Memorial Day: Eat Right for Your Life

May 21, 2015
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Whether you will be hosting or attending the party, there is no doubt food will be a central part of the celebration. Among friends and family, traditional holiday fare and other favorites, you think to yourself ‘there is no way, healthy fits in with Memorial Day’. No need to worry anymore, follow these healthy tips with the following great recipes to help you enjoy the holiday – guilt free!

cilantro-lime-shrimp-kebabs

Go Lean on the Grill.  Enjoy lean meats and fresh fruits and vegetables.

Cilantro Lime Shrimp Kebabs

Grilled Salmon Kebabs

Grilled Pesto Chicken & Tomato Kebabs

Jamaican BBQ Pork Tenderloin

Grilled Chicken with Herbs

Veggie Kabobs

Grilled Pineapple

Grilled Peaches with Honey and Yogurt

Ginger-Marinated Grilled Portobello Burger

Grilled Fennel with Parmesan & Lemon

Grilled Garlic Artichokes

buffalo-wings

Recipe Makeover. Enjoy the favorites among family and friends with a healthy twist.

Skinny Buffalo Wings

Jicama Apple Slaw Recipe

Deviled Eggs

Baby Red Potato Salad

No-Shell Taco Salad Recipe

Light Artichoke Dip

Lightened Up Mac n Cheese Bites

Santa-Fe-Black-Bean-Salad

Find Your Healthy Options. The easiest way to fight the temptation is by snacking on the foods that are naturally lighter.

Shrimp Ceviche Cocktail

Edamame Hummus

Bruschetta with Tomato & Basil

Mango, Avocado, & Black Bean Salad

Zesty Lime Shrimp Avocado Salad

Southwestern Black Bean Salsa

Brie, Apple, & Arugula Quesadilla

Black Bean Burger

Red Potato Salad with Green Beans and Tomato

Enjoy the time with your family and friends, and have a wonderful holiday.

 B.inspired, B.educated, B.Komplete!

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Is Belly Fat Stressing You?

April 6, 2015
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belly stress picture

It may be – It has been shown that increased stress can lead to higher body fat especially in your abdominal area and surprisingly higher body fat percentages can make you feel more stressed. This means by reducing either one of these areas you can improve the other!

Stress TipTake daily challenges with a positive attitude. The less pressure that you put on yourself, the better you will be able to deal with unplanned daily stressors. When possible, take 5-minute breaks from your day especially when it feels overwhelming. To find out more about stress and how it affects you: Stress and You

Exercise Tip – Try to fit in a daily moderate-intensity exercise lasting at least 30 minutes. Some examples of stress relieving exercises: Yoga, Pilates, Jogging, Walks, and any intensity weight training. Remember that exercise can be intermittent and 30 minutes does not need to be done all at once. Click here for excellent examples: For Women or For Men

Food Tip –Over eating is a common behavior used to cope with stress and it can lead to significant snacking. Well-balanced snacks (healthy protein, fat and carbohydrate) are a great way to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Remember that portion size is just as important as meal composition. For some examples of healthy snack options visit: Snacking

For more information on recipes please visit the B.Komplete Facebook Page

Works Cited;

http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/abdominal-fat-and-what-to-do-about-it

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16353426

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11020091

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Matzo is great with…

April 2, 2015
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in Blog
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Social-Passover Post Picture

Passover doesn’t mean that we can’t still love and enjoy healthy food choices! Matzo is the perfect vehicle for dipping. Hummus is a great option, and what about making a healthful egg salad by swapping out the mayonnaise for Greek yogurt?  Looking for a healthier chicken salad recipe – try out this great one:
Makes 6 servings
3 organic chicken breasts
1 tablespoon bread crumbs
1.5 cups celery, chopped
¾ cups Ocean Spray Craisons
1 ½ tablespoons Smart Balance Mayonnaise

Instructions: Heat your oven to 350 F. Using a nonstick pan add the chicken breasts, and sprinkle the bread crumbs over. Bake for 30 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked. While the chicken is cooking you can prep the celery and mix with craisons in a medium size bowl. After the chicken is fully cooked removed from oven, and allow to cool in refrigeration (30 minutes). When the chicken is cool, cut into bit size chunks and mix with the celery and craisons. Then add the mayonnaise and blend.
You can sprinkle some ground black pepper for a little extra kick! 

Product photo credits: canadainprairegarden.com, pixgood.com!, Smartbalance.com, pngimg.com

B. inspired, B. educated, B. Komplete!

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The Best Stress Management Ideas

April 1, 2015
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Stress. All of us experience some kind of stress throughout our daily lives and stress is unavoidable. Some stress can be good; provide motivation, encourage collaboration, or even push you to try new things. However, excessive stress that isn’t managed can be quite damaging to your health. Chronic, unmanaged stress is associated with weight gain, inflammation, decreased immunity, and even heart conditions over time. These health issues make stress reduction crucial for achieving ideal health.

 You can’t eliminate stress, but you can manage it! The following stress reduction practices are proven to work:

Exercise. Exercise is one of the most effective and beneficial stress reduction methods. How does exercise reduce stress? One of the ways exercise reduces stress is by reducing the levels of cortisol and adrenaline, two hormones that cause stress, while increasing levels of endorphins, which are mood elevators. This causes the aptly named “runner’s high” that you may have heard of before.  Another way that exercise can reduce stress is through the benefits that you gain. Exercise allows you to feel a sense of accomplishment as you hit your fitness goals and can also reduce stress by reducing your waist-line and improving self image. Tasks, such as heavy lifting, become easier as you become fit making those stressful tasks look a little more manageable. Exercises like yoga, tai chi, walking and running, as well as others are great stress relievers. Click here to learn about 8 great stress relieving exercises

Yoga in park

Breathing exercises. Rapid, shallow breathing is commonly associated with stress while relaxed, deep breathing is associated with relaxation. Breath yourself into a state of relaxation with these easy steps:

  1. Breath in slowly and deeply using your diaphragm fully.
  2. Hold your breath briefly
  3. Release your breath slowly, thinking “relax”
  4. Repeat these steps, 5 to 10 times

This is a great relaxation technique because it can be used at any time and any place, as needed. To learn more, Dr. Weil offers some wonderful breathing exercises

Meditation. With elevated stress also comes elevated blood pressure and heart rate. You can relieve your stress and its physiological effects using meditation techniques. Studies of Indian yoga masters have shown that meditation can decrease blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and blood adrenaline levels.   Meditation is a useful and effective way to relieve your stress in the comfort of your own home.

Harvard physician, Dr. Herbert Benson gives this quick guide to mediation

  1. Select a time and place that will be free of distractions and interruption. A semi-darkened room is often best; it should be quiet and private. If possible, wait two hours after you eat before you meditate and empty your bladder before you get started.
  2. Get comfortable. Find a body position that will allow your body to relax so that physical signals of discomfort will not intrude on your mental processes. Breathe slowly and deeply, allowing your mind to become aware of your rhythmic respirations.
  3. Achieve a relaxed, passive mental attitude. Close your eyes to block out visual stimuli. Try to let your mind go blank, blocking out thoughts and worries.
  4. Concentrate on a mental device. Most people use a mantra, a simple word or syllable that is repeated over and over again in a rhythmic, chant-like fashion. You can repeat your mantra silently or say it aloud. It’s the act of repetition that counts, not the content of the phrase; even the word “one” will do nicely. Some meditators prefer to stare at a fixed object instead of repeating a mantra. In either case, the goal is to focus your attention on a neutral object, thus blocking out ordinary thoughts and sensations.

o-MINDFULNESS-MEDITATION-facebook

Acupuncture. Acupuncture may sound a little scary when you think of needles being placed in your face and back, however individuals and research have found it is truly a safe and an effective way to relieve stress and anxiety. According to Dr. Daniel Hsu, acupuncture works through placement of a needle about half a millimeter from a nerve. Depending on where the needle is placed, it can cause the release of pain killing chemicals from the nervous system, stimulate the body’s natural healing ability, or excite the part of the brain controlling emotion (leading to decreased anxiety and stress). Those who have received acupuncture, often see results after just one session with improved results upon continuous treatment. I can personally vouch for the benefits of Acupuncture, and look forward to my ongoing sessions with Aaron Cashman, L.OM

What to expect at your first appointment

B. educated, B. inspired, B.Komplete!

 

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Does the Paleo Diet Work?

March 24, 2015
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What is the diet?

The Paleo diet theory is based on citing the errors in current Western eating patterns, and how different these consumption patterns are from the eating design of the Paleolithic period. The Paleo diet advises us to eat similarly to how our Paleolithic ancestors once did; consume foods as close to a natural state as possible, which includes meat and produce. Avoid foods that would not have been available during that time period; grains, dairy products and sugar. The Paleo diet claims that “this is how humans were designed to eat.”

What is good about the diet?

  • Focus on whole foods and eating foods in a natural state. Our Paleolithic ancestors consumed foods as close to fresh as possible. This is sound advice, as the nutrients in foods are typically highest when the food is the most fresh. To find out what produce is in season, check here  
  • Eating grass-fed meat.  100% grass-fed beef comes from cows who have grazed in pasture year-round rather than being fed a processed diet. Grass feeding improves the nutrition of meat making the beef richer in omega-3 fats, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and healthy fats.  For more information on grass-fed meat visit world’s healthiest foods 
  • Recommends eggs, nuts, and healthy oils. Some of the recommended fat sources in the Paleo diet are rich in nutrients, mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids, and antioxidants.
  • Limits alcohol and diet soda.  Limiting alcohol consumption (< 1 drink/day for women and < 2 drinks/day for men) is recommended for heart health . While the health verdict is still out on diet soda, consuming less of it may be a good idea.
  • Recommends cooking for yourself. Learning how to prepare meals for yourself and your family is tremendously beneficial; it enables you to control the additives in your food, to season food without adding salt, and generally eat less total calories.

Paleo meat

What isn’t good about the diet?

  • Elimination of major food groups. A Paleo dieter can be categorized by what they have removed from their diet; Paleo dieters generally do not eat dairy or grains of any kind, peanuts, lentils, beans, peas and other legumes are eliminated, and added sugars are prohibited.
  • Whole grains.  Whole grains are associated with healthy digestion and metabolism, and a reduced risk of heart disease. Removal of whole grains makes it harder to get your daily recommendation of fiber. 
  • Dairy.  Consumption of dairy products (low fat and fat free) is associated with satiety, bone health, reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension in adults. Removal of this entire food group makes it hard (if not impossible) to get some of the health benefits that dairy provides.
  • Legumes. Beans are high in minerals and fiber without the saturated fat found in some animal proteins. Eating beans may reduce blood cholesterol, a leading cause of heart disease. Adding beans to your diet may help keep you feeling full longer. Removal of legumes will make it harder to get the recommended daily fiber intake, as well as providing a vegetarian protein option.
  • Starchy vegetables.  No more crunchy carrots for a snack. No more corn on the cob at a cook-out. No more baked potato, soup with potato, or even baked potato chips! Reducing the amount of starchy vegetables may be OK for weight loss, BUT to eliminate completely is hard (if not impossible) over the long-term.
  • Diet can be hard to follow, hard to maintain over time, and very expensive. Imagine a life without a sandwich, ever. No more cereal, rice, bagels, or whole grains. Say goodbye to peanut butter. No more milk, yogurt, cheese, and ice-cream. If you enjoy chili, you are out of luck. And like any eating plan, it can indeed be expensive – especially since Paleo relies so heavily on the produce section and meat counter.
  • Not highly researched/without long term studies /making unsubstantiated health claims. “Loren Cordain, PhD, who literally wrote the book on The Paleo Diet, claims that by eating like our prehistoric ancestors, we’ll be leaner and less likely to get diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and other health problems” . Many of the health claims made in the Paleo diet books are either not supported by research or have not been studied (1, 2).
  • Hard if not impossible to meet RDA of micronutrients.  Research has shown that micronutrient deficiency is high in individuals who are overweight or obese (2/3 of the U.S. population), and it is unlikely (if not impossible) to correct any micronutrient deficit following any food based diet (3).
  • Can have very high consumption of saturated fat with high meat consumption. Meat is consumed in large quantities, often cooked in animal fat of some kind which is very high in saturated fat. Eating foods that contain saturated fats raises the level of cholesterol in your blood. High levels of LDL cholesterol in your blood increase your risk of heart disease and stroke (4).

Bean salad

Overall advice

U.S. News ranks Paleo low for overall diet credibility; not guaranteed weight loss or weight loss maintenance, health claims are unsubstantiated, higher than recommended levels of fat and protein, not adequate in fiber, micronutrients (5).

Any diet plan that is very restrictive, hard to follow, expensive, unbalanced in nutrients and even unpalatable doesn’t seem like a sustainable lifestyle choice… My advice is: take the good ideas from Paleo, and modify to fit into a well-balanced, healthy, happy, and enjoyable eating plan!

B. inspired, B. educated, B. Komplete!

Works Cited:

  1. http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/v68/n3/full/ejcn2013290a.html
  2. http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol7/iss2/4/
  3. www.jissn.com/content/7/1/24
  4. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyEating/Saturated-Fats_UCM_301110_Article.jsp
  5. http://health.usnews.com/best-diet/paleo-diet
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Up the Protein in Your Guacamole: Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly Recipe for Edamame Guacamole

March 16, 2015
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Delivering great taste, texture, and beautiful color

Delivering great taste, texture, and beautiful color

Guacamole, we know it, we love it, and we eat it year round at parties,  restaurants, and events. When guacamole is served the traditional accompaniment is tortilla chips. 1 serving of tortilla chips will run you about 140 calories and 6 grams of fat, but who just eats 1 serving of chips? You may ask yourself, “is there a way to make guacamole a more nutrient dense snack choice?” Normally guacamole is full of healthy monounsaturated fats but lacking on the protein. Not anymore! With this delicious Edamame Guacamole Recipe by B.Komplete, you can have all that avocado goodness with the added bonus of extra protein. The serving size for guacamole is 2 tablespoons. However, the typical amount consumed is more like 8 tablespoons. With the typical serving size in mind, the B.Komplete recipe contains 120 calories and 8 grams protein per 4 ounces serving. This makes it a healthy and filling snack when served with some vegetables like radishes, endive, and carrots. If you are craving chips, try whole-wheat tortilla chips to keep the snack as healthful as possible. 

Check out the video below to see how it’s made!

B. inspired, B. educated, B.Komplete!

 

 

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How to Maintain a Busy Schedule and a Healthy Lifestyle

March 6, 2015
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Overnight Oats

 

  • Keep healthy breakfast and snack options at work
    • Everybody has those occasionally late days; avoid that unhealthy pastry from the coffee shop by keeping healthy food options at work.
    • Keep instant oatmeal topped with nuts or a banana with some peanut butter on hand
    • Healthy snacks include nuts, like almonds or walnuts eaten with a piece of fruit
  • Get up and get moving
    • Working out in the morning can guarantee that you fit your workout into your busy schedule. With an on-the-go lifestyle, so many things can get in the way – meetings, events, dinner with colleagues. Prioritize your workout by getting it done before life takes over!

 

Mason jar salad photo credit

  • Prep your meals ahead of time
    • Prepping meals a few days ahead of time can make it quick and easy to get out of the house and on with your day. Try prepping meals on your slowest day of the week (maybe a Sunday for those who follow a regular work week). Put the meals for the first few days post-prep in the fridge and freeze the rest to keep your food from spoiling.  Have a CrockPotTM or another slow cooker? If you have time in the morning, you can put your meal together then set it to cook while you are work, leaving you with a delicious, healthy meal to eat when you get home.  Meals can also be prepped the night before if you have the time.  Leftovers make a convenient lunch for the next day!
    • Mason Jar salads for lunch or dinner
    • Overnight oats or smoothies for breakfast
    • Making dinner using the slow cooker

 

  • Plan your schedule to include exercise
    • Sometimes the hardest part of exercise is figuring out when to do it. Leverage your phone or your computer calendar or even buy a planner. Schedule your exercise like you would any appointment. This will help you organize your entire schedule for the day and ensure that you have time devoted for exercise.
  • Join a gym close to work
    • Going to the gym can be a real hassle, try joining a gym close to your work to make life easier. Then you can go straight to work post-workout, get a quick workout during your lunch break, or stop over before heading home.

Group Of Women Power Walking On Urban Street

  • Get a workout buddy
    • Have a friend at work with the same hectic schedule? Try planning your workouts together! Working out with a friend can keep you motivated and prevent you from ditching out on your workout.

 

  • Eating out
    • Whether it is for business or pleasure, eating out is a part of life. Keep you your dinner healthy by looking for dishes that are baked, grilled, steamed, poached, roasted, or broiled to keep the calories down. Also avoid sides like French fries or mashed potatoes, which can be high in saturated fat. Instead opt for a side of vegetables or rice. (Many restaurants will allow this change with little or no cost to you). Or stick to a salad with the dressing on the side

 

  • Enjoy sleep
    • Sleep is hugely important to keep your body functioning at its best. Pick a set time to go to sleep and wake up (even on the weekends). This can ensure that you get an adequate amount of sleep to keep up with your busy schedule.

 

  • Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle(R)
    • March is National Nutrition Month(R) created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle” with these healthy on-the-fly snack and meal ideas in Foods for your Lifestyle

NNM 2015

 B.inspired, B.educated, B.Komplete!

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March is National Nutrition Month(R) – “Bite Into a Healthy Lifestyle”

March 2, 2015
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in Blog
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BK Healthy Lifestyle Poem

Each March is devoted to nutrition through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  The theme this year is “Biting Into a Healthy Lifestyle.”  I was so inspired by this awesome theme, that I wrote the above poem to capture the essence of the effort.  What steps can you do to make this March your most nutritious month ever? 

 

 

 

 

 

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What is FNCE?

December 30, 2014
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in Blog
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What is FNCE? FNCE stands for “Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo” (http://www.eatright.org/FNCE) and is an annual event organized by the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics (http://www.eatright.org). I had not attended this conference since I was a dietetic intern (back in 2002!) and I was very excited to go in my first year of business ownership. During the event I split my time between networking and speaking with business owners, attending seminars and cooking demonstrations, and trying out new food products! I have SO much info to share, and I wanted to dedicate this blog post to education on what FNCE is and information about some of new food products. I am only posting info about products that I believe in.

New Protein Ready-to-DrinkConsumers are learning about the benefits of consuming protein throughout the day, and now more and more high protein products are popping up on your grocer’s shelves.  I was lucky to sample several high protein ready-to-drink beverages, and wanted to share my thoughts. Organic Valley – Organic Fuel is probably the most delicious high protein ready-to-drink beverage that I have ever tried.  And I have tried a lot of them!  In addition to being made from organic dairy proteins, the beverage is lactose free.  Love this!  Orgain – Organic Protein is an awesome organic, no added sugar, vegetarian, non-gmo yummy beverage!  I loved how it was plant based, and the packaging is really convenient for anyone on-the-go.  To be honest, the beverage was a little gritty.  However, I still recommend the product, and will buy it myself.  V8 – Protein Shake is a great option for a snack.  The V8 protein shake provides 12 grams of protein, and is also vegetarian.  The shake is also delicious! 

When your blood sugar starts to get low in the afternoon, make sure you have a healthy snack option on hand.  Joy Bauer has launched a line of delicious snack products called “Nourish Snacks” I had the opportunity to try all of the varieties and I am truly impressed.  The snacks taste great, really satisfy, and you can feel good about your snack choice with Nourish Snacks.

Amy’s Kitchen brings you natural and organic foods, with many gluten-free options, that are super convenient and better for you versus some of the non-organic competition. I had a chance to try both the Mushroom Bisque and the Brownies. The next time I need a convenient meal or desert option, I will look for an option from Amy’s.  

Savory dip, decadent dessert, filling for lasagna… the options are endless for using Greek yogurt! Chobani featured plain Greek yogurt as a base for a Beet Tzatsiki dip, and also a sweet pumpkin pudding. This just makes me love Chobani, even more. You can find all types of recipes using Greek yogurt here.

Sweet DropsEveryone knows that water is good for you, and it’s great to “drink more water.” But, what about the times when plain water just isn’t going to cut it, and you want some added flavor!? One way is to cut up fruit and add to your water. If that isn’t available to you, another great option to try are Sweet Drops. Brought to you by Sweet Leaf Stevia products, sweet drops are an all-natural way to get added flavor without calories.

go liveYou may have heard about some of the benefits of probiotics, and you may even take a probiotic. Did you know that probiotics that would be typically found in certain foods, are often not available to us when we eat that food after it has been processed? For example, when yogurt is pasteurized the probiotics are significantly reduced (if not completely eliminated). This product from Go Live keeps the probiotics intact by keeping them in a sealed pouch until you are you are ready to consume it.

Kind and Strong BarsThe beloved Kind brand has come out with another product to keep you fuller for longer! Strong and Kind bars provide 10 grams of protein, in a savory flavor! The bars are made with non GMO ingredients, and are gluten free and low in sugar. I tried the Hickory Smoked variety, and really enjoyed the savory taste.

hardest working nutIn between the product tastings, seminars, demonstrations, and networking, I was able to have some fun at the California Walnut Booth! The California Walnut organization sponsored the RDN engagement of, “Who is the hardest working RDN?” We had a chance to use funny props, pose in any way, and get some fun pictures. It is always nice when organizations and individuals recognize how hard RDN’s work, in trying to make the world a healthier place, one person at a time.

hardest working nut 2B.inspired, B.educated, B.komplete!

 

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