New Year, new foods
By Lisa Crockett
After six weeks of Holiday feasting and celebrating (more if you include Halloween) most of us make resolutions that include dropping a few pounds and moving a little more. Gym parking lots overflow and low-fat and low-cal snacks dominate grocery store displays. And while it’s a great idea to make a fresh start with the new year, most of us set ourselves up for failure by trying to change too many things at once or by making impractical, extreme changes in our habits.
“If you want to outlast the people I call ‘resolutionists’ I’ve found that it’s better to make a few small, sustainable goals,” said Becky Harsh, a personal trainer who lives in Castle Pines. “Rather than saying you’re going to lose 20 pounds, resolve to work out three times a week. Or, make a resolution to cut one unhealthy food from your diet. Small, attainable goals will give you a feeling of accomplishment and help you work toward larger objectives.”
Goals will vary for individuals based on their current fitness and activity level, said Harsh. So someone who is completely sedentary might set a goal to go for a 15 minute walk four times a week, while someone who is moderately active might add a strength training component to their routine. For people who are already active and fit, a race or event to train for might be just the jump-start needed to revitalize their regimen.
Harsh also recommends looking at health and fitness as an endeavor that involves not only what you put in your mouth and what you do at the gym, but also about what goes on in your head.
“Finding ways to reduce stress can really enhance your fitness and health. Taking just 15 minutes to sit still and meditate can give you amazing focus,” said Harsh.
For diet recommendations, Harsh is a proponent of upping your intake of vegetables, especially greens like broccoli, spinach and kale. Harsh, the mother of two young sons, is also a fan of tasty, protein-packed meals like this Green Chili Chicken burger.
“It’s quick and tasty and my kids like it,” said Harsh. “We grill it outside or cook it on our Foreman grill.”
For information about training with Becky Harsh, contact her by e-mail.
Green Chili Chicken Burgers
To give this recipe less heat, omit the jalepeno pepper
1 avocado, peeled and pitted
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound ground chicken breast
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers, drained
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded if desired and finely diced
3 green onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
ground black pepper to taste
4 slices Cheddar cheese
4 hamburger buns, split
1 cup shredded lettuce
1/3 cup salsa
1. To make the guacamole, place the avocado, cilantro, sour cream, chili powder, salt, and pepper in a food processor and pulse until smooth..
2. Mix chicken, canned chilies, jalapeno pepper, green onions, oregano, salt, garlic powder, and pepper in a bowl. Form the mixture into 4 patties.
3. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium heat.
4. Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill each patty 5 minutes per side, until well done. Move the patties to a cooler area of the grill to keep warm, and top each patty with a slice of Cheddar cheese. Lightly grill the buns while the cheese is melting.
5. Spread the bottom of each bun with guacamole, and top with 1/4 cup of shredded lettuce and a grilled chicken burger. Spoon 1 tablespoon of salsa on each burger and top with the other half of the bun to serve.