Do you Eat with Your Eyes, Mouth, Heart, Nose or Stomach?

Andrea Falcone Health Leave a Comment

The start of spring brings this wonderful feeling to my heart, my eyes and to my stomach!! But it IMG_4019starts in my eyes!! I often look at this picture I took of my garden tomatoes last summer to remind me that the journey is going to start again all over again soon and what new vegetables will tickle my palate and inspire me with some recipes!

As we head into the warmer weather (I swear it’s coming!), there are so many great things to think about when it comes to the vast opportunity that could surround our weekly grocery list: fresh local foods will be in greater abundance! The larger amounts of nutrients in whole, natural foods – fresh always better, as they have traveled shorter distances, and therefore nutrients are better preserved – is just one great thought to consider. But do we all eat with our eyes? Do you think this way too? Food plays with our emotions, as I have often written about, personally gone through, and now in recognizing that, have learned to view food as the fuel that moves me through my day.   Many people are tempted by foods in other ways, and registered dietitians alike often try to recognize whether people are eating with their eyes, their mouth, their heart, or their stomach. I throw nose in, because you and I both know that that initial scent of some foods, can then shift our wanting to eat with our mouth as we begin salivating (think hangry and angry after driving 45 minutes in traffic to get home, and making sure you stop to pick up bananas for tomorrow with that fresh roasted chicken or French fries smacking you in the face when you walk into a grocery store).

True hunger comes from our stomach – which actually only makes up about 5 to 10% of when the majority of people actually eat. Everyone is different, and have their own habits and behaviours when it comes to food, but it is a great exercise for you to stop for a moment before you eat, or find yourself reaching for a cookie or that nut bowl on your countertop as you pass by to throw something into the sink and ask yourself, “Am I actually hungry now? From my stomach?”  I learned this about 8 years ago when I was able to teach the Craving Change program with a group of individuals, and it has evolved in so many ways with the education I provide now!  As you practice mindful eating, it will eventually lead you down the path of intuitive eating, which is the most incredible thing when you can hear your body saying, ‘you want some crunchy veggies’ or ‘maybe some salt tonight’ or one of my strongest cues ‘You need some iron, it’s energy kick time’!

So, whether you do eat with your heart (emotions), mouth (salivation – often from smelling something), eyes (possibly colour, which could mean nutrients for my body) or stomach (true hunger), it’s an interesting little lesson you could try. Start by asking yourself these questions to see how you may be able to shift your perspective and desire or cravings for foods!

1.  Do I chew foods slowly and allow myself to taste the flavours and feel the textures in my mouth?

2. Do I make sure there are more than 3 colours of foods that make up my meals?

3.  Do I see a commercial or advertisement on television and automatically want a similar type of food?

4.  Do I graze on snacks such as crackers or nuts throughout the day?

This is by no means a comprehensive list, but definitely one to start you on your path of mindful eating to support a food as fuel mentality.  Think colour as you head into April!  Take a few extra minutes in the produce aisle of your local grocery store, or better yet, venture to the family-run supermarket!  There are so many wonderful things happening — embrace them with all of their colours!

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~Friday Night Frenzy~ Baked Sole, Roasted Veggies and Lentil Pilaf

Andrea Falcone Recipes Leave a Comment

Do you sometimes wait for that phone call to say, “I’m 15 minutes away” to make sure dinner will be ready to serve for when the whole family is home? I grew up like this. We ate together as a family each night, and still aim to have at least one family dinner meal bringing everyone together. Sometimes this can be difficult with “hangry” kids, or bed times that may be earlier than when the last person gets home, so we adjust when we need to and when we can. This is one of those dinners that you can prep, and when you get that call, pop it all into the oven to finish cooking off! It was one of those Friday night eats for me and my family, where I knew I have to disconnect from the rest of the world and cook!  I hope you can enjoy it just as much with yours too!

Serves: 4

Ingredients

Lentil Pilaf*

  • 1 Cup Dried lentils, rinsed
  • 2 Tbsp Avocado or Flaxseed oil
  • 3 Carrots, chopped
  • ½ Fennel, chopped
  • ½ Red onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ½ Orange, juice of
  • 2 Tbsp White wine
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Chopped Dried Cherries
  • 4 Tbsp Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Baked Wild Filet of Sole

  • 4 Wild Sole Filets
  • 4 Tbsp Butter, divided
  • 2 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Lemon, juice from
  • Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Capers
  • 3 Tbsp Finely chopped Fresh Parsley

Roasted Vegetables

  • 1 bunch Asparagus, trimmed and rinsed
  • 3 Yellow Zucchini, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp Avocado or Flaxseed oil
  • 1/2 Lemon, juice from
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

To prepare the Lentil Pilaf

  1. Cook the lentils.  Place lentils in a pot and cover the lentils with water and slightly more. Bring to a boil. Once at a boil, reduce and allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes until cooked through but not mushy.
  2. Meanwhile, chop and prepare the remaining lentil pilaf ingredients.
  3. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or wok over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, fennel and onion and allow to cook through until translucent, about 4-7 minutes. Reduce heat until lentils finish cooking, or, if lentils have finished cooking, drain and rinse, adding them to the vegetable base.
  4. Add the apple cider vinegar, juice from ½ of an orange, white wine and salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low to allow the pilaf to stay warm and the flavours to blend.
  5. Once you put the fish and vegetables in the oven (see below), add the dried cherries and pumpkin seeds until ready to serve.

To prepare the Baked Wild Sole

  1. Rinse the pieces of sole and allow to dry on paper towel.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt 2 Tbsp of butter and the olive oil. Add in the minced garlic and allow to combine to form a garlic marinade.  Add the juice from 1/2 of a lemon and stir to combine.  Remove from heat.
  3. Place the remaining 2 Tbsp of melted butter in a baking dish. Place the pieces of sole overtop the butter and then top with the garlic marinade, spreading evenly on each piece of sole.
  4. Sprinkle with capers and fresh parsley and cover with foil paper.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. When “the call” comes – place wild sole and roasted vegetables (See below) in the oven for 16-20 minutes.

To prepare the Roasted Vegetables

  1. Place the washed asparagus and yellow zucchini on a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with oil, juice from 1/2 of a lemon, salt and pepper and mix with hands to allow ingredients to coat.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit . When “the call” comes – place wild sole and roasted vegetables (See above) in the oven for 16-20 minutes, tossing the vegetables once in between.

Serve the wild sole with sliced lemon, roasted vegetables, the lentil pilaf, and a slice of toasted Artisan bread and of course, a glass of White Wine!

*The left-over lentil pilaf was a fabulous cold salad the next day, or even added into a vegetable broth for a wonderful twist to soup!

Do You Worry?

Andrea Falcone Health Leave a Comment

Do You Worry? No really – do you worry? And in some of your heads right now I’m sure you may have some answers: ‘Is she serious?’  ‘Seriously Andrea – what are you getting at?’  ‘How are we not supposed to worry?’  ‘What’s up her sleeve with this one?’  But really I want to know. Do you worry? About what you’re going to eat for your next meal. What your kids are learning in school, or from other people in their circle. What the number on the scale is. Why the number on the scale changes so much within a day sometimes. So yah, I wonder, do you worry about all of this?

In keeping this along the lines of my profession of health and wellness (as I’m not a therapist – most days anyways), I see time and time again so much worry about what to eat, what not to eat, what to buy at the grocery store, whether we can allow ourselves to have that creamy alfredo sauce at dinner, and most importantly what the number on the scale is going to appear as on any given day. I mean I used to weight myself every day — all day — any point I could.  And now I step on the scale once a year at my annual physical! But that was a learning curve and so I know what may be going on in your minds half the time. But who’s putting it there? Is it society? Is it your circle of friends? Is it the newest “cleanse” popping up on every other post along your social media newsfeed? Maybe it’s the commercial that gets played EVERY time you happen to be in the car. Or the news story that fills your radio at your lunch hour. How are we not supposed to worry? People are putting it out there in their own tactful (most times manipulative) ways to make us have those worrisome and wondering conversations in our heads!

So how do we get out of our heads and into the game. Do you think the athletes on your favourite sports teams have time to worry about what the opponent or defence on the other team is going to do, or whether they know the move they’re about to execute to get ahead of the game? I’m going to go with NO……any of the best athletes that is! You just go out and do. I work with many strategies and suggestions with some of my clients in this realm of nutrition and health. It is natural to worry about the number when we’ve been trained as a society to keep an eye on it, and obsess over it…..but that is wrong when it gets to a point where it stops you from living.  At what point is too much thought and obsessing over it though? I must say, only you can answer that question, and reach out when you’re ready to take the help. But I also must add that you shouldn’t be worried about that number for the majority of your day. There are certain conditions out there where we may have to be mindful of our weight – whether needing to gain or lose weight, BUT we must change that focus so-to-speak and shift it to what we can control. At the end of the day, we all need to eat to survive. But we must understand what so much of the world is doing to take our own power and control away from us to make us question and worry so much.

Nowadays, I personally don’t have any worry about the number on the scale or what my weight does year to year, BUT it’s been a road to get here.   I do know that there are things I love to do each day, which do support a healthy relationship with my overall health and that I can make happen like exercise (cause it makes me feel strong and energized), have breakfast each morning, take time to prep my lunch, and SLEEPING — amongst everything else that goes on in a day, of which some you have control over and a lot of them you don’t.

So I encourage you to sit down with yourself and ask yourself if you worry — yes, maybe about weight, or what to eat, or whether you’re allowed to have that birthday cake or cereal with a bit of added sugar, or butter on your toast.  But maybe it’s about other things too — will he like me, will she like me, will the weather be right, will I get the promotion, will the recovery time be short or long — whatever it may be, I want you to physically roll all of that worry up into a ball.  Go outside.  Stand in front of the sun and throw it up into the air.  Cause some things are just not worth our time to worry about when we have so many other possibilities of what to do with that time — things that fill our souls, our hearts, and our minds with goodness.  And if you need the support – reach out.  There is something or someone there to help you and be ready and willing to help you get to where you want to be.  Be careful if someone is trying to get you to where THEY want you to be…..this is your life and your journey! Embrace it and love every minute of it!

Remember, there are diagnosed clinical conditions in which you will need to get additional support and advice from, and monitor closely.  I can only encourage you to seek the advice and information and then act on it (sorry, I can’t do the work for you)…..but you have to believe that you can do it.  That you can accomplish such amazing things, and recognize what is worth “worrying” over and what you need to “let go of”!

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Fiesta Dinner Jam

Andrea Falcone Recipes Leave a Comment

Cooking with friends is one of my favourite things to do! Well, cooking with anyone. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my “experimenting” and focus needed with some recipes, but who wouldn’t love to share one another’s company! It was initially a Friday night out, but when my girlfriend asked if we could stay in and cook….well, she’s my friend for a reason right! The perfect Friday night! I asked her what she felt like, she mentioned she had this gluten free pasta, possibly something with spice, then she let me take the ropes in the development stage….AND she was O.K. to be a guinea pig! This dish….she called it a little something “exciting”, but hopefully this resonates with you and your family or group of friends!

Serves: 5

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp Avocado oil, divided
  • 450 g Ground turkey
  • 2 Cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp Fresh cracked black pepper
  • ¾ tsp Cracked Salt
  • 1 Red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Green pepper, chopped
  • 1 Jalapeno, finely chopped
  • 1 Cup Cooked Black beans
  • 1/3 Cup Sliced Kalamata olives
  • 2 Cups Dry pasta*

For the Sauce:

  • 1 Cup 1% Sour Cream
  • ½ Lime, juice from
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce**
  • 1-2 tsp Turmeric (fresh or dried)***
  • 1 Avocado, for garnish

Directions:

  1. In a large sauté pan, heat 2 Tbsp of oil over medium-high heat. Add the ground turkey and cook through until brown throughout. Transfer to a plate for later.
  2. Remove any turkey liquid from the pan, and place back on the stove. Heat the remaining 1 Tbsp of oil over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the red onion and sauté for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add the green and jalapeno peppers and allow to sautee for 5-7 minutes. Once cooked through, lower heat to medium-low.
  5. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to box directions.
  6. While the vegetables are sautéing and water is boiling, prepare the sauce: mix together the sour cream, lime juice, paprika, Worcestershire sauce and turmeric in a bowl. Stir well to combine all flavours.
  7. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and rinse. Add it to the pan with vegetables, along with the black beans, ground turkey, and the black olives, mixing all ingredients together. Heat through, about 2 minutes.
  8. Keeping the pan on the stove, turn the heat off. Add the sour cream sauce and stir well to combine all ingredients and flavours, mixing gently so as to not break the pasta.
  9. Serve immediately, topping with avocado pieces.

 

*I used the Catelli Gluten Free fusilli pasta, or you can also use the GoGo Quinoa macaroni, or any pasta of choice.

** If you prefer spicier, feel free to add more Worcestershire sauce or chill flakes.

*** You can use the dried turmeric. Turmeric has a very subtle taste, but if using fresh, be careful as it will stain your fingers! Nothing soap and water won’t take off, but just a forewarning

 

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Fennel and Zucchini Seafood Pasta

Andrea Falcone Recipes Leave a Comment

I’ve learned over the years that when you really miss something and you start to crave it, it often means you haven’t done “that thing” in a long time, or from a food perspective, eaten it in a long time. That’s your body asking you to do something, or eat something. Intuitive eating is a skill. It takes time to master, and continually work at it, but it is beautiful when you can hear the whispers of what your body needs. For this recipe, it wasn’t necessarily the food I wanted, but rather the act of cooking! With a little more busy-than-normal life going on lately in my personal life, I haven’t cooked in a while, and Saturday night called for “I just want to cook!” And we had this! Enjoy any night of the week with your family.

Serves 5

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp Butter, divided
  • 15 Shrimp, peeled and deveined (~3 each)
  • 20 (~200 g) Scallops (~4 each)
  • ½ tsp each Salt and Pepper plus more for seasoning
  • 1 Clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Grapeseed Oil
  • 2 Shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 Bulb Fennel, thinly sliced
  • 2 Zucchini, thinly sliced (mandolin)
  • ½ Cup Dry white wine
  • 227 grams Macaroni
  • ½ Cup Basil, torn
  • ½ Fresh Lemon

Directions:

  1. Clean and dry the shrimp and scallops. Place on a paper towel for a few minutes. Once dried, remove from paper and sprinkle the shrimp with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat 1 Tbsp of butter in a large fry pan. Add the shrimp and cook for about 4 minutes. Add the minced garlic and continue cooking for 1 minute.
  3. Transfer shrimp to a clean plate and add the scallops to a pan, cooking for about 4 minutes with the garlic. Remove to the same plate as the shrimp and cover to keep warm.
  4. Heat the grapeseed oil in the same pan. Add the shallots and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the fennel, salt and pepper, and continue to sauté, about 5 to 8 minutes.
  5. Add the zucchini, 2 Tbsp of butter, white wine and allow to cook through and blend flavours for about 5 to 10 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. I used a red and white quinoa pasta this time around!
  7. Just before the pasta is cooked, add the shrimp, scallops and garlic to the vegetable mixture and stir to combine.
  8. Add the pasta to the pan, basil and the juice from ½ of a lemon and stir well to combine all flavours.
  9. Enjoy with yours truly with some extra basil or a bit of freshly grated parmesan cheese if you’d like.

Why All of the Numbers?

Andrea Falcone Health, Nutrition, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

If you read a few headlines, listen to the news, or frequent a fast food restaurant, you may have noticed a few more numbers beside the meal or drink you purchased last time you were out. I have read a number of articles on this topic, and had many discussions with friends and colleagues, all resulting in these thoughts for all of you.

Calorie counts became more prominent on January 1, 2017 when chain restaurants with 20 or more locations were required by law to indicate the calorie counts of their menu items. But is the level of accountability on the restaurant’s part all chalked up to what you, as a consumer, need to know?

Well, let me ask you this. What meal would you choose of the two below?

2 Cups mixed greens + 4 oz salmon + ½ Cup corn kernels + 1 Tbsp roasted almonds + 1 Cup chopped beets + 2 oz goats milk cheese + 1 Tbsp olive oil + 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar + 1 tsp honey + ½ lemon squeezed

vs.

Small Hamburger (regular bun + patty) with 1 Tbsp each ketchup, mustard and relish + Small French Fries

I know you may be drooling right now, so which one did you choose? Would you choose a meal based on a healthy choice, or by the numbers that are aligned beside the ingredients? We seem to be a society fixated on numbers. The number on the scale, the number in inches of our waist line, and the numbers attached to the calories (of energy) in our food. And I know this because I used to be all worked up about this calorie in and calorie out equation too because society dictated this through headlines and lack of research….but yah, I fell for it, until I became empowered with the right knowledge. We know that if we consume more energy in a day (adding up in a week and then a month), then what we expend in a day, those extra calories may be bottled up and stored as fat. I say may here because the more metabolically active your muscles are, the more efficient your body becomes at burning your food substrate into energy substrate. Or do we know this? Why is there not enough information floating through our headlines about how you can make your body more efficient in burning fuel you eat. No, that doesn’t give you the green slip to eat out high fat, greasy food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but there is an information gap here, which comes down to the quality of the food nutrients you’re eating.

The quality of the calories you eat is so much more important than the number of calories you eat sometimes. Yes, this takes an understanding and knowledge share, but that’s a lesson for you to all take to the manager at the restaurant with the fancy new calorie board. Or maybe this just strikes that next bit of awareness to the company that the consumer is inquiring about what makes up those calories. Hopefully this number will help steer some recipes in a new direction, for the better of all of our inside health. Would you change your meal choice based on knowing how many calories are in one food item over another?

Some restaurant chains have begun re-thinking their menu items once seeing some of the calorie counts, whereas others aren’t quite ready to alter the flavor and taste of their foods. I mean, at the end of the day, I know that when I don’t want to cook and opt for take-out, whether it’s pizza, a nice salmon dish, chicken wings and nachos or a burger, I’m just making the choice to eat that for my meal and not carry any guilt with it! Yes, it may take time for someone to get to this place, but we all have a choice to know more about the food we are eating, whether we’re cooking with it, or buying someone else’s creation. The opportunity lies in setting time aside to learn about all of these different foods, and how the quality of their nutrients can add value or not to our overall health.

And on the numbers front. Our salmon salad meal up above comes with a total of 754 calories for that beautiful fully balanced meal, and will leave you full, satisfied and energized until your next meal, while the small hamburger topped with condiments and a small French fry, has 706 calories, without providing a whole lot of key nutrients your body needs to fuel optimally and stay strong and healthy.

 

https://food-nutrition.canada.ca/cnf-fce/newSearch-nouvelleRecherche.do?action=new_nouveau

Reflections of 2016 with Prosperity into 2017: What’s worth ridding and what’s worth hanging onto?

Andrea Falcone Uncategorized Leave a Comment

2016 really did put a dent into a number of areas of our world. Nutrition and health information and trends aside, I think we can say a number of news headlines really made us turn our heads, wonder what was going on in the world, or ask ‘Where is the Love’?

I often spend the last few days of the year and first couple days into January to reflect, vision and recognize what my accomplishments were, but also where the lessons came (and I mean hard lessons) to teach me not to go a certain route, or tread waters a little more carefully. But that’s sometimes the name of the game too.

With a new year upon us, and the opportunity for new beginnings, let us recognize one major, img_4799important thing here: we each, as individuals (provided no underlying conditions or situations exist), are the people in charge of taking care of our health and our insides, and the choices we make often reflect the person we are.  So as much as we are encouraged to “go with the flow”, or from the cover of a new journal from a dear friend – “and if the music is good, you dance” – it is still important to recognize the aspect(s) of your life that are important to you to carry out each day in hopes of forming positive healthy habits.

Let’s recap shall we?

  • 2016 was named the International Year of the Pulses. From a professional perspective, we have definitely seen a bigger shift towards plant-based diets over the years, and I encourage people to eat more plant-based foods for variety and nourishment. Whatever diet and lifestyle you decide to follow, eating more pulses should be in week somehow. With Canada being the largest exporter and producer of beans and pulses, we support the growth and sustainability of our own soil. I always tell clients beans and legumes are ‘superfoods’, loaded with nutrients, complex carbohydrates, protein and fibre just to name a few. The versatility they offer from a colour perspective, texture and baking opportunities are endless.
    • My vote: This one stays!
  • Supplements and diets. I looked up more diets and supplements this year than my two hands can count. I don’t see this area changing anytime soon, I’ll flat out admit it – but what needs to change here, especially if you may be someone who has tried more than 5 diets (much like I used to be), is your desire to just find the one that works for you for the rest of your life. I admit, I supplement my overall health through the addition of meditation, journaling, essential oils, going to the gym….but food is food here, and once we recognize the value and quality of certain nutrients that fuel us the best, you won’t need to spend the $300 monthly for that front-door delivery of powdered stuff, that may leave unfulfilled promises.
    • My vote: Invest money into sitting down with a professional to help guide and support you towards finding Your Diet. We all have one and it’s different than the person sitting across from you at work or in the subway.
  • Sweet potato toast. Was yours a flop too? I mean apparently food is trendy, and if you’d like to make something special for some guests, I am all about making food look even better. But to substitute sweet potato for your every day toast, well, I say timing is a big thing, so it’s up to you if you have the time to deal with this one, however a sweet potato chopped up with a bit of oil roasted in the oven for 20 minutes is just as amazing!
    • My vote: I’d much rather put my time into something that will actually hold in a person’s hand when they pick it up to eat it!
  • Energies are contagious – including good food energies.  Surround yourself with people you admire, people who bring out the best in you, and those who make you feel better once you’ve left their circle!  Food energies act much the same.  If you still aren’t sure of how to break down those carbs that some say don’t fear and others say steer clear of, learn about them. Sit down with someone to help you better understand when your body needs different amounts of energy, timing of eating with workouts to meet your goals, or how to make the simplest meals in 5 minutes. It can be done, and doesn’t have to include a lap through the drive-through.
    • My vote: You owe it to yourself to have the support from someone who will guide you and direct you towards the steps you need to take to make life-long positive habits, by understanding food and food balance.
  • Nutella-everything! Umm….. one recommendation here – it’s all about balance. No that doesn’t include a balance of nutella in each meal, but c’mon, if you grew up with it, you should be able to enjoy it every now and then. Just savour it and enjoy a small amount!
    • My vote: I think the above words explain enough
  • Apparently we needed to “soup” everything to stay on top of our weight and health. And yes, I just used the word “soup” as a verb. I mean, I am all about a good hearty bowl of cream of broccoli, minestrone or homemade butternut squash soup. But drinking your meals for the rest of your life may not be the best route for your digestive system (which requires chewing as the initial step of digestion to get your digestive juices rolling well)!
    • My vote: stick to what you know, and feed your soul your favourite soup for comfort, warmth, the common cold or cough, or a simple meal.
  • Food and mental health. Yes, when you eat properly it affects every aspect of your health, including your mental health. Fueling with the proper energies, and ensuring your diet includes certain vitamins, minerals and nutrients will make your mind healthier and stronger.
    • My vote:  Have you checked in with your diet lately to see if you may be missing a few key nutrients? Take the time to see if you’re eating right for your age, daily commitments, and fitness routine.

Whether I keep this list going to talk about probiotics and fermented foods, spiralizing vegetables, or spouted grains, you can see that it all comes down to you and making the choices you know you can learn to make for the better of your health. The journey is yours to embrace. It takes work (I won’t sugar-coat that for you), but the steps are simple, so once all of those baby steps are done, you’ll look back and see how far you’ve come. You just have to be ready to take the first step!

Make 2017 different. What are your desires?  Not necessarily your resolutions, but rather what do you want? Name two to start, and then resonate with the one that leaves the most energy in your mind when you think about how you would live, feel, possibly look like, if you could work on one thing. Then you know what you need to do. Make the call. Ask for support or guidance! You’ll get there! I know you will…..I did, and am always still working on the next thing!

Please comment below to let me know what stuck out from 2016 the most for you, what you tried and what was a “Pinterest Fail”!

I know You Want to Know!

Andrea Falcone Health, Nutrition Leave a Comment

Do you want to know what it takes to be able to enjoy the next (and last) month of this magnificent year even more? A month where some people may feel they are being pulled in a few extra directions? A few extra trips through the clogged arteries of our highways just to reach your destination with only one parking spot left at a 12 minute walk to where you need to get to (in possibly some frigid temperatures)? A time where we fear the “holiday weight gain”, making us feel that much further from our goals when January hits?

You want to know the secret? What it takes? It takes the need for you to let go of any and all expectations that are put upon you from others, or from yourself in situations that you have no control over, and to simply focus on what you can control, and may otherwise be known as “going with the flow” as best as you can!

What you can control is different for everyone, but in health and wellness it may include any of the following:

  • Time to prepare balanced meals
  • Dedicated time to take 20 minutes in your day to breathe, dance, listen to some music, get a good sweat on or meditate
  • Time to pause before you respond to another invitation and ask yourself if you’re pulling yourself too thin
  • Time to sleep
  • Time to actually enjoy Christmas shopping
  • Time to take part in a new Holiday tradition or an old one

And in a world where we “just don’t have enough time” or are consistently glorifying our “busy-ness”, maybe it’s “time” to reflect on what (or who) is loading your agenda and schedule that is taking away from that “time” where your soul is asking you to quiet down a bit. Ask for help, or better yet, ask yourself what the top three things you would like to enjoy this upcoming holiday season are. Make a commitment to enjoy that. If you love to bake your favourite holiday cookies, or experiment with a magazine’s new list of cookies for the season, make a date with yourself. You know how important I always stress it is for people to “make dates with themselves”. Committing to them is the second part, but just like that appointment in your calendar with the boss to discuss end-of-year financials, so too is the importance of that appointment with you to do something for your mind to soften and quiet down.

The list is endless, and I know you want tips and tricks to support you however you may need it this holiday – dodging the cookie platters, endless potluck tables, or next-day hangover – so be sure to check out this year’s holiday social media campaign through Instagram or Facebook, and check out this “power plan” to get you started!

Remember, this isn’t “THE” list…..but they are some suggestions.  You have to look at your life, your habits, your way of thinking, and see how these suggestions may fit with your own logic and lifestyle to keep you in balance today and always.

  • Be a Buffet Snob – Yes! Be picky.  Walk through the buffet without your plate first to see what you truly want, then go back through and make your selections (do this for the desserts too).
  • Keep it Tight – wear form-fitting clothes! Not the ones you can’t wait to get into after a long day of work, but rather ones that will help gauge your “fullness” cues a little more without having to pop your top button or loosen a belt hole.
  • Get your Steps On – Don’t even bother swifting up and down the mall parking lot for that closer spot!  Take the further spot and enjoy the fresh, crisp air as you kick it into the mall (provided you are physically able to walk).
  • Gear into your Goals – Really, it may not be the time to set a weight loss goal….hey, if it happens, kudos to you, but be real with yourself, and aim to maintain your weight.
  • Plan Personally – Are you the “planner” of the family? Do you make time to plan the get-together, Christmas party, gift shopping list?  Yes? So you can plan?  Did you answer yet?  In that case — plan your fuel! It’s as simple as that!  Get in a good breakfast (don’t forget the protein).  Hit up some ideal snacks for the road, or as soon as you get home.
  • Hang up the Hangover – I mean, there are solutions to getting over the hangover quick, and replenishing your electrolytes, but, why don’t you take turns being the DD with your family members to help monitor how much vino or vodka your liver has a party on!  Non-alcoholic drinks are endless, but can be filled with more calories than a Turtle or Christmas Truffle.  Flavoured water, bubbly choices, warm or cold teas, and diluted apple cider are just a few options to try out!  Please drink responsibly.  Drink smart, and always have your water with you.

More to come though – I can’t spoil all of the fun, so make sure you tune into my social media campaign to have your personal coach by your side each day!

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The Ultimate Breakfast Cookie

Andrea Falcone Recipes, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

I have to admit – I like a little bit of a challenge! That comes from the fitness side of me, I know that for sure, or maybe from years of so much disbelief that I would respond with “watch me”, when anyone tried to put any bit of doubt into my mind! So when a dear friend of mine “challenged” me to replicate a favourite breakfast cookie she and her husband would get at a local bakery, I took to the challenge. Three times a charm for this recipe!

Makes: 18 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Spelt Flour
  • 1 Cup Large Flake Oats
  • ¼ Cup Psyllium Husk
  • ½ Cup Unsweetened Large Flake Coconut
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp Ground Cloves
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp Baking Soda
  • ¾ Cup Unsalted Butter, softened
  • ½ Cup Golden Brown Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • ⅛ Cup Honey
  • 1 Cup All Bran Buds
  • ½ Cup Chopped Walnuts
  • ½ Cup Unsalted Sunflower Seeds
  • 1½ Cups Frozen Cranberries, thawed

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, oats, psyllium husk, coconut, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda. Stir to combine all ingredients.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the butter, sugar, eggs and honey using a hand mixer.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture until all ingredients combine. The mixture will be a little sticky. This is O.K.
  5. Add the All Bran Buds, nuts, seeds and thawed cranberries.
  6. Using a ¼-cup measuring cup or an ice cream scoop, scoop the mixture onto a baking sheet. (*I use a light aluminum baking sheet as opposed to a dark baking sheet). Press down ever so slightly (make sure not to flatten).
  7. Bake in pre-heated oven for 14 minutes, turning once in between.
  8. Remove from oven and leave on baking sheet for 5 minutes prior to removing to a rack to cool down.

If you’re not a breakfast eater, this will change your mind! Start with one of these.  As you get more used to eating breakfast, slowly add to it with  1/2 Cup Greek Yogurt to up the protein in your meal a bit!

What’s Up with Your Poop? I mean, Fibre Intake!

Andrea Falcone Uncategorized Leave a Comment

If you’ve worked with me you know we have to talk about what’s going out as much as we talk about what’s going in. The topic of a good poop is often in store, because having a healthy bowel movement can do so many things: improve your mood, ensure your digestive tract is functioning well, or work towards lowering your cholesterol levels. I often work with clients who express other goals to work on, and in the meantime their bowels improve tremendously which may have been all they needed to really grab a hold of all along, helping them feel better immediately.

A normal bowel movement may come every 2 days for some people, once a day, or sometimes up to three times a day. This is something that varies amongst individuals. Though many associate an increased fibre intake with a boost to your bowel movements, helping to temporarily increase feelings of fullness, and helping to lower blood sugar levels, if we have too much fibre without enough water, everything will work in the opposite way – in other words, clogging you up. So what’s the dosage? Where do I find it? And is one form of fibre better over another?

Most Canadians don’t get enough fibre. With a recommended daily intake ranging between 21 and 38 grams, most Canadian surveys (often self-reported), indicate an intake of only half of this.

Fibre is most often associated with fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, whole grains or for some, you may have heard or psyllium fibre, something I add to my smoothie or oatmeal every day. In fruits, the fibre is mainly found in those that have an edible skin, or berries, which sit on their own pedestal of nutrition packed into a tiny little ball! The amount of fibre in vegetables ranges, but if you stick with including one to two cups of veggies at lunch and dinner you will add to your daily intake.

We also have to take a look into the different types of fibres: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibre has the characteristic of being “sticky” or forming a “gel-like substance”, collecting little bits of free-floating cholesterol (in bile acids) and fatty acids from our insides, kind of like a Swiffer floating around our bloodstream. As a result, this action has been shown to help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and help maintain blood glucose levels.  Insoluble fibre promotes more of the “bulking” aspect of food, and passes through our digestive tract with little change as to how it is ingested.  This type of fibre helps to promote bowel regularity, however, I must stress again, it is very important that you drink adequate amounts of water (and other healthy fluid choices such as milk or herbal teas) to keep the digestion moving along! The Heart and Stroke Foundation is a leading organization supporting those with high cholesterol with evidence-based research, tools, and tips to manage their condition.

The question reverts back to how we can aim to get enough soluble and insoluble fibre if we may have a difficult time adding any of these foods to our diet.  With health concerns such as heart disease on the rise (40% of Canadians between the ages of 40 and 59 years of age have unhealthy LDL [bad] cholesterol levels), adding a good source of fibre, primarily soluble fibre, can help to lower LDL cholesterol levels. One such fibre which has gained more drive over the years is psyllium fibre. Made from the Plantago ovata plant, psyllium can be found in most grocery stores or in natural health products such as Metamucil® (available in powder and capsule form).

My recommendation, add it in small amounts first, starting with a half teaspoon, into a whole variety of meals and snacks:

  • Sprinkle on your morning oatmeal or in your smoothie
  • Add to your afternoon yogurt snack
  • Add into pasta sauces
  • Include on your toast with peanut butter
  • Mix into a tuna, egg, or chicken salad sandwich
  • Add into baked muffins, breads or granola

Don’t forget to drink a full glass of water!

Need something quick, simple, and delicious? Make a batch of these Breakfast Cookies and start your day off with a healthy dose of psyllium fibre!

 

This article is sponsored by Metamucil, however all opinions expressed here are my own.