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fall comfort food

Guilt-Free Holidays

When it comes to the holiday season, often times we feel guilty for indulging in the decadent holiday foods. While some of us might exercise and eat a balanced diet, others may not. No matter where you fall on the spectrum, eating should not make you feel bad, and the holidays are no exception. Instead of setting rules and feeling terrible for breaking them, try telling yourself these things so that the holidays are more enjoyable and less guilt-laden.

  • I deserve to enjoy holiday meals without the guilt.
    Food is food. It’s meant to nourish and fuel your body, and you deserve to enjoy it. Take time to truly enjoy every bite and the traditions and memories associated with it. The act of focusing on the different elements of your food (such as the smell, look, and taste) without distractions is known as mindful eating. Practicing mindful eating will teach you to fully enjoy what you eat without regret or shame.
  • What I eat every day matters most.
    Rather than obsessing over the foods you eat over the holidays, concentrate on what you eat daily. If you maintain a healthy diet year-round, a few days of indulging won’t hurt. If you don’t usually eat well, make that a goal for the upcoming new year. It’s important to remember that the holiday season doesn’t last forever. Focus on enjoying the quality time with family and friends instead of worrying about the foods you are eating.
  • I have the power to control my portions.
    You are in charge of how much food you eat, and this should be dictated by listening to your body. Slow down and pay attention to the way your stomach feels before eating. If you still feel hungry, have another bite, but once you’re almost full, stop eating.
  • I have the right to eat seconds or to say “No, thank you” when I’m full.
    It is not your responsibility to make someone else happy by overeating, nor by denying your hunger. Although it’s often the norm to eat more when the host graciously offers more, but it doesn’t have to be. Trust your appetite and be polite, yet firm, when declining.
  • It’s normal if I overindulge during the holidays.
    We’re all human. The important thing is to accept that you did and move on. There is no need to dwell, feel guilty, or punish yourself, as this behavior may even push you to seek comfort in more food. As mentioned, eating mindfully has many benefits and may lead to less food consumption to satisfy cravings. So remember to slow down, pay attention, and listen to your body.
  • I will eat when I’m hungry, not when I’m feeling emotional.
    Loneliness, boredom, sadness, and stress are emotions that may lead us to eating, and these emotions can be heightened during the holiday season. More effective ways to deal with these feelings can vary from person to person, but might include calling a friend, exercising, or even practicing meditation. You should take the time to learn what works for you.
  • I don’t need to “healthify” my beloved and traditional holiday recipe.
    The holiday season comes but once a year, so you should enjoy your favorites as they should be. Who really wants sugarless sugar cookies, anyways?
  • I promise not to comment on the size, shape or weight of my friends and relatives.
    Just as your weight is your business, so is theirs. If you find yourself met with a rude, unwanted comment about your appearance, it is okay to tell that person why it’s not okay to talk about it.
  • I will enjoy quality time with the people I love.
    Studies show that our close relationships are crucial to our long-term health and happiness. So rather than worry about the foods you may or may not eat, focus on spending quality time with those near and dear to your heart.

Do you have any mantras or advice that helps you get through the holidays? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Enjoy a yummy breakfast or lunch with us! The Brick Your Neighborhood Deli is located at 105 E. Arrow Hwy in Pomona and we’re open weekdays 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays 8:00am-4:30pm.

Healthy Fall Foods

Fall is here, and with it comes an abundance of comfort foods. But instead of indulging in these heavy meals, why not fuel our bodies with delicious, healthy foods? Here are some great nutritious fall foods to make your fall dishes a bit more healthful.

Eggplant
These purple beauties house excellent benefits. The compound nasunin protects your brain cells from oxidation, while chlorogenic acid gives eggplants anti-cancer, anti-viral, and cholesterol-lowering properties. Because they act like sponges when cooking, eggplants fried in oil or loaded with cheese will negate its positive effects. With only 20 calories per cup, there are healthier ways to enjoy eggplant.

Skip the heavy Eggplant Parm and try an easy veggie roll up. Start by slicing the eggplant along the long edge. Sprinkle the slices with salt, let it sit for 10 minutes and use a paper towel to blot the excess water. Next, drizzle the slices with olive oil and roast at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes (flip halfway through). Let it cool then layer each slice with your favorite hummus and veggies (ex. raw or grilled zucchini and bell peppers slices). Lastly, roll each slice and secure each roll with a toothpick.

Butternut Squash
With the beautifully orange flesh of butternut squash, you have an excellent source of beta-carotene (300% of your daily value per cup). Beta-carotene is a precursor to vitamin A, which supports healthy skin, eyes, and bones. It also contains vitamin C to support your immune system along with dietary fiber for overall gut health.

Add pureed butternut squash to your tomato soup, pancakes, or even your morning smoothie. Experience a new flavor combo plus more health benefits.

Pomegranate
Pomegranates are great for your heart. The juicy little seeds help to reduce the buildup of harmful fat in your arteries, which prevents circulatory damage in the long run.

Aside from tearing it open and enjoying the seeds alone, you can use it as a topping on your oatmeal, salad, or mixed into pancakes.

Cranberries
Anthocyanins are compounds that give cranberries that deep-red color and act as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. Cranberries can help to improve bladder health, defend against cancers (breast, colon, lung, prostate) and even add a little fiber to your diet.

Instead of making a sugar filled cranberry sauce for the holidays, try a spiced cranberry relish instead.

Broccoli Rabe
Broccoli rabe contains about two times the amount of zinc as broccoli (yet bears no relation to it). Zinc is especially good for your immune system, and with the cold and flu season approaching, your immune system could use a boost. It also contains about 1.5 times as much fiber as kale, which is good news if you’re over kale and ready for something new.

Step up your avocado toast game by adding sautéed broccoli rabe and a poached egg. Or sauté broccoli rabe with some garlic and olive oil for a lovely side dish.

Leeks
Leeks are related to garlic, onions, shallots, and scallions (they resemble large scallions). Because of this, they are a great source of polyphenols, which prevent oxidative damage to blood vessels and atherosclerosis while keeping heart disease at bay. Leeks are also high in vitamin K, which research has shown can be anti-cancer forming, can increase your body’s sensitivity to insulin, and is great for bone health.

Aside from their traditional use in Potato Leek soup or latkes, you can braise leeks and serve them as a side dish. Or sauté leeks and add them to your omelet.

Do you have any lighter recipes to share? Connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Get your fix of freshly made sandwiches and salads at the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli in Pomona. Visit us weekdays 10:30am-7:30pm and Saturdays 10:30am-4:30pm.

Hearty Soup Recipes For Fall

This year, Fall officially starts on Wednesday September 23. While we may not get cold weather right away, we can still indulge in fall favorites like pumpkin spice everything, fresh baked pies, or hearty, homemade soups. Check out these delicious recipes to get you into the fall mood.

Ham & Lentil Soup
While this recipe can be made with leftover ham from Easter, you may also try this with any ham, really. For example, leftover ham from Thanksgiving, or even our Boar’s Head Black Forest ham could do the trick. The great thing about recipes is that you can tailor them to your liking. But however you decide to prepare it, the flavor and texture combinations of the ham and lentils are deliciously satisfying.

Squash Soup
This vegan friendly recipe keeps it simple yet flavorful with a mesh of different vegetables. Leaving out cream or butter, this recipe stays true to the honest flavors of the vegetables and still produces a smooth texture. With every bite, you’ll get a mouthful of flavor, highlighting the deliciousness of the squash with your favorite veggies.

Beef Barley Soup
This soup takes some time to prepare, but it is surely worth it. Again, this recipe boasts a simple ingredient list, focusing on the natural flavor with minimal seasonings. The textures of this soup only add to the brilliance of its flavor.

Tomato Bisque
Who doesn’t love yummy tomato bisque? Plus, we can all agree that it is a great way to utilize your end of season tomatoes. As always, you can adjust this recipe to your liking. Enjoyed on its own or paired with a yummy grilled cheese sandwich, tomato bisque is a lovely soup for any time of the year.

We want to hear from you! What soups do you enjoy? Share your favorites with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.