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NIFS Healthy Living Blog

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

Start Your Day Off Right: How Not to Skip a Healthy Breakfast

If it is the most important meal of the day, why do about 31 million people (or 10 percent of the population) still skip breakfast? Here are the top three reasons people skip breakfast and how you can overcome those excuses to make eating breakfast a part of your daily routine.breakfast

I’m just not hungry in the morning.

You should wake up in the morning and be hungry. Your body has gone at least eight hours without food, so it should be ready for some fuel. If not, take a look at your before-bedtime habits and check to see whether you are constantly snacking on chips and ice cream late into the evening. If so, this can affect your hunger levels in the morning. Don’t go to bed hungry, but instead choose a reasonable snack around 100 to 150 calories like Greek yogurt or an apple with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter.

I don’t have time for breakfast.

If you would rather hit the snooze button a few more times than prepare breakfast for yourself, you might find yourself without enough time to eat in the morning. The key is to aim for three food groups at a meal, so even if you grab a turkey sandwich and a banana as you run out the door, you are still starting your day right. The key is to combine some protein and whole grains to help give you energy and keep you full. Breakfast is also a great time to get in a dairy or fruit serving, too!

If time is an issue, use this recipe to prepare breakfast for the whole week. Add the egg to an English muffin and grab a glass of milk or piece of fruit to go with it and you are set!

I want to save my calories for later in the day.breakfast

Some people think that if they skip breakfast, it will help with their weight-loss efforts or give them more calories to consume at lunch and dinner. Unfortunately, this is not the case. A recent study compared two groups: one ate more for breakfast and the other ate more at dinner, with both consuming the same amount of calories. The breakfast group lost more weight and inches than the dinner group. Typically people who skip breakfast overcompensate the rest of the day by eating more calories than if they had started their day with a balanced meal.

Whatever your reason for skipping breakfast, try to break that habit and start eating something every day. Start small with a glass of 100 percent juice or a piece of fruit and then work up to a balanced meal between 400 and 500 calories and at least three food groups!

Angie Scheetz, RD, is the wellness coordinator at NIFS and organizes the Mini Marathon Training Program, Dealing with Diabetes, and Lite ‘N Up. Enrollment for Lite ‘N Up is open though September 17, 2013.

Topics: nutrition weight loss healthy eating snacks breakfast