Six Great Dishes to Bring to a BBQ

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It’s prime BBQ season. Chances are you’ll be invited to at least a few more barbecues. Impress your friends and family with healthy but delicious dishes that will sure to be a hit! Here are my absolute favorites!

Cauliflower Deviled Eggs

It’s almost illegal to have a BBQ without serving deviled eggs? Even though deviled eggs are vegetarian-friendly and offer a good amount of protein, they can be heavy on the calories the way most people prepare them. Well, here’s a healthy swap for you! Replace the yolk and mayo with a pureed deliciously-spiced cauliflower filling. The Paleo Diet made cauliflower popular; while I’m not Paleo, I dig this recipe. Click here to grab the recipe from my website!

Tabbouleh Salad and Quinoa Salad with Black Beans

Macaroni salad is a popular BBQ dish. Sneak whole grains into the salad selections at your next BBQ. For a Middle Eastern flare, click here to try my amazing Tabbouleh Salad recipe. For a Mexican-inspired salad, click here to try my Quinoa Salad with Black Beans

Pomegranate Citrus Salad

Fruit salad is always a refreshing choice for summer get-togethers. I love the standard watermelon, grape, cantaloupe, honeydew combo, but I wanted to create a super-food fruit salad so I came up with this oh-so-delicious pomegranate citrus salad. Click here to check it out!

Triple Bean Salad

This is not your typical triple bean salad. It has edamame, Lima beans and black beans with a touch of sweetness by adding mangoes! Click here to make this phenomenal dish.

Mango Salsa

What’s a BBQ without chips and salsa? Can you tell I am obsessed with mango yet? Well, when you try this salsa, you will be too! Click here for my magnificent mango salsa recipe!

Keep on having fun this summer! And delve into the picnics and barbecues with your arsenal of healthy food dishes and you’ll stay in shape for sure!

 

 

 

 

 

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Guys, power up your workout with ice cream

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Yes, you read that title right! June was Men’s Health Month the official start of summer. As I was pondering these two reasons to celebrate, ice cream came to mind! I know what you’re thinking—ice cream definitely relates to summer, but how in the world does it relate to men’s health? All it takes is healthy ice cream. Yes, there is such a thing! It’s Halo Top ice cream  and oh my goodness—it is delicious!

When the sun is beating down, the idea of seeking out the nearest ice cream stand is tempting—do it but grab a pint instead! An entire Halo Top pint is only between 280-360 calories with 20 grams of protein. This way, you get the chance to indulge without the guilt. And protein is phenomenal for fueling a work out!

I’m not suggesting having an entire pint—have a serving of Halo Top for 5 grams of protein and only 60-90 calories. Halo Top has way less calories and way less sugar than traditional ice cream. It sure beats a nutrition bar, right?!

With 24 flavors to choose from including classics like Vanilla Bean, Chocolate and Strawberry, to exciting indulgences like Birthday Cake, Red Velvet, S’mores and more, you will be sure to find a flavor that fits perfectly to you.

Peanut Butter is one of my favorite flavors. Halo Top has designed a post-workout shake with this flavor just for men in honors of Men’s Health Month. Don’t worry ladies, it won’t do you any harm if you indulge too.

Here’s the recipe:

The Ultimate Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Shake

Serves: 1

Cook Time: 5 Minutes

Ingredients

1 cup Halo Top Peanut Butter

3/4 cup (6 fluid ounces) skim milk*

1 ounce chocolate peanut butter protein powder

2 tablespoons whipped cream

Preparation

  1. Set Halo Top on the counter 2 to 3 minutes to soften.
  2. Portion 1 cup of Halo Top in a blender, add milk and protein powder. Blend until smooth, or for about 45 seconds.
  3. Pour shake into a glass, top with 2 tablespoons whipped cream and enjoy!

Check this out—this shake delivers you 29 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, and provides you with 10 percent of your daily iron needs and 35 percent of your calcium needs. Cheers to summer! Cheers to the men in our lives! And cheers to Halo Top!

This entry is sponsored by Halo Top.

Strawberry Bliss

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It’s strawberry season in Central New York! I love strawberries-they’re one of the best sources of vitamin C around! And I have good news for diabetics…these incredibly sweet treats are low in sugar! Strawberries are a great choice if you have a sweet tooth, but are trying to control your sugar intake. In addition to vitamin C, strawberries are loaded with an antioxidant mineral called manganese and dozens of phytonutrients that have proven to help your cardiovascular system.

Looking for some ways to enjoy strawberries now that they are available in your backyard and are the freshest they will be all year? In addition to eating them by themselves, here are ways I enjoy them:

  • Freeze a handful or two of them (de-stemmed) and toss them into your morning smoothie!
  • Strawberries and arugula make quite the pair. Slice strawberries and add to a bed of arugula along with crumbled feta. Dress with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. So yummy!
  • Breakfast just got better! Add strawberries to Greek yogurt and granola and you have a fantastic, nourishing, protein and fiber-rich breakfast that is oh so tasty!
  • Make a healthy rendition of strawberry lemonade. Blend a pint of strawberries until juice consistency. Add to a quart of water, squeeze in juice from 4 lemons. Stir in 4 Tablespoons of stevia. Add ice for a most refreshing summer drink!
  • Combine strawberries with rhubarb and you have a dynamic duo. Both are harvested in June. Take the antioxidants of strawberries combined with those in rhubarb and you will get a spark of energy, some pep in your step. Eating Well has put together amazing strawberry rhubarb recipes like Strawberry Rhubarb Quinoa Pudding, Strawberry-Rhubarb Fruit Bars, and even Chilled Strawberry-Rhubarb Soup. Click here to check them out!

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!

 

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!

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!

Happy National Picnic Day

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Like many other places across the U.S., Old Man Winter has not wanted to leave Central New York. National Picnic Day is celebrated April 23 every year because it is usually picnic weather. And how serendipitous is it that it is has actually been a sunny weekend with temperatures in the high 50s for the first time this spring! Tomorrow, April 23, National Picnic Day, is looking to be sunny and in the mid-60s!

I’m celebrating. You should too! If you fear you don’t have time, here are some quick picnic packing ideas that adults and kiddos will both love. Picnics are one of the best family bonding experiences you can have!

Whole-grain sandwiches:

Get creative with your sandwiches!

  • Choose a whole grain bread.
  • Add your protein: tuna, egg salad, nitrate-free deli meat, or hummus (great choice for vegans).
  • Load up the veggies. Lettuce and tomato are not your only veggie options. Try sliced cucumbers, alfalfa sprouts, or roasted red pepper—yum!!!
  • Add your spread. You can get more original than mayo or mustard here too! I love using mashed avocado, hummus or a low-fat Goddess dressing for a sandwich spread.

Quick Grab and Go options:

Here are some great sides:

  • Olives galore. Visit your local olive bar and choose a wide variety. Have fellow picnic-goers choose which type is their favorite!
  • Air-popped popcorn. Try different types of seasoning and again, vote for your favorite type!
  • Homemade trail mix. Mix raw nuts with dried fruit and maybe some dark chocolate chips.
  • Fruit skewers. Bring along different types of fruits like bananas, strawberries, mango, chopped watermelon and cantaloupe. The kids can choose the fruit they like to make their own fruit skewers.

Drinks:

Water of course is the best option, but for a little bit of added fun, bring a couple of different 100% fruit juice options and lemon, raspberry, or lime-flavored seltzer waters. Make sure you bring cups and you can mix half fruit juice and half seltzer for a delicious fruit spritzer drink!

C’mon, go out and have a picnic tomorrow—it will be fun. You will boost your health with delicious food, family bonding and a blessed dose of vitamin D from the sunshine!