Healthy Holidays

December 2019

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Big picture
The Good Life Challenge 2020

Join Smola Consulting in a 10-day whole food plant based food challenge beginning January 13th.

A whole-foods, plant based diet is based on the following principles:

  • Whole Food describes natural foods that are not processed. This means whole, unrefined (or minimally refined) ingredients.
  • Plant-based means food that comes from plants and doesn't contain animal ingredients such as meat, milk, eggs, or honey.

The benefits of a whole-food, plant-based diet include:

  • Disease prevention
  • Weight management
  • A lighter environmental footprint

What to do in the time leading up to the challenge:

1) Up your vegetable and fruit intake. By adding more produce, you will help develop a taste

for plant foods and transition to a higher-fiber diet. Be open to discovering new items in

your produce section.

2) Fill at least 3/4 your plate (or more!) with produce, grains or beans, and begin downsizing

your meat serving. Go large on the salad or swap in chopped mushrooms or tofu for half of the ground meat you'd normally use in tacos or chili.

3) If you include meat in your meals, chose the healthiest meats, stick to small amounts and

choose lean cuts. First focus on decreasing the amount of processed meat you eat (bacon,

hot dogs, and sausage).

4) Plan on plant-based meals each week where you eat no meat, fish, dairy, or eggs. Be sure to give yourself extra preparation time.


Contact your wellness committee for additional information on how to register.

Healthy Bruschetta "Cheese" Ball

158 Calories per serving

serves 6

1 cup raw cashews

3 tbs. distilled white vinegar

1 tsp chopped garlic (about 2-3 cloves)

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/4 tsp. ground mustard

1/4 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped

2 tbs.fresh basil, sliced

2 tbs. sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (dried, not in oil)

Breadcrumb Topping:

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

2 tbs. fresh basil

2 tbs. sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (dried, not in oil)

1/2 tsp. sea salt (optional)

"Cheese" Ball:

Grind the cashews in a food processor until you get a fine powder. You are getting them dry, not soaked. Add vinegar, garlic, salt, and mustard and blend until you get a smooth paste, scraping the sides as you go. Add in the fresh tomatoes, basil, and sun-dried tomatoes. Pulse to incorporate. Do not blend too much. You want some texture to the mixture.

Scrape the mixture into a cheese cloth, tea towel, or any clean piece of cloth. Wrap it into a ball and rubber-band closed.

Put the ball into a mesh strainer and then put that over a bowl. Place into the refrigerator for 4-6 hours (overnight is even better). This will draw out the water.

Breadcrumbs Topping:

Place all the ingredients in a pan and heat on medium low, constantly stirring, until browned (3-5 minutes). Store in a container until you are ready to assemble the cheese ball.


You are are ready to finish the cheese ball, pour the breadcrumbs onto a plate. Take the cheese ball our of the cloth and place it on the breadcrumbs. Slowly roll it around, or use your hands to coat the ball.

Serve with veggies or crackers!