5 Easy Tips to Prevent that Holiday Weight Gain

The holiday season for many of us is a busy, food-filled time of the year that can be both joyful and extremely stressful — particularly when it comes to the dreaded holiday weight gain that haunts so many of us.

But this time of the year should be joyous and you should be able to enjoy the parties without feeling the extra stress and worry of weight gain. Here are a few of our favorite holiday weight gain prevention tips. Keep them in mind to help you stay fit and healthy during the holidays.

1. Keep Eating
No matter what happens at the many holiday and office parties and gatherings with lots of food, keep eating. Keep eating means stay on schedule and don’t let these gatherings knock you off track. The biggest issue I see with both Rebooters and clients is the meal skipping that goes on around holiday gatherings, either pre- or post. A few skipped meals can lead to extreme hunger and overeating, which can snowball into a terrible pattern of overly large meals and periods of severe hunger, neither of which lend themselves to weight maintenance.

Stay on track by continuing with your three meals and one or two snacks, even when you know you’ll be going to a party, and even when you know you ate too much the night before. Getting back on track will help keep your weight in check.

2. Keep Moving
One of the best ways to keep weight in check is by moving; however, with the hectic holidays upon us, I often find that movement is one of the first things to get off the calendar. It starts by missing regular gym classes on Tuesday and Thursday evenings due to holiday parties and then that can snowball into weeks with lack of movement.

Stay on track and do yourself a favor by scheduling time for your workout (or simple movement) like you would schedule a holiday party (in black ink in your calendar). Remember that walking around the office, taking the stairs, standing while working – it all counts. Even if it’s only for 10-20 minutes (try our 20 minute do anywhere workout), staying active will help to keep your schedule on track and your waistline whittled. After all, it’s much easier to maintain than to start from scratch.

3. Stay Prepared
Don’t let yourself get so busy that you forget to do the things you need to do to stay on track like stocking your cabinet and pantry with healthy food and snacks. It’s key to make sure you’re able to keep up with purchasing healthy foods and keeping your cabinets stocked and ready to go for continued success throughout the holidays. Stay on track by setting time aside to grocery shop, or even better to prepare foods you can freeze or store in the fridge like soups, stews, hummus, juices and smoothies. Need inspiration? We have tons of recipes.

Need ideas? Check out our 10 favorite pantry staples.

4. Food-Forgive Yourself
Food forgiveness is perhaps one of the most important aspects to staying on track (during the holidays and all of the time). After all, we’re not perfect, so the likelihood that we’ll end up having something we were hoping to avoid, especially during a time when treats and high calorie foods are prevalent, is more than likely. I find that those who are able to recognize that they had something they were hoping to avoid, and then let it go are more likely to be successful with their plan longer term.

Stay on track by practicing letting it go. This doesn’t meant that you should go out and eat foods that are sugar and calorie filled and let it go all the time, but it does mean that when you have the intention to stay on track and you slip, that you let it go. This is so important because feeling guilty about choices made can cause a snowball effect into making other poor choices, so really, let it go.

5. Just Breathe 
This may seem impossible at such a busy time of year, but it’s crucial that you take time to de-stress, relax and put your feet up even if it’s only for five minutes. Taking time to relax can not only help you stay on track with your plan, but can help prevent stress-related eating, mindlessness and making poor food decisions. Remember that many times when we eat it’s out of stress, not hunger.

Stay on track by practicing yoga, meditating, or simply by putting your feet up and closing your eyes or by doing whatever else relaxes you. Finding time to relax even at the busiest time of year can really help to promote making good choices and can help you enjoy yourself.

Here are 13 ways to get back on track when you’re feeling sluggish after the holidays!

Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Zucchini Fettuccine

My little daughter loves cheese so this recipe was a fob off a tomato cheese lovers pasta, and she loved it. It’s simple and delish and could be enjoyed by many. Even though it seems quite decadent the are tons of vegetables hidden in this meal so it’s a great one to eat leading up to a Reboot preparation or into your transition out stage. You can also enjoy this sauce with a regular wholegrain pasta of your choice.

The Good Side of Salt

What if I told you that there was a positive benefit to including salt in your diet, and that it was absolutely imperative for your health to eat some salt? Yes, that’s right- it’s true- your body absolutely needs some salt, every single day.

The reason that salt gets such a bad rap is because we have an overabundance of salt in our everyday life. Salt is used in most packaged and processed foods as a flavor agent and as a preservative, which means we end up getting much more of it than we need. Like most things, salt in moderation is absolutely healthful, but overuse turns a good thing bad.

What does salt do in your body?

  • Regulates blood pressure.
    Water follows salt, so more salt in the blood stream means more blood volume in the blood and higher blood pressure, which to a certain extent is imperative, but in excess can cause hypertension.
  • Nerve conduction and muscle contraction.
    Salt plays an important role in sending nerve impulses for muscle contraction both for muscles you control and for muscles you don’t control like your heart and your diaphragm.
  • Maintains fluid balance.
    Sodium along with potassium work together to maintain fluid balance inside and outside of the cells in the body, also helping to maintain hydration in muscles and tissues.

How much salt should you have?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), we need between 180-500 mg of sodium per day to keep our bodies working properly. Most people should aim to have between 1.5- 2 grams daily (1500-2000 mg) give or take depending on the person; however, on average, most people in the US consume about double that if not more.

How to cut back on added salt?
Following a diet of real food, cutting out artificial and processed foods will for most people allow for healthy blood pressure regulation. For any foods that you’re purchasing that are processed, read the label. Aim for lower sodium items, and of course load up on the fruits and vegetables, the healthy potassium in fruits and vegetables can counter act the effects of sodium on blood pressure; and for flavoring, use spices!

What type of salt should you use?
Each type of salt (table salt, Himalayan, sea salt) contains the same amount of sodium, but the major difference comes down to the amount of processing that each undergoes. Sea salt and other larger crystals undergo less processing than some finer-crystal salt like table salt. Another major difference is that some salt is iodized and others aren’t.

Iodine is an important nutrient that plays a role in the production of thyroid hormones and therefore is important to normal thyroid function . Iodized salt used to be the norm, but lately “designer” salts including fancy and seasoned sea salt is not fortified with iodine.  Foods that are rich in iodine include fortified foods, salt, dairy products,  and food from the sea like fish and seaweed.

When clients ask me what type of salt they should purchase I usually advise them to look for sea salt fortified with iodine if they do not consume foods that are naturally rich in it.

Key Tip: Look for minimally processed salt like sea salt, and aim for it to be fortified with iodine.

Bavarian Orange Smoothie Recipe

In our most recent recipe book, 101 Smoothie Recipes, one of the favorites is this classic flavor that combines the citrus essence of orange with rich, dark chocolate — a Bavarian Orange Smoothie! This recipe is exclusive to the recipe book but since it’s the season of giving, and this flavor reminds us of the holidays, we’re giving it to you now! You can find 100 more incredible recipes in the book.

Homemade Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins

I created this recipe for a private client who is both diabetic and gluten-free. Those two words are often synonymous with unnaturally dense baked goods that have a cloyingly sweet and slightly metallic taste (from artificial sweeteners). Not these blueberry muffins! They are just substantial enough to be filling and each bite highlights the juicy, vitamin C packed blueberries. I used agave as the sweetener because of its low glycemic index, and the protein boost from the flax, nuts and nut milk also helps to keep blood sugar levels steady. A pre-mixed gluten-free all purpose flour keeps things simple. The gluten-free all purpose flours on the market generally work well, though be sure to check the package instructions as some do require adding extra ingredients such as xantham gum. If you’re not shying away from gluten, you can certainly substitute wheat flour.

The ‘Digestion-Helper’ Juice

I love grapefruit and lemon in my morning juices! This juice combines fruits and vegetables that give your digestive system and your metabolism a little kick-start first thing. Sour tastes are important for good health, they support clear, healthy skin, help to lower our risk for many diseases and health conditions and may even help with weight loss as part of an overall healthy and plant-based diet. Enjoy this sweet and sour drink the next time you want a new juice for your morning routine.

11 Teas to Sip on for Amazing Health Benefits



Whether it’s the start of winter or the beginning of summer, tea can be a nice addition to your daily ritual by providing a soothing warm (or cold!) drink and rich anti-cancer and heart-healthy benefits. There are tons of teas out there, so I’ve narrowed it down to 11 that are the most popular and why they are good to drink.

1. Black Tea
Made from fermented tea leaves, black tea contains both caffeine and tons of phytonutrients. Black tea contains nutrients called theaflavins and thearubigins, types of polyphenols that contain both antioxidants that may help to repair or prevent cellular damage and may also help to promote heart health by preventing damage to blood vessels thereby helping to also prevent stroke. Nutrients in black tea has been found to be potentially beneficial when it comes to protecting lungs from exposure to cigarette smoke and to promoting heart health. 

2. Green Tea (caffeine-containing and caffeine-free)
Green tea is made from steamed tea leaves and is high in catechins – a compound that may be more beneficial in preventing oxidative stress than certain antioxidant-containing vitamins like vitamins C and E. Catechins found in green tea may also be help prevent various types of cancer including skin, breast, lung, colon, esophageal and bladder. Nutrients in green tea may also promote heart health and may even play a role in preventing neurlogical disorders like alzheimers and parkinsons diseases.

3. Mint Tea (caffeine-free)
Mint tea (either in the bag or made by soaking mint leaves in hot water) may enhance digestion and soothes upset stomach as well as prevent constipation

4. Ginger Tea (caffeine-free)
Ginger contains both anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting and digestive properties; therefore ginger tea may provide immune system support and may also soothe upset stomach-particularly when it comes to nausea. Ginger tea also contains anti-inflammatory compounds that block prostaglandins that can cause swelling in the brain and therefore may help to soothe headaches. 

5. Passionflower Tea (caffeine-free)
Contains anti-anxiety compound, chrysin; passionflower tea may be most beneficial if consumed before bedtime to help ease and quiet the mind. 

6. Oolong Tea
Oolong tea, a type of black tea who’s leaves are also fermented but for a shorter period of time, may boost metabolism and shares similar health benefits to black and green teas when it comes to containing antioxidants and heart-healthy benefits due to it’s catechin content. Some research suggests that oolong may raise metabolic rate for up to 2 hours post-consumption. 

7. Yerba Mate (caffeine-containing)
Yerba Mate contains a compound called mateine that may also slightly boost metabolic rate for some; yerba mate is also a rich source of antioxidants. It’s a popular item at many juice bars these days too! 

8. White tea (contains less caffeine but isn’t caffeine free)
White tea, like green tea, contains a powerful antioxidant compound called EGCG that may also play a role in boosting hormone CCK that promotes feeling of satiety. White tea also contains powerful polyphenol compounds that are also rich in antioxidants. Compounds in white tea may be beneficial in preventing various types of cancers including colon cancer. 

9. Nettle Tea (caffeine-free)
Nettle tea contains antihistamine compounds that may prevent hay fever and other allergy-driven issues; nettle tea may also help to ease allergy symptoms such as stuffy nose.

10.  Chamomile Tea (caffeine free)
Some research suggests that chamomile tea may help to promote sleep and relaxation. It’s also believed to be good for the skin due to its healing, antioxidant, cleansing and moisturizing properties. 

11. Matcha Tea
Matcha is a type of nutrient-packed, powdered green tea that is mixed using a whisk with hot water to make a tea. The benefit of matcha is that the whole leaf is consumed instead of the water steeped in the leaf which has research is suggesting that there is more nutritional benefit that other teas. Matcha tea contains loads of nutrients and antioxidants including vitamins A, B-complex, C, E and K as well as trace minerals and a family of phytonurients called catechin polyphenols. Learn everything you need to know about matcha tea. 

So what’s the best to drink?

As you can see, all of these teas have healthy benefits. In most cases, black and green tea varieties are touted for their greatest source of antioxidants and phytonutrients. This is because black and green teas are rich sources of flavonoids, a compound of nutrients also rich in antioxidants. Flavonoids have been touted for their benefit to preventing and repairing oxidative damage in the body; they may also help to prevent clotting, which may benefit heart health and prevent stroke as well.

Research suggests that people who drink 1.5 cups of black or green tea, not herbal, may be 50% less likely to have a heart attack than those who do not. Other research suggests that people who drink black, green and oolong teas are 45-65% less likely to have hypertension than those who do not.

6 Healthier Swaps for the Worst Holiday Party Foods



For most people, the holidays are a dreaded time for weight gain and falling off the health wagon, but it doesn’t have to be. This year we want you to look at this time as a time to enjoy, a time to celebrate and a time to stick to your healthy eating plan, while still having fun. To help you prepare to stay on track, we’ve highlighted some of the worst holiday party foods you might come across, and some healthier swaps to choose from. 

1. Spinach & Artichoke Dip
Actually, dips in general like buffalo chicken and that Mexican 7-layer dip that you’ve been making for years are absolutely loaded with calories, which may come as no surprise given that they are often made with full-fat dairy ingredients. Because they’re so tasty, these dips can be almost impossible pass on, but keep in mind that one serving of spinach and artichoke or seven-layer dip along with chips can add up to a whopping 400-500+ calories per serving. So do your best to avoid these dips and instead head toward healthier choices. 

Healthy Swap:
Head for the hummus or salsa. Limit your chip intake and then reach for a few carrots or celery sticks. If you’re afraid you won’t be able to find any at the party you’re headed to, offer to bring a healthier dip like the red and green options from the Rainbow Hummus or Eggplant Salsa with carrots or celery. 

 

2. Fried Anything
Chicken fingers, chicken wings, fried goat cheese balls, spring rolls and dumplings are some of the most common foods you’ll see at a party. They’re inexpensive and make the majority of the crowd happy. But they are loaded with calories, fat and potentially even trans fats depending on where and how they were made. The convenience of making them is why they are so appealing since you can buy them frozen at the grocery store, but healthy appetizers can be simple too!

Healthy Swap:
Head for the baked, roasted or grilled appetizers like grilled chicken and veggie skewers, or an apple with goat cheese lightly smeared on it and topped with pistachios. If you’re making your own, impress the guests with these Zucchini Macadamia Pesto Roll Ups – they are festive and taste amazing.



3. Cheese, Cheese and More Cheese
What’s a holiday party without a baked brie appetizer, a cheese and meat plate, and a cheesy sip? Cheesy appetizers are almost sure to be on the food list for your upcoming holiday parties. When you take the servings too far you will likely end up consuming way too many calories and fat, maybe even up to 500-600 calories from just one dish, and the baked brie isn’t far behind it at a whopping 200-300 calories per serving. 

Healthy Swap:
If you enjoy eating cheese at holiday parties, just be mindful of portion size. Just get one plate of apps and only put a small serving of the cheese dishes on at one time, or if you’re a “once you start you can’t stop” kind of eater, then choose the nuts instead for your dose of healthier fats. 



4. Pigs in a Blanket
Those mini hotdogs wrapped in dough are a holiday party favorite. Since they are small you feel like you can consume more than you should. But think again. Hot dogs are full of artificial ingredients and offer no nutritional benefit, not to mention they are high in calories and fat. One little pig in a blanket is about 70 calories each (and who only eats one?).  Try to avoid or at least moderate consumption of the pigs in a blanket and head for the healthier options most of the time.

Healthy Swap:
The only healthier option would be veggies wrapped in dough instead of the hot dog like these Phyllo-Wrapped Asparagus Spears from One Fresh Kitchen. The dough doens’t have much on the nutrient-front either but at least you’ll be getting in a veggie.


Phyllo-wrapped Asparagus
Image from One Fresh Kitchen 

5. Winter Cocktails & Drinks
There’s nothing better than a cozy winter drink – mulled wine, eggnog and hot chocolate to name a few. Unsurprisingly, eggnog is one of the worst holiday party beverage choices as it’s packed with calories and fat; one serving can have as much as 350 calories (and that’s before you’ve even had anything to eat)– not to mention it’s loaded with sugar as well. And hot chocolate can get up there too! The mulled wine has added sweeteners but that smell might make it too hard to say no to.

Healthy Swap:
Choose one. Don’t drink the wine and the hot chocolate. Your best choice is a white wine spritzer or just to stick with water or club soda. There’s enough calories in the food so if you do indulge in eggnog, try to settle for a sip and keep moving along. Or make your own with healthier ingredients. We have a vegan eggnog and hot chocolate recipe that you will love!



6. Holiday Cookies
What’s not to love about a holiday cookie? You look forward to them all year, so the likelihood of you completely saying no to them is probably rare. There’s typically nothing healthy about them so the best tip is to enjoy the cookie but scale back on other areas – have one glass of wine instead of two, pass on the bread heavy appetizers, and reward yourself with that one cookie! But also consider bringing your own to lighten the load and show your guests that healthier sweets can be just as good as the real deal. 

Healthier Swap:
Almond Butter Kiss Cookies! Make this cookies that are only 110 calories each with only 2 grams of sugar.



Get more simple tips for how to navigate a holiday party.

101 Smoothies in One Recipe Book

There’s no denying that I love juice. But ‘Joe the Juicer’ loves smoothies too! They’re a great way to get more plants and enjoy some of my favorite foods you can’t put through a juicer – like nuts, superfoods, bananas, chocolate! Since I love smoothies, I wanted to share my favorite recipes with you, so I compiled them together – all 101 healthy, mouthwatering smoothies –  in my newest recipe book

Like my earlier book, 101 Juice Recipes, my smoothie book features 101 delicious recipes that are 100% vegan. Recipes are categorized by color, you can refer to a key that indicates what smoothies are best for fighting specific conditions like diabetes, high cholesterol, osteoporosis, etc., and all of the nutrition facts are included for each one.

The smoothies in this book were perfected in the Reboot Kitchen to not only taste amazing but to also be high in nutrients. We even reached out to some of our favorite chefs and juice bars around the world to share their best recipes. I reckon we have quite a delicious selection, and I hope you love it as much as I do.

If you’re new to blending, don’t worry, our book includes detailed tips on how to prepare your ingredients to help save time in the kitchen and make sure the taste is just right. (And if you don’t have a blender and would like to make smoothies, be sure to review our blender buying guide.)

BUY THE BOOK TODAY

P.S.
If you want more recipes, we have an incredible special going on right now. We’ve packaged the 101 Smoothies recipe book with our popular 101 Juice Recipes and Reboot with Joe Plant-Based Recipe books. If you buy all all three you’ll save $20!



BUY THE RECIPE PACKAGE TODAY


See our store for more gift ideas at special prices.

Juice and BLEND On!
Joe