Robin Recommends, Dec 7

Robin Recommends, Dec 7

Welcome to a new week of Robin Recommends! The holidays are just around the corner and the winter weather is here in the northeast! I’m back to share another roundup of favorite recipes, snacks, local spots, gift ideas, and more. Read on for more of my favorites! Note that most of these items are also shoppable on my Amazon storefront.

1. Hu Kitchen Crackers

I LOVE these Hu Kitchen crackers! All of their crackers are grain-free, and made without any sunflower oil, other unhealthy vegetable oils, tapioca, dairy, preservatives, or refined starches. This makes them a great option whether you’re gluten-free or not, and I love dipping them into hummus or adding cheese, like Monty’s, which I’ve also included in the roundup this week! They’re a great option for kids, and they have a bunch of different flavors, including everything, sea salt, and pizza! You can buy the crackers online from Thrive Market, Balducci’s, Fresh Market and Whole Foods, or find them on Instacart, Vitacost, and more. They are Mom- and kid-approved. My kids love snacking on them, or as part of a balanced lunch!

2. Monty’s Cultured Cashew Cream Cheese

Monty’s, founded by Lauren Monty, is a company that makes cultured vegan cashew cheese, cream cheese, butter, and more! They are made small-batch in a kitchen in NY and they take a less is more approach, with simple ingredients that are minimally processed. “Cultured” means that they use beneficial bacteria strains when making the cheese (which would naturally be found in most dairy cheeses) so that they’re extra beneficial for gut health. Their butter is a much healthier option than other plant-based butter on the market too. They also use eco-friendly packaging like glass jars that can be reused! Lauren is an expert on fermentation and creating vegan cheese that actually tastes good! Their products are available for delivery (nation-wide starting in January), and you can also find them at some stores including Clean Market, Clover Grocery, and Bonberi Market in NYC, as well as Mike’s Organic in Stamford, and more.

3. Rodan + Fields Lash Boost

I started taking dance lessons at seven years old, so I began wearing stage makeup, which included fake lashes, at the time. It didn’t take me long to fall in LOVE with the way long lashes make your eyes pop! Fast forward to adult life: I used to love wearing fake lashes for photo shoots and special occasions  Since my eyes are sensitive, I never tried lash extensions but WAS intrigued when my friend Ali Matthews told me about Lash Boost. So I tried it- I started with every other day then graduated to daily and YES, it really does work! I got to the point where my lashes were indeed hitting my glasses! So give this a try as treat for yourself OR surprise a friend with a small indulgence this holiday season. Reach out to Ali with any and all questions and to order:, @namaslay8 & at Mention ROBIN for $20 off!

If you’re curious about other benefits, The Lash Boost can help improve your lashes if they’re brittle or thin, help you achieve longer, darker & younger looking lashes, boost softness, elasticity & shine, and fortify the lashes against further damage. They’re offering a few different bundles for holiday gifting including: Merry & Bright Eyes Gift Set (extra 20% off), which includes: Lash Boost & Brow Boost with a free cosmetic bag; and the Best of All Gift Set (extra 20% off), which includes: Lash Boost, Active Hydration Body Replenish & Active Hydration Serum.

4. Parchment Paper + Baking Cups

I love using parchment paper for all my baking needs (to line sheet trays, make removing banana bread from a loaf tin easier, etc.) Did you know you can also find very cute natural-looking parchment baking cups for cupcakes and muffins? You can also make your own by crinkling small squares of parchment paper for a very pretty, bakery-style look to your baked goods. I like using parchment paper instead of aluminum foil for lining pans because it’s a better non-stick option and there are some potential health risks with aluminum foil, because the aluminum can enter your food when you cook with it. That’s why I opt for parchment whenever I can! You can find a lot of different options for cute baking cups online.

That’s all for this edition! Check back next week for more of what I recommend, and make sure to read last week’s blog, if you missed it!

Robin Recommends, Dec 2

Robin Recommends, Dec 2

Welcome to a new week of Robin Recommends! With Thanksgiving just behind us and the holidays coming up in just a few quick weeks, I’m back to share another roundup of favorite recipes, snacks, local spots, gift ideas, and more. Read on for more of my favorites! Note that most of these items are also shoppable on my Amazon storefront.

1. Vitamix

I LOVE my Vitamix! Yes, it is an investment, but I use it almost daily. It’s great for smoothies, soup recipes, milks, and more. I’ve been making my own milk for coffee lately by combining 1 cup oat milk, 1 date, a drop of vanilla, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. You can also use the Vitamix to make your own nut milk from scratch. Generally, a ratio of 1 cup of soaked nuts to 4 cups filtered water is a good rule of thumb for homemade milks. You can strain out the nut solids after blending or keep them in if you like, and once strained, re-blend with flavorings of your choice like cacao powder for chocolate milk, vanilla, dates for sweetness, etc. I have the 6300 model and you can generally find pretty good sales throughout the year, especially this time of year!

2. Smashmallow Marshmallows

It’s hot chocolate season, AND we’ve been making more s’mores by the fire in the backyard than EVER! That’s why I wanted to make sure I had the best possible option for this sweet. This brand has better ingredients than most others. Many have added corn syrup and even carrageenan. Corn syrup is a refined sugar containing purely glucose. Carrageenan is known to trigger inflammation, ulcers, and other forms of digestive system damage. It’s also known to be carcinogenic-definitely not something you want in your marshmallows. Smashmallows are still a high sugar treat to be enjoyed in moderation, BUT they are made from natural, non-GMO ingredients.

3. Stylish Spoon Bakery
Stylish Spoon is a gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free bakery, whose owner is now based in Westport! I reached out to Ilana Eck after discovering that my clients have been loving her products for years. My kids and I tried the chocolate and chia oatmeal cups, gingerbread man cookies, and chocolate chip cookies. All were kid- and mom-approved in my house! These products are made with such great ingredients, including organic coconut oil, bananas, cinnamon, wild blueberries, chia seeds, and gluten-free oats. You can order them for delivery and store them in the freezer too. Stock up for this busy holiday season. The kids and I have been enjoying them for snacks and breakfast on the go. Perfect for anyone who doesn’t have the time to make their own oatmeal and cookies! They are all #robinbarrieapproved !

4. Cascadian Farm Organic Purely O’s Cereal
I love this cereal as a healthy swap for traditional or alternative Cheerios. They are organic, made with whole grain oats and barley, have 26 grams whole grain per serving, 4 grams of fiber, and less than 1 gram of added sugar! This is so rare for cereal since most are loaded with added sugar. I highly recommend this one as a great option if your or your family members are cereal lovers. Enjoy it with milk and berries, or add to a yogurt or smoothie bowls for extra crunch!

That’s all for this edition! Check back next week for more of what I recommend, and make sure to read last week’s blog, if you missed it!

Robin Recommends, Nov 23

Robin Recommends, Nov 23

Welcome to a new week of Robin Recommends! Thanksgiving week is here, and I’m excited to share with you a seasonal roundup of some of my favorite recipes, snacks, local spots, gift ideas, and more. Read on for more of my favorites! Note that most of these items are also shoppable on my Amazon storefront.

1. Siete Tortilla Wraps

As you may remember from last week, Siete is a family run company that makes chips, queso, tortillas, and more. I shared their Nacho flavor tortilla chips last week, but they have SO much more! They offer a variety of wraps for those who are gluten-intolerant or gluten-sensitive, including grain-free wraps, almond flour wraps, cassava flour wraps, chickpea flour wraps, and cassava + chia wraps. You can also buy mixed packs! I love the flavor of the almond and chickpea varieties the most. Note that the chickpea variety has 5 grams protein per two tortillas-plant protein!! Their products are made without any additives or preservatives, and they’re so good for burritos or tacos. They make a great healthy swap for traditional (more processed) flour tortillas used for breakfast wraps, all of your taco Tuesday creations, and quesadillas! The wraps are great for Thanksgiving leftover turkey sandwiches too!

2. Cuisinart Food Processors

I absolutely love the food processors from Cuisinart. If you’re in the market for a new one, I’d recommend either the Elite Die-Cast Mini Prep 4-Cup (currently on sale for $59.95) or the Cuisinart 4-Cup Elemental Food Processor (on sale for $31.96). We use ours almost daily – it’s so handy for pesto, sauces, energy bites, acai bowls, blended soups, quickly chopping veggies, baking, homemade breadcrumbs/flours, homemade baby food, and so much more! A food processor has a wider base than a blender so it’s better if you’re doing a rough chop on vegetables or working with delicate herbs. These also make great, inexpensive gifts for the holidays-think: foodie friends, new Moms, or newbie chefs!

3. My Stuffing Recipe
This stuffing recipe is my go-to for Thanksgiving. It’s been a huge hit the past 3 years that I have hosted a 25-person holiday meal! It’s much more nutrient-dense than store-bought or traditional recipes, and easier than it looks. It combines quinoa with celery, sage, parsley, hazelnuts, pomegranate, butternut squash, and oven-toasted sourdough bread. You get that nutty, rich flavor that stuffing is known for with additional health benefits! This recipe is filled with a diverse array of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytonutrients (thanks to the quinoa, pomegranate, fresh herbs, squash, hazelnuts, and celery). Sourdough bread is a bit easier to digest for those who are gluten-sensitive, and is typically made with simple ingredients if you pick it up from a local bakery. Diversity in nutrients is so great for our microbiome and digestion, so the dish will leave you feeling energized and not heavy like traditional stuffing can. The leftovers even make for a great breakfast the next morning. My sister-in-law will vouch for that! If you make it, be sure to tag me on IG @robinbarrie!

4. Olive & June Nail Kits
I ordered one of these at the beginning of the quarantine so I could do my own nails, and it’s been such a lifesaver. They offer completely non-toxic manicure sets and pedicure tools that include everything you need to make your nails look as good as they would after a salon visit. You can pick and choose from long-lasting polishes, glossy top coat, buffer, clippers, serums, polish remover, and Poppy, which is their patented polish bottle handle to make it easier to paint a smooth nail. They’re actually offering 25% off everything right now as well as free shipping on all orders above $20, so if you’re looking for an easy way to do your nails, this is the time to check them out. They make a great gift for the holiday season as well, so definitely put this one on your list for friends and/or family, OR add to your own wishlist!!

That’s all for this edition! Check back next week for more of what I recommend, and make sure to read last week’s blog, if you missed it!

Robin Recommends, Nov 16

Robin Recommends, Nov 16

Welcome to a new week of Robin Recommends! While we all gear up for Thanksgiving and the holiday season in general, I’m excited to share with you a new week of recommendations for my favorite snacks, local spots, gift ideas, and more. Read on for more of my favorites! Note that most of these items are also shoppable on my Amazon storefront.

1. Siete Tortilla Chips

Siete is a family run company that makes tortilla chips, queso, tortillas, and more. Their Nacho flavor tortilla chips are one of my and my family’s absolute favorites. They taste like Doritos but are a much healthier option! Their products are all gluten-free and made from simple ingredients They are lower in sodium and use natural ingredients in their spice blends (like serrano and roasted garlic for the nacho flavor). They’re grain-free, paleo, non-GMO, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and vegan! We love the Nacho flavor plain, and often dunk the dipping chips into our favorite salsa or guacamole. Give them a try and let me know what you think!

2. Taja Candles

I was recently gifted a beautiful candle from Taja, a Florida-based company that makes fully customizable hand-poured candles from soy wax, and I was VERY impressed. Soy wax is a cleaner, healthier alternative to paraffin wax, since it is vegan-friendly and biodegradable. It also burns slower and lasts longer than many traditional votives. You can design your own candles on Taja’s site in the color of your choice, with symbols, designs, personalization, and notes to fit your style. When the candle is gone, you can reuse the jar as a small planter or decorative container. These candles are created to burn 20 hours plus in their beautiful glass jars. They make amazing gifts, as I can attest, I love mine!

3. Boxcar Cantina
Boxcar Cantina in Greenwich, CT has become a favorite spot of ours. This restaurant is super family-friendly, and serves dinner 7 days a week, with the option to dine in at their patio or order takeout or delivery, if you are local to the area. They’re also now open for lunch. The dinner menu includes a mix of delicious fresh appetizers, and entrées including guacamole, salads, tacos, and enchiladas with various healthy proteins like organic chicken, wild-caught shrimp, organic salmon, and more. The kids and I discovered them recently this fall at the Westport Farmers Market. Ever since my son asked to try their tacos for lunch, we have become regular weekly customers! The (big and little) boys enjoy the beef and chicken taco kits. I love the kale salad with grilled chicken. We ALL agree that they have one of the best guacamoles we’ve ever tasted! And I am ecstatic that this means a couple of meals I DON’T have to cook for the week. Their portions are generous, and we love leftovers! You must check them out if you are local!

4. Let’s Be Bessties Pancake + Waffle Mix

Let’s Be Bessties makes high-fiber foods, including crackers and breakfast mixes. Their high fiber organic pancake and waffle mix is, believe it or not, made with just three ingredients (wheat bran, dates, and cinnamon). Each serving of pancakes gives you about 64% of your daily fiber needs, and you just add eggs with a bit of water or milk to whip them up. Since they’re packed with fiber, they’ll keep you full for longer than traditional pancakes, and you can mix in your favorite fruits and toppings to customize them (like berries, honey, chocolate chips, banana, etc.!) My kids and I loved the chocolate chip pancake mix…with a drizzle of maple syrup of course. They’re a great healthy swap that makes pancake mornings much easier. Not to mention, this is a local company. The products are manufactured in Westport, and one of the co-founders, Bess, was born and raised here. We love to support local!

That’s all for this edition! Check back next week for more of what I recommend, and make sure to read last week’s blog, if you missed it!

Robin Recommends, Oct 26

Robin Recommends, Oct 26

Welcome to the second edition of Robin Recommends! The weather is getting colder and it’s really starting to look like full blown fall here on the East coast.  As we may be spending a little less time outdoors, I want to continue offering inspiration for self-care products, snacks, and nutritious food swaps for you and the whole family.  Read on and ENJOY!

Note that most of these items are also shoppable on my Amazon storefront!

I love these sprouted brown rice crisps as a nutritious swap for the classic cereal.  They’re made with organic sprouted whole grain brown rice, as opposed to white rice in other brands.  Sprouted grains (that are caught right at the beginning of the germination process) are higher in nutrients, including folate, iron, vitamin C, zinc, magnesium, and protein.  They also have less starch and may be easier to digest.  They are sweetened with coconut sugar, which is a bit lower-glycemic than traditional sugar and less processed than regular cane sugar.  One Degree’s crisps are also lower in sodium and total added sugar than other brands.  You can enjoy them on their own as cereal, or as a way to add texture to homemade granola bars, rice crispy treats, homemade muesli, or even as a fun yogurt topping.

2. BEAR Real Fruit YoYo’s

These fruit yoyo’s are similar in texture to a classic fruit roll-up snack, but they are a much healthier option.  The only ingredients are fruits and vegetables.  They have zero added sugar (including zero concentrated fruit juices), no corn syrup, no added processed oils, chemicals, or artificial colors that are found in other common fruit snacks. They even come with collectible information cards, so they’re great for kids to learn while they snack!

3. Manna Toast

Manna Toast in downtown Westport, CT is a great cafe for simple healthy meals.  Right now they are extremely covid-safe:  It is pure joy to dine outdoors at their well-spaced tables, chairs, and picnic tables lined up right on Main Street.  They source ingredients locally and offer mostly plant-based meals, including all different types of milk for coffee. You can even swap out toast for a gluten-free option of sweet potato toast. There are both sweet and savory options on their menu, which is rounded out with soups, salads, sides, kid-friendly options and treats.  You can dine there or order online for takeout or delivery.  They even have a loyalty program with rewards.  I can’t wait to go back for this apple french toast and oat milk latte!

4. Trader Joe’s Olive Oil Popcorn

This is one of my favorite snacks to recommend to clients. It’s filling, high fiber, and made with olive oil.  Olive oil is a healthy, minimally-processed unsaturated fat that is a great alternative to traditional vegetable oils (canola, peanut, sunflower, safflower, etc), which you’ll often see in the ingredient labels of packaged pre-popped popcorn.  Vegetables oils are highly processed and contain more saturated fats.  I love that this one comes in a huge bag from Trader Joe’s – it’s perfect for a family movie night!  Add some Bragg’s Nutritional Yeast (see last week’s Robin Recommends) as a vegan cheesy topping, and enjoy!

5. Fresh Sugar Lip Balm in Caramel

This is a great natural lip balm, and it makes lips super smooth – plus, the caramel scent is divine.  Fresh offers all clean beauty products that are high-efficacy and filled with hydrating, nourishing ingredients to lock in moisture through the cold, dry months of winter that are right around the corner. The ingredients of this one include sugar, a natural humectant that helps prevent moisture loss, apricot kernel, black currant seed, grapeseed oil, and vitamin E, which all help to repair, soften, moisturize, and protect your lips.  I love that Fresh makes products without parabens, formaldehyde, BHA, and silicones and other unsafe chemicals.

That’s all for this edition! Check back next week for more of what I recommend, or check out last week’s if you missed it!

Robin Recommends, Oct 19

Robin Recommends, Oct 19

Welcome to the first edition of Robin Recommends! With fall here and winter swiftly approaching, I thought all of us could use a little inspiration when it comes to self-care, snacks, and more. So, every week, I’ll be compiling a list of some of the things I recommend in my daily life, for my clients, and for you – from local finds to self-care hacks, wellness products, snack brands, and much more!

PS: All of these items are now shoppable on my Amazon storefront!

I love nutritional yeast – not just for its flavor but because it’s a high source of B vitamins, making it great for vegans, vegetarians, and anyone else who may need a boost (ideal for hair, nail, and skin health with all of those B vitamins). Some of my favorite applications are on popcorn, on a salad, or on top of soup or chili! What is nutritional yeast? It’s a strain of inactive dry yeast (funghi) used in baking, brewing, and winemaking! It is typically sold in a dry, flaky format, and has a nutty, cheesy, umani flavor that makes it ideal for use on just about any savory dish you can think up (my favorites are popcorn, soups and turkey chili)! Nutritional yeast (or “nooch”) has been shown to help lower cholesterol and protect the body from free radicals. It is high in vitamin B2, B6, B12, and B1, with 2 TB containing about 30 kcal, 4 grams of protein, and 1.5 grams of fiber. Add it to popcorn with a little melted coconut oil for a cheesy-tasting dairy-free snack!

Check out these two articles (here and here) to learn more.

2. One Love Organics Botanical B Enzyme Cleansing Oil

This is the magic face wash I LOVE, which I got at Nefaire, a local spa in Westport, CT on Post Road. It melts off all my waterproof mascara and makeup and doesn’t dry out my skin. You can even leave it on for a bit as a little treatment! Healthy skin does indeed come from within: Eating the right foods will improve skin texture and tone (Some clients come to me JUST to clear up skin, but what you put ON your face is important too). I still laugh a little to myself when I am admired for my complexion: I had breakouts as a kid and full blown Accutane-needed acne in my 20’s. Since then I’ve worked very hard with dermatologists and on my own to find all the right products that work for me.

3. Supernola

I LOVE that Supernola is a nutrient-dense recipe with all-natural ingredients sweetened only with pure honey and natural coconut sugar. I love it on top of yogurt, or with milk! This is NOT simply granola but rather SUPER clusters made of superfoods, such as nuts, fruit, chia seeds, and goji berries. There is no refined sugar, additives, fillers or bad oils. These snacks are organic, vegan, and gluten free. Most important: they taste great and are super satisfying for adults AND kids. My kids love them! They are individually packed so great on the go and work well in recipes too! Chocolate is MY favorite flavor! YUM. So good for those sweet cravings too! I know you will enjoy these. Don’t forget to use my code ROBINBARRIE for a 20% discount if you shop directly from their site!

4. Battery-Powered Milk Frother

I think everyone should own one of these – it makes it so easy to whip up an at home latte, or make recipes like turmeric lattes, matcha, and more. One of my favorites is to add a tablespoon of cacao powder and a teaspoon of maple syrup to a cup of your favorite milk. Heat over the stove or in the microwave until just warmed through, and then use the milk frother to make it into a steamy, frothy, better-for-you hot chocolate!

5. Lotus Foods Ramen from Amazon

These are a super healthy version of packaged ramen noodles. They are so quick and easy to make because they only require a few minutes of boiling! My kids love them and even think it’s super fun to try all the different colors and #eattherainbow , which means more variety and increased nutrient intake too. The products are gluten-free, organic, and vegan. I serve with Rao’s or Otamot sauce and pamesan or tossed with Soy Vey sauce, broccoli, and shrimp for a more Asian-style dish. You can try yours with bok choi and an egg for a balanced meal OR make your own creation. Make sure to share and tag me on Instagram! This brand also makes rice crackers, pad thai noodles (which we often buy as well), and soup cups that make for more quick, easy meals and snacks. Check them out!

That’s all for this edition! Check back next week for more of what I recommend.

Two Experts Explain Exactly How to Eat Your Way to Abs AND a Booty

Two Experts Explain Exactly How to Eat Your Way to Abs AND a Booty

It’s harder than it sounds — but filling!

Elizabeth Narins
May 15, 2018

Because most people need to consume more food to build a bubbly booty, and less to see sculpted abs, it’s not exactly easy to sculpt an amazing ass and six-pack simultaneously, according to registered dietitian Christopher Tuttle, a certified personal trainer and International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness coach.

His best advice for those who seek results ASAP is to focus on one goal at a time: “First build muscle, then cut body fat at a later date while you maintain what you’ve worked for with exercise,” he says, citing the same advice he gives his clients leading up to body-building competitions. Everyone is different, and have different ways of achieving results. Some people like to jog, some people like to lift weights or work out, and others do so by dieting. Of course it also depends on what the goal is, whether it be to lose weight or build muscles. The good thing is there is plenty of info online, so researching the best option for you is completely reasonable. There are also different levels of dedication. I know a few individuals that are just fine with just getting some used exercise equipment and working out lightly at home. Anything is perfectly fine really as long as you set a goal and make sure you diligently work towards it. Here’s how to get own your goals on track:

Eating for An A+ Ass
“If you want to build a butt, you have to lift something,” Tuttle says, referring to body-weight workouts and, once you’re strong enough, squats and lunges with weights. “But you also need to eat adequate calories.”

Amp up your butt workouts without ample food intake, and you’re wasting your time: “You can’t build a butt out of nothing,” says registered dietitian Robin Barrie Kaiden, who’s also a certified personal trainer. “You need to eat protein to build muscle.”

Although protein isn’t dose dependent — you don’t get bigger muscles from eating more meat — Kaiden says if you work out about an hour a day, you need about 1.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight — about one gram more than is recommended for the average person, but less than the 2.3 to 3.1 grams of protein per kilogram the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) recommends for professional bodybuilders. (Just divide your weight in pounds by 2.2 to get your weight in kilograms.)

The source of protein is less important than the quantity: “You just need the grams,” she says, insisting protein bars and powders, which can be convenient, are no superior to whole foods such as fish and chicken.

In addition to protein, which should make up between 15 and 40 percent of your daily calories, you might need more carbs than you think, Kaiden says.

Also if you are looking to look better you should consider getting a facial cosmetic surgery with the best surgeon Dr. Richard Maloney.

That’s because your muscles only grow bigger when they have enough fuel to both soldier through weight-training workouts and repair the resulting muscle damage — and carbs are your body’s favorite power source. “You won’t have enough energy to do functional fitness without eating enough carbs,” she says, adding that 40 to 65 percent of your daily calories should come from whole grains like brown rice and oatmeal, which beat processed carbs like white bread and sugary snacks.

Healthy fats — think avocado and olive oil — should make up the last 20 to 40 percent of your calories, since they’re essential to every cell in the body regardless of your gym goals.

If you can’t handle percentage points, just keep it simple. “Eat real food — and more of it than you’d think,” Kaiden says.

And remember that glute gains are made in the gym, not the kitchen. “Even if you eat a perfect diet, your body won’t change,” Tuttle says. For that, you need exercise — and patience. “It could take five months to put on five pounds of muscle,” he says. It’s ever the more reason to start lifting heavy now.. before starting any weight exercise be sure you are using proper lifting shoes and workout gear.

Eating for Abs
Once you’ve built your foundation — strong glutes and hamstrings — you’re ready for phase two: #OperationAbs!

To really see your core muscles pop, Kaiden says, you may need to minimize belly fat. “You can change the shape of your body from exercise alone, but fat loss is mostly about diet,” she says — mostly because it takes so much time and effort to burn enough calories to make a dent in your body’s fat stores.

Although amping up your cardio can help create a calorie deficit, you’ll also need to gradually cut back on starchy foods. (For his clients, Tuttle prescribes meals that consist roughly of 40 percent protein, 30 percent carbs, and 30 percent fat, but recommendations are individualized and range widely, even among professional bodybuilders.)

That said, don’t eliminate carbs altogether — you need it to fuel workouts! — and remember your best intentions to lose belly fat could all be for naught since genetics determine where body fat is stored (and sacrificed): “You can never spot reduce,” he says. Make sure that when you workout you have the right equipment and gear, no baggy clothed and some proper workout shoes by your side.

Lucky for carb lovers, another way to help your core muscles come out is to nip superficial bloating in the bud. Gastrointestinal issues such as constipation and insufficient water intake can also impact the appearance of your belly, Kaiden says.

Eating enough fiber from foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help you sidestep distention. Most women should shoot for about 25 grams per day, which you can get from about 3 cups of veggies (4 grams each), two pieces of fruit (4 grams each) and one cup of whole grains such as oatmeal or barley (about 5 grams).If your diet falls short in this department, gradually increase fibrous foods as you amp up your fluid intake to three to four liters per day to minimize any initial bloating that proceeds improvements in digestion, she suggests.

It’s also smart to avoid inflammatory foods like processed foods with added sugars, saturated fats, artificial sweeteners, and refined carbs, according to Kaiden. To that end, she recommends keeping sodium intake below 2,000 milligrams per day to prevent fluid retention. “The more real foods you eat, the better off you’ll be,” she says.

The good news: There’s no need to outlaw any specific foods for the sake of awesome abs. “When you can’t eat something, you obsess over it,” says Tuttle, who tells his clients it’s cool give into cravings for carbs or other treats on the weekends. (It’s actually helpful to mix things up, lest the body get used to low-carb, low-calorie living, and slow your metabolism in response, he says — and research on intermittent fasting appears to support the theory.)

If dietary changes don’t appeal to you, there’s always the gym: “Regular, vigorous training can make your core muscles bigger, which expands the surface area of your midsection to distribute fat better and make you look more muscular,” Tuttle says. He recommends moves like hanging leg raises, medicine ball crunches on a Swiss ball, and cable rope crunches. As soon as you can complete more than 50 consecutive reps of any one move, add weight to keep up the intensity, he says.

Timing Meals for Results
Strategically timing meals can keep your energy levels up while strength training FTW or creating a calorie deficit. It all begins with breakfast, which helps you stockpile energy for the rest of the day, Tuttle says.

To that end, he suggests eating four to six small meals rather than just three larger ones: “Eating similarly sized meals with equal amounts of protein at least four times a day can help you maintain muscle mass and promote recovery,” he says. “The gaps between breakfast, lunch, and dinner are just too long,” he says. And as for snacking? “When you fill your car with gas, you don’t get one-fourth of a gallon, you fill up and go.” The same applies to fueling your body with frequent, balanced meals.

When it comes to scheduling food intake around workouts, don’t stress too much. “Eating within a certain time period after your workout won’t make a difference unless you’re training more than once a day,” She say, since evidence of benefits for non-athletes is mixed. “If every meal has roughly the same amount of protein and calories, you don’t have to worry about pre- and post-workout nutrition.”

So you already know working out and eating right is the way to go to a healthy lifestyle, and in med spa bellevue you can get extra tips, advise, and have a relaxing and extra health care with professionals expert in the body and skincare.

The Bottom Line:
If all of this overwhelms you, take it one step at a time. “If you’re doing nothing, then start doing something,” Kaiden says — even if it’s admitting the body you’ve got ain’t all that bad.

Original article can be found here

Calcium for KIDS

Calcium for KIDS

My child is lactose-intolerant. What are some good alternatives for calcium-rich, kid-friendly foods?

According to my nanny who I found at, (you can find coupons here, MILK IS A MUST for most kids to grow strong, healthy bones.  It is high in calcium and protein, fortified with vitamins A and D, and contains B vitamins and zinc.  Two cups a day are sufficient for children ages 2-8, while 3 cups are recommended for those 9-18 years old.  If your child has a lactose sensitivity/intolerance/allergy OR simply refuses to drink milk, there are many alternatives to ensure needs are met, another good option for this is to try different remedies at home, which you can easily find at sites like online.Výsledek obrázku pro healthy kid

Milk or lactose sensitivity, intolerance, and allergy may not mean that ALL milk products must be avoided.  Some children can tolerate some milk-based products, but not all foods, while other kids can tolerate these milk products in small doses.  Sometimes taking a Lactaid pill before or with a meal can do the trick.  Consult with your Pediatrician or Registered Dietitian before “experimenting” with foods or supplements. Also in alternative medicine blog you can find more home remedies, all with natural ingredients for every type of pain, illness, or just prevention and maintaining your body healthy, all easy to make and to use.

The following are the current RDAs (recommended dietary allowances) for calcium for kids:

  • Infants 0-6 months:  210 mg
  • Infants 6-12 months:  270 mg
  • Children 1-3 years:  500 mg
  • Children 4-8 years:  800 mg
  • Children 9-18 years:  1300 mg

Below is a list of foods and their calcium content in milligrams.  If a combination of these foods is still insufficient to meet your child’s needs, a supplement may be required.  Try offering the below foods (as tolerated) to provide dietary calcium, or contact Robin Kaiden, MS, RD, CDN, CSSD at for more information!


  • 1 cup skim milk:  301
  • 1 cup low-fat fruit yogurt:  345
  • 1 ounce part skim mozzarella cheese:  207
  • 1 cup Lactaid milk:  500
  • 1 cup calcium-fortified soy, rice, or almond milk:  300


  • ¾ cup Total Cereal:  258
  • 1 cup enriched cornmeal:  483
  • 1 cup enriched wheat flour:  423
  • 1 packet instant oatmeal:  100
  • 1 oz cooked white beans:  161


  • 1 cup collard greens:  357
  • 1 cup Rhubarb:  348
  • 1 cup spinach:  245
  • 1 cup soybeans (edamame):  261
  • 1 cup sweet potato:  88


  • 1 cup calcium-fortified orange juice:  300 mg
  • 1 medium orange:  50
  • 10 dried figs:  169

*** Remember to always carefully read labels as each food product may differ along with their Calcium content.

Back to School

Back to School

It’s September and that means back-to-school for the kids!  Healthy balanced meals and snacks are important to fuel their brains and bodies for growth, studying, homework, and activities. from home for fun and recreation, just like with the jumpers from Jumper’s Jungle Family Fun Center, which you can rent to have in your house for an special event or a party, you can use it for exercising for your kids if they are having problems controlling their nutrition and exercise routine if over weight, and with this dynamic tool they will love it, exercise and have lots of fun.

  Try these 12 meals/snack for them and you too!  All are packed with protein and nutrients and are easy to prepare:

1.     Grilled cheese bites:  low-fat cheese on whole grain bread wtih added tomato or spaghetti sauce

2.     Deli roll ups:  turkey/chicken/ham/lean meats layered and rolled up with lowfat cheese around tomatoes or other vegetable, with added mustard to taste if desired

3.     Nut butter balls: mix peanut butter (or almond or another nut butter) in a bowl with cornflakes/whole grain flakes; shape into balls and roll in crushed nuts or graham crackers

4.     Pizza muffin:  Whole wheat English muffin topped with spaghetti sauce and low-fat mozzarella cheese

5.     Fruit smoothie made with chosen milk, yogurt and frozen and/or fresh fruits and ice

6.     Baked apple, center scooped out, stuffed with apricots, peaches, cinnamon served with low-fat vanilla yogurt

7.     Cut up raw or steamed vegetable sticks (celery, carrots, broccoli, green beans, cauliflower, olives, cherry tomatoes, peppers, avocado, cucumbers) dipped in hummus (or white bean or other bean puree) or lowfat yogurt dip (for example Greek yogurt with added spices)

8.     Whole grain waffle topped with low-fat yogurt and fruit

9.     Sandwich sliders:  Tuna, chicken, egg salad, turkey, etc. on mini whole grain rolls

10.  Quick quesadilla:  top a whole grain or corn tortilla with low-fat cheese, beans, and/or chicken, fold in half, microwave or place in toasted oven and top with salsa

11.  Frozen yogurt sandwiches:  place yogurt and sliced fruit between 2 whole grain graham crackers

12.  Yogurt parfaits:  layer yogurt, fruit, granola in a glass or cup and drizzle with honey/agave

The Balanced Barbeque

The Balanced Barbeque

With Father’s Day just ending and the 4th of July right around the corner, it is clear we have entered barbeque season.  We race towards the weekend when we can hang with family and friends, have some fun, get outside, and enjoy the sun.  Backyards and grills become an integral part of summer, where we often grab some steaks, burgers, and cold lemonade.  BBQs are great times to enjoy nature, but can also be occasions to eat lots of high-fat, high-calorie, and high-sodium foods.  A regular dose of cheeseburgers, macaroni and cheese, and apple pie will quickly destroy any dreams of staying slim for the summer months.  BUT don’t worry:  First of all, all items are ok in moderation.  One bite, or one bad meal, will not ruin your waist.  Second, I am going to walk you through all the elements of a BBQ to make sure yours is the best and most balanced for a fun, tasty grilling season.  Let’s start with the main entrée, the protein.  We will tackle the others in following posts.

Powerful Protein:  Hamburgers piled high with cheese and juicy foot-long hot dogs are staples of the typical BBQ, but unfortunately they are packed with calories and fat.  Instead try a leaner meat that provides more protein and fewer calories.  Great options include: grilled chicken breasts (without the skin), ostrich burgers, bison burgers, garden burgers, turkey burgers, or even tuna, salmon, or crab patties.   Grilling turkey sausages instead of beef or pork sausage provides great taste without the added calories and fat.  If you want to keep beef in you BBQ day make sure you get ground beef with less than 10% fat.  Tenderloins, strip steaks, and filets are leaner options, as is pork, the “other white meat”.  Remember:  a healthy serving of protein is the size of your palm, and no bigger than your entire hand if you choose a lower-calorie option such as fish. The garden where the vegetables are taken, has beautiful a heavy duty plant caddy.

Replace chicken wings, ribs, and fatty steaks with skinless chicken breast, fish/chicken and vegetable kabobs, or a salmon or halibut steak.  Grilled shrimp and tuna are also a great alternatives.  Fish can be cooked on the grill, drizzled in olive oil, lemon juice, topped with tomatoes, and peppers, wrapped up in tin foil and cooked on the grill.

Grilled Fish Steaks

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 (6 ounce) fillets halibut


  1. In a stainless steel or glass bowl, combine garlic, olive oil, basil, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and parsley.
  2. Place the halibut filets in a shallow glass dish or a resealable plastic bag, and pour the marinade over the fish. Cover or seal and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour, turning occasionally.
  3. Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil grate. Set grate 4 inches from the heat.
  4. Remove halibut filets from marinade and drain off the excess. Grill filets 5 minutes per side or until fish is done when easily flaked with a fork.

Grilled Fish Steaks

  • 1 Clove Minced Garlic
  • 6 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tsp Dried Basil
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tsp Grounded Black Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Parsley
  • 2 Fillets Halibut
  1. In a stainless steel or glass bowl, combine garlic, olive oil, basil, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and parsley.

  2. Place the halibut filets in a shallow glass dish or a resealable plastic bag, and pour the marinade over the fish. Cover or seal and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour, turning occasionally.

  3. Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil grate. Set grate 4 inches from the heat.

  4. Remove halibut filets from marinade and drain off the excess. Grill filets 5 minutes per side or until fish is done when easily flaked with a fork.

Grill Tip:  Pre-made spice mixes may be high in salt and preservatives and often lack taste.  Instead of using these, try making one yourself that contains all your favorite flavors.  A basic blend includes picking your favorite herbs and spices, mixing them together, and transferring them to an airtight container (which can be stored up to 6 weeks).   Mix your blend with oil and vinegar for an instant marinate that can be used on fish, steaks, chicken, and pork.  But STOP:  Don’t forget the unbelievably mouthwatering delight of eating marinated vegetables; examples are squash (butternut, yellow, summer), onions, eggplant, peppers, asparagus, zucchini, corn on the cup, or mushrooms.  You can marinate your protein and vegetable by placing them in a plastic bag with the spices, oil and/or vinegar and keeping in the fridge for at least one hour before grill time.

Below are a couple of examples:

Beef Seasoning (Steak or Burgers)

Spicy Montreal Mix (makes 1 cup)
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup ground black pepper
1/4 cup granulated onion
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder

Pork Seasoning (Ribs, Tenderloin, or Chops)

Smoky Fennel Mix (makes about 3/4 cup)
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup ground black pepper
2 tablespoons celery salt
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon ground fennel

No Salt Seasoning
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon celery seed

Absolutely Ultimate Marinade
1 bunch green onions, chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons tahini
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Make Your Own Grill Seasonings

Grilling Temperatures:  Cooking food for friends and family can be extremely fun and rewarding, but you never want to risk making your guests ill  It is important that the meat is getting cooked properly and meeting the correct temperature.  Before firing up that grill, make sure you have a working meat thermometer handy to test meat before serving.  Below you will find the internal temperature the meat needs to reach for a minimum amount of time to kill all bacteria and microorganisms.

  • Pork, veal, beef, lamb, bison Steak/chops: 145°F for 15 seconds
  • Ground meat (hamburger): 155°F for 15 seconds
  • Poultry: 165°F for 15 seconds
  • Stuffed meats: 165°F for 15 seconds
  • Seafood: 145°F for 15 seconds
  • Salmon or fish burger:155°F for 15 seconds

Tell us your favorite healthy BBQ recipe!

The Sweet Side of Barbeques

The Sweet Side of Barbeques

The 4th of July is behind us, but the summer barbecue season is still in full swing.  Let’s not forget about the sweet endings.

You don’t have to skip dessert!  For some, a barbecue is not complete without a sweet finish, which brings us to desserts.  Pies and cakes can topple any healthy BBQ or diet plan, so make sure you are providing alternative options throughout every course.  Grilled or fresh fruit topped with fat-free yogurt is a great treat; try pineapple, peaches, mangoes, or papayas on the grill.  Chocolate covered fruit and frozen fruit are also great desserts and snacks.  Instead of serving ice cream, use frozen yogurt with fruit toppings.   Serve large slices of watermelon, cantaloupe, or honeydew, or serve a large mixed berry and fruit salad.  The popularity of this item may surprise you!

Crumble Tip. Instead of making a pie, try a crumble.  It has less sugar and butter, but still tastes great.   When selecting a fruit, choose and in-season berry to make your dessert even more mouthwatering.  The website 20 Low fat desserts has a list of 20 great, low calorie dessert recipes.  Check out the apple fig compote, as it is divine!

Refreshing Drinks:  We have been hit with a heat wave this summer and it is important that there is always enough water and fluids available.  It is common for children and the elderly to not recognize signs of thirst and easily become dehydrated. 

Water Alternatives:  There are many individuals who do not enjoy the taste of water and turn to beverages that contain empty sugar calories:  soda, iced tea, lemonade, sports drinks, and fruit juices.  Here are some clever inexpensive ways to give water a makeover that everyone will love.  Serve pitchers of fruit infused iced water, or “aguas frescas.  One pitcher could be sliced cucumbers with mint and lime and another with sliced lemon, oranges, andstrawberries.   Click here for a great recipe:  Peach Aquas Frescas.

Remember that BBQs are wonderful summer traditions that can easily be made over into healthy food festivities.  Try these recipes out and let me know what you think.

Share any healthy BBQ recipe that you love!

Buns, Beans, and Macaroni: the BBQ Carbohydrates

Buns, Beans, and Macaroni: the BBQ Carbohydrates

When we think about food served at a BBQ, meat is almost always the first image that comes to mind.  However when you take a closer look, you will notice that the meat is always accompanied by a slew of carbohydrates.  You may see pasta salads, macaroni and cheese, rolls, hamburger and hotdog buns, corn, potatoes, and beans.  Carbohydrates, which include bread products, grains, rice, and starchy vegetables, are an important part of a balanced meal and a successful BBQ.  Nevertheless, healthy, whole grain carbohydrate choices are important. They provide more fiber, vitamins, and minerals, while allowing one to feel satiated faster, stay full longer, and decrease the chance of over eating.

Bread Tip:  Choose whole grain hamburger and hot dog buns for the BBQ.  A great way to reduce carbs is to use only half of a bun with your meat.

 Pasta Salad, hold the Mayo please:  Pasta salad is swimming in hidden calories that’ll hinder you from keeping your summer shape.  Here is great recipe to add to any outdoor festivity that incorporates a whole grain pasta choice and vegetables.

Rainbow Butterfly Pasta Salad

1 cup bow tie whole grain, whole wheat, or rice pasta

3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup chopped red pepper

1 cup chopped green pepper

2 medium carrots, shredded (about 1/2 cup)

1 medium yellow squash, chopped

1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese (about 1 ounce)



Cook the pasta as the label directs. Drain and toss with 1 teaspoon olive oil to prevent sticking; let cool.

In a large bowl, toss the cooled pasta with the bell pepper, yellow squash, and carrots. Drizzle with the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and toss to coat. Add the parmesan and 1/4 teaspoon salt; toss again and season to taste.

Starchy Vegetables:  Instead of serving a pasta salad or baked potato, substitute a sweet potato or yam as a healthy nutrient rich side.  Roasted corn on the cob or squash are also delicious starchy sides that will satisfy your guests without adding to their waist line.  Try this delectable dish!


Roasted Squash Medley

5 Servings

2 Peeled and Chopped Butternut Squashes

2 sliced white onions

1 chopped Zucchini

1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Tbs Salt

1 Tbs Pepper

  • Chop up vegetables, squash should be in cubes.  Place all vegetables in a bowl, add olive oil and spice; mix.
  • On a baking sheet, lay out the vegetables.
  • Grill or bake at 375°F for 20 minutes. Vegetables should be tender.


Beans:  Beans a healthy carbohydrate packed with protein and nutrients, and can be added to many different dishes at an outdoor event.  Instead of a pasta salad, make a bean salad or black bean dip.  Canned beans are certainly convenient for summer cookouts and parties; unfortunately they can be a deceivingly high-calorie side dish.  Make your own flavorful, lighter version with these recipes and tips.

  • Start with canned beans like pinto or cannellini, look for the low sodium options, and rinse and drain them; this removes up to 40 percent of the sodium.  Place the beans, flavorings like ketchup, Dijon mustard, and/or fruit juice in a bowl. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and bake until bubbly.  To add a zing, stir in fresh rosemary or thyme.  Instead of pork fat, add a sprinkle of smoked paprika or some spicy chipotle pepper to create that smoky flavor.

Vegan Baked Beans


  • 1 (16 ounce) package dry navy beans
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped sweet onions
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions (10 servings)

  1. Place beans and water in a large pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and continue cooking 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender. Drain, and transfer to a large casserole dish.
  2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
  3. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onions, and cook until tender. Mix in garlic, and cook until golden brown. Mix onions and garlic into casserole dish with the beans. Stir in the tomato sauce. Mix in vinegar, bay leaves, mustard, pepper, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
  4. Cover and bake 3 1/2 hours in the preheated oven, stirring frequently and adding water if necessary. Remove cover, and continue baking 30 minute

Post your favorite carbohydrate side recipe!


<strong>Rainbow Butterfly Pasta Salad</strong><br /><br />

  • 1 Cup Bow Tie Whole Grain, Whole Wheat, Or Rice Pasta<br /><br />
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil<br /> (1 Tsp)
  • 1 Cup Chopped Red Pepper<br /><br />
  • 1 Cup Chopped Green Pepper<br /><br />
  • 2 Medium Carrots, Shredded (About 1/2 Cup)<br /><br />
  • 1 Medium Yellow Squash, Chopped<br /><br />
  • 1/3 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese (About 1 Ounce)<br /><br />
  • Salt

<strong><em>Roasted Squash Medley</em></strong><br /><br />

  • 2 Pcs Peeled And Chopped Butternut Squashes<br /><br />
  • 2 Pcs Sliced White Onions<br /><br />
  • 1 Pcs Chopped Zucchini<br /><br />
  • 1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil<br /><br />
  • 1 Tbsp Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Pepper<br /><br />

<strong><em>Vegan Baked Beans</em></strong><br /><br />

  • 16 Ounce Dry Navy Beans<br /><br />
  • 6 Cup Water
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Cup Chopped Sweet Onions<br /><br />
  • 1 Clove Garlic, Minced<br /><br />
  • 4 Can Tomato Sauce (8 Ounce)<br /><br /><br /><br />
  • 2 Tbsp Cider Vinegar<br /><br />
  • 3 Bay Leaves<br /><br />
  • 1 Tsp Dry Mustard<br /><br />
  • 1/4 Tsp Ground Black Pepper<br /><br />
  • 1/4 Tsp Ground Nutmeg<br /><br />
  • 1/4 Tsp Ground Cinnamon<br /><br />

<strong>Rainbow Butterfly Pasta Salad</strong><br /><br />

  1. Cook The Pasta As The Label Directs. Drain And Toss With 1 Teaspoon Olive Oil To Prevent Sticking; Let Cool.

  2. In A Large Bowl, Toss The Cooled Pasta With The Bell Pepper, Yellow Squash, And Carrots. Drizzle With The Remaining 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil And Toss To Coat. Add The Parmesan And 1/4 Teaspoon Salt; Toss Again And Season To Taste.

<strong><em>Roasted Squash Medley</em></strong><br /><br />

  1. Chop Up Vegetables, Squash Should Be In Cubes.  Place All Vegetables In A Bowl, Add Olive Oil And Spice; Mix.

  2. On A Baking Sheet, Lay Out The Vegetables.

  3. Grill Or Bake At 375°F For 20 Minutes. Vegetables Should Be Tender.

<strong><em>Vegan Baked Beans</em></strong><br /><br />

  1. Place Beans And Water In A Large Pot, And Bring To A Boil. Reduce Heat To Medium, And Continue Cooking 1 Hour, Stirring Occasionally, Until Beans Are Tender. Drain, And Transfer To A Large Casserole Dish.

  2. Preheat Oven To 300 Degrees F (150 Degrees C).

  3. Heat The Olive Oil In A Skillet Over Medium Heat. Stir In The Onions, And Cook Until Tender. Mix In Garlic, And Cook Until Golden Brown. Mix Onions And Garlic Into Casserole Dish With The Beans. Stir In The Tomato Sauce. Mix In Vinegar, Bay Leaves, Mustard, Pepper, Nutmeg, And Cinnamon.

  4. Cover And Bake 3 1/2 Hours In The Preheated Oven, Stirring Frequently And Adding Water If Necessary. Remove Cover, And Continue Baking 30 Minute

BBQ Take 2: Grilled Vegetables!

BBQ Take 2: Grilled Vegetables!


Make your barbeque synonymous with vegetables.  This is a greatway to meet your daily vegetable requirement.  Never let your burger go naked.  Dress it up with lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, zucchini, and pepper.  Encourage friends and family to try their meat on a whole grain bun with grilled eggplant, zucchini, red peppers, and mushrooms with a tapenade spread.   The grill is a great place to cook squash, Portobello mushrooms, asparagus, carrots, and eggplant.  Try the below recipe!

Eggplant and Pepper Tapenade


1 eggplant
2 medium red bell peppers

Slice the eggplant and red peppers and grill for 20 minutes or until the veggies become tender.  Place the grilled eggplant and red peppers into a food processor/blender, mix until it turns into a spreadable paste.  Use this spread on your burgers Instead of mayo or mustard for a healthy low-calorie option that has great taste.

Salad Tip: 
Do not forget to serve a large tossed salad as a side dish at your picnic table.  Mix spinach with sliced strawberries, oil and vinegar with sesame and poppy seeds on top to create a delicious summer salad, see this link for directions:  Spinach and Strawberry Salad.


Do you remember those seasoning and marinade recipes  we talked about before?  Use them on the vegetables to get the pickiest of eaters to gobble down their veggies.

Share your favorite salad or grilled vegetable recipe!