New Year, New You?

Rather than a new you, why not a better version of you? It’s easy to make proclamations of resolution in January but by March, many have been neglected because they’re too drastic.

A lot of people have great intentions for new years resolutions and we support striving to be healthier or kicking bad habits. But true transformations don’t happen overnight. In fact, small changes yield the biggest results. Catch this video from dietitian Elie Krieger on the TODAY show, discussing how small swaps(similar to the ones outlined below) can really get you past your plateau, whatever it may be.
So how can you get started? Short-term goals. Set them, write them down and stay focused on several small changes, not a laundry list of aspirations. 
  • Time parameters: Aim for the next 2 weeks
  • Goal: Increase exercise
  • ‘In the next two weeks, I will walk 30 minutes a day/ 5 days a week’
  • Time parameters: Aim for the next 2 weeks
  • Goal: Increase fruits and vegetables intake
  • ‘In the next two weeks, I will have 2 servings of fruit/vegetables a day’


Another helpful tip is making swaps to your meals and snacks. Rather than a ‘diet makeover’, simple swaps will have you making strides in the healthier direction. Before you know it, you could be craving those fruits and vegetables! Start by swapping corn tortillas for flour. If you must drink soda, cut your intake in half and swap for the diet version. The message isn’t deprivation- it’s alteration. We think you can still enjoy many of the comfort foods you may consider off-limits, if you balance other nutritious choices into your diet. Try these swaps and see how easy reaching your healthy goes can be.
Instead of a Bagel, Reach for an English Muffin
Swap the old bagel and cream cheese routine for a whole-wheat English muffin topped with a tablespoon of peanut butter and banana slices. The flavor is all there, but the refined grains are not. The fat from the peanut butter will leave you full.
Instead of Low-Fat Milk, Reach for Greek Yogurt
We’re big on Greek Yogurt here at Banister and Associates. Instead of low-fat milk over your bowl of granola, try lowfat Greek yogurt.
Instead of Oatmeal Packets, Reach for Plain Oats
Making your own oatmeal could not be simpler. And you’ll be saving yourself the extra sugar that is LOADED into oatmeal packets. Adding your own sprinkle of splenda or stevia is okay for a touch of sweetness, however adding fresh fruit is even better.
Instead of Regular Ranch, Make Your Own
Prepared ranch is loaded with extra ingredients to lengthen shelf life. Try making your own, using plain Greek yogurt and this recipe. It tastes BETTER and you’ll be impressed with the simplicity.
Instead of White Rice, Try Brown Rice or Quinoa
Brown rice is a whole grain and offers a bounty of nutrients that white rice has been robbed of from processing. Once you’re feeling comfortable with the switch, try quinoa. It has a slightly nutty bite and bumps up the whole grain and protein profile of your dish- voila!
Instead of Butter, Try Margarine made with Vegetable Oil
Butter has saturated fat and many margarine brands are still made with trans-fats. However, some companies have created a product to avoid both high amounts of saturated and trans fats. Hooray! Try light margarine spreads made with olive oil for a dose of your heart healthy monounsaturated fats. Smart Balance and Fleishmanns are two examples
Instead of Milk Chocolate, Reach for Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate has half the sugar of milk chocolate and delivers an antioxidant punch. Be sure it’s more than 70% dark. 
Start small with simple swaps. Here’s to a HEALTHIER version of YOU. sls

Holiday Party @ Matthew Kenney

Banister and Associates, LLC recently celebrated the holidays at our annual Christmas party at Matthew Kenney, on Classen Curve in Oklahoma City. We knew that we were in for a unique dining experience, but the flavor, service and quality of food were exceptional. It was a fabulous time and we spent nearly three hours tasting and sharing more than 13 dishes on the menu! 
The team @ Banister and Associates: (L-R) Donita, Betsy, Beverley, Carol, Barbara, Sara and Paula
Sara’s Cheddar Quinoa Bowl
Paula’s Lasagna
Beverley’s Dumplings
Donita’s Butternut Squash Soup

Carol’s Tacos
Mascarpone Cheesecake

Pumpkin Layer Cake with Carrot Cream

Chocolate Tart with Spiced Caramel Cream

Tiramisu with Cappacino Gelato

Hazelnut Crusted Pears with Vanilla Nut Icecream

Berries and Coconut Cream

Mini Chip Sundae with Peppermint Ice Cream and Fudge Brownie
Gift giving and sharing laughs

As you can see- dietitians eat! We shared so many different plates (several photos are missing-specifically Barbara’s and Betsy’s Mediterranean wraps with sweet potato fries). We planned to order different items on the menu, so that we could partake in all of the unique options. Carol had recently been there for dinner with her daughter and son-in-law, so she had a heads up on several good options. Her walnut picadillo tacos had a unique flaxseed shell with red pepper salsa, orange cilantro vinaigrette and avocado inside. The flavors were fresh and the expected taco ‘crunch’ added great texture. I ordered the cheddar quinoa bowl, which came filled with butternut squash, kale, fennel and chili oil. The quinoa gave it a slight nuttiness and the squash, cheddar and chili oil provided a smooth creaminess with a kick of anise flavor from the fennel. It was delicious and I loved it!

Paula ordered the lasagna and we were ALL surprised with what landed on the table. It was made using zucchini rather than pasta, but the flavor was all there. The creamy macadamia ricotta was made in-house and blended with a pistachio pesto, sun-dried tomato marinara and arugula- the dish did not disappoint.

Beverley ordered the tamari ponzu dumplings which came in an order of 3. They were light and slightly green. The filling had sesame foam, almond and nori which gave it a crunch while the dipping sauce added a needed extra kick. 

The butternut squash soup was chilled, so that was unexpected yet refreshing. The Mediterranean wrap was loaded with hummus, veggies and tabouli all held together in a crepe-like wrap. Crispy thin sweet potato fries rounded out the plate for a hearty, delicious dish.

And the dessert!  We ordered every.single.item on the menu. As you can see above, the portions weren’t large but just right. The tiramisu had a light, airy bite yet felt rich and was wonderfully paired with a cappuccino gelato. The mascarpone cheesecake was creamy with a mild flavor, and the plating was quite impressive. The pumpkin layer cake was a favorite at the table, with a distinctly pumpkin flavor layered between creamy cream cheese-like layers. The carrot cream was my favorite because I oddly love all things carrot and carrot cake, but this had a richness like carrot cake ice cream. The chocolate tart was beautifully plated and had rich, dense bite. If you’re into chocolate- you want to try this one. The hazelnut pears were another favorite and everyone was surprised with how much they enjoyed it. The pears were bathed in anise syrup and candied hazelnuts danced on the plate. The textures of this dessert paired with vanilla nut ice cream were a homerun. The berries and cream were decent but nothing to seek out. And finally, the mint-chip sundae was delightful with a surprise of pairing of peppermint ice cream. The flavors were spot-on! We each shared a bite from all of them which culminated a perfect meal and a really great year for Banister and Associates.

Thank you to our patients for making our work truly meaningful. Each and every one of you is important to us. Have a blessed New Year and go try Matthew Kenney for an awesome dining experience. sls