Celebrate Eat your Vegetables Day Deliciously

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Happy Father’s Day to all dads out there! Today is not only Father’s Day, but also, National Eat Your Vegetables Day. Eat Your Vegetables Day is dedicated to encouraging people to eat their veggies, and in spreading awareness of the diversity of veggies and how necessary they are as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle. There’s an easy way to celebrate Father’s Day and Eat Your Vegetables Day simultaneously and yes, it involves the grill! Here are my top five favorite grilled veggies!

Corn!                                                                                                                                        

Okay so here’s the $50,000 question! Do you grill your corn with or without the husk?! I vote for without the husk! There’s no need to overcomplicate it. Simply shuck your corn. Then, put the cobs directly on the grill grate over high heat turning frequently for 10 minutes or until grill mark are achieved. Pull the corn off the grill and coat with a thin layer of salted butter. Instead of butter, you can get creative with toppings (basil and parmesan or Greek yogurt, dill and crumbled feta)

Peppers

There is no better way to eat peppers than grilling them! Add tons of sliced grilled peppers to your sausage sandwiches. I also grill pepper halves and stuff them with a rice and bean mixture. Grill small sweet pepper halves and stuff them with your favorite cheese immediately after you pull them off the grill—I particularly love stuffing them with chevre. Typically, I grill pepper strips wrapped in aluminum foil and half peppers directly on the grill.

Zucchini

Slice zucchini strips the long way and soak in a dish of ¼ cup balsamic vinegar, a couple tablespoons of olive oil, and sea salt for a couple of hours and then grill directly on the grate over medium-high heat. This makes an excellent side and is also delicious as a sandwich with crumbled feta on whole-grain bread.

Potatoes

Some people reading this have probably banned potatoes from their diet because it’s not paleo or not keto, but they are fat free and contain more potassium than bananas, not to mention if you keep the skin on, they are an excellent source of fiber! A medium sized potato has 5 grams of fiber. I love taking baby potatoes, halving them and brushing them with olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Then I place them on skewers and grill them over medium-high heat until tender and lightly charred.

Mushrooms

I can barely imagine any grilled red meat without grilled mushrooms. I usually use portabella mushrooms. I take about five caps and place them on a platter and brush with olive oil, drizzle balsamic vinegar over them, sprinkle with minced garlic and salt and pepper and let sit for an hour. Then, I grill them gill side up over medium heat until tender. They are great as burger replacements or work well sliced on top of a burger or steak!

There you have it—go crazy with veggies on the grill! You need some way to get your recommended 2-3 cups of veggies a day!

 

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Boost your health with meal plans

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Meal plans

What if you didn’t have to put so much effort into your food choices? What if someone chose delicious easy-to-prepare meals for you that left you feeling satiated and fantastic!? We’ve got awesome news for you!

Introducing, Kelly’s Choice Meal Plans! There are four meal plans to choose from: anti-inflammatory, plant-based vegan, 5-day lowFODMAP, and 28-day refresh. Here’s a brief overview of each plan:

Anti-inflammatory:

The anti-inflammatory plan contains low-glycemic recipes aimed at stabilizing blood sugar, maintaining healthy weight, normalizing hormones, promoting healthy digestion, and reducing inflammation associated with many chronic diseases.

You will receive a weekly anti-inflammatory meal plan that emphasizes the preparation of whole, plant-based foods. Research suggests that these life-giving foods should make up at least 75% of your plate. The other 25%? That’s easy… We’ll suggest high-quality proteins that can be simply prepared.

Plant-based vegan

These plans contain 100% plant-based recipes that are rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients known to be anti-inflammatory. Recipes are full of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and plant proteins making them nutritious as well as delicious. This is a great plan to choose for detoxification!

You will receive a weekly meal plan that emphasizes the preparation of whole, plant-based foods. Research suggests that a diet rich in plants may decrease inflammation and risk of certain chronic diseases – we’ll make sure it tastes great too! If you are traditionally a meat eater, you won’t miss it a bit!

5-day low-FODMAP

Do you struggle with IBS or other bowel issues? This is the plan for you! I’m ready to talk about some big words so bear with me. These low-FODMAP plans contain ingredients considered to be low in Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols. These molecules are poorly absorbed by some people and avoiding them may provide relief for certain digestive conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD.) It is important to seek a diagnosis and recommendation from your healthcare professional before following a low-FODMAP diet.

You will receive a weekly low-FODMAP meal plan that emphasizes the preparation of whole foods. The low-FODMAP diet was created by researchers at Monash University and all ingredients are selected utilizing their guidelines.

28-day refresh

The 28-Day Refresh is a great way to get your metabolism humming and jump-start your health. Like the anti-inflammatory plan, this plan contains selected low-glycemic recipes aimed at stabilizing blood sugar, maintaining healthy weight, normalizing hormones, promoting healthy digestion, and reducing inflammation associated with many chronic diseases.

You will have access to recipes for three meals per day (75% antioxidant-rich foods and 25% high-quality protein) plus snacks.

Each of these plans are complete with easy-to-prepare delicious recipes! You can check them out for free (no credit card is required for a 3-day trial). After that it’s $9 monthly, and you can cancel at any time. We know you’ll love it! Go to kellyschoice.org to try these out and bring your health to the next level!

Go Local with Byrne Hollow Farm Lactose-Free Milk

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It’s that time of year when farmers markets are bustling with people excited to add fresh, local veggies and fruits to their meals. I love supporting the Go Local movement with all my food choices and one new local product that I’m excited about Is Byrne Hollow Farm Lactose-Free Milk. And I can buy it year-round!

If you’re from Central New York, you probably recognize the “Byrne” part of the name—it’s an icon! There are dozens of Byrne Dairy stores throughout the area. Guess what? Byrne Hollow Farm Lactose-Free Milk comes from the same tradition!

The story of the Byrne Hollow Farm brand of milks, which hit the market in 2014, actually began way back in 1933 when Syracuse-native, Matt Byrne, began delivering milk in glass containers by horse-drawn wagon! Matt Byrne worked with local farms that he was sure would supply the freshest and highest-quality milk.

The Byrne family tradition continues. Byrne Hollow Farm Lactose-Free milk is sourced exclusively by one family farm–the Hourigan Family Dairy. Each day, milk is picked up from their farm and delivered to the bottling plant, only 25 miles away! You can’t get fresher than that!

So many of my clients have a hard time digesting dairy because of the lactose. This milk is good news for them because Byrne Hollow Farm Lactose-Free Milk, as its name suggests, is lactose-free! Lactose is broken down into simple sugars (glucose and galactose) by the addition of the enzyme lactase to create sugars that are more easily digested.

Some clients who are lactose-intolerant ask me if I would recommend an alternative to milk such as almond milk or rice milk and I advise them to consider Byrne Hollow Farm Lactose-Free Milk instead, especially for their kids. A 2017 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that children who drank almond, soy, or rice milk were shorter than their peers who drank cow’s milk. Children’s height is one indicator of their overall health. Alternative milks lack the protein and nutrients that are essential for proper growth in early childhood.

Byrne Hollow Farm Lactose-Free Whole Milk is so much more than just lactose-free. A serving of this rich, creamy, oh-so-delicious milk offers 15 percent of your daily vitamin D and 20 percent of your calcium needs and gives you 8 grams of protein! Like all Byrne Hollow Farm milks, this lactose-free milk is free of antibiotics, artificial growth hormones (rBST-free), and is non-GMO.

What type of milk do you have at your family table? I highly suggest giving Byrne Hollow Farm Lactose-Free Milk a go. Now you can support the Farm-to-Table movement with your milk choice, even if you or your kiddos are lactose-intolerant! No tummy aches with this choice!

Kelly Springer is the founder of Kelly’s Choice nutritional company. For more nutrition tips, visit www.kellyschoice.org and find Kelly’s Choice dietitians’ advice throughout social media. Click here for Facebook. Click here for Instagram. Click here for LinkedIn.

 

 

 

 

Don’t Fry Day

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Don’t Fry Day is a national health observance day—it is to be observed the Friday before Memorial Day to educate the public about skin cancer. As warm weather approaches, the risk of Ultraviolet rays damaging your skin increases. Skin cancer is a serious matter—more people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the U.S. than all other cancers combined. Sadly, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70 and every hour someone dies of skin cancer. What can we do to prevent these staggering statistics?

Here are some general tips to help prevent skin cancer, including nutrition tips!

  1. Wear long-sleeved clothing when sun is the strongest (between 10 a.m. p.m.). If you think it is too hot for long sleeve, linen clothes are very light-weight. Also consider athletic dry-wicking clothing. There are even clothes that have UV protection built in!
  2. Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses throughout summer.
  3. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that is SPF 30 or higher
  4. Get your vitamin D safely through a healthy diet. Dairy products, egg yolks and fatty fish are all good sources of vitamin D.
  5. Eat sun-protective food. Yes, some foods help, here are just a few:
  • Eat foods rich in lycopene, like watermelon, grapefruit, cooked tomatoes, tomato sauce, or chili powder. Studies show that lycopene helps protect against the sun!
  • Load up on broccoli. Broccoli, especially the florets, is a good source of sulforaphane, a compound that reduces the risk of skin cancer.
  • Eat pomegranates. Pomegranates are well known to contain tons of antioxidants and known as sun-protective. Some scientists say they can inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Click here to learn how to prepare a pomegranate or drink pomegranate juice!
  • Fill up on flaxseed. Omega 3 fatty acids in flaxseeds can protect your skin from sunburn, reduce additional inflammation if sunburn occurs, and fight against skin cancer. According to the National Institute of Health, flaxseed oil can protect your skin against UV rays and keep your skin moisturized so it won’t dry out, as well as fight against skin cancer. Make a salad dressing using the oil or add some in your morning smoothie!

Summer is the season of fun and we’re meant to enjoy the sun…just go about having fun in the sun smartly by applying the tips above. Don’t fry today or at all this summer!

 

Avoid added sugars with SweetLeaf Stevia Sweetener

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Added sugars are sugars and syrups that are added to food and beverages when they are prepared or processed. This does not include naturally-occurring sugars like those in milk or fruit. Added sugars mean a lot of calories with no nutrients—in other words “empty” calories! But that’s not all, added sugars have been shown to contribute to heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.

In May of 2016, the FDA announced the new Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods will included “added sugars” to make it easier for consumers to make better informed food choices and limit the foods that could cause health problems.

Chances are you have already seen a lot of food companies include added sugars on their food labels—larger companies are required to do so by July 2018 and smaller companies are required to do so by July of 2019.

With these new food labels, you can be a more educated consumer and one of the smartest decisions for your health you can make is avoiding products with added sugar.

So many products have added sugar. Soda and beverages are loaded with added sugar. Other products on the market that have a plethora of added sugar are ketchup, yogurt, spaghetti sauce, cereals, breads, etc.

SweetLeaf Stevia Sweetener is one way that you can avoid added sugar!

For example, if there is an iced tea on the market that you absolutely love, and it is 12 ounces and has 36 grams of added sugar, don’t buy it! In doing so, you are consuming 9 teaspoons of dangerous sugar! I have a better solution for you! And I promise you that the drink will be as sweet and delicious with no added sugar and no calories at all.

Here’s how. Brew your own iced tea at home and to sweeten it, add Sweetleaf Stevia Sweetener. Containing zero calories and no artificial ingredients, SweetLeaf Stevia Sweetener is a sugar alternative. And SweetLeaf Stevia Sweetener is super sweet and delicious too—in fact, one teaspoon of SweetLeaf Stevia Sweetener is as sweet as 8 teaspoons of sugar.

To make this homemade iced tea as sweet as your commercial tea, simply brew 12 ounces of tea and add just over a teaspoon of stevia to your brewed tea. Voila! It will probably even taste better than that commercial tea!

Consider SweetLeaf Stevia Sweetener for all sorts of recipes. For example, a standard cornbread recipe contains 19 grams of sugar per serving. When you use SweetLeaf Stevia Sweetener instead of sugar in the recipe, it only has 2 grams of sugar. Are you a crepe lover? A standard crepe recipe has 8 grams of sugar per serving; when you use SweetLeaf Stevia Sweetener instead of sugar in the recipe, it has only 1 gram of sugar.

SweetLeaf Stevia Sweetener offers packets and liquid stevia drops to make it easy to add to your morning coffee. They have Water Drops too to sweeten your water without added sugar and without calories. They have Peach Mango, Raspberry Lemonade, Strawberry Kiwi, Lemon Lime, Tropical Punch, and Mixed Berry Water Drops!

Being healthy is all about making healthy food choices. Avoiding added sugar is one healthy choice that can have a huge and awesome impact on your health. I am so happy that there is a solution to being able to have sweetness in my food and drinks without added sugar thanks to SweetLeaf Stevia!

Kelly Springer is a Registered Dietitian and founder of Kelly’s Choice. For more nutrition education, visit  kellyschoice.org and be sure to follow her on Instagram and Facebook!

10 Self-Care Tips for Moms

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Happy Mother’s Day!

For those of you that know my daily schedule, you are aware that it is jam packed…my morning begins helping my girls prepare for their school day and then I work out and then it’s usually a mix of private practice clients, teaching seminars, meetings, conference calls, and more. I always make it to my girls’ sports games when I’m not traveling for work and I prepare healthy meals for each meal of the day.

Some moms I know with comparable schedules feel frazzled or overwhelmed. I think I juggle my priorities well and part of the reason I do is because of radical self-care! If we don’t take care of ourselves how can we possibly be present to the important people in our lives? Here are some self-care tips I especially love.

  • Feed yourself well!

This is easy for me to say, right? After all, nutrition education is my passion?! Seriously though, keep healthy snacks on hand and choose healthy options for your meals. Junk food makes you feel junky.

  • Schedule “you” time.

Some moms do this every day by getting up early before the kids. Others are night owls. Just make sure that you have at least 20 minutes of just you time every day!

  • Indulge from time to time

Some women like to shop for clothes (or shoes—one of my guilty pleasures). Others like fancy cocktails or fine wine. It’s totally okay to indulge from time to time even if it means a brownie sundae. Yes, “unhealthy” food splurges are fine if they don’t become habitual. You deserve indulgences!

  • Girls’ Night Out and Date Night

Bond with your girlfriends regularly. They make you laugh, smile, and let loose. You need that! And don’t forget to bond with your partner regularly—intimacy is important too!

  • Write gratitude lists daily

Think of everything you are grateful for daily. You can do this during your “you” time. Some days are rough—these days it’s more important than ever to think of your blessings. It can be simple like the warm sun or your cat’s purring. There’s always something to be grateful for even when life throws lots of lemons your way!

  • Go for a walk just to walk

I get regular exercise by walking to do my errands, but sometimes I walk to “just walk.” This is a good way to take a break during your work day. It’s amazing how a little walk can spark energy and productivity.

  • Practice deep breathing

Feel yourself breathing as you read this. I bet you there is a bit of tightness in your chest. Now take some long slow deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. You feel way more relaxed, right?

  • Volunteer

You may be thinking, volunteer?! How can I possibly schedule time to do this?! Find the time—doing something kind for disadvantaged people makes YOU feel good!

  • Go un-plugged for a day

Our electronics make life so much easier, but go unplugged for a day—consider doing it as a family! Ironically, it’s an awesome way to recharge yourself!

  • Schedule a spa day

I love spas! You’re one awesome mama and you deserve a day of pampering! Even if you must plan it months in advance, do it!

I hope all you moms out there have a beautiful Mothers’ Day. Celebrate yourself every day by treating yourself as amazingly as you treat your kids!

Five Surprising Sleep Tips

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Sweet Dreams!

Are you struggling with sleep? In honor of Better Sleep Month, I wanted to supply you with some surprising tips for your better sleep tool kit. We all know about the importance of a dimly lit room before bed and the importance of ditching “screen time” an hour before bed. And chances are you know how important it is to stay away from caffeine (including chocolate) after 12:00 p.m.

However, you may not know about the following:

  1. Elevate your feet before bed. Are you one of the many people who wake up in the middle of the night to pee? And then you struggle to get back to sleep? In addition to reducing the amount of liquid you consume before bed, try elevating your feet. When you put your feet up before bedtime, it pushes the fluids that have accumulated around your ankles back into the bloodstream, allowing you to urinate out the excess fluid while you’re awake.
  2. Chill out. Research shows that sleep is best achieved with a room temperature of 65=degrees Fahrenheit…even if you must pile on some blankets!
  3. Try tart cherry juice before bed. Tart cheery juice is the richest source of melatonin, a hormone that helps induce a healthy sleep-wake cycle.
  4. Take an Epsom salt bath. Epsom salts help your skin and bloodstream absorb magnesium, which relaxes muscles and decreases cortisol. This is especially helpful for people who wake due to Restless Leg Syndrome.
  5. Consider yoga. A recent study from the University of Washington found that older women who took yoga for two months reported considerably less insomnia. The gentle motions and poses may help reduce stress levels and improve blood flow, which makes it easier to sleep.

Here’s to peaceful slumber! Comment below with tips that help you get a good night’s sleep!