Saturday, December 31, 2016

3 Ingredient HEALTHY Chocolate Frosting

I'm a sucker for no-fuss recipes with as little ingredients as possible. I was skeptical of this recipe, but the flavor and texture is SPOT ON.


Ingredients are simple: honey, unsweetened cocoa powder, and milk of choice. Mix it up and your ready to slather it on cupcakes, brownies, cakes, donuts - anything really!

This frosting is perfect for getting that chocolate fix. Even my chocolate loving friend approves!

 I was looking for a frosting for my Beet Chocolate Brownies (Yes, beets. I will post the recipe when it's finalized! 


Need another reason to eat chocolate? Cocoa beans contain antioxidant-rich flavonoids. A high intake of flavonoids has been associated with reduced risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. However, processing and adding sugar to chocolate decreases these benefits. Stick to unsweetened cocoa powder or small pieces of dark chocolate (at least 85%!).

Ok, now the frosting!! I only slightly modified Amy's recipe which you can find here.

3 Ingredient Chocolate Frosting

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons pure honey
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

Mix these ingredients together until thoroughly combined!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Creamy Spinach Artichoke Chicken Thighs

This is a skillet meal that tastes rich, but is light and healthy! It's pretty much like eating chicken thighs cooked in the infamous artichoke dip that is at every party.

Found this recipe on Instagram from @cafedelites - here is the link to her website!

Note: I don't have a skillet that is oven safe so instead of placing the pan in the oven, I transferred the chicken to a baking pan coated with tin foil (I folded up the sides a little so the sauce wouldn't escape). Anyone have an oven proof skillet that they would recommend? Help a girl out!



Creamy Spinach Artichoke Chicken Thighs 

Serves 6

Ingredients: 

Cooking oil spray
6 skinless boneless chicken thighs (the original recipe calls for bone-in)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup (9 oz) container of 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1 cup chicken stock
2 (9 oz) boxes of frozen artichokes, defrosted and roughly chopped*
4 cups loosely packed spinach leaves
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.

2. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper to taste. Spray a large oven-proof skillet with cooking spray to coat; heat over medium-high heat. Add chicken, flesh-side down, and sear for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown; drain any excess fat.

3. Stir garlic through and fry until fragrant (about 1-2 minutes). Add in cream cheese and occasionally stir it until it begins to melt down and become thinner in consistency. Pour in the chicken broth and add the parmesan cheese.

4. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until sauce thickens (about 5 minutes). Stir in artichokes and spinach; simmer until the spinach has just started to wilt.

5. Place the skillet into the preheated oven and continue to roast for 15-20 minutes (or until completely cooked through).

Serve over wild rice or whole wheat pasta!

*Original recipe called for 1 (14 oz) can of artichoke hearts in brine/water, drained and roughly chopped.


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Cream of Broccoli Soup (Dairy Free, Low Fat!)

I ordered groceries last week and they accidentally sent my broccoli cuts instead of broccoli florets (which I really don't care for). So since I don't like to waste food, I decided to blend them up in a healthy cream of broccoli soup!

This soup is dairy free, low in fat and you probably have most (if not all) of the ingredients in your fridge.

You can add ground turkey, ground chicken, grilled chicken, or vegetarian meat crumbles to increase the protein of this soup and make it a full meal. You can also add cheese and fresh herbs!

Cream of Broccoli Soup

Ingredients: 

1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (10 oz) bag frozen broccoli cuts or florets
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Directions:

1. Heat oil in a medium size pot. Add the onion, carrots and garlic and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. 
2. Add the broccoli, broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook 25 minutes.
3. Turn off the heat and allow the soup to cool.
4. Add cooled soup and 1/2 cup chickpeas to a blender. Blend until smooth. Reheat to serve.
 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Staying Healthy in Vegas? It's 100% Possible!

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. However, I have some tips and tricks for a healthy Vegas vacation that should definitely be shared!

Yes, staying on track in Vegas is 100% possible, and probably easier than you thought. While it's totally fine to let loose a little on vacation, it doesn't have to become a complete free-for-all. If you do a little planning ahead of time, it doesn't have to be something to stress over once you're there.

While it might not seem like the place for healthy living, beyond the night clubs and flashy lights
Las Vegas has endless options to help you work up a sweat. Whenever I book a hotel, I always check to see if they have a gym in the building. Some of them require you to pay for a day pass, while others are free. A simple call to the hotel can clear that up for you.

Fitness

Not only do most of the major hotels have gyms, but they also have fun classes that can add some spice to your normal routine. Here are some hotels that go above and beyond:

Cosmopolitan: Fitness center with state of the art equipment, tennis court, personal training and Sweat 60 (a boot-camp type class).

Aria: Fitness center spanning 6,000 square feet with just under 100 pieces of cardio equipment, weights, stability balls, stretching center and more. All while overlooking the the hotel's beautiful pools (there's 3!).

Wynn and Encore: Two fitness centers, personal training and classes including yoga, total conditioning, kick-boxing, indoor cycling, and more!

Mirage: Not only do they have regular and poolside yoga classes, but you can take a yoga class alongside the underwater dolphin viewing area! Fitness facility too!

The Venetian: Fitness center, classes AND a rock climbing wall at the Canyon Ranch SpaClub.

If your hotel doesn't happen to have a gym, you can save/screen shot some body weight work-out routines from a reliable source on Instagram or Pintrest. Or, here's a great hotel room workout by my brother, Kevin Neglia, NSCA-CPT, FRCms, USAW-L1:

"Ladder to the Stratoshpere Workout"

Warm up your body then set a timer for 20 minutes. Then repeat the following until time runs out!*

1 burpee
2 Walking Lunges
4 Air Squats 
2 Burpees
4 Walking Lunges
8 Air Squats
3 Burpees
6 Walking Lunges
12 Air Squats

*Follow pattern, increasing reps by 1, 2, and 3 respectively until the time runs out

@kevinneglia

Not into going to the gym while your away?  Dancing, swimming, and walking along the strip definitely count. Here are some other fun ideas for those of you that like a little adventure:

Guided Hike and Bike Tours: Be one with nature just 25 minutes outside of the Las Vegas strip with All Mountain Cyclery.

Love horseback riding? Try a Wild West Horseback Adventure trail ride with the perks of visiting a cowboy town and a petting zoo!

You can find all sorts of fun activities in Vegas (who knew?!). For some great deals, check out Las Vegas Deals!

Food:

As far as food goes, I rarely find it difficult to find healthy options while eating out. Yes, there will be some restaurants that you will visit to really experience the menu and cuisine. So my advice would be: pick and choose your indulgences. For the other "less special" meals, make more nutritious choices to balance it all out. Here's a few options that are healthy AND delicious:

ProteinHouse:  Founded by a bodybuilding couple, ProteinHouse offers healthy options from salads and wraps, to burgers and protein pancakes. They even list their nutrition information on their site!

Side Note: I would avoid the juices and acai bowls. Look at the information on the site to determine which meals would best suit your needs.

EATT: Influenced by French cuisine, this healthy eatery also has vegan and gluten free options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They have pictures of their food on their website that are drool-worthy. And the chef is nice on the eyes as well ;)


Canyon Ranch Grill: Located inside Canyon Ranch SpaClub in the Palazzo, I can say from experience that this place is LEGIT. Start with an egg white omelet or tofu scramble for breakfast and come back for a roasted veggie salad with protein topping of your choice (tofu, salmon, chicken, or shrimp). They have vegetarian and gluten free options, and provide stevia as a sweetener for coffee/tea!

IMPORTANT NOTE: Don't forget the alcohol. You don't have to forgo it completely, but just understand that a few drinks a day can add up to another meal. Steer clear of any fancy frozen or mixed drinks. Distilled liquor on the rocks or with soda water is your best bet. You can also go with wine or light beer.  And HYDRATE!!! Have a glass of water in between each drink.

Snacks and Such: Stock your hotel mini fridge with yogurt, cottage cheese, fruits, veggies, and plenty of water. If you need some options for on the go (including the plane ride!) I like KIND bars (including their Popped!, Strong and KIND, and breakfast bars), Quest bars, Glenny's Soy Crisps, Enlightened Crisps, Oatmega Bar, RXBar, Nugo Slim Bar, Think Thin Lean Protein and Fiber bar, and Good Greens Wellness bar.

Finally, if you want the ultimate wellness package, consider a Stay Well Room (offered at the MGM grand or at 6 different Marriott properties). These rooms come with air purification, a natural foam memory mattress, a shower infuser to keep hair and skin stay soft and smooth, circadian mood lighting, aromatherapy and more!

In closing: stay active, mind your alcohol, and pick and choose your indulgences!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

How NOT To Freak Out About Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving: The time of year that we come together and celebrate with food. So many of my clients have a lot of anxiety leading up to this holiday. They don't want to ruin their hard earned progress, or the idea of celebrating a holiday that revolves around food is scary to them. Add on the stress of traveling, cooking the turkey, or dreading the conversation at the dinner table (How's school? How's work? Why are you still single?...You get the gist) and it can all feel very overwhelming. 

 But, you shouldn't freak out. Why? Because one meal is not going to ruin your progress. Plus, as much as people like to bad-mouth Thanksgiving food, many of the traditional foods served are very nutritious. And guess what? You can have these foods whenever you want. In fact, there's a sandwich shop in NYC that has a Thanksgiving sandwich on the menu. All year round. And stuffing is always in the grocery store. So if you fear that you will go overboard because it'll be another year before you can have these foods, keep in mind that you can have turkey and stuffing any time you want. 

A big  mistake a lot of people make it that they skip breakfast or don't eat all day to "save" their calories for the big meal. This is NOT a good idea because you will most likely overdo it later on. Have a high fiber, high protein breakfast to kick start the day and to keep your blood sugar levels in check. Think of Thanksgiving dinner as any other dinner: protein, vegetables, and carbohydrates. They are just in different forms than the usual. Would you skip meals on a non-holiday day? No. So don't do it on Thanksgiving either. 

Don't deprive yourself. If you're dying for Grandma's stuffing, put it on your plate. If you tell yourself you can't have something you'll want it even more, and may wind up overdoing it in the end because you won't feel satisfied. Leave what doesn't really interest you (don't put the potatoes on  your plate if you're not really into them). Same goes for dessert. Take a small dessert plate and fill it with desserts that you really enjoy. Then move on.

Don't get so caught up in the food that you forget the real reason you're gathering for this holiday. It's a time to make memories with friends and family, It's a time to celebrate, and to express gratitude and thanks. You can get back on track at your next meal. 




Sunday, November 13, 2016

iHeart Radio Health and Wellness Expo 2016

Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of speaking on a panel along with Dr. Oz, Jeanette Jenkins, Carlo Filippone, Autumn Calabrese, Dr. Mike, and Mike Woods at the iHeartRadio Health and Wellness Expo in New York City.  
 


I wanted to share one of the questions that I was asked by our commentator, Shelli Sonstein of Q104.3:

"What is one thing you would tell someone that wants to lose weight?"

Loaded question. But the one thing I would tell anyone who wants to lose weight is DO NOT DIET. Do not follow the latest fad diet or the meal plan in your favorite magazine. Here's why:

Diets are temporary ways of eating that yield temporary results. They always backfire.

Even if someone loses some weight in the beginning, they gain it back (and then some!). Dieting makes us forget what normal eating is and puts us out of touch with our innate ability to regulate food intake. Think about when you were a child. You ate when you were hungry, and stopped when you were full. Amazing, right?

Diets make us question ourselves. Diets make us categorize food as "good" or "bad". Diets ultimately destroy our relationship with food.

Everyone has that friend that eats whatever he or she wants, but still stays thin. I can bet that that person has never dieted. They eat when they want when they want it, so their body feels satisfied. They don't feel guilty after eating. They eat for fuel and move on with their lives. When we deprive ourselves because we are trying to follow a diet, it's hard to feel satisfied. So we keep looking for more food. This may cause us to binge, or eat more than we would have if we just ate what we truly felt our body wanted.

The major thing that I think people don't realize is that you don't have to drastically cut your intake or limit your food options to lose weight. In fact, it's not healthy to do that. The main goal is to lose weight while keeping your intake up as high as you can. For example, for someone that usually eats 2700 calories a day, it would be totally unnecessary and unhealthy to cut back to 1200 calories a day.

For anyone that wants to lose weight, I would tell them to assess where you're at. Be honest with yourself. Keep a three day food record. Ask your self how you can modify things to cut your intake a bit (Midday fancy coffee drink? Office candy?). Choose to to change something that feels realistic. Make a new goal for yourself each week. Be patient and kind to your body. It's the only one you've got!

And of course, if you're totally unsure where to start, ask a dietitian for help. At Brown and Medina Nutrition, we offer one on one counseling in office or through Skype!
 

 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Pumpkin Flavored Everything


The pumpkin craze is at an all time high. The food industry has been keeping up with the demands to pumpkin-ize almost everything from Pop Tarts and bread to yogurt and coffee. While it's increasingly becoming an obsession all year round, pumpkin is truly in season from September to November.


Pumpkin is a type of squash with a bright orange color that comes from it's rich source of beta-carotene. Beta carotene is an important flavonoid compound with antioxidant properties. Our bodies convert beta carotene into Vitamin A which aids vision and supports eye health. Pumpkins are also a great source of fiber, potassium (1 cup of cooked pumpkin has more potassium than a banana!) and Vitamin C. 

However, just because a food is pumpkin flavored, it does not mean that you will receive the same health benefits. In fact, many flavored foods are often artificially flavored, high in sugar, and offer little to no nutritional value.

We've rounded up a few of the healthier pumpkin-flavored food options to get your pumpkin fix:

Siggi's Pumpkin & Spice 2% Yogurt: With real ingredients, 14 grams of protein, and less sugar than most, this yogurt is good grab. Even better, buy a plain Greek yogurt and stir in canned pumpkin, pumpkin spice, and a drizzle of pure maple syrup.

Kashi Crunchy Granola Bars Pumpkin Spice Flax: Crunchy and satisfying, these bars are lower in sugar and more portion controlled than grabbing a few handfuls of granola.

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte (Modified): While making your own version at home with pumpkin flavored coffee is probably your best bet, every once and a while a little help from Starbucks won't hurt. Just ask your barista to use non-fat milk, hold the whipped cream, and use only one pump of syrup for a grande size. These small changes can save calories and about 13 grams of fat (8 g of which are saturated!).

Pumpkin Bagels: While neither are 100% whole wheat, Trader Joe's and Thomas' are two of the best options if you're craving a pumpkin bagel. While they do not
have much fiber (2 grams fiber per bagel), they are portion controlled and contain 8-9 grams of protein per serving. Another option: Buy the 100% whole wheat versions of these brands and spread them with low-fat cream cheese, a light spread of real pumpkin butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon!

Pumpkin Puffins Cereal: Barbara's Puffins are lower in sugar, has real pumpkin in the ingredient list, and is only 110 calories per serving.

Slow Churned Dreyer's Pumpkin Patch Ice Cream: Not exactly a nutrient packed snack, but it's one of the better options with half the calories and fat and less sugar than other competing brands.

Find more articles like this by signing up for the Brown and Medina Newsletter!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Trader Joe's Food Haul: My Favs

Trader Joe's has a way of making my life easier and tastier :)

I'm so excited that a new Trader Joe's opened up just walking distance from my apartment. I dropped in a few days ago and wanted to share some of the items I purchased along with ideas on how to use them.

Cauliflower Rice: I was making cauliflower rice before it was cool, and now it's EVERYWHERE! Now, Trader Joe's does most of the work by ricing the cauliflower for you. Use it for cauliflower rice, cauliflower pizza, cauliflower pancakes, cauliflower bread, and cauliflower oatmeal! Not only is it easier than doing it yourself, it's also cheaper than buying a head of cauliflower.


Trader Joe's Sprouted Wheat Bread: Basically a cheaper version of Ezekiel bread. It's hearty and delicious, and perfect for avocado toast! 


Trader Joe's Meatless Meatballs: I'm not vegetarian, but I do like vegetarian food. These are by far the best vegetarian meatballs I've ever had. My favorite way to eat them is with spaghetti squash and tomato sauce.



Trader Joe's Cilantro and Jalapeno Hummus: I usually just go regular, but wanted to try this flavor to spice things up. Use it on sandwiches, as a topping for chicken, as a dip for veggies, or even as a "dressing" for salad!

Trader Joe's Sweet Basil Pesto Smoked Chicken and Turkey Sausage: Healthier substitute for regular sausage! I love using this in stir-fries, pasta dishes, and even sandwiches (with tomato sauce and melted mozzarella- YUM). This is great to have on hand for quick meals.


Bagged Arugula and Spinach: I use spinach almost daily in my eggs, and was really feeling arugula for my salads this week!

Pastrami Smoked Atlantic Salmon: Smoked salmon can get pricey, but TJ's keeps it affordable. I used this in a giant salad with lots of veggies and goat cheese the day I bought it, then used the leftovers on TJ's Sprouted Wheat Bread toast with low-fat cream cheese!

I also loaded up on some essentials such as veggies, fruit, and eggs! What's some of your favorite products from Trader Joe's?

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Hair, Nails, and Skin Supplements: Do They Actually Work?



I was at a beauty event for Fashion Week recently. On the way out, I was given a goody bag that included a bottle of Nature’s Made Hair, Skin, and Nails Gummies. It’s a pretty pink bottle that claims to provide “the vital nutrients your body needs to support your natural beauty from within.”


It’s no secret that everyone wants beautiful hair, nails, and skin. The idea of getting this by chewing a gummy sounds like a dream come true. But does it actually work….

OK, so let’s assume that you have brittle nails and thinning hair. Your skin looks tired and dry.  Let’s also assume that there are not underlying medical conditions contributing to any of these things. And let’s consider the following:

Brittle Nails: Cause by exposure to harsh solvents (nail polish remover, cleaners) and/or constant wetting and drying of the nails/hands and lifestyle choices such as smoking and poor diet.

Thinning, Dry Hair: Caused by excessive heat or harsh styling products, tight updo’s, coloring and perms, emotional or physical stress and poor diet.

Dry, Blemished Skin: Poor hygiene, tanning, smoking and poor diet.

Notice a trend here? Let’s say you don’t use harsh cleaners, you don’t wear heavy make-up, and you don’t color your hair. Then what we’re left with is nutrition. And guess what? A SUPPLEMENT WILL NOT MAKE UP FOR A POOR DIET. 

In case you still want to consider this supplement because you think your nutrition is on point, let’s take a closer look at Nature’s Bounty Hair, Skin, and Nails gummies. Here is the ingredient list:

Other Ingredients: Corn Syrup, Sugar, Dicalcium Phosphate, Grape Juice Color Concentrate, Gelatin, Modified Food Starch, Citric Acid, Lactic Acid, Natural Strawberry Flavor, Black Carrot Juice Color Concentrate, Maltodextrin, Fractionated Coconut Oil (Contains one or more of the following: Carnauba Wax, Beeswax), Silica. 

So the gummy is mostly made of corn syrup and sugar. Awesome. 

Two gummies provide the following:



Currently, there are VERY WEAK, and VERY FEW quality studies on biotin and its ability to improve the health of our hair, nails and skin. And unless you are taking certain medications or have a medical condition that makes it hard to absorb nutrients, it is VERY RARE to be deficient in biotin. 

Instead of wasting your money on supplements, buy some high quality food. Not getting enough iron-rich protein could be a huge reason why your nails and hair are not as healthy as they could be. Some examples of iron-rich protein would be:

Chicken, turkey, lean red meat, tofu, eggs

If you’re vegetarian or vegan, you’ll want to assess your intake of zinc and iron since they are both essential to keratin formation. They are both naturally found in meats and some seafood, but as a vegetarian or vegan you can find sources of these nutrients in beans. 

Other things to consider: Decrease the amount of added sugar in your diet, mind your alcohol, drink plenty of water, and EAT ENOUGH. Malnutrition is the sure way to make everything look and feel like crap.

Creamy Cauliflower "Oatmeal"

This low-carb breakfast is as thick, creamy, and delicious as it looks- and its huggeeeee!! This will keep you full and satisfied throughout the morning. 


Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups (150 grams) cauliflower florets 
2 tablespoons quick oatmeal
1 cup unsweetened cashew or almond milk 
2 packets stevia 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
1/3 cup liquid egg whites 
1/2 scoop protein powder 
1 tablespoon sugar free pudding mix (optional, but makes everything thicker and more flavorful) 

Directions:

1. Rice the cauliflower in a food processor (basically blend until very finely chopped). Add the oatmeal to the cauliflower and blend it all together until they oats are basically a flour. Add this mixture to a pot with the milk, stevia, and vanilla. Cook for about 3 minutes. 

2. Slowly whisk or stir the egg whites into the pot-- stir constantly so the eggs don't set!! Once it starts to get fluffy (about 3-4 minutes) turn off the heat. 

3. Add the protein powder (I used @pescience ) and sugar free pudding mix (if using). Add your fav toppings!! 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Grocery Shopping: Best Brands Part I

Food labels can be confusing. While most of us know that whole wheat bread or yogurt is good for us, choosing the right brand can make or break our healthy eating efforts. Here's a couple of brands that have the best labels when it comes to sodium, calories, and quality of ingredients:

Bread: To make sure you're making the best choice, make sure the first ingredient on the label reads "100% whole wheat" or "stone ground whole wheat".

Ezekiel Bread
Nature's Own 100% Whole Wheat Bread
Pepperidge Farm Stoneground 100% Whole Wheat Bread

Yogurt: Your best bet is to stick to plain, unsweetened yogurt and adding in your own sweetener such as fruit, stevia, or a light drizzle of honey. When fruit is added to a yogurt it is mostly sugar (around 3-4 teaspoons!).

Siggi's Icelandic Style Skyr
Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt
Fage Total Plain Greek Yogurt (0% or 2%)

If you cannot tolerate eating plain yogurt, try on of the flavored Siggi's yogurts or Simply Chobani (this variation has less added sugar).

Oatmeal: Try adding cinnamon or fruit to sweeten plain oatmeal or try one of the following combos: peanut butter and banana, blueberries and walnuts, or strawberries and unsweetened coconut flakes. For a thicker, creamier oatmeal, try adding a spoonful or two of plain yogurt (see best choices above) or canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling!).

Quaker Oats Old Fashioned Quick 1-Minute or Steel Cut
McCann's Irish Oatmeal

If you NEED a flavored option: Nature's Path Qi'a Superfoods Hot Oatmeal Cinnamon Pumpkin Seed OR Nature's Path Flax Plus

Cold Cereal: You want to find a cereal that is made with whole grains, has less than 10 grams of sugar, and has at least 3 grams of fiber.

Cheerios
Post Bran Flakes
Love Grown Power O's
Nature's Path Flax Plus

Condiments: Depending what you're using, condiments can be really high in sodium and calories. While the sodium may still be high for some of these items, they are better than most!

Annie's Naturals Ketchup
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Sauce or Annie's Organic Original BBQ sauce
Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki sauce
Bolthouse Farms Yogurt Dressings or Vinaigrettes
Annie's Lite Dressing
Bragg's Liquid Aminos (instead of soy sauce)



Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Roasted Sunflower Protein Cookies

Perfect lunchbox or after-school/after work snack! Full of healthy fats and satiating protein to keep you fuller, longer.

I buy my flours, sugar, flaxseed etc. from Vitacost. For $10 off your first order, use my link!

Roasted Sunflower Protein Cookies




Ingredients:

1/2 cup sweet rice flour
1 scoop (33 grams) vanilla whey protein (I used Cellucor)
1/4 cup coconut sugar (or regular)
3 tablespoons nut butter of choice (I used sunflower butter)
1 flax egg (or regular egg)*
3 tablespoons roasted sunflower seed kernels
2 tablespoons water

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Mix all ingredients until a dough forms. Divide into 9 cookies shapes. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
3. Bake for 12 minutes. Enjoy!

*Flax egg: Mix together 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons water. Allow to sit 5 minutes before use.

Nutrition Info (1 cookie): 97 calories, 4 g Fat, 9.5 g Carbohydrates, 4.5 g Protein

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Coconut Oatmeal Squares

These squares taste even better than they look!!!

I was using up some random ingredients I had in my pantry. If you don't have sweet rice flour, substitute almost any flour other than coconut or almond.

Not only is the macronutrient ratio (protein/carbs/fat) AMAZING, but they are super satisfying and perfect for snacking!!


Coconut Oatmeal Squares

Ingredients:

1 cup quick cooking oatmeal
3/4 cup sweet rice flour
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (33 grams)
1/3 cup granulated stevia
2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
pinch of salt
1/2 cup 0% plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons nut butter of choice
3/4 cup unsweetened cashew milk
1 teaspoon mini chocolate chips (or more!!)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Stir together dry ingredients (oatmeal through the flaxeeds) in a large bowl. Add wet ingredients (yogurt through the cashew milk) and stir to combine.

2. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray. Add the mixture to the loaf pan. Sprinkle the mini chocolate chips on top. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until knife comes out clean.

3. Allow to cool, then cut into 12 squares!

Nutrition Information: 114 Calories, 3.5 grams Fat, 14 grams CHO, 6 grams Protein

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Shrimp with Spaghetti Squash and Peas

Shrimp with Spaghetti Squash and Peas


Ingredients:

6 ounces raw shrimp, tail off
1 cup cooked spaghetti squash
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

1. Heat a medium pan over medium heat. Season the shrimp with garlic salt. Spray the pan with cooking spray, add the shrimp and cook about two minutes per side (or until pink).

2. Cook the frozen peas in the microwave (about 1 1/2 minutes). Toss the peas,with the spaghetti squash, olive oil and cheese. Serve the shrimp on top.



Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Caramelized Onion, Feta, and Blue Cheese Chicken Burgers

Summer Time = Burger Time. 

I had some fat blueberries in my fridge and thought they would add an interesting element to the chicken burgers I was planning on making. As usual, I wanted to keep them SIMPLE. 

The blueberries add a pop of sweet flavor and almost act like a condiment for the burger (instead of ketchup). Don't knock it till you try it!!


Caramelized Onion, Feta, and Blueberry Chicken Burger

Ingredients:

1 small onion, thinly sliced 
1/2 packet stevia
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar 
1 lb ground chicken breast
1/3 cup feta cheese
1/2 cup blueberries 
Salt and pepper to taste 

Directions:

1. Spray a nonstick pan with cooking spray and heat over medium high heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the stevia and balsamic. Cook until the balsamic starts to reduce (abut 1-2 minutes). Set aside and allow to cool. 

2. In a large bowl, mix the chicken, feta, onions, salt and pepper. Fold in the blueberries. Form into 4-6 patties. Cook on a hot skillet sprayed with cooking spray (about 5-6 minutes per side depending on how thick they are).

Nutrition Information: 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Protein Cookie

This is THE best protein cookie I've ever made!

I've been on the run lately, and found myself grabbing bars or Len and Larry's protein cookies. Which taste great, but I don't love that even their smaller cookie has 15 grams of sugar. So I decided to try to make my own version of Len and Larry's :)

This came out like soft baked cookie perfection for when you want a cookie or two, but don't feel like making an entire batch.


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Protein Cookie

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons PEScience Blondie protein powder (or any other flavor)
1 tablespoon sorghum flour (whole wheat works too)
Dash of cinnamon
1 teaspoon peanut butter
2 tablespoons canned pumpkin
4 teaspoons liquid egg whites
3-4 drops liquid stevia (or granulated is fine- add it to taste)

Chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F

2. Mix the dry ingredients in a small bowl. In another small bowl, whisk together the egg whites and pumpkin.

2.  Warm the peanut butter in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Add the peanut butter and wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix until combined (don't overdo it!) and a dough is formed.

3. Divide the dough into two. Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Form two cookie shapes with the dough and place on the parchment. If using, add some chocolate chips. Bake for about 16 minutes. Allow to cool.

Nutrition Info (without chocolate chips): 3.5 grams Fat, 13.5 grams Carbs, 15 grams Protein

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Chicken Braised in Walnut Sauce

This is an oldddd recipe from Cooking Light magazine. I used to make it all the time in college. It's an easy one-dish meal that makes you feel like a fancy-pants while eating it. Walnuts are an omega-3 bonus.



Chicken Braised in Walnut Sauce

Ingredients:

- 2 teaspoons olive oil 
- 4  (8-ounce) chicken breasts
- 1/3 cup finely chopped onion 
- 1 garlic clove, minced 
- 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts 
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (I usually use whole wheat or spelt)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
- 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper 
- 1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth (water works too)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley 
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar 
- 1/4 teaspoon salt 
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

Directions:

1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove from pan. Add onion and garlic to pan; cook 2 minutes or until tender. 

2. Combine flour, cinnamon and red pepper and sprinkle over walnuts; stirring to coat. Add broth and stir with a whisk, stirring constantly. Add walnuts and cook 1 minute or until toasted, stirring constantly. 

3. Return chicken to pan. Cover and simmer 15 minutes or until chicken is done and sauce is slightly thick.

4. Stir in parsley, vinegar, salt, and black pepper. Remove from heat and serve! Great over rice!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Tofu, Mushroom, and Farro Stir-fry

Farro is one of my favorite grains, although I rarely make it. It's sort of like brown rice, but it's chewier, and has a nutty, earthy flavor. Farro contains more fiber than brown rice and quinoa, and is a good source of zinc, iron, magnesium and B3.


Tofu, Mushrooms, and Farro Stir-fry

Ingredients:

1/4 cup uncooked farro
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 large onion, thinly sliced
1 package baby bella mushrooms
1 package light firm tofu
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon Bragg's Liquid Aminos
Salt
Garlic Powder
Paprika
Oregano

Directions:

1. Cook the farro as per package directions.

2. Spray a large non-stick skillet with cooking spray. Add one teaspoon olive oil. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 4 minutes.

3. Add 1 package of baby bella mushrooms and cook until soft (about 5 minutes). Drain the package of tofu. Crumble into the pan (I use a spatula to break it up or my hands). Add salt, garlic powder, paprika, oregano, and the nutritional yeast. Stir to combine.

4. Add the cooked farro and Bragg's Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce). Stir together to combine and serve!

Serves 2

Nutrition Info: 254 Calories, 6 grams Fat, 25 g Carbohydrates, 25 grams Protein