In With Autumn, Out With Healthy?

The arrival of Autumn weather does something to our internal clocks that just screws with our eating.  Suddenly, instead of cooling, fresh and light meals, we want hearty, filling, warm meals.  Bring on the chili and the mashed potatoes!  It is something that unfortunately, we cannot completely control.  Our bodies are so in tune with our environments that our natural instinct is to go into survival mode...and EAT.  Eat plenty of meals that will plump us up so that we can stay warm and hibernate if need be -- with stock piles of food- in the cold winter months.

How do you avoid the natural urge to overeat the seemingly plentiful, large and heavy meals?  Maybe, you just move to a warm climate? OR the more realistic way might just be that you give in -- just a little bit -- with an understanding that it is only natural (and healthy) to eat a little extra with the coming of the colder months.  When spring arrives next year, we will be naturally inclined to move in the opposite direction. So not to worry, just don't go crazy!

Here are some words of wisdom (I like words of wisdom) for surviving the onslaught of the colder winter months - also known as the Eating Season.

1) Accept the fact that it is only natural to want to eat more and also that you need to eat more.  Unless of course, if you are already over weight...YOU NEED TO EAT LESS. Sorry. 

2) Drink lots of water (this rule never changes)

3) Take a multi-vitamin AND vitamin-D.  We NEED our VITAMIN-D especially in the winter time. 

4) Incorporate more root vegetables (and less meat) on your dinner plate.  Hearty vegetables are pretty satisfying and filling.  And they are way healthier than overdoing it on the animal protein.

5) Eat your greens - spring, summer, winter and fall - without fail. The more nutrition we get, the less we crave. It's simple math.

6) Avoid Girl Scout Cookies.  I'm sorry, these cookies are terrible for you! Yes, the little girls are cute. If you have to buy them, bring them into work and put the box in the lunch room. 

7) Maintain your gym routine. Yes, it is cold and dark in the winter, but if you don't work off those extra know what the consequence will be.  Maybe it's time to find a gym buddy?

8)  Hmmm,  I'm really struggling here for another.  Okay....Drink hot tea instead of coffee.  I love coffee, don't get me wrong, but I try to limit myself to one cup a day.  The next hot beverage you should reach for should be green tea, or any old decaf tea of your liking. It's just better for you and not addictive.  

9) Nosh on carrots and other veggies w/ tasty dips at those friendly gatherings. More easily said than done, right?

10) Fill up with soup before your main meal.  And NO, that does not include the dairy and cheese laden soups.  A nice broth based soup will be just fine.

I'd love to know if anyone has any suggestions or recommendations of their own.  Please share your thoughts!

And remember, please take these suggestions in stride. I would be a BIG hypocrite if I admitted to never eating any kind of "bad for you food." I love all food.  It's about finding a good/bad balance that works for you -- with the good outweighing the bad.


Quinoa Salad ON THE GO

Get inspired by your local restaurants and save some money.  This was my idea recently when I popped into a particular new hummus restaurant by my office in Murray Hill.  On the menu was a dish called "Quinoa Salad." I thought, I can make this...don't spend $8.99 on the one dish. So, instead, I bought the ingredients for about $10 and had lunch for a week.  A delicious (and healthy) lunch that is :)

Quinoa Salad

1 Cup cooked quinoa
Chopped red onion
Chopped red pepper
Chopped Walnuts
Splash of olive oil (abt 2 TBSP)

** Use about 1/2 to 3/4 of the red onion and the entire red pepper.  Use as many cranberries, raisins and walnuts as you please.  

Eat your quinoa salad however you wish.  I ate it on a bed of mixed greens and experimented with honey mustard dressing (still looking for a tasty dressing to go with -- might be good with a raspberry vinegrette). The salad is delicious on its own but would also make a really nice side dish for say, a light fish. ENJOY!

Potassium & Protein Refresher...

I just got back from vacation in California where the weather was mild and the air was dry.  Already one day in NYC and I wish I was back in sunny CA.  In New York it's hot and humid...and the jet lag sure isn't helping. Walking home from work I developed a craving and there was no way I was going to ignore it. My body was clearly telling me that I needed something...something that could only be found in a COLD banana smoothie.

So I made one...and unfortunately fell a little short of the ingredients I planned to use, but I sufficed with what I had and it was delicious and sooo chillingly refreshing.   

One banana (chopped in chunks)
About 1/4 to 1/2 C of OJ
Ice cubes
Squirt of agave nectar
About a TBSP of chia seeds
....blend away....

In my mind I had envisioned possibly using Greek yogurt and some vanilla along with my bananas...or maybe a wad of peanut butter...OR freshly chopped peanuts.  Then I got to thinking...a dash of coconut oil... I was just dreaming up the possibilities.  Unfortunately, I was missing most of those ingredients.  I made due, and couldn't have been more satisfied. I just needed a little umbrella to bring me back to the "vacation mind-set."

What do you like with your bananas in a smoothie??? 

Spring Visit Blue Hill at Stone Barns

A Friendly Hen

This past Saturday, Jimmy and I returned to Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, NY. We went with friends for an afternoon of walking the grounds and an evening of eating and, um, lots of um, eating.  Blue Hill at Stone Barns is a working farm that feeds its restaurant with locally grown seasonal foods. All the food and animals are grown and raised humanely without the use of fertilizers, hormones or anything else you wouldn't want turning up on your plate and in your food. Everything you eat is fresh, delicious and totally REAL. 

I have already written two posts on Blue Hill (see here and here) so I won't go on about how wonderful and amazing of a place it is to visit.   But I will share some of the pictures we took last weekend...  :) 

Grazing Hens

Jimmy in one of the gardens...

A really good salad with flowers and foam.

A little blurry, but that is a fried fish on a stick!

With that, I want to announce the winner of the Vemma Give Away...Lindsey! Unfortunately, Lindsey, in your comment, I was not able to link back you your blog.  So, please leave a comment and a way for me to get in touch with you.  I will choose another winner when I get back from vacation in the beginning of June if we do not connect :(

Health Coaching for Women

As a Health Coach I work one-on-one with women to help them reach their health & wellness goals.  I focus is weight loss/management and stress reduction, with a strong passion for helping pregnant ladies lock in 9 months of healthy, balanced eating.  I truly believe that eating healthy foods and being fit is FUN, which ultimately leads to greater happiness.

A major part of being healthy is finding the time. If we only had all the time in the world to devote to ourselves, life would be grand and we would be healthy and svelte, right?   In this busy life, we all want to be healthier, leaner and more attractive. If we were to work together, I can support you to become the "better you", through gradual changes that work with your schedule and fit your lifestyle.  My program offers the following:

  • Two, one-hour sessions per month
  • E-mail support between sessions
  • Session notes and handouts
  • Gifts, food samples and self-care items
  • Health food store tour
  • A monthly newsletter
During the course of the program you will:
  • Set and accomplish goals
  • Explore new foods
  • Understand and reduce cravings
  • Increase energy
  • Feel better in your body
  • Improve personal relationships
If you are interested in setting up a free consultation, contact me today at

For more information on my education and training click here.

A Lovely Millet Mash

Life is busy -- work, class, clients, love, the ups and downs and the ins and outs of everyday life. Does it ever slow down? I guess it depends, but when you really think about it, life is busy AND life is good!   One struggle I deal with daily in this hectic and busy life is finding time to cook the healthy meals I love and enjoy.  When it comes to finding the time, it usually boils down to Sunday evening.  Sunday, with a little bit of planning, can be the best day to fit in cooking for a week's worth of eating. 

This weekend I bought Andrea Beaman's The Whole Truth, a healthy eating and recipe guide. I bought her book after completing her in person cooking class:  Eating for Sexual Vitality & Fertility.  Yup, that's right.  It was such a fun class! But that is a story for another time.  Anyway, I was thumbing through her book and found a recipe that made its way onto my table last night, with enough leftovers to last 2-3 more that is time and money well saved! The dish (or side, depending on how you want to eat it) is called MILLET MASH, which was perfect because millet has been on my "to try" list for some time.  Millet is considered the 6th most important grain, so being a health coach, it's simply something I must know about! And it is pretty good by the way...

Andrea Beaman's MILLET MASH
(with some additions)

1 Cup Millet
3 Cups Water
1/2 - 3/4 Head of Cauliflower
1 Onion
2 Tbsp EVOO
1 Tbsp Butter
Sea Salt to taste

Add-ons: Chopped Parsley & Sun-Dried Tomatoes

The recipe is simple...Cook the millet in water for 25-35 minutes. Saute the onions in the olive oil until translucent. Add the cauliflower florets w/ 3 Tbsp of water and cover for 10 minutes, until they are soft. Once the millet and the cauliflower are done, combine in a large bowl, sprinkle with some salt, add 1 Tbsp of butter and mash away!  Add on the parsley (2-3 Tbsp) and sun-dried tomatoes (about 3 Tbsp) and mash a little more.  Voila.  Delicious and healthy.

Just a little more on millet, wonderful millet.  As I mentioned it is considered the 6th most important grain in the world.  It has been around forever, and it is even referenced in the Bible. Millet, along with rice is a traditional grain of Asia. It is gluten-free, high in fiber and protein, and has a plethora of important minerals like manganese, phosphorus and magnesium.  It even has tryptophan, an essential amino acid that is needed to synthesize protein.  Besides synthesizing protein, we all recognize tryptophan as a Turkey Day special.  Tryptophan helps us to sleep better, it regulates our eating, and it enhances our moods (  Ahhh, isn't millet wonderful?

These are some great links to check out if you would like to learn more about millet:

Pizza & Yoga & On the Go!

Pizza and then some yoga...that is how the night progressed.  I wouldn't recommend it in that order necessarily, but nonetheless, it happened and it was very pleasing. First there was the pizza, but not just any pizza -- it was healthy pizza.  Of course it was. I only had an hour to eat, change for yoga, and then drive to the eating as well as the prep time had to be fast.  For the quick and healthy pizza, I reached for a spinach wrap...and then put to use whatever veggies I could find -- minced garlic, arugula, and fresh tomatoes...

Quick, Easy & Cheese-Free Pizza

Wrap of any kind
Veggies of any kind
Tomato sauce of any kind
Salt & Pepper or spice of any kind
An oven at a high temp

I had the oven at about 475 degrees. I toasted the pita on both sides for about 2 minutes. Then I spread out the sauce and decorated the pie.  Then popped it back in the oven for about 5 -8 minutes. Voila.  

And then there was yoga...
My sister and I went to Yogaworks for a "Yoga Basics" class and it was fantabulous.  We got some great stretching in and some very nice (and slow) instruction.  When we arrived for class the lights were dimmed and there was tranquil spa-like music playing.  The lights came on for class and then as class ended they dimmed again and the music came on to close out the evening.  It was lovely and relaxing and oh so enjoyable.  And now...with the eleven o'clock hour fast approaching, it is time to get some shut eye.

I'd love to know...what are some quick and healthy meals that you turn to when you are on the go?  I think a lot of people struggle to eat healthy foods when the the clock is ticking against them.  It would be so great to have options that are 1) healthy 2) easy and 3) tasty....

About Me

New York City
Welcome! My name is Christine and I have landed here to share my love of healthy living and eating. I live in NYC where I am currently enrolled in the School of Integrative Nutrition. I am already certified as a holistic health coach and I have started seeing clients to help them reach their wellness goals. I started hot mama health to share the idea that it is fun to be healthy! Health is an adventure with endless foods to taste, exercises to explore, and challenges to meet! If you do not already feel this way, I hope that I can bring you into the light or at least stir a little inspiration here and there.
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