Nutritional

Celebrate Spring

Celebrate Spring

Spring is officially here! The days are getting longer, and more varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables are hitting the stores. With more sunlight-filled hours, spring months are full of activities and events. That shouldn’t prevent you from getting healthy, delicious dinners on your table. Spring is the ultimate season for fresh produce. These easy spring recipes feature fresh, seasonal produce and bright flavors that you will love. From a simple salad to a one-pan wonder to a colorful side, you will have these on the table in a jiffy. One Pan Balsamic Chicken and Veggies 6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 1/2 cup fat-free Italian dressing 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast 2 bunches broccoli (TIP:  Look for dark green, compact, heads.  Avoid them if they looked bruised,) 1 cup baby carrots 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder Preheat oven to 400

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Simple & Delicious

Simple & Delicious

Simple and delicious – that’s what we want.  We want to walk into our kitchen and throw a meal together with no stress or frustration.  A meal that uses fresh ingredients with tons of color and flavor.  We want shortcuts in time, but not shortcuts in nutrition and taste.  Is that too much to ask?  No!  It’s not too much to ask. The key is to combine convenience with fresh.  We don’t always have time to simmer for three hours.  We don’t have time to boil a batch of brown rice.  One of my favorite things in the world is to chop vegetables.  I get such satisfaction and peace from what some might consider a chore, but that is probably not you.  There is no shame in buying already chopped veggies.  You can even get them on the frozen food aisle and have them in your freezer whenever you need

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Best Meal Ever!

Best Meal Ever!

We know that fruits and vegetables are good for us; Twinkies and chips are not. That part is not complicated. But are you stocking your fridge and pantry with the right healthy foods—foods that give you optimum nutrition for your calorie buck in taste and nutrition?  Stock up on these foods so you can make the best meal ever!  A Bag of Greens Like Spinach or Kale – Throw together a kitchen sink salad with these greens as your base and whatever leftover veggies you have around.  Add a protein, like a can of beans or leftover chicken and your favorite dressing.  Or toss a few handsful of baby spinach or mixed greens on your pizza just before serving to add a fresh flair to the rich cheese and tomato.   Eggs – Eggs are the perfect go-to when you haven’t planned anything for a meal.  You can whip up omelets, frittatas or a simple

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Healthy HOLIDAY Hacks

Healthy HOLIDAY Hacks

Choose Your Splurges Wisely Instead of wasting calories on foods that you can have at any time of the year, pick items that are truly special and unique to the holiday, like your grandmother’s pecan pie or your sister-in-law’s potato casserole.  You can have cheese dip and crackers any time.  Plan in advance for these indulgences.  Make a simple switch to account for those calories – maybe skip that morning coffee-shop treat or go light on another meal. Holiday Recipe Swaps No One Will Notice We’re always looking for ways to make our favorite foods healthier without sacrificing flavor.  Here are a few you can use in your favorite holiday recipes that no one will even notice.  Substitute applesauce for oil, butter or sugar.  Not only does it add sweetness to recipes, but it does it with fewer calories than sugar. Without butter, you’re cutting the saturated-fat content of things

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Tips for a Healthy Thanksgiving

Tips for a Healthy Thanksgiving

The American Council on Fitness estimates that the average person consumes around 3,000 calories on Thanksgiving and 229 grams of fat.  Yikes! It doesn’t have to be that way. The best defense is a good offense – prevention!  Here are a few tips to incorporate into your Thanksgiving holiday.   Get Moving – Exercising before the big meal will help jump-start your metabolism and declare that you are committed to your health goals. It will set the stage for good choices later.  So, go for a walk or run to enjoy some pre-festivities alone time, or grab your favorite second cousin to catch up. For something a bit more competitive, round up a group of family or friends and hit the backyard for a game of football.  Don’t have a lot of time? Check out this HIIT round of exercises from Vicki Heath that anyone can do in about fifteen minutes

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I Need Ice Cream!

I Need Ice Cream!

The definition of comfort food, according to Merriam Webster, is “food prepared in a traditional style having a usually nostalgic or sentimental appeal.” In other words, it’s food that makes you feel better and reminds you of a happier time when you’re stressed or upset.  Research has shown that comfort foods are associated with relationships and do make us feel less alone when we are isolated.   What is your comfort food?  Is it a deep-fried corn dog, which reminds you of summers at home?  Is it ice cream that reminds you of the song of the ice cream truck when you were a kid? A grilled cheese sandwich that your grandmother used to make for you?  Research also shows that foods we associate with happy memories influence how good we think a food tastes, as well as how good they make us feel.   The reasons why we struggle

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Ask the Dietitian – Grains

Can you help me answer the following question that came up for discussion last night at our meeting? Many see grains as bad or a sure way to gain weight/or lose weight. I have personally eliminated a lot due to a season of following Paleo. Another member was told to limit her carbs because she is pre-diabetic. Can you give me some info to share on this topic and encourage grains with a scientific/God background?  Your question about grains comes up quite a bit.  There has been so much confusing media attention to grains in recent years, much of which falsely puts them in a bad light overall.  You have done well to speak a lot about the quality of grains in your classes–that is the best start to “undoing” the damage.  Continue to encourage them to focus on whole grains for the vast majority of their daily grain choices, if not

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Just Tell Me What To Eat

Just Tell Me What To Eat

“Just tell me what to eat.” Have you ever said that? “Just give me a list and tell me what to do.” Or maybe you’ve thought about how nice it would be if someone would make a delicious, healthy meal and set it in front of you every time it was time to eat. Well, there’s a place where they do that. At Wellness Week in Round Top! Every year we make delicious meals that are filling and healthy. We have a breakfast bar that is available all day—full of wonderful things for breakfast and snacks—the things you know you should keep available in your own home, but don’t seem to have the time. There are fruits, yogurt, cereals, peanut butter, whole-grain breads, boiled eggs, flavored teas, coffee and fruit-infused water available all day long. It makes eating healthy so easy, but also enjoyable. During the week, in her afternoon

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A Fresh Pick

A Fresh Pick

When inspecting produce, use your senses. Ask yourself how the item smells, how it feels, and whether it looks appealing. These are good indicators of its freshness. Check out these tips for finding the fresh pick in your fruits and vegetables. FRESH FRUIT The flesh should be firm, but give a little. If your plums, berries, or nectarines are rock hard, they’re not ripe. Citrus fruits that are too firm are likely dry on the inside. Heaviness can indicate how juicy a fruit or melon is, especially with oranges, lemons, watermelon, and cantaloupe. Give the fruit a sniff. You should pick up a light aroma from it. A strong aroma can indicate over-ripeness, and if the fruit smells a bit sour or stinky, you’re probably holding an apple or bag of grapes that’s past its prime. A light, sweet smell is a good indicator that your fruit is fresh and

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Pint-sized Meal Planners

Pint-sized Meal Planners

Summer is a great time for involving children in food shopping and preparation.  Our schedules can be more relaxed and allow the extra time to include them.  Their involvement will help develop positive attitudes about food and prepare them for independence as they get older. Take the kids grocery shopping and ask them to help you choose what to buy. For example, ask them to pick three fruits and three vegetables they would like to eat during the week. Ask each child to help plan the family meal on a designated night.  Let him or her even handle the details. For example, stop at a party supply store and let the planner select special paper napkins. Remind kids that tastes can change.  Encourage them to try at least one bite of everything- call it a “no, thank you” bite. Remember that it takes children a while to try new things,

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