August 2016 Hot Flashes

Your Counter Top Could be the Key to Weight Loss

What you keep on your kitchen counter could be drastically affecting your weight gain or loss. The See-Food diet is a real thing- what you see first is what you are going to eat.

Researchers at the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab recently studied the correlation between what food is sitting on a kitchen countertop and the weight of the woman who lives in the home. Over 200 kitchens in Syracuse, New York, were photographed and the weight and height of the occupants were recorded. Analysis of the photos resulted in some interesting associations. Women who kept soda on the counter weighed 26 pounds more than those who didn’t. That might not be surprising, due to what we know about consuming sugary drinks. Breakfast cereal was also associated with a 20-pound weight increase in the homes where it was kept on the counter. In contrast, leaving cookies on the counter only correlated to an increase in eight pounds!

So, is the answer to completely clear off the counters? Not according to this research. People living in homes that kept fruit on the counter weighed about 13 pounds less. Anytime we can make it easier to make the healthy choice we nudge ourselves toward better health. You can still have your cereal, just put it back in the cupboard after breakfast and slide the fruit bowl front and center. 

(, October 2015)

Even Stronger Together

Just how a new blouse can reboot your style, a few simple changes and additions to your daily activities with your significant other can drastically improve your relationship. Small tasks and actions can go a long way to bring you closer and create momentum. Try these suggestions to kindle those love fires.

  1. Embark on a 24-hr adventure: Vacation days may be hard to come by, but most people can take a spontaneous weekend trip. Try camping or a charming B&B to catch up and wind down.
  2. Break a sweat together: Take a new class, or count each other’s crunches. Maybe try a workout regiment your partner prefers, or get them to try yours. Breaking a sweat together really fuels your motivation to support each other.
  3. Put your phone away: Tuck it in a drawer or leave it in your purse. Ask meaningful questions and actually listen to the answer. Your conversations become much richer when you’re fully engaged with one another. 
  4. Random act of kindness: Bring your better half a cup of coffee or fix them a drink when they come home from work. Leave them a letter in their car. Just something small that will make their day brighter.
  5. Say something nice: There’s nothing worse than partners who take jabs at each other. No relationship is stress-free, but taking the time to point out something good makes you both feel good. 
  6. Take care of yourself: If you’re tired and drained, your relationship probably will be too. Take a few minutes for your self. Get a massage, pour yourself a green juice, or get a manicure. Thinking of yourself sounds selfish, but it helps all your relationships. 

(Self Magazine, Jan/Feb 2016)

Get It Done Like a Boss

What’s the secret to being more productive and ultra-efficient? Prioritizing. Try setting three goals every morning for the day. Having clear goals gives those tasks greater importance and meaning, so you won’t let them slide. It also helps you feel more accomplished at the end of the day by feeling a sense of achievement. Keep in mind, by not selecting some tasks you are prioritizing what does not need to be done today, which lessens distractions and makes your day less hectic.

Moments are sure to come throughout the day that you didn’t plan for in the morning. When those moments come, take a moment to step back and check your original plan. You might need to make some adjustments, so don’t beat yourself up. After all, in the famous words of a well-known southern heroin, “Tomorrow is another day.”

(Self Magazine, Jan/Feb 2016)

Be a Sneaky Chef

Sometimes, it’s okay to be sneaky in the kitchen. Try these tips to sneak in one or two extra servings of vegetables into your day. An added bonus? You’ll be adding a new twist to an old favorite recipe.

  • Grate your way to goodness. Shred or grate fruits and vegetables down, or puree them up and see how creative you can get with your favorite recipes. Grated zucchini and carrots do wonders for turkey burgers, meatloaf and meatballs, adding both moisture and nutrients to the dish.
  • Puree cooked cauliflower, winter squash, or red peppers and stir them into sauces, mashed potatoes, pot pies, or even mac and cheese.
  • The secret is in the sauce. Make a mean marinara that’s loaded with vegetables. In addition to your traditional tomato sauce base, use any combination of chopped mushrooms, eggplant, onions, peppers, squash, and carrots. This versatile sauce can then be used in a variety of creative ways to add both flavor, as well as a serving of vegetables to your day. Spoon it over noodles, mix it into lasagna, start it as a soup base, spread it over pizza crust, or use it as a dipping sauce.
  • Bribe yourself with baked goods. Both vegetables and fruits are healthy, delicious, and fabulous additions to breads, cakes, biscuits, and pies. Both savory and sweet, what better way to add a vegetable serving to your day?



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