turkey

Holiday Survival Guide!

Your health account, your bank account, they’re the same thing. The more you put in, the more you can take out. Exercise is king and nutrition is queen. Together you have a kingdom”

– Jack LaLanne

Holiday lights, party invites, cookies, and recipes abound. Ready or not, the holidays are here! Tips for good health and nutrition need to become part of your holiday schedule, unless you plan to spend another January playing catch-up. Time is one commodity where everyone holds equal shares. To suggest that one is too busy to plan is, at best, an easy excuse to use this time of year. We like to say, “a failure to plan, is a plan to fail.”

Start with eating breakfast. Studies show those who eat breakfast, compared to those who don’t, can lose 27% more fat just by eating breakfast all other things equal (don’t forget the protein!).

Make exercise a priority! No duh, right? Here is a concrete way to take action on this front: Make appointments on the calendar at least 3 times each week. These appointments should be treated as a top priority – non-negotiable. Do not reschedule any of these 3 workouts. There are four other days of the week to allow more flexibility. Thanksgiving Day is the greatest day of the year to exercise. Do NOT skip it. Run a 5k or come kickbox at Ellipse Fitness! It is something of a tradition worth experiencing!

Snack…smart! Saving your appetite and caloric intake for that one large meal only leads to a painful, bloated trip to the couch or throne of another kind! Eat two small meals/snacks throughout the day. Suggestions: veggies and Greek yogurt with seasoning mix to use as your dip; cottage cheese with tomatoes or berries; protein shake; a piece of fruit and almonds.

Choose wisely. Make appropriate meal selections. Turkey, veggies, and sweet potatoes (skip the marshmallow and brown sugar-they are sweet all by themselves. HINT: cinnamon with a little butter). Ask yourself: How bad do I really want _______ (i.e. crescent rolls, green bean casserole, etc.)? Is it worth it? Start filling your plate with turkey and veggies FIRST, then choose one small serving of your favorite guilty pleasure side.

Eat dessert! That’s right. Not “just a little piece” or the infamous “bite of his” either. Eat a full serving of dessert. Do not eat a whole pie, but indulge in a piece of the very best available. If your grandma makes the greatest apple pie in the whole world, savor every piece of that apple pie. Pass on the so-so cookies bought at the store because everyone ‘had to bring something.’ Those end-of-the-aisle sales are not special order for a reason. There is nothing special about it. If dessert isn’t your favorite, then of course don’t eat it just because…but if you spend the entire meal dreaming of what comes next, then make choices on the front end so you can indulge in what you love most. Healthy eating is not about recusing yourself from every pleasure, but about being smart and savoring what you value!

Charged with bringing a dish to pass? Bring the veggie tray with a healthy option you can munch with confidence!

Fiesta Ranch Dip
2 c plain Greek yogurt (or 1 ¾ c of cottage cheese + ¼ c of water-pureed)
1 package Fiesta Ranch salad dressing mix

Or make this delicious version of the sweet potato casserole and skip the tired ol’ marshmallow topped canned yams

Sweet Potato Crunch
Cut, boil, and mash 4-6 sweet potatoes. Place potatoes in a casserole dish.
Melt 4-6 tablespoons of real butter and stir in 2 tablespoons of cinnamon (apple pie spice or pumpkin spice makes for a nice twist as well) to coat 3 cups of plain corn flakes.
Top mashed sweet potatoes with corn flakes and bake for an additional 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

Rock Thanksgiving With These Drinks and Apps!

Well Thanksgiving is nearly here, and if yours is anything like most friends and family will descend upon an agreed upon location, all hauling heavy, over-the-top dishes that almost universally contain extra sweetness and a higher-than-usual volume of carbohydrates!

It’s a celebration meal designed for giving thanks, but instead we often find ourselves crying, “uncle!” at the hands of a feast low in quality nutrition and very high in sugar and calories. Either that, or you find yourself getting inquisitive stares from across the table as they notice your plate isn’t piled high enough to block your view!

BUT NOT THIS YEAR WE SAY! Start planning now to freshen up the variety and the quality of the meal, and most at the table will probably thank you for it!

Appetizers!

Time to get your appetizer vocabulary up to speed! Crudites (kroo-dee-tay) is a French word that means a vegetable that can be cut into sticks, thin slices, or bite size pieces and served with a cold dip. Try this easy, healthy, avocado hummus dip! Blend 2 avocados, 1 can drained chickpeas, ¼ c lemon juice and olive oil, and 1.5 TBSP tahini (optional). Salt/Pepper to taste.

Prep double the veggies and double down on another dip with this excellent version of spinach dip! No Mayo, no cream cheese or sour cream!

Check out the recipe here!

Baked Blooming Onion! Who can resist snagging a piece of a blooming onion?? Try a healthier version by baking and plating with a greek yogurt based dip. Cut the base off an onion, cutting into 12-16 sections (not cutting all the way through) and “flower” the petals, dredge in 2 egg white wash, and coat with ¼ c panko + ¼ c ground almonds + 1/8 c parmesan and spices. Bake 40-45 minutes at 375.
Find the recipe here!

Want a dip with a kick? Combine 8oz plain greek yogurt + 1 tsp sriracha sauce + 1 tbsp parsley.

Drinks!

Add 1 shot of vodka over ice, mix 16 oz water with an “on-the-go” packet of Crystal Light or Similar powder. Pour half the mix over the vodka/ice and add a splash of lemon-lime or ginger ale soda. Toss in a blender for a blended drink! Get creative with your favorite flavors. Only about 110 calories: Cheers!

Combine a packet of Swiss Miss 25 Calorie hot chocolate mix, 3/4 Cup Hot Water and 1 Peppermint Stick. Ready to kick back with something a little more? Add a quick shot of vodka, but keep in mind that will set you back an additional 100 calories. You decide what it’s worth!

Leftovers!

Are you hosting Thanksgiving? This year, buy a BIGGER turkey and rock those leftovers (or snag unwanted leftovers from the host)! Check out these great Ellipse Fitness recipes to use that leftover turkey!

Turkey Enchiladas

Turkey Tortilla Soup

Ellipse Fitness Thanksgiving Leftover Enchiladas

Cheesy Turkey Enchiladas with Tomatillo Salsa and Cilantro

Ingredients:

12 oz. shredded turkey

4 9 inch low-carb tortillas

2/3 cup fat-free spicy black bean dip

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

12 ounce jar tomatillo salsa

1 cup reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees

2. Toast tortillas lightly under a preheated broiler. Keep tortillas warm by covering them with a clean kitchen towel as you go.

3. Stir the black bean dip into the shredded turkey. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Lay the tortillas on a work surface and divide the turkey mixture among them. Fold the sides of the tortillas in over the filling an d roll the tortillas up tightly to encase the filling. Lay them side by side in a 9×13 inch baking dish.

5. Spoon the salsa over the tortillas and sprinkle with the cheese. Back until the cheese is bubbly and the enchiladas are hot throughout, 10-12 minutes.

6. Sprinkle the cilantro over the enchiladas and serve.

Nutrition – 314 calories; 10g fat; 38g protein; 32g carbohydrate; 18g fiber

 

Skinny Turkey-Vegetable Soup

Skinny Turkey –Vegetable Soup

2 Medium Onions, chopped
2 Medium Carrots, chopped
2 Celery Ribs, chopped
½ Cup Chopped Sweet Red Pepper
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
4 Cups Water
1 Can (10 oz) Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies, undrained
½ Cup Frozen Peas
1 Bay Leaf
4 Tsp. Sodium-free Chicken Bouillon Granules
½ Tsp. Dried Basil
½ Tsp. Dried Thyme
¼ Tsp. Ground Cumin
¼ Tsp. Pepper
¼ to ½ Tsp. Hot Sauce (optional)
½ Cup Uncooked Whole Wheat Orzo Pasta
2 Cups Cubed Cooked Turkey Meat
1 Tbsp. Minced Fresh Cilantro

Directions: In a large saucepan, sauté onions, carrots, celery, and red pepper in oil until tender. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes longer. Stir in water, tomatoes, peas, bay leaf, bouillon, basil, thyme, cumin, pepper, and pepper sauce if desired. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.

Cook orzo according to package directions; drain. Stir orzo and turkey into soup; heat through. Discard bay leaf. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Serves: 6
Exchanges: 2 Lean Protein, 1 Carb, 1 Vegetable, 1 Fat

Stuffed Peppers

  Are you in a funk with your meals?  Do you feel like you eat the same thing over and over?  Why not give this new recipe a try!  Lots of veggies to fill you up, whole grain rice to give you energy, and extra lean protein to build strong muscles!  Sounds like a perfect combination to lead you closer to your fitness goals!  Remember – abs are not made in the gym…..they are made in your kitchen!  WHAT you eat is as important as how much!  If you are looking for a customized meal plan to suit your lifestyle, fitness routine, and goals – talk with you Ellipse Fitness Coach about our Weight Loss Program that does just this!

 Stuffed Peppers
4       Medium Green or Red Peppers
8       Oz. Cooked Ground Turkey
2       Cups Cooked Brown Rice
¼       Cup Chopped Onion
1 ½   Tsp. Salt
1/8   Tsp. Pepper
15     Oz. can Tomato Sauce
4       Oz. Reduced-Fat Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Directions:  Wash peppers and cut in half lengthwise, remove seeds.  Mix turkey, rice, onion, salt, pepper, & ½ cup of the tomato sauce together; spoon into green peppers halves.  Arrange in shallow baking dish and pour remaining tomato sauce over top of peppers.  Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Remove cover, sprinkle cheese over each pepper and bake 15 minutes more.
Serves:  4

Exchanges:  2 Carbs, 3 Extra Lean Protein, 1 Fat

Ellipse Tip:  Add some spicy chilies to this recipe to boost your metabolism! Spicy chilies increase your burn thanks to an antioxidant called capsaicin.

Chicken or Turkey Tortilla Soup

 Hi Everyone,

  Happy Thanksgiving!  If you are working towards your fitness, nutrition, and weight loss goals, it is important to remember that today is just ONE meal.  Enjoy your favorite Thanksgiving Day fixings in moderation and then get back on track with your normal eating.  The holidays do not have to get out of control with eating and drinking.  Set yourself a limit and stick with a plan!  Have leftover turkey?  Here is a great recipe to enjoy!

Chicken or Turkey Tortilla Soup

       Non-stick Cooking Spray
4    6-inch Corn Tortillas
2    Tbsp. Olive Oil
3/4 Tsp. Ground Cumin
1/4 Tsp. Salt
1    Cup Chopped Onion
1/2 Tsp. Oregano
2    Garlic Cloves, minced
1    Green Bell Pepper, diced
2    14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes w/ jalapeño
4    Cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1    Cup Frozen Corn
1    Pound Diced, Cooked Chicken Breasts
1/4 Cup Reduced Fat Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Directions:  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.  Stack the tortillas and cut into 1/4 inch strips; toss with 1 tbsp. of the olive oil, 1/4 tsp. of the cumin and salt.  Place on baking sheet and bake 12 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp.

Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in a soup kettle.  Add remaining cumin and the onion, oregano, garlic and bell pepper.  Cook, stirring about 3 minutes, or until slightly softened.  Add the tomatoes and chicken broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and add the corn and chicken; simmer 10 minutes.

Ladle into separate dishes, sprinkle with cheddar, and top with tortilla strips.

 Serves:  4
Total Calories: 371   Carb=38g Prot=35g Fat=11g

 

Barbequed Turkey Sandwiches

Are you searching for a new recipe to serve during your football game party?  This delicious recipe is perfect to serve to a crowd as you can simply double the recipe!  A tailgate party sandwich you can enjoy without the guilt!  A great topping  to this sandwich is a dab of fresh coleslaw!!

Barbequed Turkey Sandwiches

1   Medium Onion, finely chopped
2   Tsp. Olive Oil
3/4 Cup Chili Sauce
1/2 Cup Water
2   Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1   Tbsp. Brown Sugar
3   Cups Shredded Cooked Turkey Breast
6   Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns, split

Directions:  In a large saucepan, saute onion in oil until tender.  Stir in the chili sauce, water, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.  Stir in turkey; heat through.  Serve on buns.

Serves:  6
Total Calories: 278   Carb=32g Prot=25g Fat=8.9g

 Ellipse Tip:  Some great options for buns are Village Hearth Light Buns, Sara Lee De-Light, and Arnold’s Sandwich Thins.

“Super Bowl” of Chili!!

Hi Everyone,

As you prepare for the big game this Sunday, here is a recipe that will feed a crowd!  This chili can be made ahead and left to simmer on the stove or placed in a slow cooker to keep warm after you are finished cooking!  Enjoy the day and game with friends, but why not enjoy a healthy dish, too?

“Super Bowl” of Chili!!

1.5 Lbs. Extra Lean Ground Turkey

2    Cloves Garlic, minced

16  Cups (or 4 qt.) of Tomato Juice

1    16-Oz. Can Kidney or Chili Beans

2    16-Oz. Cans Stewed Tomatoes

2    Tbsp. Chili Powder

1/4 Tsp. Salt

1/4 Tsp. Pepper

5    Cups Whole Wheat Noodles, cooked

Directions:  In a large kettle over medium heat, stir together tomato juice, beans, tomatoes, chili powder, salt, and pepper.  Let simmer and begin to warm.

Meanwhile, boil water and cook noodles until tender or according to packaging directions.  Once cooked; drain and add to soup mixture.

In a non-stick skillet coated with cooking spray, add garlic and sauté for about 1-2 minutes.  Add ground turkey and brown turkey into small crumbles; cooking until all pink is gone and turkey is cooked through.  Add the turkey to the soup, stir together, and cook soup to desired temperature and serve!

Serves:  10

Total Calories: 280   Carb=35g Prot=25g Fat=1.8g

Tiffany’s Tip:  1)  Having more than 10 people?  Just double the recipe!!  2)  Add a dollop of plain fat-free Greek yogurt to the top of your bowl of chili to add a cool taste to a hot bowl of soup!

Turkey Reuben by Ellipse

Hi Everyone~

Here is a low-fat Turkey Reuben recipe that I think is awesome!  This is a staple in our house as it offers a ton of protein, complex carbohydrates, and the zippy flavor of the sauerkraut!  A Reuben sandwich is traditionally served with Thousand Island dressing.  Be careful…..this dressing can add lots of fat and calories to your healthy sandwich!  If you must, go for a low-cal or fat-free version and measure out 1 serving.

Turkey Reuben

4 Oz. Sliced Turkey Breast

1 Slice Reduced Fat Swiss Cheese

2 Slices Whole Wheat or Rye Bread

1/4 Cup Sauerkraut

Directions:  In a skillet, warm turkey over medium heat.  Meanwhile warm the sauerkraut.  When the sauerkraut is warm, place it on top of turkey in skillet, top with slice of cheese, and cover skillet.  When cheese is melted, place ingredients on toasted bread and enjoy!

Serves:  1

Total Calories: 247   Carb=22g Prot=34g Fat=6.2g

Tiffany’s Tip:  This is easy to make for a crowd!  Get out the griddle, warm the meat, separate it in separate stacks, and add the sauerkraut and cheese!  DONE!!  Serve and enjoy!

Turkey Meatloaf Muffins by Ellipse Fitness

Hi Everyone ~

This GREAT recipe was shared with me from a Member at the Neenah, Wisconsin studio.  What an easy recipe to make and have plenty of leftovers!  Even your kids will love these!

Turkey Meatloaf Muffins

1.25  Lbs. Extra Lean Ground Turkey

1        6 Oz. Package of Stove Top Stuffing Mix

½       Cup Egg Beaters

1        Cup Chunky Salsa

1        Cup Water

1        Package of Taco Seasoning Mix

 

Directions:  Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.  Lightly spray 12 muffin cups with cooking spray, divide mixture amongst 12 cups, and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

Servings = 6 (2 muffins/serving)

Total Calories: 229   Carb=23g Prot=27g Fat=2.6g

 

Tiffany’s Tip: Having holiday company? This is a great recipe to make in advance. Mix all the ingredients together, separate into individual muffin tins, wrap with plastic wrap, and pop in the oven 30 minutes before you are ready to eat!