Tag Archives: betterment

How to Stay Healthy & Fit During the Holidays

25 Nov

Since we strive to help keep our customers healthy with our sushi and other menu items,  we wanted to give you some advice on how to make good decisions this holiday season! Check out what our friends at Lifestyle Revolutions have to say about staying healthy & fit during the holiday season:

 As a fitness professional, I have clients, friends and family members all ask me similar questions: “How do I keep the holiday pounds off?”

Did you know that “holiday weight gain” is ranked as the #2 fear of people during the holiday season?  “Long lines and tough crowds” ranked as #1.  I don’t know about you, I can usually avoid crowds by shopping online, but is it as easy to keep the weight off or better yet, even lose weight during the seasonal months?  I say it is definitely possible and I can give you great tips on how to stay fit, slim, and healthy during Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Before we dive in, let’s look into this “holiday weight gain” concept a little deeper… According to several health studies, most people believe that the average person gains between 1-10 pounds during the holiday season. In actuality, in average, people only tend to gain 1 pound with both Thanksgiving and Christmas!

This actually surprised me a bit because I am used to a heavy amount of new and motivated goal-setters that march into the gym the first week of January with new tennis shoes in hand, fresh yoga mat and a slightly nervous but determined look on their faces.  These folks are ready to get serious about turning over a new leaf and about shedding off their “winter coats”. 

The weight gain most people are referring to is the result of an accumulation of negative behaviors such as 6 weeks of less exercise, an increase in parties and events with high calorie food and drinks available, larger portions sizes during meals which causes the stomach to adapt to large amounts of food, and multiple layers of clothing which can hide the holiday bulge making weight gain seem hidden and manageable. So as you can see, the weight gain that people fear is not a result of 2 days of eating, rather it is the accumulation of choices made during the 6-week period.

What is the plan of action against the holiday offenses? Let me give you a game plan and help you beat the weight gain trend for life.

Game plan for your activity before and after:

1. Studies have shown that if you exercise 30 minutes to 1 hour before the event and also first thing in the morning the day after, your body will store less of the calories as fat.  The body will only store it in a “temporary storage” area: the muscle cells. The problem is when there isn’t any activity or exercise. The body will then store it away nice and tight in a fat cell.  This takes a little more time for you to burn off in the future. 

2. If you are in a situation where you absolutely cannot exercise, do anything you can to help clean, chase the kids around or straighten up any messes. Any activity is better than no activity. Just make sure to exercise at your next available time!

3.  Check out any local running or walking events in your area and ask if any of your friends or family members would like to join you. This is a wonderful mindset switch to a day of activity rather than a day of lounging and stuffing our bellies.

4.  Find pockets of 10 minutes where you can do a short, but intense workout.  An example would be: 1 minute jumping jacks, 1 minute running in place, 1 minute body weight squats, 1 minute lunges, 1 minute wall or floor pushups. Repeat this one more time for a quick, 10 minute workout.


Game plan for your nutrition before, during, and after:

Even though avoidance is the surest way to keep from gaining weight, Aunt Sally’s cherry pie, your office Christmas party, and a large array of holiday appetizers, treats and munchies can be hard to resist. 

1. One of my favorite ways of staying on track is contributing to the smorgasbord with my own dishes that I have made from home.  I set my own diet-safe appetizers along with the others so that I can avoid other foods that may be triple the amount of calories than I was planning on consuming that day. 

2. Keep your calories lower the day before, and the day after so that you can afford to splurge a little on the day of the event.  If I am running errands and I want a healthy, no-guilt lunch, I am going to how do you roll? for their awesome Ceviche Appetizer for 225 calories, 12 grams of fat, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 8.5 grams of protein. I love that I can grab something fresh, and guilt free to keep my energy up and my calories in check.

3. Fill your plate first with lean meats and freshly cooked vegetables (green beans over the green bean casserole).  Pick 2 of your favorite “splurge” items and put half the amount that your normally would onto your plate. Vow to not go back for seconds of those items!

4. Drink water before, during, and after you eat your meal. You will get a feeling of fullness that will keep you from overeating. Also, sipping on water or a non-calorie beverage can keep your from munching on things before and after you eat.


Here are some traditional holiday recipes that have gone to REHAB. Try them out this year!


Green Bean Casserole

4 cups frozen French-style green beans

10 ¾ oz can condensed Healthy Choice cream of mushroom soup

½ cup fat free or light sour cream

1 tbsp diced pimento (optional)

¼ cup canned chow mein fried noodles


  1. Lightly cook frozen beans
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  3. In a casserole dish or 9×9 inch dish, combine condensed soup, sour cream, and pimento. Measure 4 cups of cooked green beans, add to dish and stir.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle chow mein noodles over the top and bake 5 minutes more.

Makes 6 servings

1 serving: 102 calories, 2 grams fat, 16 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams protein.


Cranberry Walnut Dressing

1 ½ cups finely sliced celery heart

1 ½ cups chopped onion

3 tbsp butter

1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth (liquid)

16 oz can whole berry cranberry sauce

4 tsp of low sodium chicken broth (powder)

2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth (liquid)

1 tsp ground sage

1 tsp thyme

½ tsp ground pepper

14 oz (about 8 cups) herb-seasoned bread cubes for stuffing

2/3 cups walnuts, toast4ed for 1 minute under broiler to lightly brown


  1. In a dutch oven for stock pot, simmer celery and onion in the butter and 1 cup chicken broth until tender. While onion and celery mixture is simmering in a small saucepan, mix cranberry sauce with the 4 tsp of chicken broth powder over low heat until broth powder dissolves.
  2. Add seasonings and 2 cups chicken broth to celery and onion mixture. Add bread cubes and stir until evenly moistened.  Drizzle cranberry mixture over the top of the bread mixture and sprinkle walnuts over cranberry mixture. Stir to mix evenly. Cover and let sit on warm setting of stove for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Makes about 16 servings of 1 cup per person.

Per serving: 200 calories, 6 grams fat, 32.5 grams carbohydrates, 4.5 grams protein.


“Fake” Mashed Potatoes

1.5 lb raw cauliflower bunch

¼ cup fat free milk

1/8 cup heart-healthy “butter spread”

¼ tsp sea salt

½ tsp cracked pepper

2 cloves garlic

½ tsp garlic powder

1/8-1/4 cup reduced fat Parmesan or Swiss cheese (optional)


  1. Break up the cauliflower into smaller pieces or chop thoroughly.  Steam cauliflower in microwave until tender and easily pierced.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend in a high power blender or food processor. Serve very warm.

Per ¼ batch: 180 calories, 7 grams fat with cheese (2 grams fat without cheese), 2 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams protein


Skinny Pumpkin Pie

15 oz canned pumpkin

2 Tbsp light butter, softened

¾ cup light brown sugar, unpacked

½ cup fat free milk

1 large egg

2 large egg whites

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

½ tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 frozen pie crust sheet, Pillsbury (thawed to room temperature)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly dust a large, flat surface with flour. Roll out room temperature pie crust sheet, so it is thin enough to cut off about 30%, so that your final crust is 5oz.  Place into 9-inch pie dish, cutting off extra dough.
  3. Pour pumpkin into large bowl. Add light butter, and mix well. Using an electric mixer, mix in brown sugar, milk, eggs, egg whites, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Beat on medium until mixture is smooth. Pour into unbaked pie crust.
  4. 4. Bake 60 minutes or until knife inserted into center comes out clean.

Makes 8 servings

1 serving is 172 calories, 6.5 grams fat, 31.5 grams carbohydrates, 3.5 grams protein



Have a healthy Thanksgiving and Christmas!

Julienne Colon, Lifestyle Revolutions


Healthy Lunches for Back to School

3 Sep


Hi sushi lovers! The following post is another helpful and healthy from our friends at Lifestyle Revolutions:

Hey Mom and Dad, school time is back again and its time to add an important step to your morning routine: packing the lunch box!

Kids love options that are healthy, quick, and easy to eat and even though they may prefer French fries and chicken strips on a daily basis, they also will love the thought you put into packing them a fun, healthy, and thought-filled lunch.  Healthier options may also help them focus throughout class and keep them from feeling a slump in the middle of their day.  Here are some tips, suggestions and easy recipes that will make your kiddo excited to dig in!

Meal Idea #1:

Grilled Cheese Sandwich and “Ants on a Log”

Take a slice of organic cheese between 2 pieces of Ezekial or Whole Wheat bread and cook on stove until cheese melts.

“Ants on a Log”: Take 1-2 Tablespoons of organic peanut butter or almond butter and smear in the “dip” of 3-4 pieces of celery.  Place raisins or dried cranberries on the butter in a row to look like marching “ants”.

Add in a piece of their favorite fruit and you’re good to go!

Meal Idea #2:

Muffin Pizzas and veggies

Toast a whole wheat English muffin. Spread some tomato-based sauce (about 2 Tablespoons) on both cut sides.  Meat-eaters add a little bit of grilled chicken pieces, or nitrate-free pepperoni and sprinkle organic mozzarella cheese on top and put into the toaster oven or under the broiler until cheese melts.  Vegetarian kiddos can sprinkle extra veggies and Vegan cheese on top.

As a side, give them baby carrots, celery, cucumber slices, or broccoli with low-fat salad dressing as a dipping sauce.

Meal Idea #3:

Turkey and Cheese Rollups with fruit and yogurt dip

Roll 2-4 slices of organic, nitrate-free deli turkey and low-fat cheese slices together and secure with toothpicks. Then mix 1 6oz container of yogurt with 1 Tablespoon of organic peanut or almond butter, and ½ teaspoon of cinnamon (optional).  Add the side of fruit to dip the sauce and they are set!

Meal Idea #4: Gluten Free and Vegetarian

Banana Butter Honey Hot Dog

Take an Udi’s or Rudi’s gluten free hot dog bun and smear 1 Tablespoon organic almond butter or peanut butter inside.  Next add about 1 Tablespoon raw honey and place a small banana inside the bun.  Wrap a paper towel around the dog to keep honey from getting bun too sticky on the outside.

Add some veggies like snap peas or sliced zucchini as a side. Yum-o!

Try a few of these out and let us know what your kids think!

Here’s to you, Belle da Costa Greene!

13 Dec

Happy 129th Birthday Belle da Costa Greene!

Perhaps the most famous librarian in history (not saying much, I know), Ms. Greene was the personal art and book collector for the financier JP Morgan, and is responsible for perhaps the most prized private library in the world—although  my bookshelf is catching up pretty quickly.

Born as Belle Marion Greener to two African-American parents, she changed her name to Belle da Costa Greene to in fact hide her ancestry in hopes of achieving her longtime goal of becoming a librarian. Not what most kids dream of being when they grow up but, you know, different strokes. She was introduced to Morgan through a family member and was soon contracted to collect for his private library. Someone needs to teach me to network like that. The intelligent, cunning Belle surpassed everyone’s expectations and was soon outbidding significantly more experienced collectors for a variety of manuscripts, books, and artwork. Her skills were said to be unsurpassed.

But that’s not all. Ms. Greene was known to be a beautiful librarian with a cutting edge sense of fashion. Personally, I’ll believe it when I see it.

“Just because I am a librarian,” Belle once said, “doesn’t mean I have to dress like one.”

Well, more credit to ya Ms. Greene, a lady that truly lived the core values of work ethic and betterment.

Here’s to you Belle da Costa Greene, happy birthday!

Interested in reading more? Check out her biography here: http://www.amazon.com/Illuminated-Life-Greenes-Prejudice-Privilege/dp/0393051048

Here’s to Annie Edson Taylor!

24 Oct

Happy 174th Birthday Annie Edson Taylor!!

We’re sure you’ve all heard Annie’s story before, but you might not have known her name.  Annie Taylor was known as an “adventuress.” She was the first person to survive a trip down Niagara Falls in a barrel, giving a new meaning to the words “how do you roll?”

A bit about Ms. Taylor- the daughter of a flourmill owner and one of eight children, Annie spent most of her life traveling and working an impressive variety of jobs. Over her eighty-two years she worked as a school teacher, a dance instructor, a music tutor, and of course, a daredevil. I wonder what her paper resume looked like?

Eventually, Ms. Taylor decided to branch out of the norm and take her famous trip over the falls with the idea of gaining fame and fortune. She made her own custom barrel of oak and iron which she then padded the inside with a mattress and her own lucky, heart-shaped pillow. Clearly, she planned on rolling first class.

The sixty-three-year-old spent about twenty minutes total going over Niagara Falls’ three plunges and emerged with only a few cuts and bruises.

Unfortunately, Annie’s dreams of money never came to fruition. Her manager embezzled her money and left her penniless. But it’s here, on the HDYR? blog that Annie Edson Taylor gets the recognition she truly deserves. Here’s to you, Ms. Taylor, a woman that truly represents the values of coachability and betterment. Not to mention, we admire her innovative thinking!

Here’s to Elmer Ambrose Sperry!

12 Oct

Happy Birthday, Mr. Elmer Ambrose Sperry, the most famous inventor you’ve never heard of!

Mr. Sperry, a man who devoted his life to the spirit of invention, was born on October 12, 1860. By the time he passed away in 1930, he had taken out just under 400 patents. That’s twice as many as Thomas Edison- you may have heard of that guy.

Sperry is attributed with applying the gyroscope to stabilize boats and airplanes. His inventions and adaptations were invaluable to the US navy during World War I. In 1930, two of his gyroscopes were used to fly an airplane from San Francisco to Sacramento without human interference. Can you say automatic pilot? This was before computers, people.

But that’s not all…

According to his obituary, “he invented new systems of street lighting, new machinery for mining, electric devices for trolley cars, an electric automobile, a lighting system for motion picture projection, an electric arc light, a high-power searchlight and electrochemical processes.” An electric automobile, huh? Aren’t those considered cutting edge these days? Clearly, he was an innovator, a man way before his time.

And here I was thinking that replacing the lamp in my TV was an accomplishment. Mr. Sperry was a man who truly represented the values of work ethic and betterment, and it’s here that he gets the recognition he deserves.

Here’s to you, sir!