Pecan Pie Brownies
We love eating health over here-but the holidays are a great time for a special treat! These pecan pie brownies are a new spin on a Thanksgiving classic-they're also easy to pack up & send home with your guests (or save for yourself!).
1 box brownie mix
Pecan Pie Filling:
1 cup sugar
1.5 cups light corn syrup
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1.5 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups pecans, roughly chopped
1. Preheat oven according to brownie package instructions.
2. Whisk together the sugar, corn syrup, eggs, butter and vanilla in a small saucepan. Place on the stove top over medium high heat and begin to cook, stirring continuously.
3. Mix brownies according to package instructions.
4. Pour brownie batter into a greased 13 x 9 inch pan and place in oven to bake for 20 minutes.
5. As the brownies bake, the filling in the saucepan should thicken enough to cover your spoon (about 15 minutes). Stir the pecans into the mixture and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes until the mixture reaches the consistency of runny oatmeal. You want it to be loose enough to pour over the brownies but not liquid.
6. When the brownies have finished pre-baking, remove them from the oven and pour the pecan pie filling over them, spreading it out to cover the brownies completely.
7. Place back in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until filling only juggles slightly in the middle when you move the pan.
8. Let cool to room temperature before cutting. Enjoy!
End of Year Insurance Reminders!
Just some friendly reminders:
1. Be sure to use up any of your flexible spending account (FSA) before the end of the year!
2.Your deductible will reset for most insurances at the start of the 2021 calendar year. If you have already met your deductible, now is the time to come in to treat any aches & pains before they get worse!
3. Physical therapy benefits will also reset for most insurance plans at the start of the 2021 calendar year. If you exhausted your benefits for this year, start thinking about setting up a January appointment.
As always-make sure to check with your insurance provider to confirm benefits as all plans are different.
Exercise of the week: Cat/Camel
Sweet Potatoes with Parsley Pesto
Sweet potatoes: a Thanksgiving classic. This recipe gives them a new, tasty twist with homemade parsley pesto. And (you guessed it)...it's healthy!
4 pounds sweet potatoes, thinly sliced.
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons butter, melted
3 gloves garlic, minced
salt & pepper, to taste
2 cups packed italian parsley
1/4 cup walnuts
1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
For Sweet Potatoes:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Combine olive oil, melted butter, garlic, salt and pepper in a small mixing bowl.
3. Pour 2 tablespoons of the mixture in the bottom of a 2-quart baking dish.
4. Arrange sweet potato slices in the dish and brush potatoes with remaining olive oil mixture.
5.Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.
6. Remove foil and increase to 450 degrees.
7. Roast potatoes for an additional 15 minutes, or until potatoes are slightly browned.
For Parsley Pesto:
1. Combine parsley, walnuts, parmesan cheese, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper in a food processor.
2. Taste for seasonings and adjust accordingly.
3. Brush tops of prepared sweet potatoes or serve on side. Enjoy!
Fast Five: Staff Thanksgiving Picks
We asked staff & patients what they are most looking forward to on the Thanksgiving table next week. Email us YOUR favorite Thanksgiving dish and we will feature the recipe in next weeks newsletter!
Liz, PT: Sausage Stuffing
Kyle, PT: Cream of Spinach
Ashley, Front Desk: Turkey with LOTS of gravy
Josh, PT: Sweet potato casserole with brown sugar & cinnamon
Hannah Kubacki, Patient: Pie (any kind but pumpkin!)
Marco & Remo Capolino, Patients: Pumpkin pie & stuffing
Exercise of the Week: Superman
Oven Roasted Beets with Honey Ricotta
This week we have another delicious, easy side to add to your Thanksgiving menu starring Beets! Beets are a great source of fiber, magnesium, iron and B6 and their cancer-fighting pigment also helps detoxify your liver. This dish pairs them with ricotta & honey-so tasty!
1 lb. golden beets peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 lb. purple beets peeled and cut into 1/2 cubes
3 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. fresh rosemary finely chopped
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Combine beets, olive oil, and 1/4 tsp. salt in a large bowl and toss beets until completely coated.
3. Place beets on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and roast for 35-40 minutes, flipping beets halfway through.
4. In a medium-sized bowl, combine ricotta, 1/4 tsp. salt, honey, and rosemary. Whisk until combined and refrigerate until ready to use.
5. Serve beets warm with honey-ricotta and top with additional rosemary, if desired. Enjoy!
Fast Five Metabolism Myths Busted
Sometimes, your metabolism works against you even when you think you’re doing everything right. It’s time you took a good, hard look at how your metabolism really works.
Check out the metabolism myths below and then use your new knowledge to put your metabolism to work…
Myth 1: Metabolism Works from 9 to 5
Difficult as it may be to believe, your body’s metabolism does not stop working when you do. In fact, your metabolism works all day, every day. If it didn’t, you wouldn’t even have the energy to get out of bed in order to read this article. (You are out of bed, aren’t you?) Also the time of day that you eat isn’t what makes you gain pounds. It’s what you eat. So if you think you can get away with eating that quarter-pounder with cheese, bacon, mayo, and bun; a large order of greasy fries; and a 32-ounce milkshake without any consequences—just because you ate it at lunch and not late at night—think again! Eat smart all day long, have a healthy snack at night if necessary, and then sleep well, knowing your metabolism is doing its thing even while you’re catching some Zzzzs.
Myth 2: It Can’t Be Controlled
You’ve probably met someone who seems to be able to eat anything they want without gaining weight. You may have even dreamed of having such a metabolism. Well, there’s good news. You may not have the metabolism that lets you do that just yet, but you can work toward it. Help boost your metabolism by lifting weights, getting a good night of sleep, eating enough protein to power you through the day, and drinking plenty of water. Want something more than water? Here’s another smidgen of good news: a little caffeine in your daily intake will help you get rid of calories faster than going without. Just make sure your caffeine isn’t bathed in sugar and unnecessary calories.
Myth 3: Skinny Folks Have Higher Metabolism
Yes, a high metabolism can help you burn more calories than a low metabolism. But don’t let that fool you into thinking the skinniest people around have the highest metabolism. Quite the contrary. If the thinnest individuals had the highest metabolism, they would likely be dangerously underweight. As it is, when you are very thin, your metabolism will likely be lower, as there’s not much of you to burn away safely.
However, you shouldn’t grab the ice cream carton in order to put on extra pounds to up your metabolism. Instead, focus on adding muscle pounds via the weight room.
Myth 4: Getting Old Makes Your Metabolism Go Bye-Bye
There is a bit of truth to this myth. As you age, your metabolism will drop a tiny bit. Not enough to make a meaningful difference, but it does drop. Much of this decrease (again—it is almost negligible) is due to the typical muscle loss that accompanies aging.
Want to curb your body’s age-related drop in metabolism? Include resistance training in your exercise routine. As you age, keep up the weight training and you’ll keep your metabolism strong and steady throughout all the stages of life. In the event it does drop a little, you’ll be in such good shape you won’t notice.
Myth 5: You Can Eat Your Way to Higher Metabolism
Occasionally, the world is taken by a weight-loss idea that is so simple you’d be a moron not to give it a try. One of these recent ideas is that you can eat or drink certain things to boost your metabolism and lose weight with greater ease.
While eating peppers on a regular basis and drinking gallons of green tea each week offers some health benefits, it won’t do more than temporarily boost your metabolism. Approximately half an hour after consuming these supposed metabolism mega-boosters, the boost is over and you’re back to your normal metabolism. A normal, well-balanced diet is a much better option.
When it comes to achieving and maintaining your most effective metabolism, a consistent and challenging exercise routine is key. Call or email today and I’ll get you started on an exercise program that will take your metabolism to the next level.
Don’t wait around for another year to pass. We are now almost at the end of 2020! – are you any closer to achieving your fat loss goals?
Stretch of the Week: Lumbar Trunk Rotation
Roasted Brussel Sprouts & Cinnamon Butternut Squash with Pecans and Cranberries
This is a healthy, delicious dish that brings a lot of beautiful color to the table! It's super easy to make and is a nice side to bring if you are a guest. It obviously is a good source of vegetables, but did you know using pure maple syrup (it should say it's pure on the bottle) gives you an extra dose of antioxidants and minerals? Enjoy!
3 cups brussels sprouts, ends trimmed
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt to taste
roasted butternut squash:
1 1/2lb butternut squash peeled, seeded and cubed into 1 inch cubes (about 4 cups)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups pecan halves
1 cup dried cranberries
2-4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1. Toss brussels sprouts in olive oil and salt. Roast in the preheated oven at 400 F for about 20 minutes.
2. Toss cubed butternut squash in olive oil, maple syrup and cinnamon. Roast in preheated oven at 400 F for about 20 minutes.
3. In a large bowl, combine roasted brussel sprouts, roasted cinnamon butternut squash, cranberries and lightly roasted pecans.
4. Add a small amount of maple syrup and toss it-enjoy!
Top 5 Ways to De-Stress before the Holidays
1. Make a gratitude list: Jot down 3 things your grateful for first thing in morning. It can be as simple as your morning cup of coffee, but it helps to set a grateful intention for the day & help us look on the bright side.
2. Go for a walk: A quick 20-30 minute walk can go a long way towards shaking off anxiety. Listen to your favorite music or simply enjoy the nature around you!
3. Turn off your phone: Not only does the blue light from phones keeps us awake longer, the constant stimulation can put our brains into overdrive. Aim to turn your phone off at least an hour before you go to bed.
4. Exercise: Exercising regularly isn't just great for your physical health. It releases endorphines (a hormone) which promote a feeling of well-being.
5. Stretch: Same idea as exercise-stretching is great to prevent injury, but also is a great way to relax and have a slower, mindful moment. Need an idea of where to start? Try our stretching video below!
Stretch of the Week: Low Back Seated Stretch
Sweet Potato Blondie Bars
With trick-or-treating looking a little different this year, you may be in the mood to make the kiddos a special dessert. These blondie bars are perfect: delicious, made with healthy ingredients and they sneak in some vegetables too!
1/3 cup pureed or mashed sweet potato
1/4 cup almond butter
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (or 1 can)
1/3 cup pure maple syrup, agave or honey
1/4 cup flour (white, oat, spelt, almond, etc)
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp baking soda
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
optional 1/2 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F. Line or grease an 8 x 8 pan.
Drain and rinse the beans well and then process all the ingredients in a food processor or blender (except chocolate chips) until completely smooth.
Stir in chips
Spread batter into pan, press a few chocolate chips on top and bake on center rack for 28 minutes.
Bars will be warm & gooey when you take them out but firm up as they cool.
Store in fridge for best freshness.
H A P P Y H A L L O W E E N!
We hope everyone has a safe and spooky weekend! Send us your families Halloween photos to be featured in next weeks newsletter!
Workout of the Week: Cervical Extension
Crispy Sheet Pan Gnocchi & Veggies
Do you have 30 minutes? Than you have plenty of time to throw together this easy, delicious weeknight dinner that is filling thanks to the gnocchi and healthy thanks to all the vegetables! You can use fresh or frozen gnocchi for this recipe and whatever vegetables you like to roast in the oven.
1 pounds fresh or frozen gnocchi
1 (12-ounce) bag mixed bell peppers, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
1 small red onion, cut into 1 inch chunks
4 garlic cloves, smashed
1 teaspoon coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
Grated parmesan cheese, for serving
1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 450 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place the gnocchi and all the veggies in a large bowl and toss with olive oil. Spread on baking sheet.
3. Roast 18-20 minutes, stirring halfway through, until gnocchi are plump and veggies are tender.
4. Spoon into bowls, garnish with basil and grated cheese. Enjoy!
Fast 5: Book Recommendations!
As the weather gets cooler and we spend more time indoors, it's a great time to pull out a good book! We asked around to see what everyone is reading lately.
These are some good gift ideas too as we head towards the holidays ;-)
1. If you're a history buff like our PT Liz, try Cleopatra, by Stacey Schiff
"It's an entertaining look into her life!"
2. If you are trying to de-stress like our front desk Ashley, try Full Catastrophe Living, by Jon Kabat-Zinn.
"It's about how to apply mindfulness and meditation to your everyday life-super interesting"
3. If you enjoy a good murder mystery like our patient Maureen, try the Donovan Creed series by John Locke.
"It's funny and keeps you on the edge of your seat!"
4. If you're looking for productivity hacks like Tony, try Living with the Monks by Jesse Itzler.
"It's shows how to better manage your time by turning off your phone"
5. If you're trying to push past your limitations, try Endure by Alex Hutchinson.
"If you want to gain insight into the mind of great athletes, adventurers, and peak performers than prepare to be enthralled"-Bear Grylls
Stretch of the Week: Chin Tuck w/Lift Off
Easy honey sesame salmon in foil
With the kids back to school, coming up with quick and easy weeknight meals can be tough. This delicious salmon recipe is ready in under 20 minutes and is baked in foil to make for easy clean-up. The salmon is healthy but the honey garlic sauce makes it's delicious!
1/3 cup honey
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Sriracha
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2-3 pound salmon
Salt, to season
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with enough foil to fold over and create a packet
2. In a small saucepan, combine honey, soy sauce and butter over low-medium heat and whisk until the honey has melted and mixture is well combined.
3. Take off the heat and add in lemon juice, garlic, vinegar, Sriracha, sesame oil, ginger and sesame seeds. Set aside 1/4 cup of sauce for later.
4. Place salmon onto prepared baking tray and season with salt. Pour honey sesame sauce over salmon. Fold the sides of the foil over the salmon to cover and completely seal the packet closed.
5. Bake until cooked through (12-15 minutes, depending on thickness). Open foil and broil for 3-5 minutes under medium heat to carmelize the top. Pour extra sauce over the top and enjoy!
Top 5 Immunity Boosting Foods
With cold & flu season around the corner, try incorporating these foods into your diet to help keep your immune system strong all winter long!
1. Citrus fruits: You probably already know this one, but the Vitamin C found in citrus fruits like grapefruit, oranges, lemons and clementines is a powerful antioxidant and increases the amount of white blood cells we have, which strengthens our immune system. A little known fact is that the more Vitamin C we consume, the less we absorb, so no need to take a crazy amount of supplements to beat a cold. The recommended daily amount for most people is 75-90 mg/day and can be achieved by regularly eating citrus is your diet.
2. Broccoli: You probably can already guess that broccoli is super healthy for you: it contains antioxidants A,C & E as well as the super antioxidant/detoxifier Sulforaphane (it's a mouthful!). But did you know the healthiest way to eat it? Technically, raw broccoli is able to retain the most of it's nutrients, but steaming it is second best.
3. Garlic: Garlic is healthy for your heart & helps fights infections. Most people have a lot or hate relationship with it, but a little goes a long way!
4. Almonds: Almond are another great source of Vitamin E, which is a vitamin that needs fat to be absorbed. Since almonds also just happen to be a great source of (healthy) fat, it's the perfect immune-friendly snack!
5. Turmeric: Ever wondered what gives curry sauce its bright yellow color? It's probably turmeric-a bright yellow spice used commonly in Indian cuisine. It's an excellent anti-inflammatory and tastes great sprinkled over eggs or roasted veggies.
Stretch of the Week: Chin Tucks
Stuffed Acorn Squash
Have you ever heard of "super-foods"? It's used to describe foods that are extremely nutrient dense. I try to include at least one at every meal. This seasonal dish is delicious and includes 5 of them! The kale, quinoa, cranberries, squash and olive oil are excellent sources of fiber, healthy fats and anti-inflammatory compounds called carotenoids. Enjoy!
For the squash:
2 large acorn squash
1 TBSP olive oil
salt & pepper
For the filling:
1 TBSP olive oil
1/2 small yellow onion, diced
3/4 cups quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper, to taste
3 cups loosely packed chopped kale
3/4 cup roasted and skinned hazelnuts, roughly chopped
1/4-1/2 cup dried cranberries, to taste
For the squash:
Preheat over to 400 degrees and halve the acorn squashes lengthwise down the middle.
Scoop out the seeds.
Place squash cut-side up on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.
Sprinkle generously with salt & pepper for about 45 minutes, or until squash is fork tender.
For the filling (prepare while squash is cooking):
1. In a large skillet, heat 1 TBSP olive oil. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, or until softened and translucent. Add the kale and let cook for another minute or two, until slightly wilted.
2. Add the quinoa, salt, pepper and water. Bring to a simmer, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Let cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Remove the lid and fluff with a fork.
3. When the squash have finished roasting, stir the hazelnuts and cranberries into the filling and spoon into the center of each squash.
4. Return the squash to the oven for another 5-10 minutes. Serve hot.
Fast 5: Beginner Running Tips with Tony!
Exercise of the Week: Shoulder Shrugs
Apple Pecan Muffins
Have you ever fallen into the droopy-sleepy-yawny-have-no-energy trap? When both the middle of the morning and the middle of the afternoon feel like bedtime? Ugh. I have. Back when my breakfast consisted of mainly grain-based cereals or processed and refined breakfast pas- tries. Add to that a cup or two of sugar-sweetened coffee in the morning and a couple of corn syrup–sweetened caffeinated beverages in the afternoon, and I was left with a roller coaster of inconsistent energy levels.
All of that changes when you started avoiding refined sugars and processed and packaged breakfast foods. Dips in your energy evens out into one steady stream of reliable energy. What a difference a consistent pep in your step makes!
I contemplated naming these “All Day Energy Muffins,” because these moist morsels give you wings—more so than any energy drink I’ve ever tried. Check out the ingredients and you’ll see what I mean: flax, almonds, eggs, banana, apple, pecans—I doubt you could find a muffin recipe with more goodness crammed into it than this.
No really, don’t waste your time looking—just make these and enjoy!
Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com
Here’s what you need
145 calories, 10g fat, 11g carbohydrate, 6g sugar, 318mg sodium, 3g fiber, and 4g protein.
*A special* Announcement!
This week we just want to wish CONGRATULATIONS to Josh & his fiance Nicole as they recently got engaged! Josh proposed while they were enjoying a local winery and celebrated with family immediately after.
Here is a photo of the cute couple!
Workout of the Week: Mobility Wrist Flexors
Gluten Free Peanut Butter Banana "Pudding" Cups
This is technically a yummy dessert, but is healthy enough to eat for breakfast and easy enough to make every week if you wanted to! You can substitute the peanut butter for whatever nut butter you prefer. Enjoy!
courtesy of broccyourbody.com
1 cup almond flour
1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of salt
Dash of nutmeg & ground ginger
1 ripe banana mashed
1 banana sliced
1 cup greek yogurt
1/2 peanut butter
2 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Coconut shreds to top
Fast 5 Fall Foods!
Workout of the Week: Brachialis
Dr. Tony Tanzi: Physical Therapist, Triathlete, Runner, Performance Coach