Taste Life, with Chere Bork

Speaker, Media Spokesperson, Registered Dietitian, Wellcoach® and Certified Law of Attraction Facilitator

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Black Bean and Tomato Salsa

August 20th, 2014 · Nutrition

Black Bean and Tomato Salsa

We may be a little different than most, but our family cooks family meals while on family vacations.  We actually enjoy being in the condo kitchen together and wrapping up our day.  We plan menus ahead of time and take special spices with and then have a shopping list for when we get there. Easy peasy!  We could not have afforded traveling to all fifty states and eating out often while on vacation.   I always told Gary the kids will remember what they saw not what or where they ate. Now that our kids are older the menu has changed and this salsa is our vacation staple.  I call it “Hawaii salsa” because we first prepared it when we were in Kauai. Now I make it for our family gatherings and for when Brett comes home. I could really double the batch as it goes fast. Our son in law David really enjoys it. I serve it with Trader Joe’s Blue Corn Tortilla Chips.

This recipe is more than five ingredients but I had to share it with you to use up your summer bounty of tomatoes, and cilantro.  For sure, we will be making it when we all travel to Park City Utah next month for our next family vacation.

The bonus? I am serving tomatoes (a fruit not a vegetable) which are low in cals,  and a great source of lycopene which researchers have linked to a lower risk of heart disease and cancer ( including prostrate, breast and colon cancer).(I think more about Gary’s prostrate than he thinks about it!)

The bonus? I am serving tomatoes (a fruit not a vegetable) which are low in cals, and a great source of lycopene which researchers have linked to a lower risk of heart disease and cancer ( including prostrate, breast and colon cancer).(I think more about Gary’s prostate than he thinks about it!)

The second bonus is beans fill you up and actually provide more fiber than whole grains foods. One study I read stated that bean eaters weighed 6.6 pounds less than non-ben eaters. Plus, another study showed eating ate legumes 4 times a week reduced your risk of heart disease by 22%. If you are a “bean gagger” give this recipe a try as I have never met anyone who didn’t love it up.

The second bonus is beans fill you up and actually provide more fiber than whole grains foods. One study I read stated that bean eaters weighed 6.6 pounds less than non-ben eaters. Plus, another study showed eating ate legumes 4 times a week reduced your risk of heart disease by 22%. If you are a “bean gagger” give this recipe a try as I have never met anyone who didn’t love it up.

  • 2 – 15 ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ of a 17 ounce package frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced (or more)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves, chopped ( I usually throw in another handful)
  • 3 to 4 Tbsp. lime juice (Brett likes more)
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

 

In large bowl mix all ingredients together. Chill before serving.

Happy my nephews Stevie Ray and Daniel enjoy cooking when they visit and are always ready to cook a  new recipe. Stevie Ray had fun making this salsa. I think they love knives the best!

Happy my nephews Stevie Ray and Daniel enjoy cooking when they visit and are always ready to cook a new recipe. Stevie Ray had fun making this salsa. I think they love knives the best!

Black bean salsa makes the perfect accompaniment to our oven baked fajitas. Yum!

Black bean salsa makes the perfect accompaniment to our oven baked fajitas. Yum!

 

/// tomato image by suat eman, black bean image by lobster20 used with permission///

 

 

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7 Sleep Tips from my Dietitian Nutritionist Friends

August 19th, 2014 · Energy & Exercise, Everything In Between

Kim Fox RDN LD CDE and her family

I firmly believe in establishing a bedtime routine about an hour before you typically plan on going to bed. I shut off the computer, get my clothes and other things needed for the following day, set the alarm, wash face and brush teeth, and read for a few minutes before I’m ready for some shut eye. My body now tells me when it’s time for me to start shutting down.

Kim Fox, RDN, LD, CDE ///http://foxnutritionanddiabetesservices.com/

jamila lepore

Stop drinking caffeine by 2 PM (including tea, coffee, soda, and any other caffeinated beverage). It takes several hours to be eliminated by the body so even if you can fall asleep right after consuming caffeine, the quality of your sleep is compromised. This results in that sleepy-groggy feeling you get even after a “full” night’s sleep.

Do 10-15 minutes of stretching or light yoga before going to bed. It helps relax your mind and body, making it ready for a good night’s sleep.

If you’re the type of person whose brain goes a million times a minute as soon as your head hits the pillow, this tip is for you. Instead of keeping your to-do list on your mind, leave a notebook by your bed and write it down. That way, it’s out of your head, you won’t forget about it, and  you can work on it tomorrow. Because right now, it’s time for sleep.

Jamila Lepore, MS, RD/N /// www.nononsensenutritionist.com

Susan Linke photo 3

Magnesium is a very effective sleep aid.   Studies have shown that magnesium supplementation is a safe and easy way to improve relaxation, sleep time, sleep efficiency, and insomnia.    Food sources of magnesium include pumpkin seeds, almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, peanut butter,  cooked oatmeal, spinach, collard greens, soybeans, sesame seeds, and beans.   A 20-30 minute bath soaking in Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) is a relaxing way to absorb magnesium through the skin.   The quickest way to get some extra magnesium (and zzz’s)  is through supplementation.  Some of the more common magnesium supplements, like magnesium oxide, are not well absorbed and have a laxative effect.   The most absorbable forms of magnesium include magnesium citrate, malate, taurate or the chelated forms of magnesium including chelated magnesium glycinate, succinate or fumarate.

Susan Linke MS RD LD CLT/// www.susanlinke.com

Lauren-Fowler--300x199

I spend the last hour or so before bed winding down. I turn off my computer and put away my phone and usually read. I spend 10 minutes in legs up the wall pose (literally your legs up a wall), which can calm the nervous system.

Lauren Fowler, RDN, CD, CLT/// mindfulmealsblog.com

Tina Braet Thomas MA RD CDE CLT CWC LD

Having a set bed time most nights certainly allows my body to get in a rhythm. I also use a sound machine with either ocean waves or a light rain sound seems to do the trick for me.

Tina Braet Thomas, MA RD CDE CLT CWC LD/// http://coach.wellcoach.com/tina-braet-thomas/

Krista Ulatowski MPH RDN

I value my 7-8 hours of sleep each night, without a doubt. There certainly are nights where my mind is whirling, and I find that keeping a notepad and pen by my bed allows me to jot down my inspirations, allowing me to revisit them in the morning. Also, avoiding those tall lattes after 5pm is also wise!

Krista Ulatowski, MPH, RDN/// https://www.linkedin.com/in/kristaulatowski

ProPhotoKaren2014

Trying to reverse type 2 diabetes?  It’s not always about diet. Getting 7-8 hours sleep most nights will help your body use insulin more efficiently, which makes it easier to control blood sugar and weight.

Karen Marschel, RDN LD CDE/// www.kmnutrition.com

 

 

 

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What is the fuss about BPA?

July 21st, 2014 · Nutrition

What is BPA?

The resin linings of tin cans contain bisphenol-A, a synthetic estrogen that has been linked to ailments ranging from reproductive problems to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

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Why are people concerned about BPA?

One reason people may be concerned about BPA is because human exposure to BPA is widespread. The 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found detectable levels of BPA in 93% of 2517 urine samples from people six years and older. The CDC NHANES data are considered representative of exposures in the United States. Another reason for concern, especially for parents, may be because some animal studies report effects in fetuses and newborns exposed to BPA.

Studies show that the BPA in most people’s body exceeds the amount that suppresses sperm production or causes chromosomal damage to the eggs of animals. Dr. Fredrick Vom Saal an endocrinologist at the University of Missouri who studies bisphenol-A, tells us that, “You can get 50 mcg of BPA per liter out of a tomato can, and that’s a level that is going to impact people, particularly the young.”

Tomatoes Unfortunately, acidity (a prominent characteristic of tomatoes) causes BPA to leach into your food. And most tomatoes we buy are in the cans that have been lined with BPA.

The Solution

Choose tomatoes and tomato sauces in glass jars. BPA maybe present in the lining of the jar lids, but exposure is limited if they have been stored upright. The only current product line that is completely BPA-free is Eden Organic and individual products from Wild Planet, Westbrae Natural and Muir Glen have BPA-free packaging.

Look for aseptic “brick” cartons (sometimes called Tetra Packs) because they are BPA-free.

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The Challenge

There is there is not industry standard for labeling. Some brands like Eden Foods, proclaim their BPA-free status, while others like Muir Glen, put in small type that is easy to overlook. And house brand like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods use BPA-free cans for some products but don’t label them as such.

 

Five Ways to Reduce Your Exposure to BPA

  1. Reduce your use of canned foods since most cans are lined with BPA-containing resin.
  2. Look for products labeled as BPA-free. Some, but not all plastics with recycle codes of 3 or 7 maybe made with BPA.
  3. Go back to the basics – avoid the microwave and dishwasher. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health, advises against microwaving polycarbonate plastics or putting them in the dishwasher, because the plastic may break down over time and allow BPA to leach into foods.
  4. Use glass, or stainless steel or porcelain containers for hot foods and liquids instead of plastic containers. Especially for acidic foods like tomatoes.
  5. Use BPA free stainless steel or BPA free water bottles. Avoid plastic bottles with the code of 7 on the bottom.

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Garden Fresh Tomato Sauce

July 21st, 2014 · Nutrition

This sauce you make from scratch is homey, delicious and surprising easy and quick.. Nothing better than a fresh tomato warmed by the sun, just picked out of the garden. And, if you are like me, maybe one of your summer loves is simply watching your tomatoes grow.

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And this summer with all the rain, have they been growing. In my thirty years of growing tomatoes they have never been this tall in July. I also love freezing my tomatoes which I know are Bpa free.

  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 2 cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 4 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1/8/tsp. pepper
summer abundance…tomatoes and basil from the garden and kitchen staples of an onion and garlic cloves make this recipe

summer abundance…tomatoes and basil from the garden and kitchen staples of an onion and garlic cloves make this recipe

In a large skillet saute onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes have softened. Adjust seasonings as desired. Serve over your favorite pasta or fish.

Makes four servings.

Nutrition per serving: Calories 49; Protein 1.3 gm; Fat 1.8 gm; Carbohydrate 7 gm; Sodium 104 mg.

I served this with baked tilipia. Place fish in a tinfoil lined pan. Sprinkle Italian seasoning lightly over the fish and bake at 350°F for 15 5- 20 minutes. Top with Garden Fresh Tomato Sauce and serve with a side of veggies.

I served this with baked tilipia. Place fish in a tinfoil lined pan. Sprinkle Italian seasoning lightly over the fish and bake at 350°F for 15 5- 20 minutes. Top with Garden Fresh Tomato Sauce and serve with a side of veggies.

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Meditation Creates a Magic Life

July 18th, 2014 · Positivity, Stress

Five minutes a day gives Kate Campbell clarity, calm and an ability to tackle the impossible list of duties she has on a daily basis. Gotta love that!

Five minutes a day gives Kate Campbell clarity, calm and an ability to tackle the impossible list of duties she has on a daily basis. Gotta love that!

What? Type-A-multitasking-Chere is meditating? Why? Because in our 24/7 digital world, friends with the craziest stressed out schedules tell me meditation saves their day…so why not meditate? I bet you too are stressed out, as stress statistics from the American Psychological Association shows that 77% of people in the USA are stressed out daily, with money and work problems getting the most blame.

 

The Science Facts

Mindfulness meditation for 25 minutes a day, three days in a row is enough to alleviate stress.

Harvard’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center ‘s research  has determined meditation can improve cognitive performance. ** (I need that)

Dr. Davidson’s research at the University of Wisconsin shows meditation demonstrates positive effects in both brain and immune function. *** (I really need these)

American Heart Association maintains that meditation lowers blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.

 

I want less stress but who has 25 minutes, three days in a row to sit and do nothing? Not I! I need to make it more realistic than that! So, I have had two goals for 2014 – mediate for 5 minutes every day and balance with one leg on the bosu ball for one minute. (I know I know baby goals but achievable baby goals.) With my need for a right knee replacement the meditation goal is a piece of cake.

 

Two Types

 

Mindfulness Meditation

It focuses on the flow of breath in and out of the body, concentrating on what the person is experiencing without any reaction or judgment. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a variation of this.

 

Transcendental Meditation (TM)

With TM there is a mantra, which can be one word or a few words or an object to look at to keep you in the moment. It usually involves a comfortable posture with a straight back and focused attention to your breathing with the goal of training your mind so you feel calm and peaceful.

Aarti Batavia has been meditating for ten years and has discovered inner peace. She feels her patients open up more as they get a sense of security and healing around them.

Aarti Batavia has been meditating for ten years and has discovered inner peace. She feels her patients open up more as they get a sense of security and healing around them.

As I write to you I can almost feel the power of silence of my meditation.  I try to mediate four days a week after my swim class for 5 to 10 minutes.  I take a shower and hit the sauna. I close my eyes and inhale in the word ease and exhale out the word grace. I picture grace filling my body from my head to my toes. When I get distracted (which I swear is every minute or so) I simply notice my distracting thoughts and gently focus my memory on Poipu Beach in Kauai. I focus on the color of the brilliant blue water and inhale in ease and exhale out grace. It usually works. My mind ENJOYS thinking about five things at once and focusing my breath on two words is more difficult than my usual rapid-fire mind.

Often Gary looks at me like I didn’t hear his question and my constant reply is, “Gary do you have a million people in your brain?” With keynotes, clients, family and friend, maybe more than a million…

I used to think I was too busy and how could you change your life “not talking” to anyone. Carving out time has actually given me more time as I feel I am more focused, have more energy and am more productive. And it’s free!

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Three Ideas to Get You Started

My friend Dr. George Kramer told me at least ten years ago how mediation has changed his life. And I finally decided to give it a whirl.  Don’t take ten years to decide like I did.  Once you decide it is easy. If you don’t consciously decide to be extraordinary, happy and healthy, you will unconsciously decide to be average, unhappy and unhealthy. Aren’t you ready for a little meditation magic?

How do you meditate? We would love to hear your meditation story.

 

 

 

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10 Meditation Ideas from my Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Friends

July 17th, 2014 · Positivity, Stress

I have been meditating on and off since I was in high school (I’m dating myself now – that’s nearly 37 years!) I learned Transcendental Meditation (I have an older cousin who introduced me to it).

 

Sonja Stetzler

Benefits for me include more energy, greater creativity, and feeling less stress. There have been times when life gets real busy, and I don’t schedule it in my day. It’s like riding a bicycle – you don’t forget how to do it, and you can always go back to it.

Sonja Stetzler, MA, CPC, RDN// www.effectiveconnecting.com

 

I meditate because it helps me be more aware of the joy and beauty in my life. It’s probably the best daily investment I make in my health and self-care. The type of meditation depends on the day–the most common practices I use are silent meditation, guided imagery, metta “loving kindness” meditation, or walking meditations…rarely are two days the same, and it all depends on my mood. I have a link to a huge range of meditations on my website

Cheryl Harris MPH RD

Cheryl Harris, MPH, RD// www.harriswholehealth.com

 

My default is to be in my head, thoughts spinning, in an effort to out-run my anxieties. So I meditate in an effort to be more attuned to my body & my feelings, and to help train the wild horse that is my mind.  I have read many books and spoken with a few experts. And just follow their instructions, mixed with my own ideas of what works for me. I do not use a CD, or app. Just myself. I use mindfulness meditation to accept my feelings and the present moment, and I use concentration meditation to bring my mind back to one thing (my breath for example) over and over.

Dianne Rishikof (2)

Dianne Rishikof, MS, RDN, LDN

www.diannerishikof.com

 

 

I just started to meditate within the last year and it has been phenomenally beneficial to me!

“I have found that meditation has allowed me to remove some of the static in my mind (even for a few minutes) to allow seeds of growth and strength to take root and grow. I find that on the mornings I meditate before I start my day I am more focused and inspired, and if I meditate at night, I fall asleep faster and wake more rested.”

I use a use an app on my phone called “Insight Timer” for my meditation time. I sit on the floor with a pillow in silence. Goal is 10minutes twice a day.

Sally Twellman

 

Sally Twellman RDN// www.twellmannutrition.com

 

I meditate to find clarity and peace in my life and business. It helps me make better decisions in my business that align with my values and find presence in my time with clients and myself.

I mostly meditate by using breath work or mantras, as well as the app Lucent on my iPhone.

Lauren Fowler

Lauren Fowler, RDN, CD, CLT// http://mindfulmealsblog.com

With meditation – even just 5 minutes a day – I find greater clarity, calmness, and ability to tackle the impossible list of duties I have on a daily basis.

I started by meditating on my breath, simply counting to 10 with each inhalation and exhalation.  New to meditation, that was a task in itself to keep my mind focused even for those 10 breaths!  Once I had that, I was able to lengthen the count, then branch in to many different styles: walking meditation, silent breathing, listening to music, prayerful meditation, guided meditation, or even opening my eyes and simply gazing at something that I find beautiful, calming, or soul-touching.

Some of the resources I have enjoyed: Self-Realization Fellowship; Meditation Society of Australia; Meetup groups; the sounds of nature

Kate Campbell

Kate Campbell, RD, RYT

 

Each morning for 15-30 minutes I practice mindful breathing/meditation on my own.  I am an Integrative Health Coach and have been trained in mindful breathing (I also teach my clients in it if they are interested).  My morning mindfulness sessions are usual half meditation and the other half prayer. I find that the meditation helps to me to clear the clutter in my head before I pray. It also helps me to make more focused decisions regarding my family, work and life in general. It also helps me to be at my best (no matter what’s going on in my own life) when working with my clients.

Angela Lamberson

Angela Lamberson, MS, RD, LDN, CDE// www.nutritionpair.com

 

I have been meditating since July 2004 and it has connected me with my inner being and find peace within. Meditation has not only helped me to be unanimous and non-judgmental but also have cordial relations with my family and friends. Patients open up their fears, anxieties and past traumatic experiences with ease probably because they sense a feeling of security and healing around them.

I meditate on breathe and awareness of sensation with a technique called Vipassana, I attend 10 day silent retreats once a year.  They have 9 centers and 8 non centers here in United States. The courses are free. They are popular and there could be a long wait list if you do not register well in advance.

Aarti Batavia

Aarti Batavia. MS, RDN, CLT, IFMCP// www.aartibatavia.com

 

I do TM(Transidental Meditation). I learned in my 20′s back when it was only about $100 to learn the technique (now I think it cost 10 times that amount).  It is the only thing that every worked for me.  I have gone through periods in my life where I quit but have now been steady with it for the past 4-5 years.  I am a total believer in the power of meditation.

Meditation does not take away stress but allows me to cope better with stress.  With meditation I do not feel the physical impact of stress; I just experience it as an observer.

Joan Hogan RD CSR CD CLT

Joan B. Hogan, RD, CSR, CD, CLT// www.food4lifecounseling.com

I have incorporated a regular meditation practice for several years now.  I have created a quiet, calming space in my home that is dedicated to my meditation practice.  Just like it is recommended to have a bedtime routine to let your body know that it is time for sleep, I start every meditation with the same routine so that my body and mind are prepared for meditation.  I sit for about 20 minutes, give or take, and focus on my breath and a mantra, which is a succinct word or phrase that sets my intention for the day.

Meditation has had a profound effect on me, both personally and professionally.  I find that I move through my day with much more ease and grace, handing stressful situations calmly.  .  I am the type of person that wants to do and get involved with everything.  Meditation has allowed me to focus and prioritize better, letting the extraneous stuff fall away without feeling obligated.  I find that meditation also enables me to be more present in the moment throughout my day.

Rachel Begun

Rachel Begun MS RDN// www.rachelbegun.com

 

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Terry Is Tasting Life with Guided Imagery

July 16th, 2014 · Positivity, Stress

I came across guided imagery several years ago working as an oncology nurse with patients getting chemo and radiation treatments. The patients were provided with guided imagery CD’s. I started to listen to see what we were giving them. I found it so helpful to myself, that I bought a stress reduction CD. I have listened to this for years. More recently, I am using a weight loss CD.

 

I find the guided imagery helps me to relax, let go of anything on my mind, to relax, refocus and renew myself than I thought possible.

I find the guided imagery helps me to relax, let go of anything on my mind, to relax, refocus and renew myself than I thought possible.

I am a very visual person and this allows me to visual moving myself to places I couldn’t imagine.

The results are amazing. I often have people ask me how I do everything I do. I tell them it is because of the guided imagery CD.  I find taking the time to do this, is some of the best self-care I can do. I can completely let go of stress and be completely renewed by listening to the CD.

I listen to Guided Imagery CDs by  a woman named Belle Ruth Knappersack  with Health Journeys. She also made the CD’s for the oncology patients that I listened to years ago. I now listen to her Stress Reduction CD, Relaxation CD and Weight Loss CD.

All Amazing! Terry

 

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Cranberry Spinach Salad with Avocados

July 10th, 2014 · Nutrition

cranberry salad

Dressing Ingredients 

  • 4 Tbsp. cranberry juice
  • 2 Tbsp. dried cranberries
  • 2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 6 Tbsp. canola oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

 

Salad Ingredients 

  • 3 1/3 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 small head of frisée lettuce
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced

 

Directions 

Dressing 

Place cranberry juice and dried cranberries in a small pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Stir in vinegar and Dijon mustard. Gradually whisk in canola oil so the mixture becomes a dressing. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

 

Salad

Rinse spinach and frisée; spin dry. Remove thick stems and cut larger leaves into bite-size pieces. Add avocado and onion slices.

Gently toss salad ingredients with the dressing and serve.

 

Tip

 If preparing in advance, sprinkle avocado slices with lemon juice to prevent discoloration. Mix the salad ingredients with the dressing just before serving to keep the leaves fresh and crisp.

 

Nutrition Information Per Serving*: Calories 320, Calories from Fat 250, Saturated Fat 2.5g, Trans Fat 0g, Total Fat 29g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 125mg, Total Carbohydrate 18g, Sugars 6g, Dietary Fiber 9g, Protein 3g, Vitamin A 70%, Vitamin C 35%, Calcium 10%, Iron 10%

*Excludes Salt and Pepper

 

I substituted Radicchio for the frisee lettuce. The chicory taste of the radicchio complimented the tart of the cranberry and was gorgeous to the eye!

 

Recipe courtesy of the Cranberry Marketing Committee

 

Four Things You May Not Know about Cranberries

 

  • Cranberries are rich in flavonoids and a flavonoid-rich diet may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  •  Drinking  8–16 oz. of 27% original, low- or no-calorie cranberry juice cocktail each day is recommended to maintain urinary tract health and prevent urinary tract infections.    (Instead of soda, I drink unsweetened cranberry juice every day with sparkling water)
  • Dried cranberries are a good source of fiber with 2.3 grams per 40 gram serving (Amazing 10% of the Daily Value)!
  • One-quarter cup of dried cranberries is equal to ½ cup of fruit, according to MyPlate.

 

Zip up your summer salad greens with these delicious combinations.

  • Dried cranberries, garbanzo beans and carrots
  • Dried cranberries, orange slices and chopped broccoli
  • Dried cranberries, cucumbers and feta cheese
  • Dried cranberries, green peppers and black beans
  • Dried cranberries, black beans and corn kernels
  • Dried cranberries, chopped pears and celery

Disclosure:  I was sent dried cranberries and am a Cranberry Bog Blogger!

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How Can Fruits and Vegetables Make You Happy?

June 24th, 2014 · Nutrition

You probably never thought fruits and veggies could make you happy. You ask, “How can they do that? They can keep you out of the doctor’s waiting room.  Even if the doctor’s waiting room has “really good” magazines like People I have not found doctor’s appointments exactly fun.  Have you?  The latest studies show that “5 a day” may not be enough.  Studies* are showing that 7 servings of fruits and veggies can reduce your risk of death by 42%. That’s not small potatoes! (get it ☺)  I vividly remember the client who counted her strawberry pie as her one serving of fruit ALL week and her pickle as her one vegetable ALL week.  Sound familiar?  In 2010, The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that only 25% of adult Americans ate vegetables three or more times a day.

Seven servings sounds like a lot but one-half cup of leafy greens, a big handful of baby carrots, half cup of broccoli, ½ cup of tomato juice or spaghetti sauce  all count as one.  Even if you know you “should” eat fruits and veggies you don’t because you don’t have enough time, they cost too much or you don’t like the taste.

Guess it all comes down to deciding what is important to you. So, make a list of the pros and cons of veggies. Pros –you will feel better, weigh less, have a 31% lower risk of heart disease and stroke, and 25% lower risk of cancer. But but but..cons – you think they don’t taste  good, and take too long  to make and……but lucky you we’ve got you covered.

For our dad’s 85th birthday we served steamed broccoli, roasted asparagus spears (drizzle with olive oil and bake at 400°F for 20 to 25 minutes) and roasted carrots and parsnips (Link to blog post) as sides to the beef tenderloin, shrimp and oven baked Italian chicken thighs. (We went all out, as you are only 85 once.)

For our dad’s 85th birthday we served steamed broccoli, roasted asparagus spears (drizzle with olive oil and bake at 400°F for 20 to 25 minutes) and roasted carrots and parsnips as sides to the beef tenderloin, shrimp and oven baked Italian chicken thighs. (We went all out, as you are only 85 once.)

Tonight for dinner Laurie served grilled onions to accompany the one of the MOST delicious grass fed steak I have ever tasted in MY life.

Brush sliced onions with olive oil and salt and pepper and place on wooden skewers soaked in water a few minutes.

Brush sliced onions with olive oil and salt and pepper and place on wooden skewers soaked in water a few minutes.

We grilled the onions over medium –high heat for about 15 minutes and flipped them several times.

We grilled the onions over medium –high heat for about 15 minutes and flipped them several times.

She served Waygu beef which is the American comparison to Japan’s Kobe beefWaygu steaks have more marbling, as the cows are feed a special diet and are really pampered.  Check it out for a special occasion!

I am so proud of RD sister Laurie Meyer who has been on WTMJ TV in the Milwaukee market for over twenty years. Everyone loves to be invited to her dinner parties! She is the culinary genius behind our cookbook recipes.

I am so proud of RD sister Laurie Meyer who has been on WTMJ TV in the Milwaukee market for over twenty years. Everyone loves to be invited to her dinner parties! She is the culinary genius behind our cookbook recipes.

Guess it all comes down to deciding what is important. Once you decide it is easy. If you don’t consciously decide to be extra-ordinary, happy and healthy, you will unconsciously decide to be average, unhappy and unhealthy. (And probably end up in the doctor’s waiting room a lot instead of having days filled with fun and joy.)

Remember, health is a crown on a well person’s head and only the sick may see it. Summer is the perfect time to polish your crown with veggies in season, farmer’s markets and your CSA and jumpstart your “happy!” Gotta love that!

Remember, health is a crown on a well person’s head and only the sick may see it. Summer is the perfect time to polish your crown with veggies in season, farmer’s markets and your CSA and jumpstart your “happy!” Gotta love that!

One meal sample menu  of  7 fruits and veggies 

  • Black Bean Mango Relish with Vegetable Crudites (2 servings)
  • Strawberry Spinach Salad (2 servings)
  • Brat with Sauerkraut (the Milwaukee way…cook your brat in beer with sliced onions and then grill) (1 serving if you eat ½ cup sauerkraut) and grilled onions (if you eat ½ cup of onions you can count this as a serving)
  • Summer Squash Bake (1 serving)
  • Chocolate Covered Strawberries  (1 serving)

Gotta love it…this is seven servings in one meal !!  Life is easy and we make it hard! Here’s to easy summer meals that nourish your spirit!

 

Chocolate covered strawberries are an easy and indulgent dessert. Everyone I serve them to loves them and feels special.  I use Ambrosia chocolate. Melt in the microwave 1 minute at 50% power. Stir. Melt for another minute and stir until smooth. Chocolate burns easily so microwave for one minute at a time.

Chocolate covered strawberries are an easy and indulgent dessert. Everyone I serve them to loves them and feels special. I use Ambrosia chocolate. Melt in the microwave 1 minute at 50% power. Stir. Melt for another minute and stir until smooth. Chocolate burns easily so microwave for one minute at a time.

Read more 10 Easy peasy Fourth of July Vegetable Ideas from my Registered Dietitian Friends

*Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health

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Roasted Carrots and Parsnips

June 23rd, 2014 · Nutrition

We grew up with a Sunday dinner consisting of pot roast and roasted carrots that caramelized and tasted sweet as candy. We would always fight over the burnt ones. The parsnips will win you over with their super sweetness.  We love them even more than the carrots.

Cover a jelly roll pan with tin foil for easy clean up.

Cover a jelly roll pan with tin foil for easy clean up.

  • 1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into 1 –inch pieces
  • 1 lb parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced rosemary
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss carrots and parsnips with olive oil and rosemary in roasting pan. Roast 20 to 30 minutes or until tender. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Adjust seasonings to your taste. Makes eight servings.

Nutrition Per Serving:  99 Calories; 1.1 gm protein; 3.8 gm fat; 1.5 gm Carbohydrate, 114 mg sodium.

This is an inexpensive veggie side dish to accompany any entrée. To save more money buy five pound bags of carrots. Serve your family and company health this Fourth of July!

This is an inexpensive veggie side dish to accompany any entrée. To save more money buy five pound bags of carrots. Serve your family and company health this Fourth of July!

 

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