmet Café has been cooking for islanders on St. Thomas for 15 years. From her little place, "Lite Bites," in Trumpeter Gade to her time at Waterfront's Green House Restaurant, and now Jen's Deli, she has whipped up culinary delights that have her customers always coming back for more! A 1992 graduate of Johnson & Wales University with a BA in Hotel Restaurant Management, she has made a career out of making people happy with her "comfort food specials". You can find her downtown in the Grand Hotel behind Emancipation Garden, or have her specialties delivered to you for lunch. Jen's Deli has won numerous local awards for its great food and excellent value. Jennifer Berry is Sen. Shawn Michael Malone's selection for "2005 Young Entrepreneur of the Year." See ya at Jen's!