Show Some Love to Your Heart and to your Bikini

It’s National Nutrition Month making it a great time to make some changes in your diet to get geared up for summer and swim suit season. Anyone else feel like this?

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To get ready for that Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini add these foods to your diet. Not only will your bikini thank you but your heart will as well!

    Salmon is packed with Omega-3 fatty acids which help raise good cholesterol (HDL), lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and lower triglycerides.  Omega 3 fatty acids found in salmon also can help prevent blood clots. If you are not a fan of salmon, try mackerel, herring, sardines or tuna.  Aim for 2 servings of fish a week.

Oatmeal is filled with whole grains meaning lots of fiber. A half cup of oatmeal contains 5 grams of fiber to help your cholesterol, keep you full and the weight off. When shopping for high fiber, check the ingredient list for the whole grains. If it doesn’t say whole, you aren’t getting the full benefit of the grain.

Avocados not only add color to your plate but they are packed with monounsaturated fats which raise your good cholesterol and lower your bad cholesterol. This green super food also contains vitamin E which decreases formation of cholesterol, phytosterols which reduce cholesterol absorption and dietary fiber which keeps you nice and full.

     Berries are delicious, nutritious and good for your heart. Blueberries can help widen arteries of the heart; blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries have polyphenols and antioxidants which help decrease heart disease risk. Acai berries are the super fruit that are packed with heart disease fighting antioxidants vitamin C, vitamin E, and polyphenols. Finally, cranberries help to increase your HDL.

     Flaxseed gives you the one-two punch of fiber and omega-3s.  Add this to your oatmeal, cereal, soups, and side dishes. One tablespoon contains 1.8 grams of omega 3 fatty acids as well as 2g of fiber.

Buffalooooooooo oh and some squash

So if you’ve ever gone to a burger restaurant or any restaurant for that matter and they have bison on the menu, I get as excited as a schoolgirl who’s on the playground with her crush. Seriously I love bison. Not that it’s tasty but also that it’s darn good for you!

Here are some benefits of bison:

- It has less calories and cholesterol than chicken or fish.

- There is 76% less fat than in beef and about 68% less fat that chicken- meaning for meat that you can eat for your money (saving those $$).

- Eating buffalo or bison 3-4 times a week in place of red meat can help low bad cholesterol or LDL cholesterol.

-Not only does it have lots of protein but it’s packed with nutrients: zinc, niacin, iron, vitamin B6, and selenium.

Here’s a quick run down on these nutrients:

Zinc: boosts immune system, and improves hair, skin health and cell function.

Selenium: decreases cellular damage from free radicals

Niacin: helps open up blood vessels and helps turn food into energy

Iron: the oxygen carrier of cells

B6: keeps you mentally and physically sharp.

Use Bison in place of ground beef in any recipe and you will have a tasty meal on your hands. I swapped bison for ground beef in my spaghetti squash with meat sauce recipe as seen below and had a real treat on my hands.

Enjoy!!

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Spaghetti Squash with Bison Sauce

Makes roughly 4-6 servings

Ingredients

1 Medium Spaghetti Squash

10 ounces Ground Bison

1 10 ounce can of fire roasted tomatoes

1 cup frozen spinach

1/2 jar of Marinara sauce ( I used TJ’s Sweet basil marinara sauce)

Garlic powder to taste

Oregano to taste

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Cut spaghetti squash in half. Place face down in a  baking dish and add a  bit of water. Cook squash for 30-45 minutes.

2. While the squash is cooking, ground the ground bison. Once browned add in tomatoes, and spinach. Add in the sauce last.

3. Once squash is cooked, should be tender but not falling apart, let cool and take a fork to the meat. It will fall apart like spaghetti noodles.

4. Serve spaghetti squash with meat sauce and add some grated parmesan cheese and enjoy!!

Nutrition facts

4 servings:

243 calories, 13.9g fat, 5.6g sat fat,241 mg sodium, 8.6g carbohydrate, 21.5g protein.

Printable recipe here:

Spaghetti squash and bison sauce

 

Also try: Oatmeal bison burgers

 

What is your favorite bison recipe??

xoxo,

 

Katie

It’s goin down, I’m yelling timber

That line is clearly the line/song of the month. From eating it on ice, running a half marathon, surviving mardi gras, trying to balance work and play, it’s clearly goin down.  Life has been crazy and 2014 is only about to get crazier. After the persuasion of friends and family who state they miss the blog,  I’m back at it. No promises but It’s time to get back on the blog horse and share the creations from Katie’s kitchen, races, workouts, and just random stuff that I find interesting.

Here’s the last 2 weeks in review:

Last weekend was Florida for the Disney Princess Half and visiting family.

The race started with waking up at 3:15 to get the to the bus by 4. Not going to lie this sign kind of made my morning.

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This race I decided to get into the spirit of the princess half a bit and added in a sparkle skirt. I feel I really stepped up to the challenge… then realized I wasn’t in a tutu or a crown…. #failImageImage

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The race went surprisingly well considering the farthest I had ran was 8.4 miles on the monday before the race. I don’t recommend running a half untrained as your GI system might not like that, or the rest of your body for that matter. Luckily only one bodily system wasn’t happy with me, so I’ll take it.

The rest of the weekend was spent soaking up the sun, visiting with family, taking trip to the Tervis outlet. Side note if you are in Sarasota, you need to go the tervis outlet it’s like a any type of non sweat cup you want you can find.

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Love the mustache :l)

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So these next pictures do not do justice to how good of a cook my uncle is. He has the Green Egg smoker/grill and holy did I eat well. The marinades and the seafood, i was in HEAVEN!!

Nothing like Shrimp and some CL’s after a half :)

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Salmon…. need I say more??

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BBQ chicken and pork tenderloin

#NOMNOM

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The seafood extravaganza did not stop there. I then went to dinner with the lovely Abby at West End Grill on Thursday. I was pretty pumped that I was there to experience her first oyster. They were no SKOB oysters but still tasty.

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That was followed by some amazing coconut macaroons and cinnamon ice cream. Oh what I would do for a macaroon right now!!

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We’ll end this Katie’s back blogging post with a photo of some faves. Laura from Burgersnberries and Sarah- oh the shenanigans that will ensue in the next few months.

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Stay tuned for Mardi Gras and some recipes to whip up for Tuesday celebration!! But in the mean time, what have you all been up to??

Xoxo,

Katie

 

 

Snow blowing, chilled to bone, warm you up chili

Happy 2014!!! I can’t believe that it is 2014. One of my resolutions is to make more time to blog. Well use my time more efficiently. There is no reason for me to sit on the couch more than an hour and not do anything ( everyone needs some time to veg). Anyways Saint Louis is frigid cold right now. I feel like I’m in Minnesota with the negative temps. Temperatures this cold call for something that will warm you up!

image found here http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/9inZ4tpcocA/hqdefault.jpg

image found here http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/9inZ4tpcocA/hqdefault.jpg

I love that commercial, am iffy on the soup (due to the amount of sodium) but love that commercial.  Anyways this chili will definitely be warming your heart on this chicken chili!!

Warm you up Chicken Chili

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Serves 6 large servings 8 medium servings

Ingredients

1 pound chicken breasts
12 ounce  can Red Kidney Beans
12 ounce can Pinto Beans Canned
12 ounces can Cannellini (White Kidney) Beans
1 32 ounces can plum tomatoes
1 6 ounces tomato paste
1 8 ounce bag frozen spinach
2 cups chopped carrots
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon coriander
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons chili powder

 

Instructions

1. Combine all ingredients into crock pot (if using regular beans and not low sodium rinse off the beans first).

2. Cook on low for 6 hours and enjoy.

***I added much more cayenne because I like hot chili but add to taste.

 

Nutrition facts per serving:

293 calories, total fat: 5.9g, 1.4 saturated fat, 35.2g Carbohydrate, 27.8g protein, 260mg sodium

Print Recipe here: Warm you up Chicken Chili 

 

Sorry for the lack of photos, I was hungry and dove right into my bowl. Enjoy!!!!

 

Xoxo,

 

Katie

Gobble day prep

Happy Thanksgiving day Eve!!. Hard to believe that it is the end of November and we are going to be in December in a few days!! With Thanksgiving tomorrow, that means that I am home in wonderful Colorado at my parents. For some reason when I come home, I am able to completely relax and worry about anything. Unlike most weekend days in St. Louis where there are a million things running through my head that I need to get done and feel guilty when I sit on the couch or be lazy. Today I have been able to sip on some coffee, read food magazines, figure out food prep for tomorrow and just relax. And it feels wonderful. I also got to see some wild life this morning as well, moose in the back yard!!!

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So now that I’ve oogled over the moose it’s time to get down to food talk. First let me give a few shout outs to my homegirls and their fabulous recipes for thanksgiving Alyson over at Simplynutricising and Katie over at Nutrafit.

And if you’re more of an auditory learner, you can also check out: Lightened up thanksgiving. This will provide you with some more recipes as well as some tips for lightened up thanksgiving.

However for some easy quick tips, here are my top tips for turkey day:
Thaw your turkey properly: Do not thaw turkeys or birds on the counter. Thaw them in the refrigerator, in cold water or the microwave. Did you know that 92% of food borne illness is caused by meat poultry and thawing techniques?? (cdc.gov). Be a safe thawer.
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Use a Meat thermometer. After watching Thanksgiving Live on Food Network and hearing that Bobby, Giada, Alton, and Ina use meat thermometers, why shouldn’t we. The prob in the bird is not the most accurate way to assess if the turkey is done. Most cases, the turkey will be overcooked and no one likes a dry bird (scenes of National Lampoons Christmas vacation flash into my head). Set your oven to 325 and cook the bird to a minimum of 165 F. Most cookbooks state that it will be done with an internal temperature between 160-170F. Stick your thermometer in the middle of the breast to assess donness.

This thermometer is from Bed Bath and Beyond and can be found here

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General rules of thumb for cooking times on turkey is: 20 minutes per pound for an 18-20 pound turkey and 15 minutes per pound for a 12-16 pound turkey. So for an 18 pound turkey, you’re looking at cooking it for 6 hours.

Nonfat greek yogurt is like the ultimate swap out food. You can use nonfat greek yogurt in place of heavy whipping cream, full cream, regular mayonaise, sour cream, or any other high fat product. Now I know there are some scratching of heads thinking I will lose all of the taste of the dish if I do this. Trust me I got an earful from my father about this (isn’t he lucky to have a dietitian foodie as a daughter :) ). Use half greek yogurt half the other ingredient. You will still have the same great taste, with half the calories.

Avoid pigging out on appetizers (guilty of this!). If you are at a gathering more times than not there will be appetizers out before dinner. This can really add up of calories before a heavy calorie meal. Try eating before going over to avoid the stomach rumbling for appetizers; and you will have more room for the big meal!

Keep portions in check. Try not to load up on potatoes and only have a morsel of vegetables. Keep portions even and your plate colorful.

Add some activity in before the big meal. Run a 5k, play a game of football, go for a walk, just get in a bit of activity, you’ll feel better and be in a better mood.

Last but not least, dessert. Once again keep portions in check, maybe have a little less potatoes so you can have a little more pie at the end.

If you overindulge, well then you enjoyed yourself and tomorrow is a new day. Enjoy the time with family and friends, be thankful, i know I will be!

What are some your Turkey day traditions??

xoxo,

Katie

Fall produce-what to put into your shopping cart this fall

The leaves are changing, pumpkins and pumpkiny things are everywhere and the thought of a stew or chili with cornbread on a cold night keeps coming to mind.

Luckily fall is the perfect time to incorporate lots of produce in a stew or chili.
Take a look at the top 10 fall produce list compiled by yours truly and stay tuned for recipes incorporating these delicious foods!!!

top 10 produce to buy this fall

Xoxo,

Katie

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Everything’s bigger in Texas…including this sheet cake

A few months ago, I got together with some friends for a sunday night dinner.  Sunday night dinners are just a great way to end the weekend and get ready for the week ahead. This Sunday dinner was extra special because Alyson from SimplyNutricising was in town, and we were celebrating the last Sunday dinner in St. Louis for one friend. This definitely  called for a delicious dessert and Texas Sheet Cake with some berries sounded like just the thing!

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Texas sheet cake is so easy to make and is SO good. Be careful it can be hard to stop at one bite!

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Texas Sheet Cake

12 Servings

Cake:

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 cup nonfat greek yogurt

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 tablespoons flaxseed

1 1/4 cup splenda

Frosting:

1/2 cup butter

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

6 tablespoons fat free milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups powdered sugar

1 cup slivered almonds

For the Cake:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Mix together the flaxseed, nonfat greek yogurt, applesauce, and vanilla extract. Stir in sugar, whole wheat flour, and baking soda. If the batter is dry add some water.

3. Pour into a sheet pan or a shallow cake pan.

4. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

5. While the cake is baking, melt the butter and  mix with the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, fat free milk and vanilla.

6. Mix in the almonds and pour onto the cake while the cake is hot.

7. Once cooled, enjoy!

Per Serving:

343 calories, 12.8 g fat, 57.9g carbohydrate, and 4.9g protein

Printable recipe here:Texas Sheet Cake

What is your favorite dessert??

Xoxo,

Katie

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