Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Avocado

Wheat-free, gluten-free, high in protein and low in calories (in other words, incredibly healthy), quinoa is often called a ‘SUPER food’. Combined with just the right ingredients, you have yourself a SUPER (“Healthy You” approved) recipe. Another benefit? This delicious meal is made in almost no time. Enjoy and please tell me what you think by commenting below!

Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Avocado
Servings
4
Servings
4
Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Avocado
Servings
4
Servings
4
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the quinoa and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Set aside, covered, to steam for 5 minutes. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and transfer to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or until chilled.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lime juice, salt, and pepper.
  3. Add the corn, avocado, tomatoes, and black beans to the quinoa and stir to combine. Add the lime dressing and stir gently. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.
Share this Recipe

Mixed Fruit Parfait

Does your yogurt need a little something extra? Skip the high calorie granola and opt for mixed fruit. This combination of kiwi and berries will provide you with just the right amount of natural sugar to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Mixed Fruit Parfait
Servings
2
Servings
2
Mixed Fruit Parfait
Servings
2
Servings
2
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. In 2 glasses, add 1/4 of the fruit mixture to the bottom of the glass, spoon in 1/2 cup yogurt into each glass. Add the remaining fruit mixture over yogurt. Add mint spring and serve.
Share this Recipe

Holiday Survival Guide: 10 Tips for Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

Holiday CupcakesThe holidays are often a time of stepping away from our normal routine. From office parties to family gatherings, the holidays can wreak havoc on your weight loss goals. Add in the stress of holiday shopping, relatives in town and school being out, and you have a recipe for overindulging. Don’t get too discouraged! The Holiday Survival Guide can help you avoid holiday weight gain and still enjoy the festivities.

We all know the holidays should be a festive time to enjoy family and friends, not a time to feel guilty or be consumed with thoughts of gaining weight. Following all 10, or even just a few, of our holiday survival tips can make your holidays guilt-free.

Don’t let holiday weight gain sneak up on you this year – let this new found knowledge help you enjoy the holidays leaner and happier!

Here are 3 of the Holiday Survival Tips 10 tips to get you started. Fill out the form below to receive all 10 tips!

1. Control Your Portions. If you’re looking to maintain your weight over the holidays, you need to pay close attention to not just what you eat but how much you eat. When given the choice of a small or large plate, I always choose the small one as studies show people eat less when they use a smaller plate. And don’t feel compelled to clean your dish – leaving a few bites at each meal can add up to a lot of saved calories.

2. Keep Healthy Snacks on Hand. The holidays are often a time when a barrage of candy and other sweet treats show up in the office and at friends’ houses. I always try and keep healthy snacks on hand. Not letting yourself get too hungry can make it easier to say “No, thank you” when offered a holiday treat.

3. Offer to bring a dish. Whether you’re going to a party or a holiday dinner, offer to bring a healthy side dish, appetizer or dessert. Contributing a healthy dish like shrimp cocktail, vegetables and dip or fruit salad will provide you with a least one healthy option to keep you on track. When I attend a part, I almost always bring a vegetable platter with hummus. The host is usually thrilled that I made the effort to bring something and I’m thrilled I have a healthy alternative among mostly unhealthy and high calorie choices.

Receive your Free Holiday Survival Guide Now!

Fill out the form below to receive all 10 Tips for Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain.

Raisin and Walnut Quinoa

This warm raisin and walnut quinoa recipe is fresh, flavorful and versatile. Eat it as a side dish, with your favorite fish or over mixed greens.

If you find other great pairings with this recipe, please share with me below!

Raisin and Walnut Quinoa
Servings
4
Servings
4
Raisin and Walnut Quinoa
Servings
4
Servings
4
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper.
  3. Add raisins, walnuts and cilantro to hot quinoa.
  4. Pour in olive oil mixture and stir lightly.
Share this Recipe

Perfect Penne and Pesto

Simple, yet classic – what more could you need? Made with brown rice pasta, this flavorful penne and pesto is a perfectly healthy meal.

Perfect Penne and Pesto
Servings
4
Servings
4
Perfect Penne and Pesto
Servings
4
Servings
4
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. In a food processor, pulse pine nuts until finely ground.
  3. Add basil, garlic, salt and pepper, and pulse until finely chopped.
  4. Slowly pour in olive oil as your pulse.
  5. Transfer pesto to a bowl and toss with penne.
Share this Recipe

Mushroom Risotto

This mushroom risotto calls for a little time and care, but is well worth the TLC!

Mushroom Risotto
Servings Prep Time
4 45minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 45minutes
Mushroom Risotto
Servings Prep Time
4 45minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 45minutes
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. In saucepan, warm broth on low heat.
  2. Heat olive oil in medium-large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, shallots and garlic, and cook until shallots are translucent (approximately 2-3 minutes). Add rice and salt to the mushroom mixture, and stir to coat.
  3. Stir 1/2 cup hot broth into rice mixture, and cook on medium-low heat, stirring constantly.
  4. When broth is almost completely absorbed, add another 1/2 cup hot broth, and continue to stir.
  5. Repeat until all broth has been absorbed in 1/2 cup increments.
  6. Expect 30 to 45 minutes of total cooking time.
Share this Recipe

Want to lose weight in 2014?

HY Challenge Cover Photo_Take

We received such an incredible response to the first ever 14-Day Healthy You! Challenge that we’re doing it again! Reserve your spot now! The free online challenge will begin Monday, January 6th.  

If your 2014 resolution is to lose weight, the 14-Day Healthy You Challenge can help! Give me just two weeks and I’ll help you lose weight the quick and healthy way and ultimately achieve your goals for the New Year! Participants from the November challenge lost on average 6 to 14 pounds during the 14 days!

Here is just some of the incredible praise we received from the 250+ participants that took part in the November challenge:

  • Day 10 of 14: “To date, I’m almost 10 lbs. down! Awesome! Thanks for all your support… I am loving how I feel! Thanks Dawna!!!” – Kim P
  • Day 7: “I’m down 5 pounds. But moreover, I am shocked at the changes in my body and skin. I feel great!” – Melissa C
  • “I am feeling more mindful and more aware of what I eat and looking forward to really eating clean. This program has given me a mind reset.” – Kareema S
  • “Today, day 4, I am down 6 lbs… thank you Dawna!” – Bonnie B
  • “Ready and so delighted with my week one results. Down 5 pounds and I definitely feel more energetic.” – Cindy R

Starting Monday, January 6th, I will personally guide you through the 14-day Healthy You! program (as outlined in the new book, “Healthy You!: 14 Days to Quick and Permanent Weight Loss and a Healthier, Happier You”; on sale now at http://amzn.to/19zDjd1). The New Year’s Healthy You Challenge will be hosted on Facebook and Twitter, where I will be available to answer questions and provide you with encouragement and motivation to help you achieve your weight loss and healthy eating goals.

Sign up now! Given the overwhelming response to the last challenge and the huge number of requests for another challenge, we may need to cap the number of participants this time. Go into the holidays knowing that you’ll have the support and encouragement you need to start the New Year out right! I can’t wait to connect with you and help you reach your weight loss goals!

For more details and to learn how to sign up, visit http://dawnastone.com/healthyyouchallenge/

How Do You Proceed After Weight Loss Success?

Happy celebrating winning success woman sunsetI want to personally congratulate everyone who participated in the 14-Day Healthy You Challenge! Based on the feedback, participants lost 6-14 pounds during the two weeks and many are saying they feel better than ever!

One of the main questions I’m receiving now is how to progress once the initial two weeks on the program is complete. I hope this post will help you with continued success once you’ve completed the 14-Day Healthy You! program. For those that didn’t participate in the challenge, this post should still give you some insight on how to move forward after following any successful weight loss program.

Although the Healthy You Diet program focuses on eliminating certain foods and progressing to a 100% clean diet, I understand that this may not always be realistic. Also, I realize that people don’t want to be on a “diet” forever. This is precisely why I developed the program in such a way that allows people to incorporate their favorite foods after the initial 14 days. To avoid feeling deprived, just be sure to indulge in moderation and follow a few simple tips:

Consume Previously Eliminated Food Moderately
I’m sure there are people who eat a perfectly clean diet all of the time. I am not one of them. The good news? You don’t have to adhere to a 100% clean diet 365 days a year. You can still lead a healthy lifestyle, maintain an ideal weight and even lose pounds if you sometimes indulge in your favorite foods. But be mindful and continue consuming previously eliminated food moderately. Additionally, incorporate meals from the Healthy You! program alongside your own recipes.

Pay Attention, Listen to Your Body, and Adjust Accordingly
Pay attention to how your body reacts to the reintroduction of some of the eliminated foods. For example, you may find that you feel fine after adding wheat back into your diet, but that dairy upsets your stomach. Or perhaps you notice you feel better without wheat in your diet. By slowly clearing your system of sugar, wheat, dairy, processed foods and other questionable items, you will better understand the likelihood of specific foods negatively affecting your body. Although I love bread, pizza and pastries, I’ve learned that my body doesn’t deal well with an overabundance of wheat (moderation is fine, but too much causes stomach discomfort). I found that as long as I only eat wheat at one meal a day (rather than all three), I feel fine.

Put Thought into Culinary Choices
Really think about what you are choosing to eat and if there are healthier substitutions for those items. When adding wheat back into your diet, choose whole grains. Choose whole wheat bread instead of white. Choose brown rice over white. For meat, choose organic whenever possible and select lean cuts. If you want to enjoy an alcoholic beverage, choose wine over a higher-calorie mixed drink.

For Additional Weight Loss, Stay on the Clean Phase
You may discover that you feel so good after completing the Clean Phase of the Healthy You! program that you want to continue this way of eating, allowing you to healthfully drop additional weight. If you still have 20 or more pounds to lose, I suggest staying on the Clean Phase for at least one more week.

Remember: After week two, you choose how to move forward. Some people start to feel so good and drop weight so quickly by the end of week two, they want to continue to eat clean. Others, no matter the positive progress, can’t fathom another day without one of the eliminated foods (I understand how they feel!). Again, this is the beauty of the Healthy You! program; the two weeks provide a jump start on your weight loss while simultaneously giving you the tools to change your eating habits for life. Just two weeks of healthier eating often prove enough to forever change the way you look at what you put into your body.

It’s often difficult for people to know how to proceed after finishing the Healthy You! program or any other weight loss program. Many are fearful of returning to old eating patterns. The best way to avoid this is to continue to incorporate some of the meals and or snacks that you enjoyed during the program. Should you find yourself slipping back into old, unhealthy eating habits after completing the 14-day Healthy You! program, simply recommence the 14-day plan. Another week on the Elimination Phase plus another on the Clean Phase will get you back on track.

Use what you learned to help you make smart choices going forward. Personally, I consume wheat, dairy, sugar and alcohol in moderation and only on occasion. I try to drastically reduce or completely eliminate my intake of red meat, artificial sweeteners and highly processed foods. Based on my personal experience, the cleaner your diet, the more weight you’ll continue to lose and the healthier you’ll feel.

No matter what you decide, I am here to help and will continue to offer healthy eating tips, recipes, videos and encouragement along the way.  Also, as we enter the holiday season, don’t stress about the foods you eat – just be mindful. And remember, we will be doing another Healthy You Challenge in the new year (starting January 5th). I hope you will join me!

Occasional Indulgences Without the Guilt – The Healthy You! Program can Help

PralinenIf you’re trying to lose weight, indulging in your favorite not-so-healthy foods cannot only sabotage your weight loss, but can riddle you with guilt. The Healthy You! program provides a new way to permanently alter your way of thinking about food—a philosophy rooted in being kind to your body and fueling it with meals that are healthy and wholesome.

If you’re like me, though, you have your favorite indulgences—perhaps pizza, ice cream, cookies or chocolate. It’s difficult to imagine a life devoid of these treats. I’m not willing to give up my favorite junk foods forever, and I don’t expect you to either.

The key to indulging while still losing or maintaining weight is to allow yourself to indulge in moderation or just on occasion.  If I’m trying to lose weight, I find that I can allow myself one indulgence once per week and still lose. This once-a-week exception helps me eat a mostly clean diet without feeling deprived.

If you’re currently doing the 14-day Healthy You! Challenge, or you plan to join the January challenge, know that after you’ve completed the 14-day plan, you’ll be able to indulge in moderation once again. This is part of the reason the Healthy You! program works—you never have to feel deprived of your favorite foods.

There are also psychological and physiological benefits to allowing yourself a weekly indulgence. Psychologically speaking, the knowledge of not being able to have something suddenly makes that item even more appealing and often the focus of one’s desires. If you’ve ever told a child not to do something or not to go somewhere, you’ll notice that they tend to focus almost solely on what they’ve been asked not to do. As adults, we have these same tendencies. Tell me I can’t have it, and all I can think about is how much I want it!

I’ve learned that once I ban my favorite junk foods, I crave them even more. Allowing myself my favorite not-so-healthy treats enables me to eat a relatively clean diet for the long-term without ever truly feeling like I’m on a diet.

Every diet I’ve ever tried and failed has featured a list of forbidden foods such as chocolate, pizza and alcohol. For some reason, even if I didn’t particularly crave those certain foods before commencing the diet, I desperately wanted them once I began and this would sabotage my efforts. With Healthy You!, knowing that after the initial two weeks, I can incorporate some of my favorite foods into my schedule has given me the incentive to persevere with the program.

I find it completely unrealistic to tell someone who has eaten pizza, ice cream, chips or chocolate for years that they can never again enjoy that food. The objective of the Healthy You! program is to encourage a cleaner diet and provide you with the tools you need to make better selections in the real world. Good habits coupled with occasional indulgences can be the key to long-term weight loss.

Follow these 3 Simple tips to indulge without the guilt:

1) Pick One Day. For me, picking one day a week to indulge—a day that never fluctuates regardless of my schedule—gives me the motivation I need to eat clean and healthy the rest of the week.

2) Indulge in Moderation. Allowing yourself to indulge without guilt in your not- so-healthy preferred foods only works if done in moderation. Select one meal or snack during which to incorporate your favorite foods, and keep the rest of the meals that day clean. If you’re craving pancakes for breakfast, go ahead and eat them, but then go back to eating a healthy lunch, dinner and snacks. If you want pizza for dinner, that’s fine, just make sure you had a healthy breakfast and lunch and that you controlled your portions. Feel like a piece of double chocolate cheesecake for dessert? Go for it! Just make sure your other meals for the day were healthy and share the dessert if possible.

3) Watch Your Portions. Weight gain tends to happen when an occasional not-so-healthy treat becomes an all-you-can-eat meal splurge. Even though after the initial 14-Day Healthy You! program, I encourage you to have the food you desire (and I mean anything), you still need to watch your portions. If you want pizza once a week, then have a slice or two, but don’t eat the whole pie. If you’re craving chocolate cake then have a slice for dessert, but don’t eat the whole cake. If you’re craving a juicy piece of steak, then go ahead and have a four- or six-ounce filet, but don’t order the 32-ounce porterhouse. If you stick to a normal serving size of your favorite food, you can still lose weight and feel great even when fitting in decadent bites of pizza, ice cream, cake, cookies, steak and pasta.

The truth is, once you begin to eat a healthier diet, you may feel so good with your new clean eating habits, you won’t care to incorporate any unhealthy foods. The choice is yours. For me, allowing myself to indulge once a week (at one meal) sufficiently satisfies my cravings. The great thing about following the Healthy You! program is that I can eat clean most of the time but still indulge in moderation and maintain my goal weight or even continue to lose weight.

I realize it’s somewhat counterintuitive to promote clean eating and then suggest people splurge on occasion, but as I mentioned earlier, I don’t believe anything should be completely restricted. I think it’s realistic to assume that most people are going to indulge every now and then anyway. So by freely allowing yourself this option, you remove the guilt that threatens to sabotage your weight loss.

In summary, you can have your cake and eat it too, just as long as you make smart choices most of the time, and don’t eat the entire cake.

Crab, Mango, and Avocado Stacks

Yum! An incredibly delicious combination of crab, mango and avocado with a drizzle of Healthy You dressing makes for a perfectly satisfying lunch.

Crab, Mango, and Avocado Stacks
Servings
4
Servings
4
Crab, Mango, and Avocado Stacks
Servings
4
Servings
4
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Place the food ring mold or empty can on a salad plate. Press one-quarter of the crab into the mold, followed by a quarter of the tomato, cucumber, mango, and avocado. Press down on the food while slowly lifting the mold off the stack. Repeat with the remaining ingredients on separate plates.
  2. Arrange the salad greens around each stack and drizzle with the vinaigrette before serving.
Share this Recipe
Citrus Vinaigrette Dressing
Makes about 1 cup.
Citrus Vinaigrette Dressing
Makes about 1 cup.
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. In a jar with a lid, mix together the vinegar, lemon and orange juices, and oil. Add the mustard, salt, and pepper. Cover with the lid and shake well before serving.
  2. Refrigerate any leftover dressing for 3 to 5 days. Shake well before serving.
Share this Recipe