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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Healthy Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup

I love experimenting with healthy soup recipes during the colder fall and winter months. I tried this Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup Recipe which we enjoyed this past weekend.

Healthy Minestrone Soup

4 cups Vegetable Broth
4 cups Tomato Juice
1 Tbsp. dried basil
1 Tsp. salt
1/2 Tsp. dried oregano leaves
1/4 Tsp. pepper
2 medium carrots, sliced
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 cup sliced mushrooms or 1 can sliced drained mushrooms
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes with olive oil & seasoning
1 and 1/2 cup whole wheat pasta (any pasta is fine)
1 can red kidney beans, drained

In 4-5 quart slower cooker, combine all ingredients except pasta. Cover and cook on lowest setting for 8-10 hours. Stir in pasta and cook on high heat for 15-20 minutes or until pasta is tender. Bon Appetit!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Keeping the Thanksgiving Holiday in Perspective

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am going to reflect about everything I have to be thankful for.  I also need to keep in mind how not to let the holiday get of control by overeating and as a result, feeling awful.  Luckily my gym is open on Thanksgiving Day and I will be able to burn off some calories before the big meal.  One thing for sure is that there will be no leftovers.  I don't want to deprive my family of a full fledged Thanksgiving feast, so a holiday buffet is our plan for the evening.  I know my husband and children will not want to miss out on dessert, however the idea of baking goodies when I am unable to eat them myself is too much! We have never been to this Thanksgiving buffet before, but we have gone to the Mothers Day brunch.  I  know they spare no expense at the dessert table, so my family will be able to enjoy all the sweets and goodies to their hearts content.

I have many reasons to be thankful this year.  I have a supportive family and many caring friends.  I am fortunate to be in good health and that I have the energy to stay active in my daily life.  I feel great, and I have no reason to not celebrate life.  Ofcourse life has its ups and downs, but I realize how many blessings I have in my life.

After stuffing yourself on turkey day, here are some thoughts on how to burn off or reduce excess calories-

- Take a long walk after the big meal.
- Put on some music and dance around the living room with friends and family.
- Try jumping rope, this burns off about 11 calories per minute.
- Go easy on the Eggnog, this has about 343 calories for a 1 cup serving.
- Choose pumpkin pie instead of pecan pie, this saves about 380 calories for 1 serving.
- Play a fun game of touch football with friends and family.
- Give some of the dessert leftovers to your dinner guests to share the joy.
- Take a bike ride if you are fortunate enough to have nice weather.