Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Be the Best You: 5 Steps to Better New Year's Resolutions


Tips for making New Year's Resolutions you're more likely to keep.
By Lylah Alphonse | Managing Editor, US News Dec. 30, 2013
The New Year is all about making resolutions. But while 45 percent of Americans say they usually make them, just 8 percent of Americans manage to keep them, according to recent data from University of Scranton researchers and the Journal of Clinical Psychology. Losing weight, getting organized, spending less and saving more are the top promises we make (and break) at the end of each year. Here are five tips for making New Year's Resolutions that you're more likely to keep.
Set achievable goals. Losing 25 pounds may not be within your control, but opting to eat more healthily can be. Getting a promotion may be up to your boss, but learning more transferable skills is something you can vow to do yourself. "Be real when you make a resolution," suggests Elisa Zied, a registered dietician and the author "Younger Next Week." Rather than commit to running a marathon, "Set yourself up for success and map out your course by making appointments with yourself to be active. If you treat your goals like set appointments, you're more likely to achieve them."
Reach out to others. Let your closest friends and family members in on your goals; they'll help hold you accountable, provide support when you feel your willpower starting to slip and serve as a sounding board when you need to figure out a problem. "Having a support network is crucial in achieving your goals," says Luke Landes of Consumerism Commentary.
Do unto yourself as you would do unto others. Yes, you read that correctly -- it's a twist on the Golden Rule, and something we tend to forget to do. "Consider resolving to treat yourself with just as much love and respect as you do your closest friends and relatives," Dr. Yoni Freedhoff writes at U.S. News & World Report. "Anytime you catch yourself beating up on your own normal human imperfections ... consider how you might counsel your loved ones were they in the exact same situation. Because you deserve to love and respect yourself too; no doubt, doing so will confer onto you tremendous health and life benefits."
Find ways to feel happier. Thousands of studies have shown that having an attitude of gratitude can make for positive change in your life. "Gratitude isn't passive reflection. It's active," says David DeSteno, a professor of psychology at Northeastern University in Boston. "And it's not about the past. It's there to help direct our behavior in the future." At the very least, it can make you feel happier -- and there are real physical and emotional benefits to being more upbeat. "You're 50 percent less likely to have a heart attack, you get sick less often, and you can be a lot more productive at work," points out Nataly Kogan, founder and chief happiness officer at Happier.com, where community members chronicle their daily happy moments, no matter how small. With a little practice, feeling happy can become a habit (check out Kogan's 21-day Happier Courses for inspiration). And happiness is contagious. "If you're happier," Kogan says, "You'll make the people around you happier, too."
Forget resolutions; pick a theme instead. Tired of making the same resolutions year after year? Instead of focusing on "lose 10 pounds" or "hit the gym more often," pick a theme like "activity," "movement" or "fitness" and strive toward that instead. "The theme should be a word that resonates with you and embodies something that has been missing from your daily life," advises Melinda Johnson, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. "Instead of defining specific behaviors that you want to do, you simply keep your theme in mind and allow your days to unfold from there."

Sunday, December 25, 2016

How I lost 13 pounds in 1 month

I want to share this one with you again.  I have been successful in keeping my weight down, but I never did get to my true desired weight and I must always remember to drink my water, to eat my vegetables and, for me, give up alcohol as best I can!

It happens to us all.  We see a picture, or catch our reflection in a mirror.  We don't feel comfortable in anything we wear. We don't feel attractive. Sometimes, people even say things like, "I'm just worried about your health."  Whatever the occurrence, we reach that point where we are truly determined to make a change. 

For me it was seeing myself in a video.  I just could not believe that I really looked like that. But then again, yes I could.  For all the reasons I just named above.  I was ready.  I had to lose weight.

July 9, 2015 was Day 1. I didn't want to put it off another day.  It was my son Casey's birthday.  We had dinner plans at Nakatos.  I passed on the noodles, the rice and the alcohol. 
July 10, I left on an 8 day trip to Washington state.  But I was determined. 

This was my plan;
96 oz. of water every day.  I bought several 1-Liter size water bottles. 
This size bottle is easy to carry, sturdy enough to refill, and I only need to drink 3 per day.  One in the morning, one early afternoon, and one late afternoon into evening.  Drinking water is a KEY component to not feeling hungry.

Each meal I strived for Protein, Veggie or Fruit, and Fat 
Lots of Veggies, Fish, Chicken, Fruit, Nuts and Healthy Fats.

I also ATE LESS quantity. I don't need as much as I think I do.  A serving of meat is the size of a deck of cards. 

This is what I told myself;
DO NOT eat the foods that give you no nutritional value.
No Alcohol - This was, and still is, very hard for me.
NO Soda -  This was not hard for me.  I only drink soda with my alcohol.
NO Starches, bread or pasta - For me these are addicting.  For weight loss, cut them out of the plan.
NO Sugar or Flour - Our body does not need these. 
NO Fried.
No processed food.  NO MSG.  NO corn syrup.
NO Empty Calories - No sweets, No desserts.  You know what it tastes like, you don't need to taste it.  If you must eat something on the list above, only take 3 bites.  After 3 bites the "pleasing sensation" diminishes.  Another good rule of thumb, is to eat half of the portion.  Put the rest away before you start to eat.
Eat 4 to 5 little meals per day.  For me, I decided to stay between 1,200 - 1,500 calories per day.   So I tried to choose foods that were about 250 calories per meal.  If I went over a little it's ok.
Try to walk every day.  This is not that difficult for me.  I KNOW that I feel better when I have spent time outside. 

So what did I eat?
It's worth repeating...
Each meal I strive for Protein, Veggie or Fruit, and Fat 
Lots of Veggies, Fish, Chicken, Fruit, Nuts and Healthy Fats.  I don't deprive myself.  I will add a little sauce of some kind. 

Read the labels.  I choose less sugar, and full fat.  The fats will also help satisfy hunger and cravings.
1 cup Greek yogurt and 1/4 cup granola. In our World Flavors Section at Republic Road, I like Viki's Granola.  The ingredients are ALL natural.
Eggs - I like an omelet with a little saut├ęd spinach, onion, and 1 TBL shredded cheese. 
Avocado - SO healthy
Salads loaded with cucumber, tomato, carrots, celery, avocado, onion.
My favorite Dressing - Balsamic vinegar alone or with a little added oil.
Yumbutter Superfood - Almond Butter - Also in World Flavors. Enjoy with banana, sliced apple, celery, or any veggie really.
P-3 by Oscar Mayer has been a quick go-to lunch at work with an apple.  It has ham or turkey, cheese and almonds.
Cottage Cheese - I like to add a tablespoon of our Harter House Homemade Vegetable Dip and have some cut up veggies on the side.
Lemon water - add different flavors to your water.  Lemon, lime, also orange or cranberry juice.
Real Chicken Stock - with some added veggies.  After Thanksgiving, I boiled the turkey bones and made a ton of broth. I drank at least one cup everyday for probably two weeks.  If was actually filling.
Every day I take a Multi Vitamin and a Probiotic.

Of course, this is a short list, but I wanted to keep it simple. 

Susan, Cathy, Shelly on vacation
 in November.  I feel normal again.
The first month it really was easy because I was SO motivated.
August 5, I weighed 13 pounds less. 
September 2, I was 19 pounds less.
Sunday, Sept. 13, I wrote in my journal, "Sitting outside at Gayle's house, I comfortably crossed my legs.  As soon as I did it, I realized!"
September 30, 24 pounds less
October 22, 26 pounds less.  It's getting harder.  I'm testing the waters.  Sometimes I forget to drink all my water.  I still can't give up my alcohol completely.  I am feeling SO GOOD that I am not trying as hard.  But, I'm not there yet!
November 19, still 26 pounds less.  I just returned from an eleven day tropical vacation.  I maintained!
December 16, down 32 total pounds, even through these Holiday parties.  Down 5 inches total around my waist.     

The first of the year is here, and I'm ready to get focused again.
I CAN do this!

I must give thanks to my friends, Dr. Tracie Ojakangas, owner of Affirm Medical Weight Loss and also Maureen Hays, co-owner of Head to Toe Wellness.  Both of these ladies have given me so much support and direction.

The most important thing to remember is that we can accomplish anything that we set our mind to.  What we focus on expands.

I'm not a professional, but after so many years of focusing on food and nutrition, I think I (WE) have a lot of knowledge.  In the end it's always our choice.  And By our Choices we Reveal our Commitments.

Shelly Kauffman
Harter House Supermarket 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Garlic Herb and Parmesan Butter

After a brisk walk at the Springfield Nature Center this morning, and with light jazz music playing on my stereo, I am now ready to concentrate on planning this evening's meal. Tonight we will entertain some friends.

As an appetizer I have a Breton Mini Cracker topped with a small slice of Brie Cheese and a spot of Tabasco Pepper Jelly.

I will serve Delicious USDA Choice New York Strip Steaks.

Also Baked Potatoes, Asparagus Spears, and Caesar Salad.

And of course, followed by something sweet, yet to be determined.

What will make this meal extra special, beside the Harter House Strip Steak, is a Garlic Herb Butter to top the meat, asparagus and crusty french bread.

Make this butter ahead so that the spices have time to infuse the butter.

Garlic Herb and Parmesan Butter

8 ounces softened unsalted butter **
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
2 tablespoons green onion, chopped
1/4 cup grated parmesan
Salt and pepper, season to taste


Combine all ingredients and refrigerate.

**I like European Plugra Butter found at Harter House.
Find many more flavored butter recipes at http://www.plugra.com/recipes

Monday, December 19, 2016

Warm Spinach Mascarpone Dip

Forget the sour cream.

Forget the cream cheese.

Spinach dip made with mascarpone cheese
pronounced mas-car-pone)
is an absolute winner!
Lighter (texture…sorry…not in calories) and I bet you’ll love it.

Warm Spinach Mascarpone Dip
Servings: 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Yields 2 cups

I like to serve the spinach dip with sliced french bread, celery sticks or warmed pita bread triangles.

16 ounces frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
1 small onion, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt (1/4 teaspoon table salt)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (freshly grated if you have)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder
8 ounces mascarpone cheese, softened at room temperature
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. Take a handful of the defrosted spinach and squeeze and discard the water from the spinach. Squeeze as much of the water out as you can, you should get about a little less than a cup of spinach water.

3. Heat a saute pan over medium heat. When hot, add the olive oil and swirl to coat. Add the onions and saute until soft and translucent, about 4-5 minutes (take your time, if you do this over high heat, the onions will burn and become bitter). Add the spinach and saute until the spinach is warm, but still bright green about 30 seconds.

4. Season and toss with salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne. Turn off the heat and stir in the mascarpone cheese and the grated parmesan.

5. Pour into 2 small oven-safe dishes and bake for 30 minutes until the cheese is bubbling around the edges. Serve warm with pita chips, bread or celery sticks.

Find Everything you need at Harter House and Harter House World Flavors.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Sweet Potato Au Gratin

1 Cup Milk
1 Pint (2 Cups) Heavy Cream
¼ Teas Ground Nutmeg
¼ Teas Ground Cinnamon
1 Teas Salt
¼ Teas Ground Black Pepper
3 Lbs. Sweet Potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
1 TBL. Chopped fresh Parsley Leaves

2 TBL. Butter, cut into chunks plus more for baking dish
¼ Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
¼ Cup Grated Cheddar Cheese

In a large saucepan combine milk, cream, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Gently fold in sweet potatoes. Bring to a simmer and allow sauce to thicken.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Butter a 3-Quart baking dish. Combine the bread crumbs, butter and Cheddar Cheese to make the gratin topping. Transfer the potato mixture to the baking dish and sprinkle with the gratin topping. Bake until the potatoes are cooked through, about 35 to 45 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley.

The Five Best Gifts to Give Your Family

When we think of giving gifts, we usually think of things to buy for people. Yet if you think back on gifts you've been given, it might not be the material gifts you received that are foremost in your mind - it might be the kind of gifts that deeply touched your heart and soul. It might be various ways, other than material things, that people expressed their love to you.

Here are five gifts of love that we can give to our families that can make a huge difference in their lives.

A profound gift we can give to our loved ones is to listen with our heart and to understand and accept rather than to judge. Instead of focusing on getting this from others, why not focus on giving it to others? You might be surprised at how wonderful you feel in giving this gift to your family.

One of the best gifts we can give our loved ones is our own courage. This means being honest about what we want and don't want, what we will do and won't do, what is and what is not acceptable to us. It means having the courage to take good care of ourselves, even if others don't like it. It means not succumbing to our controlling behaviors that come from fear: anger, withdrawal, compliance, resistance, but instead being honest and above-board about ourselves.
When we have the courage to face conflict and tell the truth, we not only provide our family with a role model for courage, but we provide opportunities for our loved ones to step up to the plate in the face of our truth and learn to be courageous too.

One of the best gifts we can give our family is to role model doing service. Helping others fills the heart and soul in ways that nothing else can. If children do not see their parents doing service and helping others, they may never learn the great joy and fulfillment that comes from giving. One of the best gifts we can give to our family is to provide ways of doing service.

Creativity can be expressed in so many ways - cooking, crafts, building things, music, art, movement, telling stories, writing, humor, photography and video - the possibilities are endless! Creative family projects are especially wonderful in creating family closeness.

Lightness of being - fun, joy, laughter, playfulness - is a great gift to give to others. Lightness of being is infectious - our laughter and playfulness can help others take life less seriously and "lighten up".
Lightness of being is one of the results of all the other gifts - of caring, courage, service and creativity. When we give these gifts, we feel a wonderful lightness within, the lightness that is the result of fully giving from the heart. Our own lightness of being can bring lightness into our whole family. Children love it when their parents are playful, fun loving and joyful. Laughing together as a family is one of the most precious experiences in life.

We need to focus on giving these gifts each day, not just during a holiday season or special occasions. These gifts are far more important than any material thing we can buy for someone. In fact, we might not be so focused on material gifts if we frequently give the gift of love - of caring, compassion, courage, service, creativity, and lightness of being.

This message brought to you with love,
from your Harter House family.
From our house to your house! Tis the season of Joy!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A Passion for Goat Cheese

I've found that there is an enormous variety of topics that can stimulate great online conversations, but none elicit such excited and passionate responses as "cheese"!
You'll find everything you need at Harter House and World Flavors!
Here are several interesting ways to enjoy my favorite - goat cheese:
  • Goat cheese and avocado sandwich.
  • Mix goat cheese with balsamic vinegar and olive oil for a great salad dressing.
  • Make a salad with butter lettuce, goat cheese and small cubes of fresh pineapple with a sweet Vidalia onion dressing.
  • Asparagus lasagna with a goat cheese bechamel sauce.
  • Make a savory goat cheese frosting for cupcakes.
  • Chocolate-hazelnut spread and goat cheese brownies.
  • Goat Cheese Truffles: Roll balls of goat cheese in different herbs and spices and serve with crackers
  • Enchiladas filled with Sweet corn, green chilies, onion and goat cheese - spiced with cumin, garlic, chili powder & cilantro.
  • Devils on Horseback: dates stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in bacon.
  • Goat cheese, Italian white beans, olive oil, fresh flat leaf parsley, sea salt, & cracked pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.
  • Blend goat cheese with the fruit curd of your choice; spread between two waffle cookies & freeze for an hour. Best ice cream sandwich ever.
  • Phyllo dough spread with pesto, goat cheese, sundried tomatoes and pine nuts; rolled, sliced and then baked. YUM!
  • Lamb chops topped with goat cheese, rosemary, and white wine sauce.
  • Goat cheese, strawberries and mint pesto on pizza dough - grill it!
  • Add goat cheese to sweet pea risotto and finish with fresh thyme.
  • Stuff goat cheese under the skin of a chicken breast and bake in the oven.
  • Top homemade pizza dough with olive oil, goat cheese, fresh thyme and caramelized onion; top with a sprinkle of good sea salt.
  • Rosemary and goat cheese bread pudding.
  • Boil a cut-up head of cauliflower. Drain and beat wit an electric beater. Add goat cheese, mayonnaise, butter salt & pepper.
  • Goat cheese and scallion scones.
  • Semi-hard goat cheese bechamel macaroni & cheese with shaved truffles (or morels) topped with crispy bacon.
  • Mix goat cheese with colatura (anchovy sauce) and stuff into halved peppadew peppers; broil until cheese is lightly browned.
  • Tomatoes, goat cheese, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh basil, pine nuts!