Friday, August 8, 2014

Western Egg "Muffins"

We have all heard the saying "breakfast is the most important meal of the day". Yes it gets your brain and body ready for the coming day as well as breaking the "fast" from sleeping through the night. Though we know it is important, many go without or just survive on coffee (sorry, but doesn't count as a breakfast). Typically there are one of two reasons that my clients don't eat breakfast. Either they don't feel hungry/feel like eating or they don't have enough time (aka not making enough time). This recipe can be made ahead of time and cooked in less than 1 minute, making it a quick and healthy option and pretty portable.

Too often breakfast is high in refined carbs and lacks protein (cereals, toast, muffins, bagels, donuts, pastries). Sure it tastes good in the moment, but since they are digested quickly they don't leave you satisfied for long. Protein and fats are more satiating (meaning they fend off hunger) than carbohydrates and most American's fall short of protein at breakfast. New research has shown that 30 gram of protein per meal can be beneficial in keeping hunger in check and can aid in weight loss. Lots of my clients use hardboiled eggs as a quick protein in the morning, but that can get old and some people don't care for them. Canadian bacon is a lean meat that adds a lot of flavor without adding too much fat.

Of course this recipe can make a great lunch or light dinner as well. If following a low carb or paleo lifestyle have a few muffins. Need a carbohydrate with breakfast? Pair one muffin with whole grain toast, English muffin, or oatmeal.

Western Egg "Muffins"
Makes 12 muffins

1 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup mushrooms, diced
1/4 cup sweet onions, diced
8 eggs (may substitute egg beaters if desired)
1/2 cup low-fat milk
3/4 cup low-fat shredded Mexican cheese
4 pieces of Canadian bacon, diced
1/2 cup salsa
pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Heat oil over medium heat in small frying pan. Add mushrooms and onions and cook until soft.
3. Scramble up the eggs, mix in the milk well. Add salsa, sautéed vegetables, and ham/Canadian bacon.
4. Spray muffin tin with non-cook spray and fill each muffin tin about 3/4 full. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp shredded cheese on top.
5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until egg is fully cooked.

Nutrition Facts: 1 muffin
95 calories, 5 g fat, 2 g carbs, 10 g protein, 250 mg sodium

Braided Veggie Pizza

This braided pizza is reminiscent of a calzone (though without the ricotta cheese because the significant other doesn't care for it). It is a bit more time consuming than hand tossing a pizza, but it is kind of fun to eat and can be served as an appetizer. Of course you can stuff the pizza with many fillings and flavors. I happened to have mushrooms, onions, and an abundance of kale from the garden, so that's what went into this one. With the hot weather on its way for the weekend you might decide to throw it on the grill instead of baking in the oven. I have not tried it with this recipe, but I would suggest using a grill-safe baking sheet or sturdy tin foil so you don't lose the shape of the pizza. 

The school year is right around the corner and dinners can be hard to juggle with sports and afterschool activities, This can be made a day in advance and placed in the oven right before dinner instead of relying on frozen and processed foods. Make your own dough and freeze in advance or pick up a prepared pizza dough at the store (most stores have a local company that they order from). Pair with a side salad for a complete meal.

Braided Veggie Pizza
Makes 8 servings

1 whole grain pizza dough
1/4 cup corn meal
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup pizza or marinara sauce
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
3 cups of kale, sliced
1 cup shredded part skim mozzarella or pizza mix cheese
Marinara sauce, for dipping

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
1. Remove pizza dough from refrigerator and set out for 15 minutes (will make it easier to work with)
2. Meanwhile heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
3. Add mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes. Add kale and cover, cook for 3 minutes or until kale and mushrooms are soft.
4. Spread corn meal on a clean counter surface. Stretch or roll the dough into a large rectangle. 

5. Making the "end flaps": Using a sharp knife make a 2 inch slit about 4 inches in from each side and pull center of the dough out a few inches. (see picture above for assistance).
6. Making the "side flaps": Make slits about 4 inches long, 1 inch apart down the long end of the dough.
7. Spread the sauce down the center of the pizza dough, Add vegetables on top and sprinkle with cheese.
8. Fold the bottom "end flap" up to cover the filling. Starting on the right side, fold the bottom "side flap" over the fillings. Then fold the left bottom "side flap", then repeat alternating the right and left side flaps until to the last "end flap". Fold that one down to close the pizza. 

9. Bake at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool a few minutes before slicing into 8 pieces. Warm up some marinara in the microwave and serve with pizza for dipping.

Nutrition Facts: 1 slice
205 calories, 6 g fat (2 g saturated), 30 g carbohydrates, 10 g protein, 350mg sodium

Friday, July 25, 2014

Summer Loving. Body Loving.

Looking back at my calendar the month of July has come and passed. Life has been busy at work and my time off as been full of gardening, hiking, BBQs, and fitting that workout in. Unfortunately blogging has not been on the top of my list, so I apologize to those of you that look forward to the new recipes. There are plenty of delicious meals made, and pictures taken, I just need to sit down and get writing! 

I hope you are all enjoying everything that summer has to offer and are feeling confident in your own skin. Waiting in line at the grocery store it's almost impossible to miss the magazines claiming to help you "lose 10 pounds in 1 week" or "lose 3 inches this week". The constant barrage of diets and diet culture is hard to escape. I work with lots of clients who are trying to lose weight and the presssure they feel seems to multiply in the summer months, leading to drastic changes in thier diet and often pretty much self-starvation or deprivation. Instead of enjoying the beach or outdoor activities they avoid lots of activities because they are body consious or have "body shame".

Summer can often make people self conscious about their bodies, often comparing themselves to others, or even worse the mainstream media. Along with these comparisons comes negative self talk... "I'm too fat", "I hate my stomach", or "I can't wear a bathing suit". This talk can bring feelings of guilt, depression, and can change what you will and won't do or eat as a result of how you perceive yourself. Changing negative self talk can bring a more positive outlook to your life can have a profound effect on mood and if used correctly can be a motivator to make healthy choices. You may find that you are more likely to "do" things when you are less focused on how you may look while doing them.

Most of us are self conscious about something, whether it's the size of our nose, feet, waist, lack of thigh-gap, a unique laugh, you get the point. Learn to embrace what you do love about your body and yourself and focus on those aspects. Work hard to change what you can (physically activities that you enjoy, choosing healthy foods) and aim to be realistic in what is "changeable". We were never intended to all be the same size or shape, but that doesn't mean you can't be healthy. Whether you are in your bathing suit on the beach, wearing short shorts, or are in long pants or a dress I hope that you can feel proud of the body that you are working with. Be active and eat well to have the body that is healthy for you... that doesn't have to be a size two.

As always, feel free to comment or start a discussion about what body loving or body acceptance means to you.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Chicken Waldorf Salad

This no-cook salad is perfect for a quick dinner on a hot night. Serve over your favorite greens or on whole grain bread or a wrap. Plan ahead and bake or grill extra chicken for a “planned-over”. Forget to plan ahead? Grab a chilled rotisserie chicken from the grocery store instead.


Greek yogurt is used in the recipe to reduce fat and calories. It adds creamy texture and a tangy flavor with no added fat for a fraction of what real mayonnaise would provide. Lots of summer salads use liberal amount of real mayonnaise, which can really add up. Did you know that 1 Tbsp of mayo has 100 calories and 11 grams of fat? Often clients will tell me that they don’t like “light” or “low fat” mayo or Miracle Whip. We all have different taste buds, but I have found most like the canola or olive oil mayonnaise varieties better. They provide the healthy monounsaturated fats and about half of the fat and calories of regular mayo. Still not convinced? If you go with the real deal, less is best.


Chicken Waldorf Salad

Makes 6 servings (1 cup serving)



3 cups cooked chicken breast, chilled and diced

1 apple, diced

1 cup diced celery

1/3 cup diced red onion

1/3 cup craisins

¼ cup 0% plain greek yogurt

2 Tbsp low fat mayonnaise

1 tsp lemon juice

¼ tsp salt

Pepper to taste



  1. Mix first five ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Mix the Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, and lemon juice in a small bowl.
  3. Add mayonnaise mixture to the chicken mixture, flavor with salt and pepper.
  4. Chill for at least 15 minutes. Serve on salad greens or use as sandwich filling.


Nutrition Facts:

150 calories, 6 g fat, 1.5 g saturated, 13 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 12 g protein, 170 mg sodium

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Berry Yogurt Pops

Summer is here and nothing tastes better than a cold treat to cool off on a hot day. Creemes, soft serve, and ice cream are readily available, but are high in fat and calories making them a better choice for the occasional treat. These smoothie pops are healthy and taste great. Made from real fruit and fat free Greek yogurt they are something you can feel good about eating.


Greek yogurts come in a variety of flavors and can vary a lot in the amount of added sugar. Some are available in “light” which means an artificial sweetener is used- this can be helpful if you have diabetes or are following a low carb diet. Use the label to find the brand with the least amount of sugar. If you go with “plain” expect a tart flavor, but you can add your favorite sweetener as needed.


I bought a fancy popsicle mold last year on clearance and finally got to use it. Don’t have a mold? Paper cups with plain popsicle sticks work just as well! You can mix up the types of fruit and flavors of yogurt for many combinations. Experiment to find which one you like best!


Berry Yogurt Pops

Makes 8 pops



1.5 cups 0% vanilla greek yogurt (2 6oz containers)

1 cup fresh or frozen mixed berries

1 banana



  1. Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until well mixed. (You may need to add a few Tbsp of water to make it blend)
  2. Pour into popsicle mold or ½ cup of mixture into paper cups with popsicle stick.
  3. Place in freezer and freeze for at least 4 hours.


Nutrition Facts: 1 popsicle

40 calories, 0 g fat, 8 g carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 3 g protein


 What awesome flavor creations can you come up with?