Posts Tagged ‘healthy living’

Football Sunday Solutions by Carina Sohaili

super-bowl-sunday-solutions-and-swaps-by-carina-sohaili

My quick and easy client guide for a balanced, healthy game day. Yes, it is possible.

Mental Preparation: When you are hungry your brain is looking for a quick fix to give you energy and you automatically will be attracted to the worst possible food choices. Do not starve yourself all day and then plan on pigging out. Have a smart snack or filling balanced meal before. My three ingredient Southwestern Salsa Scramble recipe was recently featured in Entrepreneur Magazine and is a great, quick option that combines protein and healthy fat. It also takes less then five minutes to make.

Cha-Cha Chip Time! Healthier options are whole-wheat pita chips, pop chips or air-popped popcorn (for more tips on The Truth About Carbs you can check out my piece here). Baked chips are better than classic potato chips. Why? The hidden preservatives, and addictive ingredients in classic potato chips are what make you want to keep munching (because they spike your blood sugar levels) and make you crave more junk food. Two of my favorite healthy brands (without compromising taste) are Beanitos and Corazonas. You can find these at any local grocery store. They are much more nutritious and delicious than your classic potato chips and will keep your blood sugar levels stable which will keep you more full and satisfied for a longer amount of time.

Bottom Line: when selecting baked chip brands look for chips with the least amount of processed ingredients. Below is my Simple Sweet Potato Chip recipe that takes ten minutes to make. If you like this recipe check out my Skin Clearing French Fry Video Tutorial  here.

Carina’s Simple Sweet Potato Chips: chop a medium or large sweet potato into thin slices, add some spices of your choice (cinnamon is great for sweet and cayenne pepper is great for spicy. For different spice options along with their various health benefits check out my old piece here.) Use an all natural cooking spray, place on a baking tray and toss into the oven for ten-fifteen minutes or until the top is a golden brown. Do not be intimidated by cooking. It can be simple, easy and stress free. But only partake if you are in the mood. Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite healthy carbohydrates and skin superfoods. They are loaded with fiber to keep you more full for a longer amount of time, vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, and magnesium. Not to mention, beta-carotene, a cancer fighting antioxidant. Vitamin A is fantastic for the bags and dark circles under your eyes. Vitamin C will give your skin a young, fresh glow and is a great immune system booster. Chips that will clear skin, reduce cravings and taste divine in under fifteen minutes? YES PLEASE.

Divine Dips! Get Saucy with Salsa. Salsa and hummus are great, healthy options. Go for these instead of the artichoke dip, or crazy cheese dips. Sweet potato chips with salsa are one of my favorite combinations. Do not fall for the hidden salsa trap. Most store brand salsa is loaded with excessive sugars and preservatives. This actually will make you much hungrier and harder to control your eating (you are going to keep wanting more and more.) If you are not in the mood to dice up your own healthy salsa (onions, cilantro, lime and tomatoes) simply make sure there are no added ingredients in your salsa and you buy real, all natural and non-processed (all you have to do is make sure you can read the ingredients on the label.) Salsa contains capsaicin, the chemical responsible for spiciness. It stimulates digestion and in various studies has been shown to aid in the prevention of stomach ulcers. Capsaicin also helps activate the release of endorphins (the feel good hormone) in the body.

Holy Moly Guacamole! Avocados have incredible health benefits. These guys are loaded with heart healthy fats that help decrease stress and anxiety. They also are a good source of vegetarian protein, have more potassium than a banana and great for banishing blemishes due to the high vitamin content. Remember to keep it simple, there is no need for excessive ingredients (fresh lemon or lime, avocado and a dash of salt-pepper.) It is very easy to get guacamole happy as well. Make sure you eat this divine side in moderation. For another healthy avocado recipe try my Avocado Dark Chocolate Shake recipe here or my Zesty Lemon Mash recipe here.

Carina’s Secret Saucy Protein Dip: mix together avocado (1/8 cup), salsa (1/2 cup) and plain non-fat Greek yogurt (1/2 cup) with a dash of garlic in a bowl or blender for a funky healthy protein packed dip that will keep you full, satisfied and taste great. Experiment with different textures! If you like a chunky dip, simple blend or mix for a shorter amount of time. Adding the Greek yogurt will give you a rich creamy texture along with other benefits such as healthy bacteria for digestion, protein and calcium for bone health. If you are dairy free, simply alter the recipe to make it work for you. (Check out my Energizing Ranch Dip Video Tutorial here for another option.)

Beer? Here are the best tasting light beers according to a recent survey in Men’s Health: Adams Light, Heineken Premium Light, Amstel Light, Kirin Ichiban Light and Bud Light.

I always remind clients to be mindful of their portions. Try not to eat directly from the buffet, kitchen fridge, bag or box. It is very easy to get lost in the game and mindlessly munch on what is directly in front of you. Take a plate and put a reasonable amount on your plate. Remember what you are doing: watching the game and hanging with family or friends (not just consuming ridiculous amounts of food). Live your life and enjoy yourself while being healthy.

More information about my Custom Programs can be found here

For more easy recipes swing by my library of Eat Yourself Gorgeous Video Tutorials

Need more tools?

Check out my Divine Dark Treats for Valentines Day or my Simple Steps to Change Habits 

As always, focus on progress, not perfection and have compassion for yourself.

Love,

Carina

A cause that is very dear to my heart is the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. I have formed a team in honor of my grandmother, Dr. Lailee Bakhtiar, who passed away after a 21 year battle with the disease. You can learn more about my team here.

Holiday Party Tools by Carina Sohaili

The holidays are about memories, moments and fun. There is no time for feeling deprived or guilty about food choices (that also is not the answer to a happy life). Below are my simple tools so you can enjoy the holiday season without the guilt. 

Remember, nobody is perfect and everyone is different. Set realistic goals to stay on track so you can truly enjoy this holiday season and start the new year with confidence.

  1. Never go to a party starving. Often times when we are stressed out, tired or cranky it is because we are eating sugary packed junk foods and unhealthy sweets with preservatives. These foods make us crave more unhealthy foods and mess with the hormones that regulate the stress response within the body. By nourishing your body with nutrient dense foods and always having a healthy snack, you will have increased energy, a calmer demeanor and be less likely to lose control at the holiday buffet. One of my favorite snacks that I always suggest to clients this time of year is organic canned pumpkin mixed with plain all natural Greek yogurt, stevia and cinnamon. This is a great combination of a healthy carbohydrate (from the pumpkin) and protein from the Greek yogurt. I call it my special “bliss in a cup” energizing snack. It is quick, easy to make and leaves me feeling like I just ate a slice of pumpkin pie. Moreover, the fiber in the pumpkin is great for your digestive system especially during the Holidays. Watch my video tutorial on how to make it here.
  2. Eat real food before you reach for the sugary sweets. Fill up on protein before you head to the dessert table. Protein will help stabilize your blood sugar levels and keep you more full and satisfied for a longer amount of time. By eating protein you will reduce your cravings for junk food. One of my favorite protein appetizer options is shrimp, which you can find at most holiday parties (if not, be a great guest and bring a healthy appetizer). If you are vegetarian, hummus is normally a party platter favorite and a good source of protein as well as healthy fat.
  3. Indulge in a balanced way. If you are craving a serving of pie have a reasonable portion but do not eat three servings. Do you notice how the first serving of an amazing food tastes the best? The food is not as good the second or third time around. This will prevent you from feeling deprived and then overeating later on.
  4. Volunteer to bring a healthy side to your next holiday party. Not only are you a great guest because you are contributing to the party (the host will love you) but you can ensure that there is something delicious AND healthy for you to eat. Bringing a healthy side does not have to be complicated or overwhelming. Check out my library of Eat Yourself Gorgeous video tutorials from Garlic Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes to Skin Clearing Spaghetti Squash here. All take less than ten minutes to make. If you are a dark chocolate fan, you can find two of my “no-brainer” dark chocolate recipes here and my dark chocolate mud muffin recipe recently featured in Entrepreneur Magazine here.
  5. Be mindful of your environment. It is very easy to overeat when everyone around you is overeating as well.
  6. Always have a plan. If you know you are going to be around a group of people that overindulge all the time, have a plan going into the situation. Make it clear what you are going to indulge in, what you are going to pass on and other activities you are going to focus on (schedule a family game of cards or talk to that uncle who you have not seen in a while). Focus on friends, family and conversation; not simply stuffing your face with food at the holiday buffet. Remember why you are at the gathering in the first place.
  7. Learn to take a deep breath and slow down. It is okay to say no to certain events if you are feeling drained and overworked. Finding balance, especially during the holiday season is important. Recognize when you are doing too much and be okay with cutting back. You do not have to be superman (or woman). Make choices that are energy inducing as opposed to energy draining. Be smart about your time and how you invest it.
  8. Ditch the all or nothing diet mentality. I always tell my clients to focus on progress instead of perfection as well as never compare themselves to others. So many people have “cheat” days then are excessively strict and deprive themselves. This causes them to overeat way too much when they “let themselves go.” I always hear “I am starting my diet tomorrow.” You should erase the term diet from your vocabulary.

Just like any muscle, the more you practice consistent healthy habits the easier they will get. By implementing these tools you will be less stressed and have more energy to invest in activities you truly enjoy. 

*A cause that is very dear to my heart is the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. I have formed a team in honor of my grandmother, Dr. Lailee Bakhtiar, who passed away after a 21 year battle with the disease. You can learn more about my team here.

Remember to have compassion for yourself, always

XX

Carina

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