Foods for Your Slumber, Written by: Kayte Corrigan

Sleep is almost a cure all. It can help by increasing your resistance to viruses, reducing pain, improving your memory, and helping you lose weight. Sleep is better than any drug or vitamin you can take. But how does what you eat effect your quality of slumber? Eat the right foods for a better rest.  1. Fish - Boosts Vitamin B6 which is needed to make melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone.

2. Yogurt - Ever heard of drinking a glass of milk before bed? Well, research shows a calcium deficit may link to difficulty falling asleep. Time your Greek Yogurt fix a half hour before bed. 

3. Kale - Not just dairy products are responsible for calcium, leafy greens can supply that as well. Kale is one of the top leafy greens supplying calcium.  

4. Bananas - Potassium and B6 rich also promoting melatonin production. Try whipping up some frozen bananas and 2 tablespoons of real peanut butter for an after dinner treat that promotes sleep. 

5. Chickpeas - Another B6-er. Carrots and hummus as a late snack, or throw some chickpeas in a salad if you’re having a late dinner. 

6. Cherries - Also promotes melatonin release in a study conducted in a small group of adults with chronic insomnia. They drank 2 glasses per day and saw a significant relief in their insomnia. 

7. Whole Grain Toast - It takes a good carb to spike blood sugar levels and trigger insulin production and then bring them back down again. Along with insulin, the release of tryptophan and serotonin to promote relaxation and quell anxiety. Both good things to have on your side when drifting off to dreamland. 

8. Steel Cut Oatmeal - Oatmeal is not only a great complex carbohydrate, but Oats are rich in the sleepy time fave vitamin B6. If you are reaching for a bedtime carb, make sure it’s a complex carb. 

10. Almonds - contain magnesium to promote muscle relaxation and sleep. Almonds provide a protein that will help regulate blood sugar levels and may help you stay asleep. 

The Power of Leafy Greens, Written by: Kayte Corrigan

A lot of people complain, “It’s so hard to get my greens in.” And sometimes your kids won’t even touch the stuff. It’s not easy being green. Yet we still go on feeling irritable, with trouble sleeping, joint pain and congestion.

Making leafy greens a staple in your clean diet might have more power than you think. Take Popeye for example, clearly spinach equals super human powers. I don’t even feel like that after 2 cups of coffee. Leafy greens are a collection of the most nutrient dense foods you can find.

You want the list? Okay… magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, and vitamins A, B, C, E and K. High in fiber, folic acid, and chlorophyll. Would you like blood purification, clear congestion, improved circulation and organ function, eliminate depression and prevent cancer? Want flush waste out and repair your muscles faster after a workout? Throw some spinach in your smoothie and over flow your lunch time salad with kale. Start considering greens as a main even instead of a side garnish.

I’ll even give you a list to choose from:

Collards, Kale, Spinach, Chard, Leaf Mustard, Broccoli Raab, Dandelion Greens, Watercress, Bok Choy, Chicory, Seaweed, Cereal Grass.

Gasp! You’ll have that sudden realization that you DO feel better when you eat leafy greens. And the childhood thought that it was a HUGE conspiracy to keep you locked at the dinner table goes out the window.

Learn more about the variety that could be on your plate here: http://bodyecology.com/articles/healthiest_greens_guide.php#.UQw0RO3ggmw

Okie-dokie Artichoke-y, Written by: Kayte Corrigan

I did not grow up in California so, up until just a few years ago the only artichoke I’d ever had was in a dip with spinach and had only seen their hearts floating in jars. I remember the first time I saw the whole flowering thing, roasted, sitting like a miniature hen. Truth be told, I had to be coached how to eat it, taking one leaf off at a time and scraping the soft “meat” with my teeth. Mmmmm.

It wasn’t until just recently did I attempt to roast a whole one myself. 1 hour fifteen minutes, olive oil, fresh garlic and lemon juice later, I had two delicious little hens for my sweetie and I to enjoy with dinner. We didn’t even need the usual fatty aioli dressing. Neither of us had gotten to the center of an artichoke in a long time, so it was a bit of guess and check fork choreography. Just don’t eat the hairy part.

That’s my artichoke tale, roasting a whole one takes time but it’s super easy. They are good for you too.

Here are the specs: Low calories (about 60), low fat, high in antioxidants (the highest of vegetables), improves gallbladder function, high in fiber (a medium artichoke has more fiber than a cup of prunes!), great for regulating your cholesterol levels, great for your liver (and some say hangover cure). Artichoke extract in supplements are even used to aid indigestion, but you should always ask your doctor before taking any new supplement. 

That’s The Way The Christmas Cookie Crumbles!, Written by: Kayte Corrigan

My favorite holiday tradition is the cookie platter! As a young girl, I’d slave in the kitchen with my aunt baking the usual suspects our family has come to expect year after year, resulting in a spread of sugar cookies, crème-de mint sandwiches, chocolate truffles, peppermint bark and the list goes on! Not quite fit for the dessert of the feast, but a staple treat to share here and there. Except it usually ends up here and there around my middle. This year I began thinking about how I can have my cookie and eat it too. There are lots of gluten free, vegan, half the fat and sugar options that will still have a taste testers begging for more. The best part is telling them they are gilt-free (or less-than-usual guilt) after they praise your baking skills. Skinny for Santa too!

Black and White Cookies

These vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free cookies are simple to make! From Elanas Pantry.

Ingredients:

2 ½ cups blanched almond flour

½ teaspoon celtic sea salt

¼ cup agave nectar

½ cup grapeseed oil

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 cup chocolate drops

Directions:

  1.  In a large bowl, combine almond flour and salt
  2.  In a smaller bowl, combine grapeseed oil, agave and vanilla
  3.  Stir wet ingredients into dry
  4. Chill dough in freezer for 30 minutes between 2 pieces of parchment paper
  5. roll out dough 1/4 to 1/8 inch thick
  6. Using a 2 inch cookie cutter or the top of a 2 inch wide jelly jar, cut out cookies
  7. Bake at 350° on a parchment lined baking sheet for 5-7 minutes until brown around the edges
  8. Cool for ½ hour
  9. In a small saucepan, melt chocolate over very low heat, stirring continuously
  10. Remove saucepan from heat and one by one, dip cookies into chocolate
  11. Set cookies to cool on a parchment lined baking sheet –refrigerate if necessary to harden chocolate
  12. Serve

Makes 24 cookies

Snickerdoodles

This cookie is an anytime treat that takes me back to childhood. Make them better for you by replacing half the butter with applesauce and use whole-wheat pastry flour to increase fiber. From thatsfit.com

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter

1 cup sugar or 1/2 cup Splenda

1/2 cup applesauce

2 eggs, beaten

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add applesauce, eggs and vanilla, and continue to beat until well combined.
  3. In a small bowl, sift together the flours, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture to the liquids and mix well.
  4. Mix together cinnamon and sugar in a shallow dish or plate.
  5. Using about 1 tablespoon at a time, shape the dough into balls and roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat.
  6. Place on a nonstick cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the cookies are set but not hard. Cool on a wire rack.

Makes 3 dozen cookies



Nutrition Content (per cookie)
93 calories, 3 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 14 g carbohydrates, 7 g sugars, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein, 61 mg sodium

Note: Using Splenda instead of sugar reduces the calories to 73, carbohydrates to 9 g and sugars to 1 g.


Gingerbread

You can’t go without dunking this holiday favorite in your milk. Just 60 calories per cookie! From skinnychef.com

Ingredients

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1/4 cup white sesame seeds

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 tablespoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder 1?4 teaspoon ground clove

1/8 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 egg whites

1/4 cup unsulfured dark molasses

Instructions

  1. Preheat an oven to 350°F.
  2. Coat 3 large cookie sheets with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sesame seeds, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cocoa powder, clove, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In another large bowl, with a wooden spoon mash the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla until creamy and well combined.
  5. Add the egg and molasses and stir until blended.
  6. Stir in the flour until a smooth soft dough forms.
  7. Drop by tablespoons onto the cookie sheet.
  8. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until the cookies have puffed and are firm to the touch.
  9. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in an air-tight container for up to 3 days.

Makes 48 Cookies

Nutritional Content Per cookie: 60 calories, 1g protein, 7g carbohydrates, 3g fat (1 g saturated), 7 mg cholesterol, .5 g fiber, 33 mg sodium.

Soup For You, Written by: Kayte Corrigan

It’s feeling like winter! A time for snuggling by a fire, an extra blanket on the bed, and cozy slippers around the house. It’s also time for warm comfort food like soups and stews. Utilize the winter harvest and try this healthy Butternut Squash Soup with Sage from SkinnyTaste.com.

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This winter squash is high in dietary fiber, potassium, and vitamin B6, which are great for healthy heart function and nervous system as well as bone health. Such a pretty color to add to the table too, and that’s not just for looks. The high beta-carotene levels in butternut squash get turned into vitamin A in the body. Studies have shown that vitamin A may aid in averting breast cancer and macular degeneration. It’s also great for lung development in prenatal babies. Scientists are also looking into the anti-inflammatory properties of butternut squash, making it something to stalk up on. This squash can keep for months in a cool dry place.  

Packed with health, this gourd makes a great soup for a warm appetizer, a pick-me-up lunch or a feel-better treat for a neighbor with the flu. Spread the warmth and share! 

Butternut Squash Soup with Sage

Gina’s Weight Watcher Recipes

Servings: 6 • Serving Size: about 1 1/3 cups • Old Points: 1 pt • Points+: 1 pt

Calories: 56.2 • Fat: 0.3 g • Protein: 2.6 g • Carb: 11.4 g • Fiber: 2.6 g

    1 butternut squash, about 2 cups cubed

    1 carrot, peeled

    1 small onion, chopped

    1 celery rib, chopped

    6 cups fat free chicken or vegetable broth

    2 garlic cloves, halved

    4 sage leaves

    1/2 cup 1% milk

    salt and freshly ground pepper

Peel the squash and remove the seeds. Cut into medium size cubes.*

In a large heavy pot, combine squash, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, sage and broth and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low heat for about 40 minutes, until squash is tender.

Discard the sage and using an immersion blender, puree the soup. Add milk and adjust the salt and pepper to taste and serve. Great topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Foodie Friday – Sprouting Taste and Health, Written by: Kayte Corrigan

Brussel Sprouts really get a bad rap from the kids, but if you tried them now, you might be surprised. Health benefits of this veggie include Vitamins C, E, A, Omega-3 as well as antioxidants, a lot of fiber and especially high in Vitamin K. 

They are a great side and very simple to make. Toss in some shallots and you’ll transform the veggie into something new.

Cook for 2 and 1lb of sprouts and 1 to 2 shallots works well, there are usually leftovers. If cooking for more 1.5 lbs and 2.5 to 3 shallots. You’ll need a clove of garlic, olive oil and sea salt.

  • Peel and cut the shallots length wise
  • Peel and cut the garlic into nice thin strips
  • Cut the bottoms off the sprouts and half them… if leaves fall off that’s okay, add them to the bunch
  •  Toss the goodies in oilve oil just enough for a very light coat
  •  Spread out on a cook sheet or if you prefer, put them in a casserole dish. A baking sheet makes them get a little crispy with a great texture. Sprinkle with salt.
  • 450 degrees in the oven until brown or fork tender
  • Optional: dress them up with a twist of lemon juice and a sprinkle of parm!

Foodie Friday: Save The Seeds!, Written by: Kayte Corrigan

Before you throw away the guts of this year’s Jack-O-Lantern, save the seeds! Roasted pumpkin seeds make a great healthy snack packed with zinc, magnesium, and vitamins (A, D, E, K). A healthy dose of zinc helps to prevent Osteoporosis. Pumpkin seeds also contain L-tryptophan to promote relaxation and have anti-inflammatory properties. Which is especially good when your wrist gets sore from all that carving! So quick and easy, when roasted they are great for a movie snack, party munchies, or a tailgate treat. Get creative with seasonings like cayenne pepper, paprika, rosemary, thyme, cinnamon, or just a light dusting of salt and pepper.

Check out these two variations on the pumpkin seed roasting.

And don’t forget to send us your favorite tailgating snacks for our Super Bowl Recipe Book! Hope this season’s pumpkin seeds inspire some other snacks!

 

Foodie Friday - Trainers Talk Carbs, Written by: Kayte Corrigan

First carbs were good, then carbs were bad. Now we’re supposed to limit the carbs, but that doesn’t seem right either. We asked a couple of your favorite trainers what they thought.

Marla gets grains from the farmer’s market.

“My muscles need some fuel!  As a yoga and fitness instructor on the go, I need to keep my energy consistent throughout the day. I like my classes to be upbeat and charged with energy, and that happens when I am eating good food and staying hydrated. Good carbs, whole grains and fresh fruits, keep me going. I visit the farmer’s markets around town and grab my favorites for the week. Fresh fruit or smoothies are good for your morning wake up and in the afternoon for a satisfying snack. Brown rice, whole wheat bread or crackers, cannellini beans or whole grain pasta round out the perfect meal. Carbs are essential.”

Amber fuels by family traditions.

“I’ve never been a huge fan of “diets” that exclude carbohydrates.  Personally, my body functions better when I am including a healthy portion of good carbs (and even “bad carbs” on occasion).  My husband grew up with his Italian Grandma serving up pasta with a delicious homemade sauce.  He has worked hard to perfect his own sauce and it is one of my favorite dishes!  To make it healthier, we often serve it up with whole wheat or whole grain pasta.  Carbohydrates play an important role in providing my body with the energy it needs to function, as well as helping me maintain the highly active lifestyle I enjoy!  Just like a car, the body needs fuel to run, and the right carbohydrates are significant ingredients to the fuel!”

Choose the right fuel for you! Carbs approved! 

 

Healthy Tailgate Snack – Sweet Potato Fries with a Kick, Written by: Kayte Corrigan

Through out football season we’ll be glued to the TV, travelling to tailgates, and watching our own modern day gladiators battle it out in the Western World’s coliseum. Whether your hosting, contributing, or sharing snacks keeping fans happy and healthy help narrow down your options for game day. This season we encourage you to share nutritious tailgating treats. We hope to have a long list of health conscious choices tested for fan approval by Superbowl Sunday.

Send us your snacks here: info@highintesitypilates.com or leave it in a comment on this post!

For this weekend’s blitz try Sweet Potato Fries With a Kick!

Recipe from Trainer, Kayte Walsh

I make these all the time for a side dish with dinner or game time or movie night snack. 2 or 3 potatoes make a great batch to share with a couple people. You can use either sweet potatoes (gold color) or yams (orange color), but I prefer sweet potatoes because they seem to come out a little firmer yet still soft in the center.

Preheat your oven to 350. Start by peeling and cutting the chosen potatoes into fries. Thickness depends on you. I like a little narrower than the average steak fries. Toss cut potatoes in a bowl with a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil and sprinkle on some cayenne pepper (that’s where the kick comes from). Spread out on a cookie sheet and bake for 30 min turning the fries over at the half way mark. So simple, so nutritious, but beware of dipping sauces with lots of fat or sugar. I like a just little touch of ketchup or even on their own!

Foodie Friday – Tea Time, Written by: Kayte Corrigan

It’s hard to imagine trying to get cozy and warm with this late summer heat, but fall is on my mind as I turn the calendar to another page. A cup of tea is perfect to curb that afternoon snacking-because-I’m-bored feeling. Teatime, the Brits were really onto something.

Green Tea - Green tea’s antioxidants may interfere with the growth of bladder, breast, lung, stomach, pancreatic, and colorectal cancers, at least in test tube studies. It also can prevent clogging of the arteries, burn fat, counteract oxidative stress on the brain, reduce risk of neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, reduce risk of stroke.

Black Tea - Studies have shown that black tea may protect lungs from damage caused by exposure to cigarette smoke. It also may reduce the risk of stroke. Black Tea is awarded with the most caffeine and includes theanine, which may seem to heighten mental alertness better than a cup of coffee.

White Tea – This tea could actually have more cancer fighting properties in its antioxidants than Green tea. Stay up to date on your tea-search to see what researchers find out.

Oolong Tea – The anti-aging drink. The US, Taiwan, and Japan conducted recent animal research to support this claim along with lower cholesterol levels.

Chamomile tea - Its antioxidants may help prevent complications from diabetes, like loss of vision and nerve and kidney damage.

Stock up on your favorite varietal in anticipation of the coming chill!