Super Bowl Swaps

Super Bowl Swaps

It’s almost game time!  Although you and/or your guests may enjoy and be looking forward to all the traditional football fare, you can try some of these tips to keep everyone healthy and happy!

Crush it with Crudités 

Instead of a couple of celery and carrot sticks to compliment the wings, make chopped veggies a colorful centerpiece. Use bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, tomato, asparagus, cucumber, jicama, zucchini or any other vegetable you like. Serve with healthy dips.  I love Cava brand for hummus/tzatziki as it lower in calories. Make sure there is no sugar added to your salsa.  Serve fresh guacamole or make your own. Try your own creamy creation using Siggi’s plain Icelandic yogurt as a base.  I love adding: olive oil, lemon juice, and Everything but the Bagel Seasoning for a savory snack.  Choose healthy alternatives for ranch dressing/dip. I like Sir Kensington’s and Tessamae brands for ranch. 

Root for Fruit!  

Whether it’s part of the cheese board, on its own, or for dessert, fruit is high in fiber to keep you full and sweet to curb that sweet tooth.  Add dried fruit to your cheese board (make sure it has no added sugar or oil) as well as all natural fruit spreads (Trader Joe’s, St. Dalfour, Polaner All Fruit are all good!). 

Change up the Cheese Board

Some of my favorite cracker brands are: Simple Mills, Mary’s Gone Crackers, Flackers and GG Fiber crackers. All are high fiber and made with healthy ingredients.  Many other crackers out there are made with white flour, hydrogenated oils, sugar and other additives/preservatives.  Choose some cheeses that are lower in fat: Parmesan, feta, mozzarella, goat, Camembert to name a few.  Add fruit as mentioned above: fresh and/or dry. Also add nuts. Make sure there is no oil or anything added to the nuts, expect a little salt.  

Salty Snacks

Select healthier versions of chips and popcorn for that crunch.  I recommend popcorn that is organic and contains ONLY popcorn, olive/coconut/avocado oil and salt (Note that non-organic popcorn is often made from GMO corn!)  Lesser Evil is a favorite brand in my house.  The same goes for potato chips: I recommend those made ONLY with potatoes, olive/avocado oil and salt.  My boys and I love Kettle Brand Chips made with avocado oil.  For tortilla-style chips, my favorite are Siete. They are grain free made only with cassava flour, avocado oil, coconut flour, chia seeds and salt!  Serve with salsa and guacamole as recommended above. 

Bites of Buffalo

Is it really SuperBowl without some sort of Buffalo something?!  I love recipes that use chicken breasts (instead of thighs or wings with skin because those have higher calories, fat, saturated fat and cholesterol). Try almond (you can substitute almond for regular flour in recipes), oat, brown rice or whole wheat flour for white flour. Use avocado or olive oil instead of vegetable oil. Also use ghee, coconut oil or olive/avocado oil in recipes that call for butter. Select a Buffalo sauce or hot sauce with all natural ingredients. I LOVE Siete foods hot sauces. And I like Noble Made Mild Buffalo sauce. It’s here but I found at Whole Foods. 
 
I really like these two Buffalo chicken recipes:
 
You can also sauté shrimp in Buffalo sauce. 
 
For my friends who prefer a vegan or vegetarian option, try these Buffalo cauliflower recipes! 
If you don’t have an air fryer, cook at 400 degrees in the oven for 10 more minutes!

Chill with Chili

There’s nothing better than a warm cup of chili on a cold winter day watching the Super Bowl.  Instead of traditional chili that can be high in saturated fat, made with ground beef, sour cream and cheddar cheese and mostly carbs (just beans), you can lighten it all up!  Even if you want to add meat (lean ground beef, chicken or turkey), I recommended starting with a mostly vegetable-based one like this one:
 
You can add the meat PLUS 2 cups baby spinach leaves (I always add more greens to all my cooked saucy dishes!) after step 1. 
 
For toppings try plain Siggi’s yogurt (instead or sour cream), shredded Parmesan or mozzarella instead of cheddar cheese, avocado, lime, or scallions to garnish. You could also dig in with your Siete chips! 

Not your Typical Nacho!

You can often enjoy the flavor of a favorite food with a twist on the traditional recipe. I love this Turkey Nacho recipe that doesn’t actually contain nachos. The turkey meat is placed inside mini bell peppers:
 
This paleo version is made with potatoes instead of chips and skips the cheese:

Pizza Power!

 
Why not try cauliflower pizza?!  Lots of your guests will thank you!!  I love the Cali’flour crusts that you can buy on Amazon. These are the best in my opinion. BUT I also have a super simple recipe where you can make your own. Check it out here:

 

 

Nourished for the New Year

Nourished for the New Year

Join us virtually from ANYWHERE in the world!  All you need is an email address, Facebook account, and access to a scale and measuring tape!

Join Registered Dietitian / Personal Trainer and Westport Mom, Robin Barrie Kaiden, MS, RD, CDN for YOUR CHOICE of 1 – 3 months to TRULY start 2019 out RIGHT.  Whether you want to lose a few pounds, get glowing skin, increase energy, learn simple meal prep tips and healthy recipes, or network with a like-minded group who will help motivate you to reach your own personal nutrition and health goals, this is for YOU!  Robin will guide you through healthy eating tips and tricks by sharing her Nutrition knowledge.  This is NOT a crash diet, but rather an eating lifestyle to ensure your body is NOURISHED to meet your nutrition needs.

Here are the details: 

Report your beginning weight and measurements to Robin (instructions will be provided for self-measurement).  You can do your own at home or come for a quick visit during Week 1, if you are local to Westport, CT.  This will be repeated during the end of Months 1, 2, and 3 (depending on which months you sign up for).  **For those of you desiring increased accountability, weekly weigh-ins is also an options. 

Enjoy Access to:

  • A private Facebook page for our group to support one another and ask Robin questions
  • A weekly LIVE CHAT where we can all get together virtually to discuss our strengths and struggles 
  • Robin’s Online Meal Planning and Food Journaling program and app
  • Access to Robin via email/text for any additional questions/support

Starting Handouts:  
Grocery Shopping Lists, Meal Suggestions, the Rules of the Plan

Weekly: 
Educational Topics to learn more about Nutrition and Healthy Eating

Daily:
Recipes, Meal and Snack Ideas, Facebook support

This session will run from January 21 to April 15. Month 1 starts Jan 21, Month 2 on Feb 18, and Month 3 on March 16.  Robin will work with each of you to help you meet your goals.  The price for the 3 months is $175/month or $150 per month for those who sign up and mention Westport Moms!!!!  All 3 months can be paid upfront OR at the beginning of each month on the dates mentioned above.  Email Robin to sign up now!  You will receive your online access and the Guides to get NOURISHED for the New Year of 2019 and beyond as SOON as you sign up, so you can get started.  The Facebook group officially begins January 21st

The cost is HALF PRICE ($87.50/month) for clients who have participated in Robin’s groups in the past!!  Stay current with all the latest Nutrition research/information and learn about new products/recipes/tips.  AND you will have continued access to the group (with new members!) and ongoing support/accountability.

Contact Robin to sign up or ask any questions:

Robin Barrie Kaiden, MS, RD, CDN
rkaiden@robinbarrie.com
917-648-1421

Chicken Bolognese

Chicken Bolognese

I make some version of this sauce at least once a week-it’s really pretty easy and quick.  Sometimes I use ground turkey, sometimes chicken and different veggies end up in the pot. Traditional Bolognese often has carrots, mushrooms, red wine, tomato paste, but I often use what I have on hand and what is quickest. This meal is FULL of veggies (think tons of #antioxidants and #fiber .) The #lycopene – great for skin, bone, and heart health – in the tomatoes is made more bioavailable (meaning it works better in the body) by being cooked with olive oil, since it’s fat-soluble.

Tag me if you try and ENJOY!  

Don’t forget to make extra for leftovers. The sauce is even better the next day!

Ingredients:
1 medium sweet onion chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil 
1 pound ground chicken breast 
1 bottle Rao’s Tomato Basil sauce (24-ounce size)
3 cups baby spinach leaves
1 Tbsp oregano 
1 tsp chili flakes (or to taste)
1 cup cauliflower rice (I used frozen organic from @traderjoes
1/2 cup steamed broccoli 🥦 (see my blog for the best way to cook!)

Directions:

  1. Pour olive oil into large pot/saucepan on medium heat. Sauté onions until they are browned. (I love the caramelized onion flavor so I cook them awhile!) 
  2. Add ground chicken and break apart/cook until all pink is gone and it is just about cooked through (about 4-5 mins if fresh, longer if you start with frozen, which I often do.)
  3. Add in the sauce. 
  4. Add in spinach and stir until it wilts into the sauce. 
  5. Add oregano and chili flakes to taste. 
  6. Simmer on low for at least 20 minutes ( I sometimes do 30-40 minutes or make earlier in the day then reheat for dinner. This blends all the flavors together and helps develop a richer taste as some of the water evaporates.)
  7. In a separate pot or pan warm up or cook cauliflower rice. I use olive oil spray so it doesn’t stick. Both fresh and frozen only need 3-5 minutes to cook.
  8. Steam broccoli. (Recipe on my blog under  “Simple Solutions”.)
  9. Layer sauce and broccoli over cauliflower rice and enjoy! Top with grated Parmesan as desired. (My husband enjoyed his over whole wheat pasta. You can use zoodles too!)
ENJOY!!
Cranberry Sauce with Pears

Cranberry Sauce with Pears

Yield: Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 2 medium pears, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch chunks
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons agave
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Direction

Combine cranberries, pears, coconut sugar, water, agave, orange juice, and salt in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Cook, stirring occasionally until berries start to pop, about 5 minutes.   Press berries against side of pan with wooden spoon and continue to cook until berries have broken down and sauce thickens to a jam-like consistency, about 5 minutes more.  Remove from heat and let cool for 30 minutes.  Adjust consistency with water as needed.  Stir in crystallized ginger.

Serve immediately or place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. Can be served cold or reheated.

 

Have a Healthy Holiday Season with enough protein:  Tips and Tricks for staying on Track

Have a Healthy Holiday Season with enough protein: Tips and Tricks for staying on Track

Have a Healthy Holiday Season:  Tips and Tricks for Staying on Track

Although some of us may have indulged in too many treats over Halloween, more of us have a greater struggle towards the end of this month as the official holiday season kicks off with Thanksgiving.  With all of the celebrations, parties, travel, extra dinners/drinks out and food everywhere, this time of year can become quite challenging to the waistline.  More food means extra calories, and calories DO count.  Since 3500 calories equal one pound of fat, it’s easy to see how pounds can creep on slowly.  Below are some of my best tips to stay on track, starting with your turkey!

Thanksgiving

– Instead of dark turkey meat, choose the white meat (or at least try half dark, half white).  It is a lean protein that is lower in fat, cholesterol, and calories. Skip the skin.  This is the part of the turkey that is highest in fat, cholesterol, and calories. 

– Yes, we all know turkey can taste dry and boring (especially the white meat), which is why we love our cranberry sauce and gravy toppings. Cranberry sauce has a great, sweet flavor and is lower in sodium, fat, and cholesterol than regular gravy.  Yes, cranberry sauce is often high in sugar and can add up quick in calories, so keep your portions small.  If you are hosting OR have the opportunity to bring a dish for your holiday meal, try my recipes:  Cranberry Pear Sauce (no refined white sugar/sweetened with pears) and Mushroom Gravy (none of the cholesterol since it’s meat and dairy free).   

– Instead of cream and butter, mash your potatoes with skim milk and ghee, cholesterol-free margarine or spread, OR olive oil. Season with garlic, chives, salt, and pepper to add flavor.  Or try using Greek or Icelandic yogurt (like Siggi’s) for a creamy taste.   You could also try Cauliflower Mash instead of mashed potatoes.  If you are already serving carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes and stuffing, it’s great to add an extra vegetable option. 

– Try baked or mashed sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes.  They are richer in minerals and vitamins, especially beta-carotene, and have a lower glycemic index.  Their natural sweet flavor can be enhanced with just a pinch of cinnamon, so they don’t need milk and butter or sugar.  OR try roasted white or sweet potato “chips”.  Slice potatoes thin and place in oven drizzled with olive oil or coconut oil and a sprinkle of pink Himalayan salt, then bake in the oven.  See the recipe on my blog:  https://www.robinbarrie.com/simple-sides-baked-sweet-potato-fries/

– Fill up on vegetable appetizers.  They are high in fiber and make you feel fuller longer.  This will help prevent overeating during the main meal.  If you are hosting, make sure to put out a crudités  (peppers, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, cucumber, jicama) with dips such as guacamole, salsa, hummus, tzatziki.   I love Cava brand for dips as they are lower in calories!

– If you are a guest at someone else’s house (and you are unsure what they may serve you), spoil your appetite.  Have a significant filling snack or small meal before you go:  yogurt + fruit, a salad, vegetable soup, or even half a sandwich.  This way you will not arrive hungry at your dinner and will be less tempted by unhealthy options. DO NOT “save your calories” for your large, late holiday meal.  If you eat a large quantity (think: holiday meal, drinks, dessert) of calories late in the day, there is likely not enough time to burn them off before you go to bed. 

– If you are hosting Thanksgiving, you have the control (and your guests will thank you) to offer healthier, higher fiber options (fiber helps you feel full).  Serve a green salad and/or vegetable soup for beginning courses.  Make a vegetable, nut, and/or whole grain-based stuffing.  (See my Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Quinoa Stuffing recipe.) Include another vegetable side, such as Brussels sprouts, asparagus, green beans or zucchini. 

– Offer and/or choose healthy hors-d’oeuvres.  Try the crudités mentioned above. Add whole grain crackers (GG Fiber, Brown Rice Crackers, Flackers, Mary’s Gone Crackers, Jilz Crackers) and whole grain bread with lower fat cheeses: parmesan, feta, goat, mozzarella.  Try adding shrimp cocktail, plain nuts, olives, and fruit as healthy options and/or part of your cheese plate. 

Be on Portion Patrol, especially if you are eating family or buffet style.  Put everything on your plate first so you are aware of what you are eating. -Plate Perfect for better balance:  Make sure 1/2 of your plate is filled with a vegetable, 1/4 with a lean protein, and 1/4 with a starch, preferably one that is high in fiber/whole grains. 

General Portion Sizes – Depends on calorie goals, but as a general rule:

  • Meat/Protein: Palm for higher fat choices, whole hand for leaner cuts
  • Carbohydrate: Fist
  • Vegetables: 2 fists
  • Note: Fruit is a carbohydrate
  • Note: Dairy contains high protein and carbohydrate
  1. Fruit for dessert–you will be surprised how popular this will be, you can have a protein powder supplement shake along with it to feel fuller.  Try the baked apple recipe below and avoid the high-fat, high-calories crust of apple pie.
  2. Work out!  A lot of gyms ARE open on Thanksgiving Day, so get in a good sweat before you sit down for your meal.  OR make sure you work out Wednesday and/or Friday of Thanksgiving week.  If you are away and/or not near a gym, go for a walk, run, jog, do a workout video and/or play an exercise/active video game.

If you DO indulge on Thanksgiving, remember it is just one day or one weekend.  Get back on track immediately to healthy eating and exercise habits!!!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

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