Saturday, August 10, 2013

Love Yourself First

I continue to work on this and as a busy mother with little down time, I find that I am the best mom I can be when I take even 30 minutes each day for myself. This morning I got up super early before work because I knew I wanted to have family time after work. I did a work out video, had some breakfast, took my omega-3 supplement and sipped on a coffee on the way to work. It made me feel so much more fulfilled and energized, knowing I took time for me. I truly feel this quote summarizes me and probably for many of you too.. Reading this quote motivates me to first take care of myself so I can love myself and therefore, be the best mother and wife I can be everyday.

Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.
Lucille Ball

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Aronia Berry

What is aronia?  It is not our day-to-day fruit on the go like bananas or apples, but you may just want to include it on a regular basis after learning more about this super fruit. 

Aronia Berry (Ar-on-éa) is native to the United States and considered to be one of the most nutritionally dense fruits on the planet.  It also considered the ultimate Superfood based on scientific research and centuries of indigenous use.  The aronia berry, due to its phytonutrient complex, has a rich flavor and is distinguished by its signature, dark-purple pigment. 

Aronia berries have 2x the antioxidants of imported acai, 3x the antioxidants of blueberries and 8x the antioxidants of pomegranates. 

Here are some tips on how to use Aronia in your daily diet:
Aronia Flax - Shake and add one tbsp. to yogurt, smoothies, a drink, or right off the spoon. 

Aronia Concentrate - Just add one tbsp. to iced tea, smoothies, or your beverage of choice.

Fresh Frozen Berries - One cup of aronia berries is the antioxidant equivalent of 24 oz of blueberries.

Freeze Dried Powder - Two tsp. in yogurt, smoothies, oatmeal, or any other snack makes a meal for less than a dollar a day.

Sources:  Orenda International LLC 2013.
                Sawmill Hollow Family Farm.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Which Bar is Right for Me?

Many customers are regularly asking me in the grocery store which bar is healthiest or which bars to avoid.  Many so-called natural or healthy bars can be packed with sugar.  So here are some suggestions for picking a healthy bar. 
First thing is to look at the ingredient list.  When the list goes on and on, it is probably loaded with a lot of extra ingredients that are processed or unnatural.  In addition, this may also be a red flag for added sugars and saturated fats.  Yogurt bars are also quite deceiving, and is not real yogurt but added sugar or a saturated fat.  So, checking to make sure the first ingredient is a wholesome ingredient like oats, instead of sugar.
Fiber is also important to be included in a bar, at least 3 grams of fiber per serving.  This will increase long-term energy to help fuel your workouts.  However, be sure to avoid eating a high fiber bar right before the workout, to allow adequate digestion.
A healthy bar should have around 200 calories, 15 grams of protein and low added sugars. 

Here are my top favorites.. :-)

      FREE Sample of Good Greens Bar
Not a bar person? The best recovery drink after a workout or moderate activity is a glass of chocolate milk! Enjoy the day!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Nutrition as Fuel

Are you a big runner or athlete or simply partake in regular physical activity or extracurricular sports?  If so, nutrition plays a significant role in these activities.   Not only is healthy food used as pre-fuel, but it may also be necessary during the performance and especially after the race or big event.  Here are some high-performance snacks that will give you a good boost of energy!

Low-fat string cheese and baked whole grain chips
Trail mix made with nuts, whole grainn cereal and dried fruit
Smoothie made with low-fat milk, yogurt and frozen berries
Oatmeal with almonds, strawberries and low-fat yogurt
Whole-grain wrap with turkey, spinach, tomato and pesto
Peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a glass of low-fat milk
Whole-grain crackers and low-fat cottage cheese topped with fruit
English muffin with an egg, sliced tomato, lettuce and avocado

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Summer Treats - FRUIT

My daughter, Avery, is now 10 months old and LOVES her fruit.  Vegetables she does fine with but she absolutely loves any type of berry and now her favorite is grape chunks I cut up for her.  Introducing healthy foods to infants and children is one of the most important steps in establishing lifelong healthy eating choices.  Sometimes we do need to encourage children to eat healthy choices, especially when unhealthy, convenient choices are flooded in our environment.  Studies show that the consumption of fruit and vegetables increase when a dip is provided with a fruit or vegetables.  Midwest Dairy Council has a very tasty fruit dipper that I encourage you to try out and see if your kids eat more fruits.  Every now and then these easy recipes offer a fun way to eat fruits.  I hope you enjoy it!

Creamy Caramel Dip for Fruit
8 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel)
3/4 cup (about 3 scoops) unflavored or vanilla-flavored whey protein powder
1/2 cup fat-free plain yogurt
1/2 cup brown sugar (use less if desired to lower added sugar)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.  Serve immediately with your favorite fruits.

Makes 2 cups

170 calories, 12 g protein (including 8 g whey protein), 16 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 7 g fat, 4.5 g saturated fat, 200 mg sodium

Also contains: calcium

Friday, June 21, 2013

Healthy, Light Dose of Antioxidants for Summer

It is officially summer, and that means time for refreshing light foods.  The warm comfort foods sometimes do not seem as appealing when hot weather arrives.  What a great time to focus on incorporating more produce into the diet.  I encourage you to try Stemilt cherries or any sweet cherry!  Sweet cherries are among the top 20 foods with the highest concentration of antioxidants.

Cherries contain anthocyanin, an antioxidant that gives cherries their bright red color, and which may help to protect the heart and prevent plaque build-up.  Cherries are a natural source of melatonin, which aids sleep patterns; Act as a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory for arthritis and gout; Have 3g of fiber and 16% of your daily vitamin C in one serving; Have only 90 calories in one cup.

Summer means for many that more time is spent outside and less time in the kitchen!  The good news is that sweet cherries are easy to use, like other produce. They can be added to salads, prepared as a fresh fruit salsa, can be frozen for later use, made as a sauce or preserve, added to muffin and breads and can be enjoyed simply by the handful!

This information is not intended as medical advice.  Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.


For those of you who still enjoy your comfort foods despite the hot weather, this one will be sure to satisfy you!

  • 4 cups pitted sour cherries
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (choose lite)
  • 3 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, cut into small pieces (Try Smart Balance Omega-3 or Promise)
  • 1 egg white
To Make Filling:
In a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, combine cherries, maple syrup, tapioca, and cinnamon. Let stand for 5 minutes. Cook and stir occasionally for 10 minutes.
To make the Crust:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place flour in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the egg white. Place on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth ( 30 seconds). Reserve 1/4 cup of the dough. Place remaining dough on cutting board and roll into a 9” circle. Fit the dough into a pie plate. Fold under the excess pastry, and flute the edges. Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork, bake for 10 minutes. Roll reserved dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Using a cookie cutter, cut out decorative shapes. Place cherry filling into pie crust and arrange decorative cutouts on top. Sprinkle sugar on edge of crust and decorative cutouts, if desired. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes. Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition Information per serving:
216 calories; 3g protein; 39g carbohydrate; 9g fat; 15mg cholesterol; 70mg sodium; 2g fiber

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Grill the MyPlate Way

Did you have a relaxing Memorial Day weekend?  Despite the rainy weather, Memorial Day weekend is known as the season to kick off grilling and camp fires.

Hot dogs and hamburgers are known as the usual staples for grilling, but it is important to consume a variety of foods to achieve balanced meals.

Using the MyPlate™ method is a great way to ensure that one-fourth of your plate is a lean protein, one-fourth is a whole-grain and at least half your plate is filled with fruits and vegetables – in addition to one serving of low fat milk, yogurt or cheese. A simple solution for this method is to use foil packets on the grill or over a campfire, which will help you meet the MyPlate™ guidelines. All you need you need is foil and a fork.

MyPlate™ Tips

1. Consider the size of your plate. Try using a 9-inch plate as a way to reduce portion size and calories.
2. Review the food groups; what foods fit into each section?
  • Visually divide the plate or bowl in half.
  • Fill half of the plate with veggies and/or fruit.
  • Fill one-quarter of the plate with lean meat or protein.
  • Fill one-quarter of the plate with grains, including whole grains as much as possible.
  • Add one serving of low-fat milk, yogurt or cheese.

4. Focus on whole, low-fat foods:
  • fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables,
  • whole grains,
  • fresh, lean protein,
  • skim milk, cheese and nonfat yogurt.

Here are examples of how to make MyPlate™ work for you.

Family Dinner:
Whole wheat spaghetti noodles topped with meat sauce, side of leafy green salad with cherry tomatoes, glass of skim milk, broiled pineapple for dessert.
Brown Bag Lunch:
Sandwich - whole wheat bread, turkey, low-fat cheese and fresh vegetables, side of baby carrots, 2 clementines.
Quick Breakfast:
Parfait - nonfat yogurt layered with berries, granola and sliced almonds, banana on the side.

The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Mother's Day Delightful

Mother's Day is right around the corner.  Is time limited?  If so, I have a solution for you!  This recipe would certainly be delightful for me!  Shower that special someone with love and give her breakfast in bed!  Plus...maybe a spa package!

Here is a quick fix breakfast or brunch recipe that takes total time: 1 hour with prep, or you can make it ahead and let all the flavors come together in 4 hours.

Nectarine and Strawberry Parfait
Serves 4.

Active time: 30 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes

All you need
3/4 cup sweet white wine, such as Sauterne or sweet Riesling
1/2 cup Hy-Vee honey
2 ripe but firm nectarines, thinly sliced
2 cups quartered hulled strawberries
1/2 cup whipping cream or heavy cream
1 cup Hy-Vee nonfat plain Greek yogurt

All you do
1.  Combine wine and honey in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat; boil until reduced to about 1/2 cup, 6 to 10 minutes.

2.  Combine nectarines and strawberries in a medium bowl and toss with 1/4 cup of the wine syrup.  Refrigerate the remaining 1/4 cup syrup for at least 10 minutes to cool.

3.  Beat cream in a medium bowl until stiff peaks form.  Fold or beat in yogurt and the cooled wine syrup until combined.

4.  Spoon a scant 1/4 cup yogurt-cream into each of 4 dessert glasses or bowls and top with about 1/2 cup of the fruit mixture.  Repeat with another layer of each.

To make ahead:  Cover and refrigerate the fruit and yogurt cream in separate containers for up to 4 hours.

Nutrition facts per serving: 352 calories; 12g fat (17g saturated, 3g monounsaturated); 41mg cholesterol; 53g carbohydrate; 34g added sugars; 7g protein; 3g fiber, 35mg sodium; 303mg potassium.

Nutrition bonus: Vitamin C (82% daily value).

Source: Adapted from Eating Well, Inc.

This information is not intended as medical advice.  Please consult a medical professional for individual advice. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Smoothie to Fit Your Plate

I have been on a kick with smoothies for breakfast lately...and with the weather warming up, what a great time to enjoy a smoothie for breakfast. Smoothies never become a bore for me because I can modify ingredients everyday and still keep the flavor. According to the USDA, we are to fill our plate with 1/4 protein, 1/4 starch and 1/2 fruits and veggies...this can all be achieved in a smoothie! So skip the morning coffee and have your complete breakfast in a glass :-)
Green Monster Smoothie (without granola)
Servings: 1 • Serving Size: about 2 cups  Calories: 253.4 • Fat: 4.0 g  Carb: 38.6 g  Fiber: 5.5 g  Protein: 17.5 g • Sodium: 236.7 mg


  • 1 small frozen ripe banana, peeled
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 tbsp Natural Peanut Butter, Smuckers Natural
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt (I used Chobani) - great way to reduce added sugar by choosing plain. 
  • 1 scoop Omega-3 Chia Seed - super food that provides omega-3, fiber and protein.  Chia seed absorbs up to 10 times its weight in water which keeps you hydrated and full longer. Chia seed also binds onto cholesterol and blood sugars to prevent blood sugar spikes and may lower bad cholesterol.


Place all the ingredients into the blender, add ice (optional) and blend until smooth.

Add 1/2 - 1 serving of granola to add your whole grain.  Dietitian pick: Erin Bakers granola, found in Hy-Vee HealthMarket section. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Routine for a Better You

Some times life can get so busy that we fall out of our healthy habits and routine, such as gym time or eating breakfast at a table and not in the car... for me, I started making excuses some mornings about why I need to be home with baby Avery.  The gym time started to decrease and I was eating my breakfast in the car.  Although it was a healthy breakfast smoothie or granola bar, it wasn't as enjoyable.  Life seemed to be getting more and more hectic and stressful...

Taking a step back and truly thinking about these unhealthy changes in my life made me realize that in order to be a good mother, I need to take time for myself...I truly believe that if you really want to do something, you can make time for it.  When Avery is up in the morning, I get right over to the gym after she is fed.  My husband watches her and when I come home, I am ready to start my day and truly feel satisfied with what life has to offer me for the day.  I feel more in control and am ready to tackle the day!

Yes, there will be days when eating in the car on the way to work is the only option, but setting aside an extra 30 minutes is sometimes all it takes to be a healthier you.  As a busy mom that works 35 hours a week in addition to graduate school and caring for an 8 month old, there STILL is time ... time to take care of yourself.

Think about one thing you would like to change, whether it be one hour more of sleep, one extra glass of water instead of the pop or a 15 minute power walk....yes, it may be challenging some days but in the end, it is worth it.

Cheers to a better you.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Avocado: Secret Ingredient in Baking!

What does your plate look like? Do you need some ideas to modify it to improve the nutritional value? Let me give you some tips on how to replace butter, oils, creams with a super fruit, creamy avocado!

California Avocados are in-season April through September but are available all-year round. According to the California Avocado Commission, there are 13 vitamins that the body absolutely needs. Avocados naturally contain many of these vitamins in addition to minerals and "good" fat. One-fifth of an avocado has only 50 calories and includes these key vitamins, minerals and fats:
Monounsaturated fat.... helps to lower bad cholesterol and good replacement for saturated and trans fat
Vitamin K... plays a role in blood clotting, fat-soluble
Folate...promotes healthy cell and tissue development, water-soluble
Potassium...essential for proper function of cells, tissues and organs
Vitamin E... potent antioxidant, fat-soluble
Lutein.... helps to prevent eye disese and helps with maintenance of healthy skin
Magnesium... essential mineral for human nutrition
Vitamin C... antioxidant, required for growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body, water-soluble
Vitamin B6...helps the immune system produce antibodies, water-soluble

All of this in ONE food :-)

Simply reduce half the fat in your favorite baked dessert with equal amounts of fresh avocado and you will increase your fruit intake. By this simple substitution, you just obtained 20 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, along with healthy fats! Two tbsp. of avocado has only 50 calories and 2 tbsp. butter equals 204 calories. Re-think your fat!

The recipe for this delicious biscotti secretly uses California avocados as a substitute for butter.

California Avocado, Cranberry and Pistachio Biscotti Yields: 32 biscotti cookies
  • 11/4 cups dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tsp. grated orange peel
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (healthy modification: half whole wheat flour)
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup mashed ripe, fresh California avocado*
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar (healthy modification: Stevia, sweetener extracted from a plant)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup shelled pistachio nuts
  • 1 Tbsp. low-fat milk
  1. In a small pan, combine cranberries and orange juice. Cover and bring to a boil . Remove from heat, stir in orange peel and let stand until ready to use.
  2. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine avocado, lemon juice and sugar. Beat for 1 minute until smooth.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, to avocado mixture, beating well until blended. Add vanilla and beat until mixed in.
  5. With beater at medium speed, add flour mixture, one cup at a time, scraping down bowl after each cup. Beat until blended.
  6. Mix in cranberry-orange mixture and pistachio nuts by hand, blending well.
  7. Turn out dough onto lightly floured board. Divide mixture in half. Roll each half on board until lightly coated with flour; form into a 1/2-inch thick and 4-inch wide log. Brush top of each log with milk.
  8. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Transfer logs to cookie sheet. Bake in preheated 325°F oven for 35 minutes.
  9. Remove logs from oven and place on cooling rack . Allow to cool for 20 minutes.
  10. Slice each log into 1/2-inch thick slices. Place a cooling rack on a cookie sheet and arrange slices, cut side up. Bake in 300°F oven for 15 minutes. Turn each cookie over and bake additional 15 minutes; cool. Repeat process with remaining slices. Cool and store in airtight container.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Spring Into Season

The warm weather has finally arrived and grilling season is underway. The traditional hot dog and hamburger are the easy go to about trying something new this spring season? Let me share some delicious grilling recipes that are tantalizing for your taste buds but also for your health! Also, throw out the standard Koolaids that are packed with sugar and sip on something that hydrates you but also refreshes those taste buds :-)

Grilled eggplant for wood-fired pizzaGrilled Eggplant-Tomato Pizza
Fire-roasting your pizza brings out the delicious flavors in veggies.  Here is a healthy griller pizza that you need to try out!


1 medium eggplant, unpeeled, cut in 3/4-inch thick slices
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 unbaked 12-inch whole-wheat or regular thin pizza crust
1/4 cup pesto sauce
1 large tomato, sliced
1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup sliced kalamata olives
2 ounces (1/2 cup) part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 ounce (1/4 cup) Parmesan cheese, shredded; or feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves


  1. Brush eggplant with olive oil. Grill over a medium-high fire for about 10 minutes until soft and cooked through, turning to brown evenly. Cool slightly.
  2. Place pizza crust on a baking pan. Spread pesto sauce evenly over crust. Arrange grilled eggplant, tomatoes, onion and olives on top. Sprinkle with cheese. Slide uncooked pizza on the grill. Lower the lid.
  3. Grill over indirect heat until the crust golden brown and the cheese melts, about 12 to 15 minutes.
  4. Just before serving, cut basil leaves into thin strips. Top pizza with basil.

Cooking Note

If you don't have a grill, or prefer to cook inside, use this alternative cooking method: Roast eggplant and bake pizza in a 425°F oven.

Nutrition Information

Serves 6
Calories: 230; Calories from fat: 160
Total fat: 18g; Saturated fat: 4.5g; Trans fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 15mg; Sodium 300mg
Total carbohydrate: 12g; Dietary fiber: 5g; Sugars: 4g
Protein: 8g

Grilled Pineapple Desssert

Try to grill your fruit this spring and summer for a delicious flavor change!  The heat caramelizes the sugars and brings out the natural fruit juices. Not only does pineapple taste delicious on the grill, but so do plums, peaches, nectarines, pears, apples and bananas. For a quick marinade, use the juice of one lemon, 1 Tbsp. honey or agave nectar.  Agave nectar is a low glycemic index choice, ideal for those watching blood sugar control. Add about 1/2 tsp. nutmeg or more if desired.  Stir all together and add in fruit.  Cook anywhere from 2-4 minutes per side until you get the pretty charcoal lines.  Serve with a dollop of whipped topping or light ice cream. 

With the MyPlate system encouraging half of your plates come from fruits and veggies, the grill provides the perfect opportunity to eat plenty of fruits and veggies.  Taking grill foil wrap and filling it with asparagus, tomatoes, mushrooms and more is the perfect complement to sirloin steak, grilled chicken and various seafood choices.

For a refreshing spritzer, try this delicious concoction!

Add a shot glass full (1½ ounces) of your favorite 100% fruit juice such as grapefruit, pineapple, orange or pomegranate juice to eight ounces of club soda or sparkling water.  The carbonation makes this beverage very refreshing.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

National Nutrition Month

When you think of nutrition, what crosses your mind?  portion sizes? calorie control? fruits and veggies? 
To me, nutrition encompasses a spectrum of color and variety which makes eating healthy fun.  March is known as National Nutrition Month, which was initiated in 1973 as a week-long event, "National Nutrition Week."  To me, we should always celebrate nutrition and the new successes that we achieve.  Maybe it could be trying a new super food, experimenting with avocado or learning how to cook with seafood.  If you are trying new foods with color, that is a great way to start on your path to long-term healthy eating. 

Let me go over all the colors and how this can transcend into your daily life...
Color can essentially be your guide to nutritious meals... Green, yellow, orange, purple, blue, red, white - the list goes on!  An easy way to start is to fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables, switching up the color as often as you can.

 Green - kiwi, broccoli, spinach and kale - these green foods contain powerful antioxidants which may help promote healthy vision and reduce cancer risk.

Orange and yellow - oranges, apricots, cantaloupe, carrots, corn, winter squash - these foods are rich in beta-carotene, vitamin C and lutein which promote healthy skin, vision and strengthening of immune system.

Purple and blue - blueberries, blackberries, prunes, plums, eggplant and purple cabbage - these foods are known as potent anti-agers!  They may also help assist with cognitive functioning, urinary tract health and reduced cancer risks.

Red - tomatoes, watermelon, ruby red grapefruit, cranberries, pomegranates, beets - these foods are loaded with lycopene, which may help lower prostate and ovarian cancers in addition to help maintain a healthy heart, vision and immunity.

White - potatoes, cauliflower, mushrooms, onions - these foods contain nutrients that may promote heart health and reduce cancer risks.

With all of these choices and the health promoting nutrients, eating a wide variety will serve as a strong foundation and cover all your nutrient needs.  Eat the rainbow for better protection :-)

Writing this post makes me think of what my dinner will be tonight. Here is a colorful dinner that will satisfy not only my palate, but my inner body!

Friday, February 1, 2013

101 on Good Fats

Here is a little 101 on Good Fats :-)

Fat has long been known to be unhealthy for our diets but with evidence-based research and credible information provided by dietitians, healthy fats are being readily recognized and becoming more and more part of our diet - YES! When fat is removed from foods, that simply means other ingredients are added, such as sugar and sodium, to maintain flavor. 

However, which fats do we need to be filling our cart with? There are different types of fats and it can be overwhelming trying to figure out which types of products to put in your cart and if they are the unhealthy or healthy fat.... so here is a little 101 on Good Fats.

Good fats are polyunsaturated (omega-3, omega-6) and monounsaturated (omega-9).  Each omega fatty acid has a particular fat in the body, but they all work together to support optimal health - including improvement of cholesterol levels and vitamin absorption, reduction in the risk of heart attack and stroke and diabetes, promotion of cell development and maintenance of healthy immune system....

Healthy fats are found in various foods - oils, nuts, fatty fish and some produce
Oils (canola, olive oil and sunflower oil)
Nuts (almonds, pistachios, walnuts)
Fatty fish (salmon, tuna)
Some fruits (avocados, olives)

Eat healthy fats throughout the day to aid in an overall healthy diet and long-term energy.

Here is a heart healthy menu idea

2 whole wheat waffles
1/4 cup strawberries
1 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp margarine
1 egg, scrambled
1 cup lowfat or skim milk

Vegetable/Hummus Medley
1 whole wheat pita, baked
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup hummus
1/4 cucumber
10 baby carrots
1/2 cup broccoli
1 cup red grapes
1 string cheese

Snack (when you can fit it in)
20 almonds
1 banana

Grilled Mackerel
4 oz makerel, grilled
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp lemon juice
salt and pepper
1 cup couscous, cooked
1/2 cup edamame, steamed
1 cup lowfat or skim milk

Nutrition Data - complete diet with 2000 calories total.

Cheers to healthy fats.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Valentine's day dinner with the dietitian

Did you know eating that lean beef can be part of your every day heart healthy diet?  A new study called BOLD shows you can eat lean beef every day and also lower cholesterol.  There are many misconceptions out there that eating red meat can increase cholesterol.  The real culprit is the refined foods, added sugars and high glycemic index foods that are linked to high cholesterol.  Eating a rich diet consisting of whole grains, legumes and nuts, low-fat dairy, lean proteins and fruits and veggies will help with keeping your cholesterol in the normal ranges.  Of course, exercise plays a key role too.

As a supermarket Hy-Vee dietitian, I will be promoting Beef Top Sirloin Steak for upcoming "heart month" and will demonstrate to customers how this beef is not only flavorful but very healthy.

The BOLD (Beef in Optimal Lean Diet) study found participants lowered LDL "bad" cholesterol 10%, when they followed a heart-healthy diet and consumed four ounces of lean beef every day.

More than half the fatty acids in beef are the same heart-healthy type found in olive oil (monounsaturated).

One-third of beef's saturated fatty acid is stearic acid, a saturated fat that has a neutral effect on cholesterol.

Lean cuts of beef include top sirlon steak, tenderloin, T-bone steak and 95%-lean ground beef.

One 3-ounce serving of lean beef has about 150 calories and is naturally rich in 10 essential nutrients, including protein, iron, zinc and B-vitamins.

Now, what is the best way to cook this juicy steak?

Stovetop skillet cooking (pan-broil) is ideal for cooking a tender, juicy top sirloin steak.

Heat heavy nonstick skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes.  Remove steak from refrigerator and season as desired.  Place steak in preheated skillet, don't add water or oil and leave uncovered.  Pan-broil top sirloin steak 12 to 15 minutes for medium rare (145 degrees) to medium (160 degrees) doneness, turning occasionally.

Here is a delicious recipe that you can enjoy with that special someone on Valentine's Day in addition to some rich deep red wine :-)

Skillet Steaks with Sauteed Wild Mushrooms
Total Recipe Time: 25 to 30 minutes

1 to 1-1/4 pounds beef top sirloin cap steaks, cut 1 inch thick
2 tsp. olive oil
3 cups assorted wild mushrooms (cremini, oyster, shiitake, enoki and morel)
2 cloves garlic, minced, divided
2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
Kosher salt and pepper

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add mushrooms and 1 clove minced garlic; cook and stir 2 to 4 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and browned. Remove; keep warm.

Combine thyme and remaining garlic; press evenly onto beef steaks. Place steaks in same skillet over medium heat; cook 8 to 11 minutes for medium rare to medium doneness, turning occasionally. Remove to platter.

Carve steaks into slices. Season with salt and pepper, as desired. Top with mushrooms.

The information is not intended as medical advice.  Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.