Happy National Running Day

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Happy National Running day to all my fellow runners! I hope everyone gets a chance to go outdoors and breath in some fresh air during your walk, bike, run, swim, or whatever it is you prefer to do.

For whatever reason it is that you run, I give you lots of credit and respect. It is not always easy to take your body and force it to move consistently for a long period of time. Whether you are a slow runner with the rest of the pack miles ahead, a speedy runner with only short distances in your sight, a mental runner able to conquer any hill ahead, or an untrained runner just trying to get in the game; you are amazing because you are doing it!

Finding a good balance between a healthy diet and physical activity is the best way to start your journey of living a healthy lifestyle. Avoiding physical activity all together is not going to help you get into shape, just like eating healthy alone is not going to be the sole answer to get you into shape. A combination of both will be the most effective and quickest way you can start seeing results.

IMG_3786I am a runner. Always have been, always will be. It’s funny because I just had a conversation last night with someone about the “runners high”. They did not truly understand what it meant. Well, not everyone experiences that or at least they don’t really understand it so I am not going to say running gives me that “runners high”, but instead I will tell you this… running is my therapy. It’s a time where you do not have to be a part of the world anymore. In a way, for the 20, 30 50, or 70 minutes I run, I am in my own world. This is a world where no one will interrupt you, no worries are welcome, planning and scheduling is put on hold, working is over, and you don’t have to think about ANYTHING other than your very next step. I love it. Don’t get me wrong, I love any and every outdoor activity, but running…well, there is no better physical activity that keeps you feeling healthy, fit, and genuinely happy. I find myself more stressed when I miss a couple days of exercise because it’s like my craving and I need to get my fix. That sounds like I am addicted…I know people can be addicted to an unhealthy point, but if you are following what I mean, I have a healthy grip on my running love;). If anyone else out there feels this way it is probably because running does in fact make you happier.

Screen shot 2014-06-04 at 5.35.17 PMMany studies have shown that running may help to prevent some of the worlds most detrimental chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, obesity, and some cancers. Running also improves your emotional and mental life, thus improving stress levels and virtually helping you to live longer. Simply by running or doing any physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day, your mood can instantly be lifted because of the endorphins your body produces. These endorphins interact with receptors in your brain that will diminish your perception of pain, stress, anxiety, or depression.

Maybe this is why some people say they are addicted. Actually, I am in the beginning of my training for my very first Chicago Marathon and first marathon ever. I have always wanted to do this, so I can than check it off my bucklist and figured why not now. Of course, this means you should get ready for more running and fitness post because I would love for all of you to go through this journey with me. If any other marathon goers have tips or suggestions I’d love to hear them. I know listening to experienced marathon runners is vital and I am the rook in this case! I am very excited to watch myself as I progress and see where this journey takes me. I will also be posting my marathon training plan and marathon diet as I go. Stick around to join me during this exciting and scary journey! 26.2 here I come! Yikes!

Here’s a couple shots of my typical view during my runs. Its hard Not to run when this is the beautiful scenery I get to look at.

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Happy National Running Day!

With much love from MyNutritionVision.

❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

 

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Berry Breakfast Parfait

 

IMG_9710Do you find yourself skipping breakfast? What types of food are on your breakfast table? Are you eating in the drive through for breakfast? If you have no time, here is a great idea that is not only beautiful to the eye, but nutritious for your body. My morning consisted of this easily made breakfast parfait that is completely dairy free. I tend to plan my schedule with only seconds to spare so I have to eat on the go. You can make this in a plastic container in seconds and eat on your way to work. I was luck enough to have a sunny early morning to enjoy this baby outdoors.

Berry Breakfast Parfait
Prep time: less than 5 minutes
Serves: 1
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup homemade whipped coconut cream (make prior to recipe)
  • 1/4 cup whole grain granola (I always use Bear Naked Vanilla Almond Crunch granola, it’s my favorite!)
  • strawberries
  • blueberries
  • blackberries
  • goji berries
           (freeze all berries)
Directions:
1. Just layer the ingredients in any order you desire! Simple enough!! Great for breakfast on the go or a quick evening snack.

I started with 1/2 cup whipped coconut on bottom, next use all the granola and half the frozen strawberries, the other half of the whipped coconut, and top with the rest of the frozen berries and goji berries. Freezing the fruit makes this parfait tasty because the juices mix really well into the rest of the ingredients as they melt, plus it’s hot so it tastes very refreshing! This berry parfait is a good source of vitamin A, C, and Calcium. I hope you enjoy!!

See prior post for whipped coconut recipe. IMG_9713

Have a happy hump day with MyNutritionVision!

Per serving: Calories: 229; Total Fat: 7.8 g (Saturated Fat: 3 g); Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 142 mg; Potassium: 120.6 mg; Total Carbs: 34.6 g; Dietary Fiber: 4.8 g; Protein: 5.5 g; Calcium:32.2%.

 

Mango-Pineapple Salsa

IMG_9777Mexican food! Who doesn’t love a delicious side of freshly made chilled salsa on a hot summer day. This recipe takes the plain old salsa dish and adds a modern healthy spin to it. When you think about making salsa for a family party, a dish to bring to a gathering, or just for your personal enjoyment, you wouldn’t normally think of adding fruit, would you? My absolute favorite thing about this is the perfect combination of sweet and spicy flavors that radiate from this bowl. It truly does leave you with a light, yet full feeling of satisfaction.

Mango-Pineapple Salsa 

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Serves: 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup pineapple, diced
  • 1 medium mango, diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded & diced
  • 1 cup loosely packed cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red onion, finely diced
  • 3 jalapenos, seeded and finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 limes, juiced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Cut, chop, and dice all ingredients as instructed. I used the bullet to chop each ingredient instead of doing it by hand, this cuts the time spent on prepping in half and is a great idea if you are limited on time.

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2. In a medium size bowl, combine all ingredients together, mix, and serve immediately with your choice of whole grain chips.

The 3 jalapenos I used may be too much for some, I can handle a spicy dish, so if your tongue is sensitive to spice you might want to try only 1 jalapeno first. I also, added them last because I separated the recipe into two halves, one with jalapenos and one without. (Some people in my circle prefer without, so of course I had to accommodate to their request! ;).) I chilled the salsa for about 20 minutes before serving to give the recipe an extra refreshing taste, especially because it was such a hot day. My choice of chip was roasted garlic and black bean tortilla chips.

Before this, I truly did not think I ate that much mexican food, but now after looking back on many of my food choices, I have come to realize I indulge in my ethnic food more than I originally thought. The most important factor here is that I make subtle changes to create a healthier dish. This mango-pineapple salsa is only one way to change a popular staple such as salsa into a, just as delicious, healthy side dish.

This salsa is vegan friendly, naturally gluten free, dairy-free, and all organic. I know I have mentioned this before, but I have so many people in my family, close group of friends, and clients that are vegan, which pushes me to be inspired to make recipes that everyone can enjoy. If you try this recipe, please tag #brnutritionvision and let me know how you liked it! I always love hearing feedback!IMG_9770

Thanks for living MyNutritionVision with me!

❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

Per serving: Calories: 41; Total Fat: 0.2 g (Saturated Fat: 0 g); Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 2.9 mg; Potassium: 98 mg; Total Carbs: 10.4 g; Dietary Fiber: 1.7 g; Protein: 0.6 g.

Benefits of the Pomegranate Seed

Pom Seeds are a Girls Best Friend

IMG_6440The pomegranate is a very nutrient rich fruit which is only one of the reasons why it is extremely popular in our world today. The pomegranate has an outer layer that is of leathery texture that can show a mixture of colors such as orange-yellow, red, or purple. Once you get to the inside, you have reached the ruby red jewels. The inside is filled with pink arils with sweet seeds that are busting with juicy goodness.

Nutrition Facts

  • Pomegranates are filled with polyphenols that act as antioxidants, protecting our bodies cells from free radical damage.
  • They contain high amounts of vitamin C, one medium pomegranate provides 40% of the daily requirement for vitamin C.
  • One pomegranate delivers only 100-140 calories.
  • Great source of fiber and some protein within the seeds.
  • Contains high amounts of vitamin K that helps support bone health and is a good source of folate.  
  • A 8oz glass of pomegranate juice will provide your body with 5% of its daily value for vitamins E, B6, and pantothenic acid (B5). The B5 helps the body metabolize, protein, carbohydrates and fats.
  • Cholesterol free.
  • This fruit is higher in calories compared to some other fruits because it has unsaturated oils, sugar and carbohydrates.
  • Pomegranates are packed with manganese that helps to bone formation throughout the metabolic process.
  • Pomegranates are a good source of potassium, which helps to maintain cellular functions and balance fluid levels.
  • Also contains high levels of minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, zinc and iron.

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Benefits of Pomegranate

1. Health Benefits

  •  Eliminate Free Radicals. The antioxidants like tannins and polyphenols help minimize and remove the effects of free radicals.
  • Fight Cancer. The antioxidants lower risk of some types of cancer, including breast, prostate and skin cancers.
  • Heart Health. Pomegranate juice can act as a blood thinner by helping to remove plaque from the arteries, thus lowering risk of atherosclerosis. Drinking the juice can help lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol reducing risk of cardiovascular issues.
  • Assists Anemics. The high amounts of iron in pomegranates will raise hemoglobin levels in your blood.
  • Improve Bone Health. Pomegranate juice can help to prevent cartilage damage and degeneration to prevent osteoarthritis.
  • Boost Digestive Health. Pomegranate juice helps to secrete enzymes that have anti-bacterial properties that aid in digestion. These enzymes help to lower chances of hemorrhoids, nausea, intestinal parasites, constipation, and diarrhea.
  • Promote Blood Flow. Used to help relieve blood clots. Pomegranates can help to create a youthful glow appearance by improving blood circulation.
  • Reduce Inflammation. High vitamin C content works as an anti-inflammatory agents.
  • Weight Lose. Pomegranates have natural properties that gives additional energy and cleanses the body, improving lose weight.

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2. Beauty Benefits

  • Regenerate Cells. Protects skin by aiding in the repair of tissues and encouraging circulation to skin.
  • Natural Sunscreen. The oil of a pomegranate contains the antioxidant ellagic acid that can help to protect the body from skin cancer. They help to prevent hyperpigmentation, age spots, and wrinkles caused by sun damage.
  • Youthful Glow. The increased elastin and collagen can make your skin appear more firm, smooth and youthful.
  • Improve Dry Skin. Contains a cellular structure that provides additional moisture to deep layers within the skin. This is why many skin care products contain pomegranate.
  • Aids during Pregnancy. High in niacin, folic acid, potassium, calcium, vitamin C, iron and fiber that contributes to a healthy pregnancy by increasing cellular growth.IMG_8679

So you ask when are pomegranates in season?

Well officially, you can purchase pom seeds when they are our of season, but they will be more expensive and difficult to find depending on what time of the year you are searching for them. They are truly harvested during the months between Thanksgiving and New Years or in terms of months, October through February.  Remember, I always try to get the biggest bang for my buck, so I limit purchasing pomegranates to those months to buy them at their peak of quality and at the cheapest dollar. They are so delicious and healthy I could find a way to add them to any recipe, but I have to use self-control and stick to the smart shopper way, buying in season.IMG_5937

An important tip to know is how to select your pomegranate. You will want to look for the fruit with a deep colored red to reddish-brown outer rind. When you pick it up, the pomegranate should be heavy for its size. That should demonstrate it is ripe and ready to eat. Storing this fruit in the refrigerator will help it last for three to four weeks if it is unopened. Once they are deseeded you should eat them within two to three days, but if you are anything like me, you will have no problem enjoying them all before that third day arrives. The seeds can also be frozen for up to one year if need be. Simply place in a sealed bag and date the bag with a permanent marker to keep track of when you placed them in the freezer.

I hope you learned something that will be helpful to you! Thanks for living My Nutrition Vision today!