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A Healthier Holiday Season: Part 5 with AVH Dietitians

December 30, 2017
With the holidays upon us, we turned to our very own Aspen Valley Hospital Dietitians—Kristy, Sandy and Laurie—to answer some common questions about eating healthier during the holidays. Plus, we have included some tasty recipes to try! This is the final part — thank you for reading and have a happy, healthy new year!.

Our Wonderful Dietitians:

   Sandra Holmes                                      Kristy Bates                                             Laureen Osier
 

Question:
I want to buy some healthy alternatives to use for my appetizers and desserts, but the ingredients are always really expensive. What are some ideas for alternatives to dairy and gluten that won't break the bank?

Answer:
Unless you have Celiac, avoid products labeled Quick read more or view full article "gluten-free" as they are usually more costly and sometimes worse for you health wise. Fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables are naturally healthy and always gluten- and dairy-free. Homemade hummus spreads with canned beans are inexpensive and naturally gluten free. For example, make your own corn chips using corn tortillas! They will be healthier and will save you a bundle. Everybody loves guacamole — it is easy to just mash and add a small amount of hot sauce or commercial salsa.
 

Recipe Ideas!

DIY Tortilla Chips:

 

Some Plant-based Appetizers:

Roasted Eggplant Hummus



Sweet Potato Cauliflower Cakes with Dairy-Free Cashew Sour Cream



Spicy Chocolate Cherry Bites

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A Healthier Holiday Season: Part 4 with AVH Dietitians

December 29, 2017
With the holidays upon us, we turned to our very own Aspen Valley Hospital Dietitians—Kristy, Sandy and Laurie—to answer some common questions about eating healthier during the holidays. Plus, we have included some tasty recipes to try! This is Part 4 of 5, so stay tuned for more helpful information and delicious dishes.

Our Wonderful Dietitians:

   Sandra Holmes                                      Kristy Bates                                             Laureen Osier

Question:
The holidays can be stressful, and I tend to stress eat...what are some ways to avoid this?

Answer:
Emotional eating is common, and it often increases in holiday time when people feel overextended and overwhelmed by the demands of the season. First, consider addressing the core Quick read more or view full article issues by decreasing the amount you are trying to accomplish and letting go of "picture perfect" expectations of yourself at holiday time. Meditation, prayer, yoga and exercise or relaxing activities like taking a warm bath or reading a book can reduce stress without turning to food.

If you still find yourself heading to the Christmas candy, try a mindful eating approach. Recognize you are eating for reasons other than hunger and minimize the damage. Take 3 deep breaths, slow down and savor your holiday treat. Fully enjoying the taste, smell and feel of what you are eating can help you feel satisfied with less. Know that the occational overeating is part of the normal eating experience.

Get back on track by snacking on seasonal fruits and vegatables, low sugar yogurt, nuts and savory proteins like smoked salmon when hungry, and make time to enjoy activities that leave you energized and joyful this holiday season. 

Happy holidays!

Recipe Ideas!

Pumpkin Pie - "Before" and "After":
This recipe cuts the calories in half while not skimping on the flavor!

BEFORE:
Ingredients
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 16-oz can pumpkin
2/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 12-oz can evaporated milk
1 pre-made pie crust

AFTER:
Ingredients
4 egg whites, slightly beaten
1 16-oz can pumpkin
2/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 12-oz can evaporated skim milk
Phyllo Pie Crust
   4 tsp sugar
   1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
   4 sheets phyllo dough

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 425F. Spray 9" pie pan with nonstick cooking spray
2. To make filling, combine egg whites with canned pumpkin in large bowl. Add sugar and spices. Blend in evaporated skim milk and set aside.
3. To make crust, combine sugar with pumpkin pie spice in a cup and set aside. Stack phyllo sheets, then cut in half to make 8 sheets. Cover with a tea towel until ready to use.
4. Place one sheet of phyllo on the pie pan, spray with nonstick cooking spray and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of sugar mixture.
5. Repeat steps with remining phyllo sheets, fanning them eveninly until the entire pie pan rim is covered.
6. Pour pumpkin filling into phyllo shell and trim excess dough. To prevent crust edges from bruning, cover loosely with aluminum foil.
7. Bake for 15 minutes at 425F. Reduce temperature to 350F and bake for an additional 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center of pie comes out clean. Cool before slicing.

Easy Snacking Mini Chicken Empanadas:

Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup minced green onions
1/2 cup minced red bell pepper
10 1/2 ounces of boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 diced hard-boiled egg
1 tablespoon diced black olives
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 package refrigerated pie crust dough

Directions
1. Heat oven to 375F and coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray
2. In a 10-inch skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat and saute green onions and bell peppers about 2 minutes, until tender and lightly browned
3. Stir in chicken and cook until no longer pink, stirring frequently
4. Turn of heat and add egg, olives, paprika, salt and pepper. Transfer to a shallow bowl to cool
5. On a clean surface, unroll dough and make 24 discs with a 2 1/2-inch round cutter
6.  Place about 1 tablespoon filling in the middle of each dough disc, being careful to about the discs' edges. Lightly wet the edge of the dough with water. Fold each disc in half and press to seal edges, so the shape resembles a half-moon.
7. Crimp around edges with a fork
8. Place emanadas on a prepared baking sheet at least 1 inch apart. Bake until golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes

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A Healthier Holiday Season: Part 3 with AVH Dietitians

December 27, 2017
With the holidays upon us, we turned to our very own Aspen Valley Hospital Dietitians—Kristy, Sandy and Laurie—to answer some common questions about eating healthier during the holidays. Plus, we have included some tasty recipes to try! This is Part 3 of 5, so stay tuned for more helpful information and delicious dishes.

Our Wonderful Dietitians:

   Sandra Holmes                                      Kristy Bates                                             Laureen Osier
 

Question:
I ski almost every day during the holidays. How do i keep my energy up without cramping up?

Answer:
It is important to eat right and keep hydrated when exercising at altitude. One of the most overlooked nutrients is water. Drinking water before, during and Quick read more or view full article after exercise is important to stave off the symptoms of dehydration which can include: fatigue, weakness, headache and muscle cramping.

Eat a hearty breakfast; for some, that is a breakfast sandwich of eggs on 100% wheat toast or smoked salmon on a whole grain bagel. You could even opt for a nut butter sandwich. I eat cooked whole grain (buckwheat, steel cut oats, barley or quinoa) with soy milk, almods, chia seed and fresh fruit.

All represent a breakfast that has carbohydrate, protein and fat. It is important to refuel during and after exercise. Plan ahead so you can eat during the first 30 minutes after exercise when muscles are in the recovery stage. Have a piece of fruit or another source of healthy carbohydrate along with some protein (small bag of nuts and seeds). When you eat dinner, have a healthy mixed meal to ensure electrolytes are replenished. 

Recipe Ideas!

A Hearty Pancake Breakfast 3-ways:
Ingredients
The Base:
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 cup unsweetened Silk soy
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

First Way: Blueberry Almond
Pancake base
1/2-3/4 cup blueberries
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Second Way: Apple Cinnamon
Pancake base
1/2 gala apple - finely diced
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Third Way: Banana Nut
Pancake Base
1/2 banana chopped
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions
1. Mix base ingredients with whichever way you choose in bowl and whisk until smooth
2. Heat non-stick pan over medium
3. Spoon batter onto pan until desired pancake size reached
4. Flip once bubbles form on top of the uncooked side of the pancake
5. Enjoy! Read Less
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A Healthier Holiday Season: Part 2 with AVH Dietitians

December 25, 2017
With the holidays upon us, we turned to our very own Aspen Valley Hospital Dietitians—Kristy, Sandy and Laurie—to answer some common questions about eating healthier during the holidays. Plus, we have included some tasty recipes to try! This is Part 2 of 5, so stay tuned for more helpful information and delicious dishes.

Our Wonderful Dietitians:

   Sandra Holmes                                      Kristy Bates                                             Laureen Osier
 

Question:
I keep hearing people going dairy-free to improve their gut issues. I usually make a lot of casseroles during the holiday - what would be the best substitute for cheese and milk?

Answer:
Lactose intolerance is a condition where people are unable to digest the Quick read more or view full article lactose (sugar) in milk. People of African, Asian, Hispanic or Native American dissent are more likely to lack the enzyme, lactase, responsible for digestion.

If you would like to substitute milk in a recipe, you can use soy, rice, almond or a variety of plant milks (cup for cup). Coconut milk can also be substitute, but it is high in total fat, calories and saturated fat, so consider lite varieties and use in moderation. Cheese, on the other hand can often be tolerated by those who lack the enzyme, as it does not contain much lactose. There are however, other health reason to substitute cheese or eliminate it. Most cheeses tend to be high in saturated fat and sodium, which can increase your risk for heart disease and type 2 Diabetes.

Tofu can be frozen and defrosted to provide a consistency like ricotta cheese in things like lasagna. Silken tofu can be blended with lemon juice to make a creamy consistency like plain yogurt. Raw almonds can be blended with water or broth to make a creamy liquid to add to soups/casseroles to provide a sauce.

Recipe Ideas!

"Parmesan Cheese":
Ingredients
1/4 cup raw chasews
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons hemp seed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions
1. Mix all ingredients in a coffee bean grinder
2. Keep in a small respurposed spice jar and sprinkle on popcorn, soups and Italian foods!

Banana "Nice" Cream:
Ingredients
1 banana per person (the riper the banana, the sweeter the "nice" cream!)
A splash or two of almond or soy milk (or any plant based milk)

Directions
1. Remove the peels from the bananas and slice them up
2. Put the banana slices into a plastic bag and place it in your freezer
3. Once the bananas are frozena ll teh way through, take them out ot thaw slightly
4. Put the frozen bananas and milk substitute into a strong blender (or even a food processor should work)
5. Sprinkle the top of the Banana "Nice" Cream with nutmeg, cinnamon or berries (or all three!)

Your imagination is the limit with this healthy ice cream recipe. You can try the same thing with different fruits like berries or mangoes. If you like strawberry-banana smoothies, try mixing frozen strawberries and frozen bananas to make an ice cream. Or, if you like peanut butter, try mixing some peanut butter into the banana "nice" cream. Read Less
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A Healthier Holiday Season: Part 1 with AVH Dietitians

December 21, 2017
With the holidays upon us, we turned to our very own Aspen Valley Hospital Dietitians—Kristy, Sandy and Laurie—to answer some common questions about eating healthier during the holidays. Plus, we have included some tasty recipes to try! This is Part 1 of 5, so stay tuned for more helpful information and delicious dishes.

Our Wonderful Dietitians:

   Sandra Holmes                                      Kristy Bates                                             Laureen Osier
 

Question:
How do I avoid getting so tired after eating holiday meals?

Answer:
It's normal to feel sleepy after a large holiday meal. Keep in mind, meals rich in carbohydrates can exacerbate this feeling. Carbohydrate-rich sides and desserts cause a burst of insulin to be released Quick read more or view full article into the bloodstream. This, in turn, causes an increase in the influx of tryptophan into the brain. We all know tryptophan as the secret ingredient to turkey that always makes us to tired during Thanksgiving, right? Actually, tryptophan is a neurotransmitter precursor to the synthesis and release of serotonin. Serotonin slows down the nerve traffic in your brain causing you to become more satisfied and relaxed.

To avoid or lessen this response, be sure to eat a balanced meal. Incorporate protein-rich foods when eating a meal that contains carbohydrates. Listen to hunger signals and stop eating when you feel satisfied to avoid overeating. Planning for a walk or some kind of exercise after a meal to get your blood circulating can also help minimize these symptoms. Remember, the holidays are a time for celebration. Don't be too hard on yourself if you get off-track from your regular routine.

RECIPE IDEAS!

For a low-carb stuffing:






For a "feel good" dessert classic that still tastes good:


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