Happy Holidays! A Christmas cookie tradition…

Tradition! Tra-dit-ion. Tra-dit-ion!

If any of you are musical theater geeks like myself, you might be singing along with me to the opening number of the classic Fiddler on the Roof. Otherwise, you might be thinking this girl has gone off her Christmas rocker. Whenever I think of tradition, I can’t help but flash back to a younger version of myself dressed as a Russian village person circa 1900 and singing ‘tra-dit-ion!’

Flash forward to the holiday season 2010. My family has a long-lived tradition of making cookies around Christmas time. My grandmother started the tra-dit-ion back in the day by making the following mouth-watering festive cookies:

  • Classic cut-outs (need I say more)
  • Peanut butter blossoms (peanut butter sugar cookies with a hershey’s kiss in the middle)
  • 3. Pineapple turnovers (cream cheese dough makes for a pastry like cookie filled with pineapple preserves topped with frosting glaze)

    4. Mexican wedding…

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    My yoga journey

    Ommmm… there is something so soothing about chanting in unison with a group of people after a great big inhale. And on the exhale, we say ommmm (actually pronounced aum). The act of chanting aum is an affirmation of the divine presence that is the universe and is an approach to initiate yourself as the who pursues the path of sound toward wholeness and higher states of consciousness [yoga journal]. I also read in Brain Wave Vibration by Ilchi Lee (founder of Dahn Yoga) that chanting produces vibrations in our bodies which ultimately calm the mind. I went through a Dahn Yoga phase a while back and the classes are based on a Korean inspired yoga that focuses on body tapping and energy flow. I found the process enlightening but stopped going due to an injury and never went back after hearing stories about the practice being cult-ish.


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    Fun and flavorful fajitas

    The other week at work, my coworkers were on a Mexican kick.  No, I don’t mean they were wearing sombreros or shaking maracas around the clinic. I’m talking food people. Good ol’ Mexican food like quesadillas and fajitas. I was surrounded by the smells of cumin, cayenne pepper and chili powder. Tortillas, beans, and veggies on my mind.

    I obviously had no other choice but to succumb to my cravings and take a little trip to Trader Joe’s to get the essentials: black beans, red and green peppers, onion, cheese, whole wheat tortillas, salsa, and a mix of spices that TJ conveniently combined to create a taco seasoning mix.

    I sauteed the onions and peppers with a bit of EVOO and garlic and added a little of the taco seasoning (chili powder, paprika, cumin, pepper, sea salt) to the veggies. Once the onion and peppers were tender, I added the…

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    A little bit a acorn squash

    It’s that time of year again. Winter squash is back in action. One of my favorite things about the fall and winter is harvest vegetables! Acorn squash, butternut squash, pumpkin, turnip, sweet potato…I’ll take em all!

    If you remember last year I dished out the nutrition details on acorn squash when I made Southwestern Stuffed Acorn Squash. For a little refresher, acorn squash is loaded with vitamins A and C, and packed with potassium, magnesium, folate, iron, and fiber. Named after its acorn-like shape, this squash has a subtle sweet taste. Enjoy it as a side dish or stuff its way into a main dish. Many recipes for acorn squash call for using grains or protein to stuff the squash, making a hearty, satisfying meal.

    I wanted a new way to stuff my squash so I found a recipe on AllRecipes for Moroccon-Style Stuffed Acorn Squash. I tweaked…

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    Happy Thanksgiving! This year, focus on family, not food

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

    As a new registered dietitian working in bariatrics, this year, more than ever, I am realizing how the holiday season can be a huge struggle for people fighting to lose or maintain their weight. It makes sense because what’s the focus around holidays? FOOD! In fact, food is often the primary topic of conversation when discussing the holidays. This can make the holiday season stressful or uncomfortable for people who struggle with their weight.

    The holidays should be a time to enjoy family and friends and reflect on what we are thankful for. It should not be a time to worry about gaining weight. But with the average American Thanksgiving dinner containing ~4500 calories, it’s no surprise people are concerned.

    Maintain your weight this Thanksgiving and holiday season by following these tips:

    • Eat breakfast and lunch the day of your dinner feast. If you…

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    Be creative in the kitchen!

    The other night I had nothing planned for dinner. The horror! What’s a girl to do? I came home in a ravenous frenzy and flung open the fridge hoping there would be a magical meal waiting for me. No such luck. But I did see leftover quinoa, garbanzo beans, carrots, and spinach.

    Now we’re talking. So I chopped up the carrot and washed the spinach. Then I grabbed some garlic to mince. I threw a little olive oil in a pan to heat then added the veggies and garlic. Once the veggies were tender, I added the garbanzo beans and quinoa. Once the ingredients were warmed, I topped it off with a little salt & pepper.

    Voila! I had a delicious and healthy meal in front of me! Made in no time. An added bonus – the quinoa and garbanzo beans make it a vegetarian protein-packed dinner! If…

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    Who’s counting (calories) anyways?

    With technology on the rise and smart phones appearing in hands on every corner, it’s no surprise that more and more people are counting calories. When I reflect on smart phone apps that track calories, I find myself in a caloric dilemma.

    On one hand, as people track the calories of what they eat, they are becoming more knowledgeable about the foods they eat and in turn hopefully begin to make healthy food choices. Phone apps are great for this reason. People are tuning into nutrition in a way they never have before, and it’s an easy and quick way to do so.

    On the other hand, I never want to encourage clients to only count their calories. Sure, the equation to lose weight is calories in vs calories out, but eating healthy is more than just numbers. Calories alone do not dictate which foods are healthy and unhealthy….

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