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  • 2015_11_23

Green Beans a la Orange

Green Beans a la Orange Recipe

 Wanting to eat veggies but are tired of the same old recipes? This simple recipe takes minutes to prepare and spins a sweet taste with your green beans. Have your kids zest the orange and I guarantee they will want to eat these vegetables. This dish could be a perfect addition to your holiday menu to balance all the other high calorie favorites and help you meet your 4 cups of fruits and veggies a day. Go for it!


  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • ½ tsp. orange zest
  • ¼ tsp dried thyme or fresh
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/8. tsp. black pepper


Heat an inch of water in a large skillet and cook green beans until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain. Set aside. Wipe skillet dry and melt butter over medium heat. Add orange zest, thyme, salt and pepper, then add beans, stirring to combine. Continue cooking until hot. Adjust seasonings according to your own taste. Makes four servings.


Nutrition per serving: Calories 60; Protein 3.5 grams; Fat 3.3 grams; Carbohydrate 4 grams, Sodium 79 milligrams

Green Beans a la Orange
A simple and fresh way to prep your green beans with orange zest and thyme
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  1. 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  2. 1 Tbsp. butter
  3. ½ tsp. orange zest
  4. ¼ tsp dried thyme or fresh
  5. 1/8 tsp. salt
  6. 1/8. tsp. black pepper
  1. Heat an inch of water in a large skillet and cook green beans until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain. Set aside. Wipe skillet dry and melt butter over medium heat. Add orange zest, thyme, salt and pepper, then add beans, stirring to combine. Continue cooking until hot. Adjust seasonings according to your own taste. Makes four servings.
  1. Nutrition per serving: Calories: 60; Protein 3.5 grams; Fat 3.3 grams; Carbohydrate 4 grams, Sodium 79 milligrams
Taste Life, with Chere Bork http://cherebork.com/blog/

Tired? Overwhelmed? Manage your energy not time.

This is Energy MONTH! Why? Because I feel we need an extra “rush” of energy to really enjoy and savor the holidays.

Energy is the number one currency for life. You have 24 hours in a day. Time is fixed. Energy can either be abundant or lacking. Happiness, health and productivity are all based on ONE thing – ENERGY! Since 2009, I have been using the concept of the Power of Full Engagement with my coaching clients and myself. You can create habits for each type of energy. This is a quick version of what I do to get you started.


This was my first triathlon in Freemont Wisconsin. Before the race I was VERY excited until I saw that the lake was green that I was to swim in. My physical energy was probably the best in my life when I prepared for this race with training with swimming, biking and speed walking as my “total knee to be” limits my running. This picture makes me want to sign up for another tri to push myself again. If you have done a race you can feel what I mean.


Physical Energy – The Quantity of Energy which Engages your Body

Ask yourself: What action step do I need to do to perform at my best for: nutrition, moving my body, sleep, hydration, and breathing?

Example: Gary and I get to bed at 10:30 p.m. as he wants to swim at 5:30 am and I usually have a 7 am client. It is so easy to stay up late, read, and watch TV. Our evening creates our next day. When I wake up, I pour myself a big glass of water and drink 5 12-ounce glasses each day. I refresh myself with Triple E breathing (breathe in energy, empowerment, and enthusiasm and let go of worries, challenges and obstacles on the exhale). I do this before every coaching call, talk or event.

mental energy

I am with Brenda Brown the program planner for the Forum of Executive Women in St. Cloud, Minnesota where I presented my Tasting Life Balance keynote.

I use buckets of mental energy when I prepare for a keynote with tons of quiet time which boosts my creativity. For mental focus before each talk I perform the cross crawl. Stand. Lift your right arm and left leg simultaneously. Lower these and raise your left arm and right leg. Continue for 1 minute and breathe deeply. This gets both parts of your brain working together.


Mental Energy – The Focus of your Energy which Engages Your Mind

Ask yourself: What action step do I need to do to perform my best for: focus and concentration, solid mental preparation, positive thinking, creativity, and time management?

For focus I must have a totally quiet environment that I admit has been a challenge with dear retired Gary home watching TV during the day. (And of all TV shows – westerns!) When I get a “downer email” I use the www.positivityratio.com and think of 3 positives to balance out the 1 negative. Works like a charm.

emotional energy

Emotional energy is all about people. My biggest cheerleaders and emotional energy chargers are my four siblings. They give me unconditional support and I to them no matter what.


Emotional Energy – The Quality of Energy which Engages Your Heart

Ask yourself: What action step do I need to do to perform my best for: solution based optimism, keeping my confidence level high, and staying emotionally engaged with people?

Being with people is my confidence booster. Even going to the grocery store or post office can boost my confidence. When I turned 35 I started the daily habit of telling 3 people something nice each day, which boosts every one spirits. My favorite is to notice if a stranger’s eyes match their shirt. I tell them that and they respond as if they won the lottery.

spiritual energy

Nature provides a spiritual energy that compares to nothing else in life. We are blessed to go to the Bork cabin in Rhinelander Wisconsin and see beautiful sunsets with people that we cherish most. Thanks Mark and Pam for buying that little piece of heaven for us.        


Spiritual Energy – The Force of Energy which Engages your Spirit

Ask yourself: What are my passions? What is my purpose? What is my vision for my life?

I ask myself what is the purpose of the project or article I am writing. What is the purpose of taking all this time to cook Gary dinner…ah yes, Chere your value is family dinnertime. Remind yourself what is your vision for the life only you can create.

Full engagement is using all four types of energy at ONE time. Full engagement needs to have energy investment balanced with intermittent energy deposits. Your productivity depends on energy expenditure and recovery. Use all four types of energy for 90 to 120 minutes and take a break for rest and recovery. I have several clients who’ve taken this a step farther by being full engaged for 3 hours and then taking 3 hours to get outside, see a movie or visit a friend – with NO guilt! Try it! Your spirit will be glad you did AND so will your personal and business bottom line.

This tool was adopted from the magnificent book, The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz

I hope these examples help you like they have helped my clients.

What habits do you use to create energy in your life? We can’t wait to hear.

Please remember to savor the holidays as there is only one 2015 holiday season.




Coffee, Tea, Soda, Water….  


Photo curtesy of Unsplash

Need a boost of energy but unsure what drinks are right to have?

I have been there, it is truly a struggle when you don’t know what to drink that will make you feel the best the longest amount of time. Do you go to Starbucks and get a coffee spiked with excessive amounts of sugar? Or drink the same tea that helped you go to bed the night before and drink that in the morning? Maybe just stop at the vending machine and pick up a 240 calorie Coke because you know sugar wakes you up and gives you that quick boost? You know water is good for you, but does that give you energy? There are too many options – sometimes I wish there was a drink that had a label saying “Drink this, it will give you long lasting energy, and won’t make you feel obese and bloated the rest of the day”. But we are not that lucky YET.

Here is what you need to know about your drinking habits.

Water does have the potential to energize you. When you are dehydrated your metabolic reaction slows down and as a result you feel sluggish.

You could also try adding fruit to your water. Lemon, cucumber, pineapple- add any type of fruit for a little extra flavor and added natural sugar, vitamins and minerals which will also increase energy levels.

Green tea does not have a large amount of caffeine; however it has enough that it will increase your body’s production of ACTH, which is a hormone that triggers the body to release cortisol. A cortisol deficiency can lead to low energy levels.

Smoothies are great for energy. The best part about smoothies is you never have to get tired of them because you can constantly change them. Foods that are good for energy boosting: banana, Greek yogurt, apples, oranges, spinach, honey – try a few different combinations until you find a flavor that you like.

There are plenty of drinks that you can have to give you the boost you need for your day. Stay away from high caffeinated and sugary drinks because even though you feel it quick that does not mean it is best for you throughout the day.

This blog post was written by Jessi Thome a student majoring in dietetics at the University of Minnesota.

Holiday Energizers Questions



Life would be grand if you could create the holidays just the way YOU want them. These five questions may give you a fresh start to really enjoy the holidays and do what matters most!

  1. Are my expectations realistic for the holidays?
  2. Am I putting too much pressure to have a perfect holiday?
  3. How can I create a sense of “go with the flow?”
  4. Who can I share planning and preparation with?
  5. How do I balance my needs and the needs of others this holiday season?

12 Ways to Caffeinate Your Life


Life requires energy! We love our caffeine to energize our life. Here are some ways that my favorite Registered Dietitian Nutritionist friends caffeinate their life.

Digna Cassens, MHA, RDN: “Dark roast coffee made at home. But I don’t usually get waked up by caffeine; when I need sleep nothing will do but sleep.”

Georgia Kostas, MPH, RDN, LD: “1/3 coffee blended with 2/3 CarbMaster Vanilla Milk*. Only 60 calories per cup and 400 mg calcium! *Only available at Kroger, King Soopers, and Fred Meyer.”

Lynda Binius Enright, MS, RDN, LD, CLT: “I don’t care for the taste of coffee. I like to drink tea occasionally, but usually choose herbal. My only real source of caffeine is good quality dark chocolate. It isn’t a lot of caffeine, but the pleasure of the delicious chocolate also gives me a boost!”

Beth Rosen, MS, RD, CDN: “I don’t drink caffeine, but in the winter months, I love Yogi Tea Berry Detox. In the summer, I like to drink seltzer – I like the sound and the mouthfeel of the bubbles.”

Marianne Romano, MPA, RDN: “I am not a huge caffeine person but love 2 cups of morning coffee. Water actually energies me!”

 Michal Hogan, RD, LD: “I like coffee (but too much is counterproductive) and cocoa. But some people are LIKE caffeine…. Just little walking cups of hope….Like Chere!”

Judy Barbe, MS, RDN: “I start every morning with a cappuccino. Ken makes it in cups we brought home from Italy years ago. This quiet time to wake up and savor the beverage is perfect to start my day of the right foot…centered and calm.”

Julie Robarts, MS, MPH, RD, LDN: “I’m a most-days-of-the-week caffeine junkie who for a long time loved – gasp! – McDonald’s diet coke. Now I’m hooked on cold-brewed iced coffee with just a bit of half-and-half. Cold brewing coffee makes It rich and smooth, without the bitterness of traditionally brewed coffee. And I get to fuel my high-octane personality without any sweetener. Win!”

Rachael Hartley, RD, LD, CDE: “A hot cup of coffee! I like mine dark roast with a little bit of unsweetened almond milk.”

Jennifer O’Donnell-Giles, MS, RDN, CSSD: “I cannot lie. I love coffee. I love the taste, I love the burst of caffeinated energy it provides to jump start my day. Two cups in the morning is my only source of regular caffeine intake. It’s all I need. But it’s priceless!”

Stephanie McKercher, MS RDN: “Coffee! But I’m also a huge fan of matcha tea.  I find matcha helps me feel alert, without the jitteriness that can come along with one too many cups of joe.”

Barbara Spalding, MA, MS, RDN, CDN: “I start my day with a nice cup of java, and then switch over to green tea if I want a second cup.”

How do you caffeinate your life?


11 Tips to Motivate Yourself Into Action



Photo credit: Gouda Mando on Flickr

Sometimes it feels so hard to act on our goals. We decide on Sunday night we want to be healthy and Monday morning the donuts in the breakroom look so enticing we forget about our goal and gobble one down. Or, we are standing in line at Starbucks and didn’t plan on buying the cookie to go along with our coffee. Here are some ideas from my favorite Registered Dietitian Nutritionists colleagues that you can use to self-coach yourself to motivate you into action and get closer to your goals. I asked them “How do you energize your clients to take action?”

Digna Cassens



I find out specifically why they are seeing me and always seek out their desired outcomes.     Digna Cassens • MHA • RDN




Georgia Kostkas


I ask what is the one thing they could get excited about trying this week? And which days will they do it? (could be exercise, a homemade meal or better food choice, or new habit to try, etc). That becomes their targeted behavior.     Georgia Kostas • MPH • RDN • LD




lynda binius enright


My clients are energized when they get results! When their food has been making them sick for years and they find the right foods that work for their body – not only does physical energy increase, but mental energy increases too! Once they see the benefits that making the best food choices has, they are always willing to continue taking action.     –Lynda Binius Enright • MS • RDN • LD • CLT


Beth Rosen


I empower them to determine what their next small change will be. Each time they see me, we set a goal for the next meeting. It could be small, like try one new fruit this week and eat it every day (even if it’s one blueberry), or something bigger like eating without distractions (leaving the television or putting down the phone is daunting to some). When they choose the goal, I have found that they are more likely to achieve.     Beth Rosen • MS • RD • CDN




marinane romano

I help them find their “why”. Why do they want to do something or achieve something? And I share with them that what they want has to have three key components: 1) It has to be physically satisfying, 2) It has to be emotionally satisfying and 3) It has to be spiritually satisfying. If you truly want something (or want to achieve something) it has to satisfy you in three ways. So for example – you might make money in your job and it satisfies you physically and emotionally but if you do not find a higher purpose in your work it might lack the spiritual component. Hence you are unhappy and might seek fulfillment finding a job that satisfies some higher purpose.     Marianne Romano • MPA • RDN


Miriam Erick

To motivate patients…I say… “We all have bad patches and don’t want to do anything.”   I’ve found that lying in bed, stewing… makes things worse.  It’s like all the negative energy stays in your head.  When you get out of bed, think of all that negative energy going southward… at least it makes your feet do some walking or moving.   That’s some progress.    A baby step is better than NO step.     Miriam Erick • MS • RDN


Mical Hogan


Fake enthusiasm (ha,ha,ha….) But, seriously, I try to figure out what energizes them and help them seek the goals they plan.     Michal Hogan • RD • LD




Rachael Hartley



By empowering them! There’s nothing more motivating than knowing you have the innate ability to create the life you want.     Rachael Hartley • RD • LD • CDE




Jenn Giles


I keep a close eye on them. I call/text/email regularly – not only to check in with them but to send positive energy and support. When they know someone has their best interest in mind they work harder to achieve their goals.     Jennifer O’Donnell-Giles • MS • RDN • CSSD



Barbara Spalding

I like to focus on the positive outcomes of action.  I’ll ask clients, “How will your life be better by making this positive lifestyle change?”  Usually, that’s enough to spark some action.I challenge them to pause and really think about what matters most to them.  Then, I encourage them to pick just one small thing to change, and we set goals and create some accountability to help support them in their journey.     Barbara Spalding • MA • MS • RDN • CDN


Ways to Ignite your Energy When Feeling the Blahs

womans at beach 
How do you ignite your energy when you are feeling low on mental/ physical energy stores? Check out the habits my favorite Registered Dietitian Nutritionist colleagues do when they are feeling the blahs. Many take only 5 minutes to give you an energy boost that will increase your positivity and productivity. People will take notice. Your co-workers, friends and family are waiting.


Digna Cassens

Digna Cassens • MHA • RDN

  • 10 minute power nap, flat on my back
  • Fruit snack with low fat protein like skim milk, string cheese cottage cheese or Greek yogurt
  • 5 minutes adding to mental list of blessings and accomplishments
  • 20 minutes working on my “to do” list starting with either shortest easiest or most fun tasks
  • 6 – 8 oz ice water after end of each of the above

Usually, by the end of just one I’m getting excited. 35 minutes is all it takes to bring me back on focus and get started with even the most dreaded tasks/chores.


Georgia Kostkas 
Georgia Kostas, MPH • RDN • LD

Exercise!!!! I plan and practice presentations on my treadmill or on a walk outdoors. If at night, I kick-start my brain with energizing music.


lynda binius enright

 Lynda Binius Enright • MS • RDN • LD • CLT

2 ways I boost my energy – listening to fun music and getting outside. When I am feeling low but need to get work done, I stand at my desk and turn on great music so I can move a bit even while working. Going for a walk or sitting outside on the porch swing breathing in the fresh air – also does the trick!


Beth Rosen

Beth Rosen • MS • RD • CDN

I meditate. I take 10 minutes (sometimes 5), turn the ringer off on my phone and set a timer. I close my eyes and practice clearing my mind and focusing on my breath. When a thought comes in, I notice it, but I don’t follow it (or attempt not to!) and return to my focus. Sometimes, that’s all I need to get back on track. If that doesn’t work, then I might be hungry. I keep a nut and dried fruit mix in my work bag, so I dig in when necessary. If all else fails, you will catch me lunging or doing squats to get my blood flowing again!


marinane romano

Marianne Romano • MPA • RDN

I get in nature. Nature inspires me. This means I hike, bike or walk in the summer and ski in the winter. I also love golf and gardening. I get ideas when I am in nature….all kinds of ideas both personal and professional. I also restore myself & have joy through nature!


Miriam Erick

Miriam Erick • MS • RDN

When I’m in a slump–   I read backwards or forwards or randomly from a page in Wolfe Rinke’s dateless calendar.


Mical Hogan

Michal Hogan • RD • LD

Praying, biking, talking with positive people. Remembering answered prayer and God’s love for me even in the worst circumstances or ask a friend to remind me.


Judy Barbe

Judy Barbe • MS • RDN

I get my best inspiration when I walk. I walk every morning with my dog Beau and nearly every morning head right to my office to jot down the ideas I generated only walk. This idea ignition really does feed my soul.


Julie Robarts

Julie Robarts • MS • MPH • RD • LDN

When I’m feeling low on mental/physical energy stores, I take a walk. Whether it’s a work day and I’m desk-bound, or an ‘off’ day with a to-do list a mile long, getting my body moving helps kick the cobwebs and stop the yawning. This is especially true when I’ve got a bad case of the JAGS (Just Ate. Gotta Sleep). Post –lunch walks are critical to a productive afternoon!


Rachael Hartley

Rachael Hartley • RD • LD • CDE

First, I try to identify why I’m feeling low on mental/physical energy then come up with a solution that addresses the problem. If I’m feeling tired, I take a quick nap or do a quick energizing yoga session. If I’m feeling overstretched, I take a look at my to-do list a drop a few nonessentials. 


Jenn Giles

Jennifer O’Donnell-Giles • MS • RDN • CSSD

I listen to my body and honestly ask do I need to go for a run? Or do I need a nap? Both energize me in different ways and depending on what my work/sleep/kids schedule looks like I usually need one or the other to re-energize and re-focus myself!


Stephanie McKercher

Stephanie McKercher • MS • RDN

I love getting outdoors whenever I feel an energy slump coming on.  A quick walk, run, or hike in the Colorado sunshine and I often feel much better!


Barbara Spalding

Barbara Spalding • MA • MS • RDN • CDN

I head outside for a quick walk around the block.  Fresh air, a little sunshine and some physical activity really helps boost my mood and get me back on track when I am lagging.



Jump Start your Day with Energy

We are celebrating November as “Energy month.” Why? Because the holiday season can be overwhelming and we can be our best if we focus on energy.

This blog post was written by Jessi Thome a student majoring in dietetics at the University of Minnesota. Since I am known as the “Energy Igniter” I asked her to write about the ways to energize your morning.
woman and mountains

I am not talking about an energy drink with 200 calories in it. Instead, adjust your mornings so you are prepared for the day instead of dreading it.

Some days I wake up and it’s hard to jump start the day. But then I look back at night when I look back at the day I sometimes wish I could have accomplished more, or would have eaten better, or would have motivated myself to workout instead of constantly coming up with excuses not to. I have been told over and over that in order to get in a habit you have to do a routine for a consistent 20 days at least. Routines are hard to get into, but I thought if I got into a good morning routine I would feel better the rest of my day. And I was right. This routine is a way to jump start my day and gives me the energy I need to have a great day.

So here is my “How To” jump start your day with energy:

  1. 7 hours of sleep

The amount of sleep you get in a given night will affect your energy levels. In order to get a good night’s sleep try to get on a sleep schedule and go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning.

  1. Meditation

This does not mean you have to sit cross legged and say ummmmm, instead have a moment of silence and review your life vision. It is important to have both short and long term goals prepared so you know what you are working towards every day.

  1. Physical activity

Studies show that getting off the couch and getting active in the morning will boost your energy for the rest of the day. Instead of hitting the snooze button a three extra times go for a morning walk or run to start the day off right. Even on the days that you feel you are running out of time in the morning it is important to give yourself that extra twenty minutes to wake up in the morning and be physical. On my runs I also use this time to meditate. It’s a good chance to think about what I want my day to look like, and what I am trying to accomplish.

  1. Cold shower

Not only does it facilitate physical and mental wellness. But with the cold shower our heart rate speeds up which releases a rush of blood through our entire body. This effect gives us a natural dose of energy for the day!

  1. 30 grams of protein

Protein is vital brain food. Eating protein for breakfast helps with energy production, wakefulness, hunger, and motivation. 7 grams is like eating one egg, ¼ cup of cottage cheese, an ounce of cheese or an ounce of meat or one –half cup beans.

Pick one to energize your day. Don’t wait. It’s never too late to change your morning and feel great about your day.


35 Healthy Halloween Tips from Nutrition Professionals

I was honored to be featured in this article by Sarah Koszyk along with 34 other amazing RDs! Check out Sarah’s blog and the original article here and Happy Halloween!


Halloween is here! My favorite part about this season is all the creativity that comes with the decorations and the costumes. And yes – who doesn’t love a good sweet and treat now and again. The challenge with all the candy can be how much of it we eat and how often. So to keep us all on track, I compiled 35 healthy Halloween tips from nutrition professionals. These awesome dietitians know what they’re talking about and they have some fabulous advice to keep us happy and nourished. Let the trick or treating begin.


As a dietitian and mom of a kid with a peanut allergy we choose to participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project. Instead of passing out candy we give out glow necklaces, glow rings or other small toys that are safe for little kids. The kids love it, the parents are happy to see less candy and it takes a little emphasis off the treat having to be candy. Plus, it’s fun to paint a pumpkin teal and add it to your usual line up of Halloween decorations!
Here’s the link to join the Teal Pumpkin Project.
Amy Baertschi, MS, RDN, Green Eyed Nutrition LLC

Be that parent who brings a bowl of grapes or a tray of veggies to the Halloween party to balance out the sweets! (or if not a parent, offer to bring one anyway…)
Faye Berger Mitchell, RDN, LDN, Eat for Pleasure – Move for Fun

Savor every bite, guilt free! Being afraid or trying to avoid Halloween candy would be no fun and could potentially lead to a binge later. Instead, choose a piece of candy you truly love and enjoy it! This does not mean popping some candy into your mouth quickly but instead slowly eat the candy and be fully present in that moment. Push away any feelings of guilt and be blissfully aware of all the wonderful sensations you’re experiencing! Enjoy!
Kristine Berube, RDN, LDN, A blissful balance of healthy and sweet

I give out nonfood treats at Halloween that kids like such as pencils, small toys, wax teeth, crayons, holiday themed rings, small toothbrushes, etc. When you put a variety in a big festive bowl and let them pick their favorite treat it is even better! I used to give out healthy snacks like raisins or small microwave popcorn packs but that is not as popular as these fun items!
Kathy Birkett, RDN, LD, Nutrition for the Health of It

FILL UP before Trick or Treating. Our family tradition was cooking up a big bowl of beef vegetable soup and inviting the neighbors over before the trick or treating begins! The trick is to fill up instead of out on Halloween. And remember hot foods make you feel full faster!
Chere Bork, MS, RDN, Unstoppable Confidence – live ridiculously happy and healthy ….ever after

Dentists agree, it is better to make the candy eating season a short one, even if intake during that time is high. Give kids 2 weeks of self-monitored intake and then pitch the rest. When choosing candy to pitch, consider tossing candies with food dye. Dye can ramp up the hyperactivity even more than sugar. Chocolate may be better than fruity candies and snacks.
Christa Byrd, MA, RDN, FCP, CLC, Integrative Nutrition Dietitian

My kids enjoy their candy, using the same kid-empowered approach to desserts we always use. For example, instead of setting strict limits with them, we have open discussions where we talk about proportion, the importance of balancing out our choices with fruits and vegetables, and how our bodies feel after eating certain foods. This approach doesn’t work overnight, but overtime, kids will learn how to self-regulate their choices (even sweets). Then, usually after a few days, the candy magically disappears to a high cupboard and the kids forget about it. Out of sight, out of mind!
Laura Chalela Hoover, MPH, RDN, Healthier, happier mealtimes can be yours


Let them eat cake! (or ahem, candy, in this instance.) Allow your kids to enjoy as many treats as they would like on the holiday itself, while helping them learn to pay attention to their body’s signals. Are they feeling very full? Does their tummy hurt from eating too many sweets? This will be a great lesson with natural consequences to help them recognize the pros and cons of overeating. Then on Day Two, have them pick a couple of small pieces or one bigger one, to add to their dinner plate and enjoy with the meal. This way you are allowing independence and the freedom to be a kid during the free for all of Halloween, and then returning to structure and moderation once it passes.
Jessica Corwin, MPH, RDN, Writer, Editor, Educator. Owner of Eat. Grow. Live.

My husband and I don’t have kids, so I buy treats to give out that I would normally buy as a snack anyway to keep around our house. Kids coming to my house can expect to receive individual snack packs of goldfish, peanut butter snack crackers, pretzels, granola bars, or trail mix. The amount of trick or treaters who stop by can vary, so I don’t feel guilty having leftovers, and we don’t feel tempted for extra snacking because they’re commonly found in our house anyway. I figure most kids are getting their fill of candy anyway from the other houses, so I like to be different giving a healthy snack without being “The Raisin House”.
Mandy Enright, MS, RDN, RYT, Nutrition Nuptials: A Prenup for Your Body & Soul

This year we are participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project since we have a number of friends whose kids have food allergies. So in addition to having a cute teal colored pumpkin on our porch we’ll be passing out stickers, Halloween rings, erasers, and glow sticks for the bigger kids. It definitely makes it less tempting to eat Halloween candy when there isn’t any in the house.
Lara Felton, MBA, RDN, owner of RDelish

When Trick or Treaters come by your house, have a bowl of fun party favors instead of candy bought at a dollar store or party store. Items like small light up rings, mini flashlights, glow sticks, and fun stickers are a great way to serve up Halloween without all the sugar loaded candy.
Emma Fogt, MBA, MS, RDN, LDN, FAND, Expert Nutrition for Professional, Corporate and Personal Success!™

Buy the types of candy that don’t tempt you. For example, if candy corn doesn’t appeal to you, buy those mini bags for the trick or treaters.
Tanya Freirich, MS, RD, CDN

With Halloween candy everywhere it can be easy to mindlessly eat it throughout the day.  You know, a mini candy bar here, a few candy corns there.  Rather than deprive yourself, find a way to distract yourself so that you can delay eating it until you can sit down & enjoy it slowly.
Dina Garcia, RDN, LDN, Professional support from someone who’s been there

To keep me from diving into sugar binge, I freeze the entire bag of candy. That way if I want one, I have to wait until it thaws a little before eating it. It automatically forces me to slow down and really enjoy that piece of candy! It keeps me from mindlessly plowing through because I have to wait EVERY SINGLE TIME.
Shannon Gilmore, MS, RDN

Let yourself pick one treat a day and enjoy it as a dessert or snack. If you aren’t active already, now is the time to start! Be sure children are getting at least 1 hour of physical activity a day and adults are getting at least 30 minutes a day. Be sure it is an activity you enjoy.
Joey Gochnour, BS, MEd, RDN, LD, NASM-CPT, owner of Nutrition and Fitness Professional, LLC

I always tell people to treat the day like any other and eat your normal meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Saving up for a candy splurge at the end of the day won’t do you any good. A sugar rush will cause you to crash shortly after, and where’s the fun in that? Savor and enjoy 2-3 favorite pieces of candy and then call it quits.
Erinn Gregory, RDN, FoodBalance LLC: Real Nutrition for Real Life

My Halloween tip is to enjoy a protein and fiber rich snack before heading out to trick-or-treat. This will curb your hunger and give you energy to make the rounds without constantly dipping into the candy bag. Once home, choose a few pieces that you REALLY love and savor them. Own it and enjoy it.
Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN, Founder of Nutrition Starring You

The past two years I have offered both Annie’s fruit snacks and glow bracelets. I was apprehensive the first year but the kids LOVE seeing the glowing bracelets in our big treat bowl when they come to the door. It mixes it up giving them something they enjoy without even more candy that they’re getting in excess.
Kelly Jones, MS, RDN, CSSD, LDN, Kelly Jones Performance Nutrition

Eat Your Pleasers, Skip Your Teasers. Wouldn’t it be great if every adult could learn to “spend” their calorie budget on only those foods they love? Let’s teach them this when they’re young! Teach your kids to separate the “Pleasers” (the candies they really love) from the “Teasers” (the ones they eat just because they’re there. Then give away or throw away the teasers.
Dr. Jo® Lichten, PhD, RDN, inspiring busy people to stay healthy, sane & productive

Set up a small, simple maze or obstacle course in your yard for kids to race through to “earn” treats – it will get their heart rates up and maybe even inspire similar play at home.
Jamie M. Marchetti, MS, RDN, LD, Clinical Dietitian, Nutrition & Wellness Blogger, and Freelance Writer

To make Halloween healthy and fun, I always try to combine fruit with minimal candy. This way kids will still feel like they are getting a treat. The twist is that they also get vitamins, minerals, powerful antioxidants, and fiber. Some creative ideas include ghost bananas (bananas cut in half with mini chocolate chips for eyes), or ghost strawberries (white chocolate covered strawberries with mini-chocolate chips for eyes) or small clementines can be pealed and placed with a small piece of green licorice rope for a stem. If you prefer to omit candy all together, consider working with veggies to build a skeleton. Use celery and carrot sticks for spine, arms and legs; red pepper slices for the ribs; mushroom and cucumber slices for hips; cherry tomatoes for hands; and broccoli for feet. For the skull, fill a clear bowl with Greek yogurt seasoned with onion powder and place sliced olives for the eyes and mouth. The possibilities are endless, and the benefits are many!
Natalie Meador, MPH, RDN, LDN, Achieving Wellness Through Sensible Nutrition

People who are new to veganism are often surprised to find out that a lot of candies contain animal-based ingredients like gelatin and milk derivatives, making foods like gummy bears, Junior Mints and candy corn unsuitable for vegan diets. PETA keeps a database of foods that are “accidentally vegan,” so you can ID plenty of safe Halloween treats to satisfy your sweet tooth like Airheads, Dum Dum lolipops, and Jolly Rancher hard candies (and don’t go too crazy—candy is still candy, even if it’s vegan!).
Rachel Meltzer Warren, MS, RDN, author of The Smart Girl’s Guide to Going Vegetarian

If having Halloween candy in the house tempts you and your family to get started with the treats before October 31, Procrastinate. Buy your Halloween candy the day of or night before. Out of sight = Out of mind.
Marisa Moore, MBA, RDN, LD

Go year-round with Halloween: Did a dietitian just say that? Yes – and it’s what we do in our house. Part of the excitement of Halloween is getting buckets of candy, and you want to eat it all before it’s gone, am I right? So what we do is take our bucket and put it in the top shelf of the pantry. When we feel like serving treats to our kids (and, let’s face it, ourselves) after Halloween and throughout the year, we take just one treat from the Halloween bucket. It’s amazing how long one Halloween haul will last!
Elana Natker, MS, RDN, Enlighten Nutrition

Plan ahead! Just like athletes plan ahead for a training session or a competition by staying well-fueled and well-hydrated throughout the day, so should you!! Be mindful of maintaining optimal nutritional intake throughout the day on Halloween. This will help you avoid over-indulging on sugar while trekking from house to house.
Jennifer O’Donnell-Giles, MS, RDN, CSSD, “There’s an Athlete in Everyone”

Get out and walk with your kids when they go trick-or-treating (instead of driving them around and staying in the car). You’ll get to spend some quality time with your kids, as well as get some physical activity in – a win-win situation!
Brittany Poulson, MDA, RDN, CD, CDE, A healthy life your way


For Halloween night, hand out Mini Lara Bars with the chocolate chips – A healthy but still sweet, chocolaty treat.
Mary Purdy, MS, RDN, Eating better = Living better

Halloween is just around the corner and your sweet tooth can’t wait for you to dive into that candy bowl sitting at the front of your office. Grabbing a piece of candy every now and then may seem harmless but it can easily steer you in the wrong direction and undo all your hard work if you’re not mindful. Try keeping healthier Halloween treats close by to keep your sweet tooth at bay while staying on track with your wellness goals. Healthier Halloween Treat Ideas: Pumpkin spice flavored Greek yogurt; Boo-nana pops: Take half a peeled banana, dip it into vanilla yogurt, insert the popsicle stick into the banana, add two chocolate chips for the ghosts’ eyes, freeze and enjoy! Make your own Halloween trail mix: add a combination of your favorite nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. Pre-portion the trail mix into 1/4 cup servings so you have a quick & easy sweet treat! Clementines- easy to peel and keep with you on the go! Apple slices with a tablespoon of nut butter mixed with 1 teaspoon honey
Samina Qureshi, RDN, LD

Consider giving out non-food treats to your trick-or-treaters and participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project, sponsored by FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education). Children with food allergies miss out on the fun when they can’t collect food treats. When you place a teal pumpkin by your front door, trick-or-treaters will know that non-food treats are available at your house, which allows all kids to have a fun holiday.  Non-food treats can include pencils, stickers, glow bracelets, or craft kits.
Beth Rosen, MS, RDN, CDN, Goodness Gracious Nutrition

Before your kids go trick-or-treating, make sure their bellies are full from dinner. That way they might be less tempted to snack on candy from house to house.
Katie Serbinski, MS, RDN, Founder of Mom to Mom Nutrition, LLC

Make the entire fall season the focus of your celebration, with candy being just one, small part of it! Go pumpkin or apple picking, have a Jack-O-Lantern decorating contest and roast the leftover seeds, host a party full of festive but healthy snacks and activities, find a local harvest festival to attend, and create fun costumes as a family. In the end, Halloween is just one night. If the emphasis is on the spirit of the season, even Halloween can be part of a healthy lifestyle.
Jessica Serdikoff, RDN, CPT, Dietitian & blogger behind Floptimism

Keep Halloween as a one day holiday. That means allowing your child to have as much candy you are comfortable with for the actual day of the holiday. Then let the rest of the candy disappear by the next morning. In our house the kids pick one or two pieces then the switch witch picks the unwanted candy up from the front porch in exchange for a cool toy 😉 other families may choose to use the candy for holiday gingerbread house decorating or drop their candy off for prizes at the dentist’s office. Discuss your family’s Halloween rules with your child prior to the actual holiday so they are prepped and excited and not surprised or disappointed.
Sarika Sewak, MPH, RDN, Little Legumes Nutrition LLC

Stash Halloween fun-size bars in a dark, lonely place up until the time that trick-or-treaters are scheduled to arrive. My mom used to hide them on the tippy-top shelf of our family’s coat closet until the 31st! If she hadn’t done so, there likely would have been several trips to the store to purchase seconds! It’s pretty typical of kiddos to upend their bulging pillow cases upon their return from trick-or-treating, right? This year, when they do so, invite them to separate their “favorites” from their “I can live without its.” Granted, this might be easier to do with certain age groups than with others! Aim for parceling off 10% or more of the haul, then toss the ones that your kiddos can do without. Small victories!
Krista Ulatowski, MPH, RDN

Offer Non-Candy Alternatives: When trick-or-treaters ring your doorbell, offer them alternatives to candy. For example, pretzels, popcorn, trail mix, coins, pencils, erasers, temporary tattoos, and stickers are all popular options that some children will choose instead of candy when offered. By having both candy and non-candy options available, it allows all kids, including those with food allergies, celiac disease, and type 1 diabetes, to choose a favorite that works for them.
Jill West, RDN, Author, Speaker, Health Coach

Choose proper portions. Eat only what you love. Donate the rest.
Lisa R Young, PhD, RDN, Rightsize your plate and your waist


Photos curtesy of unsplash

Celebrate – Simples Changes for the Best of Your Life

olive oilTo celebrate October as Breast Awareness Month I want to keep you abreast (no pun intended) on some great new research. A new study from the University of Navarra in Madrid shows that olive oil is casually related to reduction in risk of breast cancer. In the five year trial that randomly assigned women different kinds of diets, those instructed to eat a Mediterranean style diet with four tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil per day had about half as many breast cancer diagnoses as those on a low fat diet.

4,282 women between the ages of 60 to 80 years old with a high risk of cardiovascular disease were randomly assigned to a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil, the same diet supplemented with nuts or to a comparison group that was simply told to reduce their fat.

The researchers found there were 17 confirmed diagnoses of breast cancer in the low fat group, 10 in the Mediterranean diet with nuts and 8 in the Mediterranean diet with olive oil. Dr. Mitchell H. Katz deputy editor of JAMA Internal Medicine was “immediately impressed” that the findings are based on a randomized trial which is the gold standard of research.


Adding Olive Oil

  • Drizzle olive oil on your potatoes or whip olive oil into your mashed potatoes.
  • Create a meal of pasta, veggies and toss with some olive oil.
  • Learn about poaching with olive oil. Go to YouTube and Google Chef Ed Moro and olive oil.
  • You don’t need to add four tablespoons a day, instead start to substitute it for other oils.


Med Diet

photo curtesy of Keko64 at freedigitalphotos.net

Mediterranean Diet

The beauty of the Mediterranean diet is it is based on an entire dietary pattern, not particular foods or nutrients. The most important concept is to include a high amount of minimally processed foods. It is great for anyone who wants to fight inflammation, maintain a healthy weight and decrease their risk of chronic disease. Everyone!

Olive oil is the main fat. Other fats include peanuts, sunflower seeds, olives, avocados and olives.

Grains that are minimally processed are eaten at most meals like bulgur, barley, oats, rye, corn and brown, black and red rice. Cook up a batch and as a side dish at dinner every day or in your salad with chopped up veggies.

Vegetables are eaten at most meals. Add veggies to your casseroles, chilies, and soups.

Fruits are eaten at most meals. Add fruits to your cereal and salads and top your meat or fish with fruit salsa.

Cheese and yogurt are eaten often. Choose Greek yogurt or plain yogurt sweetened with Xylitol or Stevia and/or fresh fruit.

Fish and shellfish like tuna, herring, sardines, mussels, oysters and clams are recommended twice a week for their omega 3 qualities.

Eggs are included regularly and used in place of meat in traditional dishes.

Meats are eaten in small portions usually 3 ounces or less. Cook a vegetarian meal one night each week.

Legumes are eaten several times per week. The diet favorites include chickpeas, cannelloni beans, lentils and fava beans.

Nuts and seeds are essential every day. But you only need a handful of nuts like almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds.

Herbs and spices are used daily. The favorite is herbs de Provence, a French seasoning blend that includes marjoram, thyme, rosemary and fennel.

Wine is consumed often but with moderation. If you drink wine, enjoy moderate amounts up to 1 glass (5 oz) for women, and two for men.

Sweets are consumed in small amounts and fruit is served as the dessert. Serve a fruit with cheese or dark chocolate.


A large part of the Mediterranean diet is to savor your food. Turn off the TV and mindfully taste your food. Enjoy warm conversation with others. This diet is safe and does reduce heart disease and may also prevent breast cancer.

Embracing the Mediterranean diet is about making simple but profound changes in the way you eat today, which will affect the tomorrows of the rest of your life. It’s all about celebrating the good thing in life. Did you ever notice that the word celebrate has the word “ate” in it? Exactly! Better get busy!

See original article here!

Photo curtesy of USDA