Melon Summer Smoothie

IMG_4280Dear rainy days, back off quick because summer is coming and it’s ready to stay!;)

One thing on every one’s mind is beach body season! With summer around the corner motivation is high and spirits are flourishing. When the heat rolls through, the constant “I need to get in shape” or “I need to start eating healthier” statements fly around as often as the sun rises. I am super excited for everyone who wants to start their journey to living a healthier lifestyle and fully support the entire community with my healthy recipe ideas to use as motivation or guidance. I created this smoothie recipe for one of my clients I met with earlier this week because this low calorie smoothie leads her to reach the goals we created while satisfying cravings simultaneously. I made it again this morning to drink on my way to work and I must say, it tastes exactly like summer.

Refreshing, light, hydrating, and so so sweet.

My breakfast recipes tend to be simple, quick, and travel friendly because who really has time in the mornings. I am going to emphasize how important it is to understand how to transform healthy eating into easy recipes because time is always of the essence. All I did was blend a cucumber, frozen watermelon, mango, lime juice, maca power, water, and ice. I am using what is in season because cost and convenience are two focal points I always like to keep in mind. Tis’ the season for farmers markets, shop at the markets closest to you to save every dollar you can. They tend to have a better selection of organic produce compared to grocery stores. You can easily make this recipe into a juice by holding off on the ice and/or adding more water. I prefer smoothie consistency, but if you like a juice, a high end juicer is not required. I use my vitamix 90% of the time because it does not remove the fiber like a juicer does. Plus juicers are 100% more difficult to clean, as least mine is.

This refreshing smoothie will keep you hydrated for those hot summer days. If you decide you are turning up on a Tuesday, feel free to add some vodka in there too. Trust me, it’s a delicious option as well!:)

Melon Summer Smoothie 

IMG_4268Prep Time: 5 minutes

Servings: ~1 (pint) 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup watermelon, cubed 
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced w/skin
  • 1/2 mango, cubed
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tsp maca powder

Directions:

  1. Blend all ingredients with 1 cup of water and ice. Yep, thats it.

Toppings used: 2 crushed almonds, 4-5 frozen blackberries dropped in at the end (purely for picture purposes ;), also delicious).

Sit back, relax, and sip that sucker down.

Note: I used frozen watermelon for my recipe because I cut a whole melon two days before and froze some. You do not need to do that, if you want a thicker consistency simply add more ice. Adding maca powder is going to be a great natural energy boost in addition to the nutrients you already have like vitamin C, vitamin A, & potassium. I buy my maca powder online from vita cost (least expensive I have found) or organic burst.

This weekend my oldest sister and I will be hosting my other sister’s bridal shower and we are thrilled. The excitement cannot be contained any longer! I am thinking about doing a post of the bridal shower menu/decor/planning/ect. If this is something you would be interested in reading about, please let me know. It is not the general topic I write about, nutrition, so I am unsure if I will post at all. Let me know your opinion! Thanks ya’ll.

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Cheers to summer weather and smoothies! Thanks for visualizing nutrition with me today!

Subscribe to my email listing to receive automatic updates when something new has been posted.

❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

 Per serving: Calories: 105; Total Fat: 0.4 g (Saturated Fat: 0 g); Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 5.5 mg; Potassium: 394.9 mg; Total Carbs: 26.4 g; Dietary Fiber: 4.9 g; Protein: 2.6 g; Calcium: 6.3%; Vitamin A: 15.2%; Vitamin C: 60.2%; Iron: 4.9%.

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Immune Boosting Blast

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Hello fellow guys, girls, RDs, yogis, foodies, fit fanatics, moms, dads, aunts, uncle, and anyone else who is living a healthy lifestyle with a little help from my blog!

It has been an extremely busy couple of months and I will be the first to say, “Long time, no post!”. Since my last update was in February I will start off by letting all of my newest readers know a little bit about me. I am a Registered Dietitian who works in the community setting and at a residential health recovery center in the greater Chicagoland area. If you are interested, you can find more information about my services under the Services Available tab on my home page.

If you have been following me since the beginning, I thank you for including me in your journey to a healthier lifestyle. I noticed there are a lot more viewers recently and I would like to restate the type of lifestyle I lead to stay healthy for those who may not know. I originally created my blog to have a permanent and credible resource for my friends and family to resort to instead of asking me a million questions all at once. I would answer the same types of questions over and over again. I thought getting this information in writing for everyone to see at once would be easier for me and more convinient. Through MyNutritionVision I advocate no one specific diet. I will repeat…No One Specific Diet! Instead, I choose to encourage others to incorporate whole foods and exercise into their daily “diets” to improve overall quality of life.

I say the word “diet” sparingly because I do not really like the stigma that has come attached to it. A diet insinuates a short term fix, we all know that doesn’t exist otherwise I would not be here. I use the term diet meaning the food and beverages consumed each day considered in terms of its qualities, composition, and its effects on health. 

I wanted to announce the type of diet I follow again to be 100% clear on my beliefs. I prepare foods for myself and my loved ones that revolve around our specific needs and likes. If I had to give an answer, I suppose I would say I follow the palo diet the closest. That does not mean 100% because I could never give up cheese, occasionally of course. 😉  Yes, I make all different types of recipes including vegan, vegetarian, paleo, whole30, raw, gluten free, ect. It simply depends on who I am cooking for, what I feel like eating, what I have time to make, and more. Since I post my recipes to MyNutritionVision I try to make a well rounded board of options for all types of people. So if you are ever wondering, “What type of diet does she follow?”, I hope you now know the answer…I don’t. Whole foods all the way!

Now that we have that out of the way lets focus on this amazing drink!

I like to refer to it as my magic medicine. Although, there is no magic necessary. You can improve your health with simple, whole foods. Thats right! No medicine or chemical required.  This drink is a great antioxidant loaded with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium, fiber, calcium, and iron. I know I incorporated a few ingredients that may not be the norm for a juice or smoothie. Below are some of the health benefits of those ingredients explaining why I included them in my recipe.

Garlic 

1. Cardiovascular benefitsDue to its sulfur compounds, vitamin C, vitamin B6, selenium and manganese.

2. Antiviral and antibacterical benefits 

3. Anti-inflammatory agent 

4. Cancer prevention: Daily intake of garlic has been found to lower risk of virtually all types of cancer with the exception of prostate and breast cancer.

*Interesting tip: If you let garlic sit after chopping or crushing it increases its health benefits.

Ginger Root 

1. Reduces gastrointestinal distress: Shown in research to be more effective compared to Dramamine. Also 100% safe and effective to use during pregnancy to reduce nausea and vomiting.

2. Anti-inflammatory effects: Ginger contains a high level of the anti-inflammatory agent known as gingerols. People with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis have seen a noticeable decrease in joint pain by increasing their intake of fresh ginger.

3. Immune boosting: Helps promote healthy sweating which is part of fighting sickness.

Turmeric 

1. Anti-inflammatory agent: Curcumin is the main main anti-inflammatory agent. Potent for reducing inflammation, especially in IBD (Irritable Bowel Disease).

2. Cancer prevention: Inhibits the growth of cancer cells by protects the cells from free radicals.

3. Improves cardiovascular health: Curcumin in turmeric leads to improvements in endothelial function reducing risk of heart disease.

 

Immune Boosting Blast  

Prep Time: 5 minutesIMG_3617

Servings: 3 pints  

Ingredients:                                                         

  • 1 1/2 large oranges
  • 3/4 c pineapple, chopped 
  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  • 3 large carrots  
  • 1-1 1/2in ginger root
  • 1/2in turmeric
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • cayenne to taste
  • water
  • ice

Directions:

  1. Chop the pineapple, apple, and carrots into pieces that will fit in your blender. My biggest mistake with this step was not cutting the apple into small enough pieces, everything else was fine. Takes about 1 minute. I cut my apple into 8 pieces compared to the original four I tried to stuff in my vitamix. Peeling the skin is unnecessary. Leaving it on the apple adds fiber to your drink.
  2. Add the peeled oranges, ginger root, turmeric, garlic, lemon juice, cayenne, about 1 cup water and ice. Add more water or ice for desired consistency. Blend thoroughly and enjoy.

If you have not subscribed yet, I hope you do. This summer is going to be filled be lots of good for you recipes that are practical and fun your the whole family!

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Looking forward to everyone following a healthy lifestyle by visualizing nutrition with me once again!

❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

 Per serving: Calories: 104; Total Fat: 0.3 g (Saturated Fat: 0 g); Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 14.6 mg; Potassium: 358.8 mg; Total Carbs: 29.1 g; Dietary Fiber: 5 g; Protein: 1.4 g; Calcium: 8.2%; Vitamin A: 43.7%; Vitamin C: 124.1%; Iron: 9.7%.

Greek Yogurt Smoothie Bowl

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 When I made this smoothie bowl I did not initially think the finish product would be this large. Typically, I do not shy away from demolishing a dish as delicious as this one, but there was honestly too much this time. In the recipe below you will notice I said this makes 2 servings. Once all ingredients are mixed, I recommend separating it into 2 containers. I ate this for lunch and as a sweet dessert later that night.

I used Stonyfield® organic vanilla Greek Yogurt as the base. This adds twice the protein compared to other yogurts without artificial sweeteners. Beet root powder can be found at Whole Foods or Mariano’s. I know it may sound expensive, but the truth is a little goes a long way. I bought 2 ounces for $3.00 and I have used it for 4 different recipes and have yet to run out. Use it sparingly! Plus it creates a pretty pink/red color that is aesthetically pleasing!

Now, if you do not want to go through the trouble of cutting open a coconut and scrapping the meat out on your own, toasted coconut chips are a good alternative. I personally prefer to use fresh coconut meat because the prepackaged option is usually toasted with added sugar and sodium, but do what you will.

I try to wash and cut all my fresh fruit immediately when I buy them. This always increases your chances of eating them and not allowing fresh foods to spoil. Of course, not everyone will have the time to do this and I certainly am not able to do it every time I come home from the grocery store. I have thrown away fruits and vegetables due to spoilage just like everybody else. Simply aim to get this beneficial tasks completed and hopefully, over time, it will become part of your normal routine. My fruit was already diced and sliced for this recipe making it extremely simple for me to make. All I had to do was mix the base together and top it with what my boyfriend likes to call “My voo doo foods”. (I still don’t know why he is surprised by some of my cooking methods after 8 years of living this lifestyle together. lol)

I could go on and on about the nutritional benefits from this particular smoothie bowl, but that will be too lengthy. If you do have any questions or would like to learn more about proper nutrition, please contact me at rraymundo810@gmail.com for health inquires and nutrition coaching.

Greek-Yogurt-Smoothie-Bowl 

Prep Time: 5-10 minutesIMG_1638

Servings: 2 

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 c Greek Yogurt
  • 2 tsp beet root powder
  • 1 tsp maca powder
  • 3 strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 kiwi, sliced
  • 1/4 c cantaloupe, diced
  • 1/8 c pomegranate seeds
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp gluten free granola
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tsp cacao nibs
  • 1/2 tsp bee pollen
  • 1/2 tsp chia seed
  • young coconut meat, shredded

Directions:

  1. Combine greek yogurt, maca, and beet root. Blend thoroughly until evenly mixed.
  2. Top with remaining ingredients. Eat quickly before others want a taste, everyone will want to steal this yummy bowl of health.

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Thank you for visualizing nutrition and health with me once again!

Help support by subscribing to my email listing to receive automatic updates when new recipes have been posted.

❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

 Per serving: Calories: 334; Total Fat: 14.6 g (Saturated Fat: 6.9 g); Cholesterol: 37.5 mg; Sodium: 123.6 mg; Potassium: 650 mg; Total Carbs: 41.6 g; Dietary Fiber: 3.4 g; Protein: 10.4 g; Calcium: 29.6%; Vitamin A: 21.2%; Iron: 6.8%.

Double-Layer-Chocolate-Chia-Spirulina-Smoothie

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 Okay… I am in a crunch for time, however, I promised I would post the recipe today, therefore, I am going to make this as short and sweet as I can (Just like the smoothie…well the sweet part anyway) ;).

If you follow my blog (which I hope all of you do!!), you know that whenever I use a chia recipe, I always prepare it the night before. If you do not have that far in advance of a notice to prep it, don’t worry. Allowing chia seed to sit in liquid for about 1-3 hours will work too. The longer you allow it to sit the thicker the consistency becomes, I simply prefer mine to be of pudding consistency. The prep time in the recipe below does not include the chia pudding, be sure to account for that.

I know I say this a lot, but I am obsessed with this recipe. It is extremely easy and quick to make a healthy breakfast smoothie that will help start your day off right. Who doesn’t enjoy convenience? Am I right or am I right? In all honesty, I threw this together on a morning before work when I was running late and I managed to get 1 serving of fruit and 2 servings of vegetables in it. Not to mention loads of omega-3’s, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents, and more.

Now many people have asked me where I buy the ingredients I use and my answer for you is I have used numerous brands from all over the place. However, one of my favorite companies to buy maca and spirulina powder is from organic burst® ,which I order from online. Maca has been used for centuries as a natural energizer. It also increases endurance, stamina, and helps hormonal balance. Check out my Breakfast of Champs post to learn more about the health benefits of using spirulina.

Using chia seed is a great way to get an extra boost of Omega-3 fatty acid (FA) into your diet if needed. In fact, chia seeds contain even more Omega-3 FA than flax seed. They can be used as an excellent way help to keep you hydrated because they have the ability to absorb 9-10 times their weight in water. They are also a good source of fiber, protein, calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc.

Now, I added the raw cacao powder, not only because it is rich in antioxidants, but because it adds a delicious chocolate flavor. It also makes the chia pudding thicker. Antioxidants help destroy free radicals that cause damage to our cells and tissues and work to decrease inflammation in the body. A specific type of flavonoid, called anthocyanidin is highly concentrated in the cacao bean creating a powerful antioxidant that may help lower your risk of:

cardiovascular disease

some types of cancers

I made sure this smoothie was gluten free and vegan friendly (no dairy, woo hoo!). All fresh produce used was organic.

Double-Layer-Chocolate-Chia-Spirulina-Smoothie 

Prep Time: 5 minutes

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Servings: 1 (pint)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 Tbsp organic honey
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 zucchini, peeled
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 banana, large
  • 1 tsp maca powder
  • 1 tsp spirulina
  • 3/4 c coconut milk

Directions:

  1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a tupperware container and refrigerate over night. In the morning, add the cacao powder to chia pudding and mix thoroughly.                                   (NOTE: Measurements for this chia pudding used above will provide you with 2 servings, I used half and filled the other half of the mason jar with the green smoothie. I accounted for changes in the nutrition facts below.)
  2. Blend zucchini, avocado, banana, maca, spirulina, and milk. Add into mason jar as top layer and enjoy.

Toppings used: raw cacao nibs, cinnamon, and a slice of fresh zucchini.

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Enjoy your weekend and your smoothie! Thanks for visiting!

Subscribe to my email listing to receive automatic updates when new recipes have been posted.

❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

 Per serving: Calories: 391; Total Fat: 26.9 g (Saturated Fat: 7.7 g) (Polyunsaturated: 6.8 g) (Monounsaturated: 10 g); Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 75.3 mg; Potassium: 967.5 mg; Total Carbs: 43.1 g; Dietary Fiber: 24.6 g; Protein: 16 g; Calcium: 78.2%; Vitamin A: 116.5%; Iron: 32.2%.

Breakfast of Champs

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Hey Y’all!

I know i’ve been MIA for the past couple months and for that I apologize! I have been cooking up a plethora of yummy, healthy meals I would love to share with you all and trust me… they are coming! Since I am back logged with recipes to choose from I am going to attempt to make a new post every few days to get caught up. If I haven’t mentioned already, I have a bit of OCD and even something as small as not posting my recipes as I create them makes me feel super unorganized. (I am sure many fellow type A people can relate, right?) A very important reason why I created this blog was to have a place where I can share and encourage my clients and followers to live a healthy lifestyle, the fact that I can have my recipes organized in a safe place that will last forever just so happens to be the best bonus ever (and a dietitian’s dream if I say so myself!)

Okay everyone… Now lets get back to visualizing nutrition in a healthy way for 2015. Here we go again!

This recipe is one of my favorites to make for breakfast during the week because it provides easily digestible complete proteins making it easy on your tummy, lots of energy, antioxidants, and most importantly… it’s S I M P L E !

This was exactly what I needed to get through Hump day and once the middle of the week rolls around, I’m sure it doesn’t hurt anyone to have a nourishing treat in their arsenal.

For this recipe, I used cultured greek plain coconut milk as the base. The brand I typically buy when searching for dairy free yogurt is So Delicious®.  You can find it at most health food store, but I bought this from Mariano’s. Its thickness and creaminess makes you feel like you are taking little bites of heaven. I love this brand because it is organic and fiber rich. Since it is plain, I would suggest adding a natural sweetener. I added banana, agave nectar, maca powder, and spirulina (the stuff that makes it green).

Check out my previous post Greek Yogurt Cup for more information about maca root powder.

I have touched on the topic of using spirulina briefly in the past so I will elaborate. The chlorophyll makes the pigment over powering so be prepared to consume green green green! Regardless, it tastes delicious, therefore, it truly shouldn’t matter.

Spirulina is a micro-algea originally used by the Aztecs. I know, algea, ew sounds gross right? Well that is wrong. I have had many people hesitant to try it because the word algea was associated with something that was thought to be inedible. The reality of the matter is it’s a source of Vitamin B1, B2, B6, B12, beta-carotene, and iron among others.

If this is not enough to fill your stomach like me add a small side. I devoured half a grapefruit for an added does of the powerhouse vitamin known as vitamin C.

Co-Yo Bowl with Spirulina  

Prep Time: 5 minutesScreen shot 2015-02-05 at 7.47.42 PM

Servings: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cultured greek plain coconut milk (so delicious®)
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 tsp spirulina (organicburst®)
  • 1 tsp maca powder (organicburst®)
  • 1 Tbsp agave nectar

Toppings:

  • 1/2 kiwi, sliced
  • 1/2 bananas, sliced
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 2 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp raw cacao nibs
  • 1/8 cup gluten free vanilla granola bites

Directions:

1. Blend ingredients for base first.

2. Top with your favorite fresh goodies! As easy as 1…2…3!

I topped mine with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant rich fruits (kiwis, bananas, blueberries), chia seeds, raw cacao nibs, and homemade granola. (I promise I will post the recipe for the granola the next time I make it so it can be perfected ;). This breakfast recipe is gluten free and vegan friendly making it great for everyone.

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 The best trick to create a healthy and filling breakfast is to chose what you have on hand to save money. If you do not have any fresh fruits around buy whats in season to get the best deals. Avoid using processed foods and artificial sugars such as acesulfame K, aspartame, neotame, saccharin, and sucralose. 

Enjoy your breakfast of champs!

Thanks for visiting!

Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog to receive automatic updates about new posts.

❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

 (Not including grapefruit) Per serving: Calories: 550; Total Fat:20g (Saturated Fat: 8.1g); Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 137.3mg; Potassium: 858.8mg; Total Carbs: 75.3g; Dietary Fiber: 22.1g; Protein: 13.3g; Calcium: 51.3%; Vitamin A: 162.5%; Iron: 33.2%.

Raw Apple Nachos

IMG_4526Happy hump day everyone! Since I have been slacking on the blog posts lately I felt entirely obligated to fit in a delicious recipe to help everyone get through the second half of the week. Well here is a perfect side dish you can enjoy at any time of the week. Personally, I like to make this for football Sunday because the foods typically associated with “Sunday Funday” can pack on the pounds. I’m here to tell you that all snacks and sides accompanying football Sunday do not have to be bad for you. Try out my amazing nacho alternative; raw apple nachos. If you are wondering if I am aware of the fact that this recipe does not include actual nachos, the answer is yes. (My boyfriend made sure to point that out to me in the nicest way possible) However, it’s a fun way to incorporate the idea of nachos and provide a nutrient-dense snack food that would be great to take tailgating or over to a friends to watch the game. It is sweet enough to be used as a dessert and mass quantities can be made in a short amount of time for everyone to enjoy.

Try out my recipe below, I can guarantee you my apple nachos will stay crisp and tasty all day long!

Raw Apple Nachos 

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Servings: 5

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ small gala apples, sliced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 Tbsp honey, organic
  • ¼ cup melted raw chocolate
  • 1/4-1/2 cup pumpkin almond butter
  • 1 Tbsp goji berries
  • 1 Tbsp raw cacao nibs
  • 2 tsp sunflower seeds, unsalted
  • 1 tsp chia seed, raw
  • ¼ cup crushed almonds
  • ¼ c desiccated coconut shreds, unsweetened

Directions:

  1. Slice apples, arrange them on a large platter, and pour lemon juice evenly over the entire plate. This will prevent browning.
  2. Now this part is not rocket science. Top the apples with all the toppings evenly. I started with liquid and ended with the seeds. Serve immediately or chill for 5-10 minutes.

Note: I used my pumpkin nut butter that I made previously in the day. Check out Pumpkin Nut Butter for full recipe. I also used my Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip recipe for the melted chocolate. Click on link for full recipe.

I have a bag of these raw chocolate chips in my freezer left over from the last time I made them. I simply grabbed a handful and heated them in a small saucepan on medium heat for 15 seconds. It truly takes only about 15 seconds, so do not leave it on your stove and walk away. Even though I made the nut butter and chocolate sauce before hand, neither of these recipes are time consuming. In fact, I can whip both of them up in less than 5 minutes so there is no need to do it ahead of time, just convenient.

If you haven’t thought about buying your own condiment bottles I strongly suggest you do. They are only a couple dollars at any grocery store and are great to use for dressings, vinaigrettes, or sauces. I used a condiment bottle to squeeze the melted chocolate and pumpkin nut butter onto the apple nachos. (Note: pumpkin butter is thick so using a squeeze bottle may not be the best idea. I learned that the hard way.)

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Enjoy your healthy alternative apple nachos! Thanks for visiting!

Subscribe to my email listing to receive automatic updates when new recipes have been posted.

❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

 Per serving: Calories: 201; Total Fat: 7.4 g (Saturated Fat: 1.5 g); Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 27.8 mg; Potassium: 79.1 mg; Total Carbs: 15.5 g; Dietary Fiber: 4 g; Protein: 3.1 g; Calcium: 3.7%; Vitamin A: 41.6%; Iron: 4.4%.

Butternut Squash Mash

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Squash is an extremely versatile vegetable. In fact, among all types of winter squash butternut is the most popular. I have been using it a lot lately, so I hope you do not get tired of seeing squash recipes because I don’t think I ever will. Not to mention, I still have a couple different kinds of squash at home I need to make on top of this. Butternut squash mash is a play off mashed potatoes. I am very careful not to call this mashed potatoes, because as my boyfriend so kindly pointed out, there are no potatoes in it. He did however agree that it still tasted amazing as we almost finished it all. If you really wanted you could add in a few potatoes so the change in flavor will not be as drastic if you are not big on new foods.

Squash is commonly recommended for weight loss/management and high cholesterol because it is low in calories and contains no saturated fats or cholesterol. The amount of squash used in this recipe provides more vitamin A than an entire pumpkin and 1/2 cup of squash provides only 45 calories. It is a rich source of dietary fiber and B-complex vitamins like folate, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, thiamin, and pantothenic acid.

The consistency of my butternut mash is exactly the same as normal mashed potatoes. The end product comes out fluffy and creamy just the way we all like it. I personally think this one is my biggest winner by far. I can only describe it as heaven in your mouth. Please do yourself a favor and make this as soon as possible.

Butternut Squash Mash

Prep Time: 40 minutes bake, 50 minutes total 

Servings: 10 cupsIMG_4407

Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 2 lemon
  • 2 Tbsp earth balance
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 Tbsp cumin

Directions:

  1. Bake squash at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until tender. Once baked, allow time to cool, and peel skin off. Skin should peel off easily. Cut squash into small enough pieces to place in food processor. Make this recipe in two batches; use ½ squash at a time. This is to be sure the food processor is not over stuffed and the motor will not burn out. It also ensures all ingredients are being well mixed.
  2. Add in all other ingredients and blend until smooth. Spoon out with a spatula and enjoy! Best served when warm.

Finish off by topping with fresh chives and thyme (optional). Enjoy along side a delicious salad and piece of lean chicken or your favorite main course to make the perfect dinner.

I love hearing from my followers, so please remember to tag me in any of my recipes you recreate at #brnutritionvision. You can subscribe to my email listing and follow me on instagram, twitter, tumblr, and pintrest to stay updated with my latest healthy recipes and nutrition information.

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Thanks ladies and gents! Keep visualizing nutrition with me daily!

❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

Per serving (1 cup): Calories: 97; Total Fat: 6.8 g (Saturated Fat: 1.2 g); Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 158.1 mg; Potassium: 54.3 mg; Total Carbs: 9.4 g; Dietary Fiber: 1.6 g; Protein: 0.6 g; Calcium: 5.6%; Vitamin A: 8.9%.


Pumpkin-Nut-Butter

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Fact: Most of the world is obsessed with pumpkin, especially when the fall season rolls around.

Fact: Most of the world is obsessed with peanut butter and other nut butters available in today’s market.

Why not mix them together and create the ultimate nut butter filled with protein and phytonutrients?

My signature pumpkin nut butter is so simple and healthy you are going to wish you have been eating it your entire life.

Pumpkin Nut Butter

Preparation Time: 3 minutes

Serves: 1 ¼ cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3 Tbsp almond butter or nut butter of choice
  • 1 Tbsp almond milk
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt

Directions:

  1. Place pumpkin puree, nut butter, and milk in a bowl. Mix well until it thickens. Add spices and stir until consistency is creamy and smooth.

 Tip: This can be done with an individual sized blender or by hand to save time spent on dirty dishes.

I love this recipe because it is the perfect basic pumpkin nut butter to create countless varieties. I have made cranberry cinnamon and chocolate in the past. What varieties are your favorite?

Enjoy this as a dip, spread, or use as a topping. This is also a great addition to your smoothies or breakfast bowls. This pumpkin nut butter was enjoyed as a dip with a large spread of organic fruits and vegetables.

Remember, the holidays are coming quickly and that typically means the extra 5 pounds no one wants to gain is not far behind. Staying away from the delicious high calorie, high fat candies, snacks, and desserts is difficult when they are everywhere you see. Get great tips and tricks on how to create healthy versions of your favorite holiday foods with my help. If you are looking to maintain your weight or lose weight the healthy way contact me via email for more information on nutrition coaching.

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Thank you for Visualizing Nutrition with me here at MyNutritionVision.wordpress.com. Have a great day!!!

❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

Per serving (2 Tbsp): Calories: 31; Total Fat: 2.2 g (Saturated Fat: 0.2 g); Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 3.4 mg; Potassium: 24.6 mg; Total Carbs: 2.7 g; Dietary Fiber: 1.4 g; Protein: 1.2 g; Calcium: 2.1%; Vitamin A: 50.1%.

Spaghetti Squash Casserole

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I absolutely love the fact that winter squash is in season because I’m kind of obsessed with it. Technically, you can find winter squash August through March, however, buying it during October and November is the time it will be at its best.

Shopping seasonal is in fact the best way to get the most for your money, this is the time when you should try to use squash the most. I bought all of this for just under $20 from the farmer’s market last week. It is most likely one of the last times I will be able to go to a farmer’s market because the days are turning extremely chilly quickly and they will all soon be closed, but it was still a steal.

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Squash is considered a starchy vegetables, but research has shown it also provides many antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients protecting our immune system against colds.

 The fantastic carotenoid profile squash contains provides an excellent source of vitamin A and a good source of vitamin C (both immune supporting antioxidants). The fantastic health benefits seem to be endless including anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats, B vitamins supporting blood sugar and insulin regulation, and a combination of nutrients that promote optimal health. 

Squash is one of the vegetables it is extremely important to buy organic because studies have shown squash is a crop that is likely to be grown in contaminated soil. Making a special point to buy organic will eliminate your chances of buying something grown with contaminated soil.

For this dish I made a hearty spaghetti squash casserole for dinner. I like to replace starchy pasta recipes with squash because it is much more forgiving and provides nutritional value. This allows a person who may have a bigger appetite to eat more with out the guilt. It is still just as filling and delicious. Truthfully, I would pick squash-based recipes over pasta based any day because they are not only healthier and more nutritious, but they are more flavorful and do not leave you feeling bloated. I jam packed my casserole with a layer of fresh organic vegetables and topped it with my special creamy butternut squash sauce. (P.S. The sauce was so good, it could definitely be eaten alone. It’s addicting so if you can I would advise you to double my recipe, I mean triple!)

Make this for parties, family gatherings, or holidays. Everyone will be raving about your dish for the entire night!

Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Preparation time: 40-45 min to bake squash, 20 minute for veggies, sauce, and to bake casserole.

Serves: 12

Ingredients:IMG_4007

Base

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1 container cottage cheese (3 cups)

Top Layer 

  • 4 cups broccoli flowerets
  • 1 cauliflower head
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • 3 large carrots, chopped

Sauce 

  • ½ butternut squash
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 5-7 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ¼ cup veggie stock
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

Toppings (optional): 1/4 cup Chives and feta cheese.

Directions:

  1. Bake spaghetti and butternut squash accordingly. I always cut them in half, scoop the seeds out, and lightly brush 1-2 Tbsp olive oil and salt and pepper to taste on the inside. Bake on 400 degrees for 40-45 minutes or under tender. Next, use a fork to scrap out the spaghetti squash into non-stick casserole dish. Mix container of cottage cheese in the squash and press firmly onto dish to form bottom layer.
  2. Wash and cut veggies. Place all veggies in a large sauté pan with 2 Tbsp olive oil and sauté until tender. (5 minutes) Evenly spread veggies in casserole dish as second layer.
  3. Scoop butternut squash out of skin and place in food processor along with, onion, garlic, cilantro, oregano, chili powder, and salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. Transfer content into a medium size pot over high heat and add remaining ingredients (milk, stock, thyme, bay leaf). Stir together for 1-2 minutes. Half of the butternut squash plus sauce ingredients will yield 5 cups.
  4. Once blended, pour 3 cups of sauce evenly over veggies. Top with feta and chives. Bake in oven for another 10 minutes to allow the top to crisp. Everything in the dish is already cooked at this point; baking again for 10 minutes is optional.

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Another great thing about squash it the seeds. You can lightly roast them and eat them as a healthy snack for days. Be sure to roast for a short period of time, 15-20 minutes, and at low temperature, 120 degrees, to avoid destroying the healthy fatty oils.

 If you or someone you know are in need of nutrition services, please contact me via blog email for more information on prices. Thank you for visiting!

❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

Per serving (with toppings): Calories: 105; Total Fat: 3.4 g (Saturated Fat: 1.8 g); Cholesterol: 14.2 mg; Sodium: 470.3 mg; Potassium: 380.8 mg; Total Carbs: 15.3 g; Dietary Fiber: 3 g; Protein: 8.5 g; Calcium: 11.9%.

Avo-Cholocate-Protein-Mouse w/ Vanilla-Chia-Pudding

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I have previously mentioned I am training for my very first marathon and if you follow me, I am sure you have seen my fitness posts and refueling recipes. The Chicago Marathon is now exactly 6 days away and it is a extremely scary thinking I will soon be running 26.2 miles non-stop along with thousands. I am so excited to be a part of such a great event because this has been something I have wanted to do since I was a freshman in high school. I love crossing items off my bucket list and that is exactly what I am doing with this. Come Sunday, I can forever say I finished the Chicago Marathon. Yay!

If you are a fellow marathon runner, short distance runner, or just run for fun I know we can all agree on feeling exhausted afterwards. Especially when the distance traveled is long distance. Our body’s glucose stores are being used up for energy because glucose is the bodies preferred fuel source. Once they are depleted it is essential to refuel our body with proper nutrition for optimal recovery. The rule of thumb for marathon training is to refuel with a meal containing a 3:1 ratio of carbs to protein and rehydrate with a beverage containing 4:1 ratio.

Therefore, after my grueling 20 mile run the other day in the heat, I rehydrated with a sports drink to help ignite the recovery process and refuel my body with the electrolytes I lost through sweat. Within an hour I made sure to get a mix of high-carb and moderate protein into my body. The post run meal 3:1 ratio is essential because your body is craving simple carbs for quick energy and complex carbs to balance out your insulin levels.

This avocado-chocolate mouse/chia pudding may not be the easiest thing to make after running long distance, but I planned for this. Account for time needed to prepare this recipe and prep before your run as I did. If you know you will be too exhausted to blend and assemble something like this, than plan to replenish your body with simpler foods such as a banana, yogurt, bagels and muffins, or fruit. Don’t forget to balance your carb to protein ratio with a lean protein. This recipe provides almost 27 grams of complete protein that will help aid in your recovery, repair, and rebuild muscle.

The sound of avocado and chocolate mixed together doesn’t sound like it fits right? I understand all you skeptics out there because if I never tired it, I would think that sounds disgusting too. Remember the old saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover”? Well, that is the same motto I always teach when dealing with food. This combination actually gives the mouse a delicious creamy texture that nourishes your body with omega’3 and anti-inflammatory agents. Once everything is mixed together you can’t even taste the avocado. No one has ever noticed it was in there until I told them. The chia pudding recipe is the same one I used in my Pumpkin-Coconut-Vanilla-Chia-Pudding, so check it out if you like this post because they are both very similar. I topped mine off with a plethora of super foods and continued to finish every last bit.

Please don’t get stuck in the mentality of thinking you have to eat less to lose weight even though you are still hungry or eating nothing after workouts because you just “aren’t hungry” and don’t want to eat calories you just burned. Even if you don’t feel hungry your body needs to refuel. This recipe is a serious refueling meal for your body after a long run and most importantly it is done the proper way. The delicious and satisfying taste just so happens to be the added bonus. 😉

Avo-Chocolate-Protein-Mouse w/ Vanilla-Chia-Pudding        

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Serves: 1 (pint)IMG_3970

Ingredients:

Chocolate Mouse

  • ½ avocado, scored
  • 2 Tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 2 Tbsp honey, organic
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 banana, frozen

 Chia Pudding

  • 5 Tbsp chia seed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp pumpkin spice
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • ½ tsp fresh ginger, grated

Optional Toppings: gluten free oats, raw cacao nibs, sunflower seeds, goji berries

Directions:

  1. Put all ingredients for chia pudding into a tupperware container and allow sufficient time to chill and expand in fridge at least 6-8 hrs. This is always easiest to do the night before.
  2. Once chia is ready, blend all ingredients for avocado chocolate mouse into a food processor and blend until consistency is smooth.
  3. Place avo-chocolate mouse in cup, layer with gluten-free oats for an added crunch (optional), add chia pudding on top. Sprinkle some of your favorite toppings including fresh fruit, seeds, or nuts. Enjoy!

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Try my recipe for dessert or breakfast. For further questions please contact me via email. I’ll be sure to share my race day fitness and health routine with all of you soon enough. Stay Healthy!

❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

Per serving: Calories: 622; Total Fat: 21 g (Saturated Fat: 1.1 g); Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 81.7 mg; Potassium: 625.6 mg; Total Carbs: 89.2 g; Dietary Fiber: 22.8 g; Protein: 26.4 g; Calcium: 39.7%; Iron: 15.4%; Vitamin C: 32.2%.