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COOKING FOR LIFE Your Guide to a Healthy Lifestyle through Mind, Body and Spirit

By : Dr. Nichole Simmons


Dr. Nichole Simmons began cooking as a child standing in a chair watching her grandmother make southern favorites. Her grandmother instilled in her that love is the most important ingredient in every recipe. Nichole will tell you this is when she fell in love with food. Nichole began catering parties for friends and family and in 2005, established her catering business “Four J’s Catering”. Already having a reputation for rich, delicious food, her catering calendar was full. However, Nichole did not just cook well, she ate well. Not paying much attention to her health and weight, a physical exam would reveal that at 5’4 in height she weighed over 210 pounds and was clinically obese. Nichole re-evaluated her life, through prayer and determination she made the choice to get healthy. She attended classes and obtained certifications in nutrition, wellness and fitness, losing over 100 pounds, Nichole will tell you, “I had to realize why I ate and heal from the inside out”. She began converting her catering menu and favorite dishes to healthy versions, educating clients that eating healthy is a lifestyle not a diet. Today her catering menu offers a wide variety of your favorite dishes and desserts cooked healthy. Today, Dr. Nichole Simmons, will tell you,” health is mind, body and spirit, I never felt healthier in my life”. Eat Healthy, Get fit, Be Well


Beginning the process to a healthier you: There is no secret technique or approach it will take time, hard work and persistence to get yourself where you want to be. But there are several things you can do that can make all that hard work a little easier. Eating Healthy and Physical Activity are necessary and important for long-term weight loss and complete wellness. Four J’s will establish a personalized plan for you that will help you find your balance between food and physical activity by making smart choices from every food group and get the most nutrition out of your daily calories. Our plan is designed to give you the tools you need to identify, work through, and overcome the most common emotional and mental attitude when you set out to change your lifestyle. Four J’s Catering will teach you that eating healthy is a lifestyle not a diet. Diets are designed to fail, a healthy lifestyle is redirecting your life to getting on the right road to complete wellness. By making the shift from diet mode to lifestyle mode, you'll be able to put aside the habits that got you overweight or unhappy once and for all. You'll develop skills that will not only make these changes less stressful and more enjoyable. The first goal is to be open ended this allows weight management to become a part of your daily life, changing your relationship with food and exercise. Healthy eating habits and physical activity put in perspective is a rewarding goal to increasing your quality of life. Your lifestyle change is an ongoing process with goals that continue to expand and grow as your needs change.


Nutrition is the supply of food consumed by your organs and cells to stay alive. Our bodies break down food, creating a metabolic rate. In other words, eat more…weigh less !! food is fuel for our bodies, the more fuel we have the better and quicker our metabolism and organs function. The key is to make healthy choices. A good tool to remember is try to eat a rainbow every day, colorful fruits and vegetables. The darker the color the more nutrients they have. Below is a guide to help get you started:


Whole Grains, Vegetables, Fruits, Pure Oils, Milk and Diary, Meat & Beans. Vegetables: Any vegetable or 100% vegetable juice. Vegetables may be raw or cooked. Fresh, frozen is best. • when in doubt go dark green, add frozen chopped spinach, collard greens or turnip greens to any meal. • Swap your usual sandwich side for crunchy broccoli florettes or red pepper strips. Fruits: Any fruit or 100% fruit juice. Fruits may be fresh, canned, frozen or dried. • Whole fruit with skin is best and adds fiber to your diet. Milk and Diary: All fluid milk products and many foods made from milk. Make your Milk and Diary group choices fat-free or low-fat. • Use fat-free or low-fat milk instead of water when you make oatmeal or cold cereals • Snack on low-fat or fat-free yogurt. Try it as a dip for fruits and veggies and a topper for baked potatoes. Meat & Beans: • Broil, grill, roast or poach meat, poultry or fish instead of frying. • Enjoy pinto or kidney beans on a salad or a hearty soup for extra protein. Oils: Oils are fats that are liquid at room temperature such as canola, corn and olive oils. Nuts, olives, avocados and some fish such as salmon are naturally rich in oils. • Use some vegetable oil instead of butter for cooking and baking. • Toss salad with olive oil and flavored vinegar. Grains: Any food made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley or another cereal grain. “Whole grains” include whole-wheat flour, oatmeal whole cornmeal and brown rice. • Get a whole grain head start with oatmeal or whole grain cereal. • Use whole grains in mixed dishes such as barley in vegetable soup or stews or brown rice in stir fries. • Make your sandwich on 100% whole wheat or oatmeal bread. Snack on popcorn or whole grain crackers.


What is fitness and what does it mean to be physically "fit?" Physical fitness is defined as "a set of attributes that people have or achieve that relates to the ability to perform physical activity" In other words, it is more than being able to run a long distance or lift a lot of weight at the gym. Being fit is not defined only by what kind of activity you do, how long you do it, or at what level of intensity. While these are important measures of fitness, they only address single areas. Overall fitness is made up of five main components: •Cardio respiratory endurance •Muscular strength •Muscular endurance •Body composition •Flexibility


Cardio respiratory endurance : Cardio respiratory endurance is the ability of the body's circulatory and respiratory systems to supply fuel during sustained physical activity. To improve your cardio respiratory endurance, try activities that keep your heart rate elevated at a safe level for a sustained length of time such as walking, swimming, or bicycling. The activity you choose does not have to be strenuous . Start slowly with an activity you enjoy, and gradually work up to a more intense pace. Muscular strength: Muscular strength is the ability of the muscle to exert force during an activity. The key to making your muscles stronger is working them against resistance, whether that be from weights or gravity. If you want to gain muscle strength, try exercises such as lifting weights. To gain maximum muscle strength you must challenge your muscles using intervals like heavy weights then lighter weights. Never allow your muscle to become “comfortable� with the amount of weight. Muscular endurance: Muscular endurance is the ability of the muscle to continue to perform without. To improve your muscle endurance, try cardio respiratory activities such as walking, jogging, bicycling, or dancing. Body composition: Body composition refers to the relative amount of muscle, fat, bone, and other vital parts of the body. A person's total body weight is not just what you see on the bathroom scale, and that number may change often. The bathroom scale does not assess how much of that body weight is fat and how much is lean mass like muscle, bone, tendons, and ligaments. Body composition is important to consider for health and managing your weight! Flexibility: Flexibility is the range of motion around a joint. Good flexibility in the joints can help prevent injuries through all stages of life. If you want to improve your flexibility, try activities that lengthen the muscles such as swimming or a basic stretching program, Yoga and Pilates are perfect for maximum flexibility.


Spirituality is, in the most basic sense, matters pertaining to the spirit and is based on the idea that there is a higher being or be it a state of mind that is outside the experience of our five limited senses. Spirituality is the personal relationship of the individual to this state of mind or being and often emphasizes the notion of a path, that spirituality is a goal in achieving understanding, or an improved relationship with the sacred. Spirituality can be either a part of a particular religion or independent of religion, in a self directed and personal inner path. Spirituality is usually in relation to one's personal relationship to God or the divine goal, through prayer or/and meditation. Meditation is the emptying of the mind of thoughts, or concentration of the mind on just one thing in order to aid mental or spiritual development, contemplation, or relaxation. A technique of mind control that leads to inner feelings of calm and peacefulness and may result in experiences of transcendental awareness and selfrealization. Spirituality is understood as the search for or the development of inner peace or the foundations of happiness the essential key for personal well being. When all elements are combined Nutrition, Fitness and Spirituality you can obtain Complete Wellness in mind, body and spirit..


Eat to live… Make healthy Choices to increase your life Span… The Key to all weight management or lost is MODERATION not DEPRIVATION… To fight or have fear over a craving gives it power over your healthy lifestyle…. Never give a substance power over your choice to have a healthy lifestyle ….

Yes, you can even have desserts… We have included a few healthy recipes


My Dessert Pizza Prep time: 20 min, bake time: 15 mins Chocolate Crust 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate 8 ounces low fat cream cheese (softened) 1 ¾ cups splenda for baking ½ cup skim milk ½ cup egg whites 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 ounces sugar free dark chocolate (melted) Topping 4 ounces low fat cream cheese (softened) ¾ cups splenda 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 4 ripe banana’s 10 strawberries (slices thinly) Raspberries and blueberries Preheat over 350F Crust Melt chocolate in small saucepan over low heat. Set aside. Place cream cheese and splenda in small mixing bowl, beat until soft. Slowly add skim milk. Mix using a wire whisk, until smooth. Add melted chocolate and stir, slowly add egg whites and vanilla.. mix well.. Pour into thin round 10” inch pan and bake 15 mins or until firm. Topping In a mixing bowl mix softened cream cheese, splenda and vanilla extract with wire whisk until smooth. Chill until Crust is ready and cooled… Assembly Once crust is cooled, spread topping mixture.. adding fruit row by row… refrigerate for 30 mins


Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake Prep time: 20 mins, Bake time: 55 mins 3 cups of cake flour 1 tablespoon baking powder ¾ teaspoon baking soda ½ cup of unsalted softened butter 1 1/3 cups splenda 1 whole egg ¼ cups of egg whites 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract ½ cup unsweetened applesauce 1 ½ cup of reduced fat sour cream 3 tablespoons brown sugar 2 tablespoons cinnamon Preheat oven to 350F, Spray a 10 inch nonstick bundt pan with cooking spray. Cake Shift Cake flour, baking powder and soda into a medium bowl. In a large bowl cream softened butter with electric mixer. Add splenda and whole egg, mix until smooth. Add egg whites , vanilla, applesauce and half sour cream and mix until smooth..add flour mixture and beat until smooth slowing adding remaining sour cream and blend together .. set aside Filling Place 1 cup of cake batter in a small bowl, add brown sugar and cinnamon.. blend well Place ½ remaining batter into prepared pan, top with spiced filling and swirl around with a knife.. add remaining batter.. bake for 55 min or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean ..


Angel Food Cake Prep time 30mins. Bake time 45 min 1 ½ cups of egg whites ( from 10-12 large eggs) 1 ½ teaspoons cream of tarter 1 teaspoon vanilla extract ¼ cup of splenda for baking 1 cup of shifted cake flour ½ cup of light corn syrup ¼ cup cornstarch ¾ cup splenda for baking Preheat oven 350F Place egg whites in a large mixing bowl, let stand at room temperature for 30 mins. Add cream of tartar and vanilla extract. Beat a high speed with electric mixer until mixer peaks form. Slowly add ¼ cup of splenda and light corn syrup. Shift flour and corn starch into another large mixing bowl, add ¾ cup of splenda mix well. Sprinkle ¼ of flour mixture over egg whites, fold gently…repeat with remaining flour until all mixed. Pour batter into an ungreased 10 inch tube pan, remove bubbles with a knife. Bake on lowest rake for 45 mins or until cake springs back when touched. Allow to cool


A great way to maintain your 6 daily small meals are meal replacement smoothies… high in protein ,fiber and fruit… Try these delicious recipes …

Peach Yogurt Smoothie 2 cups of fat free vanilla yogurt 2 cups of fat free peach yogurt 1/2 cup frozen peaches 1/2 cup of vanilla soy milk Combine all the ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth

Chocolate, Peanut butter, Banana Smoothie 2 cups light chocolate soy milk 2 tablespoon creamy peanut butter 1 large frozen banana Combine all the ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth


Breakfast Smoothie 1 cup frozen mango 2 cups Silk soy milk,(any flavor except Chocolate) 3 tablespoon honey 1 sliced banana 3 tablespoon wheat germ 1 cup frozen mixed berries Combine all the ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth

Chocolate, Banana, and Almond Smoothie 1 large banana 1 1/4 cups Silk Light Original soy milk 1 1/2 teaspoon crushed almonds 4 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder Combine all the ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth


Dr. Nichole Simmons Founder and Editorial Director Life truly begins once you remove yourself from your comfort zone, then you are forced to expand your consciousness which will make you totally at peace with yourself and nothing can shake you. Strive for complete wellness .. Make every effort to live on purpose ... Body, Mind and Spirit

Eat Healthy, Get fit , Be Well


Cooking For Life