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.

Fuel your energy with fiber, healthy fats and protein

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Depletion. Fatigue. Lack of motivation. These are three tell-tale signs that your nutrition needs a checkup. Let’s talk about three nutrients that can tackle these feelings: fiber, healthy fats, and protein. I will share examples of each. And for those of you with busy lifestyles, I will recommend a healthy treat with all three of these nutrition powerhouses that you can grab on-the-go.

Perk up because I promise you if you apply these recommendations, you will feel like a million bucks in no time!

Fiber

Only 10 percent of Americans are consuming enough fiber every day. Fiber is essential in achieving a healthy, vibrant lifestyle. It aids in weight loss, helps lower cholesterol levels, and keeps your blood sugar levels stable. Unstable blood-sugar levels will destroy your energy!

The American Heart Association eating plan suggests eating 25 to 30 grams of fiber a day. Great fiber choices include whole grains, nuts and seeds, apples, berries, peas, lentils, and beans.

Healthy Fats

Dietary fat provides you with energy, builds healthy cells, and regulates your hormones. Your brain needs fat to function properly—in fact, did you know that your brain is 60 percent fat? Studies have linked lack of dietary fat in one’s diet to depression as well as cognitive decline.

The types of fat that are super for you are monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. My favorite foods that have these types of fats include essentially all nuts; olive oil in my salads and cooking; salmon; tuna; and flaxseed or chia seeds added to my oatmeal or smoothies.

Protein

Proteins are considered a major nutrient for the body; it grows, maintain and replace tissues in our body, like our muscles. Protein makes up hemoglobin in our blood, which is what carries oxygen throughout our body. A low hemoglobin level will result in low energy levels. My favorite protein choices are eggs, nuts, seeds, lean meats like chicken breast and ground turkey.

A Powerful Nutritional Punch

If you want to pack all three of these nutrients together in a healthy snack, you must give Setton Farms’ Pistachio Blueberry Cranberry Infused Chewy Bites. These all-natural bite-sized bars packed with pistachios, antioxidant-rich cranberries, coconut, and a touch of maple brown rice syrup. They are filled with protein, potassium, and fiber and have ample healthy fats as well for that precious brain of yours! Pistachio Chewy Bites is the answer for those who need a convenient fiber/healthy fat/protein snack in between meals.

For more nutrition tips, visit www.kellyschoice.org and find Kelly’s Choice dietitians’ advice throughout social media. Click here for Facebook. Click here for instagram. Click here for Twitter, Click here for Linkedin.

Delicious Plant-based Products for Fall

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What a busy October I had! I had so much fun at FNCE and learned so much about all the plant-based offers Daiya has to offer.

It amazes me that Daiya is able to make nutritious foods that are rich in protein and are completely free of allergens. Do you know how difficult that is? For example, cashews would be an easy answer to make their products creamy and rich in protein and healthy fats, but they use no nuts of any kind!

How do they make dozens upon dozens of products that are delicious, healthy and meet your protein needs? One way is that they add pea protein to many products. They are able to do this in such a way that you can’t even taste the pea flavor at all!

It’s also so hard to find plant-based options that are convenient, but Daiya offers different renditions of cheese, sauces, dressings, yogurt and more. They make it so easy to incorporate more plant-based foods into your diet throughout the day, whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert

If I am rushing to get breakfast ready—no problem. I can prepare what Daiya prepared at FNCE, a yogurt parfait with their delicious Greek-style, coconut milk-based yogurts that come in plain, vanilla and a variety of fruit flavors , a handful of granola and plenty of berries. That will give all members of my family energy to last through lunchtime for sure, because each touts 6-9 grams of plant-based protein. They also make a delicious dairy-free cream cheeze spread that’s perfect for bagel lovers.

Now on to lunch and dinner, I’m going to let you in on a little secret—I LOVE pizza. I dream about it. Pizza is how I first learned about Daiya! I saw them at another trade show a while back and was immediately drawn to the fun and vibrant nature of their booth, similar to what I experienced last week at FNCE. But this time they were sampling warm, mouth-watering margarita pizza. As I savored this fantastic sample, whoa was I impressed.Seriously, this pizza competed with pizza I’ve had in Italy. And then I looked at Daiya’s tagline: deliciously dairy-free; I could not believe my eyes! It’s  a great lunch or dinner option for a busy night. A pizza and a quick tossed salad, and voila-quite a healthy option!

Another quick dinner option is to toss = whole wheat pasta , peas and carrots in their new Alfredo Cheeze Sauce! And when I want to add more cheezy, plant-based goodness to a salad, tacos or morning eggs my go-to is Daiya’s new Cutting Board Collection Shreds.

Finally, for the grand finale: dessert! You know that delicious dairy-free cream cheese spread that’s a must have for bagel lovers? Well it’s also perfect for bakers because it can be used as an alternative for cheesecakes or carrot cake frosting. A must try recipe for fall is this No Bake Pumpkin Cheezecake. But if you don’t have time to bake a cheesecake, Daiya has you covered there too! At FNCE I sampled their new limited edition Pumpkin Spice Cheezecake that’s as rich and creamy as any dairy cheesecake I’ve ever had.

Give Daiya a try—you’ll be so happy you did! Their products are available more than 25,000 grocery stores across the US and Canada, including Whole Foods, Kroger, Safeway and Publix.

For more information about Daiya, please visit www.daiyafoods.com, become a fan on Facebook or follow them on Twitter and Instagram.

 

 

 

 

 

Beat the Candy Attack with Your Own Healthy Trail Mix

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It happens every year; your kids go trick or treating; your office mates’ kids go trick or treating and candy dishes abound everywhere! Your candy of choice calls out your name. For some its peanut butter cups, for others its Smarties or tootsie rolls. Whatever candy it is, it’s going to sabotage your nutrition goals! Fear not because I have a sweet, healthy and delicious solution for you! Make your own trail mix!

Common Components you can use in your Trail Mix:

Nuts:

These nutritional dynamos are loaded with healthy unsaturated fats, protein, fiber, antioxidants, vitamin E, and other essential vitamins and minerals. These should be the base of your trail mix.

Whether they’re raw or roasted, go for unsalted, unsweetened nuts to keep sugar and sodium under control.

Some of my favorites are: almonds, pistachios, cashews, peanuts, and walnuts.

Seeds:

For those with nut allergies (or just looking to mix things up), seeds provide many of the same nutritional benefits as nuts. Hemp seeds, and Chia seeds for example, are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, gamma linolenic acid, protein, zinc, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and calcium.

Sprinkle a handful of pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, flax, or hemp seeds in trail mix for an extra boost of nutrients.

Grains:

Add some complex carbohydrates to your custom blend for extra fiber, which boosts overall energy and helps to keep you full .

Choose whole grains whenever possible and avoid highly processed cereals that add unnecessary sugar and sodium.

Shredded wheat cereal, pretzels, whole-grain cereals like cheerios or chex, bran flakes, whole-wheat crackers, granola, toasted oats, puffed rice cereal, and air-popped popcorn can all add a little bit of crunch.

Something Sweet:

Lastly, t’s totally acceptable to have a little something sweet in your trail mix. This will help deter you from the candy bowl.

Dried fruit can be a great source of fiber, antioxidants, calcium, and vitamins A, C, and K.

Look for dried fruit options with as little added sugar and preservatives as possible.

Dried apples, cherries, cranberries, goji berries, blueberries, strawberries, apricots, raisins, banana chips, figs, pineapple chunks, mango, and dates.

Dark chocolate chips are a good source of antioxidants.

And once in a while, don’t fret adding a little bit of M&Ms.

Some of My Favorite Combos:

Hiking Power:

  • ALMONDS
  • WALNUTS
  • DRIED CRANBERRIES
  • ORGANIC TYPE OF CHERRIOS
  • CASHEWS
  • PECANS
  • RAISINS

Peanut Butter Lovers:

  • BANANA CHIPS
  • PEANUT BUTTER CHIPS
  • PEANUTS, ALMONDS
  • DARK CHOCOLATE CHIPS

Movie Night:

  • POPCORN
  • PEANUTS
  • M&MS
  • DRIED CRANBERRIES

Try some of these combos and make some unique signature recipes. You have so many options! It’s a great way to defeat the candy bowl and also the holiday sweets that are around the corner. I suggest making little baggies of them to bring to work, carry in your purse, etc. It is possible to overindulge so be careful not to do that. Depending on the ingredients< I recommend ½ cup to ¾ cup serving.

 

 

 

 

 

The Difference between Animal Protein and Plant Protein

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Nine times out of ten, when I get a new client, they have either tried a high protein diet, are currently on a high protein diet or are curious to learn more about a high protein diet. While protein is essential for tissue growth and repair and helpful for your cognition, digestion and metabolism, it is important to spread your protein consumption throughout the day and to incorporate plant protein into you regimen as well.

Let me highlight a couple of differences between animal protein and plant protein and give you some ways to consume protein healthfully.

Animal proteins such as eggs, meat, chicken, poultry, as well as seafood and dairy products contain all the essential amino acids you need to build proteins within your body. With the exception of dairy foods, most animal-based proteins contain few if any carbs, giving you a high percentage of your total calories from protein. Many protein-rich, animal-based foods such as red meat, egg yolks and dark-meat poultry, are also rich in zinc and heme iron, which is more readily absorbed in your body than the iron in plant-based foods.

Getting your protein from plant-based foods such as soy, quinoa, other whole grains, legumes, as well as nuts and seeds, means less unhealthy (LDL) cholesterol and saturated fat! Proteins from soy and quinoa are classified as complete proteins because they contain all essential amino acids, much like the proteins from animal-based foods.  Although not all plant proteins are complete proteins, you can still obtain all the essential amino acids by eating a variety of plant proteins during your day.

The bottom line is that you do not have to choose between animal and plant protein to maintain good health. And you don’t need mounds and mounds of it to be healthy either. Your daily protein consumption need not be bigger than a deck of cards.

Here are some healthy protein-based snack choices I recommend:

  • nitrate free jerky
  • hardboiled egg
  • cottage cheese
  • black beans and rice
  • hummus and whole wheat pita
  • Greek yogurt
  • whole wheat bread with peanut butter

I hope you found this information helpful. Keep everything in balance. Don’t consume too much of any one thing and you’ll be on your way to a beautifully healthy lifestyle.

 

The Power of Five

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How good are you at assuring that you get the five powerful foods in your diet every single day? I’m talking about protein, dairy, vegetables, fruit, and whole grains? My guess is that you may have the protein part down (specifically if it is meat), but the other groups are more challenging.

Let’s go through each group and I will provide some suggestions about how you can incorporate these essential foods into your everyday-life.

I’ll start with whole grains. Too many people turn to refined grains and this is not smart because refined grains (pasta, white bread, cookies, crackers, etc.) are devoid of nutrients. Whole grains, on the other hand, have fiber, helping you to feel full longer, not to mention protecting your heart! You are supposed to aim for 6-8 servings of whole grains a day.

  • Make sure you sandwich bread is whole grain.
  • When you cook brown rice, wild rice, or quinoa, cook extra for another meal!
  • Oatmeal is a great choice for a whole-grain breakfast.
  • There are whole grain crackers too—look at the fiber content; if there is a decent amount of fiber, it’ s likely whole grain.

Dairy isn’t too hard to work into your daily regimen and dairy is a great source of calcium and protein. Always choose low-fat or skim (otherwise, you have to worry about bad cholesterol). Use cheese as a condiment on your salads or as a flavor enhancer to your meals. Try cottage cheese or yogurt for breakfast or a snack. Smoothies made with skim milk are delicious as well.

Protein is an easy group for people. Did you know you only need 6 ounces of protein a day? My suggestion is to turn to lean options like chicken breast, lean ground beef or turkey, and definitely fish! I also recommend eggs and plant protein (nuts, seeds, beans, etc.).

As for vegetables, aim to get 4-5 servings a day! Sometimes you just do not have the energy to cook a veggie at the end of the day so stock your freezer. Frozen veggies are as nutrient-rich as fresh and they last way longer! Keep salad greens on hand and veggies that last a while in the fridge like peppers and carrots.

Fruit is the dessert of food. You should try to consume 4-5 servings of fruit a day. Always have a fruit bowl near you—at work and home! Add fruit to your lunch or dinner salads and to your breakfast cereal.

The best way to assure you get the power of five in your day-to-day life is to go for combinations, like these in your meals:

  • Strawberry spinach salad
  • Tarragon chicken salad
  • 3-bean salad with kale
  • Fresh mozzarella and tomato salad
  • Healthier cobb salad
  • Blueberry overnight oats
  • Scrambled eggs with veggies
  • Hard- boiled egg
  • Berry and yogurt smoothie

And skip the candy bar or cookies for your snack! Look to the power of five. Here are more than a dozen options:

  • Mixed nuts
  • Trail mix
  • Edamame poppers
  • Hummus dippers
  • Greek yogurt and granola
  • Tuna and whole grain crackers
  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Popcorn
  • String cheese
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Greek yogurt & berries
  • Dried fruit
  • Frozen watermelon kiwi or grapes
  • Melon kabobs
  • Cherry tomato & cheese kabobs
  • String cheese
  • Whole grain cereal dry

I hope these suggestions help you! The power of five is the best way to assure a balanced and healthy life!