Spring into Health: What in the World is Kohlrabi?

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I incessantly encourage my clients to eat more cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, bok choy).  They are loaded with phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals that can help with hormone balancing, cancer prevention, and heart disease prevention. Their natural anti-inflammatory properties can avert any form of inflammation.

If you dislike any of the aforementioned vegetables, no worries! There is an unfamiliar cruciferous vegetable that I love more than all of the above. It’s sweeter and more succulent. It’s called Kohlrabi–find one at a farmer’s market near you! Kohlrabi has more than 100% of your daily vitamin c needs and it is loaded with minerals as well as the cancer-fighting phytonutrients.

Try this recipe: kickin Kohlrabi Slaw.

Ingredients:

  • –          1 Kohlrabi, peeled and shredded
  • –          ½ cup plain yogurt
  • –          2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • –          3 Tablespoons of honey or agave nectar
  • –          2 shredded carrots
  • –          Handful of raisins
  • –          Sea salt to taste

Directions

Mix the yogurt, vinegar, and honey or agave nectar. Mix the kohlrabi and carrots. Pour yogurt mixture over the kohlrabi and carrots. Season with sea salt and toss in the raisins!

Enjoy the sunshine and fuel yourself with healthy choices like this! Two keys to vitality!

What I Mean by Real Food

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You know what my tagline is right? It’s, “We are real people who promote eating real food.”

I teach people how real food can prevent chronic conditions and I provide suggestions that work for the individual or family, sports team or corporation! This is not a diet! This is about building a healthy lifestyle. So what is real food, you ask. Here are some distinguishing facts about Real Food.

Real Foods have few ingredients,  are mostly unprocessed, and are nutritious.

There are several single-ingredient real foods. Think fruits and vegetables, low-fat cheese, lean chicken breast, plain Greek yogurt. There are so many healthy choices to choose from. There are some minimally processed real foods too, like whole grain bread or Kind bars for example. If a packaged food product has words on it you cannot pronounce, it is not real food!

The nutrition is what makes real food awesome. Whole, unprocessed foods are phenomenal for your health. Studies show again and again how these foods can prevent chronic illnesses and can help you to lose weight as well if you need to. A diet rich in nutrients helps weight loss by reducing nutritional deficiencies and preventing hunger.

Real Food is rich in protein.

Protein is absolutely essential as it is the building block to skin, cartilage, bones, and your blood. Eating a protein-rich diet helps you increase your metabolism, reduce hunger, and affects the production of hormones to help you maintain a healthy weight.

Real food sources of protein include lean meat, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, and low-fat dairy.

Real Food is filled with fiber and antioxidants.

While I just promoted protein, do not misinterpret that as real food means avoiding carbs because real food carbs are good for you; in fact, they are imperative!

Whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, teff, millet, or even whole grain bread are fiber-rich. Whole grains have been shown to help reduce risk of Type II diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. The combination of fiber and antioxidants makes whole grains so powerful.

Fruit, veggies, nuts and seeds are also packed with fiber and antioxidants.

When you eat fiber-rich foods, you are filling yourself up too, which helps with weight-loss efforts.

Want to give real food a go? Do you already eat a lot of real food, but fall for unhealthy indulgences a little too often? Feel free to email me at kspringer@kellyschoice.com to learn more about how I can help you. Once it becomes routine, you will find a real food way of life to be fun and easy!

By Kelly Springer, RD, MS, CDN

 

Spring into Health by Spicing it Up!

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I love spices because they are loaded with nutrition, low in calories, and they are a great alternative to salt, making my food tasty and healthy.  Best of all, spices come to the rescue when I don’t have much time to cook! Here are a few spices I recommend you try this spring and why!

Turmeric

Turmeric is my all-time favorite herb; it’s main component, curcumin, has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant. Studies have shown that curcumin can even shrink cancerous tumors! It adds a yellowish/orangeish (very pretty) color to whatever you cook. Add it to veggies, eggs, soups, and rice. It’s taste is comparable to mustard but not as pungent.

Dill

Dill is a special herb because we can use the leaves and the seeds for seasonings! The leaves provide a sweet taste, while the seeds give a flavor of sweet, aromatic, but slightly bitter. Dill has been shown to be a natural anti-depressant. One study found that it was effective as some drugs prescribed for depression. And another neat thing about dill that comes in handy this time of year is that it is a natural bug repellant. Add it to salad. I also combine lemon juice, olive oil, and dill, and add it to meats that I bake.

Rosemary

Rosemary has a nice woody flavor. It is great to add to any grilled meat or a perfect addition to a soup for those spring days that are still a bit chilly. Studies suggest that regular consumption of rosemary can improve your memory and your ability to concentrate. It also is a natural anti-bacterial.

Cilantro

Cilantro is loaded with vitamin K (great for bones), but what I love about cilantro is that it can detox your body of heavy metals! It can also help balance blood-sugar levels! Bust those pesky sugar cravings! Combine a quarter cup chopped cilantro with the juice of a lime. Maybe add some garlic and spread on salmon—this is so good!

Ginger

Ginger is awesome because its unique flavor is both sweet and spicy. I love mincing it and adding t to salad or grilled meat. It has a compound called gingerol that has amazing anti-inflammatory properties. It’s a great tummy settler too. Eat too much at lunch. Calm down that tummy with ginger tea or grated ginger on a salad for dinner!

Spice it up this spring and boost your health so easily!

By Kelly Springer, RD, MS, CDN

 

 

Spring into Health: Spring out of your Salad Rut

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Spring is th5778152162_c738cc70cd_oe perfect time for fresh salads, but I have found with many clients that they get into salad ruts…they get bored! Well do I have some pointers to you to prevent those salad ruts.

Aim for color!

The more colorful your salad, the better. You get more nutrients that way!  Toss in some red, yellow, green, and orange bell peppers for their crazy amount of carotenoids—thee are antioxidants that prevent chronic diseases! In addition to several vitamins and minerals, red onions contain quercetin, which is very protective against cancer and allergies, so toss in some red onions. You can add white with jicama; low in calories but high in a few vital nutrients, jicama provides one-quarter of what’s needed daily in fiber per serving. Toss in eggplant or purple cabbage for even more color; both are loaded with fiber and nutrients! Your bed of salad greens will give you fiber, calcium, iron, vitamins A and C among other nutrients.

 Switch up your greens!

Speaking of greens, you can totally change a salad by changing the greens. Go for some crunch with some cabbage, a phenomenal cruciferous veggie that is protective against cancer. Kale falls into the cruciferous category too! For a zesty flavor, go for arugula! Spinach and Romaine are popular tasty choices too.

Sprout it up

Sprouts are one amazing way to boost the nutrition of your salad. The nutrients in sprouts are exponentially higher than their non-sprouted counterparts.  And there are such a great variety of sprouts available at the typical (alfalfa, clover, sunflower, lentil, etc.).

Power it up with protein!

Experiment with different ways to add protein to your salad. Beans, chickpeas, nuts, and seeds are great plant protein choices. You can add hard-boiled egg or low-fat cheese as well. Or, add some grilled chicken, tuna, or salmon! If you like your red meat, sirloin is a healthy choice too from time to time.

Fruit fever!

Fruits can add a lot of excitement to a salad. I love strawberries in my salads and they’re high in vitamin C! It’s just about berry season after all—you save when you buy them this time of year! Take advantage!

Dress it up!

A dressing can make or break a salad! There are so many easy ways to make healthy salad dressings. Click here for 50 dressings to try! And remember, a little dressing goes a long way!

I hope I have motivated you to stay satisfied with salads! How many different salads can you have this week?

 ~By Kelly Springer, RD, MS, CDN

The Power of Processing: Local Family-Owned Dairy Farms + Innovation

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Kelly-SpringerNothing is better than fresh, pure milk products (milk, cheese and yogurt). We all know the slogan, “Milk—it does a body good,” but do you know why?

A Nutritional Powerhouse

First, dairy is an amazing source of protein, which is an important building-block of healthy muscle, skin, tissues, and blood. Several studies have shown that consuming milk products helps to maintain a healthy weight, most likely because of the protein. Milk is also a great source of calcium and vitamin D, which is important for building strong bones.

And here’s a fact not many people know milk has an abundance of electrolytes—it makes a great recovery sports drink for this reason!

Local Love

Most of the milk products you love come from local farms! For folks like myself in Central New York, we are lucky to have dozens of local, family-owned dairy farms. Team these local farmers up to create Cayuga Milk Ingredients and you get the freshest, purest milk products imaginable. Allow me the honor to introduce you to Cayuga Milk Ingredients.

Cow to Carton

Cayuga Milk Ingredients (CMI) is a 108,000 square-foot milk-processing facility in Auburn, NY. Each day, 2.3 million pounds of milk comes through this facility, all from within a 25-mile radius of the plant. A range of high-quality milk products are produced expediently—from the time that the cow is milked, the finished product manufactured at CMI can take less than nine hours to produce!

Earlier this month, I had the amazing opportunity to tour the Cayuga Milk Ingredients manufacturing plant. This company, near my hometown in Central New York is the ideal representation of how to produce fresh milk products.

As I arrived at the plant, a truck load of milk from a nearby dairy farm came in. The milk is tested for antibiotics and bacteria before it even enters the plant! This assures that the milk is wholesome and clean when it enters the facility, so that contamination is not possible. The importance of hygiene in this plant was very apparent—the facility was immaculate.

Cleanliness is King

Kevin Ellis, the CEO of Cayuga Milk Ingredients, an operation with 70 dedicated employees, gave me the tour. His and his employees’ attention to detail, cleanliness and high-quality products is off the charts! To ensure superior hygiene, employees and visitors wear booties, hair nets, a smock, and remove jewelry, and are required to wash their hands and change their booties no less than four times when they move deeper into the facility.  Each increasing level of hygiene is strictly adhered to ensuring CMI’s products are of the highest quality.

Innovation

The way that the milk is processed is very innovative. Much of the production is computer-assisted to help reduce bacterial contamination and human error.

Both dried milk protein and liquid milk products are tested for quality assurance in this facility. The dried milk protein is held in the facility for 8-10 days with constant testing and retesting of microorganisms to assure that the finished product is as high-quality as possible.

At any given time, there are 2.5 million pounds of finished products, which include milk powders (used for…), and various milk protein powders. I am particularly intrigued by a product known as liquid ultra-filtered milk, which is produced with a high- pressure membrane system. This all-natural low-fat milk has double the amount of protein of standard skim milk and half the sugar! How cool is that?

I loved the approach of CMI’s CEO, Kevin Ellis: “Our employees are our most important resource. We’re dedicated to producing high-quality milk ingredients from our farmer owners’ high-quality milk, while simultaneously improving the dairy industry by raising the bar for high standards. We’re confident you’ll see that the finest products come from the finest ingredients. We promise to not only meet your expectations, but exceed them!”

To me, it is awesome to know that ultra-high-quality, nutritious and pure milk products are being produced by CMI in such a way that family-owned farms, where cows are treated humanely are part of the process.

 By Kelly Springer, RD, MS. CDN

Spring into Health with Stir-fries

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I love making stir-fries; it’s one of the easiest throw-together meals that satisfy my boyfriend, my daughters, and me! I have been adding delicious spring veggies to make my stir-fries especially tasty this time of year. Here are a few of my favorite veggies to add to a spring-inspired stir-fry.

Baby Bok Choy

Milder than regular Bok Choy, I love the crunch in this super green veggie. Not to mention that this veggies contains over 70 antioxidants, which reduce the oxidative stress that is associated with so many diseases, including cancer.

Garlic Scapes

Garlic scapes are the green shoots from garlic bulbs. I love adding so much flavor to my stir fries with chopped garlic scapes. It’s like an alternative to scallions that you might often use in stir-fries. They add a lot of antiviral and antibacterial properties to the dish and vitamin C too.

Asparagus

I already did an entire spring into health blog on this. Read the amazing health benefits of asparagus here. I often use broccoli for stir-fries, but in spring, I swap out the broccoli for asparagus. Delicious!

Peas

Peas are a great way to give a protein boost to your stir-fry and they are bursting in minerals and fiber too!

Basil

Herbs are so easy to grow in spring and just like the garlic scapes, basil adds a terrific flavor and it contains nearly 100 percent of your vitamin K needs. It is also a great source of magnesium and has amazing anti-bacterial properties.

So there you have it, my favorite veggies and herb to add to stir-fries this time of year. Add a scrambled egg or lean chicken breast for added protein.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What to Do with the Leftover Easter Eggs

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eggsAfter tomorrow’s Easter egg hunt, what do you do with those leftover eggs? I am definitely a proponent of hard-boiled eggs as a delicious, protein-rich snack for my girls, but they can only have so many hard-boiled eggs before they get bored with them. Here are some more exciting dishes I create with those left-over eggs:

Cobb Salad:

Who doesn’t love a Cobb salad for a quick and easy week-night dinner? I use romaine lettuce, hard-boiled eggs, shredded carrots, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, grilled chicken breast, and a tiny bit of crumbled blue cheese in my Cobb salads.

Breakfast for Dinner:

Chop those eggs and add them to small chopped roasted potatoes with onions and green and red bell peppers. Add a bit of hot sauce for adults or ketchup for kids. This is a favorite in my household!

Done-up Avocado Egg Salad:

You can go ahead and make egg salad, but try my healthy rendition. Mash two hard-boiled eggs with one avocado, and add 2 tablespoons of  Greek yogurt and a dash of lime juice and a small squeeze of mustard. Add sea salt and black pepper to taste.

Pickled Eggs

I turned my girls onto pickled eggs, which were a favorite of mine as a little girl. Drop the peeled eggs whole into a sterilized glass jar, cover with leftover pickle juice and seal to make pickled eggs; chill and enjoy for up to two weeks.

A Healthier Macaroni Salad

Add two chopped up hard boiled eggs, a can of tunafish, 2 chopped celery stalks, and four cups of cooked whole wheat elbows (or try quinoa or corn elbows). Add a couple tablespoons of Greek yogurt and sea salt and pepper to taste. Yum!

Wishing everyone a Happy Easter!! I hope you find these ideas helpful. And many of you may be thinking how long do Easter eggs last? Refrigerated, hard-boiled eggs are good for one week whether or not they are peeled or not.