Settle your Milk Confusion

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17134291469_71480bd560_oThere are so many different types of milk on the supermarket shelves; it’s confusing as to which one you should drink, right? You may like a certain type in your coffee, but a different type on your cereal. Some may not settle right in your stomach; some may settle just fine.

I will review the differences with you in this blog.

Cow’s Milk

Let’s start with cow’s milk and I will explain the differences between whole, 2 percent, and skim.

An 8-ounce glass of whole milk has 8 grams of saturated fat and 150 calories per cup, while the same amount of two-percent milk has 5 grams of saturated fat and 120 calories per cup; the same amount of skim milk has no saturated fat and only 100 calories. All of these types of milk have about 8 grams of protein per 8-ounce serving.

This means that skim milk is best for your waistline.

However, 2 percent and whole milk have more calcium and vitamin D for your bones. Vitamin D is fat-soluble so you need the fat in two percent and whole milk to absorb this superstar vitamin!

And then you have the cholesterol to think about; with more saturated fat, there’s more cholesterol!

Lastly, you may very well be lactose-intolerant and unable to handle any type of cow’s milk!

Don’t fear! I have more types of milk to review!

Sheep or Goat Milk

Both of these types of milk are friendlier on the stomach, but they have a strong flavor that some find hard to acclimate to. I do recommend trying them for their rich nutrition!

Plant-Based Milks

There are a plethora of plant-based milks. The only one with a decent amount of protein is soy, but keep in mind that soy is a common food allergy. Also, go organic with soy, otherwise, there’s a strong chance that it is genetically-modified.

Almond milk is a popular choice; it is a good choice of vitamin e and magnesium, low in fat, and has a pleasant, sweet taste. The texture is nice and late too.

Coconut milk is becoming quite trendy. It is low in carbs and rich in lauric acid; this converts to monolaurin in your body, which helps your body fight bacteria and viruses.

Rice milk has a nice taste; it doesn’t have much nutritionally, but is great for people who have nut allergies!

Hemp milk is the only plant-based milk with a good amount of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, the GOOD FATS, which your brain indulges in!

There you have it…just a few of the milk choices you have! Which will you choose?

 

 

 

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Fall for Butternut Squash this Season

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Butternut squash soup

While summer is filled with delicious grilled foods and tasty entrée-size salads, fall marks the season of warming soups. Pull out your immersion blender and plan for some creamy soups from now through the holidays!

One of my favorite creamy soups is made with butternut squash….yes, creamy, but low-fat…how awesome is that?

And this soup is an excellent way to protect yourself (and your kiddos) from all those bugs traveling around. Butternut squash is high in vitamin A and vitamin C. The sweetness of this soup also helps curb your sweet tooth so I often recommend it n weight-loss menus. Enjoy!

Blissful Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds butternut squash peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil divided, extra if desired
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 6 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped into ½ inch crescents
  • 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cubed
  • One bay leaf

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400.
  • Coat a baking sheet with olive oil or use an olive oil spray. Pour the cubes of squash onto the sheet; toss with one teaspoon olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix to coat thoroughly and bake for 30 minutes or until fork tender.
  • Meanwhile, in a large Dutch oven, sauté onions in olive oil over medium heat for 20 minutes, until caramelized.
  • Add garlic and sauté 1-2 minutes.
  • Add veggie broth, sweet potato, celery, apple, bay leaf, and nutmeg. Add the roasted squash. Stir to distribute all ingredients, cover pot and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes
  • Remove bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Uncover and use an immersion blender to blend soup until completely smooth. Alternatively, work in batches with a blender or food processor.

 

 

 

 

The Difference between Insoluble and Soluble Fiber

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You’ve heard this from me before: EAT MORE FIBER!!! In fact, only 10 percent of Americans are consuming enough fiber every day. Fiber is absolutely essential in achieving a healthy, vibrant lifestyle. It aids in weight loss, helps lower cholesterol levels, and keeps your blood sugar levels stable.

The American Heart Association eating plan suggests eating 25 to 30 grams of fiber a day.

In order to reap all of these benefits of fiber, it’s important that you consume both soluble and insoluble fiber.

When soluble fiber dissolves, it creates a gel that helps improve digestion. These fibers absorb water, increasing stool bulk, and lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

Insoluble fiber helps soften the stool because it attracts water into your stool; this prevents constipation and keeps your intestines healthy.

The best types of soluble fiber are fruits like apples, grapefruits, and oranges, as well as beans, lentils, peas, oats, oat bran, and barley.

The best types of insoluble fiber include vegetables and whole grains like wheat, quinoa, stone ground cornmeal, bran, buckwheat, and brown rice.

So now you know what foods are great fiber choices. Here are some tips to get a fantastic amount of fiber in your body every day:

– Choose fruit for your snacks!

– Oatmeal for breakfast!

– Add a banana to your cereal

– Cook with brown rice instead of white rice.

– Always, always, use whole grain bread for sandwiches and toast.

– Add chickpeas, kidney beans, or black beans to your salad (one of the easiest salads every is a couple cups of mixed greens, a half-cup of black beans or kidney beans, a few tablespoons of salsa and a quarter cup of low-fat shredded cheddar cheese)

– Always have a vegetable with dinner—hey even sweet potatoes count for my “meat and potato” fans!

I hope I have inspired you to eat your fiber! Let me know any tips that have helped you!

By Kelly Springer RD, MS, CDN

 

 

Win a Copy of The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook

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Cover Meal Prep.jpgToby Amidor is an extraordinary dietitian; she has been featured on Dr. Oz and has been quoted by dozens of health, fitness, and nutrition magazines, including: Oxygen Magazine, Dr. Oz The Good Life, Mic.com, Reader’s Digest, Shape.com, Women’s Health, Redbook, Men’s Journal, Huffington Post, Everyday Health, and more.

I am so excited about her brand new cookbook, THE HEALTHY MEAL PREP COOKBOOK. Toby provides practical and simple solutions with easy-to-follow directions. She shows you how simple it is to enjoy fresh and flavorful meals on even the most hectic days.

I have posted two of her amazing recipes earlier this month: her Root Vegetable and Bean Stew and her Coconut Lime Flounder in Parchment.

I caught up with Toby recently and asked her a few questions about the book and her lifestyle. Her answers will inspire you.

At the end of this blog, I am going to ask you readers a question and if you answer it in the comments section of the blog, you have a chance to win a copy of Toby’s new cookbook!

Kelly Springer: What inspired you to develop this cookbook?

Toby Amidor: I am a working mother of three kids, so I am very busy. If I don’t plan my meals, then my kids will be eating take out or fast food every night. Since I want them to eat healthy, plus I am on a budget meal prepping has become second nature. I wanted to share my tips and tricks with meal prepping with others so they can plan for healthy meals too.

KS: What type of health benefits would you anticipate people to reap by using this book as a go-to for their home-cooked meals?

TA: There are several health benefits that someone would have by following The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook. First is portion control. All of my recipes list exact portions and measurements for every ingredient, including salt. Once the dish is done, you measure out the portions and store it for the week. Calorie control is a key component of weight loss and weight management. Second, you’ll eat healthier. Instead of stopping at a fast food joint or hitting up the vending machine, you’ll be armed with healthy meals and snacks throughout the week. Last, you’ll reduce mid-week stress. Many folks become stressed to get healthy food on the table, especially during the hustle and bustle during the work week. When everything is planned, it helps decrease stress related to weeknight meals.

KS: Do you consider the recipes to be kid-friendly? If so, tell me about a couple recipes that you think that kids will particularly love?

TA: Many of the dishes are kid-friendly recipes including my Apple Walnut Loaf, Wild Blueberry Whole Grain Scones, Lighter Panzanella Salad (my 12-year old LOVES it!), Maple Orange Glazed Carrots, and Slow Cooker Barbecue Chicken.

KS: If you had to pick three top-favorite recipes in this book, what would they be?

TA: That’s a tough question! That’s like asking a parent “who is your favorite child!” But if I had to choose it would be:

  • Lighter Panzanella Salad
  • Apricot Chicken Drumsticks
  • No Bake Maple Cinnamon Bars

Okay readers, now I have a question for you!

“How would a cookbook filled to the brim with easy to put together, delicious healthy meals benefit you and your family?

Answer this question by this Friday September 1st at 5 p.m. EST and I will choose a winner over the weekend to receive a signed copy of Toby’s book!

~Kelly Springer, RD,  MS, CDN

 

Root Vegetable and Bean Soup

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PIC_RootVegetableBeanSoup

(Serves 4)

I have sad news for you: winter in Central New York will be here before you know it. Halloween is just over two months away and the snow has been known to start flying that early around here. But hang in there; I am going to help you get through with warming recipes.

Try this delicious soup of Toby Amidor’s when the coldness starts making its presence known. I guarantee you will love it! This is just one of several of her amazing recipes in her new cookbook, The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook. Click here to check out this new favorite cookbook of mine. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 packed cup baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 medium parsnip, chopped
  • 1 medium turnip, chopped
  • 1 (15-ounce) can low-sodium kidney beans, drained
  • and rinsed
  • 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Stack spinach and cut in ribbons Work in batches if
  • In a large pot over medium heat, heat the olive oil until it shimmer Add the onion, carrot, celery, parsnip, and turnip, and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the beans, and stir to combine. Add the vegetable broth, mirin, and bay leaves, and stir to combine. Increase the heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer until the beans are tender, about 20 minutes.
  • Remove and discard the bay Stir in the spinach

ribbons and black pepper.

REFRIGERATE: Store the cold soup in a resealable container for up to 1 week. Reheat in a pot over medium-high heat. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Single servings can be reheated in the microwave on high for 2 to 3 minutes.

FREEZE: Store the cooled soup in individual freezer-safe containers or in one large container for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat in a pot over medium-high heat. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Single servings can be reheated in the microwave on high for 2 to 3 minutes.

 

Coconut Lime Flounder in Parchment

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PIC_CoconutLimeFlounder

Every now and then, I meet a nutrition expert that I admire. Toby Amidor is one of them. You may have seen her on Dr. Oz or quoted in Readers Digest, Redbook, Women’s Health, Oxygen Magazine, or many other publications. She is a nutrition expert extraordinaire and I am so excited about her new cookbook, The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook, which will be released in just a couple weeks!

This is one of my favorite dishes in the cookbook and it only takes 15 minutes to prepare and 15 minutes to cook! Enjoy! For more delicious recipes, be sure to visit http://bit.ly/HealthyMealPrepCookbook.

Coconut Lime Flounder in Parchment

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup coconut cream (not coconut milk)
  • Zest of 2 limes
  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium
  • soy sauce
  • 2 limes, cut into
  • 6 rounds each
  • 12 fresh basil leaves
  • 4 (5-ounce) flounder or
  • cod fillets
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened, shredded coconut, divided

Instructions

  1. If cooking the fish right away, preheat the oven to 400oF.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut cream, lime zest, and soy sauce.
  3. Place 1 piece of parchment paper flat on the counter.
  4. On the lower half lay down 3 rings of lime and then a layer of 3 basil leaves. Place the fish on top of the basil and lime.
  5. Spoon 2 teaspoons of the coconut mixture over the fish and sprinkle it with 1 tablespoon of shredded coconut.
  6. Fold the parchment paper in half over the fish. Working your way around, gently roll the edge of the open sides of the paper, tucking the ends under the packet. Repeat this step for the remaining three packets.
  7. At this time, you can store the raw-fish packets in the refrigerator and cook as needed.
  8. To cook, place up to two packets on a baking sheet and roast until the fish is opaque and reaches an internal temperature of 145oF, about 10 minutes. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut several 3-inch slits in the packets.

REFRIGERATE: Store the uncooked packets for up to 3 days. Once cooked, transfer the fish and seasonings to a resealable container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

Crazy for Cumbers Salad

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Cucumbers

A cucumber is one veggie that appeals to most people, even kids!

This low-calorie favorite is great for much-needed hydration especially this time of year–it is 96 percent water!

The water and combined nutrients in cucumbers also help to flush toxins out of your system. Research indicates that they can even help dissolve kidney stones.

Cucumbers are great for your heart too–the sterols in cucumber help to reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol.

And don’t forget how they help your pearly whites—read this blog where I talk about foods that literally clean your teeth and cucumbers are one of them!

Here’s the perfect summer salad for cucumber lovers!

Crazy for Cucumbers Salad

Ingredients:
– 2 cucumbers, very thinly sliced
– 1 red onion, very thinly sliced
– 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
– 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt
– 1 teaspoon of honey
– 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill

Directions:
– Mix cucumbers and onions together.

– Mix the remaining ingredients together in a separate bowl, whisking them well.

– Toss the cucumbers and onions into the dressing mixture; chill for at least a half hour and serve!