Toby Amidor’s Brussels Sprouts Caesar Salad with Chicken

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One of the things I totally love about being a dietitian is connecting with other amazing dietitians across the country! Toby Amidor is a dietitian I admire and adore. 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.

Last year, she published an awesome cookbook called The Healthy Meal-Prep Cookbook, which is filled to the brim of easy ways you can prepare your meals without stress. And now, she is about to publish another cookbook called the Easy 5-Ingredient Healthy Cookbook: Simple Recipes to make Healthy Eating Delicious. The book will be released April 3. I’m so excited—what’s better than the duo of easy and healthy?!

Here’s one of the recipe’s in the cookbook that I have had the pleasure of trying!

Brussels Sprouts Caesar Salad with Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound skinless chicken tenders
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, shredded
  • ½ cup Lighter Caesar Dressing
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

  1. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a large skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. When the cooking spray is shimmering, add the chicken tenders and cook for 5 minutes on one side, then f lip and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, add the Brussels sprouts and drizzle with the dressing. Toss evenly to coat. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and top with the cooked chicken.
  4. To make the dressing: In a small bowl whisk together the g1 minced garlic clove, zest and juice, of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon yellow mustard, and ½ teaspoon anchovy paste. Whisking continuously, slowly drizzle 3 tablespoons of olive oil until well combined. Store dressing in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Enjoy!!!

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Real Food First

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We live in a convenience society and because of this, we have turned to eating processed food and we are destroying our health in the process. This blog is all about choosing real food first! It may be a hard step to make at first, but once it becomes routine, it becomes second nature. You have to trust me here!

What do I mean by real food? I mean whole, single-ingredient food. Here are just some of the reasons why you should choose real food first.

Real food is loaded with important nutrients

Unprocessed animal and plant foods contain the vitamins and minerals you need for optimal health. For instance, one cup (220 grams) of red bell peppers, broccoli or orange slices contains more than 100% of the RDI for vitamin C. Eggs and liver are especially high in choline, a nutrient that’s essential for proper brain function. And just a single Brazil nut provides all the selenium you need for an entire day.

Real food is heart-healthy

Real food is packed with antioxidants and nutrients that support heart health, including fiber, magnesium and healthy fats.

Real food is high in antioxidants

Antioxidants are compounds that help fight free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can damage your body’s cells. They are found in all real foods, especially plant foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains and legumes

Real food is low in sugar

Some research suggests that eating sugary foods can increase your risk of obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease and heart disease. Even though fruit contains sugar, it’s also high in water and fiber, so it’s much less concentrated than sugar in soda and processed foods.

Real food helps control blood sugar

Eating a diet high in fibrous plants and unprocessed animal foods may help reduce blood sugar levels in people with diabetes and people who are at risk of developing the disease.

Real food is good for your gut

Eating real food may be beneficial for your gut microbiome, the bacteria that live in your digestive tract.

Real food promotes dental health

Sugar and refined carbs promote dental decay by providing food for the plaque-causing bacteria that live in your mouth.

Real food Is good for your skin

Eating real food nourishes and helps protect your skin from the inside out. Did you know that some foods are natural sunscreens too? Some examples are carrots, citrus fruits and strawberries.

Start thinking about healthy swaps you can make in favor of real food. Instead of candy, keep fruit on hand. Instead of sugary breakfast feel, have yogurt with nuts and fruit. Instead of granola bars with 25 ingredients in them, have a snack-size bad of raw nuts and dried fruit. There are so many ways to start transitioning to more real food. Be sure to keep some with you at all times so that you don’t need to turn to fast food or gas station snacks when you’re ravenous!

How to keep hydrated even if you loathe plain ol’ water

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I know, I know, I’m always talking about how important it is to keep hydrated and how you should be drinking a lot of water every day. For instance, if you haven’t read it already, take a peek at my hydration blog I  wrote a couple summers ago. It was geared toward summer heat, but hydration is important every single day regardless of the season.

To review some of the reasons why water is essential for us to consume every day—it helps regulate circulation, body temperature, and digestion. It also detoxifies the liver and the kidneys and carries waste out of the body. Did you know that a two-percent drop in body water can cause small but critical shrinkage of the brain, which can impair neuromuscular coordination, decrease concentration, and cause slow thinking?

Getting thirsty yet? Seriously, how much water should you drink? The general rule of thumb is to at least drink half your body weight in ounces. If you are very active, you will need much more!

Curious if you are hydrated enough as you read this? Here are two ways to know if you are hydrated enough:

Check out your urine! A large amount of light colored, diluted urine probably means you are hydrated; dark colored, concentrated urine probably means you are dehydrated.

You can also use the pinch test! Dehydration often reduces skin elasticity, so doctors often use this skin test to quickly check for dehydration. The best part is that you can do it yourself: Pinch the skin on the back of your hand and pull it upwards. Your skin should snap back rapidly. If your skin maintains its pinched shape for a few seconds and drops slowly, you may be dehydrated.

Many of my clients complain that water gets boring. I have some fun tricks for you!

Try infusing water. Keep a pitcher of water in your fridge with fruit and herbs that help give the water a refreshing taste. Here are some popular combinations:

  • Cucumber + lime + strawberry + mint.
  • Lemon + raspberry + rosemary.
  • Orange + blueberry + basil.
  • Lime + ginger root + basil.
  • Watermelon + honeydew + mint.
  • Cucumber + mint + jalapeno.
  • Lemon + thyme.
  • Orange + hibiscus + star anise.

Here are some foods to consume to help hydrate you (they all are comprised of at least 90 percent water):

  • Watermelon
  • Strawberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Peaches
  • Oranges
  • Skim Milk
  • Cucumber
  • Lettuce

And this time of the year, I love drinking hot cups of green tea or herb tea not only to keep me hydrated, but also, to give me an antioxidant boost!

 

 

March Madness Munchies

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This week the March Madness basketball tradition begins!! And how does nutrition relate to March Madness?

Sporting game get-togethers give us an excuse to indulge in unhealthy appetizers and finger foods. March Madness means a lot of basketball games and if you are like many people I know, it probably means thousands of extra calories that you wouldn’t normally consume. Try making a change with these easy March Madness munchies ideas.

Chips and Guac

Get a huge bag of organic tortilla chips (this assures that the corn is not genetically modified) and a few simple ingredients to make guacamole: three avocados, two limes, two cloves of garlic, two small tomatoes, and sea salt and cumin to taste). All you have to do is:

-Mash the avocados

– Squeeze in the juice of two limes

-Mince the garlic and toss in

-Dice the two tomatoes and toss them in

-and add sea salt and cumin to taste.

You can add a little bit of cayenne for a kick!

Baked Sweet Potato Chips

I was going to suggest baked kale chips, but I have found baked sweet potato chips to be a huge hit for parties! While you preheat the oven at 400, simply slice up 2 peeled sweet potatoes very thinly.  Put in a big bowl and pour in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and a teaspoon of course salt, ½ teaspoon of paprika and ½ teaspoon of black pepper. These should fit on two large baking sheets in a single layer. Bake for 12 minutes flip over and bake for another 12 minutes.

Shrimp with “Healthy” Cocktail Sauce

Most commercial cocktail sauce has high-fructose corn syrup-you don’t want that! For a healthier cocktail sauce, just mix organic ketchup (it doesn’t have HFCS) with a tablespoon or two of horseradish.

Sliced Apples and Low-Fat Cheddar

Who needs crackers? The crunch of an apple suffices and so much healthier! As an alternative, use sliced cucumbers!

Note: If sodium is a concern of yours, in the recipes that call for salt, try a salt substitute like Herbamare instead! It’s just as tasty, I promise!

 

 

Boost your energy throughout the day with Breakfast

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So many people I know are in such a frenzy in the morning that they rush out the door with an empty stomach. They may have sipped a cup of Joe while getting ready or grabbed a handful of dry cereal on their way out, but that will not give them the sort of energy that their body and mind so desperately need.

The number one way to boost your energy level, your ability to concentrate and your overall productivity is to start your day with a hearty breakfast. You don’t need to prepare anything elaborate; simply, be sure that the meal combines complex carbohydrates with protein and fiber.

Here are some simple, hearty, breakfasts that you can prepare in five minutes or less:

  • Whole grain toast with almond butter. Add a half of sliced banana.
  • Greek yogurt with chopped apple and walnuts.
  • Scrambled egg with low-fat cheese, spinach and mushroom.
  • Oatmeal with ground flaxseed, dried fruit, and pumpkin seeds. For extra sweetness, add a drizzle of honey or maple syrup.
  • A PB&J smoothie: 1 cup of frozen strawberries, 1 cup of almond milk, ½ cup of Greek yogurt and 2 Tablespoons of peanut butter. Add up to ½ cup of water to get desired consistency.

Dr. John Ivy of the University of Texas, a top nutrition researcher, has stated “Breakfast is a critical meal because it influences practically every dimension of our being during the course of the day, including how we perform physically and mentally. Breakfast immediately raises the body’s energy level and restores the blood glucose level to normal after an overnight fast.”

I urge you to break your fast with a nourishing breakfast every day and I promise you that you will notice a remarkable improvement in your energy level and productivity.