Do you have any travel plans this summer? I know it can be pretty hard to choose the right meals when you are on the road. But I have partnered up with Panda Express to help you make good decisions while on the go - no matter if you’re traveling or having a staycation.
One of my favorite things about Panda is their Wok Smart options - did you know there is a whole Wok Smart menu that offers healthier choices? Check out what I like from it:
Grain Free Protein Boost
When I have a long flight or drive ahead, I like a light meal that will make me feel satiated for a long time. I don’t know about you but I can’t eat heavy meals before sitting on a plane for hours. The Super Greens are my favorite new menu item at Panda Express. With just 45 calories and zero grams of saturated fat, this yummy side dish with broccoli, kale, and cabbage makes every bowl a super bowl. To make it a nutritious meal I pair a side of super greens with the Shanghai Angus Steak. The bowl only has 310 calories and 19 grams of protein! This is guaranteed to leave you feeling satisfied and full for a long trip.
Protein Power Boost
While traveling is a big part of summer, many of us are still working much of the time. When I am at home in Los Angeles, I try to get a quick workout done on most days. When I exercise, I try to eat more protein to help me replenish and build muscle. However, with a busy schedule, I don’t always have time to make something at home. On days like this, I like combining my favorite Super Greens from Panda, with half a serving of brown rice, and the Broccoli Beef. This combo has 382 calories, with 15 grams of protein and 5.5 grams fiber! I love this bowl because even though it is higher in calories, it still only has 1.5 grams of saturated fat and tons of fiber, which most people don’t get enough of.
Plant Based Power
I recommend having some meatless meals every week. This is a great way to get variety and plenty of fiber into your diet. Eating more plants is not as hard as it seems. My favorite veggie Panda Express bowl consists of the Super Greens combined with the Eggplant Tofu . This combo has 6 grams of fiber and 10 grams of plant based protein! All this with only 385 calories. On busy days or when I feel like I need more substance, I like adding ½ serving of brown rice to this combo, which leaves me satiated for hours. This combination gets you almost half of your recommended veggie servings for the day plus some of the great benefits of eggplant, which include powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins plus fiber.
Whether you are traveling or staying at home, all these combos are amazing on the go options for busy days. While delicious and easy, they provide you with many of your key nutrients and fewer calories, added fats and sodium. Panda Express makes it easy for you to find the right combination for your lifestyle—check out the nutrition information on pandaexpress.com.
Native American tradition states that these three staple crops not only replenish the soil when grown together but they also make a complete protein source, with all of the essential amino acids. Eating a more plant based diet is not only better for your health, but also the planet. Let me know in the comments below if you try these amazing tacos!
Three Sisters Tacos: Black Bean, Corn and Zucchini
Tacos can be veggie friendly and satisfying. Forget boring tacos-these are filled with beans, veggies, and whole grains, and they are guaranteed to satisfy all your cravings.
1 Tbsp olive oil or avocado oil
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
½ medium onion, sliced
2 Tbsp jalapenos, chopped
1 cup black beans (rinsed and drained if canned)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
8 corn tortillas or 4 flour tortillas
1 medium avocado, sliced
Add oil to a medium skillet, then add the zucchini, corn, onions, and jalapeños and saute for about 5 minutes, or until vegetables are soft and slightly browned.
Add the black beans and spices, and continue to sauté for another 3-4 minutes, or until fully heated.
Divide the black bean mix evenly among the tortillas, and garnish with sliced avocado, cilantro, and lime juice.
Healthy dessert? Yes, please! This vegan chocolate mousse is filled with heart healthy fats and is packed with antioxidants. What else can you ask of a treat?
I love creating healthy recipes for my clients meal plans. This one is a huge hit so I wanted to share it here. It’s easy to make and is honestly one of my absolute favorite recipes. The avocado makes it super creamy, the banana adds sweetness and the almond butter gives it a little bit more flavor and protein. SO GOOD!!
1.5 ripe avocado
1 ripe banana
¼ cup almond milk (or milk of your choice)
2 Tbsp almond butter (creamy is best)
1 Tbsp Agave
1.5 Tbsp cacao powder
pinch of sea salt
1. Blend together in a blender or food processor
2. Chill for 30 min – 2 hrs in the fridge.
I’d love to hear your thoughts! Would you make this and what’s your favorite vegan dessert?
Spring is a time to re-emerge after winter and get ready for summer. Feeling fresh after the cold months and going into summer with a clear mind and healthy body is great! But over the past years, the popularity of cleansing your body from apparent “toxins” has surged. There are countless products, diets and practices marketed to help you detox your body.
While a medical detox can save lives by cleansing the body from an overdose of drugs or poison, there is no reason to “detox” your body if you aren’t a recovering addict. We might be faced with some toxins in everyday life but generally, our bodies have evolved to handle them well.
Detox proponents say that most of your problems - feeling tired, having a bad mood, difficulty losing weight and so on - are caused by toxins in your body. To get rid of this built up of chemicals they recommend several methods. A popular method is a juice or water cleanse. Some detox diets allow a very restricted amount of food. Almost all detox diets are extremely low in calories. Then there are more advanced techniques of cleansing the body like intestinal cleansing. Intestinal cleansing is supposed to get rid of parasites and accumulated fecal matter that somehow got stuck in your intestines. Other methods like foot detox or hot/cold treatments claim you can just excrete toxic substances through your skin.
A magic cure to all of our problems would be great. And this is exactly why the detox industry is so successful! But unfortunately, the vast majority of detox diets are not backed by any science. Evidence has shown over and over again that these diets and products are just a waste of time and money. Dietary cleanses can actually be dangerous if done without proper supervision from a qualified professional. You will lose weight if you eat extremely little food for a week or two, however, most of it will be water. Another thing that will happen in your body is preservation of energy - if you restrict food your body thinks you are starving. As a result it will hold onto any source of energy and become more efficient at storing it as energy (fat). Studies have shown that detox diets can lead to lowering your basal metabolic rate, which results in rapid weight gain once you start eating normally again. You also put yourself at risk for nutrient deficiencies and, if the cleanse includes laxative products, dehydration, electrolyte depletion and even impairment of bowel function. Intestinal cleansing can also disturb your natural gut flora. Not to mention that if you ask any gastroenterologist, they will tell you that there is no such thing as fecal built up or toxic sludge in your intestines.
The Best Detox System
It is true that we are faced with toxins in everyday life. So if detox practices aren’t effective - how do our bodies protect themselves from harmful substances? We often forget how amazing our bodies are at keeping us alive. Here is how your body is protecting you:
The liver is the body’s main filter. It neutralizes harmful chemicals and prepares their elimination from your body. The liver also regulates the metabolism of drugs which makes it one of the most important parts of your body’s defense system.
The skin is your largest organ. It’s main function is providing a barrier against harmful substances. However, the skin is a one-way defense system-you can’t sweat out toxins (think about how dangerous that would be)!
The intestines screen out unwelcome visitors before nutrients are absorbed into the blood.
Your immune system works 24/7 to protect you. This efficient defense network screens blood plasma, lymph and even the spaces between your cells for substances that need to be eliminated.
The respiratory system does amazing work to excrete foreign substances. You know the fine fine hairs in your nose? They are there for a reason! They are a defense mechanism. They can trap dirt and other substances that you don’t want to inhale. If anything makes it through this barrier, your lungs will produce mucus and eliminate it.
The kidneys are very efficient in filtering out any waste from your body. Why do you think urine is used to test for toxins like drugs in your body?
The bottom line is that your body is incredibly efficient at filtering out toxins (or detoxing). All it needs from you is a proper support in the form of good food and an active lifestyle.
Heart health is a hot topic these days, and rightfully so! I created this beautiful, dark purple oat bowl so that you can nourish your body and heart.
Oats are one of the most convenient sources of fiber, and provide the soluble fiber beta-glucan, which may help to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. Three grams of this fiber are needed daily as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol for this effect. According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Every year, 1 in every 4 deaths is caused by heart disease (610,000 annually), so I always make sure to emphasize heart healthy habits with all of my clients.
A heart healthy diet includes whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Here is a fun combination of oats with fruits and berries to help start your day with lots of colors (including foods with a variety of color means more variety of nutrients), vitamins and minerals.
In this recipe, I also incorporated one of my favorite trending foods, Maqui berry powder. I love not only the color but also that the Maqui berry is an exotic fruit from South America. These wild, dark purple berries have been used for thousands of years. They add a beautiful purple color to your food have a subtle tart and sweet taste that can go with both sweet and savory dishes.
I can’t wait to hear what you think of this recipe. Personally, I love it! It has just the right amount of sweetness and provides fiber and complex carbs from oats, berries, nuts and chia seeds. For more information about the nutrition benefits of oats, visit QuakerOats.com and check out this video for more about oats and heart health.
A heart healthy diet should include whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, low fat dairy, lean protein and legumes, and should limit fat, saturated fat and cholesterol and sodium. This recipe per 1 serving provides about 2g soluble fiber from oats. Experts recommend that to maintain good health, no more than 10% of your calories should come from saturated fat, and no more than 20-35% of daily calories should come from total fat.
Perfect Purple Oats Bowl Recipe
1 C almond milk
½ C oats
½ C frozen mixed berries
1 tsp chia seeds
1 tsp agave
1 tsp maqui berry powder
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Toppings: ½ sliced banana, ¼ C blueberries, 2 Tbsp goji berries and 2 Tbsp of pecans
Bring almond milk to a gentle boil along with salt
Add the oats and allow to cook over low heat, covered, for 5-7 minutes
Add the frozen mixed berries and cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until oats are soft
Turn off heat, and add the chia seeds, maqui powder, cinnamon, vanilla extract and agave, and stir until everything is combined
I love Ukrainian food. It reminds me of my childhood. Ukrainian cuisine is fascinating: it developed over centuries and was influenced by the history of the country. Having been occupied by Poland, Austria and Russia, many dishes are inspired by these periods in the country’s history. Even though many dishes have been adapted from other countries over the years, Ukrainian food is unique in preparation methods. Ukrainian cuisine mainly stems from peasant dishes and is centered around regional grains and vegetables. Many of the ingredients used in Ukrainian cooking are secretly superfoods. Here are my top five favorite ingredients!
Beets are one of the most popular ingredients in Ukrainian cuisine. They are also one of my favorite vegetables (coincidence?). Beets are a delicious source of complex carbohydrates. They are also high in nutrients such as folate, iron and vitamin B6. And they can even help lower blood pressure, if eaten regularly! Beets have a high concentration of nitrates. When eaten, dietary nitrates are converted to nitric oxide. This compound helps dilate blood vessels and causes blood pressure to drop.
My favorite herb! It’s very popular in Ukrainian cuisine: you will find it in almost any dish. Besides being a source of vitamin A and C, dill has anti-bacterial properties similar to garlic or ginger. Additionally, dill is a carminative, which means it helps to relieve gas. Dill is amazing for digestion in general: it increases absorption of nutrients, and because it has anti-bacterial properties, it can be helpful for stomach issues.
An ancient grain that is becoming more popular in the US, buckwheat has been used Ukraine for centuries. Buckwheat is naturally gluten-free and low in calories but high in protein. With a low glycemic index and high fiber content, it’s a great source of energy. Buckwheat is a great complex carb for diabetics, as the nutrients will be absorbed into the bloodstream more slowly than some other carbs. This will prevent sugar spikes and help regulate blood-sugar levels throughout the day. And if that’s not enough reason to add it to your diet, buckwheat also has many compounds, such as niacin, riboflavin, thiamin and folate that are beneficial for skin and hair health.
Cabbage is truly a secret superstar. It’s low in calories, packed with nutrients, and easily accessible. Cabbage is high in vitamins C and K and. It also contains powerful antioxidants, like sulforaphane or kaempferol that have been proven to reduce inflammation. Cabbage is full of insoluble fiber, which keeps the gut flora healthy and promotes regular bowel movements.
Pickled (aka. Fermented) Foods
Pickled foods are popular in Ukrainian cuisine, mostly due to geographic conditions: there used to be limited access to fresh produce during the winter. So, people started preserving foods for the winter and today, even though access to food is easier year-round, these foods are still an essential part of many dishes. Fermented foods are packed with probiotics. Probiotics are amazing for gut health and have many other benefits such as reducing cardiovascular risk and promoting skin health!
This post is sponsored by Quaker. All opinions are my own.
Are you in need of a comforting, nourishing brekkie in this winter weather?
If you find yourself struggling in the mornings, here’s your perfect answer in the form of a savory and warm breakfast bowl!
You guys, I’m not kidding, this bowl is DELICIOUS. It allows me to help start my day with the fiber, vegetables and high-quality protein you want. It’s definitely my new favorite winter brekkie.
Oats are one of my favorite sources of complex carbs, which can help provide lasting energy. The soluble fiber in cooked oats may help slow digestion and the release of glucose into the bloodstream, thus providing a slower supply of energy. This bowl is an awesome way to get some vegetables, vitamins, additional fiber and to bulk up your oatmeal. If you have kiddos, this is an excellent method to sneak them those veggies - they’ll never know! The edamame and egg both add protein, and finally, the avocado and cheese provide a source of fat.
I love adding veggies to my morning routine because they not only make my body feel good but also helps me ensure I’m on track to meet my servings for the day! I personally aim to get 6-8 servings of veggies / day (a serving is 1 C of chopped veggies or 2 C of leafy greens) but if you aren’t getting many in right now, a good goal to aim for is between 2 and 3 cups of fruit and vegetables per day and then build from there.
Basically, this bowl is morning perfection for me. Did I mention it’s delish? Tell me if you make it and make sure to snap pics - it’s beautiful, too!
Savory Zucchini Oatmeal Bowl
½ C oats
½ C shredded zucchini
1 C water
3 Tbsp parmesan cheese
Handful of spinach
¼ C edamame beans
1 poached or fried egg
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ C alfalfa sprouts
Add oats, zucchini and water into a pot and bring to a boil
Lower heat and let simmer until the oats are creamy
Mix in cheese and season to your liking
In the meantime, cook the egg
Add spinach to a bowl, add the oatmeal and top with beans, cooked egg, avo and sprouts
CBD is a huge craze in wellness, and experts are saying it could really help a lot of people.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is an extract produced from the marijuana plant, but it can’t get you high because its’ levels of THC are really low (less than 0.03%). It comes in a few different forms, the most popular being pills, oil you drop under your tongue, oral spray, or topical gels and balms. It might seem a bit “woo-woo,” or even a little sketchy, but CBD is actively being researched and has shown some promising results.
With my nutrition counseling clients, I focus on their holistic health. This means taking into consideration a lot more than just how food affects their well-being. So many people struggle with sleep issues, anxiety, and chronic pain, and these can have a profound impact on health in the short and the long term. CBD is an exciting avenue to explore that shows a lot of promise. Here are three ways CBD can complement healthy lifestyle choices.
You might have heard me talk about it before, but getting enough sleep is one of the most important factors when it comes to optimizing your health. Disrupted sleep has major impacts on hormones that affect your hunger and eating habits, your blood sugar, and inflammation. Studies are starting to show that taking CBD before you go to bed may improve the quality of your sleep.
Did you know your emotional stress levels have a HUGE impact on your risk for chronic disease? There are a lot of ways you can reduce your anxiety, including yoga, meditation, therapy, and mindful practices. Some people may require psychiatric meds, and that is OK - there is no shame in seeking medical treatment for anxiety. CBD could be a complement to medicine your doctor prescribes (talk to your doctor before adding CBD to a medication regimen), but may also be effective for reducing your anxiety in combination with the other self-care practices mentioned above.
Pain is stressful, and can inhibit daily activities including regular exercise for a lot of people. Topical CBD balms and gels have shown promising results in reducing arthritis symptoms, and oral CBD extract or oral sprays may also be very helpful in reducing pain for other conditions. The opioid addiction epidemic in the US is also a problem - CBD may help patients with chronic pain need to rely less on opioids for relief.
Current research is showing that CBD is safe for use in most people. However, there could be interactions with certain drugs or nutrients, so it is important to speak with your doctor or registered dietitian about proper dosing. The FDA has approved one specific CBD product for the treatment of epilepsy, but carefully monitors the claims that other CBD companies make about their products to protect public safety, and it is still illegal to sell CBD across state lines or in states where marijuana products are not legalized. More clinical research is definitely needed to prove the benefits of CBD. When buying CBD products you can consult your healthcare provider and follow guidelines such as these to make sure you a purchasing a safe, high-quality product.
Disclosure: I collaborated with Justworks on this post.
“How did you grow your business so quickly in two years?” I get asked this a LOT and I’m so excited to share my insights with other entrepreneurs!
First, I can tell you right now that you won’t grow quickly without help. Get a system in place to manage and pay your staff, like Justworks. As a business owner, you’ve got way more important things to do than spend hours and hours figuring out benefits, payroll and compliance, am I right?! Justworks is the complete solution for all of this - ensuring you are covered legally and that you and your employees are supported, paid on time and even get all your questions answered about things like health insurance and 401ks. How cool is that? With a system like this in place, you have the time and energy to focus on what’s really key: following your passion and growing it.
I also recommend bringing on interns and eventually hiring your best interns as your staff.
The next key piece of advice I have is to focus on multiple streams of income.
With Justworks handling the back-end tasks, you have more time to focus on different avenues. My business isn’t built on just counseling or just working online. I have a mix of all of my passions: seeing clients at my office, media & communications, writing, and brand collabs.
Initially, not all of these streams were producing $. Which is why I worked part time at a dialysis center while I built my practice. After a year and a half, I was busy enough that I took the leap to full time entrepreneur and now I get to spend blissful mornings working from home in my pjs (just kidding…most days I get dressed after a few hours ;) lol).
Finally, make it FUN
This is just my personal philosophy. I spent almost 10 years working as a dietitian for other people while I love my career, plenty of days there were tedious tasks that weren’t super fun! Say what you want about work not always having to be a blast - but you know what? Life’s too short to be just getting by and not loving your job. I am so happy with what I do right now that I can’t imagine ever going back to working for someone else, and with the right systems in place to take care of the tedious HR tasks, it all feels manageable.
Let me know if you have any other tips on how you #WorkFearlessly in the comments below! I’d love to hear them.
Your digestive system is always working, and what we eat affects how well this system works. Keeping it healthy is important - but how do you help support it? A diet rich in fiber, a non-digestible carbohydrate, is important to help keep us feeling our best and keep things moving through the digestive tract. Fiber is found in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and experts recommend eating at least 25 to 30 grams of fiber from those sources a day — did you know that most Americans don’t eat enough fiber?
How Oats Can Help Support Digestive Health
In addition to being one of my comfort foods, oats are also a good source of fiber – a serving of rolled oats provides 4 grams. There are a few types of oats to select from, including quick, old fashioned and steel cut.
No matter which type you choose, each variety of Quaker Oats – instant, quick, old fashioned and steel cut – are 100% whole grain, and ounce per ounce, they all provide similar benefits of fiber, vitamins and minerals.
My Favorite New Breakfast Recipe
One of my favorite things about oats is that in addition to being delicious and versatile, they are also very easy to prepare. I usually don’t have a lot of time to make breakfast in the morning, just like many of my busy clients. Having a quick to-go breakfast option is ideal for busy mornings. My favorite oat recipe takes less than five minutes and will help provide some of the benefits of oats!
Loaded Lemony Overnight Oats
Serving Size: 3
● 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
● 1 ½ cups rolled oats
● Juice of ½ lemon
● 1Tbsp maple syrup or agave
● 1 Tbsp chia seeds
● 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
● 2 Tbsp dried cherries, unsweetened
● 2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
● 2 Tbsp sunflower seeds
● ⅛ tsp salt
● Combine all ingredients
● Divide evenly between 3 sealable containers
● Cover and store in the refrigerator overnight
● Enjoy in the morning!
Want more nutrition inspiration? To help people get real about nutrition, Quaker teamed up with Rosario Dawson to encourage people to start taking their nutrition into their own hands. Visit QuakerOats.com to see what happens when Rosario gets real with real people about their nutrition and learn more about the benefits of oats and digestive health!