Christmas may be over, but New Year is another occasion that most people are preparing for. So, to help you with your holiday planning, here’s a dessert that will give you that awesome taste but is light enough that you’re free to enjoy it without having that guilty feeling.

This cheesecake has a subtle peppermint flavor; thus, making it a great dessert this holiday season. You can also sprinkle it with crushed candy canes to give it an extra crunch and minty flavor.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Total time: 45 minutes



½ cup low fat Honey Graham cracker crumbs

1 8 ounce pack fat-free cream cheese, softened

1 8 ounce pack reduced fat cream cheese, softened

2 egg whites

1 egg

½ cup sugar

2 to 3 drops of red food coloring (optional)

1 ½ tsp peppermint extract

Mini candy canes for garnishing



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place the graham cracker in a sealed plastic bag and crush them using a rolling pin to make the crumbs.
  3. Get a loose-bottomed baking pan or an 8-inch springform and spray it with nonstick spray.
  4. Cover the base and side of the pan with a foil wrap. Then, press the crumbs to the base of the pan and bake it for about 8 minutes.
  5. Get a large bowl and beat the sugar and cream cheese together. Mix them until it becomes smooth.
  6. Add in the egg and mix well. Continue beating and add in the egg whites one at a time.
  7. You can also add peppermint extract if you want. Add a few drops of food coloring to give it that light pink color.


  1. Pour the cream cheese mixture into the pan.
  2. Put the cheesecake in a shallow roasting pan. Don’t forget to add hot water. This is important as the steam will help prevent the cheesecake from cracking.
  3. Bake it for around 30 to 35 minutes until the center is almost set.
  4. Let it cool for about 15 minutes. Then, remove it from the pan.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
  6. Serve chilled.

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Indulging on classic dishes like pumpkin pie, hot chocolate, mashed potato and prime ribs is a part of the holiday fun. However, taking in too much of these could make you feel heavy and bloated. Luckily, there are a few healthy tweaks that you could do in order to help lighten up your favorite holiday treats without sacrificing the taste and your figure as well.

Cheese tray

When serving cheese, try to incorporate reduced-fat cheeses to your usual cheese selection. This way, health-conscious individuals shall have better options. Also, don’t forget to round up your cheese tray with whole grain crackers and fresh fruits like pears, apples, figs and grapes.

Mashed potato makeover

Though potatoes by themselves offer a long list of nutrients like Vitamin C and potassium, you’ll be sacrificing its nutritional integrity by adding in loads of fattening ingredients like heavy cream, butter and whole milk.

To lighten up this tasty treat, use low fat buttermilk instead of full-fat dairy. Plus, ramp up the flavor by adding in spices and fresh herbs like roasted garlic or chipotle pepper.

Slim with skim

During the Christmas season, it’s fine to indulge on peppermint lattes and hot chocolate. However, considering the amount of food you’ll be taking in, it is best to trim down on the calories where you can. So, instead of whole milk, request for skimmed milk. By doing so, you could save up to 100 calories per 16 ounce serving.

Cut the crust

If you’re the type of person who eats pumpkin pie just for the filling, you might want to skip on the crust completely. By doing so, you could shave off at least 100 calories per slice.

Stick to your usual filling recipe and pour it into individual ramekins. Then, bake it until it sets. Top it off with whipped cream and you’ll get a delicious pumpkin custard with a cute presentation to match.

Rethink your roast

For meat lovers, a holiday celebration would never be complete without a perfectly cooked slab of prime rib. However, at 720 calories per 6 ounce slice, the stats alone could make your heart skip a beat.

For an equally tasty meal without all the damage, you might want to consider lean beef tenderloin since it has about half of the calories. If this does not work you, you could also try other lean holiday entrees like pork tenderloin or roast turkey.


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Healthy eating is not about depriving yourself from the food you love or maintaining a slim figure. It’s about staying as healthy as possible and feeling great about it. Fortunately, this could all be attained by sticking to some nutritional basics and applying them to your daily diet.

In this article, we’ll help you plan and create healthy and tasty meals and expand your range of healthy and delectable food choices. Read on and enjoy the perks of sticking to a healthier eating habit.


Instead of obsessing yourselves over calorie counts and measuring food sizes, think of your diet in terms of freshness, variety and color. By doing this, it would be easier for you choose a variety of healthy foods without the complications of counting calories and serving sizes. Focus on the foods you love, create easy recipes and incorporate fresh ingredients.

Make gradual changes

Shifting to a healthier diet cannot be done overnight. That’s not realistic either. Also, a person who tries to change everything at once tends to cheat or easily give up on their new diet plan.

Take small steps such as adding a vegetable or fruit to your diet once in a while. Also, when cooking, you could switch from butter to olive oil. As you start to adapt to these changes, feel free to add in more healthy foods into your diet.

Incorporate exercise and water in your diet

Water helps flush out toxins and waste products in our system. With the lack of water in our body, this could result to dehydration; thus, causing headache, lack of energy and tiredness. Staying hydrated is important.

Most people mistake thirst for hunger. Drink a glass of water to know if you are really hunger or you’re just thirsty. This could also be helpful for people who are on a diet.

Find an activity that you enjoy and add it to your daily routine, just like adding in a few fruits and vegetables in your diet every day. Exercise comes with a long list of benefits. And you can get all these by staying active and spending a few minutes a day exercising.

By adhering to a regular exercise program, plus, incorporating a few servings of healthy foods, you are on your way to a healthier lifestyle.

If your kids love chicken nuggets, you should consider trying this recipe. After tasting this, you’ll surely find it hard to go back to the frozen nuggets you usually buy. These gluten-free chicken nuggets are incredibly crispy. Dip them in sour cream horse radish sauce, and your kids will surely love them.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Total: 25 minutes

Makes:  4 to 6 servings



3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

½ cup gluten-free all purpose flour mix

1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

½ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 large egg, whisked together

½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon gluten-free Italian herb seasoning

1 cup crushed gluten-free panko flakes

¼ cup canola oil for frying

¼ cup olive olive oil for frying



  1. Place the chicken breasts between 2 sheets of waxed paper. Pound them using a meat mallet until they are about ¼ inch thick.
  2. Use a sharp knife and cut the pounded breasts into 2-inch strips. Then, cut the strips into 2×2 inch nuggets.
  3. Have 3 8-inch baking dishes ready. Use the first dish to combine the gluten-free all purpose flour mix, pepper, salt and seasonings.
  4. Using the second dish, combine the olive oil and the egg. Whisk them thoroughly.
  5. Using the third dish, combine the grated Parmesan cheese and the gluten-free panko flakes.
  6. Coat the chicken strips in flour mixture. Then, dip them in the egg and olive oil mixture. Lastly, coat them with Parmesan cheese and panko flakes mixture.
  7. Place the chicken strips on a large baking sheet which is lined with parchment paper.
  8. Refrigerate the nuggets for about 30 minutes before frying them.


  1. Using a large heavy skillet, heat the canola oil and olive oil mixture over medium high heat.
  2. Add in the chicken nuggets and cook for about 4 minutes until golden.


Since this is a gluten-free recipe, always make sure that the tools, pans and utensils are also gluten-free. Plus, don’t forget to read the labels. Some manufacturers change the formulation of their products without notice.

Hard to ignore all those tempting sweets during the holidays? Do you dread the holidays with all those tempting, fattening foods? This year, be prepared for the season with these tips from

1. Exercise, exercise, exercise

“Setting a regular fitness schedule is the key to keeping weight off in winter,” says Lisa Giannetto, MD, an assistant clinical professor in the Diet and Fitness Center at the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. “Come five o’clock, when it’s pitch black and cold out, you’re a lot more likely to go to your warm home and watch TV if you don’t have a regular fitness schedule that includes a variety of types of exercises.”

2. Never go to a party hungry

“Fruits and vegetables are where we need to get our carbohydrates, and not from alcohol and brownies,” says Jule Anne Henstenberg, RD, director of the nutrition program at La Salle University. “Use high-fiber fruits and vegetables to fill up before a party.” Eat a bunch of baby carrots, a big salad, or an apple, for example, to curb your desire for empty party-food calories.

“When we eat outside the home, studies suggest that we may take in 40% more calories than we would otherwise,” says Cheskin. “We even have seen this finding replicated in animal models.”

So much of our eating is not related to hunger, he says. The more variety of foods available at a meal, the more likely you are to eat more food.

“The stress of a social setting and an environment with many food choices and alcohol will tend to foster overeating,” Cheskin says. “So these are good times to be on guard.”

3. Avoid alcohol

Alcohol is loaded with calories. And since “many holiday celebrations involve drinking, it’s easy to take in a lot of calories without being aware that you are,” says Scott Isaacs, MD, clinical instructor of medicine at Emory University and medical director at Intelligent Health Center. “Drink a glass of water or a diet soda before and after each alcoholic beverage to help pace yourself and to dilute calories,” says Isaacs, who is also the author of Hormonal Balance: Understanding Hormones, Weight and Your Metabolism.

4. Practice calorie damage control

“If you do overeat, don’t ‘fall off the wagon.'” says Isaacs. “Make up for it by cutting your calories for a few days and adding extra exercise.”

And get exercise in anywhere you can, says Giannetto. Take a brisk walk on your lunch break and after dinner. At work, use stairs rather than the elevator.

“When you get just 100 fewer calories per day through dieting and exercise or both, that is the equivalent of 10 pounds per year.”

5. Remember to have fun

“The main reason you’re at a party is to see people and celebrate, not to eat a lot of high-calorie foods,” says Cheskin. “So be aware of why you’re there and make that your focus.”


Thanksgiving Day involves a lot of delicious and lovingly cooked food. It also offers a lot of temptation to gorge yourself until you feel sick. Balancing the desire to eat as much of the tasty fare as possible with being sensitive to your limits is a case of mindful eating. Here are some suggestions to help you out.

Accept that this is a day of indulgence. While you may be on a diet or watching your food intake, bringing any sense of deprivation into the day may cause you to overeat out of sheer rebelliousness against “missing out”. Cut yourself a little slack and let yourself enjoy more food than usual on this special day. After all, the next day things can go back to normal.

Be sure to eat properly prior to the meal. Don’t skip any of the meals during the day – eat breakfast and lunch. The only difference is that you may want to eat more lightly than usual. However, skipping eating normally will just tempt you to overeat at the Thanksgiving meal.

Take small amounts when serving yourself. Take one small piece or scoop of everything that you enjoy to begin with. Remind yourself that you can always take seconds! This approach is considerate of the need to avoid waste.

Honor the food. Thanksgiving is a time of giving thanks for the food that is on the table. Think about the contents of your plate and how it was once alive and is now about to provide you with energy and nutrition. Think about all the people whose efforts brought the food to the table, from the farmer to the cook.

Pause. Before you begin to eat, notice everything about the food on your plate. What are its colors, textures, aromas and anything else of note?

Take small bites and chew everything well. This relates back to the previous step––as you bite, savor the things that you noticed about the food when you took time to assess, such as texture and taste. Also, small bites and slow chewing aids digestion, as enzymes in the mouth begin to break down the food for you.

Chat with others. You’re more likely to realize that you’re full before you feel sick if you talk, rather than shovel food into your mouth non-stop! During the meal, make an effort to engage others in conversation in between bites. This shouldn’t be too hard if family members you haven’t seen for awhile turn up with news of the events in their lives.

Avoid wolfing down your food. Eat slowly and savor the food you’re consuming. If you finish everything on your plate, wait a minute. You can tell a story to everyone else, or just sit back and relax.

Take seconds only if you’re still hungry. Repeat the eat-wait-take more cycle until you feel satisfied, but not stuffed. Aim for feeling good, not feeling so stuffed that you can’t eat another thing or feel ill.

Get away from the table. Go for a walk, play football, entertain a child, play with a pet or help clean up! Head out to volunteer for those less fortunate on Thanksgiving. This will keep you from munching just because there’s food in sight.

Congratulate yourself on a job well done. And laugh at everyone who feels so full they can’t move! In fact, you might take a moment to share the secret of enjoying a Thanksgiving meal mindfully with them––just don’t be preachy.

1 cup serving:

11 g protein
114 mg sodium
4 g fat
143 calories
Traditional “Cream of Mushroom Soup/Fried Onion” Green Bean Casserole:
3/4 cup serving:
3 g protein
530 mg sodium
9 g fat
161 calories
Aunt Frannie’s “Healthy Twist” on Green Bean Casserole, Amy Richardson, CNT: (Download pdf. here)
1/2 onion, sliced
4 cups fresh green beans
1 3/4 cups plain greek yogurt
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese (plus 1 TBS for garnish)
1/4 cup panko style bread crumbs (plus 2 TBS for garnish)
2 TBS olive oil
dashes nutmeg if desired
dashes sea salt
dashes crushed red pepper
Nutritious and Delicious Green Bean CasseroleNutritious and Delicious Green Bean CasseroleNutritious and Delicious Green Bean CasseroleNutritious and Delicious Green Bean Casserole








Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat skillet to medium high with 2 TBS olive oil
Add sliced onions and saute until soft. Add green beans and blanche/saute until slightly cooked.
Add spices.
In mixing bowl: mix hot green bean and onion mixture with yogurt. Add parm and panko. Mix thoroughly and pour and spread into 8×8 square baking dish. Top with remaining TBS of panko and parm.  Bake @ 350 for 25 min. on middle rack until bubbly and browning. Brown an extra 2 minutes on top rack on “broil” setting but careful not to burn.
*Note: add sliced mushrooms to skillet if desired.
*Note: double or triple if serving more than 5-6 people.
This recipe packs more protein, less sodium, and less fat. It’s nutrient dense and doesn’t have artificial fillers, and is easier to digest than traditional casseroles.

These oatmeal breakfast cookies are perfect for the whole family!

Serve them up for breakfast, a quick afternoon snack, or a late night sweet tooth.
Your taste buds will be satisfied!

This recipe from is packed full of nutrition and is a great replacement for high calorie and sugary cookies.


1 can white beans
1 c almond milk
2 cups old-fashion oats
1/2 cup baking stevia in the raw
4 Tbsp PB2 powder
1 scoop vanilla Shakeology (or protein powder of choice)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350
1. Wash and drain white beans. In blender or food processor puree beans
2. Add almond milk, stevia, PB2 powder, shakeology, and baking soda
3. Blend until ingredients are evenly distributed
4. In a separate bowl, pour in outs and chocolate chips.
5. Add wet mixture to oat/chocolate chip mixture.
6. Mix ingredients with spoon until evenly distributed
7. Spray baking sheet with non-stick spray
8. Use an ice cream scooper to spoon cookie dough balls onto sheet.
9. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown