Welcome to my Blog. Check back for new blog posts regarding nutrition, food, and fitness. You can also access my blog posts, daily nutrition tips and recipe ideas from my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/healthyyounutrition and don't forget to "like" us!

Interested in a healthy lifestyle change but don't know where to start? Check out the NUTRITION SERVICES tab for the motivation and support you need to start living life as a healthier you!

Health and Happiness,

Stephanie : 0 )

Sunday, August 16, 2015

What is Kaia?

Kaia FIT is a team sport. Kaia is not a typical gym. Kaia focuses on personal results achieved by working in a team atmosphere. Kaia is a group of women helping each other accomplish common goals.
Kaia FIT’s mission is to create strong bodies and powerful minds. They are a women only fitness program that specializes in delivering personalized training in a group atmosphere. By working together as a team, Kaia girls accomplish their fitness goals and realize their full potential, both physically and mentally. Kaia recognizes and respects the importance of simple exercises and movement, and teach healthy eating habits that last a lifetime.

Kaia FIT just came to my community, Vacaville, California. I had the opportunity to attend two of their demo classes at Andrew's Park. These were hour long boot-camp style workouts. They were fun yet challenging. Their new space opens August 31st and their location is 3777 Vaca Valley Pkwy, Ste C (in Vacaville Indoor, across from Kaiser). 
I highly recommend checking Kaia out. It isn't just a group fitness class. It is a community that not only helps you to improve your health through fitness but also through nutrition. 
Kaia FIT has something called a 6 week BRIK program. This program’s philosophy goes much further than just working out. Their belief is that their three yearly BRIKs are the cornerstones of health and fitness and can be incorporated into our daily lives. By building a solid foundation during these six week programs, we train our bodies and our minds to take on multiple challenges simultaneously.
Each session is loaded with innovative workouts and nutritional support that are specific to the season. They have been designed to increase a client’s fitness level and/or to get them excited about exercising and eating healthy again.
Finding camaraderie during these sessions is a vital component to everyone’s success. The women beside you each day feel exactly what you are feeling and are important motivation to keep you going, whether you realize it or not. It is equally important to recognize and embrace your role in this relationship. Know that you are someone else’s role model, inspiration and silent teacher.

So come to Kaia FIT not only as a committed athlete, as you all are, but also as a devoted teammate. 
The next FREE demo is Tuesday, August 18th at 6pm and 7pm at the new location. 
Check it out and bring a friend. You won't be disappointed!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Hi friends

Happy New Year! I am ready to get a healthy start to 2015! Are you?  If so, ready below…..

For those of you who know me well or follow me on social media, you know that I love everything food, nutrition and the Steelers of course! But seriously I love learning about nutrition and I love teaching it to others. I am so happy I finally found a job that I love where I spend my days helping people of all ages manage their health conditions with dietary guidance and advice.

Another area of health that I am passionate in is fitness. The truth is our health relies on us taking care of ourselves and one of the worst things we can do is be sedentary. With my new job I now commute one hour to and from work each day and for most of the day I am sitting at my desk unless I am teaching a class where I can stand and move a little bit for an hour and a half but otherwise I spend a majority of my days sedentary. I try to fit in a workout each and every day because of this. But just like so many of you out there I find this to be challenging with how busy my life is. Since Thanksgiving fitness has not been one of my top priorities. The past few winters have been tough on my immune system. I haven’t been feeling well over the past few months and so my fitness has suffered. Well the holidays are over and I am finally starting to feel better and I am ready to get back on track and get out of this sedentary rut. For me being active is one of the most amazing things I can do for not only my body but also for my mind. I am so much happier when I am active on a regular basis.

So to strengthen my passion for health and fitness I decided to become a Beachbody coach so I can help others get motivated to become more active too. I love being a dietitian but I enjoy being a health coach to friends on social media and through my personal business Healthy You Nutrition. I figured I could join Beachbody to help those who may be in a sedentary rut find a workout program that fits their style and is something they can do from home. I have been purchasing workout videos for the past 15+ years and I love the convenience of doing them right from my family room. Beachbody has so many awesome programs to choose from.

Back in college I did Power 90 the precursor to the more current program P90X.  Currently at the gym I am loving the Body Pump classes. Well Beachbody sells body pump and body combat for those that don’t belong to a gym and want to get in on all that Les Mills action! Currently I own the programs Piyo and T25. I love these programs! Piyo is awesome because it combines two of my favorite types of fitness, pilates and yoga. T25 is great because they are quick 25 minute workouts that I can fit in on days when I just think I don’t have the time to spend 60 minutes at the gym.

So to start off the New Year I am hoping to fit in some sort of fitness each day, even if it is just a 20 minute walk during my lunch break. But what I’d like to do is to invite you to join me on a fitness challenge. It doesn’t have to be Beachbody specific, but if you are interested in trying out one of their programs please let me know. What I’d like to do is start a group here on Facebook where those interested can post daily what they did to be active, whether it’s a 10 minute walk, a 90 minute hot yoga class or a killer cross fit workout.  I need the accountability myself and from my experience as a dietitian I know that many others need accountability as well. So if you are interested in joining an accountability fitness Facebook group just LIKE this post, comment or personal message me. I’d like to get this started next week! I will personally post on the page every day with what I did to be active. I will also offer nutrition tips and healthy meal and snack ideas that I might be trying to accompany my healthy lifestyle. So if you are ready to get moving in 2015 then let’s go and LIKE below! Peace, love, health and happiness! ~ Stephanie : ) 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Spring into Spring Rolls

I feel like spring is just around the corner. The weather here in sunny California is so sweet and I'm constantly craving these delicious fresh Thai spring rolls. I learned how to make these a few years ago at a cooking class and since then I have adapted the recipe and taught over a dozen people how to make them because they are not only delicious but they are also fun to make!  Not to mention they are packed with nutrients! I like to explain it as a fun and creative way to eat a salad! When paired with peanut sauce and/or a light vinaigrette, it's like an explosion of flavors in your mouth.

I hope you will enjoy them as much as I do!

I also plan to start spring roll cooking classes because everyone that tries them, wants to learn how to make them. So here is the recipe if you'd like to check it out for yourself!  Enjoy : )

Spring Rolls                                                                                                    

Ingredients: (ingredients are estimated)
20 spring roll wrappers, 8 ½ inch size
4 cups baby spinach
1 cup fresh mint leaves
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1 cup fresh cilantro, stems removed
1 red bell pepper, cut into matchsticks
1 English cucumber, cut into matchsticks
4 carrots, cut into matchsticks or shredded
1 avocado, cut into thin slices
1 block of firm tofu, cut into matchsticks

To Assemble:
·         Fill a large, shallow bowl with warm water.  Slip a spring roll wrapper in the water for 30-45 seconds until it becomes pliable.  Remove it from water and place on clean kitchen linen or towel on a solid work surface.
·         Place about 5 leaves of baby spinach, little mint, cilantro and basil in the center of the wrapper.
·         In a horizontal manner, layer red bell pepper, cucumber, carrots, avocado, tofu on top of greens.
·         Roll wrapper tightly - Start by folding left side over top of the pile of deliciousness then fold the right side over the left then folding the bottom of the wrapper over the middle and continue rolling upward. 
·         Place finished rolls on a cookie sheet and refrigerate for 2 hours. Then once ready to enjoy, cut each roll in half on a diagonal, plate and serve with dipping sauce.

Peanut Sauce

1 cup natural salt free peanut butter
¼ cup low sodium tamari
3 teaspoons red chili paste (Siracha)
1 tablespoon agave nectar
Juice of 1 lime
½-1 cup hot water

·         Combine peanut butter, tamari, chili paste, agave and lime juice in a blender. 
·         Puree to combine all ingredients. 
·         With motor running, slowly add the hot water to thin out the sauce; use more or less water to get the consistency you want. The sauce will thicken overtime to allow it to be a little runny. 

Mustard-Soy Vinaigrette

Juice of 1 lime
4 Tbs. avocado oil (or rice bran or canola or olive oil)
2 Tbs. rice vinegar
1 tsp. dijon mustard (or stone ground)
1 tsp. low sodium tamari
1-2 tsp. brown sugar

In a small bowl, whisk all the ingredients together to combine and until the sugar is dissolved. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Original spring roll recipe and peanut sauce came from Cooking By the Bay.
Original Mustard-Soy Vinaigrette came from Williams-Sonoma.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Vegan Challenge Round 2

So I last did a vegan challenge in September 2012 and now I am back and am going to try to keep this going as long as I can. I don't just want to eat vegan foods, I want to eat foods that make me feel great. So I am going to try to limit foods that are vegan and can still be bad for you such as potato chips, vegan desserts and processed foods and Oreos, yes I said Oreos!!! They are vegan, go figure. This time around I am also doing a gluten free diet because my recent experiences with a gluten free diet has provided me with much digestive relief, enough said....so here I just thought I would post some of the meals I am having in case you are interested in adding more plant-based foods to your diet!  Also I plan to still eat honey. I like honey mustard dressing and honey in my tea sometimes. Enjoy : ) 

Start with a grocery list

Cookbook to try - All Vegan Recipes

One of my favorite snack bars - few ingredients!

Fill your cart! Buy organic!

Quick lunch, nothing to prepare, just remove from package and enjoy!

One of my favorite snacks of all time - apple with almond butter

Trying to drink less coffee and more tea!

Top left pic is of an all fruit smoothie - frozen pineapple, peaches, blueberries, cherries and acai juice

Easiest salad ever - mixed greens topped with a veggie patty and honey mustard

It's Easy Being Green Smoothie (from Vitamix cookbook) - 1 cup grapes, medium orange, 1/2 cup frozen or fresh pineapple chunks, medium banana (peeled), 1 carrot, 2 cups baby spinach, medium apple, ice

Snack time - I love mixed nuts!

I try to avoid artificial sweeteners but I was at the mall and very thirsty and this was my only option, at least it was sweetened less than 1% with stevia

Those stuffed grape leaves up close and personal

Tea time

Recipe from that Vegan Diabetes cookbook 

All mixed together: zucchini mushroom alfredo

Big salads are my favorite. I pretty much eat these everyday for lunch at work - using the mason jar method. This salad has romaine, spinach, mixed greens, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, Craisins, sprouted sunflower and pumpkin seeds, chia seeds and balsamic vinaigrette with left over vegan alfredo on brown rice pasta. 

The start of a very interesting LIME flavored soup

This soup was very good but the lime flavor was extra strong. I think because I used the Late July lime flavored tortilla chips and the recipe called for 1/2 lime peeled, not just the lime juice. I liked it but it was lime heavy. Next time I'd add whole black beans and cilantro to my garnishments of avocado, tortilla chips and raw red onion.

How I curb my sweet tooth.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Healthy Apps

Some of my favorite healthy apps that I currently use are:


My Fitness Pal

Spark People

Nike Training Center


Good Guide

Interval Timer

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Fill up on fruits and vegetables

I "stole" this list to share from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  Remember to make half of your plate vegetables at lunch and dinner (3-5+ servings/day) and eat 2-3 servings of fruits each day.  This will ensure your diet is full of color, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

1. Use vegetables as pizza toppings. Try broccoli, spinach, green peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms and zucchini.

2. Mix up a breakfast smoothie made with low-fat milk, frozen strawberries and a banana.

3. Make a veggie wrap with roasted vegetables and low-fat cheese rolled in a whole-wheat tortilla.

4. Try crunchy vegetables instead of chips with your favorite low-fat salad dressing for dipping.

5. Grill colorful vegetable kabobs packed with tomatoes, green and red peppers, mushrooms and onions.

6. Add color to salads with baby carrots, grape tomatoes, spinach leaves or mandarin oranges.

7. Keep cut vegetables handy for mid-afternoon snacks, side dishes, lunch box additions or a quick nibble while waiting for dinner. Ready-to-eat favorites: red, green or yellow peppers, broccoli or cauliflower florets, carrots, celery sticks, cucumbers, snap peas or whole radishes.

8. Place colorful fruit where everyone can easily grab something for a snack-on-the-run. Keep a bowl of fresh, just ripe whole fruit in the center of your kitchen or dining table.

9. Get saucy with fruit. Puree apples, berries, peaches or pears in a blender for a thick, sweet sauce on grilled or broiled seafood or poultry, or on pancakes, French toast or waffles.

10. Stuff an omelet with vegetables. Turn any omelet into a hearty meal with broccoli, squash, carrots, peppers, tomatoes or onions with low-fat sharp cheddar cheese.

11. “Sandwich” in fruits and vegetables. Add pizzazz to sandwiches with sliced pineapple, apple, peppers, cucumber and tomato as fillings.

12. Wake up to fruit. Make a habit of adding fruit to your morning oatmeal, ready-to-eat cereal, yogurt or toaster waffle.

13. Top a baked potato with beans and salsa or broccoli and low-fat cheese.

14. Microwave a cup of vegetable soup as a snack or with a sandwich for lunch.

15. Add grated, shredded or chopped vegetables such as zucchini, spinach and carrots to lasagna, meat loaf, mashed potatoes, pasta sauce and rice dishes.

16. Make fruit your dessert: Slice a banana lengthwise and top with a scoop of low-fat frozen yogurt. Sprinkle with a tablespoon of chopped nuts.

17. Stock your freezer with frozen vegetables to steam or stir-fry for a quick side dish.

18. Make your main dish a salad of dark, leafy greens and other colorful vegetables. Add chickpeas or edamame (fresh soybeans). Top with low-fat dressing.

19. Fruit on the grill: Make kabobs with pineapple, peaches and banana. Grill on low heat until fruit is hot and slightly golden.

20. Dip: Whole wheat pita wedges in hummus, baked tortilla chips in salsa, strawberries or apple slices in low-fat yogurt, or graham crackers in applesauce.

Food, Nutrition and Health Tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Trick or Treat

Halloween is just around the corner. Have you purchased your big bag of treats?  If not maybe you should consider some of these tips to keep you from over-indulging this fright night. 

Buy treats you do not like. If you don't like gummy candy then that's this year's trick or treat give-away.  Or if you absolutely love every candy then opt for the "healthier" ones such as dark chocolate to pass out to trick-or-treaters.

You could also consider buying other items and not candy such as bouncy-balls, silly straws, festive pens or pencils, spider rings, stickers, erasers, glow bracelets, fake tattoos, etc.  This website actually has a great deal for over 300 pens for $15!  http://athriftymom.com/trick-or-treat-ideas-non-food-low-as-05-each/

When it comes to Halloween parties and spooky treats, try some of these healthier versions:

Slim Pickinized Candy Apple 


1 medium apple (variety of your choice)
2 soft caramel squares
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 scoop chocolate protein powder (a blend works best vs. pure whey)
1/4 cup water (if needed)
1 TB chopped peanuts
1 wooden stick
1 piece wax paper

How to Prepare

1. Wash and thoroughly dry apple. Insert wooden stick into the center of the top of the apple, approximately 1 in deep. Set aside.

2. Heat almond milk and caramel squares in small sauce pan. Once caramel is completely melted, remove from heat and let sit for 2 minutes.

3. Add chocolate protein powder and mix until smooth and thick.

4. Note: if coating is watery, let sit for a few more minutes until spreadable. If coating is too thick, add the ¼ cup water 1 TB at a time, until smooth and spreadable. Discard unused water.

5. Hold apple by wooden stick and roll into melted coating while at the same time smoothing over apple with a spatula until mixture is completely used and apple is fully coated.

6. Immediately roll the apple into the chopped nuts while still sticky so the nuts adhere well to the coating

7. Place the apple, top down, onto the wax paper and place in the fridge for approximately 1 hour to completely set. 8. Remove from the fridge, slice it up and …as always…enjoy! You’ve been Slim Pickinized!! YUM!

Per serving (serves 1): 376 calories, 25 grams protein, 41 gram carbohydrates, 12.6 grams fat


Now this next recipe may not be the healthiest, but for those Vegan readers.....
Pumpkin Pie Cupcake with Whipped Kreme & Candy Corn Gummy


1 cup raw sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup canola oil
Egg Replacer for 4 eggs
1 (15-ounce) can unsweetened pumpkin
2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon each cinnamon, clove, nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt

Combine sugar, brown sugar, and oil in a large bowl; beat at medium speed until well blended. Add egg replacer; beat until blended completely. Add pumpkin and incorporate completely. Sift and combine flour, baking powder, soda and spices - gradually add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture, beating just until blended. Spoon batter into lined muffin tins, filling half way. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool.
Top with Soy Whip and a candy corn gummy.

Candy Corn Gummies:

1 3/4 ounces powdered fruit pectin
3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
2 tsp vanilla
Yellow, Orange vegetable food coloring
Granulated sugar for coating
Combine fruit pectin, water and baking soda in a medium-sized saucepan. (This will foam.)
Combine sugar and corn syrup and vanilla in a large saucepan.
Place both saucepans over high heat.
Cook, stirring each pan alternately, until the foam disappears from the fruit pectin mixture and the sugar mixture boils rapidly, about 5 minutes.
Pour fruit pectin mixture into the boiling sugar mixture in a thin steam until all pectin is added.
Boil the combined mixture, stirring constantly 1 minute longer.
Remove the saucepan from heat. Divide the mixture in thirds – add yellow coloring to one, orange to the another, and lastly the third batch, leave as is. Immediately spoon mixtures into triangle molds, plain, yellow and orange…separated with a playing card strip.** Allow to stand at room temperature for three hours or until candy is cool and firm. Do not refrigerate.
Unmold and dip candies in granulated sugar if desired.

Use a ½ cookie sheet and pour a thick 1- inch layer of cornstarch in the pan- I press a mold into the cornstarch and then separate each candy “mold” into three layers with cut up playing card strips. Time consuming, but once you have it down it is worth it!
Don’t have the patience?
Try it all one color first and then keep on practicing.


Check out this blog for some delicious healthier candy recipes.  http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2012/10/16/healthy-halloween-candy/

Have a safe and spooky Halloween!!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Fall's Super Food: Pumpkin

It's that time of year again, fall. Time for warmer clothes, hot apple cider and pumpkin treats!!  Luckily pumpkin is a food that offers numerous health benefits so treating ourselves to pumpkin shouldn't make us feel too guilty, right?  Well I guess we will have to keep our pumpkin martinis and pumpkin spiced lattes to a minimum unless we can modify them to contain less sugar because that is typically the waist-killer to some delicious pumpkin recipes.

One of my favorite recipes to make is my pumpkin bread. I make it every fall and share it with friends and family. I am constantly revamping the recipe to make it more delicious and nutritious.  This year I will have to find a way to make it vegan. Check out the recipe under my Recipe Favorites Tab for the Whole Grain Heart Healthy Pumpkin Bread.

Pumpkins come from the squash family.  They are an excellent source of beta-carotene which has been shown to fight certain cancers. Pumpkin is also loaded with vitamin A and fiber and is low in calories. Vitamin A supports healthy teeth, skin and eyes and fiber supports a healthy GI tract and weight maintenance. If you plan on buying some pumpkins this fall, be sure to save the seeds.  Pumpkin seeds are super nutritious. They are full of manganese, tryptophan, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, protein, zinc and iron and a variety of forms of vitamin E. Enjoy pumpkin seeds by adding them to sauteed vegetables, sprinkle on salads, grind with fresh garlic, parsley and cilantro then mix with olive oil and lemon juice for a tasty salad dressing, add chopped pumpkin seeds to your favorite hot or cold cereal or cookie or granola recipes.

1/2 cup mashed, cooked pumpkin provides

24 calories, 0 g fat, 6 g carbohydrates, 1 g protein, 1 g fiber, 1 mg sodium

6,115 IU Vitamin A, 1 mg niacin, 6 mg vitamin C, 18 mg calcium, 282 mg potassium, and 6,012 mcg carotenoids

Try some of these tasty pumpkin recipes this fall

Pumpkin Protein Frosting

3 tbsp pumpkin (canned pumpkin)   
1 scoop of protein powder
1 tbsp of almond butter
Dash of cinnamon

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, and spread on a pita, waffles, (or it's perfect for dipping apples into)!
Add granola on top for an extra crunch!

Pumpkin Ravioli

For 6 Servings
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
6 wonton wrappers
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Chopped parsley

Combine pumpkin, Parmesan, ¼ teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Spoon about 2 teaspoons pumpkin mixture into center of each wonton wrapper. Moisten edges of dough with water; bring 2 opposite sides together to form a triangle, pinching edges to seal. Place ravioli into a large saucepan of boiling water with 1 teaspoon salt; cook 7 minutes and drain in a colander. Place chicken broth and butter in pan; bring to a boil. Add ravioli, tossing to coat. Sprinkle with parsley. Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 4 ravioli)

CALORIES 162g; FAT 5g (satfat 4g, monofat 1g, polyfat 0g); PROTEIN 6g; FIBER 2g; CHOLESTEROL 17mg; IRON 2mg; SODIUM 505mg; CALCIUM 102mg.

Pumpkin Soup

For 6 Servings
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup chopped onion
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup peeled and cubed (1/2-inch) sweet potato
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 14 1/2-ounce cans fat-free, low-sodium vegetable broth  
1 15-ounce can pumpkin
1 cup 1% low-fat milk
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives (optional)

1. Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes. Stir in flour, curry powder, cumin, nutmeg, and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add sweet potato, salt, broth, and pumpkin; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, partially covered, 20 minutes or until potato is tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; cool 10 minutes.
2. Place half of pumpkin mixture in a blender or food processor; process until smooth. Pour pureed soup into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining pumpkin mixture. Return soup to pan; stir in milk. Cook over medium heat 6 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring often. (Do not boil.) Remove from heat; stir in juice. Garnish with chives, if desired. Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 cup).

CALORIES 121 (21% from fat); FAT 2.8g (satfat 1.6g, monofat 0.7g, polyfat 0.2g); PROTEIN 5.1g; CARBOHYDRATES 19.7g; FIBER 3.5g; CHOLESTEROL 7mg; IRON 1.5mg; SODIUM 565mg; CALCIUM 85mg.

Pumpkin Spice Latte (Vegan, Gluten Free)

1. Make coffee (a pot, a cup, in whatever fashion and however you prefer making your coffee. The stronger the better)

2. Make Pumpkin Milk:
1 c milk (almond milk or any kind you want from half and half to rice milk)
1/4 heaping cup pumpkin puree (more if you really love pumpkin)
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice blend, or to taste
1 tsp cinnamon, or to taste
1 tsp vanilla extract
sweetener of choice, to taste (2 tbsp agave or 2 tbsp brown sugar or a pinch of stevia to taste; or try honey, maple syrup, etc. to taste)

Optional: pinch of ground nutmeg, ginger, garam masala, cardamom, or other warming spices to taste

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk well by hand or blend all ingredients using a Vita or blender
Optional: Warm the finished pumpkin milk mixture in the microwave (one minute) or on the stovetop

3. Pour 1 c of brewed coffee into a mug and pour half the pumpkin milk mixture over the top of the coffee and enjoy. (Optional: Finish by garnishing with real whipped cream/whipped topping such as CoolWhip or TruWhip; and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice/cinnamon on top)

The other half of the pumpkin milk mixture is for the refill you know you will want. If you truly don’t want a refill, refrigerate it for up to a few days and use for your next latte, in a smoothie, or drink it as is. As long as you’re dirtying dishes, I always make a little extra for refills or for later.
The spices will not “blend” or entirely dissolve. This is to be expected and normal. If this bothers you, this may not the recipe for you and you may want to experiment with other recipes or techniques.

All spices and seasonings are to taste; in this case, mine. If you want to reduce the spices (or increase them), obviously adjust everything according to your own taste preferences.

For more great pumpkin recipes and ideas, visit this website:

Monday, October 1, 2012

Sugar Shocked

Check out my most recent magazine article for Solano Fit about diabetes.  You can find it on page 34-35.  Also be sure to check out the guest editor page 10 - it's ME! If the link below is broken, just visit www.sofitmag.com and click on current issue.  You can also check out older issues by clicking on archives at the bottom of the page. Cheers!


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

That's Nutty

Last week was the first NADA (Northern Area Dietetics Association) meeting.  Our speaker was from the International Tree Nut Council and she shared the health benefits of nuts with our group.  So I thought I'd share what I learned since I love nuts and I recommend them to patients on a daily basis. For majority of patients, I recommend 1 ounce of nuts per day since they are high in fat.  Well our speaker shared some studies that found eating even 2-2.5 ounces of nuts per day reduced the risk of many disease states and helped maintain a healthy weight when following a diet that is low in saturated fat and cholesterol. I was pleased to hear these results since I have been eating 2-3 ounces of nuts each day, especially since I started my Vegan Challenge. 

Tree nuts include almonds, Brazils, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, and walnuts.  Nuts contain protein, fiber and phytochemicals.  They're a great source of folic acid, niacin, vitamins E and B-6 and magnesium, copper, zinc, selenium, phosphorus and potassium. The majority of fat in tree nuts is unsaturated and are cholesterol free. 


So I typically recommend one handful of nuts or an ounce.  Here are the approximate amounts that equate to 1 ounce:

20-24 almonds (excellent source of vitamin E)
10-14 halves of walnuts (excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids)
157-167 pine nuts (high in copper)
16-18 cashews (rich in magnesium)
47-49 pistachios (great source of plant sterols)
10-12 macadamias (excellent source of manganese)
6-8 Brazil nuts (one nut provides 100% daily value of selenium!)
19-21 hazelnuts (rich in vitamin E)
18-20 halves of pecans (high in total flavonoids)


Breakfast: sprinkle on yogurt, oatmeal, cold cereal, fruit, in cream cheese spreads, and in bread recipes such as muffins, waffles, and pancakes.  I love banana and walnut pancakes!!

Snacks: research has shown that nuts keep you fuller longer; this is because they contain three satiety-promoting nutrients - protein, fat and fiber; for portion control divide into individual bags and take them to go so you always have a snack handy; pair nuts with almost any snack, especially fruit for steady blood sugar control

Appetizers: top softened Brie or Camembert cheese with chopped pistachios, add your favorite nuts to a cheese and fruit tray

Soups: sprinkle chopped nuts on top of soup for added texture and a healthy crunch

Salads: perfect home for nuts and seeds

Veggies: nutty vinaigrettes made with chopped hazelnuts or Brazils add a special something to steamed vegetables, give it a try

Pasta: make pesto with pine nuts or sprinkle your favorite chopped nut atop pasta

Entrees: nuts can be used to coat meats and vegetables or added to your favorite casseroles

Desserts: nuts pair great with brownies, cakes, cookies and can be added atop ice cream, frozen yogurt and parfaits, just last week I made Yonana ice cream and topped it with dry roasted almonds


Bring out extra flavor and crunch by toasting or roasting your nuts. Sprinkle onto an ungreased baking sheet, place in 350 degree oven or toaster oven and bake for 5 to 10 minutes or until nuts are slightly brown, stir once or twice until lightly toasted, remove from oven and from pan to allow nuts to cool, they will continue to brown slightly after removing from the oven, so don't over do it!


Keep tree nuts as fresh as possible, store them in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to six months or up to a year in the freezer

For more information, visit www.nuthealth.org

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Seriously Skinny Vegan Challenge

Okay so today is day 11 of my Vegan Challenge.  So far so good.  I feel SOOOOO great and healthy. I am eating a lot but don’t feel guilty about it because I am eating natural foods, mostly consisting of fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds.  Below are some more pictures of the dishes I have been enjoying and an idea of how I have been eating.  I haven’t been tracking calories, protein, etc but I would estimate most days I have been just around 1500 calories.  I’m a snacker!  Oh yeah and I already lost 2 pounds.  This is a big deal for me because I NEVER lose weight.  I either maintain or GAIN!

My only complaint would be that I am a little bloated.  This is definitely from all the fiber I’ve been eating.  Everything I eat is high in fiber.  This bloating will pass once my body adjusts.  I always eat a high fiber diet, just not this high!!  A high fiber diet is the best medicine.  It lowers LDL cholesterol, promotes regularity and keeps you full so you can maintain a healthy weight!  Just remember to drink plenty of water to move that fiber through your system.  Our bodies don't digest fiber so we need to flush it out so it can take the bad stuff with in.

You will see that I use ground flaxseed, chia seeds, and wheat germ a couple times each day.  You may be asking yourself why???  Well since I’m not eating animal products I need to make sure I am still getting my omega-3s and plenty of protein since I exercise regularly.  Check out some info on these super foods below.

CHIA SEEDS: high in fiber, good source of omega-3s, vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, boron and iron, phytochemicals, antioxidants; 1 Tablespoon (about ½ ounce) contains 60 calories, 4.5 g fat, 5 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 3 g protein, 2282 mg Omega-3, 752 mg Omega-6; use in baked goods, pancakes, sprinkled on hot or cold cereal on salads and fruit, in yogurt, pudding and stir fry and used in smoothies; Check out my blog post from November 30, 2011 for more info on chia seeds.

GROUND FLAXSEEDS: rich in fiber, lignans (antioxidants), and omega-3s.  Just two tablespoons supplied the same amount of fiber (4 grams) as 1 ½ cup of oatmeal, and the same amount of cancer fighting lignans as in 30 cups of broccoli. 2 Tablespoons contain 60 calories, 4.5 g fat, 4 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 3 g protein, 2400 mg Omega-3. It can be added to all the same foods as chia seeds. Check out my blog post from December 6, 2011 for more info on flax.  Also our bodies can’t really digest the whole flax seed.  That is why it is best to buy the ground flax seed and store it in the refrigerator so it retains all of the nutrients.

WHEAT GERM: It’s the heart of the wheat berry. A natural source of folic acid and also contains fiber and important vitamins and minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, vitamin E and thiamin. Vitamin E strengthens the immune system and protects the heart.  Folic acid is necessary for heart and blood vessel health and for proper cell replication.  It is known for its protection again neural tube birth defects so it is required for women of child bearing age and pregnant women.  You can use wheat germ to replace up to one half cup of flour when baking cookies, muffins and breads.  Use it as a topping for fruit, fruit pies, yogurt, ice cream, cereals or as a natural breading for meats or vegetables.  I make my eggplant parm with a coating of wheat germ!  You can even toast wheat germ to give it a crunchy texture and nutty taste.  2 Tablespoons contain 60 calories, 1.5 g fat, 9 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 4 g protein. Check out the 1,2,3 Recipe Tab to see my Super Healthy Eggplant Parm recipe using wheat germ.

Seriously Skinny Vegan Cleanse
This is an idea of what I’ve been eating

Breakfast (400-500 calories): Big bowl of berries + ground flaxseed, chia seeds, wheat germ + almonds OR 1 cup cooked steel cut oats + ½ banana + ½ cup frozen blueberries + chopped walnuts + ground flaxseed, chia seeds, wheat germ + flaked coconut + splash of soy milk + cinnamon

Lunch (200-300 calories): Salad with chopped raw veggies + ½ cup beans + slivered almonds, raw sunflower seeds, raw pumpkin seeds, ground flaxseed, chia seeds, wheat germ OR similar dinner dish

Dinner (200-300 calories): Cooked vegetable dish + ½ cup beans OR raw veggies + ½ cup hummus OR cooked vegetables + tofu or tempeh

1-3 Snacks (if needed, 100-200 calories): raw fruits OR veggies plain OR almonds, peanut butter + fruit
Blanched asparagus with lemon

Salad with beans and dressing is salsa and guacamole
Portable Jarred Salad - Make a week's worth and store in fridge.
Tofu with veg and beans
Beans and mushrooms with tomato sauce
Portable salad in a jar with a side of nuts and seeds