Health

Honey Dijon Pretzel Crusted Chicken

unnamed[1]
unnamed[1]

Honey Dijon Pretzel Crusted Chicken

Recipe Inspired By: Halfbaked Harvest

Ingredients:

Honey Dijon Mustard Pretzel Crusted Chicken

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast (butterflied) or chicken cutlets
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1 1/4 cups crushed pretzel crisp
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, crushed

Honey Dijon Mustard Dressing

  • ½ cup Dijon Mustard
  • ½ cup Honey
  • ½ cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Lime, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 2 teaspoon Pepper

Strawberry Avocado Basil Salsa

  • 2 cups fresh Strawberries, diced
  • 1 Avocado, pitted + diced
  • 1 small Jalapeno, seeded+ chopped
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Basil, chopped
  • juice of 1 lime

Preparations:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare your baking sheet by lining with foil and spraying with cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, combine the honey, mustard, egg whites and seasoned salt, whisk well. Toss the chicken in the honey mustard wash and set aside. The longer you can allow it to marinate the better. In a shallow bowl, combine the crushed pretzels and walnuts.
  • Remove one piece of chicken at a time from the mustard wash. Place chicken in the pretzels crumbs and then use your fingers to press the pretzels mixture onto the chicken.  Place on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining chicken.  Bake in the oven for about 20-28 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  • While the chicken cooks combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl. Whisk well and adjust seasoning to taste.
  • For salsa, combine the strawberries, avocado, jalapeno, basil and lime juice in a bowl. Gently toss and season with salt if desired. Store in the fridge.
  • Serve chicken warm with a drizzle of honey Dijon mustard dressing and garnished with strawberry salsa!

3 Ways to Celebrate No Diet Day!! 

Healthy bodies come in all different shapes and sizes. We see it every time we hit the gym, get our hair done, or just walk down the street.  May 6th is International "No Diet Day" - a day where people everywhere can say "I don't need no stinkin' diet." Wouldn't it be great to throw some self-love motivation out to the universe? 

  

Here are three ways anyone can celebrate "No Diet Day"

  1. "I love me some ME!" There’s no point in trying to look like a celeb on a magazine cover. Did you know that those celebs don’t even look like that? Over 95 percent of media images are altered (not real). We can rock our different sizes and unique shapes.  You can do it: Share what you value about your body and why - with yourself, a good friend, or on social media. 
  2. "Because I'm HAPPY..." We often think if we choose to be content, we’ve become complacent. That’s simply not the case. We can find health and happiness along the way. Try to let go of the “if/then” attitude. Being happy in the body you have is possible even while you’re working on making it healthier. You can do it: reflect on what you are grateful for today and why. Can you share three things?
  3. "Can I Live?" Life is happening whether you are there or not. Might as well join the party. Remember that experience trumps appearance. So what happens if you don’t get out on the beach (the dance floor, the doctor’s office, the dinner club)? It’s very likely that you lose what could have been a delightful or enlightening event. Choosing the experience is the first step in making wonderful memories. You can do it: Share a picture of a recent joyful experience - and talk about how it made you feel. 

By Leslie Schilling and Rebecca Scritchfield, Co-Founders of Dietitians for Body Confidence www.RD4BC.com

About: Leslie Schilling and Rebecca Scritchfield are registered dietitian nutritionists and fitness experts and moms of girls. They co-founded "Dietitians for Body Confidence" to establish a dialogue about the valuable role dietitians can play in helping to improve body image. Learn more at www.RD4BC.com

Moroccan Chickpea, Carrot, and Spiced Quinoa Salad

Tired of packing a boring sandwich for lunch?

Want to boost your antioxidant level by increasing your vegetable intake?

Want to wake up your taste buds with fresh, exotic flavors?

This quick and easy salad is perfect for you!

Don’t settle for a sandwich, when you can re-energize your body mid-day with this nutrient dense, flavorful dish!

You are worth it!

Moroccan Chickpea, Carrot, and Spiced Quinoa Salad

Yields: 4-5 Servings

Recipe Inspired ByHappy Hearted Kitchen

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset
Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Spiced Quinoa

  • 1 cup Tri-Colored Quinoa
  • 1 ½ cup Salted water
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander
  •  1 ½ teaspoon Ground Fennel Seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Cinnamon

Roasted Chickpeas:

  • 2 cans Organic Chickpeas, drained and rinsed; Pat dry
  • 1/2 Tbsp Coriander
  • 1 Tbsp Dried Parsley
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Paprika
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper

Salad

  • 8 Medium Carrots
  • 3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Juice of one Lemon
  • 1 teaspoon Local Honey
  • ¼ cup Raisins or Currants
  • 1/2 cup Raw Almonds, Sliced or Chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Dried Parsley
  • 1 Tbsp Coriander

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Toss chickpeas with spices. Place on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes, or until chickpeas are slightly brown and crunchy. Toss the chickpeas halfway through cooking time to evenly cook.
  2. Rinse the quinoa under cold water. Add rinsed quinoa and water to a pot and season with salt. Add in spices. Cover and simmer for 12 minutes, then remove from heat and let sit with the lid on for another 5 minutes.
  3. While the quinoa is cooking, slice carrots into ribbons.  Drizzle with olive oil, honey and lemon juice and set aside.
  4. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and add to the carrots. Mix well.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.  Serve immediately or refrigerate.

If you are taking this salad for lunch, go ahead and portion into individual servings so the dish is ready to go when you are!

Cookie with Benefits!!

img_5540-0.jpg

2015/01/img_5536.jpg This nutrient dense, delicious cookie recipe will actually improve your health!!

Increase your fiber and satisfy your hunger levels. (Thank you Oats)

Sustained Energy levels. (Thank you Oat & Nuts)

Elevate HDL and Reduce LDL Cholesterol (Thank you Oats)

Reduce your blood pressure and increase digestive enzymes in your stomach (Thanks Bananas!)

Fight off infection with Vitamin C (Thanks Applesauce)

Reduce inflammation in the body with magnesium! (Thanks Pecans)

Support Bone & Teeth Formation. (Thanks pecans)

Reduce stomach pains, improve mental performance, reduce hunger pains, relieve stress, and increase antioxidant levels (Thanks Vanilla)

Stabilize blood sugar and protects neurons in your brain!! (Thanks Cinnamon)

2015/01/img_5540.jpg

Peanut Butter Banana Cookie Recipe Yields 1 Dozen (Recipe inspired from Amanda's Apron - www.amandasapron.com)

COOKIE:

2 Bananas

1.5 cup Old-Fashion Oats

2/3 cup Homemade Peanut Butter (or a natural store bought with peanuts and/or salt only)

2/3 cup Organic Unsweetened Apple Sauce

1/2 cup Chopped Pecans, Raw Almond, or Cashews

1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract

1 Tbsp Cinnamon

FROSTING:

1/4 cup Natural Peanut Butter

1 Tbsp Organic Coconut Oil

Optional Sweetener Add-ins: Dried Cranberries, Raisins, Cacao nibs, Cocoa powder, Dried Cherries, 2-3 Tbsp Honey or Agave Nectar

Pre-Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mash bananas until soft. Add all other ingredients for cookie to bowl and mix well. Place dough in 1-2 inch balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Mash to make into cookie shape. Bake for 20-25 minutes. When cookies are done, place on wire cookie rack to cool and too with frosting.

To make frosting microwave 1/4 cup peanut butter with 1 Tbsp organic coconut oil. Drizzle over cookies and let set.

Store cookies in airtight container in a cool place.

Feel good about serving this cookie to your friends, family, or most importantly to YOU!!

Remember, food is our medicine and is meant to be enjoyed!!!

Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

breast cancer Breast Cancer: one in eight women will be diagnosed in their lifetime. Most (if not all) of you can name at least one relative, neighbor, or friend that has, had, or defeated the cancer. Since men grow breast tissue as well, they can be diagnosed with the disease but it is the most common cancer of women, so the focus often lies on women. Since it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we wanted to post a nutritional blog that could possibly help any of you, male or female, who needs advice on prevention!

My view point on the power of proper nutrition changed when I learned that three-fourths of cancers can be prevented through healthy diet and lifestyle. Three-fourths! I don’t know about you but that gives me a certain amount of comfort that, in a small way, we have the power!

Breast cancer is considered a genetic cancer by many so there are no promises. Also, there is no sure fire way to completely prevent any type of cancer but there are some nutritional tips that can help avoid those vexing cancer risk factors.

  1. This one may (not) be a shocker: exercise. Weight gain as an adult leads to a stronger chance of being diagnosed. The best way to avoid this is through exercise, which helps prevent any number of other health issues. Two birds meet one stone.
  2. Stick to one glass of wine a day. Those who drink an excessive amount of alcohol have shown a stronger chance of getting breast cancer. Since wine is such a relaxant, I cannot blame anyone who wants to sit back after a long day at work and drink a few glasses. Try to keep it at a one drink maximum.
  3. Don’t smoke. (I feel that this does not need further explanation).
  4. Mothers who breast feed for a year (or longer) are less likely to get breast cancer versus a mother who did not breast feed. Breast feeding has also shown a prevention in ovarian cancer, postpartum depression, and type 2 diabetes.
  5. Get screened often! Especially get screened if you have a family history of breast cancer. This is not a "prevention" technique but more of a way to receive the good news that you defeated the disease or to avoid a late diagnosis.

I have included links to Susan G. Koman's website, throughout this post, to provide any further research options you wish to pursue. Also, below are some of the trusted sites I found my information from (most was learned in my medical nutrition therapy class but I do not have a web link of my notes for y'all).

http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-cancer-facts

http://www.cancer.org/cancer/breastcancer/detailedguide/breast-cancer-prevention

Therese Bridges

13 Quotes About Your Body You Need to Hear

Happy Monday NutriFocus Family!!! 

In Honor of #Motivation #Monday I'm sharing an encouraging reminder to LOVE YOUR BODY!!!!  Check out These 13 Quotes Your Body Needs to Hear!

13 Quotes About Your Body You Need to Hear - WorldLifestyle.

Salsa Verde Mexican Potato Hash

recipes-01.png

Mexican Potato Hash:

Serves 2-4

Ingredients:

  • 2 Russet Potatoes, Grated or 1 Bag Refrigerated Potato Shreds
  • 1 Onion, Diced or sliced
  • 1 Tbsp Cumin
  • ½ Tbsp Ground Red Pepper
  • Garlic Salt (to taste)
  • Ground Black Pepper (to Taste)
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 2-3 cups Fresh Baby Spinach Leaves
  • Salsa Verde Chicken or Shredded Rotisserie Chicken
  • ¼ cup Shredded Mexican Blend Cheese or 50% Reduced Fat Cabot Jalapeno Cheddar Cheese
  • Low-Fat Sour Cream
  • Sliced Jalapenos (optional)
  • Sriracha Sauce (optional)

Directions:

Heat coconut oil in large skillet. Mix grated potatoes, onion, cumin, ground red pepper, garlic salt, and ground black pepper together. Place in skillet in flat layer. All potatoes to cook around 7-9 minutes or until golden brown. Flip potatoes over which may need to be done in segments. Cook another 7-9 minutes. Meanwhile saute spinach in skillet until wilted. Re-heat Salsa Verde Chicken or shred rotisserie chicken to prepare for assembly.

Place 2/3 – 1 cup shredded potatoes on plate. Top with sautéed spinach, 2 Tbsp shredded cheese, salsa verde chicken, sriracha sauce, sliced jalapenos, and a dollop of low-fat sour cream. Recommend serving with a salad or roasted vegetable of choice!

photo 1[1]
photo 1[1]

Breakfast Bruschetta

20140701-062416-23056409.jpg

I LOVE BREAKFAST!! The old saying goes that breakfast is the most important meal of the day... And if that's the case, I want to capitalize!!!

Instead of reaching for coffee to wake up my body, I reach for nutrients!!! The more living foods, live enzymes and antioxidants I can squeeze in my meal, the more ALIVE and ENERGIZED my body will be!!!

The most common excuse for avoiding breakfast is a LACK OF TIME! Well I'm here to help....

BREAKFAST BRUSCHETTA takes normal Superfood Staples and teams up for a quick, protein packed, antioxidant rich breakfast!!!

BREAKFAST BRUSCHETTA: 2 slices Sprouted Grains Bread, Toasted in Toaster 1 slice Cheddar Cheese, Cut into Triangles 2 Turkey Sausage Links, Cut into Small Pieces Organic Salsa 1 Whole Egg + 1 Egg White Organic Spinach

While bread is toasting and turkey sausage is in microwave for 30-seconds.... Cook eggs with spinach on stovetop. Eggs will take approximately 2-4 minutes. Assemble bruschetta by cutting toast in triangles, layer cheese, eggs, sausage and garnish with salsa!!! Estimated time from start to finish: 7 minutes!!!

20140701-062259-22979611.jpg
20140701-062259-22979611.jpg

Be ready ... With this high quality breakfast who knows what you will be fueled to accomplish today!!!!

Change Your Life by Changing Your Perspective

I'm currently reading "Unglued" by Lysa Terkeurst. If you have not read this book, I can highly recommend it! I want to share a quote from the book that I feel is a great representation of the theories I try to impress upon my clients and ANYONE looking to better their health.

"Brain research shows that every conscious thought we have is recorded on our internal hard drive known as the cerebral cortex. Each thought scratches the surface much like an Etch A Sketch. When we have the same thought again, the line of the original thought is deepened, causing what's called a memory trace. With each repetition the trace goes deeper and deeper, forming and embedding a pattern thought. When an emotion is tied to this thought pattern the memory trace grows exponentially stronger."

We won't develop new responses to life, food, etc until we develop new THOUGHTS!!!

New thoughts come from a new PERSPECTIVE!

What's your perspective?! Is it based on truth or a damaged perspective?

NutriFocusRD is here to help. Check out www.nutrifocusonline.com for information on how to schedule an appointment.

Eating for Performance - Post Workout

j0441729

Eating After a Workout is called Recovery Nutrition. 

Goals of Recovery Nutrition Include: 1. Restore fluid and electrolytes (sodium and potassium) lost in sweat 2. Replace muscle fuel (carbohydrate) utilized during your activity 3. Provide protein to repair damaged muscle tissue and to stimulate growth of new muscle tissue

Nutrition for Recovery Needs to Begin Between 15-60 minutes From the Completion of the Activity.

2 Important Areas in Recovery Nutrition:

Glycogen Replacement: Consume 25-50g carbs immediately after exercise. This can be a combination of food and drink. Examples Include: Energy bar, Bagel, Whole Wheat Bread, Dried Fruit, or Fresh Fruit, Granola Bar or Low-Fat Granola Pieces.  Another option would include replacing your carbohydrate store with a sports drink if you have a difficult time eating immediately after a workout. • Re-Hydrate: Begin drinking 16oz. of water for every pound of water lost through sweat during a workout. Continue to drink water throughout the day.  Water is generally the best way to replace lost fluids. Sports drinks can help maintain your body's electrolyte balance and give you a bit more energy because they contain carbohydrates.

Eating for Recovery Will Result In:

Increased ability to Train Longer and with More Intensity

Delay the Onset of Fatigue

Improve Body Composition and Strength

Maintain Healthy Immune System

Reduce Risk of Injury

Reduce Risk of Cramps and Stomach Distress During Workouts

SPIRIT BOOSTING NUTRIENTS #3 & #4

IRON

  • Aids in muscle strength by carrying oxygen
  • Iron deficiency can cause an individual to experience fatigue and depression
  • Women are at a higher risk for iron deficiency than men
  • RDA: 18mg per day for women; 8mg per day for men

ACTIONS TO TAKE:

  • Jump start your morning with oatmeal for 11mg of iron!!!
  • Enjoy a side of Edamame with your sushi. 1 cup of Soybeans has almost 9mg of iron!
  • Keep Warm at Lunch with Lentil Soup!  1 cup of Lentil Soup provides 7mg of iron. 
  • Don’t shy away from Beef!  A 5oz filet contains 6mg of iron! 

 

MAGNESIUM

  • Did you know magnesium can play over 300 roles in the body?!
  • Magnesium deficiency can cause an individual to feel fatigue, irritable, mentally confused, and unable to tolerate stress
  • Magnesium plays a large role in developing serotonin which leads to feelings of happiness
  • RDA: 300mg per day for women; 400mg per day for men

ACTIONS TO TAKE:

  • Top your morning cereal with sliced almonds!  2 Tbsp Sliced Almonds provides almost 80mg of magnesium
  • Add fresh spinach to your favorite vegetable soup recipe.  ½ cup spinach provides 80mg of magnesium
  • Try Cashew Butter as part of your afternoon snack!  Did you know 1/8 cup of cashews provides 75mg of magnesium?!
  • Peanuts are Packed with Magnesium!! ¼ cup provides 65mg of magnesium!!!

 

STOP LOOKING TO CAFFEINE AND OTHER SUBSTANCES TO GIVE YOU ENERGY!  BE MINDFUL & AWARE OF THE POWER IN YOUR FOODS!!!  

TIP #5 - FOR EATING WELL

TIP #5 - Don’t Skip Breakfast

Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day!  Your breakfast meal sets the tone for the type of day you will have when it comes to your energy levels and metabolism!  Many individuals will skip breakfast as a tool to help management their weight.  Research shows that eating breakfast will actually help people control their weight. According to WebMD, studies show that eating breakfast can help give you:

        • A more nutritionally complete diet, higher in nutrients, vitamins and minerals
        • Improved concentration and performance in the classroom or the boardroom
        • More strength and endurance to engage in physical activity
        • Lower cholesterol levels

If you are looking for a way to increase your metabolism, improve your focus at work or school, manage your weight more effectively, and start your day off on the right foot, then set your alarm 15 minutes earlier and enjoy a balanced breakfast!

Do you know......? :

  • 1 cup serving of sweet potatoes contain 65% of daily amount of Vitamin C?
  • Sweet Potatoes are a great source for calcium, folate, and potassium
  • Sweet potatoes are a low glycemic food!  Sweet potatoes have an index of 17 which can be compared to a white potato with the index of 29
  • 90% of the world’s crops are grown in Asia
  • Sweet potatoes are great for your skin due to their vitamin A content!
  • Help reduce muscle cramps due to the potassium content
  • The Tater Day Festival, one of the few festivals devoted to sweet potatoes, is held in Benton, Kentucky each year!
  • Color-related phytonutrients (Cyanidins and Peonidins) help to lower the risk posed by heavy metals and oxygen radicals in the digestive tract

Want a recipe idea for sweet potatoes? Try to following recipe from Eating Well -- It's delicious!

photo
photo

Sweet Potato Fritters with Smoky Pinto Beans

4 servings, 2 fritters & 1/2 cup beans each | Active Time: 35 minutes | Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet potato (about 1 pound)
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 large poblano peppers or small green bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika (see Note), divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 3/4 cup fine yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 lime wedges for garnish

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Prick sweet potato in several places with a fork. Microwave on High until just cooked through, 7 to 10 minutes. (Alternatively, place in a baking dish and bake at 425ºF until tender all the way to the center, about 1 hour.) Set aside to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 6 minutes. Set aside 1/2 cup of the mixture. Add beans, 1/2 teaspoon paprika and 1/4 teaspoon salt to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 2 minutes. Cover and set aside.
  4. Whisk cornmeal, flour, baking powder, the remaining 3/4 teaspoon paprika and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Peel the sweet potato and mash in a large bowl with a fork. Stir in the reserved onion-pepper mixture, egg and water. Add the cornmeal mixture and stir until just combined.
  5. Form the sweet potato mixture into eight 3-inch oval fritters, using a generous 1/4 cup for each. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook 4 fritters until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining fritters and oil.

Bake the fritters until puffed and firm to the touch, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve the fritters with the reserved bean mixture and lime wedges, if desired.

Bring on the Brussels Sprouts!

As members of the cabbage family, it is easy to see by their cabbage-like appearance.  Typical Brussels sprouts range from 1 – 1 ½ inches in diameter.  Brussels sprouts are readily available year-round, but the peak season is from September to mid-February.

A firm sprout, with small bright-green head is indicative of a sweet taste.  When choosing sprouts, look at the size for taste, but also for cooking purposes.  It is important to choose sprouts of similar size so they will cook evenly.

To store the sprouts properly, remove any loose leaves and place the unwashed Brussels sprouts in a Ziploc bag and store in the refrigerator.  You can expect most sprouts to store for approximately 3-4 days before the flavor begins to turn unpleasant.

To cook sprouts properly, wash each Brussels sprout, pat dry, and trim the stems.  Brussels sprouts should not be cooked for more than about 10 minutes.  Their green color should remain intense.  A drab color is indicative of overcooked sprouts.

Why Eat Brussels Sprouts?

  • Brussels sprouts are full of phytonutrients, which may help protect against cancer.
  • Brussels sprouts may have a detoxing effect on our bodies due to their content of glucosinolates and sulfur.  Enzymes in our cells required for detox, can be activated by compounds made from glucosinolates.
  • Our natural detox system also requires sulfur to run efficiently, which Brussels sprouts have been shown to provide in abundance!
  • Brussels sprouts are powerful dietary source of vitamins and antioxidants, including vitamins A (in the form of beta carotene), C, and E. Vitamins A and C help fight against heart disease, cancer, and cataracts.
  • Anti-inflammatory response can result from the Vitamin K content in Brussels sprouts.  Vitamin K (also known as potassium), helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol.  Other important vitamins:
  • Folate- necessary for normal tissue growth and may protect against cancer, heart disease, and birth defects
  • Iron - necessary for maintaining red blood cell count

I tried a new recipe with hesitancy.  My favorite Brussels sprouts are at Ocean’s (www.oceanbirmingham.com) located in the Five Points area of Birmingham, AL.  The recipe I used was titled: Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, which I found in the March 2011 edition of Cooking Light. Thank you to one of my awesome clients that brought me the magazine to session (you know who you are!!)

I started the recipe with cooking 4 pieces of Applegate Bacon (nitrite and nitrate free) in a deep dish skillet.

Once the bacon was cooked, I placed onion slices and dried thyme in the same skillet with the bacon drippings.  I allowed the onions to sauté long enough to turn soft and slightly transparent.

Blog Pictures 007
Blog Pictures 007

Next, I chopped the Brussels sprouts in half and added to the onion mixture in the skillet, along with 3 cups of low-sodium chicken broth.

Blog Pictures 008
Blog Pictures 008
Blog Pictures 011
Blog Pictures 011

The mixture did not take long to bring to a boil, but once boiling, I placed the lid on the skillet and allowed to cook for approximately 7 minutes.  The recipe was ready to serve!  I plated the Brussels sprouts and sprinkled the fresh cooked bacon to add flavor.

Blog Pictures 013
Blog Pictures 013

Although the Brussels sprouts were not exactly like Ocean’s, they most certainly were close!!!  A super easy recipe helped add flavor and variety to my dinner plate.  I get tired of eating the same ol’ same ol’ green vegetables, so I’m pleased to share this simplistic recipe to help you add variety to your dinner plate as well!!  Hope you enjoy as much as my household did!!! I served the Brussels sprouts with boneless, center-cut pork chop topped with black cherry sauce (you can find recipe in an earlier blog!), baked sweet potato, and a slice of rosemary sourdough bread! The total amount of time spent on cooking was approximately 30 minutes!   

Bon Appetite!

Blog Pictures 014
Blog Pictures 014

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Other Time: 20 minutes Yield:  4 servings (serving size: about 1 cup)

3 slices center-cut bacon, finely chopped 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme 1 1/2 cups presliced onion 1/3 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon; cook 7 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon from pan with a slotted spoon; drain.

2. Add thyme and onion to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Add broth and Brussels sprouts; bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 6 minutes or until crisp-tender. Sprinkle with bacon.

(You can find the recipe in the March 2011 Edition of Cooking Light or on the web at www.cookinglight.com)

National RD Day!

Today, March 9th is National RD (registered dietitian) Day which is sponsored by The American Dietetic Association (ADA).  The ADA's mission is to promote optimal nutrition and well being for all people by advocating for its members.  “Registered Dietitian Day commemorates the dedication of RDs as advocates for advancing the nutritional status of Americans and people around the world.”

If and/or when you need information concerning food and nutrition, do not rely on things you read on the internet or in a magazine that are not backed by a RD.  Registered Dietitians are the only qualified professionals in the field that can give you an honest, in depth, scientific answer concerning all your nutritional questions.  RDs are able to separate facts from fads and translate nutritional science into information you can use. A registered dietitian can put you on the path to lowering weight, eating healthfully and reducing your risk of chronic disease.

What does it mean to be a Registered Dietitian?

The following are key messages from the ADA regarding the role of RDs in the community.

  • Registered Dietitians are the food and nutrition experts who can translate the science of nutrition into practical solutions for healthy living.
  • Registered Dietitians have degrees in nutrition, dietetics, public health or a related field from well-respected, accredited colleges and universities, completed an internship and passed an examination.
  • Registered Dietitians use their nutrition expertise to help individuals make unique, positive lifestyle changes.
  • Registered Dietitians work throughout the community in hospitals, schools, public health clinics, nursing homes, fitness centers, food management, food industry, universities, research and private practice.
  • Registered Dietitians are advocates for advancing the nutritional status of Americans and people around the world.

American Dietetic Association’s Top Ten Reasons Why Consulting with a Registered Dietitian Can Benefit You

You have diabetes, cardiovascular problems or high blood pressure. An RD serves as an integral part of your health-care team by helping you safely change your eating plan without compromising taste or nutrition.

You are thinking of having or have had gastric bypass surgery. Since your stomach can only manage small servings, it’s a challenge to get the right amount of nutrients in your body. An RD will work with you and your physician to develop an eating plan for your new needs.

You have digestive problems. A registered dietitian will work with your physician to help fine-tune your diet so you are not aggravating your condition with fried foods, too much caffeine or carbonation.

You’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant. A registered dietitian can help make sure you get nutrients like folate, especially during the first three months of pregnancy, lowering your newborn’s risk for neural tube or spinal cord defects.

You need guidance and confidence for breastfeeding your baby. A registered dietitian can help make sure you’re getting enough iron, vitamin D, fluoride and B vitamins for you and your little one.

You or your teenager has issues with food and eating healthfully. A registered dietitian can assist with eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia and overweight issues.

You need to gain or lose weight. A registered dietitian can suggest additional calorie sources for healthy weight gain or a restricted-calorie eating plan plus regular physical activity for weight loss while still eating all your favorite foods.

You’re caring for an aging parent. A registered dietitian can help with food or drug interaction, proper hydration, special diets for hypertension and changing taste buds as you age.

You want to eat smarter. A registered dietitian can help you sort through misinformation; learn how to read labels at the supermarket; discover that healthy cooking is inexpensive, learn how to eat out without ruining your eating plan and how to resist workplace temptations.

You want to improve your performance in sports. A registered dietitian can help you set goals to achieve results — whether you’re running a marathon, skiing or jogging with your dog.

 

To locate a dietitian in your area, logon to www.eatright.org and click on “Find a Professional” which will help identify RD’s in your area!

If you are in the Birmingham area, I’d welcome the opportunity to work with you! You can set up an appointment by phone (205) 317-4111 or you can email me at nutrifocusonline@gmail.com.

RECIPE REVIEW: Edamame-Orzo Salad with Goat Cheese

I try to keep lunches new and fresh as a way to avoid lunchbox boredom! Taking your lunch to work/school is a great way to keep your intake healthy and nutritious because it gives you more control over what is available to you during your busy day!  By bringing your lunch, you have the ability to save money, meet your daily needs for fruit and vegetables, increase your fiber intake, decrease your saturated fat intake, and practice portion control!  Although peanut butter & jelly sandwiches are easy, they can get old day in and day out, so I tried a new recipe to see if I could add some excitement back to my lunchbox.

I made Edamame-Orzo Salad with Feta Cheese which is altered version of a recipe by Cooking Light called Chicken-Orzo Salad with Goat Cheese. I made revisions simply because of the ingredients I already had in my kitchen!!  This salad made my lunchbox have some flavor and kept me fueled with fiber, protein, and whole grains!  And the best part… it was SO EASY & FAST to whip up!!

I started by cooking my orzo pasta according to the package directions, but without the salt and fat.  I was able to save a few pennies because I was fortunate to have a coupon from Whole Foods for $1.00 off pasta and the weekly special was BOGO for pasta! Always check Whole Foods website along with Southern Savers to learn the weekly specials at local stores to help cut the grocery budget!

Blog Pictures 036
Blog Pictures 036

While the pasta was cooking, I chopped the tomatoes, boiled the edamame, chopped the red bell pepper, and red onion. I purchased all my produce from Whole Foods since the produce involved fall on the “dirty dozen” list of recommend produce to purchase organic!

Blog Pictures 037
Blog Pictures 037
Blog Pictures 035
Blog Pictures 035

I purchased my edamame from Whole Foods as well because they have my favorite frozen, shelled edamame beans at a reasonable price!!

Blog Pictures 034
Blog Pictures 034

Since I already had dried basil and oregano on hand, I used dried herbs instead of fresh, but I would recommend using fresh if available!  Before combining the ingredients, I roughly chopped the arugula into bite sizes.

Blog Pictures 038
Blog Pictures 038

Next, I combined the pasta, edamame, and the next 6 ingredients through oregano in a large bowl and tossed well.

Blog Pictures 040
Blog Pictures 040

And finally, I combined the red wine vinegar, oil, salt, and black pepper with a whisk  before I drizzled vinegar mixture over pasta mixture. The final step was sprinkling the pasta salad with cheese!

Blog Pictures 041
Blog Pictures 041

Edamame-Orzo Salad with Goat Cheese

Recipe By: Cooking Light

Leftover salad is also good the next day for lunch; stir in a handful of arugula to add a fresh touch, if you have extra on hand. Serve with pita wedges. Yield:  6 servings (serving size: 1 1/3 cups salad and 1 tablespoon cheese)

1 1/4 cups uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta) 3 cups Edamame Beans 1 1/2 cups trimmed arugula 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper 1/4 cup chopped red onion 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 1/8 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon black pepper 6 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain well.

Combine pasta, edamame, and the next 6 ingredients (through oregano) in a large bowl; toss well.

Combine vinegar, oil, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle vinegar mixture over pasta mixture; toss well to coat. Sprinkle with cheese.

To Supplement or Not To Supplement - Part 1

Many clients ask me about supplements and if they are necessary for their health.  Since dietary supplements are such a hot topic and can be controversial, today kick starts a new series titled "The Supplement or Not to Supplement".

Dietary supplements were never intended to be a food substitute or your primary source for vitamins/mineral.  Supplements cannot replicate all the nutrients and nutritional benefits of whole foods, especially produce.  Since supplements can be costly, before reaching for the bottle of supplements, make sure your intake is meeting your needs; this could save your pocketbook a lot of change!  However, if you certain medical conditions or notice that you typically do not meet your daily requirements, you may benefit from taking a daily dietary supplement.

Reach For Whole Foods First!

The human body was created to run off of natural foods.  Our system gets energy from the three macronutrients, carbohydrates, proteins, and fats and receives protective elements from vitamin/minerals found in fresh produce and whole grains.  When whole foods are consumed, you are combining high quality macronutrients for energy AND micronutrients that highly affect your quality of health.  For example, if an orange is consumed, you get approximately 60+ calories to be converted into energy IN ADDITION TO, vitamin C, beta carotene, calcium and other nutrients. A vitamin C supplement lacks the additional micronutrients that work together to promote optimal health. Only whole foods provide substances called phytochemicals and antioxidants.  Phytochemicals may help prevent against cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure!  Antioxidants slow down the oxidation process that leads to cell and tissue damage.  Whole Foods also give the human body proper amounts of dietary fiber to prevent disease and manage constipation.

Who Needs Supplements?

If you typically eat a wide variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, lean meats/poultry/fish, it is not pertinent that you take a daily dietary supplement.  However, the majority of Americans do not follow a balanced diet filled with fresh fruits and vegetables.  In this case, a dietary supplement would be beneficial.  A dietary supplement may be recommended if:

  • Your Daily Intake is Less Than 1,500 Calories a Day.
  • Follow a Diet That Limits the Types of Foods Consumed, Such As Vegan or Vegetarian Diet.
  • A Women of child-bearing age (pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant) or Breast-Feeding.
  • Experience Heavy Bleeding During Menstrual Period or Postmenopausal woman
  • Have a Medical Condition or Surgical Procedure That Affects How Body Absorbs, Uses or Excretes Nutrients (Impaired GI Absorption, Chronic Diarrhea, Food Allergies, Food Intolerance, Disease of the Liver, Gallbladder, Intestines or Pancreas)

Dietary supplements can have side effects or interactions with certain medications so be sure to talk to your doctor or dietitian before taking supplement.

To Supplement or Not to Supplement Part 2 Will Guide You On  How To Choose A Supplement That Best Meets Your Nutritional/Dietary Needs!

Its A Cracker, Its A Chip... Wait, Its BOTH!!!

While walking around in Publix I noticed a stand in a prime location near the bakery section promoting a new product my Special K and the name peaked my interest. The new product was called “cracker chips”.  I normally do not purchase Special K products because the ingredients do not provide the nutrition that other ready-to-eat cereals provide. I also do not prefer the taste or the “diet” image this company represents.  But knowing that my clients like to get reviews on new products, I purchased a box and put the cracker chip to the test.

It is not quite a cracker, and not just a chip, so the texture threw me off a little bit.  I was so unsure of what to expect.  27 cracker chips make up one serving which supplies 1 carbohydrate exchanges and ½ fat exchange.  The product had a mild flavor which tasted good, but highly processed.

The cost of a box of cracker chips was slightly expensive. One box was slightly over $4.00 and the amount the box contained only provided my household with 4 servings!  After the initial sticker shock, I reviewed the ingredient list which included:

POTATOES, POTATO STARCH, LONG GRAIN BROWN RICE FLOUR, SOYBEAN OIL (WITH TBHQ FOR FRESHNESS), WHOLE YELLOW CORN MEAL, OAT FIBER, SALT, ONION POWDER, CONTAINS TWO PERCENT OR LESS OF SOUR CREAM (CULTURED CREAM, NONFAT DRY MILK), DEXTROSE, BUTTERMILK, NONFAT MILK, SUGAR, COCONUT OIL, CORN SYRUP SOLIDS, SODIUM CASEINATE, MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES, NATURAL FLAVORS, WHEY, WHEAT FLOUR, DEFATTED SOY FLOUR, SESAME FLOUR, CITRIC ACID, LACTIC ACID, SPICE, YEAST EXTRACT, MALIC ACID, DISODIUM INOSINATE, DISODIUM GUANYLATE, ASCORBIC ACID (VITAMIN C), SOY LECITHIN

A few additives I’ve explained below:

  • TBHQ is the short name for tert-butylhydroquinone. TBHQ is a synthetic antioxidant that is added to oils and fats to slow down spoilage. Vegetable oils contain a natural antioxidant called tocopherol (aka vitamin E); however, the amount present in oils is often not enough for oxidative stability and the addition of extra tocopherol does not really help so a synthetic was created.
  • Dextrose is better known as glucose and occurs naturally in foods.
  • Corn Syrup Solids are produced when corn syrup has been concentrated to contain less than 10% of water.  To qualify as "corn syrup solids," the glucose content must be at least 88% of the weight of the concentrated syrup.
  • Disodium Inosinate is a food additive often found in instant noodles, potato chips, and a variety of other snacks and used as a flavor enhancer.
  • Disodium Guanylate is a flavor enhancer which belongs to the same family as a monosodium glutamate (MSG).  Disodium inosinate is often used in conjuction with disodium inosinate. It is 50 to 100 times more potent than monosodium glutamate and enhances a variety of flavors, modifies salty or sweet flavors, and suppresses undesirable flavors.

Another important fact to point out about the ingredient list is the small amount of wheat flour used in the product. I can tell this by where the ingredient falls within the ingredient list orders. When reading an ingredient list, all items are listed in order that represents the ingredient used most to the ingredient used the least within the designated product.

In summary, the product had a pleasant taste, but in general I would not recommend this product to a client. There are many other whole grain options for a better price,  both monetarily and nutritionally!