How to Start Eating Healthier

You may want to start eating healthier, but getting the ball rolling can be an uphill endeavor. These little ideas will help get you motivated to start eating healthier.

Make a List

When you get hungry, the last thing you feel like doing is running down a mental list of available healthy foods to eat. That’s why you probably end up grabbing whatever is closest to you and chowing down, vowing to start eating healthy tomorrow.

Instead, sit down and make a list of foods that you determine to be healthiest for you and your goals. Don’t just write a shopping list. Make a list of actual meals that you can prepare and eat. Include what day you’re going to have them, and what time. The more prepared you are when hunger strikes, the more likely you will be to have something ready without having to think too hard about it.

Buy a Cookbook

Flipping through a cookbook with enticing photographs of healthy food will get you inspired to start eating healthy. Buy a cookbook or two that has nothing but healthy food recipes. Make sure it has a photo for every recipe, so you can visualize yourself dining on the healthy options. Put bookmarks on pages that really make you want to get up and start cooking. These are the dishes that will offer you the best motivation to start your new healthy eating plan.

Buy Some New Clothes

Wearing the same clothes everyday when you already feel unattractive can keep you in a negative rut that’s hard to get out of. Put on your best outfit and go shopping for some new clothes. Buy a few that fit you now, and something special that you can work toward fitting into after you’ve achieved your weight goal. The change will help you to see yourself as someone new and fresh who is capable of switching eating habits for the better.

Stop Looking in the Mirror

If your appearance really gets you down, stop obsessing over your flaws in the mirror. Seriously, you don’t need a visual examination over every wrinkle or bulge. Just stop looking in the mirror, get dressed, and be on your merry way. Wait at least a month before you give yourself a once over again. This time, you’ll be pleasantly surprised, instead of walking away thinking how bad you look.

Buy a Cool Scale

If you’re trying to lose weight (or even gain weight), having a cool scale will make the process easier to measure progress. Get yourself a digital scale that measures ounces as well as pounds. They even have scales that speak your weight, if that’s what you need to keep motivated to eat healthier. Just don’t weigh yourself everyday, because daily fluctuations in weight are normal, and have little to do with your eating habits. If you gain a couple ounces after eating healthy all day, you could lose motivation to continue to eat healthy. Every three days or so is sufficient to track your progress and measure your results.

Choose Restaurants

If cooking isn’t your thing, choose some local restaurants that serve healthy foods with wholesome ingredients. Keep a list of these restaurants at hand so that when you come home late from work and don’t feel like cooking, you’ll have a backup plan that doesn’t involve Domino’s Pizza.

Invest in Partitioned Storage Containers

If you’re short on time like most of us, you need some quick options for meals every now and then. Invest in some portioned storage containers so you can make your own version of TV dinners. Instead of pudding and mashed potatoes, fill them with things like brown rice, steamed broccoli and turkey breast. Prepare them ahead of time and stack in your refrigerator or freezer. Just pop one in the microwave when all you can think about is flopping on the couch in front of the television.

The key to getting the ball rolling to start eating healthier is to be prepared. When you stock up on the tools that will help you reach your goals, get ready for instances when there’s no time to cook, and be kind to yourself by not obsessing over your image, you stand a pretty good chance of improving your eating habits for good.

6 Waffle Iron Hacks

Break out the waffle iron! Here are six awesome ways you can get more use out of a kitchen appliance you haven’t paid enough attention to!

1. The Waffle Iron Baconator

What if I told you there’s an easier way to make bacon? What if I said you already have everything you need to make tasty, perfectly cooked bacon without getting grease on your clothes and countertops?

Yes, that’s right. You can make bacon in your waffle iron. Say goodbye to grease splatters and sloppy stovetops. Just slap on a few strips of your preferred bacon variety and press. (Thick cut bacon works heaps better than the see-through stringy stuff, though.) Now you can enjoy your two favorite breakfast treats with one gadget. If you really want to be clever, and you have one of those twin waffle makers, cook the bacon on one side of the iron and and the waffle on the other side, at the same time. Now you’re cookin’!

2. Waffled Panini

You really love paninis. If you only had a panini maker, you would start bringing your lunch to work everyday, and that would save huge bucks, right? You could probably save enough money to actually go on a real vacation next year, and not just dog sit in your brother’s condo for the weekend. Well, start packing, because you are about to find out how to make paninis in your waffle iron!

Turn on your waffle iron to medium high and let it warm up. Butter one side of two slices of bread (wheat, if you’re feeling healthy). Put one piece of bread butter side down on the bottom of the waffle iron. Put your filling of choice on top, then layer on the second slice of bread, butter side up. Close the iron and cook for about three minutes; longer if you like darker bread.

3. Buffalo Chicken Waffles

There’s really no reason why any occasion should not celebrated with a fine feast that includes Buffalo chicken in some form. Don’t let the lack of a deep fryer stop you from enjoying the taste of Buffalo chicken. Not you. Here’s what to do.

Give your waffle iron a healthy spritz of non-stick spray. Heat it up to medium-high. Lay down some strips of chicken tenders that have been marinating in Buffalo wing sauce overnight. Close the iron and cook for at approximately four minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Serve with dipping sauce, such as Ranch dressing. (Note: While chicken tenders are thin enough to cook through on a waffle iron, other poultry cuts might not be thin enough. Wash iron thoroughly before cooking again with it.)

4. Mozzarella Waffle Sticks

If you have kids, you already know how popular mozzarella sticks are. This convenient snack makes them happy and you feel good because it’s protein-packed. The only problem is, those commercial mozzarella sticks may or may not have added ingredients in the breading that don’t spell healthy with a capital H.

Mozzarella waffle sticks are easy to make at home. Buy a block of mozzarella cheese and slice it into sticks. Substitute fontina or provolone if you want. Dip the sticks in milk and roll them sticks in breadcrumbs. Place in a pre-heated and greased waffle iron for just about one minute, or until the breading is golden brown. Great for your kid’s lunch box, or even your own bagged office lunch. Hey, it’s healthier than a vending machine candy bar, right?

5. Mexican Waffles

One of the best things about Mexican cuisine (in my humble opinion), is that cheese usually plays a big role in every dish. Luckily, waffle irons are perfect for melting cheese to that perfect warm and creamy consistency that we all know and love.

To make Mexican waffles (okay, quesadillas with a waffle iron pattern), just butter and pre-heat your iron to medium. Lay down a flour tortilla, and spread some shredded cheese on top of that. Get all fancy with it by adding chopped scallions or maybe even some pre-cooked shredded chicken. Place a second flour tortilla on top of the filling. Close the iron and cook for between 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Slice with a pizza cutter and serve with a dollop of sour cream.

6. Waffled Cookies

It’s late. You’re kicking back in the arms of your best friend and lover watching a movie that he let you pick out. The lights are off and you’re feeling all warm and fuzzy inside, wondering how you ever got this lucky. Suddenly, he says he has a craving. No prob, you think. I’ve got plenty of chips on hand. No, he says. It’s cookies he’s craving. Can you mix up a quick batch? (Queue needle scratching on vinyl.) How can you refuse, when your hunk has agreed to watch The English Patient—again? No worries, darling. Just slip into the kitchen and heat up the waffle iron….

Open up that tube of cookie dough you were saving. Slice off bits about ¼ inch wide. Cook in waffle iron for about 3 minutes. (Your waffle iron might cook them faster or longer, so keep checking them.) You’ll be back on the couch with a warm plate of cookies before the opening credits are over, trust me!

Now that you know that the waffle iron isn’t just for making waffles, you’ll want to keep it handy. A good place for it is in the kitchen. Or in the office kitchenette. Or on your nightstand. Or in the dorm. Or at your boyfriend’s house. Actually, it might make sense to pick up an extra waffle iron. You know, in case you ever just want to make waffles with one of them.

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Cooking Without Cleanup

Even passionate cooks often dislike the part where you have to clean up after cooking. The dirty countertops, the sink full of dirty dishes, and the soiled pots and pans can be a real deterrent to cooking. Yet, you want to make homemade meals so you and your family can eat healthy. What’s a lovely home cook to do?

What if I told you that there are ways to enjoy cooking at home in your kitchen without having to deal with a ton of cleanup? You can cut your cleanup time in half with these kitchen tricks.

I wish I could say that I thought of these ideas all by myself, but that’s not so. Hundreds or even thousands of years ago, people cooked using a variety of creative means that didn’t entail the use of pots and pans. Cuisinart wasn’t even invented yet, so they had to make do. These recipes are a blending of old ideas with new ones. Thanks in advance to the talented chefs who shared these techniques.

Here are our favorites recipes for cooking without cleanup.

Baked Potato

If you’ve been tempted to buy those cellophane-wrapped baked potatoes at the supermarket that are supposedly microwave-ready, don’t bother. You’ll pay a premium price for something you don’t even need. First of all, if you want to bake a potato in your microwave, you can cover it with regular plastic wrap—there’s no “special” microwave wrap. But this method that I’m going to tell you about is much better than any microwaved baked potato, anyway.

Preheat your oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place one or more washed and dried potatoes on the paper, and bake for approximately one hour. When the potato is done, you’ll be able to easily insert a knife. Take it out, and while it’s still warm, slam it down on your kitchen counter (go ahead—it feels good!) to break up the insides and flatten the bottom. Serve with fixings of your choice, such as: chopped chives, sour cream, butter, bacon bits, shredded cheddar cheese or salsa.

Recipe inspired by “Martha Stewart’s Cooking School,” by Martha Stewart

Bagged Chicken

You can sometimes find whole chickens on sale for 99 cents a pound at supermarkets. But you may regretfully pass up this bargain because you know that roasting a chicken can be a bit of an ordeal, and you just don’t have time for the rigamarole of getting out your chicken roasting pan and basting the bird. If so, this recipe is going to change your life. You can also use this recipe with Cornish game hens and small whole turkeys in place of chicken.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken, rinsed and patted dry (this recipe figures for a 3-lb. chicken)
  • 2 Tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Put all the ingredients (except the bird) in a coffee mug (or paper cup if you want zero dirty dishes) and stir thoroughly with a spoon.
  3. Tear off about an 18-inch sheet of parchment paper.
  4. Wrap up the chicken in the parchment paper, folding the paper according to the method on the box.
  5. (If you can’t fold the paper so it stays closed, used masking tape to keep it sealed.)
  6. Place the wrapped bird in a paper bag, and fold that closed, too.
  7. Now wrap the whole shebang in aluminum foil.
  8. Place the package in the oven and bake for about an hour and 15 minutes.

Recipe inspired by “The Frugal Gourmet,” by Jeff Smith

Salmon with Pesto Sauce

Salmon has so many health benefits that it’s a shame to skip this dish just because it’s a pain to cook. Home cooks often complain that it sticks to the bottom of the skillet, and that the fishy smell permeates the house. Not any more. This simple recipe will have you eating fish at least three times a week. Now, this recipe uses pesto, but if you dislike pesto for some reason, or you want to change things up, you can substitute garlic butter, or another sauce you prefer. By the way, you can buy small jars of pre-made pesto that aren’t half bad at most large supermarkets.

Ingredients:

  • 1 salmon fillet, skin on, boneless
  • 1 Tablespoon pesto sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions: 

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Coat the salmon with the cooking oil.
  3. Tear off a sheet of aluminum foil large enough to encase the filet.
  4. Lay the salmon on top of the foil.
  5. Drizzle the lemon juice on the salmon.
  6. Spoon the pesto sauce on the salmon.
  7. Fold and seal the foil around the salmon.
  8. Place the bundle on a baking tray and cook for 15 minutes.

Recipe inspired by JamiesHomeCookingSkills.com (Jamie Oliver)

These are three recipes that you can make with hardly any cleanup at all. What are some ways that you try to avoid cleanup in the kitchen? Let us know your favorite cooking without cleanup methods in the comments below.

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Make Your Own Healthy Trail Mix

“Trail mix” is a general term that is essentially anything you’re bringing with you while you hike. There are lots of commercial varieties of trail mix, but a lot of them are more candy than healthy treat. In addition, the price per pound of store bought mix is fairly hefty. You can save a lot of money and make a healthier version of trail mix if you make it yourself. For the best savings, try to buy ingredients in bulk, although you’ll still save money on trail mix with standard size ingredient packages.

The next thing to do is consider what you actually like in your mix. When you buy commercial varieties, for the most part you’re stuck with what they give you. You usually end up eating fattening ingredients you would never have put in there yourself, or you throw away and waste ingredients you dislike. So really think about the ingredients listed below and decide if you want them in your trail mix.

Possible Trail Mix Ingredients:

Peanuts

Peanuts are not really nuts, so if you do have a nut allergy, you may still be able to eat peanuts. On the other hand, if you have a peanut allergy specifically, you might want to avoid all nuts in your trail mix, since many of the manufacturing facilities that process nuts, also process peanuts.

Cashews

If you want to have cashews in your trail mix, toast them lightly before adding them in. Raw cashews contain urushiol, which is the same chemical that causes severe itching from poison ivy. Since you hike, I don’t need to tell you twice to avoid urushiol. There is some debate about the issues with raw cashews, but it only takes a minute to toast raw cashews on a dry cast iron skillet at 350 degrees in the oven, so why not do it?

Almonds

Slivered almonds make the best shape and size for inclusion in your trail mix, but it’s extremely time consuming to sliver whole almonds without a special tool. (Trust me, I’ve done it.) It’s worth it to pay a little extra for processed slivered almonds for your trail mix. Alternatively, you could take whole blanched almonds and just chop them gently with a mallet. The shapes won’t be consistent, but if that’s not a concern, go for it.

Raisins or Craisins

Raisins or Craisins are a great addition to homemade trail mix. They add sweetness and moisture. To keep your raisins or Craisins from sticking together, toss them in a separate bowl with a tablespoon or so of ground flax seed. The flax will coat the raisins and Craisins so they are more evenly distributed inside your trail mix bag.

Dried Fruit

Besides raisins and Craisins, you can get dried peaches, plums, mangos, apricots and more. Most of the time, these dried fruits are too big to go straight into your trail mix. You’ll have to chop them into smaller bits so they conform better to the other ingredient sizes in your trail mix.

Chocolate

M&Ms sure are tasty, but that colored coating is loaded with artificial dyes. If that’s a concern, opt for natural chocolate. Since the word on chocolate lately is that a little bit is good for you, there are many more options for dark and white chocolate that is short of being bitter, without being cloyingly sweet. Just break the bar of chocolate up with a chef’s knife to create bite sized pieces to add to your trail mix.

Once you have all your ingredients selected from the list above, get out a huge bowl, and add the items. Use a wooden spoon to mix them all up. (Don’t use your hands because you don’t want to add germs to the mix. Wheat germ is okay. Hand germ is not.) Store in plastic bags or sealed glass or plastic jars. Nuts stay fresh longer in the refrigerator, so if you make a big batch, avoid storing your trail mix in the cupboard where it may go rancid. Label the containers and lace up your hiking boots, because now you’re ready to hit the trail!

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How To Stay Stress-Free During The Holidays

Let’s figure out how to stay stress-free during the holidays. The American Psychological Association reports that holiday stress affects women more than men. The added work of preparing holiday meals, shopping for gifts, decorating the home and coming up with extra money for holiday spending, apparently takes its toll, and not the cookie kind of toll. 61% of women polled reported feeling stressed out during what is supposed to be the happiest time of the year.

Stress can cause its own bevy of problems, including reduced cognitive function, lowered immune system, headache, fatigue, depression and more. So what’s a girl to do with so much to do during the holidays? Here’s what you can do to stay stress-free during the holidays.

  1. Delegate

Who ever said you have to do everything by yourself? There are lots of tasks to do during the holidays that are perfect for delegating. But first you have to reconcile yourself with the fact that everything is going to work out, even if it doesn’t work out the way you wanted. Relieving stress through delegating won’t work if you’re stressed out that the other person won’t do their assigned task “correctly.” So loosen the reins and be prepared for imperfect results. Some tasks that you can delegate to another adult in the family without the holidays being utterly ruined for the rest of eternity include:

  • Buying wrapping paper, ribbon and tape
  • Wrapping gifts
  • Shopping for ingredients for holiday meals
  • Cleaning the interior of the car for transporting friends and family
  • Doing extra loads of laundry
  • Bringing decorations down from the attic
  • Clipping coupons on favorite food brands
  • Gassing up the car/grill/snow blower
  • Selecting holiday music
  1. Indulge a Little

As a woman, you already know that you often put your needs last. With so much holiday hustle and bustle, it’s even less likely that you’re going to make time to relax and distress. After all, who has time for a scented bubble bath when the furniture hasn’t yet been polished for your white-glove wearing Aunt Myrtle who’s arriving in two days?

Now is the time to indulge yourself just a little. These shouldn’t become lifelong habits, but if they relieve the stress a little during the holidays, there’s no harm in these indulgent treats.

  • Sip on some spiked eggnog with your honey after the kids have gone to bed.
  • For every time you buy gifts for your family, get yourself a tiny single piece of chocolate at the register counter.
  • Rent a movie that only you will love and lock yourself in the bedroom while you watch it on your tablet/laptop/bedroom TV. Don’t answer the door if anyone knocks (especially kids who need help finding something).
  • After work, order a pizza delivery for the family and go to a spa for a facial instead of rushing home to cook dinner.

I’m sure you’ll be able to think of more and better ways to indulge yourself than I can. After all, you’re you! Creative genius and master of your domain!

  1. Stop

That’s right, just stop. Sometimes preparing for the holidays can be like painting a picture. As the artist, you never can tell when it’s finished. Or maybe it’s never finished. If you are saying things to yourself like, “just one more side dish – three isn’t enough,” or “I think the tree needs more tinsel,” or “does Jimmy have enough presents to open?” then it’s time to—stop. Pencils down. Or rather, whisks down. At some point, enough is enough and it’s time to sit down and watch the holiday come to you.

Remember, everything is going to be all right. It really will. Aunt Myrtle will probably bring her green bean casserole like she always does. Jimmy won’t even notice that he “only” got ten gifts. And the tinsel? Your cat will have it all pulled off the tree by Christmas anyway. Live a little. Have another glass of eggnog.

 

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Savory Shrimp and Scallion Quinoa Bowl

 

Are you looking for an easy way to combine all the nutrient-dense ingredients that make you feel your best? This Shrimp Scallion Quinoa Bowl is a bountiful and flavorsome recipe made with quinoa, kale, shrimp, scallions, red peppers and cashews. It’s clean, wholesome food that you can serve up for lunch or dinner.

One thing that I really love about Shrimp Scallion Quinoa Bowl is that it travels well. Because it isn’t laden down with oils or sauces, it doesn’t get soggy. And yet, it has plenty of natural moisture to make it really tasty when you are ready to eat it.

I’ve brought my Shrimp Scallion Quinoa Bowl to work, on road trips and even to the beach. It’s a light meal that doesn’t leave you feeling heavy or bloated, so it’s fine to eat while you’re stuck in the car on long drives, sitting at your desk all day, or enjoying listening to the waves in your beach lounger. Even though it’s light, it’s very filling and satisfying. Once you’ve had Shrimp Scallion Quinoa Bowl, you won’t feel hungry again for hours. It may even ride you through the three o’clock afternoon slump!

Quinoa

Quinoa is the main ingredient in the Shrimp Scallion Quinoa Bowl. Now, before you start backing away when I say “grain,” you should know that quinoa is actually only a partial grain. It’s completely gluten-free, so worry no more. It’s one of the only foods with all of the essential amino acids your body needs, which is why they call quinoa a complete protein. You could actually live off this stuff!

In fact, quinoa has an interesting backstory. It’s over 6,000 years old, and served as a staple food for the Andes Indians. The Incas considered quinoa to be the most sacred food, believing it to be a gift from the god. It’s one of three grains that was able to withstand the harsh climate of the Andes Mountains, so you can see why they would venerate it so. The indigenous people of Peru and Bolivia still heavily rely on quinoa in their diet, because it nourishes and sustains the body for long periods of time, staving off hunger until the next meal can be found.

Kale

Kale is a contentious little green; people either love it or hate it. I have to confess, before our family came up with this recipe, the only way I could get kale inside me was in green smoothies (which I love). This recipe has kale in it, but it’s not an overwhelming taste. It truly complements the other flavors in the dish, and without kale, this Shrimp Scallion Quinoa Bowl just wouldn’t be the same. So, even if you’re not a fan of kale, I urge you to try this recipe at least once.

Okay, I know I have been keeping you in suspense! Without more ado, here’s the recipe for Shrimp Scallion Quinoa Bowl. Serves 2.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Quinoa, dry (to yield about 2 cups cooked)
  • 2-3 leaves Kale, washed and finely chopped
  • Handful Shrimp, cooked (baby or large)
  • ½ cup Red Pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 Scallions, chopped
  • ¼ cup Cashews, roasted and rough chopped

Directions:

  1. Cook the quinoa according to package instructions.
  2. Finely chop the kale, and toss it in a bowl with drizzled olive oil, lemon and salt. (Don’t go nuts with the olive oil. “Drizzle,” not “drown.”)
  3. Heat a skillet with a little water and quickly sauté the red peppers and scallions.
  4. Add the kale and cooked shrimp and quickly toss together with the pepper and scallion until heated through.
  5. Add the kale, shrimp, scallions and peppers to the quinoa and mix.
  6. Serve in bowls and garnish with chopped cashews.

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Holiday Gift Guide for the Chef in Your Circle

Is there a home chef on your gift list? It’s a lot of fun to shop for someone who appreciates the bliss of creating home-cooked meals. Whether they are just beginning, or are already good enough to open up their own bistro, you’re sure to find something yummy on this holiday gift guide for the chef in your circle.

INDIAN SPICE BOX

In India, women carry their own spices with them, much the same way a head chef in America carries and uses his own kitchen knives wherever he goes to cook. An Indian spice box is an aluminum sealed container that traditionally holds the seven spices that comprise Masala Dabba, but your friend can store any spices they want. Your gift recipient will certainly appreciate the culture and care that is behind this unique chef’s gift.

PRESSURE CANNER

Most chefs dream of canning their own fresh vegetables and fruits for convenient use any time of year. A pressure canner utilizes technology to make the tricky process of canning just a little easier. Its dual function as both a pressure cooker and a canner helps save storage space in your recipient’s kitchen.

SUSHI KIT

For daring home cooks, making sushi is a feat worth trying. Sushi can be made with vegetables or with seafood, so even vegetarian chefs will enjoy receiving this deluxe sushi kit that comes complete with a cookbook and enough ingredients to make 125 pieces of sushi. Even after the ingredients are gone, the special sushi making tools will last a lifetime.

Anti-Fatigue Mat (https://www.amazon.com/Comfort-Waterproof-Sultans-Linens-Espresso/dp/B01D9AA2XW/ref=sr_1_2?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1481664025&sr=1-2-spons&keywords=kitchen+mat&psc=1)

Standing in the kitchen making meals for hours is hard on the feet. Show your chef friend how much you care with the gift of an anti-fatigue mat. The one featured is easy to clean, skid resistant and waterproof, three additional qualities your cooking kin is sure to appreciate!

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How to Transition to a Healthier Diet

Almost everyone has goals of eating healthier, but the reality is often too difficult to manage. It seems like life always tempts you, right?

One morning you wake up bound and determined to start eating healthier, and you feel like this is the day! This is the first day of the rest of your life! Then the monkey wrench gets tossed. At work, it’s someone’s birthday (isn’t it always?). A giant slice of frosted chocolate cake with gorgeous pink and green flowers is thrust into your shaking hands. A paper cup with bubbles of champagne popping delightfully above is handed to you with a cheery “Bottoms up!” You can already feel the bubbles tickling your nose. What else is a girl to do but wish her boss “happy birthday” and indulge a little?

Naturally, this leads to a massive sugar craving that hits you like a freight train. When the crew invites you for drinks and apps after work, there’s no resisting the temptation. Several hours and two blooming onions plus more than your fair share of nachos later, you’re lying in bed feeling sick to your stomach and sick of your weakness. Maybe tomorrow will be better….

Steady on. You know, you don’t have to go full in when you want to start eating a healthier diet. In fact, some studies show that transitioning slowly may yield longer-lasting results. So how about taking it nice and easy and trying these ideas for transitioning into a healthy diet.

START WITH ONE

That’s right, just one tiny little “tweak” in your diet can snowball into a whole new healthy you! The trick is to just let yourself think that’s all you’re doing – ever. If you get the idea that this is the start of having to give up every little goodie you love, it might not work. Say to yourself, “I’m willing to do this one little thing, but THAT’S IT!” When you start to feel better about yourself both mentally and physically, you’re ready for the next step.

ADD IN A NEW EXPERIENCE

One of the best ways to make a change in your life – diet or otherwise  – is to initiate some kind of change. To help transition to a healthier diet, add in a new experience to your life. It can be anything really. Try eating your lunch on a bench in the park instead of in the office kitchen. Or start bicycling to work instead of driving. Or try going to the movies by yourself one night a week. Anything that will help your brain take notice that you’re changing. Believe it or not, this will help you make that healthy transition into eating better.

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Giuliano Hazan and His Extraordinary Food and Wine Tours in Italy

It is evening in Valpolicella, Italy, but a light warm breeze is blowing. A dozen or more people are seated around antique dining tables in the middle of an early 16th century Italian villa near Verona. The people are laughing and talkative, their wineglasses sparkling and their plates full. The tables are laden with Italian dishes that they have prepared themselves. Tomorrow they will journey together to explore this region of Italy, but tonight is consumed with delicious homemade food, excellent wine and new friends. This night has been made possible by Italian Chef Giuliano Hazan.

 

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3 Best Crazy Good Sandwiches in Columbus, Ohio

What’s Columbus got that other hometowns lack? Well, a lot of things, but one that comes to mind is the selection of mind-blowing sandwiches throughout the city. What’s a girl to do with so many delicious sandwiches to choose from? Why, try them all, of course!

Mama Rueben

So there you are, minding your own business walking down Kossuth Street in German Village, when a delicious smell greets your senses, emanating from Schmidt’s Sausage Haus und Restaurant. Follow your nose and order yourself a Mama Rueben sandwich. Once it arrives, go ahead and marvel at the masterpiece before you. You’ll find Schmidt’s signature Bahama Mama sausage in a unique patty style (no links for you!), served on special toasty Rye bread, and smothered with melted Swiss cheese, Thousand Island dressing and…wait for it…sweet slaw instead of sauerkraut! Oh, the glory of it all!

What’s a Bahama Mama and why is it on a German restaurant menu, you ask? Good question. I wondered myself. As the story goes, Grover Schmidt, third generation of the Schmidt family, traveled to the Bahamas one year. He tasted and brought back a spicy sausage that his brother George and the rest of the Schmidt family loved so much that they decided to make their own version. Thus, the Bahama Mama was born, and the legacy lives on through what is now the fifth generation of the Schmidt family. A unique blending of Bahamian and German cultures has become Columbus’ top sandwich ingredient. All I can say is, thank you, Grover!

The Thurminator

The Thurman Café in German Village has dibs on THE biggest burger in all of Columbus. Aptly monikered “The Thurminator,” this baby could feed a hungry family of eight for a month. (Well, almost.) I know I’m not foraging for food anytime soon after chowing down on this double burger doozie. Comes with not one, but two 12-ounce patties, and the works. Mushrooms, bacon, onions – you name it, it’s on there. This monster is so huge it barely fits inside your mouth. Got a hungry man in your life? Bring him to the Thurman Café and he’ll love you forever.

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