Month: March 2014

Cereal 101–Tips To Pick The Best Cereal!

Cereal 101–Tips To Pick The Best Cereal!

Hey, hey, hey! In honor of National Nutrition (yeah, March is National Nutrition Month) I would like to help you shop in the grocery store!  Let me take you down the aisle and let’s talk!  Oh how, I miss helping people shop for groceries, it […]

Better-For-You Chocolate Chip & Oatmeal Cookies

Better-For-You Chocolate Chip & Oatmeal Cookies

  Who doesn’t love cookies, right?  I always make cookies just a little bit better-for-you so my kids and I can enjoy them even more!  Meaning we can even have them for breakfast!  Perfect for on-the-go snack and easy to pack! Here are some ingredient […]

10 Reasons To Include Chili In Your Diet!

10 Reasons To Include Chili In Your Diet!

Okay, I know this post title sounds a little weird but that I hope by now to have your attention, eh?  I am currently writing a simple meal plan post that will be coming soon and as I was writing it I realized I LOVE CHILI!  Not only do I love chili because it tastes awesome but because of so many other reasons that I will share with you today!   We may be out of soup season but let’s face it, soup is an awesome staple in any diet! Let’s begin!

 

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1) Benefits Weight Loss:  That is right! There are many studies showing that if you consume soup before a meal, you can decrease your calorie intake by 200 calories! 

2) Full of Nutrients: The nutrition profile is fantastic as chili is full of beneficial nutrients including iron, vitamin C, magnesium and many others including the next two on the list: protein and fiber! If you see my recipe below I add even more nutrients by using a secret ingredient  that I will talk about in reason #7 Make it Skinny.

3) Good Source of Protein: Yay for protein, one of the other reasons why chili may help shave off the weight. Protein-rich foods will help you feeling fuller longer and therefore keep you from nibbling on all the junk! In my recipe I use real, 100% beef because it is also a great source of iron.  You don’t have use ground chicken or turkey, in fact, I would recommend not using ground chicken or turkey because it does not contain near as much iron as beef!  Beef is one of the best sources of iron.  Check out Beef’s Big 10. Iron is a crucial nutrient that does many important processes for our bodies including providing oxygen to our blood cells.  There are times when I get a little tired and think about my diet and realize, wow my protein/iron consumption is a little low let’s have a good steak or some hamburger!  Okay, maybe only a dietitian would say this but you get the point and by the way I end up feeling better after a dose of some iron-rich foods! So don’t fret and go for the beef in this recipe.  Psst . . .plus those beans in the recipe are also a good source of iron, too!

4) Good Source of Fiber:  This is something that many of us are lacking! The majority of American only consume about 10 to 12 grams of fiber a day, that is about half (or less) of the recommended amount of 25 to 30 grams of fiber!  Pile on those chili beans, right?  Plus, legumes are loaded with many other beneficial nutrients!

5) Make it Skinny! Here’s my little secret in making this recipe even more nutrient-dense – add chopped mushrooms to your ground beef!  Cost-effective and  bumps up the nutrition profile! Don’t worry, your family won’t even realize they are eating mushrooms in their beef because you don’t even see the mushrooms or taste them!  Mushrooms are good sources of riboflavin, niacin, selenium, vitamin D and many other nutrients. Some studies have even found mushroom to even decrease tumors! Check out my pictures below! Can you tell the difference? 

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6) Easy To Make: Open up some cans and/or a container, brown some ground beef and viola you are done!  So super simple!  Make this meal ahead for weeks to come . . .including my next point!

7) Freezes Awesome! Make this recipe ahead and you will be set for a month!  I always find myself going for the bag of chips or something not-so-good-for-you when I have not planned or prepared a wholesome healthy meal.  A little planning and prepping will deter any junk food craving! Defrost some chili or heat some up out of the frig and satisfy any 911 emergency hunger pang!  TIP:  Freeze chili in single-serve freezer bags and defrost each week! 

8) Versatile: Add any leftover chili to your favorites, baked potato or homemade fries.  This may seem naughty but in the right proportions it can be a hearty and healthy meal! 

9) Abides to Any Dietary Guidelines: My chili recipe can follow any special dietary considerations including reduced sodium, diabetic-friendly and if you buy the right ingredients gluten-free. Make sure each ingredients follows your dietary needs.

10) Cheater-Friendly! I know chili may not sound like the healthiest meal but if you make it with the right ingredients you have a winner, enjoy your savory heart-warming chili!

My Simple Skinny Chili  (Serving size: 6)

Ingredients

1/2 lb 90% lean ground beef

8-oz mushroom, chopped

3 cup tomato juice (may use low-sodium version)

1 (15-oz) can diced tomatoes (may use chili-ready or one of my favorite olive oil & garlic)

1 (15-oz) can chili beans

1 – 2 tbsp. chili powder

Preparations

In a skillet pan, brown ground beef.  Place mushrooms in a food processor and chop to the size similar of rice.  Add the ground mushrooms to the browned beef.  In a pot, add juice, tomatoes, beans and ground beef/mushroom mixture.  Add desired amount of seasoning.  Simmer for at least 25 minutes.

Nutrition Facts (using NO low-sodium products): 181 calories, 16g carbohydrates; 5 g fat, 15 g protein, 566mg sodium; 6 g sugar

IF YOU USE LOW SODIUM JUICE: Nutrition Facts: 181 calories; 16 g carbohydrates; 5 g fat; 15 g protein; 314mg sodium; 6 g sugar             

Try finding a canned or boxed soup with the awesome nutrition profile like from above!  Can’t beat this recipe!

BTW:  My kiddos eat this chili up!  Hooray for this kid-friendly recipe at my house!

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Ways To Motivate By Using Your Phone! Apps & Podcasts

Ways To Motivate By Using Your Phone! Apps & Podcasts

Hey! Like everyone else in the world, when my phone doesn’t work for awhile I am lost!  What do I do?  How I keep up with social media?  How do I let me my friends and family know the latest funny things my kids have […]

Celebrate National Registered Dietitian Day!

Celebrate National Registered Dietitian Day!

Hey friends!  Today is the seventh annual Registered Dietitian Day so if you forgot to put it on your calendar, that’s okay, this celebration is still fairly new.  My goal in writing this blog today is educate the public on “what is a dietitian” and […]

STEP UP YOUR SALAD! Simple steps to make the perfect salad!

STEP UP YOUR SALAD! Simple steps to make the perfect salad!

Hey you!  As I am getting blown away today from the extreme winds I definitely miss yesterday’s weather!  Yesterday was so much fun to sit outside and talk with neighbors as the kids played!  And I was super excited to get the grill out for the first time this year! I love a grilled hamburger, mauaaaa, yum!  We opened up the windows and smelled the fresh air, finally, aaahhh!  Pure bliss!  Well, aside from the weather, today I would like to share my tips in making the best, most perfect, delicious, super simple, just-like-a-restaurant, awesome, out-of-this-world salad! I may be just a little excited about this post but I finally figured out how to crave a salad by using this method/recipe!  I hope you enjoy (hugs)!

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I am using a glass baby food jar but you can use any jar you would like!  Right now I have a larger Mason jar in my frig because I really enjoy this recipe. With just FOUR ingredients, you can make an AMAZING homemade dressing that is low in sugar, low in sodium and made with real ingredients! Plus it is super cheap to make! I just pour this dressing over my salad and keep in the frig for next time. Plus this recipe is very versatile and you can use any type of vinegar.  You may also add a variety of seasoning as well, just like in my  previous posts: Asian Sesame Ginger Salad or Strawberry Spinach Salad.

Homemade Salad Dressing in a Jar   (Serving Size: 3)

Ingredients

4 tbsps canola/olive oil blend

2 tbsps (balsamic) vinegar

2 tsps stone ground mustard

2 packets raw stevia

Preparations

Using a small jar like a baby food jar or even chopped garlic jar; add oil, vinegar, mustard, and stevia in a jar with a lid and shake well. 

Here is another great way to have salads already prepped and perfect to grab in the morning and throw in your lunch bag (ok, may not want to throw a glass jar but you know what I mean)!  I save old spaghetti sauce jars and use them for make-ahead-salads!  There is a method to this wonderful method as I have listed below. 

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I like to add chunky vegetables such as mushrooms, chopped cauliflower or even onions to form a nice barrier from the dressing and the leafy greens.  Next, I add whatever I feel like, which could be chopped apples, strawberries, shredded chicken or my favorite some feta cheese!  Last step is to pile in the greens!  Stuff as much as you can in there, fill it up!  And sometimes I even sprinkle sunflower seeds on the very top for extra crunch. Lunch is ready!  I love this method because you save time by making salads in bulk instead of bringing out all the ingredients every day.  I will be honest, what usually happens when I do not prep a pretty salad like this one below,  I don’t eat a pretty salad for lunch.  I end up grabbing some chips and a sandwich.  I need something quick and ready to go!  So here is the solution to my busy-day madness.  And by the way, my salads will last a good 3 to 4 days in a jar!

Check out a previous post How to Make the Perfect Salad + Taco Salad in a Jar! This is my top pinner on pinterest, woohoo!

 

Happy Tuesday and have a wonderful day!

Awesome Kid’s Treat–Chocolate Covered Frozen Banana Sticks!

Awesome Kid’s Treat–Chocolate Covered Frozen Banana Sticks!

Hi there!  If you are like me you raid the frig, freezer and pantry looking for something healthy to feed you kids before they climb the shelves and reach for the hidden cookies or candies you have in the back of the pantry shelves, eh?  […]