3-2-1…Happy New You!

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As the pumpkin pie, holiday cock­tail and sugar cookie memories begin to fade, we’re reminded that the time has come to set or “re-set” our goals. Popular New Year’s resolutions—to lose weight and/or stay fit—resurface with a bang year after year.
You’ve probably heard people say, “Those who lose weight eventually gain it back.” Don’t give up hope! Many people who successfully maintained a substantial weight loss for more than a year have done it on their own.

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ORIGINAL RANCH SPINACH DIP

Registered dietitian Tara Gidus, also known as the Diet Diva, knows it can be a struggle to set goals and stick to them. “Prime weight loss season is upon us, and the need for realistic, achievable and tasty ways to make healthy lifestyle changes is as important as ever,” said Gidus. “An exercise and healthy eating focus, along with a positive attitude and the right tools, can lead to a happier and healthier you—a new you.”

Help yourself to successfully achieve your weight loss resolution with Gidus’ tips.

•Think of You. Take “me” time to rest, relax, shop or exercise for stress relief. Stress hormones have been tied to weight gain.

•Break It Down. Have an ultimate goal, and then break it into mini goals that are easily achievable. This makes the road to success seem easier and allows you to celebrate along the way.

•Flavor It. Calorie moderation doesn’t have to mean boring. Use Hidden Valley Original Ranch Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix to add a punch of flavor without compromis­ing calories. It’s especially great to use in dips and other game day snacks.

•Keep Track. People who keep track of what they eat can lose up to twice as much weight as people who don’t. Jotting down how much you ate and how you were feel­ing can also help you con­nect food to energy and mood.

(For great eating ideas using Hidden Valley products, check out these recipes, or go to http://www.hiddenvalley.com.)

*****

Baked Chicken Tenders

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Chill Time: 6 to 24 hours
Cook Time: 16 to 18 minutes
Makes 8 (3-ounce) servings
1 packet (1.1 ounces) Hidden Valley Original Ranch Salad Dressing and Seasoning Mix, divided
2 cups non-fat Greek yogurt
1-1/2  cups low-fat buttermilk
1 package (20 ounces) fresh 99% fat free chicken tenders
1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Olive oil cooking spray
Combine 1/2 packet Ranch Dress­ing and Seasoning Mix with yogurt; refrigerate.
Combine remaining Ranch Dress­ing and Seasoning Mix with buttermilk; refrigerate.
Rinse chicken and thoroughly pat dry on paper towels.
Combine chicken and butter­milk mixture together in a food storage zipper bag.
Refrigerate 6 to 24 hours.
Heat oven to 425°F.
In a food processor, combine bread­crumbs, almonds, garlic powder and pepper.
Coat chicken in breadcrumb mixture.
Set a wire rack on baking sheet and coat with cooking spray.
Lay chicken pieces on wire rack and spray with more cook­ing spray.
Bake 16 to 18 minutes until no longer pink (internal temp at least 170°F).
Use yogurt mixture as a dipping sauce.

*****

Original Ranch Spinach Dip

Prep Time: 5 to 10 minutes
Chill Time: At least 30 minutes
Makes 12 (1/4-cup) servings
1/2 packet Hidden Valley Original Ranch Dips Mix (0.5 ounce)
1 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
1 cup light sour cream
1 box (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well-drained
1/3 cup chopped walnuts*
Combine Ranch Dips Mix, yogurt, sour cream, spinach, and walnuts.
Chill 30 minutes or until just before serving.
Serve with whole wheat crackers and raw vegetables.
*Pecans or water chestnuts can be used in place of walnuts.

*****

Cheesy Ranch Popcorn

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 1/2 minutes
Makes 6 (2-cup) servings
1 bag (3 ounces) reduced-fat, low sodium butter-flavored microwave popcorn
1/4 pack (0.25 ounce) Hidden Valley Original Ranch Salad Dressing and Seasoning Mix
3 sprays from olive oil mister
3 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
Pop popcorn according to pack­age directions. Immediately open the bag and pour the pop­corn into a large serving bowl.
Spray the popcorn with three sprays from the olive oil mister, toss with Ranch Salad Dressing and Season­ing Mix and then toss with the Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

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