Happy Mother’s Day! A special gift just for you…

I want to acknowledge and honor all the women out there who are mothers, grandmothers, pet mothers, and God mothers for all the amazing work you do to nurture your families. It takes a lot of courage, effort, time, and love (of course!) to be a good mother. You are very special.

Thanks to mothers everywhere for all you do to make our world a more loving and kind place.

Enjoy your special day!

Lorraine

PS…
This naturally sweetened treat is just for you on your special day. Click here for recipe and enjoy!

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How to store asparagus (quick video) + best asparagus recipes

We’re in the middle of asparagus season and it’s looking so good at the market. I’m often tempted to buy more than I can eat, but that’s okay since it’s one of the healthiest and most delicious veggies around.

Asparagus

If stored properly, asparagus will keep well in the fridge for up to a week. Watch this quick video to learn how to keep your asparagus fresh until you’re ready to prepare it.

When it’s time to cook your asparagus, you can sauté, blanch, grill, or roast it. Roasting is one of my favorite ways to prepare asparagus because it’s super easy and tastes so delicious topped with grated parmesan. Click here to learn how to roast asparagus.

Roasted Asparagus

For a delicious salad made with steamed asparagus, try this Quinoa Arugula Salad with Butternut Squash. It’s a hearty salad that can serve as a light meal. Use leftovers for lunch the next day or as a side salad with dinner.

Asparagus Salad

I’d love to hear your feedback on the video and recipes. Please get in touch!

Lorraine

PS…
Spring is the perfect time to get back on track with healthy eating and recharge your energy. Re-focus on eating well and get a jumpstart on summer with this 21-DAY REFRESH MEAL PLAN. Click here to learn more and get your FREE trial today!

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Chicken Burrito Bowl Mason Jars. Shake up your lunch routine with these …

Is your lunch getting a little boring? Are you running out of healthy lunch ideas for work?

Shake things up with lunch in a jar.

The idea is really very simple. Start by adding dressing into a jar and then layer various ingredients like greens, grains, beans, chicken, avocado, and veggies. When it’s lunchtime, grab a bowl, empty the jar, and dig in.

Burrito Bowl

Watch this quick video to see how prepare a salad in a jar lunch in just a few minutes.

The perks of lunch in a jar…

  • With just a few minutes of prep work, lunch is set for the entire week. Mason jar salads keep for about four days in the fridge.
  • Transport is easy and convenient. Just grab a jar and go.
  • It’s a simple way to bump up your veggie consumption, control portion sizes, and manage your weight.

How to make a Mason Jar Salad:

  • Bottom layer – Add your dressing first to keep it from touching the delicate greens so they don’t get soggy and limp. Any type will do but homemade is best.
  • Second layer – Use crunchy/firm vegetables like carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, corn, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and onions. The more color and variety, the better.
  • Third layer – This is your where you add protein and/or hearty grains. For example, chicken, fish, chopped or sliced hard boiled eggs, beans or lentils, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, quinoa, farro, or barley. There are so many options to choose from for this layer. Be creative.
  • Next layer – Dark leafy lettuce or other greens such as spinach, baby kale, shredded cabbage.
  • On top – Add a sprinkle of seeds (such as sunflower or pumpkin), nuts (pecans, walnuts, etc.), or shredded cheese.

This Chicken Burrito Bowl in a Jar is one of my favorites. Not only is it easy to assemble, it tastes great and is a much healthier option than fast food or take-out for lunch.

For more Mason Jar Salad recipe ideas, click here.

Lorraine

PS…
Do you need to clean up your diet? Let me make it easy for you. Get a comprehensive meal plan guide that includes Registered Dietitian-approved and chef-tested recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Meal plans are customizable and you can generate grocery lists to take the guesswork out of shopping. Learn more and try it out for FREE.

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Think outside the jelly bean and give a personalized Easter basket

Did you know that Easter is the second biggest candy holiday in the United States?

According to the National Confectioners Association (NCA), over 120 million pounds of Easter candy is purchased each year. This includes 16 billion jelly beans, 90 million chocolate bunnies, and an untold number of marshmallow peeps.

That’s a lot of sugar!

peeps

Moreover, according to research from the NCA, 87% of parents will make Easter baskets for their children this year. It’s also interesting to note that 81% of these parents will then steal candy from their children’s baskets.

So, what are parents usually putting in Easter baskets?

  • 89% say Easter candy and chocolate
  • 79% include non-edible items like crayons, stuffed animals, books, and movie passes
  • 46% add candy with “added benefits” like dark chocolate or chocolate with added fruits and nuts
  • 44% fill the baskets with what they call “heathier snacks” such as granola bars or dried fruit
  • 35% include gums and mints

How do you fill the baskets?

That stash of Easter candy can easily put everyone in the family over their recommended sugar intakes for the day. Remember, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans assert that people should “Consume less than 10 percent of calories per day from added sugars.”

Perhaps it’s time to think outside the jelly bean.

A full 11% of the families surveyed by the NCA didn’t add any candy to their baskets, so I’m not being unrealistic when I say it can be done. Although candy is part of Easter traditions, consider at least limiting the amount and types of candy you put in the basket. I do like the idea of chocolate with “added benefits” like nuts. Other healthful food ideas include some 100-calorie snack packs, nuts, dried fruits, little boxes of raisins, and trail mix.

There are lots of suggestions online for non-edible items like marking pens, money, stickers, and toys. Here are some great ideas for non-candy items that could also promote physical activity and healthful eating. Think about replacing at least some of those jelly beans or marshmallow peeps with:

  • Noodles for the pool
  • Jump ropes
  • Balls
  • Bubble supplies with big wands
  • Colorful athletic shoes
  • Activity passes for fun things to do in the area
  • Family board games
  • Pool towels and swim goggles
  • Athletic clothes
  • Frisbees
  • A healthful cookbook
  • Cooking equipment for foodie kids
  • A new reusable water bottle

Anything that gets the kids and your family outside and moving or interacting together makes a great stuffer for an Easter basket, and they’ll last longer than candy too!

So, what will you be putting in your baskets this year? Get in touch. I’d love to hear your creative ideas.

Lorraine

PS…
HAVE A BLESSED AND HAPPY EASTER!

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What makes a healthy breakfast?

You probably heard somewhere along the way that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and you shouldn’t skip it. As it turns out, breakfast eaters do tend to be healthier and leaner than breakfast skippers, but the reason for this is not clear. It may be because breakfast eaters have other healthy lifestyle habits like eating better in general; and people who skip breakfast tend to smoke more, drink more alcohol, and exercise less. Also, skipping breakfast might lead to a bigger than normal boost in “hunger hormones” such as ghrelin, encouraging overeating at the next meal. For this reason, eating breakfast can be a helpful strategy to achieve appetite control.

I encourage my clients (and you) to have breakfast every day. After eight to 12 hours without nourishment, your body needs to “break the fast”. If you don’t feel like eating as soon as you wake up, it’s okay to wait awhile. If you don’t have a big appetite in the morning, go for something light; just make sure it’s nutritious. Avoid refined carbs, sugar, and fat in foods like pastries, donuts, and bagels smothered with cream cheese and opt for lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats; see examples below.

I love breakfast and eat it every day mostly because I’m hungry in the morning, but not only that. When I skip it, I’m less focused, my energy level is down, and I tend to feel hungry all day long. So for me, breakfast is a no-brainer. Missing my morning meal would be a missed opportunity for me to have a great day.

Here are few good breakfast recipes that I personally eat and love. I hope you’ll give them a try.

  • Overnight Oats. Check out this quick video and learn how to make overnight oats.
  • Avocado Toast. It’s amazing how delicious a few simple ingredients can taste. Click here for the recipe.
avocado toast
  • Ezekiel Bread with Almond Butter and Raspberries. This is one of my favorite combinations. Any whole wheat bread, nut butter, and fruit make a nutritious breakfast.
toast
  • Microwave Egg Burrito. If you like eggs and are looking for a grab-and-go option, this is it. Click here for the recipe.
  • Easy Cheesy Muffin Frittatta. This egg recipe can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to five days or frozen for up to a month.

Do you need more breakfast ideas? How about lunch, dinner, and snacks? If you struggle with getting nutritious meals on the table for yourself and your family, I can help! Click here to learn more about my weekly meal plans featuring 3 healthy delicious meals everyday day plus quick and easy snacks.

Lorraine
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Comfort Food Make-Over – grilled cheese and tomato soup recipe

What comes to mind when you think of your favorite comfort food? For me, it’s a piping hot bowl of creamy tomato soup and a gooey grilled cheese sandwich. The perfect combo! Like most people, I enjoy indulging in delicious-tasting foods that make me feel good. As a nutritionist, I want my food to be nourishing as well. When I eat something that is both delicious and nutritious, it’s a win-win.

Check out my tips on how to makeover two of the best comfort food recipes.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich Make-Over

  • Choose 100% whole grain bread for the extra fiber, protein, and minerals. There’s an added bonus according to new study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; swapping refined grains (like white bread) for 100% whole grains encourages the body to absorb fewer calories, and boosts metabolism.
  • The sharper and more flavorful the cheese, the less you’ll need to use to make an impact, and that’s a good thing since cheese can be salty and fatty. Aged Cheddar, Gruyere, Fontina, and Brie are all tasty options with a distinct flavor. Kerrygold Skellig is my favorite cheddar and it makes the best grilled cheese sandwich.
  • Layer your sandwich with different veggies and fruit for an extra punch of flavor and nutrients: arugula, red onion, tomato, or apple slices.
comfort food

Tomato Soup Make-Over

  • If you are not up for making your own soup, go ahead and use canned soup but look for a no salt added brand like this one.
  • Dress up your no salt added canned soup with anything you have on hand or leftover in your fridge. For example, add some cooked barley, brown rice, or whole wheat pasta; cubed chicken breast; a handful of baby spinach or any cooked vegetables. Warm it up and top with a crumble of feta.
  • Go for it and make your own soup like I did the last time I needed a little comfort. This is one of my favorite tomato soup recipes because it’s packed with nutrients and flavor from a variety of veggies (not just tomatoes) including roasted red peppers, sweet onions, garlic, and cauliflower. The cauliflower (along with cashews) makes the texture of this soup thick and creamy.

I hope you’ll give it a try and if you do, let me know what you think.

Lorraine

PS…
Spring is finally here and it’s the perfect time to give your diet a makeover and get your metabolism humming. Check put my 21-Day Cleanse Your Diet Meal Plan and receive recipes for three meals per day plus snacks – all with easy-to-follow directions for people of all cooking levels. TRY IT OUT FOR FREE TODAY!

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St. Patrick’s Day Green Smoothie Recipe

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

You don’t have to be Irish to enjoy a delicious green smoothie (a.k.a. Shamrock Shake) today.

green smoothie

This one is packed with immune-boosting ingredients like spinach, pear, and ginger; and no added sugar.

Click here for the recipe and treat yourself!

Enjoy!

Lorraine
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So what’s a Buddha Bowl anyway? Answer + buddha bowl recipe

What’s a Buddha Bowl? That’s the question I got from an Instagram follower last week when I posted a picture of my Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowl. Anyone else wondering what it is? I know I did when I first heard the name.

According to the urban dictionary, it’s “a bowl which is packed so full that it has a rounded ‘belly’ appearance on the top much like the belly of a buddha.” I must say, that’s a great description. These bowls are filled to the brim with lots of different kinds of veggies (roasted or raw), beans, and usually a whole grain like quinoa or brown rice. They are often meatless but can contain fish or chicken.

My first attempt at a Buddha bowl was a great success. Everyone loved it, especially me! I chose it because of all the nutritious ingredients but for me to brag about a recipe it must dazzle the taste buds – and that it did. I’ll be making this one again and again.

buddha bowl

If you haven’t made one of these before, this would be a great Buddha Bowl recipe to start with since it so quick and easy. I hope you’ll give it a try and if you do, let me know what you think.

Lorraine

PS…
Almost every day, I get requests from my clients for healthy meal plans. They’re so confused by all the conflicting information they hear from the media and friends. They just want me to tell them what to eat. Sound familiar? Then, here’s what you’ve been wanting. Learn about my healthy meal plans featuring wholesome, delicious recipes for 3 meals a day plus snacks.

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Healthy quinoa recipe that tastes amazing

I remember the first time I cooked quinoa; I felt like I was preparing some very exotic dish from a foreign land. This was quite a few years ago when I volunteered to test a new recipe for my friends over at Meal Makeover Moms for their upcoming cookbook. The recipe contained toasted almonds, apricots, and spices that sounded delicious to me. The thing is — it had to also be “kid-friendly”. So, I enlisted my somewhat big kids to help prepare and taste the recipe. They loved it and so did I!

Brian

Since then I’ve prepared many different quinoa recipes – stuff peppers, pilaf side dishes, salads, and more. It’s become a staple food in my house. This is the very first dish I made with my kids years ago – Crunchy Quinoa with Apricots and Almonds.

quinoa

While quinoa is usually considered to be a gluten-free grain (similar to brown rice and barley), it’s actually a seed. However it can be prepared just like rice, barley, and other grains. It has the highest protein content of all grains (4 grams per half cup cooked) and provides all 9 essential amino acids making it a complete protein.

For the weight-conscious individual, it’s a perfect choice. Not only is it an excellent source of protein, quinoa is high in fiber and has a low glycemic index to keep you feeling full for hours. Plus you’ll get a good dose of iron, magnesium, vitamin E, and potassium to keep your metabolism humming.

Here’s the recipe for my favorite Crunchy Quinoa with Apricots and Almonds. Give it a try. I think you’ll be adding it to your list of healthy dinner recipes.

Lorraine

PS…
Almost every day, I get requests from my clients for healthy meal plans. They’re so confused by all the conflicting information they hear from the media and friends. They just want me to tell them what to eat. Sound familiar? Then, here’s what you’ve been wanting. Learn about my healthy meal plans featuring wholesome, delicious recipes for 3 meals a day plus snacks.

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Love yourself first this Valentine’s Day. 3 simple ways…

Whether or not there’s a special someone in your life to present you with flowers or chocolates, you can celebrate the day by honoring yourself with some TLC. Just in case you forgot, that means Tender Loving Care. Think about it. When was the last time you did something genuinely loving for yourself? I’m not talking about getting those “fancy” dish towels you saw at the grocery store.

For women – especially mothers – it’s so easy to get caught up in providing care for those around us and forget to take care of the most important person – ourselves.

Making your health and wellbeing a priority is not about being selfish. It’s about taking good care of yourself so that you are able to help others and gracefully manage whatever the day brings. It’s about loving yourself first so that you can offer more love to your family, friends, and the community around you.

health and wellbeing

Here are three simple ways to love yourself today and everyday —

1. Focus on the positive.

Appreciate your talents, beauty, brilliance, and all your perfect imperfections.

2. Enjoy simple movement.

Find a fun activity that makes you feel good and energizes you.

3. Nourish your body.

Discover healthy foods that you enjoy and ditch the restrictive food rules.

Take care of YOU today.

Lorraine
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