Balance Your Plate Better: My Food Tips for National Nutrition Month

(Disclosure: National Peanut Board, Post Grape Nuts FIT, Nestlé, and Genova Seafood are clients of mine. I was not compensated to write this blog posts.)


March is National Nutrition Month which means it’s time to celebrate with the theme“bite into a healthy lifestyle”.  I’m thrilled to share these ideas — they’re easy, fun, and delicious and perfect for all occasions!

WBAL TV 11 March 14, 2015

WBAL TV 11 March 14, 2015

Check out my recent segment on NBC WBAL TV 11 and read on to get my tips and recipes you need to balance your plate better – and it’s not hard!

Add Peanuts and Peanut Butter Anywhere

Use peanuts and peanut butter anywhere.

Use peanuts and peanut butter anywhere.

Peanuts and peanut butter are a smart choice for any meal, any time of day. Have a handful as a snack, top a piece of wheat toast or wheat pancake, stir in your oatmeal or smoothie – they are so convenient and easy.

Peanuts have more energy-boosting protein than ANY other nut with 7 grams protein per serving PLUS over 30 vitamins and nutrients. Peanuts are also an affordable source of protein, which anyone on a budget surely can appreciate.

Both my girls are eating real food now (they grow up so fast!) Both love to “dip” and I made up a super easy dip that taste great with fruits and veggies.  Simply stir 2 tablespoons of peanut butter into 1/2 cup yogurt or Greek yogurt and dip your kids favorites. Let them help make it and taste it if they are old enough.

Get more creative recipe ideas at www.NationalPeanutBoard.org

 Try Grape Nuts FIT Granola

Everyone loves granola and I’m digging the taste and crunch of this new Grape-Nuts FIT granola, which is a good source of fiber, provides 30 g of whole grains and has 9g of protein per serving.GrapeNutsFit225

Made with crunchy Grape-Nuts nuggets, puffed barley, and cranberries, it’s a nutritious way to fuel your everyday adventures and your workouts.

Try it with Greek yogurt, milk or oatmeal for a power-packed breakfast or snack. You also might like it on it’s own. Instead of running to the vending machine in that afternoon energy slump, try a couple handfuls of this granola and get re-energized without the crash.

Get more information and recipes at www.GrapeNuts.Com

 

Balance Your Plate 

nestle-mac-cups

I enjoy working with Nestlé on their “Balance Your Plate” education campaign. The idea is to pair frozen prepared foods with vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins for a balanced meal.

Mac and cheese is a family favorite, including mine. But I don’t always have the time to make it homemade.  Stouffer’s Macaroni & Cheese has freshly-made pasta and real cheddar cheese.

I love these Stouffer’s Classic Mac Cups because they are conveniently portioned with 10g protein, no preservatives, and they cook in about 3 minutes!

On a busy weeknight, the Classic Mac Cups can be an easy and tasty component of your family’s meal. Serve it with any vegetable. My girls love broccoli and we say “mac and cheese with little trees” when we eat this (cute, huh?) Then pick your protein. I happen to like grilled chicken with this dish. Then, serve up some fruit for dessert and you have yourself a simple and easy balanced plate.

For more information about the Nestlé Balance Your Plate, visit www.NestleUSA.Com/balance.

Upgrade Your Tuna with Genova Seafood  

Higher quality food is more satisfying and enjoyable, making eating healthier more fun. Genova is premium quality seafood with three simple ingredients – wild-caught Yellowfin tuna fillets, a touch of salt and just enough olive oil.

Chilled grilled vegetables with Genova tuna.

Chilled grilled vegetables with Genova tuna.

The simplicity of the ingredients make Genova uniquely satisfying – whether you simply top it on your salad at lunch or use it as an ingredient at your next dinner party.

Because Genova is a premium quality tuna, it’s a favorite of local foodies and culinary experts.

Try chilled grilled vegetables with tuna and tuna with black lentils – both of these recipes and many more yummy ideas for tuna are available at www.GenovaSeafood.Com

 

 


(Disclosure: National Peanut Board, Post Grape Nuts FIT, Nestlé, and Genova Seafood are clients of mine. I was not compensated to write this blog posts.)

National Nutrition Month: Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle

(Disclosure: Post Grape Nuts, KIND Snacks, Body Armor, National Frozen and Refrigerated Food Association, and Sunkist are TV clients of mine. I was not compensated to write this blog posts.)


March is National Nutrition Month which means it’s time to celebrate with the theme“bite into a healthy lifestyle”.  I’m thrilled to share these ideas — they’re easy, fun, and delicious and perfect for all occasions!

Check out my recent segment on Let’s Talk Live D.C. in the video clip and read on to get my tips and recipes you need to “bite into a healthy lifestyle” today!

Cook Once Eat All Week

Grape nuts crunchy oatmeal pancakes

Grape nuts crunchy oatmeal pancakes

Grape Nuts cereal has been nourishing us for over 100 years. A half-cup serving of Grape-Nuts cereal
is an excellent source of fiber, provides 100% of your day’s whole grains, and it’s high in iron. You know you can enjoy Grape Nuts with cold milk or warmed up – but did you know you can also cook with it?

Crunchy Oatmeal Grape Nuts pancakes are a huge hit with my family. I love making them once on the weekend and having left overs to enjoy during the busy week. There are lots of creative recipes for meals, appetizers, and snacks at GrapeNuts.com.

Brighten Meals With Citrus

Specialty citrus is in season right now through April. You can get lots of varieties like cara cara oranges, which offer 150% of your daily needs for vitamin C. Moro blood oranges have a beautiful distinctive red interior and hints of raspberry flavor, and Minneola Tangelo, which you can identify by the distinctive knob at the stemare an excellent source of both Vitamins C and Folate.

Sunkist minneola salsa over  grilled chicken thighs

Sunkist minneola salsa over grilled chicken thighs

If you’ve never had a Minneola tangelo, you’re in for a real treat. They are a cross between a grapefruit and a tangerine, giving them a juicy, sweet and tangy flavor!

Try pairing fish, meats or grilled vegetables with minneola salsa – The salsa has oranges, roma tomatoes, onion and cilantro adding flavor and zest to ANY dish. I used grilled chicken thighs, but you could also use this salsa with fish or black beans and rice. Check out Sunkist.com for this recipe and more.

Make Your Homemade Meal Easy

Real food, frozen.

Real food, frozen.

We all know how hard it can be to get a wholesome, homemade meal on the table. When you’re in a dinner dilemma look in the frozen foods section where you’ll find REAL FOOD, frozen.

Butternut squash and sage ravioli from Evol, is prepared and FLASH frozen which locks in nutrients. Add color and nutrition with Green Giant Tuscan broccoli. These vegetables are picked at their peak ripeness and frozen, also locking in nutrients.

Real food, frozen

Real food, frozen

Let’s talk convenience. Start to finish, dinner is on the table in less than 20 minutes and you don’t have to order take out, which can be pricey. Here you can be in charge of quality even if you don’t cook from scratch.

Frozen foods aisles have global flavors available too – lots of ethnic-inspired dishes for the types of cuisine your family enjoy. Visit EasyHomeMeals.com  to discover your next homemade favorite.

Do the KIND Thing

KIND healthy grains bars

KIND healthy grains bars

Try KIND Healthy Grains Bars. Granola bars made from ingredients you can see and pronounce.

With five super grains: Gluten Free Oats, Millet, Quinoa, Amaranth and Buckwheat,  KIND healthy grains granola bars have at least 18 grams of whole grains per bar, and a good source of fiber.

They have a chewy and crunchy texture for a satisfying snack morning or afternoon.

KIND is on a mission to inspire “KINDness” in our communities.You can go online and vote for your favorite socially impactful cause and KIND will give away $10,000 a month to the cause with the most votes. www.KINDsnacks.com

Upgrade Your Sports Drink

Spring sports have started (or will start soon). Parents will often ask me, what’s the best sports drink for my active child. If you are an athlete or have a very active child, you might benefit from more than just plain water during activity, especially if it’s over 60 minute

Potassium packed sports drink, no artificial ingredients.

Potassium packed sports drink, no artificial ingredients.

I recommend BodyArmor because it has no artificial ingredients and is low in sodium – unlike other sports drinks. BodyArmor has more potassium-packed electrolytes and vitamins that any other sports drink, and it’s made with coconut water.

Try 5 great tasting flavors like fruit punch, orange mango, grape, and strawberry banana. Pick it up at Target or retailers near you. www.DrinkBodyArmor.com


(Disclosure: Post Grape Nuts, KIND Snacks, Body Armor, National Frozen and Refrigerated Food Association, and Sunkist are TV clients of mine. I was not compensated to write this blog posts.)

 

 

 

Healthy (and easy!) Holiday Entertaining

Feeling overwhelmed by the holidays?  Are you looking for ways to simplify holiday entertaining so you can focus on the things that really matter, like hanging out with your family and friends?  I totally get it, which is why I recently appeared on WBAL in Baltimore to share my best tips for easy entertaining.  Yes, I said it, easy – it’s really all about keeping the food healthy and the people happy, which is so much simpler than it sounds!  Keep reading to learn my favorite time-saving tips and tricks.

rebecca wbal

Bring a Hostess Gift

If you’re not the one doing the actual entertaining, it’s always thoughtful to bring a gift for the hard-working hostess.  I love bringing all the fixings for a signature cocktail station with quality foods.  Some of my faves are Sweet Scarletts, which are sweet, Vitamin C-loaded grapefruits with a beautiful red color,  antioxidants and potassium-rich POM Wonderful juice, and POM POMS fresh pomegranate arils which do all the work of scooping the seeds for you.  Make cocktails with the juices and some vodka or champagne, or make mocktails by adding sparkling water.  Use the fresh Sweet Scarlett segments and POM POMS arils for a nutritious and gorgeous garnish.  POM has loads of drink recipes on their website for more boozy inspiration.

image source: pomwonderful.com

image source: pomwonderful.com

Another great hostess gift is a cheese board – bring it stocked with your favorite healthy snacks, and then leave it behind when the party ends.  I always include cubes of my favorite cheese (I love a sharp Cheddar) and Wonderful pistachios, which are full of protein and filling fiber, and have a big serving size – 30 pistachios have only about 100 calories.  Round out the cheese plate with Vitamin-C boosting-Halos, which are sweet, seedless, and easy to peel.

Score a Touchdown at Your Tailgate

Tailgate parties are all about the dip.  And did you know that Sabra is the official dip sponsor of the NFL and that you can win prizes like a trip to the 2016 Pro Bowl in Hawaii when you buy their dips?

Image source: sabra.com

Image source: sabra.com

There are tons of easy, festive ways to use Sabra dips during the holiday season.  I’m personally partial to their hummus because it has plant protein, fiber, and good-for-you fats, plus it tastes amazing.  Try warming it up since the weather is a bit cooler outside and top it with beautiful red pomegranate arils for a festive touch.  The Greek yogurt dip is another family favorite – serve it with your favorite veggies and warm pita triangles (just cut the what pita into wedges and microwave for a few seconds).  I like using red and green bell peppers at this time of year for a little kick of holiday cheer.  Speaking of red and green, pair up Salsa and Guacamole for a pretty party platter; just place them side by side and fill the rest of the platter with tortilla chips and you have a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Visit sabradiplife.com for coupons, recipes, and prize info.

Serve Wheat Foods with Confidence 

image source: wheatfoods.org

image source: wheatfoods.org

Wheat is the basis of just about all holiday baking and recipes! All your favorites share the benefits of wheat. Wheat foods help provide nutrients everyone needs, including B vitamins, fiber, and carbohydrates. It’s important to remember that carbohydrates are an essential part of a balanced eating. It can be a real time-saver to pick up items for breakfasts and snacks like muffins, banana bread, and scones – serve it with plain yogurt and fresh fruit for a well-balanced start to your day. Check out WheatFoods.org for versatile recipes like this Chicken Cashew Pasta, which you can serve hot or cold. Or a favorite especially around the holidays, Whole Wheat Spinach Lasagna.  If you have weight concerns, allow yourself to enjoy all foods in moderation and stick to an exercise routine that’s joyful through the holidays and into the New Year.

Sweeten Your Meals, Naturally

California Raisins are a great way to spice up your holiday menus and they offer a unique twist on traditional family favorites. Make them part of your holiday cookie decorating with festive gingerbread cookies freckled with California raisins. Raisins are an ingredient you can feel good about. They are an all-natural, dried-by-the-sun fruit, with no added sugar, no cholesterol and zero fat

Image source: calraisins.org

Image source: calraisins.org

I also love using them in festive side dishes like this Acorn Squash with California Raisins. It’s a beautiful presentation. California Raisins add a natural sweetness to dishes – and with only one ingredient – raisins! Visit LoveYourRaisins.com for these recipes and more!

Now it’s your turn – what are your favorite tips and tricks for holiday entertaining?  Leave a comment below or find me on Twitter @ScritchfieldRD.

Disclosure: I was compensated by California Raisins, Wheat Foods Council, Wonderful brands, and Sabra Dipping Company for my work on the TV segment, but was not compensated to write this blog.

#HappyHolidaysChallenge: Give Yourself Permission to Eat

Happy Holidays

Hello there! If you’re reading for the first time or just stopping by for the fun, I’m doing a “Happy Holidays” wellness challenge to help you cultivate more health and happiness the rest of 2014. Catch up on the details on how to join and win the prizes. Or if it already sounds like a good idea, sign up below.

blog_mailSignup

Give Yourself Permission to Eat

We want to be able to enjoy the holidays, and food is often a big part of what we look forward to. Food provides a lot of benefits, and only one of them is nourishment. It evokes positive and enjoyable memories, creates a feeling of togetherness, and can taste really good.

If you identify as a chronic dieter (or “food police”), the holidays may feel like a stressful time when you’re surrounded by a bunch of foods that you “cannot” eat, must avoid, or otherwise feel you have no self control around. White knuckling it through holiday parties to steer clear of delicious “bad food” is no way to embrace the spirit of the season – it leads to unnecessary stress, anxiety, and guilt (and likely overeating when you finally give in – ironic, isn’t it?)

Giving yourself permission to eat is a basic need and a foundation principle of intuitive eating, which is the natural way we are supposed to eat (click here for more info about intuitive eating).

Party On

There are going to be lots of fun parties with lots of food.  Don’t miss out on the good times because you’re too busy worrying and stressing  about what you can and “can’t” eat.  This season, instead of avoiding the foods you love, tell yourself that it’s okay to enjoy them. In the end, this is all about creating positive experiences with food and erasing guilt, shame, and diet-focused thinking.

Are You The “Food Police”?

Here’s a quick way to know if your food rules are out of hand: If you avoid foods for reasons other than food allergy or dislike for the taste or texture, there’s a food rule somewhere. I’m all for eating healthy and balanced, but healthy does not mean perfect and food should not be some kind of moral judgement.

Why not make some progress in this area, away from “all or nothing” thinking and toward balance.

You can do it challenge: Break Out of Food Jail

Take 5 minutes to think about 5 foods you genuinely enjoy eating that you may feel guilty about when you do. Instead of avoiding them, make a plan to eat at least one of them with family and friends this week. For example – bake cookies with your family and then share the delicious treats with your neighbors or coworkers.

What do you think happens when you give yourself permission to eat? In my experience (personal and with clients) you tend to enjoy the food sans guilt and you tend to eat it in moderation. You still get the healthy stuff you like too. Not because you have to, but because you want to.

I have never met a single person who said they got pleasure and enjoyment out of denying themselves foods they love.  By now you are more skilled at eating with awareness. If not, freshen up those skills from the previous challenge.

What are you going to do differently this year to let go of those food rules? If the thought is uncomfortable, it’s OK. Most new things require discomfort. Until they are comfortable. That’s called change.

Check In

How are you doing so far? Leave a comment on the blog or on Facebook. If you’re on Twitter, follow me and the #HappyHolidaysChallenge for even more motivation.

If you’re not “officially” in the challenge yet, what are you waiting for? You’ll get weekly emails, along with the chance to win free prizes each week. All you need to do is sign up below.

blog_mailSignup

Challenge Your Friends

People do better with support from friends. (It’s a scientific fact!) Ask your friends to join you by sharing on social media or just send them this e-mail with the link to subscribe to the challenge.

Facebook: Join me and Rebecca Scritchfield for a free 60-day wellness challenge.  Get healthier and happier this holiday season. http://wp.me/p2T0R-20c #HappyHolidaysChallenge

Twitter: I’m taking the #HappyHolidaysChallenge with @ScritchfieldRD. Join us http://wp.me/p2T0R-20c

Healthy Holiday Entertaining on WBAL

Are you counting down the days to Thanksgiving? Is your grocery shopping list already taking shape on the refrigerator?

WBAL TV11 News

WBAL TV11 News

Before you set those Thanksgiving dinner menus in stone, take a look at my Healthy Holiday Entertaining tips from my latest WBAL TV 11 news appearance! Trust me, you CAN invite nutrition to the table this Holiday season.

Don’t Forget about the Cans

When you’re busy, cooking with cans can be a BIG help. Take advantage of canned foods! They are convenient, easy, and they help your family get the nutrition they need. New research shows that kids who eat canned fruits and veggies tend to get more fruits and veggies overall and have a better diet quality. Currently, 9 out of 10 kids aren’t meeting their daily vegetable needs, and ALL forms of fruits and vegetables, canned fresh and frozen, help kids achieve this!

WBAL TV11 News

Family Fiesta Tacos

Try these “Family Fiesta Tacos,” with canned tomatoes, corn and kidney beans – with nutrients like protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. You can get this recipe and more at mealtime.org

Put Cranberries on the Menu

Did you know cranberries have health benefits like helping to prevent urinary tract infections? Compounds unique to cranberries help prevent bacteria from sticking to the cell walls and causing infection. On www.cranberryinstitute.org , I found A research review published in the international journal Advances in Nutrition. In it, cranberries reportedly help to:

  • reduce the incidence of certain infections
  • maintain a healthy urinary tract
  • improve heart health and temper inflammation
WBAL TV11 News

Cranberry Chutney

They may also help maintain heart health by improving blood cholesterol, reducing blood pressure, and reducing inflammation. All Cranberry products have these bioactive compounds including cranberry juice cocktail, dried cranberries, cranberry sauce and fresh/frozen cranberries.

Use Leftovers Creatively

I love honey because it is a versatile culinary ingredient used across a variety of cuisines! For example, it can easily be added to an Asian dish. Make this flavorful Chinese Noodles with Spicy Honey Peanut Sauce and serve it with your leftover turkey! With over 300 varieties of honey just in the US, each different type adds its own unique flavor profile to the recipe.

WBAL TV11 News

Chinese Noodles with Spicy Honey Peanut Sauce

Honey also balances any recipe enhancing the dish’s flavor: whether its sweet, sour, bitter, salty or savory. Get this recipe and more versatile uses at www.honey.com . Try it out with this easy cranberry compote and use it in LOTS of your fall dishes. Throw fresh cranberries in a pot with a bit of sweetener and simmer until soupy. Top oatmeal, yogurt, use as a spread on sandwiches and wraps – anywhere you can think of!

Entertain with Ease

If you’re hosting or going to a party and want a fun idea that’s super easy, try this KIND bar and cheese pairing: like a “wine and cheese” except with KIND bars! I love KIND foods because they are made from ingredients you can see and pronounce. The new STRONG & KIND bars offer savory flavors and 10 grams of protein per bar from almonds, seeds, and pea protein. These don’t contain soy or whey protein. There are Five Bold Flavors to choose from:

  • Honey Mustard
  • Thai Sweet Chili
  • Hickory Smoked
  • Roasted Jalapeno
  • Hickory Smoked BBQ
WBAL TV11 News

Strong & Kind KIND Bars Paired with Cheese

I love to pair Honey Mustard with a creamy goat cheese, Thai Sweet Chili with a Monterey jack, and Hickory Smoked with manchengo.

Tasty and nutritious, add some of these ideas to your Thanksgiving menu and you’ll be sure to add some health as well!

Find out more about these products and topics through Twitter at @USCranberries @CannedFoodFan @NationalHoney and @KINDSnacks !

Let us know! Have you day-dreamed out any Thanksgiving meal plans yet? Please share below or tweet to @ScritchfieldRD! We’d love to hear them!

Disclosures: I was compensated by Canned Food Alliance, National Honey Board, Cranberry Institute, and KIND Snacks for my work on the TV segment, but was not compensated to write this blog.