Monday, December 31, 2012

Starting a Healthy New Year

Jump into a new year of health!

Tips for setting realistic goals:

Be specific.
  • "I want to start exercising."  How will you increase your physical activity?  Start off with walking 10 minutes a day before your lunch break, 3 days a week.  You can increase the length or exercise in short intervals throughout the day.  Before you know it you will be walking several miles! 
Set monthly goals.
  • 12 months is a long time to push your resolutions aside.  Setting goals each month will allow you to track your progress or set new ambitions. 
Be patient.
  • Long-term changes take time.  If you want to lose weight, avoid crash dieting, but rather aim for a pound a week. 
Accept difficulties. 
  • Expect challenges.  If you have set the same goal every year without success, think about what is stopping this goal from being achieved. 
Allow flexibility.
  • If one day you did not follow your diet or exercise schedule, it's ok.  Small steps will be more important in the long run to make lifestyle changes; toss the "all or nothing" mindset. 
Set new years resolutions that are important to you.  Have your friends join to start a new positive lifestyle with you.  Don't sit around waiting for tomorrow; take the time for yourself and your health today!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Hearty Sweet Potato Soup


Enjoy this hearty vegetable soup to warm up a cold night. 

Sweet Potato Red Bean Soup



Ingredients
  • 2 15 oz cans of red beans
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium green squash, chopped
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar or red wine
Directions
  1. Peel and chop the sweet potatoes. Set aside in a bowl covered with water.
  2. Saute the garlic, onion, green pepper, black pepper and bay leaf in olive oil in an 8 quart pot. 
  3. When the vegetables begin to soften, add the tomato sauce and beans.
  4. Add the green squash, spices (basil, mint, rosemary), and vinegar.
  5. Stir and bring to a boil.
  6. Add the sweet potatoes and water. Simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Garnish bowl of soup with a sprig of rosemary.