Empire Update Wk of 2/22
Healthy Turkey Chili
Chili is a perfect dish for a cold, winter day! This recipe uses turkey instead of beef, so it's a bit healthier and also is mostly cooked in the Crockpot, so it's super easy to throw together on a busy week.
1 pound turkey, ground
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomato
1 (7 oz) can diced green chiles
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained & rinsed
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained & rinsed
2 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp brown sugar
green onion, sliced
1. Add the ground turkey and onion to a medium sized skillet. Cook over medium heat until the onion is soft & turkey is completely cooked. Add the garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds.
2. Remove from heat and add to the crockpot.
3. Add in all the other ingredients, stir to combine. Cook over low heat for 4-6 hours. Enjoy!
Easy Meal Prep Tips
Easy Meal Prep Tips
Ever wonder what it would be like to open your fridge to find a full week of healthy, delicious food that’s prepped and ready to be eaten? Sure would make sticking with your diet and achieving fat loss a lot easier…
Meal prep is a fantastic way to keep on track with your eating throughout the entire week.
The idea is to plan out all of your meals on the weekend, most often on Sunday, then do the shopping and the prep at one time for the entire week. This day is labor intensive, but then your food is ready-to-eat for the next 6 full days.
Here’s my 5 Step Meal Prep Guide to make your next food prep week really simple:
Step One: Planning
Get out your notebook and pen or pull up a blank note page on your iPad, it’s time to start planning for the week. Here are the questions that you’ll need to answer:
1. How many meals do I need each day?
Now it’s time to translate those meals + servings into actual recipes. Take a moment to consider the produce that is in season and any special requests or food allergies.
1. Find your recipes
Take your list of recipes and create a grocery list. A few things to keep in mind…
1. Pay attention to recipes that you’ll double or triple
It’s time to head to the grocery store! Take your list and, if you’re lucky, a helper down to your local market and go through each section item by item.
Step Five: Food Prep
You have options when it comes to the actual prep of each of your meals. Many you’ll be able to fully make right away and pack in the fridge. Other recipes you’ll want to simply do the chopping, measuring and organizing in order to make the meal hot and quick before you plan to eat it.
Which recipes should you fully cook in advance? The truth is that this is really up to you and your schedule. Here’s a good game plan if you don’t want to fully cook everything on Sunday:
Stretch of the Week: Ankle ABC's
Empire Update: Wk of 2/15
Hearty Vegetable Stew
This stew is chock full of healthy starches, veggies and a rich savory broth. Paired with some good bread & it's perfection on a snowy day!
1 small onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 rib celery, minced
1 carrot, minced
1/4 cup low sodium vegetable broth
1 large onion, chopped
8 oz button mushrooms, sliced
8 oz portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp italian seasoning
1/2 cup red wine (or broth, but wine gives it a nice flavor!)
3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1 can diced tomatoes-no salt added
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 yukon gold potatoes, chopped
1 can tomato sauce (8 oz)
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tbs cornstarch
1 cup frozen peas
1. Mince the carrot, celery stalk and small onion very fine.
2. Saute this mixture in 1/4 cup of veggie broth until the veggies are nice & soft.
3. Add the large chopped onion and continue cooking until softened.
4. It's OK if the liquid gets a little low-the brown bits add to the flavor.
5. Add the mushrooms and cook on medium high until they lose their liquid.
6. Season with rosemary and italian seasoning.
7. Add the wine and deglaze any brown spots in your pan.
8. After a few minutes add the rest of the broth, add tomatoes and tomato sauce.
9. Add all your chopped veggies and turn the heat up to a boil.
10. Add the rest of the seasonings-but not the cornstarch.
11. Once it's boiling, turn down the heat to low and add the peas.
12. Mix the cornstarch with a tablespoon of cold ater and stir this in to thicken.
13. Simmer to desired consistency. Enjoy!
Relieving Aches & Pains at Work
Had this question asked in my clinic this week that I wanted to share with you (It’s a common question I often get asked about posture)…
’Tony, I’ve recently had Repetitive Strain Injury from work and although I’ve been given a wrist rest for when I’m on the computer, I still seem to suffer from bad posture. What would help improve my posture at work??…’
– Clare, 49, Brewster
A lot of people underestimate the power of great posture and the advantages it can provide to your lifestyle.
Think of it in this way, a lot of your time is spent at work doing whatever it is that you do, but if you have bad posture throughout your day, in the long run, it can have a serious effect.
Some people can spend hours either at a desk or stood up at work and those hours of having bad posture can add up to something serious if it is not dealt with.
Here’s a few ways to have better posture and ultimately, make it a healthy habit in your lifestyle.
This tip might seem quite obvious but the first thing I’d recommend is to keep your body straight. If you have an office job then adjust your seating if you are sat down for a long period of time. Remember the chair’s features are there for a reason, to make you feel supported!
Sit up straight and adjust the chair so that it feels comfortable and supportive. Sometimes, depending on how long you are sat for, even if you are sitting in a good position, it can feel tiring. If this is the case, then try shifting towards the front of your seat with a straight back from time to time. This can sometimes help ease your back muscles and stop you
If you stand up at work, then standing straight really does help. I know at times it can feel like a relief to rest your body weight on one leg whilst resting the rest of your body on a desk or worktop. Sound familiar?
Unfortunately this is pretty much how not to stand. Ultimately all you are doing to your body is putting strain on particular muscles while you ‘rest’. When standing, make sure your body weight is spread evenly to the front, back and sides of the feet.
Another great tip is to get up (if you are not already) and move! Yes you could finish off that one last email but I think we both know that, that one email will lead to something else. As a result, you will not only be glued to your chair all day, but may end up putting more pressure on the neck and back.
The best time to get up and moving is when you start to feel your body slouch a little and find it hard to keep in a comfortable position. If it’s possible, try and get up from your chair every half an hour or so and do a few stretches or walk around for a few minutes.
Think of it as a coffee break for your body. After a few minutes you’ll come back to your desk refreshed and ready to start working.
If like Clare, you are thinking of using posture-friendly props, then great. They are easy to find and can make a big difference to your posture at work. As Clare has done, she has decided to use a wrist rest to help ease her symptoms of Repetitive Strain Injury.
However there are many other props that will help you at work. Footrests, back supports and even a pillow can help ease back pain. Even positioning your computer screen in level to your resting eye position, will help avoid straining the neck with the head tilted forward.
If you don’t work in an office and are based more outdoors, then even using correct footwear, bags and backpacks can help minimize back strain and can encourage good posture.
So my answer to Clare is this- yes, a prop can help ease pain from poor posture, but remember to put the other tips in place too.
The solution lies not only in putting these actions in place, but also committing to these tips in the long run. It may not be a quick fix but you will be easing your pain in the long term. This is one of the healthy habits that everyone needs in their working day
Stretch of the Week: Ankle Flexion
Empire Update: WK of 2/8
Winter Vegetable Chicken Noodle Soup
Snowy days and chilly weather make us crave one thing- SOUP! This winter soup is packed with vegetables and is hearty enough as a meal thanks to the noodles & chicken. It's a little more time intensive then other recipes, but lasts for multiple meals.
You can make a big batch and eat all week or freeze some for later.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small sweet onion diced
1 leek halved + sliced
4 carrots, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
salt + pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic minced or grated
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
2 quarts low sodium chicken broth
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 leaves bay
3 small skinless chicken thighs
1-2 cups swiss chard, chopped
zest + juice of 1 lemon
8 oz egg noodles
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup fresh parsley + basil
1. Heat a large dutch over or soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil. Once hot, add the onion + leek.
2. Cook until the onion is soft, fragrant and beginning to caramelize. Add the carrots + celery. Season with salt +pepper and continue cooking 3-5 minutes or until carrots have a little browning on edges. Stir in the garlic +ginger and cook a minute longer.
3. Slowly pour in the chicken broth. Add the thyme, bay leaves and chicken thighs. Cover the pot and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through & shreds easily.
4. After 25 minutes, shred the chicken and remove any bones. Add thw swiss chard, lemon juice + zest. Cook until the chard has wilted slightly (5-10 minutes).
5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil egg noodles according to the package. Drain + toss with butter, parsley + basil.
6. Divide egg noodles among bowls and ladle soup over the noodles. Enjoy!
Why Eating Chocolate Can Be Good For You!
(Yes you did read the blog title right)…
After Valentine's Day leaves us feeling like we’ve entered a food coma for 72 hours, interrupted by a family roast and maybe a little spot of self-loathing as we finish our seventh Creme egg…
The good news is, chocolate CAN actually be good for you, and has plenty of health benefits too – so you don’t have to beat yourself up!
Now of course, there’s a reason Doctors and health professionals aren’t telling you to go to the nearest store and stock up on as much Cadbury’s as you can possibly get your hands on. When it comes to your health, chocolate can be a bit of a mixed bag…
On one hand it’s packed with antioxidants, but then on the other, many chocolate bars contain a substantial amount of sugar.
And because of that I decided to let you in on the good side of chocolate that justifies our chocolate consumption, and outline the things you need to look out for and be aware of too.
So when your next chocolate craving suddenly jumps on you, (because that’s what it does so sneakily) you know how to choose smart.
So, where do the health benefits of chocolate come from? They come from cacao. And if you want to get specific, they come from flavonoids – they’re the things that are responsible for chocolate’s unique taste that everyone knows, and they also protect your body from a number of diseases, including asthma and diabetes.
Thanks to flavonoids, Scientists have linked cacao consumption to lots of healthy benefits…
(Just make sure you choose the dark type!)
Chocolate Can Keep Your Heart Healthy!
First off, if you want to live a long and healthy life you’ve got to look after your ticker, and the good news is a daily dose of dark chocolate could be doing wonders to help protect your heart. Numerous studies have also shown it helps to lower and improve blood pressure.
It Can Slow Down Memory-Loss!
It can also slow memory loss – as we get older, we can get a bit more forgetful. But an exciting study has found that cacao could put the breaks on age-related memory loss.
It’s A Stress Buster!
Here’s a good one… So you know when you’ve had a ‘bad day’, or you’re feeling a little stressed out and all you want to do is reach for a chocolate bar? Well, turning to chocolate during these times of need may not be so bad after all.
Dark chocolate helps level-out stress (so you may want to keep a small stash of it in your desk drawer or handbag).
I always knew that having chocolate was an instant way to cheer ourselves up!
Granted that doesn’t involve falling into the black hole of eating a family-size bar of Dairy Milk on a night, but science says a few squares boost your happy chemicals and gives you that feel good rush. Who are we to argue?
It Aids Weight-Loss!
Believe it or not, (even though this goes against almost everything we have ever been told about dieting and eating healthily) it turns out chocolate can actually be used as a way to lose weight.
But here’s the thing, it requires moderation. By not partaking in deprivation diets that cut out treats like chocolate, we are less likely to fall off the wagon or over-eat later in the day.
So now you know it’s absolutely ok to enjoy it, lets talk about the bitter-sweet truth, because even though it’s great! Not all chocolate is created equal.
Extensive processing, as well as all the added sugar can strip cacao of it’s nutritional goodness. So before you run out to stock your kitchen up with chocolate, make sure you’re aware you getting your hands on the good stuff.
When it comes down to it, you should opt for dark over milk or white (if you have the choice).
Look out for chocolate with at least 70% cacao – the higher, the better.
Cacao nibs are also on the healthier side of the chocolate spectrum. And at the end of the day, in spite of all the healthy benefits listed above, chocolate is to be enjoyed in moderation, a few squares a day could keep the Doctor away!
Stretch of the Month: Ankle Eversion
Dr. Tony Tanzi: Physical Therapist, Triathlete, Runner, Performance Coach