Get Back On A Healthy Track After Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of those days we’re allowed to eat whatever we want. It’s tradition and we feel responsible for keeping it alive!

Sometimes, though we don’t feel so good at the end of the day and even the day after.

Here are a few tips to help you feel your best on Thanksgiving and to help you stay on track after the feast.

#1-Exercise Before You Eat– Start the day right by getting out for a run or power walk or enjoying your favorite fitness class before the feast. You’ll feel energized and invigorated for the rest of the day. If weather permits go for a nice leisurely walk with your family or friends after the meal. This not only helps with digestion but also helps you connect more closely with those you might have missed in all the confusion.

#2-Enjoy The Foods You love-Go ahead and enjoy the Thanksgiving day dishes that you look forward to and that you really love. Don’t waste energy on feeling guilty about eating these once-in-a-while foods. But be sure to get back on track the next day. The biggest mistake people make at the holidays is making Thanksgiving a week-long feast instead of a one-day indulgence.

#2-Be Creative With Leftovers Instead of indulging over and over…..and over again with the same leftovers why not put a healthy spin on your traditional Thanksgiving leftovers this year? Be creative! Check out the recipe ideas below to see how you can  turn your leftovers into healthful, delicious meals.


Turkey Fajitas

Spice up your leftover turkey by creating these fajitas that everyone will love!



4 (8-inch) whole wheat tortillas
8 tablespoons sweet potato hummus (recipe below)
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
1 cup caramelized corn
¼ cup chopped red onion
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 cups shredded roasted turkey breast (approximately 7 oz.)
2 cups chopped baby spinach
1 medium ripe avocado, mashed
4 teaspoons fresh cilantro

Dipping Yogurt
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon chile powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon sea salt


In a medium saucepan heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Saute onion and tomatoes for 2-3 minutes. Then added the turkey, chili powder, cumin and salt and continue cooking for another minute, stirring to coat. Add the spinach to the pot and cook just until slightly wilted, about one minute. Set aside to cool slightly.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet. Add the corn and cook over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring often, until corn is golden brown.

Meanwhile, mix the yogurt and spices together in a small bowl.

Spread the tortillas evenly with sweet potato hummus to 1/2″ of edge. Divide turkey and vegetable mixture evenly among tortillas and top with mashed avocado and chopped cilantro. Serve with a dollop of the spiced yogurt if desired.

Sweet Potato Hummus

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (save liquid)
1/3 cup tahini
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup cooked sweet potato cubes

Combine all ingredients except sweet potatoes in food processor and process until smooth. Add bean liquid or water if mixture is too thick. Add sweet potatoes and continue to process until desired consistency is reached. Taste and add salt if desired.

Turkey and Brussels Sprouts Frittata

Here’s a great idea for a post-Thanksgiving breakfast. Frittatas can be cooked ahead of time and are a great, super-nutritious meal for any time of the day..including lunch and dinner!



8 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium shallots, finely chopped
3 cups chopped fresh Brussels sprouts-use leftover cooked if you have on hand
Pinch sea salt
1 cup chopped roasted turkey breast
1/2 avocado, cubed


Preheat oven to broil.
Combine eggs and salt, pepper and parsley in a medium mixing bowl; whisk to blend. Add avocado to egg mixture.Set aside.
Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick oven safe skillet over medium-low heat.
Add shallots and Brussels sprouts; cook, stirring frequently,  4 to 5 minutes, or until shallots are translucent.
Pour egg mixture and turkey into skillet with vegetables; cook, stirring frequently with rubber spatula, 4 to 5 minutes, or until egg mixture has set on the bottom and begins to set on top.
Place skillet in oven. Broil for 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned and fluffy. Watch carefully!
Cut into 6 servings. Enjoy with your favorite fruit!

A Warm Salad For Cooler Days












The best way to lighten up a meal and get more nutrition bang for your buck is to add your favorite vegetables, including greens. Naturally, we don’t always feel like eating cooling salads on cold days but adding warm vegetables and vinaigrette to a big green salad creates an easy, nutritionally dense satisfying winter meal. Here’s another great idea for your Thanksgiving leftovers but you can make this salad with chicken or chicken sausage anytime!


6-8 cups mixed greens
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved and roasted
8-10 thin slices red onion
2 cups 1/2″ cubes butternut squash, roasted
1/2 cup chopped dried figs
2 cups leftover turkey cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup oven-roasted walnuts
Olive oil
1/2 avocado, cut into small chunks
Sea salt and pepper
2 tablespoons cup goat cheese crumbles, optional
3-4 tablespoons sherry vinaigrette


Preheat oven to 425º. Peel and cut butternut squash into 1/2″ chunks. Place in medium bowl with 1 tablespoon olive oil and mix to coat. Put squash on a baking sheet and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Roast for 15 minutes then turn the squash with a spatula, to be sure it browns evenly. Continue cooking for 10 more minutes until golden brown and slightly crispy. Remove from oven.

At the same time the squash is cooking, add the halved cherry tomatoes to a glass pie dish. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Roast in oven for 15-20 minutes until soft. Remove from oven and set aside.

Turn heat to 350º. Place walnuts in a single layer in a small oven-proof dish and roast in oven for 5-10 minutes, tossing the nuts around occasionally to ensure even cooking. Nuts are done when they appear a shade darker and smell toasty. Remove from oven and set aside.

Assemble the salad: Put the greens in a large bowl. Add the turkey, figs, squash, tomatoes and onions. Top with walnuts, avocado and goat cheese if desired. Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Add vinaigrette and toss to coat all ingredients evenly. Serve with warm whole grain bread.

Sherry Vinaigrette

Combine and shake well:
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup good olive oil
pinch salt

Turkey and Squash Chili

This recipe combines the best of your Thanksgiving leftovers to make a delicious meal for a cold winter night!



1 sweet onion, chopped
2 red bell peppers, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 cans twenty eight-ounce crushed tomatoes (I prefer Cento)
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups butternut squash, cubed into 1/2″ pieces and roasted
2 cups cooked turkey
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon lime zest
Salted plain yogurt




Heat the oven to 425. Peel and cut the squash into 1/2″ pieces. Place 2 cups of the squash in a bowl and mix with 1 tablespoon olive oil to coat. Arrange squash on a baking try in a single layer and season with a generous pinch of salt. Roast for 15 minutes then turn the squash with a spatula, to be sure it browns evenly. Continue cooking for 10 more minutes until golden brown and slightly crispy. Remove from oven.

In a large pot or Dutch oven heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes until softened. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper and cook for 1 minute. Turn the heat down to low and pour in the 2 cans of tomatoes. Stir in about 1 cup of broth to reach desired thickness. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and cook for 30 minutes at a low boil.

Add turkey, beans and squash and continue cooking for at least 30 more minutes, covered on low heat. Cook longer if possible.

Serve with lime zest and salted yogurt.

Is It Time To Make A Shift To Help Our Environment?

Many of us pay close attention to what we put on our plates because we’ve learned that what we eat can have a big effect on our health. But few of us stop to consider how our food choices impact our environment. In most cases, I think we’re just unaware. Maybe it’s time to educate ourselves about this increasingly important issue. After all, don’t we have a responsibility to our planet, helping feed the hungy and future generations?

Researchers at the World Resources Institute have learned that the type and quantity of food people eat has an important impact on the environment and that meat and dairy — especially beef — are particularly harmful. Meat and dairy are in fact considerably more resource-intensive to produce than plant-based foods. They increase pressure on our land, water and climate.

Statistics show that more than 66% of total greenhouse gases from food production comes from meat and dairy, even though they only contribute about 37 percent of total protein consumed.  

Beef production requires 20 times more land and emits 20 times more greenhouse gas emissions per unit of edible protein than common plant-based protein sources such as beans, peas and lentils. Chicken and pork are more resource-efficient than beef, but still require three times more land and emit three times more greenhouse gas emissions than beans. Surprisingly, more than three-quarters of the world’s agricultural land is used to produce meat and dairy.


But what if we make “better” choices?  Haven’t we been told that grass-fed, free-range, cage-free and pastured options are a more responsible choice? And isn’t it at least better to buy and eat products that come from small organic farms, which practice more humane methods of production?

Well, maybe not. Although these smaller systems appear to be environmentally sustainable, evidence suggests otherwise according to a New York Times article, The Myth of Sustainable Meat. The real truth is that grass-grazing cows emit considerably more methane than grain-fed cows and pastured organic chickens have a 20 percent greater impact on global warming.

To make matters worse, demand for animal-based food is expected to rise by 80 percent by 2050, with beef specifically increasing by 95 percent.

As nations urbanize and incomes rise, their citizens consume more calories and more animal-based foods such as beef, dairy, pork, chicken, eggs and fish, according to the WRI.

Additionally and equally important is the fact that the human population on our planet continues to rise, and is expected to reach 10 billion by 2050. Experts warn that we cannot sustain this growth with our current industrial agricultural paradigm model. According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, natural health expert, the alarming concern is that if we continue along the present path, world hunger will continue to escalate without a viable way to meet the need.

The rise in the popularity of the Paleo Diet has also contributed to the increased demand for more meat. Food expert Michael Pollan debunks this diet for many reasons; most who defend this way of eating “don’t really understand…the proportions in the ancient diet…today’s meat is nothing like that of the hunter-gatherer.”

Americans eat more meat per person than any other people on earth, and we’re paying the price in doctor bills.

At 200 pounds of meat per person per year, our high meat consumption is hurting our national health. Hundreds of clinical studies in the past several decades show that consumption of meat and dairy, especially at the high levels seen in this country, can cause cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and a host of other diseases (

It’s interesting to note that the global average per person protein consumption exceeded dietary requirements in all regions in 2009, with each person consuming on average about 68 grams per day— one-third higher than the average daily adult requirement. In wealthy countries, protein consumption was higher still. For example, the average American man eats nearly 100 grams of protein per day, almost double the amount of protein he needs.

 “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” ~Michael Pollan

So what can we do to help?

It’s not necessary for all of us to go as drastic as becoming vegan! But if each of us made even small dietary shifts towards more plant-based diets we could significantly reduce greenhouse emissions and the use of agricultural resources. According to the WRI,  the average American could cut their diet’s environmental footprint in half  just by eating less meat and dairy. If we build our meals around plant-based proteins, instead of meat the way most of us were raised, we could make a difference.

  • If you eat beef, just shifting one-third of your beef consumption to other meats like chicken or pork could cut your diet’s environmental impacts by nearly 15 percent.
  • Why not adopt the “Meat-free Monday” policy at your house?
  • Think about cutting your total animal product consumption (all meat, dairy, fish and eggs) by half. If you currently eat meat and cheese at two meals per day, try switching to plant protein like beans, tofu or tempeh at one of your meals. To maintain a healthy weight, add additional plant-based foods to your diet, such as vegetables, oats, quinoa, rice, hummus, nuts and fruits.
  • Use calcium-enriched milk substitutes more often. Any food that comes directly from a plant rather than from livestock will generally be responsible for a much lower level of greenhouse gas emissions than livestock products.

Study the WRI scorecard below and lean towards foods that have lower environmental impact:


“Whatever the case may be, for now at least, at this very moment, there appears to be some compelling empirical evidence that eating a diet based on compassion is good not only for animals but the environment we share with them.”
~James McWilliams, historian and writer.

You’ll see huge benefits to your health and waistline too!

Here’s one idea for a meat-free meal:

Vegan Thai Vegetable Curry


One can full-fat coconut milk (do not shake can)

1/2 cup vegetable stock

4 teaspoons tamari

3 teaspoons brown sugar

4 Tablespoons Thai green curry paste (Thai Kitchen brand has no shrimp or fish paste)

1/2 cup diced onion

2/3 cup diced red bell pepper

2/3 cup diced zucchini

2/3 cup diced, peeled sweet potato

2/3 cup sliced bamboo shoots, rinsed and drained

1 cup green beans, trimmed to 1-inch length

2/3 cup diced eggplant

1 lime

8 large basil leaves, cut into thin chiffonade


Open the can of coconut milk without shaking it. Spoon 6 tablespoons of the coconut cream from the top of the can into a large skillet. Pour remaining contents of can into a medium bowl, and mix well. In a small bowl, combine vegetable stock, soy sauce and brown sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Place skillet of coconut cream over medium-high heat until it begins to bubble. Add curry paste and reduce heat to medium-low. Stir constantly until very fragrant, about 3 minutes; adjust heat as needed to prevent burning.

Add all the vegetables: onion, red pepper, zucchini, sweet potato, bamboo shoots, green beans and eggplant. Stir until vegetables are hot, 2-3 minutes.

Stir in the rest of the coconut milk, bring the mixture to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

Add the tamari mixture to the skillet along with a generous squeeze of fresh lime juice to taste; you may use the juice of an entire lime. Stir and mix well. Add up to 1/4 cup water if the curry seems too thick.

To serve, place the curry in a warm serving bowl and garnish with the basil chiffonade. If desired, serve over brown or wild rice.




Recipe adapted from NYTimes cooking.

This recipe is TWC-approved!

How To Have A Healthy Vacation

kayak in mountainsEver feel like you need a rest after your “relaxing” vacation? Here are a few tips to help you enjoy your time away and return home feeling rejuvenated and energized:

1. Stay Hydrated

One of the best ways to keep your energy level up is to drink plenty of filtered water. Aim to drink at least one-third of your body weight in ounces each day to offset the side effects of over-consumption of alcohol, “vacation” diet,  time spent in the sun, and the fact that travel itself can be stressful and draining. Start early and drink water steadily throughout the day. A hydrated body is a more efficient body. In addition to helping you feel great, hydration is also one of the keys to healthy looking skin. If your vacation plans involve flying, make an extra effort to drink plenty of water in the days leading up to your flight, while limiting caffeine and alcohol.

 2. Add These Foods To Offset Dietary Splurges

Inflammation can be protective, such as when our bodies respond to injury. But chronic inflammation — in response to a steady diet of processed foods, sugar, alcohol and inadequate sleep — is a different story altogether. This often happens when we’re away from home and why we end up feeling not so great when vacation is over.

It’s important, even necessary, to take a break from our hectic schedules at least a few times a year. But we don’t do ourselves any favors when those breaks include ditching all health-promoting food and oblueberriesur usual healthy habits! Don’t get me wrong: you can (and should) still enjoy your favorite vacation foods, just do your best to offset the splurges with healing foods so you return home feeling rested instead of bloated. Simply adding certain foods to your diet will cool down that inflammation: vegetables (no, not French fries!), fruits (especially berries), nuts, seeds and small amounts of healthy oils like avocados and olive oil will do the trick. Also, herbs such as ginger, turmeric, basil and rosemary have tremendous healing properties.

3. Move Your Body

It doesn’t have to be intense, but try to squeeze in 20 to 30 minutes of active time each day. Ride a bike, go for a run or a power walk. Take a hike or enjoy a swim. Exercise helps you sleep more soundly and is the antidote for extra calories and brain fog from too much sugar or alcohol. Plus, if you know you’re going to be active the next day, you’ll be more mindful of how you’re fueling your body.

Have fun on vacation and be mindful of these small steps to help you feel your best. Your body will thank you!