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Go Nuts! A Handful of Nuts a Day May Help You Live Longer

21 Nov

Good news this week for nut fans! A new study found a strong link between regular nut consumption and lower risk of death. Over three decades participants who ate a 1-ounce serving of nuts every day had a 20% lower all-cause mortality risk compared to those who did not nosh on this healthy snack. In addition to decreased death rates, nut eaters were 25% less likely to die from heart disease, 10% less likely to die from cancer, and 20% less likely to die from diabetes or lung disease.

We have long known that nuts are chock-full of healthy unsaturated fats, fiber and protein. In fact, in 2003 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended eating 1.5 ounces of nuts per day for their heart-protective benefits. Nuts have also been linked to weight control.

My favorite part of this new finding is that the health benefits apply to ALL nuts. Study participants consumed an array of nuts including cashews, almonds, walnuts, and more. So no matter what your nut of choice is, you can reap the benefits. Many clients will ask “Which is healthier, walnuts or pecans?”, or my least favorite “Is it true that almonds are lower in carbs than other nuts?” No need to split hairs- the most important thing is to choose nuts you enjoy so you will actually eat them! Also, it’s best to avoid nuts and nut mixes drenched in sugar and/or sodium.

Serving size is a little different for each variety, but one serving is roughly  ¼ cup. Nuts are definitely nutrient dense, but they are also calorie-dense, meaning it is easy to over-do it. Try pre-portioning them into snack bags for perfect portable snacks.

Here’s some inspiration to put this nutty news into action now…

In Larabar form (digging this seasonal flavor right now- HIGHLY recommend!)

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Walnuts on my cereal

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Pistachios paired with a piece of fruit

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Homemade candied almonds  (add a dash of cayenne for an unexpected kick!)

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A variety mixed into fiber-rich trail mix

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Pecans in my salad

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Cashews in my stirfry

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Caution when interpreting this good news- it is not realistic to think you can simply add a serving of nuts to a couch potato fast-food lifestyle and expect to add years to your life. Researchers did their best to control for various lifestyle factors, but it is not likely that nuts single-handedly improved peoples’ health. It is possible that nut eaters have healthier overall habits than non-nut eaters.

The bottom line: regular nut consumption should be incorporated into a healthy, balanced diet active lifestyle. Not sure how to make that happen? That’s what a registered dietitian nutritionist is for 🙂

What are you waiting for, go nuts! Thanks for reading 🙂

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Breakfasts and Lunches on Repeat

3 Aug

Hey there! Hope you are okay with a bit of randomness today…

I’ve been quite the creature of habit when it comes to breakfasts and lunches recently.

Breakfast has looked something like this:

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Some combination of old-fashioned oats/cereal, yogurt, soymilk, fruit, and nuts/nut butter. It’s been hitting the spot!

Lunches haven’t been much more adventurous…

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Between our garden, JWD’s parents’ garden, and the farmer’s market , we’ve been struggling to keep up with the constant bounty of produce on the counter. Easiest way to utilize your produce- chop it up into a giant salad! Crackers and hummus have been accompanying most of my salads. 

On the life front, it’s business as usual with the exception of a few things…

We celebrated JWD’s and my sister’s birthdays last week! They have the same birthday 🙂

This has been happening…

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My mom and I took trip to Chicago for an extravaganza of bridal appointments. It was a blast! Apparently the legend of the “bridezilla” really exists because each place we went was well-equipped for her- plush dressing suites, cold beverages, fluffy robes, and a sound system with an iPod dock. You know, just in case you happened to bring along a special playlist specifically for trying on wedding dresses 😉  I have my eye on the first dress of the trip (not the one you are peaking at in this picture). 

We’ve also been enjoying some pool time in the unusually mild midsummer weather. 

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I’ve discussed a lot of interesting topics with clients lately that I’d like to address soon including gluten-free diets, vegetarian protein sources, and the oxymoron of healthy restaurant food. Stay tuned for that!

Thanks for reading 🙂 

Friday Favorites

19 Jul

Happy Friday! Thought I’d pop in and share a few things that I’ve been groovin’ on this week…

1. Running skirts!

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These have become a summer staple. Since I’m in workout clothes for both work and play, it’s fun to mix things up with something girly 🙂 Running skirts- love ’em or hate ’em?

2. Cereal

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Ice cold breakfasts are a necessity on smokin’ hot STL summer mornings. Even before 7am the air was thick and sticky this week. I enjoyed my cereal in many ways- with milk and yogurt, parfait style, and on top of a thick smoothie (the last one is my fave!). I don’t have a go-to cereal, but I try to stick with these rules:  

  1. At least 4g fiber
  2. At least 3g protein
  3. Less than 8g of sugar (I’m willing to flex on this one if #1 and #2 are stellar)

This week I went with Kashi GoLean Cinnamon Crumble because it was on sale. Great in the fiber and protein department, but 12g of sugar will keep it off of my “staples” list.

3. This salad

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I ate this salad at Companion this week and it was INCREDIBLE! A HUGE bowl of spinach topped with tomatoes, edamame, sunflower seeds, avocado, and feta with lemon vinaigrette and a hunk ‘a crusty bread on the side. Definitely recreating this at home!

4. Circuit training

The heat makes me feel like a slug and completely “melts” my motivation 😉 So most of my workouts have been indoor circuit-style workouts that give me  a good sweat and sore muscles. Look forward to more gym and at-home circuit workouts!

5. Cha-cha-cha-chia!

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We were out of flaxseed this week, so I pulled the chia seeds out of the depths of the freezer for my omega-3 fix. Just like flax, you can put them in smoothies, on cereal, and salads. My seeds made their way into my green juice and smoothies.

Have an excellent weekend! Thanks for reading 🙂

Recently…

13 Jul

Yay, it’s finally the weekend! I love that cozy place between last week’s craziness and preparation for next week. Saturdays are where the magic happens!

After a glorious 8 hour slumber, we headed out for breakfast and the farmer’s market.

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fruit/yogurt/granola parfait, scrambled egg, Companion 5-Grain toast, and coffee.

Today’s haul included eggs, beets, peaches, blackberries, green beans, sweet corn, broccoli, heirloom tomatoes, and summer squash.

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We also made a quick stop at the mall (before it got crazy busy) and made it home by 11a.m. Love Saturday mornings like that!

Let’s reverse– some highlights from last week…

Overnight oats with the sunrise. Blueberry/peach is my new favorite combo! I’m also loving Wallaby greek yogurt. This batch of oats is topped with toasted crushed walnuts.

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Christmas in July! French press for one with Nutcracker Sweet inbru that I found in the depths of the cabinet.

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Gracie wishing I’d made French press for two…

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Food For Life Ezekiel Flax toast, scrambled eggs, and peaches +blueberries…

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My new favorite snack: frozen banana slices with a schmear of coconut almond butter.

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Popcorn + almonds

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A few epic salads were devoured last week….

This one is a mix of greens, roasted corn/green beans/onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, croutons, and tofu. Baked salt & vinegar chips on the side.

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And this one is greens, a crumbled veggie burger, brown rice, cucs, tomatoes, and dolups of hummus and greek yogurt. The salt & vin chips made another appearance!

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The best dinner of the week was this Mexican bowl, hands down!

Brown rice, smashed pinto beans, sautéed summer squash and onions seasoned with chili powder/cayenne/paprika, tomatoes, greek yogurt, cilantro, and a heap of nooch! So. Good.

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Also had some fun with the spiralizer. More on that later!

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Also last week….

Mornin’ garden gazin’ (check out that bedhead, hehe)

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And a midweek Dave Matthews Band concert! Out past 8pm on a Wednesday night? Who are we??

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Enjoy the rest of your weekend! I’ve got some good stuff in the drafts folder! Thanks for reading 🙂

Post-Holiday Happenings + “No Gym Required” Workout

8 Jul

I hope you all enjoyed a long holiday weekend! Ours was great- family time, friend time, pool time, patio time (and a million bug bites to show for it!). I always feel a little foggy coming off of an extended vacation/holiday and look forward to getting back to my routine 🙂

To lift myself out of my fog on Sunday, I did this cardio workout. You guys have requested more “no gym required” workouts, so here you go! This is a great workout to do at a track/bleachers or anywhere with a flight of stairs.

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After getting hot and sweaty I showered and headed straight to the kitchen- my favorite place to be on a Sunday afternoon. We got an amazing farmer’s market haul on Saturday, so I was extra excited to do some cooking. I made a green juice with grapefruit that totally hit the spot. Then I got to work on Kath’s baked oatmeal for the week, and white bean veggie burgers, kale chips, and sweet corn for dinner.

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After dinner activities included some work (yuck!), couch time, and popcorn (yum!).

I kicked off the post-holiday Monday with a baked oatmeal square topped with peanut butter and headed to the gym for work. After work I made a spontaneous grocery trip primarily to get anti-itch cream for my bug bites. They kept me awake last night!

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The rest of the day…

Lunch

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Veggie burger crumbled over greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, and topped with balsamic dressing and goat cheese. A mix of Popchips and rice crackers with hummus on the side.

Pre-yoga snack

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Greek yogurt, almond butter, the juiciest peach ever (SO happy peaches are in season!!!), and apple slices. Not very pretty, but yummy!

Yoga was really hard tonight. At one point I even considered leaving, but I toughed it out and my stress levels (and my hips) are happy I did.

Dinner roasted in the oven while I showered.

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Tofu with a sriracha/cayenne/chili powder/paprika rub, beets, and beet greens sautéed with olive oil/garlic/apple cider vinegar all topped with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast.

Now it’s time for reading and sleeping! Thanks for reading 🙂

Getting in the Groove + a Cardio Workout

19 Jun

Hey there! Wow, two posts within less than a month- I’m on a roll 😉 This week I finally feel like I have a rhythm going in my new work/life schedule. I used to despise transitions, but I’ve had so many in the past few years that I’m learning to roll with them (and even enjoy them a little). Anyway…

I spent most of Tuesday in meetings and at my desk, so when I found an opportunity away for a workout in the afternoon I gladly took it. St. Louis gets pretty sticky in the summer, so late afternoon workouts will only be bearable for a little bit longer. I was in the mood to get my heart rate up after so much sitting, so I adapted this workout from my blog idol, Peanut Butter Runner.

Cardio Workout

1.5 mile run

*10 burpees

Run stairs – 2 laps

*20 squat jumps

Run stairs – 2 laps

*30 box jumps

Run stairs – 2 laps

*40 mountain climbers

Run stairs – 2 laps

*50 jump rope singles

1.5 mile run

After my workout, I downed a smoothie and headed back to the gym (shower not required = best perk of working at a gym) 🙂 Dinner was easy and amazing:

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Smashed pinto beans that I seasoned with cayenne, paprika, and chili powder combined with sautéed onions, peppers, yellow squash, corn, and tomatoes. I topped it with avocado lime dressing, greek yogurt, and nutritional yeast. I ate mine on a bed of salad greens, JWD ate his in a tortilla.

Today had an unexpectedly calm start when my early client cancelled, so I took advantage and had a quick breakfast before heading to the gym for a strength workout before my next appointment.

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Egg + egg white open-faced on an english muffin, a pile of juicy melon, and coffee. (and unpictured green juice).

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I spent the rest of the day working at my desk with a lunch break featuring dinner leftovers and a snack break.

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Hemp-a-licious (seriously, that’s what it’s called) brown rice cake topped with coconut almond butter and nature’s candy farmer’s market berries. This almond butter is my obsession right now. So. Good.

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I was feeling fancy for dinner, so we made salmon and a crazy concoction of millet, roasted beets, roasted cauliflower, and sautéed beet greens.

Now it’s time for reading and early bedtime! We have fun plans tomorrow night, so I need my rest tonight!

Thanks for reading 🙂

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