Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Eating Happily - and Mindfully

It is amazing to notice how much thoughts can influence whether a situation is viewed as "good" or "bad." 

If these types of thoughts are present when eating, consider trying this suggestion...

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Beat the Heat with Frozen Fruit!

Homemade Popsicles. How did I just discover them this summer??! It takes all of 5 to 10 minutes (ten if you make a mess or are an OCD pourer like me) minutes to blend fruit combinations and pour into popsicle molds. The molds are dishwasher safe, BPA free, and make the most refreshing, healthy treat. I recommend Tovolo grooved popsicle molds (on Amazon for ~$13). The popsicles slide right out after some warm water runs over frozen popsicle. Plus, there's a drip guard for messy adults and kids alike. ;) They really are pretty fantastic and you can get creative with the combinations. Let me know if you need suggestions. Now...

If you don't want to shell out the money for another kitchen gadget you don't think you'll use, I completely understand and I would encourage you to simply freeze fruit. Frozen fruit is fabulously divine and a great replacement for sugary popsicles that provide no nutritional value. The sweetness is au natural with the produce at it's peak. Here are a few of my tips when freezing fruit:

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What the Oat? - What's the difference in the kind of oats and what should I eat??

So we've all heard how we should try to incorporate more oats/oatmeal into our day, right?? Of course, it's chalk full of soluble fiber (hence the cholesterol lowering), has a nice dabble of protein to help keep you satiated, and we have the handful of nutrients (iron, B vitamins, potassium, phosphorus, etc). Economically nutritious and fast, it's no wonder why this has been an American staple. Here, in the south, oatmeal is less frequently consumed (helloooo grits!) and I've often found myself encouraging patients to not only eat the warmed oats but explains how to eat them - and what the variations are so you can choose what works best for you. There's always an option. ;)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Lentil Spaghetti Sauce with Spaghetti Squash

Lentils beat out meat analogs any single day. Protein and fiber for sustained goodness, iron for energy, and phosphorus/copper/magnesium for strong bones. Not to mention, lentils have a pretty incredible texture that make them easy peasy to swap out traditional "meat" equivalents. Take for example my lentil sloppy joes. Another really great way to share the lentil love is in spaghetti formation...using them as the base in spaghetti sauce vs real or faux meat crumbles. I promise, the zesty, hearty sauce will have everyone scooping up seconds regardless of their bean affection.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

What is mindful eating?

Food is such an integral part of our society from family traditions to friendly gatherings and nourishment to pure deliciousness. Most of us are both blessed and cursed with abundant choices about what food we consume. Blessed that we can express (and usually satisfy) our likes or dislikes, but cursed having to decide among so many options simultaneously labeled “good” and “bad,” depending on who you ask.
See, when we consume food, we are also consuming information about that food. Information we’ve collected and then labeled for our purposes. These labels can be useful or limiting. If we, the media, our friends have labeled a food in a negative way, unpleasant feelings may be arise when that food is consumed. Likewise, if a food is perceived positively, it can create reinforcement for continuing to consume that food.

Through a practice of mindfulness, we can develop skills and the strength to explore the habits that challenge healthful eating. Mindful eating asks that we start to recognize physical signs of hunger versus turning to food for comfort, boredom, or one of the other many reasons we eat. If you’re eating from a craving that doesn’t come from hunger, eating will not satisfy it. And typically, this is when we reach for the high fat, salt, and sugary foods that increase our serotonin or dopamine (feel good) levels short term but can become habitual.

Mindful eating cultivates a healthy relationship with food. Mindful eating asks that we don’t ignore or pretend angry and uncomfortable feelings don’t exist. Mindfulness means turning toward them, even when it’s difficult. In time, with gentle curiosity, we can learn to be with overwhelming feelings of anger, sadness and fear that may typically result in leaning on food or alcohol.

Acknowledging there’s not a quick fix to healthful eating, begin by slowing down. Try taking one breath in and one breath out before each bite, slowing down and experiencing eating. Pause to notice the color, shape, texture, smell, taste of the food. These sensations are rarely experienced in day to day eating. You’ll be amazed how food becomes so much richer and rewarding when we turn on our awareness. Maybe you start to notice on the detailed arrangement of seeds on strawberries, close your eyes while cooking to let the aromatic garlic in, or the savor the refreshing crunch of a cucumber. By deliberately engaging your senses, you can bring a gentle curiosity to habituated and automatic eating behaviors. Then, you’ll be able to identify behaviors that no longer serve you and open the door to healthier choices.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easiest Black Bean Brownies AND Super Raspberry Protein Brownies

Black Bean Brownies. All the rage....or so it seems in my little corner of the world. Especially when dietitians (who adore dessert) get talking about ways to increase the nutrient density in sugary confections. Brownies are one of America's favorite sweet treats and you can bet even skeptics will give black bean brownies a whirl...I still wouldn't tell them until after their first bite. ;) 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Lose/Maintain Weight Without Feeling Hungry

When we eat plant powered foods (fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains) we're consuming a lot more water and fiber that provide the bulk to feel full with fewer calories. Plus, we're getting a boat load of nutrients and not so many chemicals. We can eat more AND lose or maintain weight. How awesome is that?!!

I believe eating healthy is a conscious choice we make everyday, every meal, every bite. You have the choice to pick real food over "food products." I'm convinced we all want to do what's best for our body, and the more convenient and simple it can be, the better.

So this post is designed to be deliberately simple...simply show you examples of foods that have similar calorie values. The pictures are not my own but rather part of the Full Plate Diet program that encourages 75% of your plate to be plant powered, high fiber foods. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Chia-mon Toast - Peanut or Almond Butter Chia Seeded Cinnamon Toast

Lately, my favorite snack to energize me for the rest of the afternoon is a crisp juicy apple and chia-mon almond/peanut butter toast. Or I'll compliment the toast at breakfast with a refreshing smoothie to get a boost of fruit and vegetable filled antioxidants.
peanut butter on the left, almond butter on the right!
Whole grain goodness meets thick and creamy meets nutty nuggets of splendor...

Friday, March 21, 2014

5 Tips to Spring Clean your Diet!

Yesterday was the first day of spring and even if it doesn't feel like spring in some places (Florida friends, you are very lucky my dears), now is the perfect time to revamp your diet to help eat cleaner, lighter, and get summer read. You know you want to feel your best when the layers start coming off!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Cultivating Mindful Eating and Forming Healthy Eating Habits

Mindful eating is a technique I use with any patient or client regardless of their specific health goals. The reason is this, mindful eating asks that you consciously and deliberately pay attention to the present the food tastes, smells, looks, or feels, and also the ambiance of your environment, and internal is this food making you feel? Does it make you think of a memory? Can you feel your body warming up or cooling down? The possibilities of what you may encounter are endless, but bringing your awareness there is the first step.
Eat Mindfully: tips at

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Kitchen Sink Soup + Cheesy Croutons

I knew it was going to be colder in Atlanta than Florida. I mean, that was a given I could prepare for. What I did not prepare for was my utmost lack in desire to eat raw veggies. Usually, I'm a salad-a-day kind of gal. It's either a loaded and smothered salad, or at least on the side. But with the cold continuing to rear it's head at full force, I want warmth and comfort and "ahhhh.." So soup it is. And then again. And well there, what do you know? Again.

This post is intended to encourage you to make a creative "throw everything in" and call it good kind of soup that can be ready in 30 minutes. Yulp, that's it.

Obviously, it will taste different every time but as long as you follow the base guidelines, you're set to savor pure awesomeness and include more veggies in your wintery days. Who doesn't need a little more of that, right?? I'll include what I used, but then also at the bottom of the recipe you'll find other fabulous options. Bonus: don't forget the cheesy croutons which really turn your soup into something steamy and decadent.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Butternut and Brussel Sprout Hash

Our first weekend together in Atlanta was crazy fun. Mostly because we were together. Cheesy, I know...but, we didn't do anything grand except the daily routine stuff (yoga, cook, run/walk, hike) that means so much more with the person you love. 

I was pretty stoked to meet up with Josh, a fabulous friend from college, and his just as fabulous girlfriend, Rachel. We decided on a brewpub around the corner from us, Wrecking Ball which was walking distance for both of ...and can I just say walking distance is HUGE plus in a city whose infrastructure and roads can't handle the population. Anyway, I really wanted to burst into this pub filled with hipster bearded men and working professionals singing Miley's, "I came in like a wreeeecking balllll....." I didn't, but my inner singer/dancer was 'a shining and I couldn't get the song out of my head. Did I burst out in song the rest of the night? Why, yes, naturally.

So, onward to the food....can I tell you how stinking excited I was so see so many veg friendly options at a pub?! Heaven. Like so many delicious sounding options that I changed my mind twice. Maybe 3 times. Settled on a seitan gyro with a butternut and brussel sprout hash. Heaven yet again. 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Cozy Yellow Split Pea Curry

I've officially arrived in Atlanta and although the house is not quite set up 100%, I find myself making super cozy, warm comforting meals to help me feel grounded. Of course for me, a thick curry paired with a texture filled salad is a beautiful place to start. ...

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Heart Benefits of Wine

As Valentine's Day just passed, we often go to wine and chocolate for our loved ones. Were you one of them?? ;) If not, February is also Heart Health Month and low and behold both wine and chocolate can be good for your heart. And in honor of National Drink Wine Day yesterday, below you may find some tidbits about the delicious adult beverage...

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Roasted and Glazed Green Beans and Mushrooms

Green beans have never been a favorite vegetable but then at some point in my adult life I realized they didn't just come out of a can. Haha! Sounds crazy, but true. Growing up, the only green beans served were a brownish green and slippery slimy. 

The fresh ones pack more texture and flavor that it's just so hard to resist. Let's just say green beans and I are on better terms, especially with a recipe like this that really allows the robustness of the mushrooms and the zip of the vinegar to balance the palate. 

Nothing fancy here other than a stellar and simple enough combo for an any day of the week side dish. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year! New Recipes! - - - Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges

This is a recipe I've been sitting on for awhile, but with the New Year upon us, it's the perfect opportunity to bring it out to share! A lot of times we make resolutions that can be big or small, but tend to involve some kind of healthier eating habits. Once you try this version of "fries," you'll be hooked. My family adores them, and I hope yours will too. When we make resolutions to eat healthier, it's not just for us, but really should be for all of our loved ones as well. This recipe doesn't ask you to try anything crazily foreign, making it a great choice to ease your way into a new year filled with new foods.