Nutrition Tips

Greek-Style Green Beans

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Need a quick and simple side dish, but do not want to compromise your nutrient intake? 

Looking for a side dish that provides a nutrient-dense punch with delicious flavor?

Do you have 5-minutes?

If you answered yes, then Greek-Style Green Beans are the perfect side dish for you!!!

Greek-Style Green Beans are extremely versatile. They pair nicely with sandwiches, grilled wraps, or alongside chicken, tuna, or salmon salad. (Pictured below is Greek-Style Green Beans Mediterranean Chicken Salad from Whole Foods on a Bed of Greek-Style Green Beans -- Flavorful Lunch Idea That is Quick on Time and High in Nutrients!!)

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These flavorful beans also provide the crunch that most individuals enjoy about potato chips.

Consider this dish for your next tailgating party. It can be served hot or cold and compliments all grilled meats, burgers, and sliders!

Greek-Style Green Beans:

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Ingredients:

  • 1 package Green Beans in a Steamable Bag
  • 2-3 Handfuls Organic Baby Spinach Leaves
  • ½ Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) or Coconut Oil
  • ½ Red Onion, Diced
  • ¼ cup Crumbled Feta Cheese
  • ½ cup Kalamata Olives (pitted)
  • Garlic Salt to Taste
  • Ground Black Pepper to Taste

Directions:

Microwave green beans according to package directions. Meanwhile, sauté baby spinach and diced red onion in a skillet over medium heat. Once green beans are cooked, add the beans to the spinach and onion mixture. Gentle toss in crumbled feta, garlic salt, pepper and olives. Serve hot or cold.

Wild-Caught Pesto Cod with Tomato & Olive Relish - Dinner in Less Than 15 Min!

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Time.

It seems to be the most common and prevalent barrier between people eating a nutrient-dense diet and fueling their body to do the activities that are taking up so much time!

How many times have you justified going through the drive-thru window b/c of no time? How many times have you skipped a meal due to a “lack of time”? How many times have you microwaved an unappetizing tv dinner due to a time crunch?  

Food Myth: “To eat “healthy” or nutrient dense means I must spend a lot of time in the kitchen cooking, dirty up a lot of dishes, and eat bland foods.”

NutriFocusRD has news for you!!

THAT IS A LIE!!!!! And I can prove it!!!!

Last week, I started with fresh, nutrient-packed ingredients and had dinner on the table on 14min and 23 seconds flat! Yes, I timed it and proud of it!!! I wanted to see exactly how long it would take to prepare and serve a balanced, tasty meal. And I was extremely surprised!!!

I proudly served up Wild-Caught Pesto Cod topped with a Tomato & Olive Relish on a Bed of Wilted Organic Spinach. I finished off the dish by pairing it with warm slices of Rosemary & Sea Salt French Baguette!

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So no more excuses… It’s time to make health our priority so we can enjoy our loved ones, hobbies, and activities to the fullest!!!! I’ve shared the recipe below!!! Bon Appetite!

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 Wild-Caught Pesto Cod Served with Tomato & Olive Relish:

Ingredients:

  • 4 Wild-Caught Cod Filets (Frozen – Allow to Thaw Before Cooking) (Can also use tilapia, mahi-mahi or other white flaky fish)
  • 4 Tbsp Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • Cooking Spray
  • 4 Tbsp Homemade or Store Bought Pesto
  • 1-2 Small to Medium Sized Tomatoes
  • 8 Kalamata Olives, Pitted & Sliced
  • Garlic Salt
  • Ground Black Pepper
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • French Baguette
  • Sea Salt
  • Dried Rosemary
  • Organic Baby Spinach or Frozen Spinach Leaves

Directions:

Pre-Heat Oven to 425 Degrees.

Pat fish dry and place on a baking pan covered in cooking spray. Top each cod filet with 1 Tbsp shredded parmesan cheese. Place in oven to cook for 8-10 minutes.

While fish cooks, prepare relish, bread, and spinach. For relish, dice tomatoes and place in small bowl. Add Kalamata olive slices to the tomatoes. Season with garlic salt and pepper to taste. Toss with EVOO and sit to the side.

For bread, slice French baguette into single servings. Drizzle each slice with EVOO and sprinkle with sea salt and dried rosemary. Place in heated oven with fish for 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile, sauté spinach on the stovetop in a skillet over medium high heat with a drizzle of EVOO. If you purchase frozen spinach, place in microwave.

When fish is done cooking, top each filet with 1 Tbsp pesto. Place each pesto cod filet on a bed of wilted spinach and garnish with Tomato Olive Relish. Serve the Rosemary & Sea Salt French Baguette on the side! Delish!    

Salsa Verde Mexican Potato Hash

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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!

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11 Signs You Have a Healthy Relationship with Food

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I liked this article and wanted to share with my NutriFocus family!!!!  How many of these signs can you claim?!

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-14274/11-signs-you-have-a-healthy-relationship-with-food.html

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Organic Tomato & Avocado Slaw

Feeling Sluggish?! Fatigue? Lethargic? Depressed? Frequently Sick?

Wake yourself up from the inside out!!!

Too often we focus on what we need to REMOVE from our diets instead of ADD to our diets to improve our energy levels, reduce toxins, boost our immune system and promote health!

Removing “labels” such as good, bad, healthy, and unhealthy can change your perspective when it comes to your approach towards food. Food does not have a moral code, but it does offer health benefits!!!

How would your attitude & approach towards food and your body change it you started looking at food for its benefits and not its caloric content?! (Heard the term “missing the forest for the trees?”)  

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Organic Tomato & Avocado Slaw:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Sauerkraut
  • 2 Organic Tomatoes, Diced
  • 1 Large Avocado, Diced
  • ¼ cup Feta Cheese
  • 2 Tbsp Gourmet Garden Basil Paste
  • Sea Salt
  • Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Lime Infused Olive Oil (I used Organic Persian Lime Oil from Oli.O Shop in Birmingham, AL – You can also use EVOO and Lime Juice)

Directions:

Warm Sauerkraut in microwave or on the stovetop. Once heated, add basil herb paste, feta cheese, sea salt, ground black pepper, and olive oil (or EVOO mixture) and stir. Gently fold in tomatoes and avocado. Enjoy as side dish or as a garnish on eggs, tomato pie, salads, burgers and sandwiches.   

Benefits: fermented foods remove toxins and aids in improving digestion of foods. Tomatoes are full of antioxidants which fight cancer & boost immune system. Avocado provides healthy fats which improves brain function and development and allows you to absorb all the vitamins and minerals in other foods.

Remember, food has the power to give life and to heal so don’t shy away!

Wake Up From The Inside Out..

Waking my #body up from the inside out by adding #Saurkraut to my #Eggs#Fermented Foods Such as Kraut:

Enhance #Nutrients

Remove #toxins and harmful #bacteria found in Foods

Improve #Digestion

Allow #Nutrients to be absorbed properly

Support #Immune function

#Increase B vitamins, #omega-3 fatty acids, #digestive #enzymes, #lactase and #lactic acid that fight off harmful #bacteria.

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#RealFoodForRealLife #FermentedFun #FoodHasPower #Nutrition

Cook Once, Eat for a Week

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If your week looks busy, I encourage you to PLAN AHEAD!!!! Declare this the week that TIME stops being your excuse and starts being your advantage in making nutrient-dense food choices!!!

Planning proceeds production. By simply taking time to plan ahead, you can prepare nutrient dense meals with half the effort!!! Start your week by preparing Salsa Verde Chicken in a slow-cooker and be ready to feed your family in a variety of ways for the rest of the week!!!!

SALSA VERDE CHICKEN

(Recipe From SkinnyTaste )

    • Organic Chicken Breast (4-8 Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breast Depending on Size)
    • 1 Jar of Your Favorite Salsa Verde or Tomato Salsa
    • Cook on High for 4-Hours

SALSA VERDE CHICKEN WEEKLY MENU:

    1. Salsa Verde Chicken Breast served over Mexican Rice and Roasted Asparagus
    2. Salsa Verde Chicken Taquitos with Sriracha Cream Dipping Sauce served with Guacamole Salad
    3. Salsa Verde Tacos served with Refried Beans and Guacamole Salad
    4. Salsa Verde Chicken Salad with Roasted Cumin Sweet Potatoes

SALSA VERDE CHICKEN TAQUITOS

(Recipe Inspired by Just a Taste )

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 cup Diced Onion
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Lime Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Cumin
  • 2 teaspoons Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Fresh Black Pepper
  • 3 cups Salsa Verde Chicken or Rotisserie Chicken (Shredded)
  • 1/2 cup Shredded Mexican Blend or Colby Jack Cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups Chicken Broth 12 (6-inch) Corn Tortillas

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook until it's translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes until it's golden and fragrant.

Reduce the heat to low, and then add the lime juice, cumin, paprika, salt and black pepper to the pan, stirring to combine. Add the chicken, tossing to combine.

Transfer the chicken mixture to a large bowl and let it cool for 10 minutes, and then stir in the shredded cheese.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the chicken broth to a simmer. One at a time, dip each tortilla into the broth for 10 to 15 seconds, just until it's pliable enough to roll. Transfer the tortilla to your work surface and place about 3 tablespoons of the chicken mixture on the lower third of each tortilla. Tightly roll up the tortilla, and then place it seam-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat the filling and rolling process with the remaining tortillas.

Bake the taquitos for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown and crispy.

Serve with Sriracha Cream Sauce for dipping (Sriracha Sauce mixed with Low-Fat Sour Cream and Fresh Ground Black Pepper and Minced Garlic) and Guacamole Salad.

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SALSA VERDE CHICKEN TACOS:

No recipe needed… it is simply an assembly night! Top a corn tortilla with fat free refried beans, salsa verde chicken, cheese, and leftover sriracha cream sauce or fresh guacamole! Serve with a simply guacamole salad. I recommend Wholly Guacamole if you wish to save time on making fresh guacamole!

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SALSA VERDE CHICKEN SALAD:

It is another assembly night!!! Toss your favorite organic greens in a low-fat dressing or high quality olive oil. Top with your favorite vegetables. For added texture and a nutrient dense starch, add Roasted Cumin Sweet Potatoes (Cube 2-3 Sweet Potatoes, Toss in Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper, and 2 Tbsp Cumin and Roast in Oven at 400 for 30 minutes). Be creative with your salad toppings but do not forget the Salsa Verde Chicken!!!!

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Encouraging Reminder

I hope everyone had a fantastic July 4th weekend! What a special day to remember the freedom we have as Americans!!! With freedom comes choices. A friendly photo was introduced to me this morning which reminded me of a simple, yet profound truth.... I can't resist sharing because I believe we all harbor a boundless dreamer inside of us!!!

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Breakfast Bruschetta

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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!!!

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

15 Commandments of Healthy Eating

Happy Monday NutriFocus Family!!! With Independence Day around the corner I am reminded of the importance of living in the FREEDOM that has been won for us at a high cost!!! Although we live in the land of the free, it is easy to find ourselves slaves to our daily routine!!!

ITS TIME TO TAKE BACK OUR FREEDOM!!!!

I'm challenging all NutriFocus Family to LIVE IN FREEDOM WITH FOOD!!! Post these 15 Commandments of Healthy Eating in a place that will readily remind you that you are free indeed and you have the CHOICE to treat your body well!!!

DITCH DIETING AND START LIVING!!!!

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Image From Blog on The Psychology Easel - http://taradeliberto.blogspot.com/2014/05/the-fifteen-commandments-of-healthy-intuitive-eating-stop-dieting-eating-disorders.html

Roasted Okra .... Your New Favorite Food

Wash & Pat Dry Okra. Toss with Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Coconut Oil, Thyme, Garlic Powder, Sea Salt, and Freshly Ground Black Pepper.

Place on a Baking Sheet in a Single Layer

Roast for 15 minutes!

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ENJOY AS AN APPETIZER, SIDE DISH OR A NUTRIENT DENSE SUPERFOOD SUMMER SNACK!

Okra is high in antioxidants such as xanthin and lutein, Vit A & C & B, Calcium, Iron, and Fiber!

And the seeds are high in PROTEIN!

Cook Smarter, Not Harder

When meal planning I hear a lot of individuals struggle with variety. Meal planning can be made easy by using one main ingredient to build different meals. Don't feel the need to reinvent the wheel each and every night.

Start by looking at what meats or protein sources are on sale. If meat products are too expensive that week, look for meat alternatives such as beans. They are always an inexpensive option. Publix announces their sales every Wednesday for the upcoming week which is why I typically shop on Fridays. This gives me enough time to be informed of sales and develop a meal plan. Last week Publix had pork tenderloin on sale so I will use this for my meal planning example.

I decided to cook my pork in the slow-cooker to free up my time to work on Monday!! Since I cooked the meat that day, I kept my sides easy.... I served with Roasted Rosemary Sweet Potatoes and Collard Greens. (sorry no picture)

I took the leftovers and used inexpensive ingredients to create different meals but minimal cooking.

On the second night I made baked potatoes stuffed with pork tenderloin and side salad made with organic greens I found on sale!!

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Since the greens were on sale I decided to use the same ingredients on the third night. Salad greens are easy to grow at home as well so feel free to get in touch with your green thumb!! On the third night I made pork tenderloin salads with homemade croutons!!

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To make the most of meal planning just takes a few simple steps: 1.) Don't try to re-invent the wheel each and every night 2.) Choose one main ingredient and vary it up 1-2 ways 3.) A variety of produce can drastically change your meal presentation 4.) Think of ways to change FLAVOR & TEXTURE (Example: use leftover pork in a stew or soup) 5.) Think of themes for your meals (example: Mexican Night - pork tacos, Sandwich Night- pulled pork sandwiches, Chinese - pork lo mein)

Just remember to have fun!!!! There is no wrong or right way to meal plan, it's just about being intentional!!!!

Cook smarter not harder!!! >

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.

National Nutrition Month 2014

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The theme of National Nutrition Month this year is "Enjoying the Taste of Eating Right." Do you enjoy what you eat?! Do you choose what you LIKE to eat versus what you SHOULD eat?! What criteria do you use to choose your food?!! Is your nutrition information accurate or factual?!!

Try adding JOY back into your diet!!! Try adding color with fruits and vegetables, add variety with different cooking methods, add fresh herbs that you plant at your home, take pride in your food, and take time to enjoy food!!!

In honor of National Nutrition Month I tried a new food to week. I tried ROASTED AVOCADO!!! And was glad I did!!!!

ROASTED AVOCADO: 1-2 Large Avocados, sliced into Quarters Olive Oil Sea Salt Pepper Garlic Powder

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Serve on a salad, sandwich, in a taco, or make roasted guacamole!!! Be creative!!!

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I encourage you to seek the professional help and guidance from a dietitian if you feel you are overwhelmed or confused by the mixed messages in the media surrounding food. Get factual information and get guidance on how to improve your health!!! www.nutrifocusonline.com

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Eating for Performance - Protein Podcast

As we discuss continue focusing on Eating for Performance, I wanted to share a PodCast that I recently did for the YMCA of Greystone in Birmingham, AL. I hope you will find this educational and instrumental in improving your overall health!

http://ylifebirmingham.podbean.com/mf/web/fhazh3/LifeskillsSuzannePirkle-Protein.mp3

Running

Vinaigrette 101

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Making vinaigrette is all about making it your own. I tend do keep my vinaigrette dressings at 2 parts oil, 1 part vinegar. You can use a wide variety of vinegars such as balsamic, red wine vinegar, white balsamic, or apple cider vinegar.

Instead of vinegar you can also use citrus juice as your acid such as lemon juice (think kale salad) or pink grapefruit juice which works nicely baby spinach salad.

Basic Vinaigrette 1 Tbsp Dijon 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 1/2 cup olive oil

Place Dijon into a jar or bowl and add vinegar, salt and pepper. Shake or mix vigorously. Add oil and continue to mix or shake. Taste and adjust as necessary.

Dressing will keep up to 1-week on your counter.

To add sweetness add sugar, honey, maple syrup or agave nectar.

To add creaminess add goat cheese, feta cheese, or Gorgonzola cheese.

Add fresh herbs to add zest and character. For example, add oregano and thyme for a Greek inspired vinaigrette.

Be creative! It's your salad!!

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Pictured Above: Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad tossed in Lemon Vinaigrette topped with Organic Walnuts, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Sautéed Red Onion, Organic Sun-Dried Roma Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, and Feta Cheese

Digging Dates

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Delicious, Portable Snack for Traveling (On your next road trip, pack dates and mixed nuts for a super snack combo!)

Satisfy a sweet tooth! (Try Date + Havarti Cheese + Walnut + Drizzle of Organic, Local Honey)

Good source of proteins and iron! (Dates are great addition to wraps, sandwiches, and burgers!)

Naturally Fat Free and Cholesterol Free! (Consider adding Puréed Dates as a Topping to Whole Wheat Bread, English Muffin or Bagel for a Sweet Surprise!!)

Packed with Fiber!! (Add Puréed Dates to your Morning Oatmeal!)

Cofactors in Dates protect my body from free radical damage!!

Recipe Recommendation (No Cooking!)

HEALTHY 5-INGREDIENT GRANOLA BARS Prep time: 10 mins Cook time: 5 mins. Total time: 15 mins

Author: Minimalist Baker (www.minimalistbaker.com) Serves: 10 bars

INGREDIENTS 1 cup packed dates, pitted (deglet nour or medjool) 1/4 cup honey (or sub maple syrup or agave for vegan option) 1/4 cup creamy salted natural peanut butter or almond butter Substitute 1 cup roasted unsalted almonds, loosely chopped 1 1/2 cups rolled oats (gluten free for GF eaters) optional additions: chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, banana chips, vanilla, etc.

INSTRUCTIONS Process dates in a food processor until small bits remain (about 1 minute). It should form a “dough” like consistency. (mine rolled into a ball)

Optional step: Toast your oats in a 350 degree oven for 15-ish minutes or until slightly golden brown. Otherwise, leave them raw – I just prefer the toasted flavor. Place oats, almonds and dates in a bowl – set aside.

Warm honey and peanut butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir and pour over oat mixture and then mix, breaking up the dates to disperse throughout.

Once thoroughly mixed, transfer to an 8×8 dish or other small pan lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper so they lift out easily. (A loaf pan might work, but will yield thicker bars.)

Press down until uniformly flattened. Cover with parchment or plastic wrap, and let set in fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes to harden.

Remove bars from pan and chop into 10 even bars. Store in an airtight container for up to a few days.

Nutrients that Boost Your Spirit - Nutrient #7

ZINC

• Low levels of Zinc can lead to a weakened immune system, loss of appetite, anemia, hair loss and depression • Vegetarians need about 50% more Zinc due low absorption rate from plant=based zinc • Zinc can improve response of antidepressants • RDA: 11mg per day for men; 8mg per day for women

Assorted fruit

ACTIONS TO TAKE:

 • Snack on Cashews! 1 cup of Cashews can Pack Almost 8mg of Zinc • Top Your Salad with Roasted Pumpkin Seeds. 1 cup Provides 9.5mg of Zinc! • Roast Pork Tenderloin for Dinner! 6oz Provides 3.5mg of Zinc!

8 Nutrients That Boost Your Spirit - Nutrient #6

VITAMIN B12• B12 helps create new red blood cells and nerves • Low levels of B12 can result in short-term fatigue, slowed reasoning, depression, and paranoia • Vegetarians and Vegans are at risk for developing a deficiency b/c B12 if naturally found in meats and eggs • RDA: 2.4mcg per day for adults

Shopper

ACTIONS TO TAKE: • Make a Homemade Pizza with Mozzarella Cheese. 1/8 cup provides 3.0mcg of B12 • Fire Up The Coals and Grill a Salmon Burger for a Change! 3oz Salmon Provides 17.6mcg of B12. • Add Swiss Cheese To A Reuben Sandwich or Homemade Pasta Salad. 1/8 cup provides 4.4mcg of B12. • Enjoy Tuna Salad on Rye Crackers for a Snack. 3.5oz Tuna Provides 2.5mcg of B12

Fresh vegetables falling