Vday Breakfast

There’s nothing that says “I love you” quite like homemade breakfast in bed, especially when it’s in the shape of a heart. We looked to Tovita Nutrition for some healthy (and yummy!) V-day inspo. Here are 5 of our favorite heart-healthy (literally) breakfasts: 1. Heart-Shaped Sunny Side Up Toast For the Valentine's Day version of "egg in a hole", use a ~3 inch cookie cutter, and cut out a heart into the center of a piece of whole grain bread (save the hearts for the next recipe!). Lightly toast both sides of the bread. Next, place the empty heart toast in the center of a pan and *carefully* crack an egg into the empty heart. Place the lid on the pan and cook for about 3-4 minutes until egg is cooked. If you want to be extra cheesy - (who doesn’t!?) - use 2 slices of cheddar cheese a mini heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut smaller hearts out of the cheese slices. And decorate your plate with them, of course. 2. Love Toasts Using a few slices of multigrain toast and your heart shaped cookie cutter, cut out at least 4 hearts. Now get creative! You can go the traditional avocado-toast route with chili flakes, or try spreading peanut butter and bananas. If you’re feeling fancy, try a layer of ricotta cheese and sprinkle with pistachio nuts and honey. 3. Peanut Butter Love Bites Slice an apple (or two!) into ~¼ inch thick slices. Use your mini heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut as many mini hearts as you can. Top them with peanut butter and serve them either open-faced, or as mini apple and peanut butter sandwiches! 4. Egg Love You Crack 2 eggs into bowl and whisk. Pour into heart-shaped skillet (we promise you will use this again). Add veggies of choice and allow to cook through on low heat. 5. Heart Smoothie Bowl Turn a standard strawberry-banana smoothie into a V-day treat. Add 1 frozen banana, 5 large strawberries, 1/2 cup almond milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and a pinch of cinnamon into blender. Blend until all ingredients are evenly distributed with that nice pink color. Pour into bowl and use topping of choice to form a heart! Some topping ideas include: goji berries, coconut flakes, hemp seeds, chia seeds.

2018-02-14T17:54:59+00:00 By |

Date & Ginger Granola

Yield: 10 servings • 2 cups pitted medjool dates (firmly packed) • 1 ½ inch piece of fresh ginger, washed and unpeeled • ½ cup vegetable oil or coconut oil (divided in half) • ¾ cup water • 6 cups old fashioned oats • ½ dried coconut chips • ½ sliced blanched almonds • ½ dried cranberries Preheat Oven to 350 degrees F. 1. Cut the ginger into small chunks. 2. Add ginger, dates, water, and half (¼ cup) vegetable or coconut oil to blender. Puree until smooth. 3. In large bowl, add old fashioned oats and the remaining ¼ cup of vegetable or coconut oil. Stir until oats are coated with oil. Add, the date puree to the oats, and stir until oats are coated with the date mixture. 4. Spread oats on a sheet pan evenly. 5. Bake for an hour, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even golden-brown color. 6. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes. Add granola to a bowl, and add coconut chips, almonds, and cranberries. Mix well. 7. Store in an airtight container.

2018-02-09T20:53:09+00:00 By |

Why I Don’t Count Calories

When clients see me for weight loss, one of the most common questions they tend to ask is "how many calories should I be eating each day?" My response is always the same: "You're not going to count calories." I'm often met with a confused expression, which subsequently leads to the "why?" conversation. Well, for those of you who are curious why a dietitian - whose job is often to help people reach their goal weights - doesn't count calories, read on! Let's begin by defining a calorie. A calorie is the energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1 degree Celsius. Sounds complicated, right? What you should understand here is that we use this measurement to determine the amount of energy that a given food provides. Let me give you some context here. One serving of Twizzlers (4 pieces) is 160 calories. One serving of almonds (~23 almonds) is 163 calories. It's fair to say they are comparable in calories, meaning they provide the same amount of energy. So, if a serving of Twizzlers has the same amount of calories as a serving of almonds, why don't we all have diets filled with Twizzlers, gummy bears, and sour patch kids!? The answer: NOT ALL CALORIES ARE CREATED EQUAL! Technically we all could choose the candy and even lose weight doing so, after all, a calorie is a calorie, right? But 160 calories from Twizzlers is very different than 160 calories from almonds. Let's take a closer look at where these calories come from. A serving of almonds contains 6 grams of protein, about 1 gram of sugar, lot's of healthy fats, and 3.5 grams of fiber. Not to mention it's high in vitamin E and magnesium. A serving of Twizzlers contains only 1 gram of protein, 19 grams of sugar (yikes),  and 0 grams of fiber. Oh, and let’s not forget those lovely food dyes and artificial ingredients. So, yes, while they both provide the same amount of calories, which do you think is the healthier choice? I tell my clients to evaluate their meals by asking "what can this food do for my body?" After all, we only get one body and each meal is an opportunity for us to nourish it. There's no insurance policy on irreparable damage done to our insides (well, that's not entirely true these days, but who wants to deal with that!?). While the gummy candies may look, smell, and taste appealing, they don't provide the nutrition that our bodies need to properly function. So what does all of this have to do with counting calories? Sometimes healthy foods, like nuts and seeds for instance, are high in calories and may deter a "dieter" from eating them, despite their incredible nutrient profiles. Here's the thing: it's OKAY to eat high calorie foods, even if you're watching your weight! One of the keys to successful and sustainable weight loss is eating the right combinations [...]

2018-02-09T20:39:14+00:00 By |

Quinoa Fried “Rice”

Serves 4 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided 2 large eggs, beaten 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 small onion, diced 2 carrots, peeled and diced 1 tbsp. grated fresh ginger 1/2 cup frozen peas 3 cups cooked quinoa 3 tablespoons soy sauce 2 scallions, sliced ½ tsp sesame oil Sriracha, for serving   Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet over low heat. Add egg, and cook until scrambled, stirring occasionally. Remove egg, and transfer to a separate plate. Add an additional 1 tablespoon olive oil and sauté onions, carrots, ginger, and peas season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté for about 5 minutes or until the onion and carrots are soft. Increase heat to high, add in cooked quinoa, and soy sauce. Cook, stirring constantly, until heated through, about 2 minutes. Then add in the eggs and stir to combine. Add the sesame oil, and scallions, and stir to combine, and remove from heat.

2018-02-09T20:45:21+00:00 By |

SWEET POTATOES: 9 REASONS WHY YOU NEED TO EAT MORE SWEET POTATOES

One of the most nutritious “SUPERFOODS” around also happens to be one of the most famous “comfort foods” – SWEET POTATOES. Sweet potatoes are a versatile and delicious vegetable that offers a myriad of health benefits. Sweet potatoes have anti-inflammatory properties, contain a multitude of nutrients, and are rich in natural fiber, calcium, and antioxidants. Here are 9 of the most potent health benefits of the “ALRIGHT superfood,” SWEET POTATOES:    Sweet potatoes have anti-inflammatory properties   Because of their anti-inflammatory properties, sweet potatoes can have a positive effect on conditions like arthritis, asthma, and even allergies.    Sweet potatoes are high in vitamin B6   Vitamin B6 helps to reduce the chemical homocysteine in our bodies. Homocysteine has been linked with a number of degenerative diseases, including heart attacks.    Sweet potatoes are a good source of Vitamin C   Vitamin C plays a crucial role in bone and tooth formation, digestion and blood cell formation. Vitamin C helps accelerate wound health, produces collagen, which can help to maintain the skin’s youthful elasticity, and is essential to helping us cope with stress.  It has also been shown to protect the body against toxins that may be linked to cancer.      Sweet potatoes are a good source of Vitamin D   Vitamin D is crucial for immune system health and the overall health of our bodies. Vitamin D plays a critical role in maintaining our energy levels and mood, helps to build healthy bones and teeth, and supports the thyroid gland.   Sweet potatoes contain iron   Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of iron. Most people are aware that we need the mineral iron to have adequate energy, but iron has a number of other functions within the body, including red and white blood cell production, assisting with immune function, and metabolizing protein.   Sweet potatoes are a good source of magnesium   Magnesium is necessary for healthy artery, blood, bone, heart, muscle, and nerve function, yet experts estimate that approximately 80 percent of the population in North America may be deficient in this important mineral. Magnesium has also been shown to reduce stress and increase relaxation.  Sweet potatoes are a good source of potassium Potassium plays a critical role in the regulation of your heartbeat and nerve signals.  Like other electrolytes in the body, potassium performs many essential functions, and contributes to the reduction of swelling and the protection of the kidneys.  Sweet potatoes do not cause blood sugar spikes Sweet potatoes are naturally sweet tasting but their natural sugars are slowly released into the bloodstream, helping to ensure a balanced and regular source of energy.  Sweet potatoes are also very filling, and can help to prevent overindulgence at mealtime.  Sweet potatoes help ward off cancer and protect against the effects of aging The rich orange color of sweet potatoes indicates that they are high in carotenoids like beta-carotene.  Carotenoids help strengthen our eyesight and boost our immune system. They are powerful antioxidants that [...]

2018-02-09T20:38:40+00:00 By |

Healthy & Delicious Super Bowl Snack: Peanut Ginger Dressing

INGREDIENTS 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter 3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, from one lime 3 tablespoons light olive oil 1 tablespoon soy sauce (use gluten-free if needed) 2 tablespoons honey 1 large clove garlic, roughly chopped 1-inch square piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped 3/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon sriracha 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil INSTRUCTIONS 1. Combine all of the ingredients for the salad in a large mixing bowl. 2. Combine all of the ingredients for the dressing in a food processor or blender; process until smooth and creamy.

2018-02-03T19:44:09+00:00 By |

Healthy & Delicious Super Bowl Snack: Buffalo Cauliflower

INGREDIENTS 1 cup all purpose flour 1 tsp. garlic powder 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. paprika 1 tsp. onion powder ¾ cup water 1 cup milk 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets Franks Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce INSTRUCTIONS 1. Preheat 450 degrees. Whisk flour, garlic powder, salt, paprika, onion powder, water, and milk. Dip cauliflower pieces in the batter and let excess drip off. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake on an upper rack for 15-20 minutes until lightly crisped and browned. 2. Gently toss the baked cauliflower in a bowl with the hot sauce. Return to pan. Bake for another 5-10 minutes. 3. Serve with celery, carrots, and blue cheese or ranch dressing.

2018-02-03T19:28:28+00:00 By |

Delicious Super Bowl Snack: Healthy Hummus

INGREDIENTS 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (1 large lemon) ¼ cup tahini 1 small garlic clove, minced 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil ½ teaspoon ground cumin Salt to taste 2 to 3 tablespoons water Dash ground paprika, for garnish INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Add chickpeas to food processor and puree until it forms a smooth paste. 2. Add lemon juice, tahini, garlic clove, olive oil, cumin, and water and puree until creamy. 3. Add salt to taste and puree one final time. 4. Put hummus in serving bowl and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and a dash of paprika. 5. Serve with assorted vegetables and pita chips.

2018-02-03T19:38:08+00:00 By |

Raspberry Coconut Ice Cream

3 ingredients 5 minutes 4 servings Ingredients 1 1/2 cups Frozen Raspberries 1 tbsp Maple Syrup 1 1/2 cups Organic Coconut Milk (full fat, refrigerated overnight) Directions Scrape the coconut cream from the top of the can into a blender or food processor. The cream should have separated from the coconut juice after being refrigerated. Add raspberries and maple syrup to blender and blend until very smooth and creamy, occasionally scraping down the sides. You may add 1 tbsp of coconut water at a time (leftover from your can) if the blender/processor gets stuck. Do not add more than 1/3 cup. Scoop into a bowl and enjoy immediately as soft serve or for firmer ice cream, place in an airtight, freezer-safe container and freeze for at least 1 hour before scooping. Notes Make it Chunky - Chop and add fresh or thawed raspberries to the final mixture. No Coconut - Use frozen banana slices instead.

2018-01-17T19:03:09+00:00 By |