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  • 2016_2_8

Spicy Orange Raw Chocolate “Truffles”

 I am super excited to share this recipe that will delight you and your Valentine. It was lovingly created by my friend Olena A. Gudz Danko, MS, RDN, LD who has married her passions of being a pastry chef, and a culinary nutritionist with integrative functional nutrition. She developed this recipe just for us! Thank you Olena!


These aren’t the average cloyingly sweet truffles that you’d find in heart-shaped box at the drugstore! These nutrient-rich raw chocolates are simply sweetened by dates and have a spicy, citrusy kick.


For Truffle Base:

  • 8 Medjool dates
  • 1 tablespoon very hot water
  • ½ cup rolled oats, finely ground
  • ¼ cup almond meal
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest
  • ½ teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Vietnamese cinnamon (can also use regular ground cinnamon)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher or sea salt

For coating:

  • 1½ tablespoons almond meal
  • 1½ tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder


For the coating, combine almond meal and cocoa powder in small bowl and set aside.

Cut each date in half lengthwise, remove seed, and cut each half into three pieces.

Place date pieces in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment. Add the hot water and pulse several times until a thick paste forms.

In a small bowl, combine the ground oats, almond meal, unsweetened cocoa powder, chia seeds, orange zest, chili powder, cinnamon, cayenne, and salt.

Place the dry mixture into the bowl of the food processor with the date paste and continue to pulse until mixture comes together.

Form date mixture into ¾-inch balls and roll in almond-cocoa mixture. Place truffles on a small baking sheet and chill in the freezer for at least 45 minutes. Store in a freezer-storage bag in the freezer. Truffles can be eaten frozen or thawed briefly in the refrigerator for a softer texture.

Makes 24 Truffles

Olena Gudz danki

Olena is celebrating the month of February with chocolate and reminiscing about her wedding (which was in the summer of 2013!). She and her husband have an almost 15 month old son and while life is a tad more hectic these days, it is infinitely more joyful.

As an Integrative Culinary Nutritionist, Olena strives to bring flavorful, delicious foods to your plate while enhancing your health. Olena also recently adding wellness coaching to her list of services and is looking forward to growing a community of like-minded women. In her spare time (ha!), Olena loves trying new restaurants, baking for fun, reading, catching up with close friends, and soaking up every precious moment with her on-the-move toddler.

You can visit her website olenanutrition.com to learn more about what she has to offer! Follow her on Twitter at @OlenaNutrition.


Celebrate National Wear Red Day


I love red, so of course I would celebrate National Wear Red Day. It is observed annually on the first Friday in February.

Heart disease and stroke kill one in three women. These diseases are 80 percent preventable according to Go Red for Women’s official website.

Go to www.goredforwomen.org for more information.



The National Wear Red Day campaign asks people to do three things:

  • Wear red to show your support for saving women’s lives
  • Show us how you Go Red on your social media profiles using #GoRed
  • Donate to help raise funds for awareness and research

The Go Red for Women campaign started in 2004 when the American Heart Association took on the challenge of raising awareness about the number 1 cause of death in women.


Celebrate Have Fun at Work Day



Having a positive attitude is the foundation for successful relationships with your organization and coworkers. How your day unfolds depends on your attitude. Your attitude is contagious, whether positive or negative.


Here are five some great ideas to have more fun at work.


  1. Remember attitude is 90 percent of your life!


  1. Map out your career. Where do you want to be at age 30, 40, 50 and 60?


  1. Identify someone at work with positive attitude and emulate them.


  1. The next time you have a little stress instead of focusing on how bad it was focus on what you learned from it.


  1. Exercise is the number one way to create a positive attitude. Even a 5 minute walk does wonders.


Remember it is the journey not the destination that can make living life a beautiful thing! And ask yourself do you want to be a shining example of positivity or a red flag warning for how not to be?

Wishing you many fun days doing what you love. You get what you expect!!! Better get busy!


What do you do to boost your positivity and have fun?


For more tips:

Fun is Good How to Create Joy and Passion in Your Workplace and Your Career by Mike Veeck and Pete Williams


25 Compliments to Use Today


Celebrate National Compliment Day! 

We all love compliments! And science shows that positivity benefits the compliment giver as well as the person you are giving the compliment to. Yesterday was National Compliment Day – why not bring it to your entire week? Compliments are day makers!

Here are my top favorite 25 compliments

  1. Your beautiful eyes match your shirt. Usually with blue eyed people
  2. You brighten my day!
  3. You are my sunshine today!
  4. Your outfit is the perfect color.
  5. I love your hair!
  6. You smell really good.
  7. You the fastest person here (swim class.)
  8. You always know what is going on and no one else does (in a class)
  9. I always feel so loved by you.
  10. You make me feel so special.
  11. You have A + style.
  12. I want a client JUST like you.
  13. I feel so listened to by you.
  14. You are the most creative person I know.
  15. You always take a hard situation and make it seem so easy.
  16. You have the best advice.
  17. You make my teeth and heart smile.
  18. You are such an encouraging friend.
  19. I appreciate everything about you.
  20. You make me so proud of you.
  21. You always say exactly what I need to hear when I need it.
  22. You are the most fun person to be with ever!
  23. I never met anyone who I feel unconditionally loved by no matter what.
  24. I am president of the ____ state their name fan club.
  25. You are beautiful inside and out.

We can’t wait to hear what your favorite compliments are.


No Matter What Believe in Yourself!

youth-570881Today is Celebration of Life Day. And the best thing you can celebrate is your belief in yourself!

Who is the one person you can consistently count on? Y-O-U!!

Not everyone is going to believe in you all the time. 

But when you believe in yourself others will too. Create a belief in yourself so strong that no matter what you won’t be discouraged and your dreams and goals will come true. Here are 4 steps to help you celebrate your best life this year!


Step 1: Decide what you want.

Example: This year I will start my own coaching business.


Step 2: Create a Belief/Goal Statement

Example: I am on a career/professional/business track that is financially and personally rewarding.


Step 3: Identify reasons why your decision and belief statement will come true. Include your gifts, skills, education, personal characteristics. Use “I” statements. Think of every single reason that helps you believe you will succeed. Take a break and start over and go deeper. It is great to identify 25 reasons for each.

Example: The reasons why this is feasible please.

  • I have built up my skills.
  • I have a high confidence level.
  • I can invest in the new business start-up fees.
  • I will have many support groups.

I WILL have the life of my dreams!

  • Because I will have many support groups.
  • Because I will be fully full-filled in all areas of my life.
  • Because I will have a feeling of purpose by inspiring others
  • Because I will feel energized by inspiring others. 


Step 4: Post it where you can see it every day.

Every time you state or see your belief statement powerful positive emotions will be evoked which will move you forward!


Remember you can accomplish anything not everything. Better get busy!

Happy Celebration of Life Day!!

Write and tell us what you decided.


Choose One Word to Set The Tone for Your Year

It’s never too late to begin the New Year off right, even if you can’t remember your resolutions or didn’t bother to make any. Studies show that only eight percent of people stick to their New Year’s resolutions long term. The best news is that we don’t need January first to begin anew. We can begin any day. One of my favorite authors Gretchen Rubin the author of Better than Before and the Happiness Project tells us to define a one word theme for the year rather than the traditional resolutions. Gretchen says your one word theme is meant to embrace your highest expectations and big ideas that you want to play out over the year.


My theme for the year is Zest. Even the word zest makes me feel alive. It symbolizes to me pushing my body to try new things, exercising more, becoming committed to a yoga practice, making my relationships with people close to me feel more alive. And of course giving myself self-compassion to be the best I can be


Nina Rocca

Nina Rocca, RDN, LDN, CPT

My theme in 2016 is to have a healthy and prosperous year!

The focus theme of 2016 is wellness and prosperity. Achieving smaller controlled “goals” (behavior changes) will help me to be healthy and fit physically and mentally in the long run to get through life challenges! 

I am going to be focusing on gratitude, feeling good and Law of Attraction.  I am going to discard one thing a day from my life that I do not need, be it materialistic or an emotion. More me time including: less Facebook scrolling and more face to face time. 

yvette quantz

Yvette Quantz RDN CSSD LDN


My theme / word of the year is: Listen!

Here are a few ways I plan to LISTEN more in 2016: 

Listen to my children and what they are trying to communicate through the lines 

Listen to my family and friends and really be present during our time together 

Listen to my clients and customers, this includes being open to how I can continue to improve products and services 

Listen to more audiobooks, podcast, and Ted Talks that educate and inspire me to live better 

to my body and give it what it needs, not always what it wants, which includes rest even though I want to keep on going 

Listen to God and continue to be open to His plans for my life 

Listen to myself, which means trusting my instinct and intuition as I move forward in 2016 


Jill Castle

Jill Castle MS RDN CDN

To avoid a pile of good ideas on my desk, my theme for this year is execute. I am an idea generator, but often have too many good ones and don’t know where to put my efforts—thus, it becomes easier to just generate ideas rather than act on them! I have picked one big goal, and two big “ideas” to focus on to help that goal materialize. Meanwhile, I’ll be streamlining my daily schedule to execute my responsibilities consistently.



Kristina Todini, Dietetic Intern

My theme for the year is Simplify & Streamline. 2015 was a year of abundance, but in 2016 I would like to narrow in and focus. I would rather do a few things very well, instead of a lot of things only so-so.


Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 8.03.53 AM

Liz Berry, MS RDN


My theme this year is GRATITUDE!  Why? Gratitude impacts my deepest values of health, family/relationships, career and fun. I am curious to see how my life expression of my values deepens as I empty various strategies to depend my practice of Gratitude!!

I define success as setting clear goals and measuring them at regular intervals from daily to monthly.   If my goals are aligned with my values and headed to the right target then the action steps toward them count as success in my book.


Setting a theme can be a kick starter to happiness. Remember happy people are successful!

What is your theme for the year?



Vegan Loaded Sweet Potato

January is the perfect time to reset to clean eating. And do I have the perfect recipe to reset your health taste buds for the New Year. You have to run to the grocery store to buy the ingredients as these recipes are that great from my Foodie Dietitian friend Kara Lydon, RD LDN RYT. Vegan Sweet Potato with Vegan Green Goddess Dressing is going to become one of our go to favorite recipes this year. It’s as easy as baking up a few sweet potatoes, sautéing some kale and black beans and topping it with to her “to die” for Vegan Green Goddess Dressing.


Photo curtesy of Kara Lydon at karalydon.com


Photo curtesy of Kara Lydon at karalydon.com


  • Two medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Green Goddess Dressing to serve


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Using a fork, poke multiple holes into both sweet potatoes. Place potatoes in oven and bake for about 45-60 minutes, or until tender.
  3. In the meantime, heat olive oil over medium heat in medium saucepan. Add garlic and cook for a couple minutes, until fragrant and before browns. Add kale and toss to coat. Add 1/3 cup water and cover for five minutes. Remove cover, toss kale, reduce heat, and cook for another 15 minutes or until kale is desired texture, adding more water as needed..
  4. Add beans to kale and cook until warmed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Cut sweet potatoes in half lengthwise. Top with black beans, kale, and the Green Goddess Dressing

I used Kara’s Vegan Loaded Sweet Potato as a side to Porterhouse Steaks for our son’s visit. (The Borks are not vegans!) I baked five sweet potatoes and there was more than enough topping with some to spare. This dish would be a perfect for a busy workday. The evening before chop your kale and drain your black beans and you will have dinner on the table in no time. Whip up the Green Goddess Dressing the evening before and take as a salad topper for your lunch salad. You will be waiting to eat lunch…it is that good!


Vegan Green Goddess Dressing


Photo curtesy of Kara Lydon at karalydon.com


Photo curtesy of Kara Lydon at karalydon.com 


  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 1/2 small – medium avocados
  • 5 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 6 tbsp water
  • 3/4 cup basil
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1/4 cup chives
  • 1/2 cup scallions (white parts removed)
  • Juice of 1 1/2 small lemons
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  1. In a food processor, blend together the garlic, avocado, olive oil, and water. Add basil, parsley, chives, and scallions and pulse to blend. Add lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and salt and blend to combine.


Notes from Kara

Depending on taste, you may want to add more or less of vinegar, lemon juice, and salt. I’d recommend adding a little at a time to your taste preference.

You also may need to add more water to achieve desired consistency.

I purposefully didn’t add any sweetener because I like tangy but if it’s too tangy for ya, add 1/2 tsp honey or agave nectar.

Chere notes: I did not add any sweetener and used the juice of one large lemon and both tablespoons of apple cider vinegar


kara lydon drinking wine

Red wine is the key to success, no?


Kara Lydon, RD LDN RYT the Foodie Dietitian defines success this year as giving to herself so she can give to others. She is looking forward to dedicating time to her relationship with her fiance as she approaches her wedding and publishing her first E-book on nutrition and yoga, Nourish Your Namaste: Functional Recipes, Nutrition & Asana to Be a Healthy, Happy Yogi (May 2016)

For more delicious recipes check out Kara’s blog at the Foodie Dietitian








Chere’s 2016 Recipe for Success



My theme for this year is ZEST which means liveliness or energy! The happiest people all over the world have zest as one of their signature strengths. My dietitian sister Laurie brings out the zest in me. Can ya’ tell? Who brings out your zest in your life?

In January, we promise ourselves to eat healthier, save more money and spend more time with people we love. By the time February arrives our intentions have gone down the tubes. By March, I usually cannot even remember my promises. I’ve come to realize that despite our very best intentions, our resolutions fail because they are filled with “shoulds.” I should be promoted. I should earn more money. I should get in shape.

It is time to dump resolutions and get ready for a new approach – a new word. How about success? In our fast paced society, success is defined by our bank account. But how do you define it? Does happiness play a part in your definition of success? After all, it is called Happy New Year, not Crazy Busy New Year. So what can you do? Ask yourself these questions.


5 Simple Questions

  1. What do I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY want?
  2. Why do I want ___________ so badly?
  3. What is holding me back from getting it right now?
  4. Close your eyes. What does my life look like once I get there?
  5. What type of personality qualities would someone need to possess to effortlessly create the outcome I desire?


Put Yourself First

The secret to a successful life is putting yourself first (sorry Mom and Dad). This is not about being self-centered and nasty; rather, it is about deliberate creation and using the Law of Attraction to attract the life you love. Notice if your day is full of wants like craving M&M’s, having a spa day, being at an NFL game, or “shoulds” which are duties, obligations or a sense of shame if we don’t do them like “I should call my mom” or “I should go help out my neighbor.”


Write your YES List 

Create a list of standards for you to be happily successful for your physical and emotional well being. This year with my newly retired Gary I have intentionally created a 2016 recipe card. Of course it is posted by my kitchen sink aka the “Chere shrine.”


I am deliberately envisioning earning less money this year and effortlessly focused on attracting money with ease and grace. Last year, being chair of the Nutrition Entrepreneurs, speaking engagements, full time coaching practice and managing my concussion I was working 70 to 80 hours a week. My life was not aligned with my values of faith, family, travel and career. Rather it was work, work, work and work some more. My greatest successes are not about things, but events and experiences like the gratitude visit with Mr. Devins or getting goosebumps with a client’s wins.



In 2016 I want the most special people in my life know they are the most important to me in the world and want to put them before my work.


What are you measuring?
We manage what we measure. What are you measuring this year? What you measure defines how you feel about yourself from the inside out. Think about your values.

Finally, Accept Responsibility for your success. No one else can make you happy or feel successful but you. You decide who and where to give your energy. How sad it would be if you realize that you created a successful life based on someone else’s idea instead of yours.

And don’t forget, success doesn’t make successful people happy. Successful people are successful because they are happy. We would love to see your recipe for a fabulous 2016. Here to help. Just let me know how!




5 Jumpstart Questions to Kick Off Your New Year

jumping person

Having the life you love starts with clarity around your personal purpose and values. Knowing this will help you create meaningful choices personally and professionally.
Ask yourself these questions to help you attract a year filled with more joy, focus and action in all areas of your life.



Want do I want in my personal life and my professional life? Why do I do what I do?

What am I putting up with that is holding me back? (habits, beliefs that no longer serve you, same problems, unhealthy relationships)

What are 5 things I am willing to change this year?

What are 5 things that put a smile on my face that I want more of this year?

What is my legacy? What do I want others to say about me when I am gone?


Power Up Muffin Cups

I found the perfect breakfast dish for New Year’s day brunch and every other day of 2016!!

Everyone in my house loves strata that savory combination of eggs, milk and cheese. Yet we only seem to have time to prepare it for Sunday brunch. These high protein mini stratas only have to soak ten minutes rather than over night for a satisfying breakfast any day of the week. They freeze and reheat really well too.

Power Up Muffin Cups



  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/4 cups Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/1/4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1/3/4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 ½ cups frozen, chopped broccoli, thawed
  • ½ cups cubed whole grain bread


  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a standard 12 cup nonstick muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Beat the eggs and yogurt until thoroughly combined in a large bowl. Whisk in the onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir in ¾ cup of the mozzarella cheese, all the Cheddar cheese, the broccoli and the bread; mix thoroughly.
  • Let stand for ten minutes. Stir thoroughly, and divide the mixture evenly among prepared cups. The cups will be about two-thirds full.) Top evenly with the remaining ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese.
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
  • You can easily use gluten free bread to make this strata gluten free. And, you could sub in ham for the broccoli. Use ingredients your families love.


Power Muffin Cups

This recipe would be absolutely perfect for any meal on the run. Just pair with a glass of milk and some fruit and you are good to go!


cookbook cover



This delicious recipe is from the Dairy Good Cookbook: Everyday Comfort Food from America’s Dairy Farm Families which celebrates 47,000 dairy farm families including many from Minnesota.




Check out when I popped into KARE 11 TV and prepared this easy delish dairy dish.

Power Up Muffin Cups
Yields 12
A delicious and easy recipe for weekend brunch - but really any day of the week!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
  1. 8 large eggs
  2. 1/4 cups Greek yogurt
  3. 1 tsp onion powder
  4. 1 tsp garlic powder
  5. ½ teaspoon salt
  6. ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  7. 1/1/4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  8. 1/3/4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  9. 1 ½ cups frozen, chopped broccoli, thawed
  10. ½ cups cubed whole grain bread
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Coat a standard 12 cup nonstick muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Beat the eggs and yogurt until thoroughly combined in a large bowl.
  4. Whisk in the onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  5. Stir in ¾ cup of the mozzarella cheese, all the Cheddar cheese, the broccoli and the bread; mix thoroughly.
  6. Let stand for ten minutes. Stir thoroughly, and divide the mixture evenly among prepared cups. The cups will be about two-thirds full.) Top evenly with the remaining ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese.
  7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
  1. You can easily use gluten free bread to make this strata gluten free. And, you could sub in ham for the broccoli. Use ingredients your families love. *Freezes and reheats easily!
Taste Life, with Chere Bork http://cherebork.com/blog/