Spring Green Smoothie

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Enjoyed this refreshing green smoothie this morning outside even though it still does not quite feel like Spring has arrived here! I like to enjoy a good smoothie every once in a while. It’s so easy to toss some ingredients together in a blender. If you have smoothies frequently, make sure you use a variety of different vegetables and fruits to ensure you are getting a wide spectrum of nutrients.

This nutritious green smoothie is rich in fiber and dose of vitamins and minerals like Vitamin A, Vitamin K and Vitamin C. The healthy fats included in the smoothie help with the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins and balance blood sugar. I added a small amount of L-glutamine powder for some extra immune support. Glutamine is an important amino acid and one of the most important nutrients required for a healthy digestive tract. It has the ability to rebuild and maintain the structural integrity of the intestinal wall. I use it in combination with my probiotics to help support a healthy gut!

Cheers to warmer weather!


Spring Green Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • Small handful of spinach
  • 1 chopped single celery stock
  • 1 sliced banana
  • Slice of lemon (rind included)
  • Tsp of ground flaxseed and chia seed
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • Tbsp of L-glutamine powder (optional)
  • Crushed ice

Directions:

1.Combine all ingredients in blender on medium to high speed until smooth.

2. Enjoy!


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Fruity Coconut Dessert

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Spring is right around the corner! Finally the the sun is shining and the days are becoming longer. After my run outside yesterday evening I was in the mood for a “summer” treat. I had frozen mango and fresh blueberries and bananas which I combined together in some coconut milk and then topped with a small handful of walnuts and a dash of cinnamon. YUM.

This treat combines carbohydrates and healthy fats. Coconut milk is becoming more popular and is an acceptable fat source in the paleo community. Coconut milk is derived from the meat of a brown coconut. It is a great alternative to cow’s milk and is richer and creamer than many other milks. One serving is equal to 1/4 cup. Like most foods, the quality of coconut milk matters. When looking for a coconut milk to buy at the store, look for a brand with only 2-3 ingredients at most. Make sure sugar is not an added ingredient. I also recommend choosing brands without carrageenan which is a type of emulsifier added to many dairy and non-dairy products. The safety for consumption of carrageenan is questionable which is why I avoid it. I would also recommend avoiding brands that use nitrates as preservatives. Good options include So Delicious CulinaryThai KitchenNative Forest and Trader Joe’s coconut milk. If you have the time, you can always experiment making your very own coconut milk. 🙂


Fruity Coconut Dessert

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup fruit (any)
  • Small handful of nuts
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Drizzle of organic honey (optional)
  • Dried coconut chips (optional)

Directions:

Combine ingredients together in layers and enjoy!


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Easy Egg & Veggie Casserole

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Breakfast is definitely my favorite meal of the day. During the busy work week however, it can be hard to always cook, sit down and enjoy this very important meal! When my mornings start so early, I don’t always have time to whip up some eggs. For the sake of saving time and still ensuring I have a quality breakfast even when rushing out of the door, I try to take a day to do some meal prepping ahead of time. Typically I will do this on a Sunday or one evening after work, if I’m not too tired 🙂 This very easy egg casserole dish can be made ahead of your busy week and then reheated for those early or hectic mornings. It can be be prepared from start to finish in less than 1 hour!


Easy Egg Casserole

Small Batch (4 servings)

  • 6 large or extra large eggs
  • 1/2 cup spinach (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 cup bell peppers (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • Feta cheese or other cheese (optional)
  • Pinch of salt (I used Himalayan)
  • Pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Lightly grease pan with butter or olive oil.

3. In a medium bowl, scramble eggs. Add seasoning.

4. Add eggs to the greased pan. Evenly top with veggies and cheese.

5. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until eggs looked fully cooked in center. Outer edges should become lightly browned.

6. Let cool 5 minutes, then cut into 4 portions.

7. Place in refrigerator and reheat for a quick breakfast or snack.


You can toss in ANY vegetables you have on hand, fresh or frozen. Flavor with other herbs/spices if desired. I used some onion powder in this but you can toss in fresh chopped onions if you have them on hand. You can also add cooked bacon or other meat if desired. I used grass-fed butter to grease the pan and there was no issue with the eggs sticking. You can make a larger batch in a 15 x 10-inch rectangular baking dish and use a dozen eggs.Then cut into 6 portions so each serving contains 2 eggs!

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Larabar Love

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If you are not yet familiar with Larabars, please allow me to introduce you to them! I am not fan of many bars because most commercial bars are highly processed and loaded with refined sugars, genetically processed soy, stabilizers like carageenan as well as artificial sweeteners and colors. I admit I am guilty of eating some of these popular bars in the past, especially Special K bars, Nutri-grain bars, and Quaker Chewy bars thinking they were “healthy.”  NEVER AGAIN. As a dietitian, I know better now to not fall for the deceptive marketing of those big food companies. Unlike those “food-like” products, Larabars use a very simple blend of nutritious REAL food ingredients. Recognizable ingredients that you can find right in your own kitchen and nothing else. These bars are simply comprised of.. nuts, unsweetened fruit, and spices.

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My favorite ones are the Cashew Cookie and Peanut Butter Cookie. I have not yet come across the Banana Bread Bar but I’m sure that will be a top contender. In the future I would like to try making my own version of these bars but for now, I will continue to carry  these for quick on-the-go snacks! For more sustained energy, I try and pair my Larabar with a source of protein such as a hard boiled egg. The Larabar on average has 23 grams of carbohydrates (from the dates). Pairing with a protein source like an egg, will help contribute to stable blood sugar which is important to help curb cravings and support energy levels between meals!.

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5 Ways to Protect Your Heart

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  1. Limit sugar and processed carbohydrates.  Sugar and processed carbohydrates cause inflammation in the body   which is at the root of heart disease.
  2. Replace inflammatory oils with healthy oils. Vegetable oil, corn oil, soybean oil, canola oil, safflower oil and trans fat such as hydrogenated oils and margarine are inflammatory. Instead, choose olive oil, sesame oil, coconut oil and even grass-fed butter for cooking.
  3. Incorporate more fish into your diet. Fish are rich in heart protecting omega-3 fatty acids which help reduce inflammation. Choose fish such as wild salmon, tuna, herring, mackerel and sardines. Aim to eat fish 2-3 times a week.
  4. Include a variety of fruits and vegetables in diet. Fruits and vegetables contain fiber, vitamins, minerals and  antioxidants that protect the heart. Aim for at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
  5. Get your heart pumping! Incorporate regular exercise.  Not being physically active is a risk factor for heart disease.  Regular physical activity can help raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels.You should aim to be physically active for 30  minutes on most days.