March Madness Munchies



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



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.




Controlling your food portions



It is so easy to overeat when we don’t portion out our food. You know how it goes…you bring a bag of almonds to work and by the time lunchtime arrives, you read the label on the bag and realize that you have eaten close to 1,000 calories worth of almonds or seven ¼ cup servings.

Many times when you dine out, the servings are way larger than you should be consuming. For example, a serving of meat should be about 3 ounces or the size of a deck of cards. I’m sorry, but I have never seen a steak that small at any restaurant I have frequented.

So what are appropriate serving sizes? I will give you two ways to visualize servings. One will be with common objects (like the aforementioned deck of cards). The other will be with using your hands.

Common objects that represent serving sizes:

  • Tennis Ball: Medium apple, orange, peach, nectarine = 1 fruit serving
  • Baseball: ½ serving of a cooked rice or pasta dish = 1 grain serving ALSO 1 cup of salad greens = 1 veggie serving
  • 4-stacked dice = 1.5 ounces cheese = 1 dairy serving
  • Large egg = ¼ cup nuts = 1 serving
  • Deck of cards: 1 3-ounce serving of most meat
  • Checkbook = 1 3-ounce serving of fish
  • Golf ball = 2 Tablespoons of nut butter or hummus = 1 serving
  • Poker chip = 1 serving of oil, dressing, etc

How you can visualize servings with your hands:

  • Tip of your thumb = 1 serving of oil, dressing, etc
  • A fist = 1 serving of fruit or 1 serving of grain
  • The palm of one hand = 1 serving of meat
  • The palms of both hands = 1 serving of veggies

I hope these guides help you out! When bringing snacks to work, I recommend using those snack-size Ziploc bags to portion out servings. Also, think of these guidelines the next time you go out to eat. Also, never eat snacks out of the bag! Portion them out according to these visuals!

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Nuts about nuts!



What food is so versatile, so delicious, high in protein, fiber, minerals, and healthy unsaturated fats? By the title of my blog, I’m sure you guessed it—nuts! And I am nuts about nuts because they are widely available, so good for you and each one tastes different, which means I never get bored with them. In this blog, I will share some nutrition information about my five favorite nuts.

Each of these nuts are amazing at possibly helping to prevent heart disease and they are great (when eaten in small serving sizes) for weight-loss efforts. Study after study find that nuts are the perfect heart-healthy food choice!


A small handful of almonds contains roughly:

Calories: 161

Total mono and or polyunsaturated fat: 14 grams

Protein: 6 grams

Carbs: 6 grams

Fiber: 3.5 grams

Vitamin E: 37% of the RDI

Magnesium: 19% of the RD


A small handful of pistachios contains roughly:

Calories: 156

Total mono and or polyunsaturated fat: 12.5 grams

Protein: 6 grams

Carbs: 8 grams

Fiber: 3 grams

Vitamin E: 3% of the RDI

Magnesium: 8% of the RD


A small handful of cashews contains roughly:

Calories: 155

Total mono and or polyunsaturated fat: 12 grams

Protein: 5 grams

Carbs: 9 grams

Fiber: 1 gram

Vitamin E: 1% of the RDI

Magnesium: 20% of the RDI

Brazil Nuts

Brazil nuts originate from a tree in the Amazon and are an incredibly rich source of selenium

A small handful of Brazil nuts contains about:

Calories: 182

Total mono and or polyunsaturated fat: 18 grams

Protein: 4 grams

Carbs: 3 grams

Fiber: 2 grams

Vitamin E: 8% of the RDI

Magnesium: 26% of the RDI


Walnuts are a very popular nut and an excellent source of the omega -3 fatty acids alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).

A small handful of walnuts contains roughly:

Calories: 182

Total mono and or polyunsaturated fat: 18 grams

Protein: 4 grams

Carbs: 4 grams

Fiber: 2 grams

Vitamin E: 1% of the RDI

Magnesium: 11% of the RDI

Add nuts to your morning oatmeal or yogurt. They’re great in salads. You can crush them for a “breading” for poultry and fish. Some like cashews blend well in smoothies as well. And even just a small handful of nuts is a great snack to keep you satiated between meals!

How to eat mindfully



In our fast-paced society, most of us fall prey to multi-tasking, even when we eat! I admit that there are times when I am racing from presentation to presentation and have to eat while I’m driving. But you know what? Mindful eating is so important and I try to eat mindfully and encourage my clients to do as much as possible.

Here’s how:

Step 1: Arrive at your food

Arriving at food means that we become aware before a meal or snack that food has come into our personal space. Take 30 Seconds and assess the colors, shapes, arrangements, smells, names of the food you are about to eat. This sounds simple, but actually it’s more difficult than you might think. Sometimes we can be eating and not even know that we’ve made a choice to eat.

Step 2: Awaken to your food

Awakening to food means that we pay attention to all the aspects of food. When we awaken, we notice the sensations of the food, such as taste, change of flavors, texture and aromas. We can also look deeper to see the effort, resources and sacrifices within each food as well. A mindful eater spends at least one moment during each bite waking up to some aspect of the food.

Step 3: Tune into your body

Mindful eaters pay close attention to themselves as they eat. Become aware of how many chews it takes for you to chew your food completely. Have a “baseline” number of chews for eat bite. I suggest aiming for at least 10 chews per bite.

Step 4: Your surrounding

Mindful eating includes being aware of all the activities that surround food and eating. Setting the table, clearing the table, loading the dishwasher, and putting away leftovers are all part of eating. When we adopt a careful, deliberate way of behaving with any action involving food, we help ourselves stay in the moment and heighten the degree by which we honor food. You may want to set a calming ambience like lighting candles before you eat.

So, before you eat your dinner in front of TV again or eat your breakfast rushing out the door, try a practice of mindfulness when it comes to eating. At least try this practice at least once a day. It will help your feel truly amazing! And when you eat mindfully, you tend to eat healthier too!

Welcome whole grains



I know, I know, you are going to tell me that you are trying the ketogenic diet, or paleo, Atkins, South Beach, or some other diet that “bans” carbs! I think each diet has merit to some degree or another, but I am actually going to tell you why you would want whole grains!

First of all, let me set things straight. I am NOT advocating refined carbs like crackers, cookies, white bread, flour tortillas or even white rice. I am suggesting you welcome whole grains—grains that contain the entire grain kernel—the bran, germ, and endosperm (for example, whole wheat bread, oatmeal, brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, millet, and popcorn).

Whole grains are filled with fiber and almost every person I know (even healthy eaters) do not get enough fiber in your diet. Fiber helps keep things moving in your digestion system, keeps you fuller longer (so yes, it can help with weight loss), and it also lowers your risk of getting heart disease.

Whole grains also loaded with important B vitamins and minerals. These nutrients are amazing for reducing stress levels and giving you energy.

Speaking of energy—if you experience major dips in your energy throughout the day, whole grains can help prevent that! Why? They help regulate your blood-sugar levels. Lulls in your energy level often indicate that your blood sugar levels are not remaining steady throughout the day. Fix that with whole grains!

Are you unsure about how to try incorporating whole grains into your diet? Here are just a few tips:

  • Use whole wheat pasta when you would normally use regular pasta.
  • Swap white bread for whole grain bread.
  • Eat oatmeal for breakfast!
  • Look for whole grain crackers!
  • Instead of white rice, try cooking with brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, or millet.

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Get your heart healthy with a smoothie bowl for breakfast


smoothie bowl

February is Heart Health Month and I’m going to tell you about how eating a smoothie bowl for breakfast can help reduce your risk of heart disease! Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in both men and women in the United States, so give this smoothie bowl a try!

Now, you may be wondering, what is a smoothie bowl? Aren’t smoothies supposed to be drunk from a glass? Smoothie bowls are simply smoothies you can eat with a spoon with lots of delicious toppings!

This smoothie was made with mixed berries, a frozen banana, plain Greek yogurt, and unsweetened cashew milk. It was topped with oranges, hemp seeds, and pomegranate!

Berries, oranges, and pomegranate are packed full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Plus, they are naturally low in calories and high in fiber and water! Fiber helps lower your cholesterol.

Bananas are a great source of potassium. Potassium can help manage high blood pressure by reducing the effects of excess sodium. When you eat more potassium, you lose more sodium in urine. Other foods rich in potassium are avocados, beans, potatoes, and more!

Greek yogurt and cashew milk are both fantastic sources of calcium. Calcium is a mineral that helps with muscle contraction!

And last but not least, hemp seeds are an excellent source of those healthy fats, omega-3 and rare omega-6 GLA. They are also packed with protein, iron, zinc, magnesium, vitamin E, and riboflavin! It’s really important to limit saturated and trans fats as they can damage your arteries and lead to heart disease. Load up your diet with omega-3 rich foods like hemp seeds instead!

There are so many variations of smoothie bowls you can make, so I’m going to give you a base recipe and you can create your own!

Step 1: Choose your fruit. Frozen fruit works best in smoothies because it makes it nice and cold!

Step 2: Choose your yogurt. Any kind is fine, but if you want extra protein try Greek yogurt. Try to stay away from yogurts with a lot of added sugars to cut back on calories.

Step 3: Choose your milk. Any kind of milk is fine too! I always go for nut milk because it is a lot lower in calories. If you are trying nut milk, make sure it’s the unsweetened variety to decrease added sugars.

Step 4: Pick some optional add-ins: spinach, nuts, seeds, protein powders. Add-ins like spinach are very tasteless and give you an extra serving of vegetables!

Step 5: Pour into a bowl and load up with healthy toppings like sliced fruit, coconut flakes, granola, and extra dark chocolate!

Go to to see this recipe and more that were created by Rosemary Squires.