Sensational Autumn Parfait

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Yes, it is still autumn amidst these snow flurries!

Parfait in French means “perfect.” It’s quite fitting because a parfait can be a perfect meal!

A parfait is simple, light, and delicious. You can have it for breakfast, a snack, or even dessert. It can be pretty much anything you want, but usually consists of yogurt, fresh fruit, and granola.

This is a meal I often have for breakfast because it’s quick and easy! It’s also satiating, which can help you deny those holiday treats that are flooding into your office this time of year!

I like to use Greek yogurt in my parfaits because it packs a ton of protein: about 20 grams per cup, as opposed to the 8 grams you get from a cup of milk.

To assemble your parfait, all you need are the three ingredients I listed above. You can use any kind of fruit and any type of granola, though I do recommend using a granola with a lower sugar content as many granola may seem healthy, but when you check the nutrition label they can be packed with sugar. Find a granola with less than 8 grams of sugar per serving! A great brand I use is Barley+ granola. It provides a high fiber content with low amounts of sugar per serving.

Try out this fall parfait for a yummy treat:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sweetener (maple syrup or honey)
  • ¼ cup pumpkin purée
  • ¼ cup  granola
  • 1 apple cut into small chunks

Directions:

  1. Combine yogurt, sweetener, pumpkin, and cinnamon in a bowl.
  2. Spoon a few tablespoons of yogurt into you bowl or cup.
  3. Then add a layer of granola, followed by apples.
  4. Complete this until you’ve finished your supply of ingredients and enjoy!

 

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Celebrate National Take a Hike Day with me

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Take a hike. No really, do it! Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States once said, “Of all exercises walking is the best.” If the President of the United States said it, it must be true! (Take that with a grain of salt). It’s National Take a Hike Day so I’m telling you to go out and do it today! Or if you can’t today, at least do it sometime in the next few days.

Several trails in Upstate New York are groomed in the winter so that you can still enjoy hiking. I recently invested in snow shoes and that creates even more options!

Exercise is to me and how important it should be to you. The benefits of daily exercise are endless. I’ll touch on just a few of them today.

How much physical activity do you actually need? Though exercise is extremely important when it comes to weight loss, it’s also important for general health and wellbeing. According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotions, it is recommended that the average adult get 150-300 minutes of moderate exercise or 75-150 minutes of vigorous exercise over the course of a week. This is the recommended amount to reap substantial health benefits.

What exactly are these health benefits I’m talking about? First and foremost, exercise is GREAT for your heart. It helps keep your heart healthy and puts you at lower risk for heart disease and heart attack. In addition to heart health, exercise has been linked to dozens of other health benefits such as:

  • Improved sleep
  • More energy
  • Coping mechanism for depression and anxiety
  • Stress reduction
  • Better self image
  • General better sense of wellbeing

On top of these benefits, of course is that it can aid in weight loss and management. A proper diet and suitable exercise is the formula for weight loss. You can’t make it happen without one or the other.

So get out and take a hike today! Shave some time off that 150-300 minutes of moderate exercise a week. Burn some calories before Thanksgiving!

Are you grateful for your health?

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Maybe your weight isn’t where you’d like it to be or your waistline isn’t ideal. While maintaining a healthy weight is important for overall health, I want you to take a minute to examine health beyond your weight, beyond what you see in the mirror.

Think of how remarkable your organs are. With Thanksgiving in mind, I want you to take a moment to truly feel grateful for some of the miraculous inner workings of your body that take place every second of every day. You are alive because of these factors and you are a beautiful human being!

Be grateful for your cells

Have you ever thought about your health on a cellular level? Your body is made up of over 37 trillion cells. Cells are like little tiny factories with specific functions. For example, blood cells carry oxygen to all our organs. When you eat, you are feeding these cells!

Be grateful for your heart

Some of my clients think about their heart health, especially if they have goals to reduce their blood pressure or cholesterol. Have you ever stopped to think about how incredible your heart is? Your heart is the hardest working muscle in your body. Your heart and blood vessels together make up your cardiovascular system. When your heart beats, it is pumping blood through your body, carrying oxygen and nutrients you need to survive. Exercise and a healthy diet are not only great for giving you a likeable number on the scale, they keep your heart muscle strong.

Be grateful for your lungs

Did you know that you breathe an average of 13 pints of air every minute? How fascinating is that? Did you know that breathing eliminates 70 percent of your body’s waste? Need to relieve stress? Deep breathing is always available to you because of your lungs and research has proven this technique literally relaxes your brain!

Be grateful for your brain

How do you walk, talk, eat, sleep, and think? All through messages your brain sends. Your brain is always working, even when you are sleeping. Every action you take you can do because of your brain!

And guess what, did you know that dozens of research studies have found that the practice of gratitude can have so many positive effects on your brain? Gratitude can improve your sleep, reduce stress levels, heal anxiety and depression, and increase energy and vitality.

Don’t save gratitude for Thanksgiving. Be grateful every day. You are alive! You are amazing!

Enjoy Life Foods’ low-FODMAP offerings

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome is the most common digestive disorder in the United States. It is estimated that 10-17 percent of the population suffer from IBS symptoms, but only 5 to 7 percent are diagnosed. I have several clients who come to me complaining of abdominal cramping or discomfort, recurring diarrhea or chronic constipation, nausea, bloating, excessive flatulence, bowel urgency, and/or loss of appetite. These are all symptoms of IBS. Do you or your nutrition clients have similar complaints?

I have found that the low-FODMAP diet is super successful at helping people conquer IBS once and for all!  If you are unaware of the low-FODMAP diet, FODMAP is an acronym that stands for fermentable, oligo-, di-, monosaccharides, and polyols. Each of these group of carbs aggravate gut symptoms in sensitive people, many of who have IBS.

A low-FODMAP diet limits high FODMAP foods. A low-FODMAP diet may contain several proteins like beef, poultry, tofu, and eggs. As for whole grains, brown rice, millet, and oats work well. Bananas, blueberries, kiwi, limes, mandarins, oranges, papaya, pineapple, rhubarb and strawberries are fruits that can be included. Bean sprouts, bell peppers, carrots, eggplant, kale, tomatoes, spinach and zucchini are among the vegetables that are part of the low FODMAP diet. Nuts, seeds, and dairy products are limited, but some are okay. The diet encourages the use of many herbs for flavor, such as: basil, chili, ginger, mustard, pepper, salt, white rice vinegar and wasabi powder.

But what about convenient foods? It’s difficult to find FODMAP-friendly foods. Thankfully, there are products that are Certified FODMAP Friendly and one of the brands that has several FODMAP-Friendly foods is Enjoy Life Foods.

Over 20 of their 70 products are now Certified FODMAP Friendly. These foods include:

  • Banana Caramel Grain & Seed Bars
  • Banana Caramel Grain & Seed Bars Grab & Go Packs
  • Chocolate Marshmallow Grain & Seed Bars
  • Chocolate Marshmallow Grain & Seed Bars Grab & Go Packs
  • Maple Sweet Potato Grain & Seed Bars
  • Dark Raspberry Protein Bites
  • Dark Raspberry Protein Bites Grab & Go Packs
  • Dipped Banana Protein Bites
  • Dipped Banana Protein Bites Grab & Go Packs
  • SunSeed™ Butter Protein Bites
  • Cinnamon Spice Protein Bites
  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Chips
  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mega Chunks
  • Dark Chocolate Morsels
  • Soft Baked Snickerdoodle Mini Cookies
  • Crunchy Chocolate Chip Mini Cookies
  • Crunchy Double Chocolate Mini Cookies
  • Crunchy Vanilla Honey Graham Mini Cookies
  • Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Crunchy Double Chocolate Cookies
  • Cocoa Loco Chewy Bars
  • Dark Chocolate Bars
  • Ricemilk Chocolate Bars

Enjoy Life Foods makes it possible for folks with IBS to satisfy their sweet tooth, fuel their workout, or have a healthy snack on the go without aggravating symptoms. Try them out—I’m sure you will be thrilled as will your nutrition clients!

Enjoy Life’s bright teal packaging makes it easy for shoppers to identify its foods on shelf in natural and conventional retailers nationwide. To find a retailer near you, visit www.EnjoyLifeFoods.com/Where-to-Buy. To learn more about Enjoy Life’s portfolio of FODMAP Friendly Certified products, please click here.

 

Peanut Butter Cup Oat Squares

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Did you know that October 29 was National Oatmeal Day? IT’s not too late to celebrate!

There isn’t one bad thing I can say about oatmeal. Oats are a cereal whole grain that are harvested for their seed. A typical serving of oats (½ cup) contains 150 calories, 27 grams of carbohydrates (of which 5 grams are fiber), 5 grams of protein and 3 grams of fat.

You often see oats labeled as “heart healthy.” The consumption of oats has been linked to lower cholesterol levels. Oat bran, the outer coating of the oat, is packed with soluble fiber which aids is lowering LDL and overall cholesterol in general, which reduced the risk of heart disease.

Also found in the bran of the oat are Beta-glucans. These help to regulate blood-sugar levels. While some foods cause blood sugars to spike, eating oats can help prevent that. Studies have shown that consuming oats on a regular basis will provide this benefit.

Considering the holiday season, here’s a yummy treat you can try with oats to curb your sweet tooth! Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Cup Oat Squares

  • 3 cups of oats
  • ½ cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1 cup peanut butter (+1 tbsp for drizzle)
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • ⅓ cup dark chocolate chips (+2 tbsp for drizzle)
  • 1 tbsp flaxseeds
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1-2 tbsp of milk

Instructions:

  1. Grease an 9×6 pan with parchment paper. (variously sized pans will work)
  2. Combine peanut butter and honey or maple syrup in a bowl and heat in the microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring until combined.
  3. Add in oats, cocoa powder, and flaxseeds. Stir to combine. (Add in 1-2 tbsp of milk here if mixture is too dry)
  4. Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Add mixture to pan.
  6. Melt coconut oil and additional chocolate chips in a bowl at 30 second intervals, stirring until melted.
  7. Drizzle melted chocolate and peanut butter over top.
  8. Place in fridge for 2 hours to harden, then remove the parchment paper with the bars from the pan, cut into squares, and enjoy!