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Volume III
February, 2012

Newsletter Home / Table Talk

7 Simple Steps to Keep You on the Slim Down

By Calli Rhoades

None of these tips are difficult, but as we head in to new goals for health and happiness we can always use little reminders of anything that will make it a little easier. Unhealthy eating habits often become the "default" we fall back to when we get bored, frustrated, tired, etc. of making effort that is required to stay on track. Try these suggestions for staying on track!

1. Downsize your dishes: As simple as this sounds, you are likely to eat less when your plate is smaller. That doesn't mean you won't go back for more, but the old "eyes are bigger than the stomach" trick can really go overboard with a giant plate. Use a smaller, more sensible plate and it may be easier to keep sensible portions in check.

2. Display that beautiful fresh fruit: Not only does a colorful fruit bowl look gorgeous (especially during gray winter months), but it provides a constant reminder to your brain that the fruit is there... and will taste delicious. Somehow I can always remember the chocolate in my cupboard, but forget the apples in the crisper drawer. Keep some fruit visible and you can turn the corner to healthier snacking.

3. Keep treats out of reach: This is helpful for adults and kids alike. Use your prime space for healthier items and put the junk (we all have a stash here or there!) in a harder to reach place. If the candy is on the top shelf of the highest cabinet and the apples are in that beautiful centerpiece bowl on the table, your kids might just actually pick the fruit instead!

4. Break out the blender: This seems extreme for some cooks, but it is a fantastic way to add nutrients to a variety of dishes and even sneak in those daily vegetable servings. There are whole cookbooks dedicated to this practice and lots of people swear by it for packing muffins, meatloaf, and even chicken nuggets full of vitamins. You simple steam vegetables and then puree them and add them to delicious recipes. It may take a little practice (or some trusted recipes from online), but there are some delicious surprises out there.

5. Fill your freezer: No matter how devoted you are to healthy eating, we all have those nights that we just don't have time or energy for a nutritious masterpiece. On those days a well prepared freezer can be the difference between healthy and homemade and a bag full of greasy takeout. You can keep casseroles, vegetables, meatloaves, and literally thousands of other things frozen and ready for those crazy nights.

6. Spruce up your spice rack: It is time to throw away the paprika you bought on in 1991. Yeah, that one... I know it is old because it still has that price tag on it from the store that went out of business when I was still in high school! Oh wait, sorry, I took a mental trip back to my mom's spice cabinet for a second there, but odds are you might have a few spices like that too. Keep them fresh. Watch the dates on the bottle and don't get caught in the false thought that spices last forever - they don't! Boredom is a major reason for slipping in to bad habits and keeping fresh, flavorful spices on the spice rack will help stave off the boredom.

7. Keep cold water handy: Drinking enough water is a major key to slimming down or just staying healthy. Keep it cold so it is just as refreshing (or more) than those other drinks in the fridge. Remember to drink it often because a lot of craving and snacking are the result of needing water.

Whatever your goals are for this year I wish you all the success and happiness you can bear!

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