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All About Avocados

Avocados

Avocados

Lately I have been obsessed with avocados! Not only are avocados a delicious food but they are also very beneficial to our bodies. This scrumptious fruit – yes I said fruit – is packed with tons of nutrients our bodies need. They contain vitamins K, B6, C and E as well as tons of fiber, copper, protein, and potassium. Avocados also have many health benefits such as lowering bad cholesterol, promoting a healthy liver and supporting good digestive health. Besides all the amazing benefits to eating avocados they are just plain delicious.

 

My favorite way to benefit from eating avocados is by making homemade guacamole. I am a Mexican food fanatic so I love to have fresh guacamole on lean turkey tacos with fresh lime juice, fresh salsa and of course fresh cilantro. If you are one of the many people that finds cilantro unappealing and tasting like soap – no worries your guacamole will taste just as great without the addition of cilantro. Another great way to enjoy avocados is to slice them and toss them in with scrambled eggs, spinach, fresh salsa and a little cheese to make the perfect breakfast. In recipes you can even replace butter and mayonnaise with avocados in things like cookies and chicken salad.

 

Avocados can also be used on the skin! Who knew that fresh food could make the best facial mask, especially without all the harsh chemicals? The fats in avocados are great for moisturizing dry skin during the frigid winter and help with those dreaded summer sunburns.

 

 

Below is my favorite guacamole recipe and a couple recipes I’d like to try! Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Lauren’s Guacamole:

 

  • 2 Avocados diced up (keep the pits)*
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • 1 clove fresh garlic – minced
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2-3 shakes of Tabasco sauce
  • 1-2 tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro – optional
  • ¼ cup fresh salsa (Giant brand is my favorite)

 

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Serve with tortilla chipos or fresh sliced peppers, celery, carrots, etc. If you have any leftovers – add the avocado pit to the bowl, cover and store in the refrigerator. The pits will keep your guacamole fresher longer.

 

Avocado Egg Salad

  • 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • 2 hard boiled egg whites, chopped
  • 2 small avocados, pitted and peeled
  • 1 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

 

Mash it all up in a bowl, refrigerate and eat on toast with crackers or veggies.

 

Avocado Face Mask:

  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

 

Mash it all up and lather it on your face for 10 minutes and then rinse it off with cool water. This mask will leave your face fresh and glowing

 

Eat with your body, not with your eyes!

Early in November I had the opportunity to attend the Connecticut Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Annual Fall Meeting. One of the speakers was Jim Painter, PhD, RD. He really opened my eyes to how easily our appetites are influenced by portion sizes and food availability.

20 years ago a bagel was 140 calories, now they make them so large that the average bagel is 350 calories. A normal soda used to be 6.5 ounces, and is now 20 ounces, a difference of 168 calories. Even our plates are being made bigger in order to fit more food on them! Most people wouldn’t consider half of a bagel enough food and most people feel the need to completely fill their plates during mealtime, even if it is a balanced, healthy meal.

Not only have our portions grown, but also food availability has grown. You can take a 10-minute drive and it is likely that you will pass multiple food establishments, most of them fast food. By combining these two realities, our society makes it easy for us to not only over eat, but to over eat lower nutrient dense foods. This is why it is important to listen to your body’s natural hunger cues. Sometimes one serving just doesn’t feel like enough, though. One way to keep a balanced, properly portioned, healthy diet is to eat frequent, small meals. This way, your body never reaches such low stores that you are tempted to over eat. We all know that lazy, draggy feeling after eating too big of a meal, it is much nicer to enjoy your food and feel great after eating it!

The larger portions and increased availability of calories have lead to an obesity epidemic in our country. Obesity is associated with many other health concerns such as heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension. In order to keep your body healthy and well nourished, be mindful during meals and snacks while listening to your body.  And if you are struggling with losing weight, see a Registered Dietitian/Licensed Nutritionist. Here at Eat Right Bucks County, we can help you lose weight.

As reference, each meal should have 1 serving of whole grains, one serving of protein, and 2 servings of fruits and vegetables.  If you’re unsure what a serving looks like, it is about one fist full of food. Check out our other blogs for healthy meal and snack ideas!  Or schedule an appointment with one of our Registered Dietitians to help you with an individualized Nutrition plan.  Doylestown weight loss

 

Stay Warm With Homemade Soup

These chilling temperatures make everyone want to stay home and stay warm. Instead of eating unhealthy comfort food, dive into one of these delicious soup recipes on your next inevitable snow day. A big pot will leave you plenty for left overs, and these recipes are not very time consuming at all.   Homemade soup is the perfect winter comfort food with a nutritious twist. These three recipes are packed with vegetables and immune boosting foods to help make it through flu season!

Bucks County Soup

Lentil Vegetable Barley Soup

(from fullmeasureofhappiness.com)

My mom and I made this soup this week. Rather then adding barley, which can contribute to inflammation (if that is a health concern of yours) we doubled the amount of lentils.

 

½ large onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced

1 C carrots, thinly sliced

½ C red lentils

½ C yellow split peas

½ C barley

1 can tomatoes, diced

3 C vegetable broth, 2 C water

½ tsp sugar

¼ tsp black pepper

fresh basil as wanted

 

Add all ingredients into a crockpot and cook on high for about 4 hours.

 

Tortilla Soup

(from Canyon Ranch)

 

2 teaspoons whole cumin seed

¼ teaspoon chili flakes

½ C onion, diced

1 ¼ tsp garlic, minced

2 teaspoons canola oil

2/3 C canned tomatoes, diced

2 tsp lime juice

¾ tsp salt

5 ½ C chicken stock

 

First, place the cumin and tortilla strips on a sheet pan and toast for 5 minutes.   After they cool, grind the cumin in a spice grinder.

Next sauté the onion and garlic in canola oil, in a large saucepan. Add the spices and tomatoes. After briefly sautéing, add the remaining ingredients and bring it to a boil.

Let the soup simmer for 10 minutes, and then let it cool slightly. Place in a blender until you get a smooth consistency.

Reheat, garnish with the following, and it is ready to serve!

½ C Pico de Gallo (or your own favorite salsa!)

½ C shredded low-fat cheddar cheese

1 corn tortilla, thinly sliced

4 tsp fresh cilantro, chopped

 

Pear-Butternut Soup

(from eatingwell.com)

 

2 ripe pears (peeled, quartered, cored)

2 lbs butternut squash (peeled, seeded, cut into chunks)

2 medium tomatoes (cored, quartered)

1 large leek (use the pale green and white parts, halve then slice)

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

½ tsp salt

pepper as needed

4 C vegetable broth

 

First mix the pears, squash, tomatoes, leeks, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper and evenly distribute on baking pan. Roast in the oven at 400° until the vegetables are tender.

Next, place half the vegetables and 2 cups broth into a blender, blend until a smooth consistency. Pour into a saucepan. Do the same with the rest of the vegetables and 2 more cups of vegetable broth.

Cook the soup over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes. Garnish with chives, walnuts, or even a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Feel free to get creative!

 

Wake Up, Breakfast is Waiting

oatmeal healthyBreakfast is a meal that can often get left behind on a busy morning.

Whether there’s not enough time, you don’t feel hungry, or are simply out of ideas of a healthy way to start the day; it’s time to make breakfast part of your daily morning routine! Without eating something in the morning, you’re body is starting the day running on empty. As important as that cup of coffee may feel to wake you up and get you ready for the day, caffeine is only a temporary fix. A nutritious breakfast can help you stay alert and focused throughout the entire day. Listed below are some quick, easy, nutrient filled breakfast ideas to help you make the most of your day. Try to refuel your body within 1-2 hours of getting up in the morning in order to wake up your body and mind.

 

Oatmeal with berries

Oatmeal can be made in just minutes in the microwave, making this a quick and easy go to breakfast choice. Adding fresh berries takes only seconds more, but adds a delicious sweetness and plenty of important nutrients. If you’re really in a rush, put your oatmeal and fruit into a to-go coffee cup and it becomes an on-the-go meal.

 

Toast with bananas and peanut butter

A piece of whole-wheat toast with some natural peanut butter and a sliced banana is a breakfast option packed with whole grains, vitamins, and protein. This easy-to- prepare breakfast will keep you feeling alert and full.

 

Greek yogurt, granola, fruit

Mix Greek yogurt, granola, and fruit for a nutrient packed, prepared-in-seconds breakfast. This is another easy breakfast to have at home or take on the go.

 

Eggs and quinoa

If you have a little more time in the morning, this is one of my personal favorites. My go to is an over-easy egg, a serving of quinoa, and I even like to add in cooked spinach. If you prepare the quinoa and spinach the night before, this breakfast still has a very fast prep time with a delicious payoff.

 

Fruit and vegetable smoothie

Need a quick way to get in your servings of fruits and veggies? Throw it all into a blender and press start! Test out your own mix of fruits and vegetables until you find the perfect combination for your taste buds. I suggest putting in kale, berries, carrots, or mangoes. If you’re interested in a little extra health boost, sprinkle in some ground flaxseed for a nutty flavor. Smoothies can even be made the night before and stored in the fridge for an even easier morning, too!

 

Adding a quick and healthy breakfast is an important part of your Nutrition routine. Consult a nutrition expert near you for help with your wellness plan.   We are Dietitians, Nutritionists in Doylestown, Pa (Registered Dietitians Nutritionists in Bucks County)

How to Get Your Kids to Eat More Vegetables

How to get kids to eat vegetablesIf you’re having trouble getting your children to eat more vegetables, you’re not alone! It can be very hard for children to accept the taste of the nutrient rich foods and especially hard for them to understand why it’s important to eat their vegetables. It is essential for children to get all the vitamins and minerals that vegetables offer; these nutrients are necessary for healthy growth. Inadequate vegetable intake can potentially have negative long-term effects.

One way to make sure your kids aren’t leaving their vegetables on their plate is to start introducing them into their diet at an early age. If they can acquire a taste for broccoli before they get the idea in their head that they don’t like it, they may even want to eat it! Also, introducing one vegetable at a time and not overwhelming your kids is very important. Did you know it can take a child 19 times for them to accept a new food, why it’s important to start introducing them early and often.  It’s important to be patient.  Yelling, “eat it!” and forcing children to eat can have negative consequences and cause a power struggle. All kids try things in their own time.

A great way to ensure vegetable consumption is giving them vegetables in a sneakier way then just as a side. For example, make a smoothie. When you combine some vegetables and fruits in a blender, the sweetness of the fruit usually overtakes the taste of the vegetables. A smoothie is a fun way for kids to get their daily vegetable intake. Spinach is an easy one to sneak in and they won’t even know it’s there!

Another way to sneak vegetables into a meal is to cook them right into whatever you’re serving. If spaghetti is on the menu for the night, instead of having asparagus on the side, chop up a serving of vegetables and mix them right in with the pasta and sauce. Or you could make pumpkin or carrot muffins! This way, they become part of the meal, not an option that your kids may choose not to eat. Positive feedback and encouragement when your kids do eat their vegetables is essential! Did you know that kids eat more vegetables when their parents are eating them too and smiling 🙂 Let the many colors of vegetables brighten up mealtime and have fun eating healthy.

If you are frustrated with a picky eater, enlist the help of a Registered Dietitian! Their professional help can help you develop strategies and patience with your picky eater! At Eat Right Bucks County in Doylestown, Pa- our Dietitians are here to help! Bucks county 18902, 18901 dietician, Nutritionist 18901, Kristie Finnan,