NIFS Healthy Living Blog

Nutrition with Whole Foods: Winter Vegetables to Try

ThinkstockPhotos-636370602.jpgAre you uninspired on the vegetable front once the weather turns cold and the local fresh produce is no longer available? Luckily there are some hearty winter vegetables that I challenge you to try: Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and kale. These whole foods will add some variety to your current lineup—and help you get the nutrition you need more easily. Below are recipes to try.

Brussels Sprouts, Quinoa, and Cranberry Salad
Serves 4–6

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, rinsed and ends trimmed, then halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Toss the first 4 ingredients together until combined.
  2. Whisk the rest of the ingredients together to make the vinaigrette and pour over the salad.

 

Cauliflower Fried Rice
Serves 4ThinkstockPhotos-535428009.jpg

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • ½ cup carrots, cubed
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. light brown sugar
  • ⅛ tsp. ground ginger
  • Pinch red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Chop head of cauliflower into florets and place in food processor. Pulse until it starts to resemble rice; set aside.
  2. Heat a large wok or skillet over medium heat and drizzle in sesame oil. Add onion, peas, and carrots and sauté until tender, about 2 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile in a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, and red pepper flakes; set aside.
  4. Slide veggie mixture to one side of the wok and add in the beaten eggs, scrambling until cooked through, and then incorporate with the veggies.
  5. Stir in cauliflower "rice" and pour the soy sauce over the top, mixing well.
  6. Cook an additional 3 to 4 minutes, until cauliflower is soft and tender.

 

Turkey Sausage, Potato, and Kale Soup
Serves 10

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 package (14 oz.) smoked turkey sausage, sliced into ¼-inch rounds
  • 4 cups torn kale leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • 3 cups cubed potatoes
  • 32 oz. low-sodium fat-free chicken broth
  • 2 cups skim milk (or alternative)
Instructions
  1. Melt butter and heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add diced onions, garlic, sliced smoked turkey sausage rounds, kale, salt, pepper, rosemary, and thyme; stir to combine and cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in potatoes. Add chicken broth and milk; bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce to a simmer and continue to cook 10 to 12 minutes, or until potatoes are fully cooked and tender. Remove rosemary sprig.

I hope you enjoy these winter veggie recipes and try one soon!

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This blog was written by Angie Mitchell, RD, Wellness Coordinator. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

 

Topics: NIFS nutrition recipes winter whole foods dietitian vegetables

5 SUPER Smoothie Add-Ins for Healthy Eating

4773111471The weather is getting warmer, Mini Marathon training is in full swing, and some of our group fitness classes are able to meet outdoors for a fun twist on the workout. Yep, spring is here! The warmer weather and sunnier days definitely have me craving a fruit and veggie-packed smoothie first thing in the morning, no doubt about it. Full of fiber, plant-based protein, vitamins, and minerals galore, it’s pretty clear that drinking a smoothie is a guaranteed way to get in a nutrient-packed breakfast to start your day with healthy eating. 

You can make your own recipes using these hints. Start with a liquid base like almond milk, coconut water, or coconut milk. Add in about a cup of your favorite frozen fruit such as strawberries, blueberries, or cherries. Next, I always like to add in half of a frozen banana for extra creaminess! Last, pick one or two of these super-food mix-ins to really take your smoothie to the next level. Trust me on this one! Your body (and your taste buds) will thank you.

Spinach: Greens are known for their serious antioxidant cancer-fighting superpowers as well as their high vitamin and mineral content. It’s no wonder your parents were always trying to get you to finish those greens with dinner. Well, adding raw spinach to your morning smoothie is a great (dare I say sneaky) way to enjoy these greens so you can reap the nutrition benefits of this delicious veggie. I promise, you won’t taste a thing. Try adding a large handful of raw spinach to your next morning blend.

Chia: It’s no wonder everyone is chatting about chia! Rich in plant-powered protein and healthy fats that help promote brain function and heart health, these little seeds pack so much! They create a gel-like consistency when added to liquid so they will thicken your smoothie right up. Try adding one tablespoon to a smoothie for a tasty treat.

Cacao: Rich in magnesium, iron, potassium, and antioxidants, cacao is the raw form of chocolate. That’s right, it’s healthy to have a chocolaty, rich smoothie for breakfast. One of my favorite combos? Almond milk, frozen banana, almond butter, a dash of cinnamon, and a tablespoon of this delicious raw cocoa powder. (And maybe a handful of spinach!) 

Coconut water: Drinking coconut water is a great way to hydrate and start your recovery after a tough workout. It is lower in calories than most sports drinks and contains no artificial ingredients or added sugars (just be sure to read the label), which makes it perfect for restoring your hydration levels the way nature intended. Use about a cup of coconut water as the liquid base of your smoothie to give your body a natural electrolyte boost after your morning sweat session.

Avocado: Do you LOVE super-creamy smoothies? If so, avocado is the superfood add-in for you! Adding a quarter of an avocado to your smoothie not only gives you a boost of fiber, monounsaturated fats, and potassium; but it instantly turns your smoothie into a thick and creamy milkshake. Milkshake for breakfast? Oh, yes!

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This blog was written by Tara Deal Rochford, contributing writer, group fitness instructor, and author of healthy living blog Treble in the Kitchen. Meet our other NIFS bloggers.

Topics: nutrition healthy eating recipes breakfast hydration recovery

’Tis the Season for Healthy Holiday Baking

78464944One of my favorite holiday traditions is making fabulous treats and snacks for friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors. Entire days are spent baking in the kitchen, and the best part (after sampling the treats first hand) is hearing how great everything tastes. Little do they know that with just a few simple tweaks, those cookies and candies can be dramatically lower in fat and calories. Here are a few easy ways to tweak your recipes for healthy eating.

Reduce

Many recipes call for an amount of sugar or fat well above the amount needed for taste and texture. Try reducing these ingredients by one-third or one-half when making your recipe. Also, by using nonstick pans and cooking spray, you can reduce the oil or butter on baking sheets and pans.

Substitute

There are healthier alternatives to use without compromising taste. Give the following substitutions a try.

  • Eggs: For every egg, use two egg whites or 1⁄4 cup egg substitute. Egg Beaters and other substitutes can be found in the dairy/egg section of the grocery store. You can also make your own version of egg substitute: 6 egg whites, 1⁄4 cup nonfat dry milk, 1 tsp. oil, and 6 drops of yellow food coloring. Refrigerate for up to one week.
  • Whipped cream: Make your own! Beat together 1⁄4 cup ice water and 1⁄4 cup nonfat milk powder until thick. Add 1⁄4 tsp. vanilla, 2 tsp. lemon juice, and 1⁄4 cup sugar. Another option is vanilla nonfat yogurt.
  • Baking chocolate: Use 3 Tbsp. cocoa powder for every ounce of baking chocolate.
  • Applesauce: Rather than using all of the oil, margarine, or butter in baked goods, substitute a portion with applesauce. For example, instead of 1⁄4 cup oil, use 2 Tbsp. of oil and 2 Tbsp. of applesauce. The applesauce provides moisture, but you still have the benefits of the fat in the oil and save 230 calories and 28 grams of fat.
  • Prunes: For your best baked chocolate recipes, try baby food prunes as a fat replacement. They retain moisture and add to the color. Substitute the same amount as in the recipe, or try replacing with a portion of the prunes.

For some ideas of healthier cocktails to go with your baked treats at holiday parties, see this post.

Whatever you decide to bake or eat this holiday season, just remember moderation. Enjoy one or two cookies, not the whole batch! Happy holidays and happy baking!

If you are interested in having your questions answered during a personal nutrition consultation, please contact me at ascheetz@nifs.org or 317-274-3432, ext 239. Learn more about Nutrition and Wellness services at NIFS.

This blog was written by Angie Scheetz, RD, Wellness Coordinator. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

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Topics: nutrition healthy eating recipes snacks calories holidays

The Health Benefits of Greek Yogurt—Plus Recipes!

There are a lot of hot new food fads right now, including coconut oil, kale, quinoa, and chia seeds. It seems like I have been seeing these foods everywhere, and while I do love them, I have been obsessing over another food fad for a while. Greek yogurt is one of those amazing foods that can be used in so many ways and is extremely good for you.

Why You Should Eat More Greek Yogurtgreek-yogurt

Here are the reasons why Greek yogurt can help with your healthy eating goals:

  • It is an excellent source of calcium, potassium, zinc, protein, and vitamins B6 and B12.
  • It contains probiotic cultures, which can help with gut regularity.
  • It's lower in lactose for those who have trouble digesting other dairy products.
  • Greek yogurt contains twice the amount of protein as normal yogurt, which can help keep you full longer and makes an impact on your weight management.
  • It has half the amount of sodium regular yogurt has, which is a plus for those watching blood pressure.
  • It can be enjoyed as a sweet or savory treat!

Recipes

Here are some recipes that can help you incorporate this super food into your meals and snacks.

Banana Oatmeal Smoothie

If you want to start your day with a protein-packed punch and also get to work on time, here is a quick and healthy breakfast smoothie incorporating Greek yogurt that can help you start the day off right!

Buffalo Chicken Salad

Bored with your normal lunch routine? Try this tasty buffalo chicken salad that has tons of flavor without all of the fat of traditional chicken salads.

Tzatziki Sauce

Stumped as to what to fix for dinner? This delicious topping for chicken, fish, or lamb is a quick and easy solution!

Creamy Peanut Butter Dip

Need to have that sweet ending after dinner? Try this alternative as a healthy treat! It's also a great midday snack.

I hope you try this tasty treat! Watch out for some varieties on the market that can be extremely high in sugar, calories, and fat. Look for a nonfat version to keep your saturated fat grams lower, and consider buying plain and flavor it yourself with fruit and flavored extracts to decrease the added sugar. The possibilities are endless!

Learn more about Nutrition and Wellness services at NIFS.

This blog was written by Angie Sheetz, NIFS Registered Dietitian. Read more about the NIFS bloggers.

Topics: nutrition healthy eating recipes snacks calories lunch breakfast weight management

Healthier Holiday Cocktails

The holidays are a challenging time because there are so many more delicious foods everywhere. For some people, this is a time of year when they consume more alcohol at holiday parties. Unfortunately, most of these cocktails are loaded with calories. Here are some tips that can help keep the party going—but not increase your waistline!

  • Choose cocktails that don’t add a lot of calories beyond the alcohol with high-calorie mixers. Order soda water and a splash of cranberry juice or diet soda as the mixer.
  • Have a non-caloric beverage (such as water, iced tea, or decaf coffee) in between alcoholic drinks.
  • Order your drink with extra ice.
  • Set a goal to stick to the alcohol recommendations for adults: 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men. A drink is 5 ounces of wine, 1½ ounces of liquor, or 12 ounces of beer.

Try some of these lower-calorie beverages at your next holiday party!

Made-over Eggnog egg nog

Ingredients:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 5½ cups low-fat or skim milk
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup Splenda or alternative sweetener
  • 2 TB. cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 TB. vanilla
  • ½ tsp. (plus additional for sprinkling) ground nutmeg
  • ⅓ cup dark rum (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, with a whisk, beat eggs and egg whites until blended; set aside.
  2. In a heavy 4-quart saucepan, with heat-safe spatula, mix 4 cups milk with sugar, cornstarch, and ¼ teaspoon salt.
  3. Cook on medium-high until mixture boils and thickens slightly, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute. Remove saucepan from heat.
  4. Gradually whisk ½ cup simmering milk mixture into eggs; pour egg mixture back into milk in saucepan, whisking constantly, to make custard.
  5. Pour custard into large bowl; stir in vanilla, nutmeg, rum (if using), and remaining 1½ cups milk.
  6. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 6 hours or up to 2 days.
  7. Sprinkle eggnog with nutmeg to serve. Makes about 6½ cups.

Serves: 13  Serving size: 1 cup
Calories: 90   Fat: 2g  Carbohydrates: 10g  Protein: 6g

 

Sparkling Pomegranate Cocktailpomegrante drink

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups pomegranate juice
  • ¼ cup grenadine
  • 1 (750-milliliter) bottle Prosecco or dry sparkling wine, chilled
  • 6 lime slices (optional)
  • Pomegranate seeds (optional)

Directions:

  1. Combine pomegranate juice and ¼ cup grenadine in a 2-cup glass measure.
  2. Divide the juice mixture evenly among 6 Champagne flutes or wine glasses. Top each serving evenly with wine, and garnish each serving with lime slices and seeds, if desired.

Serves: 6  Serving size: ¾ cup
Calories: 164  Fat: 0  Carbohydrates: 21g  Protein: 0g

 

Spiced Hot Cidercider

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 whole cloves
  • ½ cup applejack (apple brandy)
  • 2 TB. cinnamon schnapps
  • Cinnamon sticks, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Bring apple cider, cinnamon stick, and cloves to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add applejack and schnapps. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and serve hot.

Serves: 6  Serving size: ¾ cup
Calories: 143  Fat: 0g  Carbohydrates: 23g     Protein: 0g

 

If you need more motivation to maintain your weight during the holidays, schedule a personal nutrition consultation for help surviving the holidays, contact Angie Scheetz, RD, at ascheetz@nifs.org or (317) 274-3432, ext. 239.

Topics: nutrition healthy habits healthy eating recipes snacks calories holidays

How to Add Superfoods to Your Holiday Meals


We have all heard about holiday weight gain from eating too much of those delicious celebratory foods. However, a lot of the foods that we typically only see around this time of brussel sproutsyear can be very good for us. Here are some superfoods and recipes to incorporate into your annual holiday feasts!

Brussels Sprouts:

  • Loaded with 15% of your RDA for fiber to help keep cholesterol low.
  • Lots of cancer-fighting antioxidants like Vitamins C, E, and A.
  • Contain one-third of the inflammation-reducing omega-3 fatty acids your body requires per day.
  • Over 200% of the RDA of Vitamin K, which is essential for proper brain and nerve function.

Pomegranate:

  • May help keep plaque from forming on artery walls.pomagrante
  • Antioxidants in it have been found to slow prostate cancer growth.
  • Improves blood flow to the heart and reduces the risk for heart disease.

Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate and Bacon

Makes 3 to 4 side-dish servings

5 to 6 cups Brussels sprouts (about 1.5 lbs.), cleaned and quartered

2 slices turkey bacon or center-cut bacon, cut into small pieces

¼ cup pomegranate seeds

¼ cup pecan halves, roughly chopped

⅛ to ¼ tsp. sea salt and pepper, depending on preference

  1. Begin by cooking the bacon over medium-high heat in a large skillet.
  2. Once the bacon is almost all browned, add the Brussels sprouts. Cook and stir at least once a minute. When most of the Brussels sprouts have browned a little bit and are softened
    (about 5 to 7 minutes), pour into pomegranates and pecans.
  3. Add salt and pepper.
  4. Cook the entire mixture for another 2 to 3 minutes.

(Recipe from www.eatliverun.com.)

Turkey:

  • Lean source of protein with all of the essential amino acids.
  • Contains selenium, which is helpful in thyroid and immune system function.
  • Is a good source of Vitamins B3 and B6.

Turkey Pot Pie SoupTurkey

Makes 8 servings

¼ cup flour

2 cups turkey stock

4 cups fat-free milk

2 large celery stalks, chopped

1½ cups chopped onion

8 oz. sliced mushrooms

Fresh ground pepper

2 TB. chopped parsley

8 oz. frozen peas and carrots

1 tsp. turkey bouillon (or more to taste)

2 medium (12 oz. total) potatoes, peeled and cubed small

16 oz. cooked turkey breast, diced small or shredded

  1. Create a roux by combining ½ cup of the cold broth with flour in a medium bowl and whisk until well blended. Set aside.
  2. Pour remaining broth and milk into a large pot and slowly bring to a boil. Add celery, onion, mushrooms, parsley, fresh pepper, frozen vegetables, and salt and return to a boil.
  3. Partially cover and simmer on low until vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes.
  4. Remove lid, add potatoes, and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add turkey, and slowly whisk in roux, stirring well as you add.
  6. Cook another 2 to 3 minutes, until soup thickens.
  7. Adjust salt and pepper to taste and serve.

(Recipe from www.skinnytaste.com.)

Sweet Potatoes:sweet potato

  • Rich in beta carotene and meet the daily requirement for Vitamin A.
  • Provide one-third of your daily dose of Vitamin C.
  • Packed with fiber to help keep you full.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Makes 12 servings

1 lb. cooked, mashed sweet potato

½ cup orange juice

½ cup sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla

2 egg whites

Topping:

½ cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons butter

  1. Mix orange juice, sugar, vanilla and egg whites. Add to sweet potato.
  2. Place sweet potato mixture in a casserole dish.
  3. Mix topping ingredients until mixture is mealy. Spread on top of potato mixture. Sprinkle 1 cup of chopped pecans on top (optional).
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.

Pumpkin:pumpkin

  • A serving contains more than 200% of the RDA of Vitamin A, which helps with vision.
  • Loaded with the antioxidant beta carotene, which is a cancer fighter.
  • Plenty of potassium to aid in the body’s electrolyte balance.

Cinnamon:

  • Has been found to help reduce blood sugar levels of individuals with diabetes.
  • Can help fight against bacterial and fungal infections.
  • May help against the destructive process of multiple sclerosis.

Pumpkin Pie Dip

Makes 12 servings

15 oz. canned pumpkin

8 oz. Cool-Whip

1 package sugar-free, fat-free vanilla pudding mix

½ TB. pumpkin pie seasoning

½ tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. nutmeg

Sliced apples for dipping

  1. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together except apples.
  2. Chill in refrigerator until ready to eat.
  3. Serve with sliced apples.

 Red Wine:red wine

  • Can have a significant positive effect on lowering cholesterol levels.
  • Resveratrol, a compound in red wine, can help keep your brain sharp.
  • Studies have shown it can prevent you from getting the common cold when drinking red wine in moderation (5 oz. per day for women and 10 oz. per day for men).

Pot Roast with Dried Fruit and Red Wine

Makes 6 servings

1 well-trimmed boneless beef rump roast (2 pounds), tied

¾ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup beef broth

1 cup dry red wine

½ cup orange juice

½ teaspoon ground allspice

2 large red onions, cut into wedges

2 cups pitted prunes

2 cups dried apricot halves

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. Rub the roast with the salt and pepper.
  3. In an ovenproof Dutch oven, bring the broth, wine, orange juice, and allspice to a boil over high heat.
  4. Place the roast in the pot and return to a boil. Cover the pot and place in the oven.
  5. Bake, turning the roast several times, for 2 hours. Add the onions, prunes, and apricots and cook for 1 hour, or until the roast is very tender.
  6. Place on a cutting board, cover, and let stand for 15 minutes.
  7. Remove the strings from the roast and cut into thin slices.
  8. Arrange the meat on a platter and spoon the pan juices and fruit over top.

(Recipe from www.prevention.com.)

Happy Holidays, and make sure to incorporate some of these superfoods into your meals this season!

This blog was written by Angie Scheetz, RD, wellness coordinator at NIFS, She also organizes the Mini Marathon Training Program, Dealing with Diabetes, and Lite ‘N Up classes. To contact Angie about Personal Nutrtional Coaching sessions email her at ascheetz@nifs.org or call 317-274-3432.

 

Topics: nutrition healthy eating recipes holidays

Celebrate National Kale Day with Three Healthy Recipes


There are a lot of different days throughout the year devoted to certain foods, and October 2 is no exception. This day is reserved for all things kale!

So, if you have been hearing about this wonderful green, leafy vegetable and have been wanting to try it, or if you are already a lover of the vitamin-K-packed wonder, then definitely take this day to enjoy some recipes that incorporate kale.

Since kale thrives in cooler weather, this time of year is the perfect opportunity to sample it when other vegetables are out of season. To find the freshest kale, search for deeply colored leaves with hardy stems.

If you want to increase your intake of folate, calcium, iron, fiber, and phytonutrients, here are three ways to incorporate kale into your diet for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack time.

Orange-Blueberry Kale Smoothiekale smoothie

If the thought of drinking a green smoothie doesn’t appeal to you, try this delicious option that keeps the color a gorgeous purple!

1 whole orange

1 cup blueberries

½ cup vanilla almond or soy milk or ½ cup skim milk

2 cups chopped and loosely packed kale

1 cup ice

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Makes three 8-ounce servings or two 12-ounce servings.

 

Kale Salad

1 big bunch kale; chopped fine

1 cup cooked wild rice or brown rice, cooled (or try cooked quinoa)

1 red or orange bell pepper; chopped

¼ cup thinly sliced red onion or green onion

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins or bothkale salad

½ cup feta cheese

¼ cup grated parmesan

 

Dressing:

2 to 3 TB. olive oil

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

2 TB. Dijon mustard

1 to 2 TB. honey

Juice of 1 lemon (add zest if you want)

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Toss salad. Put all dressing ingredients in a shaker and combine. Pour over salad and enjoy.

 

Kale Chips

Slice kale into bite-sized pieces. Toss with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

 

For more information and recipes, check out the National Kale Day website.  

Schedule a personal nutrition consultation to plan how you can incorporate more veggies like kale into your diet.

This blog was written by Registered Dietitian at NIFS, Angie Scheetz, RD. To meet the NIFS Bloggers click here.

Topics: nutrition recipes snacks lunch breakfast

Dealing with Diabetes―Deliciously!

Diabetes is a disease that affects 8.3% of the population, or 26 million individuals. When it comes to diabetes, nutrition is key. The goal is to be able to choose foods that help to keep blood sugar levels under control and in the recommended range.

The best way to eat to guarantee optimum blood sugar levels is to always combine carbohydrate foods with a protein to help prevent levels from spiking too high. Foods that are carbohydrates are grains such as rice, cereal, and pasta; dairy foods such as milk and yogurt; and fruits and vegetables. Foods that have protein include meat, eggs, soy, beans, nuts, and dairy foods (which also contain protein in addition to carbohydrates).

Here are some diabetic-friendly recipes that follow this suggestion.

Mini BBQ Chicken-Topped Potato Halves

Ingredients:Shredded Chicken on Potato

  • —2 (1/4 lb total) new potatoes, scrubbed and pierced with a fork in several areas
  • —2 cups prepared shredded barbeque chicken
  • —1/3 cup fat-free Greek yogurt or fat-free sour cream
  • —1/4 cup finely chopped green onions (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Place the potatoes on a microwave-safe plate and cook five minutes, turn, and cook another 4 to 5 minutes until fork tender.
  2. Meanwhile, place the barbecue chicken in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, about 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir frequently. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.
  3. Place potatoes on cutting board, cut in half lengthwise, top with equal amounts of chicken, and then top with the sour cream and green onions.

*Serving size is half a potato; makes 4 servings.

Calories: 83; Total Fat: 1g; Total Carbohydrate: 24g; Protein: 10g

Grilled Asparagus

Ingredients:asparagus new

  • —1 pound/bundle of fresh asparagus
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • —Pinch of pepper
  • —¼ tsp Mrs. Dash salt-free seasoning
  • —1 ounce Fresh lemon juice

Instructions:

  1. Heat grill to high heat.
  2. Lightly coat the asparagus with olive oil, squeezed lemon juice, pepper, and Mrs. Dash.
  3. Grill 2 to 3 minutes.

*Makes 4 servings.  **Pair this with your favorite grilled lean meat

Calories: 116; Total Fat: 10g; Total Carbohydrate: 6g; Protein: 3g

Strawberry Yogurt Parfait

Ingredients:strawberry Small

  • —1 cup Chocolate Cheerios®
  • —2 containers (6 oz. each) Yoplait Greek Strawberry Yogurt (1 1/3 cups)
  • —2 cups sliced fresh strawberries

Instructions:

  1. Save two teaspoons of Chocolate Cheerios for toppings.
  2. Take each of the serving glasses and layer 2 tablespoons of yogurt, 2 tablespoons of Chocolate Cheerios, and 1/4 cup of sliced strawberries, and repeat layers.
  3. Top with the remaining Cheerios and a whole strawberry.

*Makes 4 servings.

Calories: 136; Total Fat: 1g; Total Carbohydrate: 25g; Protein: 8g

Getting the Balance Right and Learning More About Diabetes

Most individuals need between 45 and 60 grams of carbohydrate per meal. Combine this with 15 to 25 grams of protein and blood sugar levels will remain stable and in the healthy range.

Consider joining a Dealing with Diabetes class at NIFS. This four-week behavior-modification class provides participants with the tools to select proper foods and incorporate exercise into their lives while dealing with diabetes. This class is ideal for those who have been diagnosed with the disease, who have been told they are pre-diabetic, or for family members of those with diabetes struggling to help their loved ones. The program encourages gradual changes in attitudes and behaviors related to nutrition, exercise, and wellness. By incorporating these changes, participants will be able to improve their health and manage their diabetes. Contact

This blog was written by Angie Scheetz, RD. For more information contact her at ascheetz@nifs.org or 317-274-3432, ext 239.

Topics: nutrition healthy eating recipes snacks diabetes

Springtime Recipe: Carrot Spice Muffins

It is officially springtime, which means all things carrot will be popping up everywhere. Carrot cake, carrot bread, glazed carrots, and just plain carrots! Not only do carrots taste delicious, but they are chock-full of Vitamin A and offer a slew of other health benefits.

 muffin closeup resized 600

Although carrots are delicious and nutritious, we can often prepare them in ways that smother their nutritional benefits (carrot cake, anyone?). These Carrot Spice Muffins not only taste amazing, but they are relatively healthy due to three star ingredients:

  • 1 can chickpeas
  • ¾ cup coconut oil instead of butter
  • 1 cup shredded carrots

Chickpeas provide an extra fiber boost and add in a touch of extra protein (and I swear you cannot taste them!). The coconut oil is very heart-healthy, and the carrots are full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants such as Vitamin A and beta-carotene.

I promise, these muffins are soft and delicious, and you will not even know that the chickpeas are there! These muffins are just bursting with the flavors of carrot, cinnamon, and ginger.

muffins resized 600

Carrot Spice Muffins

Yields: about 20 medium sized muffins

Cook time: 25–30 minutes, or until a toothpick entered in the center of the muffin comes out clean

Ingredients:

  • 1 16-oz. can of rinsed and drained chickpeas
  • ¼ cup agave nectar
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ¾ cup coconut oil, softened but not melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • ½ cup walnuts

 Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line muffin tins with muffin liners and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Place the chickpeas and agave in the food processor and process until smooth. Set aside.
  4. Combine the flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger in a large bowl and set aside.
  5. Combine the coconut oil and sugars until creamy, then add the eggs one at a time along with the vanilla extract.
  6. Add in the chickpea mixture and the applesauce.
  7. Slowly add in the flour mixture until thoroughly combined.
  8. Mix the carrots and walnuts into the batter.
  9. Fill the muffin tins about three-fourths of the way full. Place in the oven and bake for 25–30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean.
  10. Cool and enjoy!!

This blog was written by Tara Deal, NIFS Group Fitness Instructor and author of Treble in the Kitchen.


Topics: nutrition healthy habits recipes