Benefits of Yogurt

Yogurt contains many important nutrients including calcium, potassium, vitamin D, and protein.  Both vitamin D and calcium are utilized in the body to build and maintain strong bones and teeth, which helps prevent osteoporosis. Potassium-rich foods may help regulate blood pressure to support heart health. What is the difference between regular yogurt and Greek yogurt? Both types of yogurts contain live bacteria (probiotics) that support gut health and the immune system. Greek yogurt is thicker than regular yogurt and their nutritional values differ. Greek yogurt is higher in protein than regular yogurt while regular yogurt is usually higher in calcium than Greek yogurt. Both are excellent choices to include in your meal plan. Choose plain or lower-added sugar yogurts since both types can be high in added sugar when flavored. Ways to use yogurt in your meals Replace sour cream [...]

Hello Fall, Hello Soup Season!

  A bowl of soup not only makes you feel better when you are under the weather, but it is a great way to make a quick meal that is loaded up with nutrient-dense foods to fuel your body on a cold day. Soup Super Star Ingredients Beans and lentils: Beans and lentils are both affordable and high in fiber and protein. Soluble fiber lowers LDL (lousy) cholesterol and is found naturally in many types of foods including beans and lentils. Use a variety of beans in your recipes (navy, pinto, kidney, black beans). Vegetables: Veggies are loaded with nutrients including fiber, vitamins, and minerals.  Fiber has many benefits for the body including supporting gut health and aiding in weight loss. Unfortunately, most Americans are not consuming enough fiber. In fact, only 5% of people are eating enough fiber. Use [...]

Mocktails: Happiness in a Cup

  A mocktail can be a perfect addition to an evening of partying or relaxing at the pool. Try something healthy and refreshing to enjoy this summer. Use the tips below to create a signature drink without the worries of excess calories. Ingredients: Recipes can use a variety of ingredients such as club soda, tonic water, juice, and coconut water. Seltzer water, club soda, or tonic water: Which one is better? Seltzer water and club soda are calorie free and great ingredients for mocktails. Unfortunately, tonic water is high in added sugar. To put it in perspective, 12 fluid ounces of tonic water has 33 grams of added sugar (about 8 teaspoons of sugar). If you use tonic water, be mindful of your portion size since calories can add up quickly or try no sugar added tonic water. Tip: If [...]

Make a Hydration Station

  Make a Hydration Station in your Fridge! All the good-for-you foods are packed with water: fruits and vegetables. We get most of our hydration from drinking fluids, but about 20% of our hydration needs are met by the food we eat. Prepare fruits and vegetables once or twice a week to keep in the fridge. Wash and slice (if needed) and put in snack-size containers. When someone in the house wants a snack, they can quickly grab good nutrition and hydration. Some fruits and vegetables have a higher water content than others. The following is a list of produce picks with high water content. Pick a variety of fruits and vegetables from the list below to create great nutrition for your Hydration Station: Fruit Vegetables Apples Cucumber Watermelon Tomato Peaches Celery Strawberries Zucchini Cantaloupe Bell pepper Oranges Cauliflower Grapefruit [...]

Flavors of the Season: Spring Produce

Fruits and vegetables can be enjoyed all year round. In season fruits and vegetables are usually more affordable and make great additions to meals and snacks. Spring offers a variety of fruits and veggies including apricots, asparagus, broccoli, carrots, celery, collard greens, kiwi, pineapple, spinach, strawberries, etc. Produce has many health benefits but unfortunately most people are not meeting the recommended five servings of fruits and veggies each day.  In fact, research has found that, “just 1 in 10 adults meet the federal fruit or vegetable recommendations.” Not only are fruits and vegetables delicious but having a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and certain cancers. Reflect on your habits. Where can you add an additional serving of produce? Can you add a piece of fruit as a [...]

Cooking With Fresh Herbs 

  Skip the salt shaker and start adding flavor to your home cooked meals with the help of fresh herbs. Herbs are a delicious and health conscious way to add life to dull dishes, without packing on the sodium from salt. Some of the world’s most renowned chefs swear these versatile leaves are the secret to a perfect dish. Coming in a variety of forms and flavors, herbs are sure to bring delight with every bite. Follow our guide to use more in your own kitchen. With these tips, your friends and family will think you’re a top chef! Basil This clover-like herb is one of the most popular in the United States. Basil comes in a variety of different forms with the most popular being sweet Italian and Thai purple. Adding basil to your dishes will give it a [...]

Don’t be Salty: The Facts on Sodium

The month of February is dedicated to heart health. A heart healthy lifestyle focuses on low sodium foods, a variety of fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and regular physical activity. Making small changes to your diet can help support your heart. Let’s focus on some ways to decrease your sodium intake. Sodium is an essential nutrient, but most Americans consume too much sodium. Excess sodium intake can lead to high blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart and kidney disease along with stroke. Check out the following myths and the low sodium shopping list to help you kick excess sodium out of your diet. Myth 1: Sea salt is healthier than table salt. Fact: Sea salt and table salt contain the same amount of sodium.  Limit the use of all types of salt (sea salt, table salt, Himalayan pink [...]

Salmon Rice Bowl Recipe

Coming up in February is American Heart Month! Any movements such as walking, biking, and other exercises that increase our heart rate can improve cardiovascular health. Good nutrition can also impact our hearts in a positive way. Ways to improve heart health through eating include: Less saturated fats such as butter, lard, and animal products Lower sodium foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes More fatty fish like salmon, cod, and mahi-mahi are high in omega-3 fatty acids Below is a recipe that includes salmon, brown rice, and vegetables that are perfect for a heart-healthy diet! Salmon Rice Bowl Prep: 15 minutes Cook: 15 minutes Servings: 2 Salmon Ingredients: 6oz Salmon Filet (3oz for each bowl) 1 teaspoon minced garlic ½ teaspoon ground pepper 1 Tablespoon lemon juice Rice Bowl Ingredients: 1 cup brown basmati rice or other brown [...]

Healthy Pumpkin Spice Latte

Needing a PSL? Fall brings around the ever-devoured and sought after Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL). However, a drive through the Starbucks coffee line will have you consuming nearly 14 grams of fat and 50 grams of sugar. Instead, opt for making your own PSL at home with brewed hot coffee and low-calorie dairy free milk. Prep time: 5 minutes  Cook time: 5 minutes Servings: 1 Ingredients 8 ounces brewed coffee or 1-2 shots of espresso ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk 3 tablespoons canned pumpkin or homemade pumpkin puree ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice ½ teaspoon vanilla 2 teaspoons maple syrup, or sweetener of choice Sprinkle of cinnamon Instructions With a handheld frother or blender: In a cup or saucepan, mix together almond milk and pumpkin and cook over medium heat on the stove top or microwave for 35-45 seconds. [...]

Easy Weeknight Meals

Make Time for Dinner Back to school brings the return of homework, weeknight sports practices, and very little time for much else. Although preparing dinner may feel like a chore, there are various strategies for making dinner both healthy and easy during a busy school week. If preparing a healthy meal comes at the expense of spending quality time with family, household chores, or squeezing in time to exercise, then these easy weeknight meal tips may be for you. Tip #1: Plan Creating a plan for weeknight dinners will prevent the dread from setting in when hearing “what are we having for dinner tonight?” Taking a small amount of time during the weekend to plan out each dinner will make sure you are ready for the week. Planning out meals also helps pull together your grocery list effortlessly. Fun meal [...]