Fuel Your Active Lifestyle with Food and Recipe Ideas

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month and National Bike Month! The weather is getting warmer so it’s time to get out and be more active.  You can walk, run, cycle, hike, swim – aim for about 60 minutes of movement a day. Right now most Americans only get 17 minutes a day – YIKES! We can all move more. You can’t mess it up. Do anything you enjoy and be consistent with it.

This past weekend I appeared on WBAL TV 11 in Baltimore to share some friendly meal and snack ideas that will help fuel your active lifestyle! You can watch the full clip below, or read on to see some of the highlights:

Begin with a Balanced Breakfast 

Breakfast has long been considered the most important meal of the day and for good reason! Fueling your body first thing in the morning helps to warm up your metabolism so it’s ready to work throughout the dayFor breakfast, fuel up on whole grains, fruit, and protein. Milk is a source of high-quality protein – 8 grams in an 8 ounce glass. Protein not only helps build muscle, it helps keep you feeling full. Milk also offers three of the top nutrients most likely to be missing in the American diet – calcium, vitamin D, and potassium.

Pudding FINAL

Breakfast Pudding

Besides including milk in morning cereal, you can try this breakfast pudding recipe made with milk, eggs, almond butter, vanilla and layered with your favorite fruit and whole grain cereal.

Did you know that milk is one of the top three items most requested by food banks, yet there is a nationwide shortage of milk at food banks according to Feeding America. The Baltimore community is in need of milk donations and it’s easy to do. Just go online to Milklife.com/give to show your support. Now through May 25, donations will be matched gallon-for-gallon by the nation’s milk companies and dairy farmers.

Recover with Red 

Red-Recharger-Smoothie-2007-Also-Cherry-Smoothie-700x455

Red Recharger Smoothie

People wonder what they should eat before and after a workout. For an ideal recovery you need to fuel your body with something that provides carbohydrates and protein, so I often find myself recommending smoothies. Both flavorful and easy to make, this Red Recharger Smoothie combines whole tart cherries, Greek yogurt and tart cherry juice to give you a boost of powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins. Research published in the Journal

Mango Cherry Avocado Salad

Mango Cherry Avocado Salad

 

Nutrients shows that these natural compounds help reduce oxidative stress and muscle inflammation, which can help the body recover more rapidly from exercise.

This Mango Cherry and Avocado Salad combines creamy avocado with the sweetness of mango and tangy tart cherries for a balanced flavor pack full of nutrients. Top this salad with your favorite lean protein, such as a piece of grilled salmon to create  a perfect meal for the warmer weather.

You can also get tart cherries in dried form which make a great addition to any trail mix, cereal or as yogurt toppers.

Snack Smart 

When you’re on the move it’s always a good idea to keep a healthy snack close by. I love pistachios for snacks to fuel between meals because they are a convenient and healthy option for on-the-go with 160 calories, 6 grams of protein, and 3 grams of fiber per ounce – about 49 nuts.

WP flavors packshotWhen you choose Wonderful Pistachios you have options too, available in 4 flavors– no salt, lightly salted, roasted & salted, salt & pepper, and sweet chili. To make on-the-go even easier you can also purchase 100 calorie tubes or 80 calorie snack packs at local retailers or online.

Make Snack Time Fun!

In-shell pistachios are great for food art because your kids can help shell the nuts,turning the kernels into anything from water in the ocean to part of a smile or even ants on a log. This fun “Shark Plate” snack recipe below is composed of color, shape, texture, and nutrition. It just takes a little creativity to elevate a healthy snack of pistachios, cheese, red bell pepper, and toast into a delicious shark snack that you and your child can enjoy together. See recipe below.

“Shark Plate”

sharkplate

Shark Plate Food Art

Ingredients

  • In-shell Wonderful Pistachios
  • Whole Grain Toast
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Red Bell Pepper

Instructions

  1. Remove the shells from 49 in-shell pistachios to create the sea.  Your kids can help – cracking open the shells to create the sea is a fun and interactive way to involve them in the snack making process.
  2. Cut one slice of cheddar cheese about a half inch in width to create the body of the shark.
  3. Cut another slice of cheese the same width as the body of the shark to form the three fins.
  4. Toast one piece of whole grain toast, and cut your toast into a boat shape.
  5. Take half of a red bell pepper and cut into strips to form one triangle and one trapezoid for the sails of your toast boat.
  6. Cut smaller pieces of red bell pepper to create a small triangle or circular shape for the shark’s eye, and additional small triangles for its teeth.
  7. After the pistachios are shelled and the ingredients are cut, place your shark and boat on your plate and surround the shark and bottom of the boat with the shelled pistachios to create the ocean.

Cover Your Bases with Multivitamins 

Active people always ask me about healthy eating and the need for supplements. My advice is to look for a “healthy sweet spot”.  You want to eat healthy first and a good multivitamin can help fill in the gaps to help meet vitamin and mineral needs. Especially because active people need more vitamins and minerals.

I love Vitafusion Multivites – for adults and L’il Critters Gummy Vites - for the kiddos because they combine the power of vitaminsVF_MVPlus_HSN and a great-tasting gummy, making them a delicious alternative to hard-to-swallow tablets or capsules. Now there’s a PLUS line available, where you
LC_BoneSupport (1)can get more well-being support. The Vitafusion Hair, Skin, and Nails with biotin and lutein for adults and the L’il Critters Plus Bone Support for kids – with calcium and vitamin D. One serving of Lil’ Critters Plus Bone Support contains 200 milligrams of calcium which is as much as a 5 ounce glass of milk and 220 IU of vitamin D, which helps support calcium absorption and bone health.

It’s a small daily healthy habit that’s enjoyable and delicious so your family will be more likely to stick to it. Most importantly remember our health and enjoyment collide through the small, daily activities and habits that shape us into our best selves.

What Do You Fuel Up On?

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or send a tweet to @ScritchfieldRD to share your favorite tips for flavorful, healthy meals and snacks to keep you fueled.

 

Disclaimer: I was compensated by Milk, Vitafusion, Wonderful Pistachio and the Cherry Marketing Institute to do the tv segment, but was not compensated to write this blog.

Meatless Monday Recipe: Whole Wheat Banana, Pumpkin & Flax Pancakes

Happy Meatless Monday!

This week I wanted to share a decadent, delicious and healthful recipe from my intern Alexandra’s blog inmybowl.com for make-ahead whole wheat banana, pumpkin & flax pancakes. YUM. These pancakes are packed with fiber, protein and fluffy pumpkinny deliciousness, and the best part is you don’t have to wake up early on a Monday morning to enjoy them.

There is nothing better than sleeping in on the weekend and starting the day with something a little decadent. You and your family can savor that feeling every day of the week with this quick recipe that can be made ahead in one large batch, popped in the freezer, and then popped right into the toaster at your convenience to reheat.

These pancakes are incredibly customizable; feel free to substitute pumpkin with blueberries, raspberries and even a few chocolate chips. Serve them with sliced banana, coconut yogurt, or pure maple syrup.

whole wheat vegan panana pumpkin flax pancakes

Photo From: inmybowl.com

Whole Wheat Banana, Pumpkin & Flax Pancakes
recipe from: http://inmybowl.com, Alexandra Dawson 
makes 12 pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 C golden flax, ground
  • 3/4 C water
  • 1 C whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 medium ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 C Almond Milk or nondairy milk of choice
  • 4 teaspoons pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 teaspoons coconut oil, divided

Directions:

  • In a small bowl, combine flax and water. Stir to combine then place in fridge for 15 minutes or until a gel consistency is achieved. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients [except coconut oil!] until thoroughly combined. Fold in flax gel.
  • Heat a medium skillet or flat top griddle over medium-high heat. Add 1/4 teaspoon coconut oil, then 3 tablespoons pancake mixture. Mixture will begin to bubble. After about 30 seconds-1 minute the bubbles will become hollow and it is time to flip your pancake. Allow the other side to cook for 1 minute, then remove pancake from heat.
  • Add another 1/4 teaspoon coconut oil and repeat process for remaining pancakes. Enjoy!

Nutritional Information per pancake

Calories: 72
Fat: 1.3 g
Saturated Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 0g
Sodium: 10 mg
Carbohydrate: 14 g
Fiber: 3.2 g
Sugar: 2.8 g
Protein: 2.7 g
Calcium: 2.5 mg

Best Back to School Breakfasts

Now that the kids are back at school, it is more important than ever to make sure they start their day off with a healthy breakfast.  While it’s been proven that kids who eat breakfast perform better in school, make sure you give your children the extra advantage by feeding them a nutritious meal.  This will give them the right start to their day, and help them to stay energized and focused all day long.

Fox 5 Pic

In my latest segment on Fox 5 DC, I discussed several healthy breakfast ideas that are quick and easy to make. These recipes are the perfect ‘brain food’ to give your child an extra boost in the classroom.

Try these 5 breakfasts out on your children.   I guarantee they’ll pass the test … both yours and your kids!

Yogurt + Oatmeal = ‘Yo’atmeal:

Yoatmeal PicCombine plain, rolled oats with yogurt for this easy creation.  The yogurt will provide your child with much needed calcium.  Add a variety of fresh fruit for natural sugar.  The liquid from the yogurt will soften the oats, perfectly blending the mixture together. The best part about this breakfast? No cook time! Your kids will be fed and out the door in no time!

This image was reprinted with permission from http://damndelicious.net/ & http://www.healthyaperture.com 

A Protein Packed Breakfast – Eggs:

basic-hard-boiled-eggsEggs are a great way to pack in the protein before the school day even begins.  Not only will the protein keep your children full for longer, but eggs are also a great source of Vitamin D and choline.  Eggs also serve as a vehicle to incorporate vegetables into breakfast.  Toss in whatever mixture of vegetables your child wants!  This is a filling, affordable breakfast.  You can throw it together quickly before school or prepare it the night before and then reheat it in the microwave.  Be sure to use the whole egg … both the egg white and the yolk have added benefits!

Great Alternative to Sugary Cereal – Homemade Muesli:

This mixture is simple to throw together and provides enough energy to last the entire morning. Use hearty, whole grain cereal as the base for this breakfast.  Add dried fruit, nuts and even coconut to the mixture.  Include a splash of milk or combine with yogurt just before serving.  Experiment with your milk by trying such alternatives as soy, coconut, or almond milk.  This breakfast is a nutritious alternative to sugary cereal.

Great On the Go Breakfast – Kefir:

Kefir is a drinkable yogurt that is particularly popular abroad.  This is a great on the go breakfast to put into a cup for kids to bring with them on the bus when they’re running late. The drink is filled with probiotics, a gut bacteria that supports a healthy immune system, helping your kids avoid taking any sick days!

Forget the Jelly – Peanut Butter & Dates:

Pair dates and peanut butter together for a delicious start to the day.  Slice the dates and spoon the peanut butter in.  You can pack 3 or 4 for your kids to take with them if you’re short on time.  Your children will enjoy the taste and you can enjoy the satisfaction of knowing they are receiving energy, vitamins, minerals and protein from the peanut butter and fiber from the dates.

These 5 breakfast ideas will start your children off to a great day and keep them focused all day long.  Good luck this year, kids!

Disclosure: I did not receive compensation for the TV appearance or blog.

Foods to Help Keep Kids Energized and Focused at School

Schools are back in session. Busy parents don’t need any more complication to get through the school year. So I found some cool healthy snacks and lunch ideas for the kiddies! We all know the kids still want flavor while you want some cost-effective and healthy for them.  Together we can find a great solution satisfying both parents and kids. Simple and easy are keys to success.

My latest segments on ABC News Channel 8 “Let’s Talk Live” and NBC’s WBAL TV 11 in Baltimore reveal tips and recipe ideas for school lunches, at-home snacks, and dinner ideas that give them high marks throughout the day because they are fueled, focused and sharp.

A simple way to get your kids and family to eat healthier and snack smarter is to start with familiar foods and add in nutrition wherever you can. I have lots of ideas below. Most importantly in the midst of your busy week, take time to eat together. Families who eat together are happier and healthier.

Diclosure: I worked with KIND snacks, Lil’ Critters, Walmart, Turbana, Pirate’s Booty and Nature Box on these TV segments. I did not receive compensation for mentioning Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools.

Start your day with a balanced breakfast!

KIND Grains

Brain foods are all the rage and a great way to fuel your school kids. For a balanced breakfast try making a parfait with granola from KIND “healthy grains,” with plain Greek yogurt and fresh fruit. This meal will provide the balanced of lean protein, whole grains and fruit.

Why KIND? Because it’s packed with super foods like chia and flax seeds to boost super brainpower! For gluten-free kids, no worries needed when trying this parfait-on-the-go recipe with a dose of KINDness. Better yet you get about half your daily whole grain needs with each KIND serving. What a bonus!

Ask your grocer to carry KIND if you don’t see it on the shelves. Check out #KINDawesome inspirations on Twitter

Cover Your Bases with a Delicious Gummy Vitamin

Moms I talk to like having a peace of mind that no matter what the crazy day brings, their kids are getting what they need. Not all multivitamins are created equal. Click to visit websiteL’il Critters GummyVites have naturally sourced flavors and colors and are made in the USA. That’s important to me in making a recommendation.

Plus with a L’il Critters multivitamin and multimineral complete supplement, no water is needed. It’s super convenient and easy to take.
Learn more about L’il Critters on their website.

Shop Walmart for Fresh In-Season Produce at Incredible Prices

I got some amazing produce on my recent trip to Walmart and I used it to make a superfood tuna salad and fresh fruit for the lunch box. walmart-wbal

Get your power brain sandwich filled with omega-3 rich tuna. To increase protein and decrease fat, swap out the mayo for hummus when making your tuna on whole grain bread. You will be surprised how tasty and nutritious this sandwich upgrade will be.

I always find a way to pack veggies into a whole wheat tuna sandwich. Chopped spinach, celery, diced cherry tomatoes, and avocado make for a nice addition in your reinvented meal. For low prices, check out your local Walmart.

Fruit skewers are an easy and fun idea for lunch or an after-school snack. tame your inner sweet tooth. Try strawberries, blueberries, pineapples, and bananas on the skewers. Blend 6 ounces of plain Greek yogurt with 2 TBSP creamy peanut butter for a delicious and nutritious dip.

Follow all the chatter on Twitter with Walmart at #WMTfresh

Try a Twist on Your Banana, It’s A-Peel-Ing

I couldn’t help myself :)

Have you heard of “baby bananas”? For a perfect kid-size fruit snack I found the baby bananas to be the best choice. The TurbanaManzano Bananas baby bananas are a third the size of a regular banana. Pop two into their lunch bag and for after school. You can tell they are ripe with their golden yellowish skin and they are the sweetest when brown spotting is visible.

Also try manzanos, which taste like a cross between an apple and a banana. How cool is that? Keep up with Turbana on Twitter! They have some cool hashes #LoveYourselfABunch – for the choices you make and #LoveYouBunches – for gratitude for a shared commitment to social good. (More or Turbana’s social good below).

A Crunchy, Healthier Alternative for the Lunch Box

Pirates Booty

Instead of greasy chips, pack a healthier snack option—Pirate’s Booty. Whether you are packing lunch for your kids or yourself, this baked, all-natural snack has half the fat and fewer calories than regular fried chips. And it’s delicious!!!

With only 65 calories in each half ounce bag, Pirate’s Booty is win for any lunchbox. Plus for it’s safe for kids with common food allergies like tree nut, gluten or peanut allergies. Everything in moderation is the name of the game and I’m a huge fan of

Move More Veggies to School Lunches

saladbars2schools_2

Did you have a salad bar in school? First Lady Michelle Obama is reviving the bar nostalgia with some public support. The First Lady kicked off “Let’s Move Salad Bars 2 Schools.”

This public-private initiative increases children’s fruit and vegetable intake at lunch time with salad bars to meet NEW nutrition standards. With salad bars, kids get exposure to a variety of foods, they can try new fruits and veggies and choose their favorites.

Right now in the District of Columbia, 95 schools are waiting for salad bars. That’s why partners like Turbana are so important. With their US initiatives, Turbana is donating salad bars through the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools program. Learn how you can support your school district.

So far more than 2500 salad bars have been donated, but we have a long way to go.

Simplifying Snacks Front Door Delivery

When the kids get home for school, ready-to-eat snacks can be a nutritious bridge to curb hunger between meals. That’s why I really love Nature Box, which has over 120 nutritionist approved snack choices delivered to your door starting $19.95 a month. You can pick everything from dried fruits, trail mixes, flavored seeds and nuts, Pistachio Power Clusters to Masa Crisps just to name a few.NatureBox_snacks_and_box

Made from wholesome ingredients, which are minimally processed, the snacks have no high fructose corn syrup, no trans fats or hydrogenated oils, no artificial sweeteners, colors, or flavors!

NatureBox is available in three box sizes: Deluxe, Family and Smart Snacker options. Among the three box sizes, I find the Family Snacker as a real winner for the average family which includes 10 full-sized bags.

Check out all their goodies on the website. I personally love the dried pineapple! MMMmmm…

Dinner Surprise – Something Different, Healthy and Quick

yucca-peeledAre you ready for new foodie adventure for your kids? Then take them on a trip to the local Latin market or the ethnic foods section of your favorite store. There you can discover a new world of side dishes to upgrade your everyday meals.

For instance, instead of the traditional potato, pick up Turbana Latin American roots like yucca or eddoes. You can use them in any recipe that calls for potatoes. Or try them Peruvian style. Done in 20 minutes, boil them and add a sauce of olive oil, garlic, onion, lime juice and cumin. Check out the recipe. Take “short cuts” for the rest of the meal. You can do a quick side salad or green veggie and for the protein, think about already cooked shrimp you can warm up or even a rotisserie chicken from the store.  turbana_laptops

You can feel good about supporting Turbana with your dollar. For 40 years, Turbana has been supporting community projects in its growing regions in Columbia. Turbana gives back to the community by funding laptops to children in need through their One Laptop Per Child to donate computers to less privileged children.               

Disclosure: I worked with Wal-Mart, KIND, Pirate’s Booty, Tubrana, and Gummy Vites for the TV segment, but did not receive compensation for writing this blog post or for mentioning Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools.

 

Make Your Own Granola – Chocolate Pecan, Vanilla Almond, Orange Maple

Most people love granola, but what you might not know is how easy AND inexpensive it is to make at home. These three recipes were shared with me by a client, and I couldn’t help but share them with all of you! They’re all packed with whole grain oats, nuts and dried fruit and pure maple syrup which provide fiber, heart healthy fat and natural sweetness. You’ll see how tweaking a few ingredients can create a totally different flavor. Give them a try, switch them up to make them your own, and let me know what you think!

Chocolate Pecan and Vanilla Almond Granola

Image reprinted with permission from http://aggieskitchen.com and www.healthyaperture.com

Image reprinted with permission from http://aggieskitchen.com and http://www.healthyaperture.com

These first 2 flavors start with the same base, then split it in half to make 2 totally different flavors –chocolate pecan and vanilla almond! Both are great on their own or on top of some plain low fat greek yogurt.Ingredients:

  • 3 TBS vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6 cups oatmeal
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 5 squares (60g) of dark chocolate
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 vanilla bean

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and spray large cookie sheet lightly with cooking spray. Combine vanilla extract, salt, oatmeal and maple syrup in a large bowl. Split granola in ½ — into 1 batch add pecans and into the other batch add vanilla bean and almonds.

Stir to combine and pour out onto cookie sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or until dry. Add chocolate into the pecan version once it’s cooled.

 Nutrition Info per Serving (Serving size ½ cup):

  • Chocolate pecan: Calories 303 | Fat 15g | Carbs 39g | Protein 6g
  • Vanilla Almond: Calories 273 | Fat 11g | Carbs 37g | Protein 8g
Image reprinted with permission from http://www.chowvida.com and www.healthyaperture.com

Image reprinted with permission from http://www.chowvida.com and http://www.healthyaperture.com

Orange Maple Granola

For an orange-maple twist, try this version that uses fresh orange juice and zest, and substitutes some of the oats for dried fruit:

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Dates
  • 1/2 Cup Raisins
  • 4 TBS Maple Syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 3 tsp orange zest
  • Juice of 1 freshly squeezed orange
  • 1 Cup cashews, unsalted
  • 1 Cup Sunflower Seeds, unsalted
  • 1 Cup Almonds, unsalted
  • 1 Cup walnut, unsalted
  • 3 cups oats

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and spray large cookie sheet lightly with cooking spray. Combine vanilla extract, salt, oatmeal, nuts, orange zest, orange juice and maple syrup in a large bowl. Stir to combine and pour out onto cookie sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or until dry. Add dried fruit.

Nutrition Info per Serving (Serving size ½ cup): Calories 290 | Fat 17g | Carbs 31g | Protein 8g

Let me know what you think!

What are some of your favorite granola combos??

Farmers Market Find: The Pea Tendril

One of my favorite things about the Farmers Market is that it shows me a world of new vegetables to experiment with! Case 1: The Pea Tendril.

Pea tendrils (also know as pea shoots or greens) are the tender young leaves and delicate shoots of the pea plant, all of which are edible. They have a crisp texture and taste like a cross between peas and spinach. This is an exciting way to get your nutrient-rich greens in, and they are high in vitamin A and C, and folic acid.

A veggie seasonal to the spring and early summer, you will probably only find them in your farmers market or a specialty grocer. Pick out fresh stems with a bright green color, and make sure they are not too dry or stiff. They can be served raw, tossed in a salad, or wilted, by lightly steaming or stir-frying them. This is my favorite method. Add a dash of heart-healthy oil, lemon and garlic, and voila! you have a delightfully rustic yet exotic side dish!

One Sunday morning I sauteed them as above, and then added them to a tofu scramble. Delicious. Served with 100% whole grain toast, and a cup of coffee/tea and that’s a satisfying and nutritious breakfast! You can find more great recipes that incorporate pea tendrils here!

Have you ever tried Pea Tendrils? What new fruit or vegetable have you tried lately? Are you a picky eater that likes to stick to tried and true foods, or are you an adventurous eater?? Do you shop at your farmers’ market? I’m dying to know!!

Vegan Breakfast: The Tofu Scramble

Some people don’t consider breakfast complete without eggs-scrambled, fried or hardboiled. But for those of us who don’t like eggs or choose not to eat them, a tofu scramble comes mighty close to the “real thing.” It takes even less time to prepare than scrambled eggs, so you can impress your breakfast guests in a jiffy!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 block tofu, drained and pressed
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 TBS soy sauce
  • 2 TBS nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp paprika

Preparation:

After draining off all excess water from the tofu, gently crumble it, and set aside.

Sautee onion, pepper in oil for 3 minutes, stirring often. Add Tofu  and sautee for another minute. Add remaining ingredients, reduce heat to medium and allow to cook 5 more minutes, stirring frequently.

Serve hot with a side of 100% whole grain toast and fruit. This can also be wrapped in a tortilla and eaten like a breakfast burrito!

Enjoy!

Veg Out for Breakfast

Carlene Helble-Elite Nutrition Intern

“Here’s your wake-up call: breakfast eaters tend to be leaner and more successful at maintaining a healthy weight than people who miss their morning mea.l” This quote from Ellie Krieger’s website really says it all! Breakfast is extremely important, and for those of us who are on track with breakfast, some times get stuck in a menu rut: cereal, perhaps a banana? How often do you throw some nutrient dense veggies into your morning meal?

National Public Radio recently published a fantastic article on the lack of American vegetable intake at breakfast, comparing it against some delicious options across the globe that did contain vegetables (http://n.pr/dvehBB). Here are some options with easy ways to make a change, and ‘go global’ in the morning:

Omelets can be good, but to have a more filling meal with less calories and get a serving or two of veggies in, try some scrambled eggs with chopped spinach, mushrooms, and tomatoes. Think of the egg as a ‘topping’ and let the vegetables shine. The great thing about this idea is the vegetables are interchangeable. Feel like some asparagus? No problem! A vegetable scramble can be easily personalized.

Another great way to get more vegetable at breakfast is with smoothies; perfect for an on the go meal. One smoothie that seems to be a favorite is the ‘green monster’, which consists of kale or spinach, blended with fruit, milk, and sometimes chia seeds. (It even has a website dedicated to it! http://greenmonstermovement.com/).

One suggestion NPR gave that must not go unmentioned was for a traditional Argentine dish: a breakfast tart with summer squash, red peppers, and a basil crust. This is definitely on my ‘to make’ list, especially with summer produce on the way!

Ellie Krieger : http://www.foodnetwork.com/healthy-eating/the-best-start-to-your-day/index.html

NPR: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126911529

Is The Biggest Loser Scalable to the Population?

I’m watching The Biggest Loser. I have to say I love this show. Always have. Props to Cheryl Forbery, RD the show’s dietitian. I wish she got more screen time.

I was surprised (and not at the same time) with the contestants being clueless to the calories in the “super bowl foods”. The guesses between them for 7-layer-dip varied from 800 to 4,500 calories!

I though the celeb chef segment was excellent. He focused on flavoring healthy foods — without fat! He took 900 calorie chicken wings and converted them to a 200 calorie dish. He spent a day with one contestant, took him to the grocery store and cooked with him.

These small changes give big reactions! The contestants realize that the fatty foods aren’t worth the calories and hard exercise especially when there are alternatives that “taste better” in there opinion.

So I have to wonder… it is great that this show can reach the public… but is it scalable for public health?

Can’t we figure out how to get this type of personal attention (trainers, dietitians, and chefs) to families ready for a change? Sure… for the “right price”…

I would think that for one visit with a trainer, RD and chef it would run around $500-600. Multiply that times several hours a day of focused attention.

How do you take something that obviously works and scale it to the masses? Any ideas????

One criticism of the show is all the product placement. I don’t mind the “healthy” ads – loved the ziploc steamer bags (veggies, herbs, micro… done and done). But when “trainer” – not RD – Bob tells people to put away their oatmeal – a 1 cup portion… and replace it with “fiber one” cereal – a 1/2 cup portion, I just want to put a dunce cap on him. Hello???? A. Don’t treat oatmeal like a poor breakfast choice B. who in the world only sticks to 1/2 cup? Nobody. Now, don’t get me wrong… I love my fiber one cereals and bars. But be realistic with what you show…. Bob is mis-educating people. Show the world a real breakfast that includes the product placement (e.g. 1 cup cereal with milk and fresh fruit). Don’t make them think to eat a healthy breakfast they need to deal with 100 calories of cereal and 90 calories of milk.

To end on a high note, they did air that contestants skip breakfast… a big health no-no.

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