Ditch the Resolutions

Okay, I know what you’re thinking…so hear me out…

It’s a new year, you wanna make a new you! You write down your New Year’s resolutions in an old notebook you have lying around your house and suddenly, you’re super motivated for the upcoming year.

“I’m gonna work out every day.  I’m going to eat healthy. I’m going to stop eating sugar. I’m going to save money. I’m going to socialize more…”

IMG_4510

I get it. I’ve been there. And I’ve been there mid February when all those resolutions go down the toilet…

So many of us get super pumped and motivated initially, but then get kind of overwhelmed after changing so much at one time that we quit doing all of the resolutions altogether.

Take it from a dance/group fitness instructor…classes are hoppin’ in January…then they slow down in February…and it seems like nobody comes back until it’s bathing suit season. We all do it! We all make these “plans” for the new year and then forget about them when things get tough…

IMG-4323.JPG

Here’s a little tough love for ya…don’t make resolutions! Making so many resolutions set us up for failure because we need to be realistic with changes to be made.

Here is a scenario. You are sedentary but decide for your New Year’s resolution you will workout at 5:30am before you go to work everyday. That is quite an ambitious goal! A few things may happen: 1) you go too hard in the gym, hurt yourself, and decide the gym isn’t for you and 2) you are so tired from your early workout that you have brain fog at work. Making frequent, small changes is often a better solution because you can build on the improvement you made once you accomplish it.

For instance, instead of going hard at the gym 5 days in a row after being sedentary for the past year, build your tolerance up. I would never recommend a sedentary individual to go run 5 miles on their first day. Work your way up to the fitness level you want to be.

Instead of making a bunch of resolutions for 2019, I challenge you to start right now! Make a specific goal for yourself and write it down somewhere you can see it daily. Below is a format you can use to truly see your change.

Use the S.M.A.R.T. Guide: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timeline.

Specific: What is it that you want to achieve from this “resolution” or better yet, change? Example: I want to exercise more.

Measurable: How much of this change do you want to see? Example: I want to exercise 3 days a week.

Attainable: How can you make this change happen? What do you need to do to make this change happen? Example: I need to meet with a personal trainer to help me get in the groove of working out 3 days per week.

Realistic: Is this goal achievable? Can you dedicate 3 days per week to going to the gym? Is this plan realistic for you. If it is not, look back and see what variation of the plan may be realistic for you.

Timeline: When do you want to achieve your goal? Example: I want to exercise 3 days a week within the next month.

 

I had a college professor tell me that is takes 21 days to start a habit…so don’t give up on it too soon! Your goal can become a habit if you stick with it long enough.

 

Tips for goal setting:

  1. Write your goal down in a journal specifically for your goals. Journal about your journey with that particular goal, and when the goal is met, use that same journal to log the rest of your goals.
  2. Be positive! Ain’t nobody got time for negativity. I think it is healthy to acknowledge our failures, but do it in a positive light. “I only made it to the gym twice this week, but I will do better next week.”
  3. Track your progress using a calendar, day planner, or dry-erase board so you won’t only be the change but you’ll also see the change.
  4. Plan an achievement-reward. This will give you incentive to keep working toward your goal! It could be a shopping spree, nice dinner date with your significant other, a vacation, or even just a day devoted just to you!

 

Ultimately, we should be setting goals as they arise instead of making a bunch of “resolutions” at once that are unrealistic and most of the time fail. Instead of setting ourselves up for failure, let’s set goals using the S.M.A.R.T. technique.

Challenge for the week: Grab a journal and write down one S.M.A.R.T. goal to implement before the new year…that way your new “habit” will already be in place!

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Follow me on social media!

Facebook: Live Better with Kat Detter

Instagram: @betterwithkatdetter_rd

Pinterest: Live Better with Kat Detter

 

 

 

Overcoming My Food Obsession

I’ve touched on my body image story with you all…but today I am going to share my struggles with food obsession and how I overcame it.

***

I think we can all agree that being a teenager is an interesting part of life…you are trying to figure out who you are, who your friends are, and what you’re going to do with your life all while trying to make decent grades in school and have fun. For many female teenagers, it is a time where appearances consume you.

We care about what others say about us. We care about if we are popular or not. We care about what we look like. For me, I thought all of that was determined by outward appearance, and the only acceptable appearance was to be skinny.

Thus, my obsession with food commenced. Initially, it became a restrictive-obsession. When I was in middle school, I remember skipping breakfast if I was planning on eating lunch at school…but on Friday’s, my dad cooked breakfast…so it was not as easy to “skip” that meal. Instead, I skipped lunch. I thought I would be skinny if I restricted.

I couldn’t even enjoy a piece of cake on my birthday without feeling guilt. The guilt overwhelmed me and consumed my thoughts that I would go run or dance to “burn off the cake calories”…and if I did not do that then I was ashamed of myself.

As I got a little older, I started running regularly with my brother…and I noticed I felt better running when I ate meals, so I stopped skipping meals…instead, I started packing a sandwich using low calorie bread and a small container of applesauce. It was carefully thought out. I could still eat, but only certain amounts that gave me enough energy to run in the afternoon.

I kept up that pattern of eating until I was about 16 years old when I started teaching Zumba Fitness classes. I was teaching 2 classes twice a week and I did not have enough energy to complete those classes when I did not eat enough. That is when I truly started learning about nutrition and how the foods we eat affect our bodies.

I was still obsessive. I would only eat what society coined as “healthy”. You know–nuts, dried fruit, whole fruits, veggies, hummus, brown rice, whole wheat, low fat…even those “100 calorie” snack packs being promoted as healthy…I was a calorie counter. I thought it really didn’t matter what I ate as long as it was under 1200 calories…

So, what’s wrong with that? To this day, I choose “healthful” foods over refined, processed, sugary foods…the difference back then is it became a calorie-counting obsession.

I was constantly thinking about when I was going to eat again, what I could eat that would be “healthy”, what would happen to me if I ate chicken tenders and fries for lunch like everyone else, will this make me fat, why can other people eat whatever they want and not gain an ounce…

Those thoughts took over my mind…I struggled with that for years. It was not until I took nutrition as a prerequisite for my professional program that I truly understood how food nourishes and fuels the body. After that class, my thoughts began to change…

IMG-4478

Instead of thinking negatively about food, I started thinking of fun ways to incorporate veggies and fruits into meals and snacks. I started researching recipes where I can enjoy brownies and sweets using wholesome ingredients. I realized that foods containing polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats (healthy fats) were not bad–they were beneficial to my body. My period came back! My mind opened up into a positive light on food. I felt like I could actually enjoy eating again…food is good for me. Food nourishes me. Food keeps my body going.

You see, eating healthfully is so important…but if we let it take over our mind, we can develop an unhealthy relationship with food. Being so over-negatively consumed with food can be detrimental to how we look at ourselves…and self love is so important.

Love yourself, love your body, and educate yourself…Not only will changing those negative thoughts into positive ideas help your mind but will also benefit your overall health.

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Follow me on social media!
Facebook: Live Better with Kat Detter

Instagram: @betterwithkatdetter_rd

Pinterest: Live Better with Kat Detter

Nutritious Gingerbread Cookies

Say what? What is nutritious about a gingerbread cookie? Aren’t they full of butter, sugar, and molasses?

IMG-4814

Why yes, traditionally gingerbread cookies are full of buttery and sugary goodness, but today I am sharing a lightened up more nutritious option for a festive holiday treat.

While my recipe does not contain butter or refined granulated sugar, it does contain honey and molasses…

“But Katrina, honey and molasses are still sugar…”

Yes, they are! Honey and molasses are still considered “added sugars”, however they contain way more nutrient benefits than regular table sugar.

Honey is created by bees from collecting plant nectar making it richer in vitamins and minerals than regular granulated sugar. Honey also contains antioxidants which can help reduce risks of heart disease, strokes, and some types of cancer. In addition to that, honey can aid in wound healing due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects—so next time you burn yourself, try rubbing some honey on your wound. Lastly, honey is good for cold and flu season! Got a scratchy throat? Add some honey to warm water or hot tea and slowly sip and it will likely tame your sore throat.

clear glass bowl beside yellow flower
Photo by Mareefe on Pexels.com

Now on to molasses! Have you ever watched anyone make molasses? Essentially, molasses is derived from mashed sugar cane to extract the juices then boiled to create cane syrup. The cane syrup is then boiled a second time to make molasses. What about the health benefits? Molasses contains several vitamins and minerals such as iron (hemoglobin production that transfers oxygen in your bloodstream), calcium (bone health), magnesium (aids in metabolism and transmissions of nerve impulses), vitamin B6 (brain development and hemoglobin production), and selenium (reproduction, function of thyroid gland, DNA production, and protecting body from free radical damage and infection). While it may be calorie dense, it still contains more nutritional value than regular granulated sugar.

***

Today I am going to share my gingerbread cookie recipe with you for a lighter take on the traditional Christmas cookie. Y’all know I am all for splurging every now and then, but the Christmas festivities last all month, so I like to find healthier alternatives to fun festive goodies.

Recipe Time! Note: This recipe was adapted from COOKIE + kate  with a few of my own personal tweaks. See her blog for more fun recipes!

Nutritious Gingerbread Cookies

  • Servings: 40 cookies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups of 100% Whole Wheat Flour (I used King Arthur brand)
  • 2 teaspoons of ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 cup of melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup of molasses
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 1 large egg
  • Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
Directions:
  1. In a medium sized mixing bowl, add whole wheat flour, ginger, cinnamon, pepper, salt, cloves, baking soda, and baking powder and mix until well combined.
  2. In a separate mixing bowl, add melted coconut oil, unsweetened applesauce, molasses, and honey. Whisk until well combined. If mixture is too grainy, microwave to dissolve.
  3. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredient mixture and combine well. If mixture seems too dry, keep mixing! I started out with a spoon and ended up using my hands to get the flour mixed in well with the molasses mixture.
  4. Separate the cookie dough in half. Shape the dough into a 1-inch disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Lightly dust your work space and rolling pin with flour and roll one of your cookie dough disks about 1/4 inch deep. This dough is easy to roll out with little crumbling, but if you run into crumbling issues, allow cookie dough to get to room temperature. Use cookie cutter of choice to make fun holiday shapes.
  6. Place cookies on the lined cookie sheets and bake at 350 degrees for 8-11 minutes. For a softer cookie, bake for 8 minutes. For more of a gingersnap, bake closer to 11 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool on a baking sheet and lightly dust with powdered sugar.
  8. Share and enjoy with your friends!

Got any Christmas parties to attend? Try this recipe out. My husband LOVED them…so I am sure if your company likes gingerbread then these will be a crowd favorite!

 

Merry Christmas baking!

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!

Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Follow me on social media!
Facebook: Live Better with Kat Detter

Instagram: @betterwithkatdetter_rd

Pinterest: Live Better with Kat Detter

 

 

Sources:
  1. LD MWRDN. Magnesium: Health Benefits, Deficiency, Sources, and Risks. Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/286839.php. Published December 20, 2017. Accessed December 3, 2018.
  2. Healthline. (2018). 10 Surprising Health Benefits of Honey. [online]. Available at https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-benefits-of-honey#section9 [Accessed 3 Dec. 2018].

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bread Machine Magic

Christmas is coming up, and if you have some last minute shopping to do, consider buying the baker in your family a bread machine!

A what

IMG-4620

Yeah…that was my reaction when my co-worker told me about hers a few months ago. It’s literally a machine that makes bread for you! All you have to do is put in the ingredients and press start. It’s that simple.

Sounds too good to be true! I have to admit, I was skeptical at first…I had never heard of such a thing, but imagine making bread without waiting around for it to rise, then beat the dough down to knead it, then let it rise a second time and bake for an hour…that sounds magical!

A few weeks ago, my husband brought home a bread machine…he heard me talk about it, even though I was skeptical, but he came home with it anyway. Kind of nervous on where to begin, I found a recipe and went for it. I threw in all the ingredients and pressed start, and in 3 hours I had a fresh loaf of bread.

Not only is it convenient, you’d never have to buy bread again! I love homemade bread, but the process is so time consuming and most recipes make 3-4 loaves…I end up throwing it away because it spoils quickly. However, the bread machine makes 1 loaf perfect for the hubs and me!

In addition to convenience and economical factor, it is also more nutritious. I am in complete control of the ingredients, which I love. I like to make 100% whole wheat bread with honey and flax seed. You can really add whatever you like, but I can make bread using 6 ingredients while the bread you buy in the store has at least 12 ingredients–even the “healthy” breads…so many preservatives to make them “shelf stable”…you don’t need that when you make it homemade!

Now that I have convinced you to invest in one 🙂 , I will share my 100% whole wheat bread recipe with you!

*Note, recipe adapted from kingarthur.com with some personal touches.

IMG-4415

100% Whole Wheat Bread

  • Servings: 15-20 slices
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups of lukewarm water
  • 2 tablespoons of canola oil (or oil of choice)
  • 2 tablespoons of honey (or maple syrup)
  • 3 1/2 cups of 100% whole wheat flour (I used King Arthur brand but you may use whatever)
  • 1/4 cup of roughly ground flax seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of active dry yeast (or instant yeast)

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients into bread machine in order listed above. Create a mound in the flour to put your yeast in to prevent from getting wet before pressing “start”.
  2. Settings for bread machine: 1 1/2 lb. loaf, medium crust, whole grain bread setting (if your bread machine does not have a whole grain setting, use the standard setting). Press start.
  3. Let the machine do it’s thing! Once cooked, remove from machine and set on cooling rack. Enjoy!

I typically make a loaf of bread on Sunday for the next week and a half and store it in the fridge (this keeps the bread from molding quickly). My bread machine is very practical for my husband and me–we do not eat a ton of bread but do enjoy it!

Where to find a bread machine:

My husband found mine at Carolina Home Goods in Morganton, NC brand new…if you are not in the area, many department, home, and goods stores carry various brands of bread machines.

So, if you are interested in a bread machine, put it on your Christmas wish list! Maybe Santa will bring you one. 🙂

 

Happy Holidays,

Until Next Time

Happy Chewing!

Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Follow me on social media!

Facebook: Live Better with Kat Detter
Instagram: @betterwithkatdetter_rd
Pinterest: Live Better with Kat Detter