Greek Yogurt Cup

IMG_1635

I am a victim to those late night cravings. If I eat dinner too early or get home too late to make a full meal, my stomach is still rumbling for food. When it’s late and I am hungry, all I want if something small, something fast, something now. Since I am in need groceries, I currently have a bunch of random foods in my fridge, so what I did was throw a few items together and within seconds my delicious late night snack was ready to eat. See, eating healthy does not always have to be as hard as you think.

I used vanilla greek yogurt, yes I am indulging in some late night dairy, freshly cut watermelon, blueberries, maca, mint, and bee pollen. That’s all it was, no need to run to the grocery store every time you want to make a nutritious meal or snack. Many things you may already have in your home can be made into a delicious healthy meal, you just have to know how to use healthy foods to your advantage. Yes, I know its not typical to have bee pollen in your pantry, but you don’t always need those specialty food items, be creative to keep yourself satisfied. For instance, switch the bee pollen topping for some freshly grated ginger or cinnamon.

The two superfoods I used that you may not know much about are the maca and bee pollen. They have both become staples in my everyday meals and using them can be very beneficial to your health. So for a little nutrition education:

1. Maca Powder 

Screen shot 2014-07-31 at 11.30.06 AM

Maca is a root that has been used for years by the Peruvians as medicine. The plant root produces a powder that is nutrient dense and can produce good balance to your daily diet. Maca has been used for anemia, chronic fatigue, and athletic performance because it enhances energy levels and stamina. It also has been used for fertility, memory improvement, and hormone imbalance. Maca powder can also boost your immune system and help with osteoporosis, depression, and symptoms of menopause.

2. Bee pollen   

Screen shot 2014-07-31 at 11.29.07 AM Bee pollen has been used for years in Chinese medicine to correct nutrient imbalance. It is used to improve endurance and vitality, aids in recovering from chronic illness, reduces cravings, prevents illnesses such as the cold and flu, boost immune system, and helps to build new blood cells. Of course, you will not see these results over night. Adding it into your everyday diet could help your body over time. I sprinkle 1 tsp over many of my foods including smoothies, oatmeal, cereal, chia bowls, and even salads.

Vanilla Greek Yogurt Cup     

Preparation time: 2 minutes

IMG_1622 Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup greek yogurt, vanilla
  • 4 pieces watermelon, cubed
  • 5 blueberries
  • 1 tsp bee pollen
  • 1 tsp maca powder
  • 5 leaves mint, fresh

Directions:

1. Place greek yogurt and maca powder into a cup, stir until mixed well.

2. Top with watermelon, berries, fresh mint, and bee pollen.

The mint just adds something extra by giving an aroma that is so refreshing and delectable. If you don’t have it on hand, use any of your favorite topping, preferably sticking with fresh items, such as fruit.

I used Greek yogurt because that is what I had and I need the added protein because of my marathon training, but you can easily switch this out for a yogurt of your choosing or vegan coconut yogurt. I do enjoy the “So Delicious Dairy Free” greek yogurt.

My whole point is a healthy meal or snack can be made in as easy as 1,2,3. You do not always have to stress and run to the store to make your family or yourself something good for you, use what you have.

IMG_1633

 Love your body, feed your body, fuel your body with healthy and easy recipes from MyNutritionVision. Remember to tag me at #brnutritionvision if you try my recipes to let me know what you think! Thanks for visiting!
❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

Per serving : Calories: 223; Total Fat: 0.9 g (Saturated Fat: 0.2 g); Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 106 mg; Potassium: 406.1 mg; Total Carbs: 30.4 g; Dietary Fiber: 2.2 g; Protein: 22.6 g; Calcium: 62.7%.

Advertisements

Fig Melon Kale Salad

IMG_0489

Fresh figs, the most delicious fruit ever disguised in a not so pretty shell. They are truly one of my favorites, but my boyfriend thinks their disgusting, my brother prefers not to try them, and one of my sisters will not even give them a chance because she thinks they look gross. Maybe all of them just need to give figs a second chance because they are beautiful and full of juicy sweet flavors. I wish I lived in an area where I was able to go in my own backyard to pick fresh figs off of my fig tree like my parents did. I have to wait till June when they are in season to buy these beauties, meanwhile, my mother told me stories upon stories about when she was a little girl and would go on morning hikes to pick fresh figs. Needless to say, I was jealous.

These pretty fruits are not only nice to eat for their sweetness, but they are fully loaded with phytonutrients, vitamins and antioxidants.

IMG_0469Health Benefits 

1. Weight Management 

  • The fig fruit is naturally low in calories with only 74 calories per 100 g. They are a food that is fiber-rich allowing them to have a positive effect on weight control and weight loss.

2. Anti-Inflammatory

  • Figs contain antioxidants such as vitamin A, E, and K. These compounds help fight against harmful free radicals in the body, thus protecting us from inflammation, cancers, and infections.

3. Lowers Blood pressure. 

  • Dried figs are considered an excellent sources of minerals such as calcium, copper, potassium, manganese, iron, selenium and zinc. They contain 680mg of potassium per 100 g. Since most people in America do not consume enough fruits and vegetables in addition to a high sodium diet, potassium is an important component  that helps reduce blood pressure. Copper is required for red blood cell (RBC) production and iron is needed for RBC formation and cellular oxidation.

4. Controls Blood Sugar Levels

  • Studies have shown that chlorogenic acid in figs help lower and control blood sugar levels in type II diabetes mellitus. (adult onset)

5. Metabolizes Macronutrients 

  • Dried and fresh figs contain good levels of vitamin B-complex. Niacin, pyridoxine, folates, and pantothenic acid are all co-factors in the metabolism for fats, CHOs, and proteins.

The combination of figs + melon + kale added up to be one of the most amazing fully raw salads I have ever made, and I have made countless amounts of salads. I whipped up a honey-lemon vinaigrette to drizzle on top that really pulls all the flavors together. Thank heavens there are plenty of leftovers for my lunches all week!

Raw Fig Melon Kale Salad    

Preparation time: 10 minutesIMG_0477

Serves: 8

Ingredients:

  • 6 fresh figs, whole
  • 2 cups honey dew melon, diced
  • 2 cups cantaloupe, diced
  • 1 bunch kale (~4-5 cups)
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, loosely packed
  • salt and ground pepper to taste

Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

  • juice of 1 lemon
  • Zest of lemon
  • 1 Tbsp and 1 tsp organic honey

Directions:

1. Prep fruit and veggies by washing, drying, and dicing melon, cantaloupe, figs, and onions. You can tear the kale off the stem by hand and mince cilantro. Toss ingredients into a large salad bowl and mix. I tossed the cut up figs in last so the dish could look more aesthetically pleasing.

2. Mix honey and lemon juice together until the honey fully dissolves. Pour vinaigrette evenly over salad and top with lemon zest.

IMG_0480

IMG_0486

When picking figs, choosing the fully ripened ones will ensure the highest levels of antioxidants. Ripe figs should be kept in the refrigerator and will typically keep for 2 days. Here are a few more ideas on how to serve figs:

  • Add fresh figs to salads, raw desserts, or cakes.
  • Dried figs can added to soups, stews, or poultry dishes.
  • Enjoy figs whole on their own or added as topping on baked goods.
  • Marinate figs to make sauces for desserts.
 Enjoy this perfect summer salad for lunch or dinner. It’s fully raw, paleo, and plant based. I diet full of delicious meals like this one will allow your skin to radiate from the inside out. Contact me under the “Contact” tab for work or nutrition coach inquires. Thanks for visiting. As always, visualize health with me everyday here at MyNutritionVision!
❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

Per serving : Calories: 95; Total Fat: 0.4 g (Saturated Fat: 0.1 g); Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 30.2 mg; Potassium: 380.4 mg; Total Carbs: 13.8 g; Dietary Fiber: 2.9 g; Protein: 1.9 g; Calcium: 5.6%.

Rainbow Breakfast Bowl

IMG_1571

Start your Sunday Funday off right with my delicious Rainbow Breakfast bowl made with chia, spirulina, and topped with tons of great tasting superfoods.

I am not going to lie, my favorite thing about this dish was the beautiful bowl. I just bought a set and was so excited to use them I washed, dried, and served my breakfast in one without noticing the price sticker was still on the bottom. Oops 😉 . Since we all know I love chia, I thought it was extremely appropriate to write a post about this scrumptious breakfast option. I often make some form of chia bowl for breakfast so I will write another post soon about how easy it is to change up only a few ingredients to make your chia bowl seem like a whole different meal.

As I mentioned, the base to my breakfast bowls are typically the same, the chia mixture. Everything else is toppings. Simply by adding one or two things or changing the fresh fruit you top it with can transform your bowl to look completely different from day to day. Here is how I made my energizing superfood breakfast bowl.

Rainbow Breakfast Bowl   

Preparation time: 10 minutes, freeze overnight

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 3 Tbsp chia seed
  • 1 Tbsp organic honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp spirulina
  • 1 banana
  • Topping: fresh blueberries, frozen raspberries, crushed almonds, and goji berries.

Screen shot 2014-07-26 at 6.40.43 PM Screen shot 2014-07-26 at 6.41.07 PM Screen shot 2014-07-26 at 6.41.44 PM

Directions:

1.  Blend milk, honey, vanilla, and banana. Add chia seed to blend and allow at least 6-8 hours for it to sit in the fridge. I always let it sit overnight. You could always double the chia recipe to make a larger quantity so it can be prepped and ready to use for the week.

2. Add spirulina to chia pudding mix in the morning. Throw toppings on and enjoy.

 If you try out my recipes please tag #brnutritionvision and tell me if you enjoyed it!  Subscribe to my blog’s email listing or follow me at @mynutritionvision on instagram to continue to learn about my vision of health! You can also find me on twitter, tumblr, and pintrest. Thanks for visiting and have a great Sunday Funday!
 IMG_1257
❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

Per serving (with toppings) : Calories: 305; Total Fat: 14 g (Saturated Fat: 2.8 g); Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 51.4 mg; Potassium: 352.7 mg; Total Carbs: 39.8 g; Dietary Fiber: 11.7 g; Protein: 7.3 g; Calcium: 38.3%.

Tips on How to Keep Food Healthy and Fun: Banana Edition

IMG_1566Among the top fresh fruits Americans consume, bananas are at the top of the list with an average of  30 pounds per person per year. You have heard the old saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”, well now add a delicious banana if you haven’t already because they are extremely beneficial to your health and can easily boost the nutritional value of your meals.

If you have been enjoying your daily dose of potassium through bananas then you are probably in need of creative fresh ideas to keep you from getting bored with them. Incorporate bananas into desserts (raw and baked), healthy snacks, or delicious smoothies. We can all agree their creamy rich flavors will never disappoint, but the best part is they are enjoyed by people of all ages from infants to the elderly.

Bananas are a good source of vitamin B6 and a good source of manganese, vitamin C, potassium, fiber, biotin, and copper. Adding them into your daily routine is not only convenient, but can also help improve:

  • Cardiovascular Health
  • Digestive health
  • Blood Sugar Levels (Bananas are low in their glycemic index (GI) value)

Since they are easily portable, inexpensive, and easily digested athletes can enjoy them as a perfect snack before or after physical activity.

Start using bananas in a new way at least once a week. From vegan popsicles to muffins and summer treats to breakfast on the go. It is undeniable that bananas are a quick and healthy snack, so why not add them to any meal. Here are 5 of my favorite recipe ideas I love to incorporate bananas in for adults and kids that will leave your mouth watering.

1. Banana Boats

IMG_1564

  • 1 organic banana, almond butter, cacao nibs, unsalted sunflower seeds, crushed pistachios, goji berries, cinnamon, chia seeds, bee pollen, and desiccated unsweetened coconut.
  • Slice banana twice; lengthwise and in the middle creating four equal pieces. Spread almond butter on banana boats and sprinkle toppings on. Can be made in less than 5 minutes and taste just like candy. Great idea to get kids to eat a snack packed with superfoods.

2. Banana sushi 

IMG_1503

  • 1 organic banana, 1 whole grain tortilla wrap, almond butter, raw cacao nibs, chia seeds, and desiccated coconut.
  • Spread almond butter on wrap, no need to go all the way to the edges. Place banana at one end and roll the wrap up. Spread 1 tsp of almond butter in a thin straight line across the top of the wrap and sprinkle with toppings. Cutting into 1/2 inch thick slices and enjoy.

3. Banana Chia Pudding 

IMG_1563

  • 1/2 organic banana, 3 Tbsp chia seed, 2 tsp vanilla, 1 cup almond milk, cinnamon, and star fruit.
  • Blend banana, almond milk, and vanilla. Add chia into mixture and refrigerate overnight or 6-8 hrs. It will form a pudding consistency, in the morning stir, serve, and top with cinnamon and star fruit.

4. The “Healthy” Meal (MickeyD’s Alternative Happy Meal) 

IMG_1562

  • 1 red and yellow bell peppers, 1 large apple, banana, strawberries, grapes, and nut butter of choice.
  • Simply cut and slice as seen in picture and assemble. I only used 1/4 of the yellow pepper and 1/2 a banana. Research has found kids, specifically between the ages of 4 and 7 years are twice as likely to consume fruits and veggies when the meal is visually appealing. This is a fun and creative way to get your kids turned on to healthy eating.

5. Banana Ice Pops 

IMG_1561Visit MyLifeandKids.com for full banana pop recipe
  • I continuously keep a stash of frozen bananas in my freezer to use for vegan (n)ice cream, raw desserts, and smoothies. It might be crazy to have as many bananas in the house as I do, but hey, I am a victim of their deliciousness.

I hope my vision of nutrition helped you find some fun and delicious recipes to try! These are all easy, quick, and vegan friendly. Never forget, food should be fun! Don’t forget to follow me on instagram, twitter, and tumblr @MyNutritionVision for more nutritious recipes. Nutrition services available are under the “Services” tab or you can email me with questions and inquires under the “Contact” tab. Thank you! Have a great Saturday!

❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

The Big Green

IMG_1314

Need a delicious detoxifying start to your day? This energizing smoothie jump started my week with nourishing superfoods and a side of pure bliss. There is no reason not to be happy when you fill your body with great tasting foods like this. Yes, green is G U D.

This weekend for me was a busy one. I had nutrition seminars, case studies, tons of  paperwork, errands, house cleaning, and long runs for marathon training. Not to mention, Tim (my boyfriend) and I had plans to go to Chicago with one of our best childhood friends who was only in town for the weekend. It is safe to say my body was exhausted by the time Sunday night rolled around. I had dreams about my morning smoothie that night and drooled at the idea of it. Green smoothies are a great way to rejuvenate your body and skin from the inside out. The ingredients I used support liver function, help destroy free radicals, extract toxins from your body,  purify the blood, flush unwanted bacteria, and fight against wrinkles. I love drinking a green drink at least every two days because they have so many phytonutrients and antioxidants that are great for long-term weight loss.

IMG_1310

The Big Green Smoothie  

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 tsp spirulina
  • 1 tsp maca powder
  • 1 granny smith apple, peeled
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 kiwi
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 3 leaves of kale
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint

Directions:

1.  Blend all ingredients into a food processor until smooth. I used the magic bullet for the convenient cup and easy clean up.

2. Add your favorite toppings before drinking. My toppings included blueberries, chia seed, cacao nibs, and bee pollen.

IMG_1308
Drink green everyday with my Big Green Smoothie recipe and visualize nutrition. If you try out my recipes please tag #brnutritionvision and let me know how you liked it! Subscribe to my blog’s email listing or follow me at @mynutritionvision on instagram to continue to learn about my vision of health! Thanks for visiting!
❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

Per serving: Calories: 333; Total Fat: 6.5 g (Saturated Fat: 5.1 g); Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 118.5 mg; Potassium: 1,007.3 mg; Total Carbs: 67.8 g; Dietary Fiber: 12.7 g; Protein: 7.7 g; Calcium: 71.3%.

Meal Prep Ideas

IMG_1214

I think we can all agree that the best thing about meal prepping is the fact that it’s convenient. As a dietitian, the people who surround you may expect your diet to always be perfection. I am certainly not perfect and neither is my diet. I have my bad days and good days just like anyone else. What do you expect? I am only HUMAN. If I am running late or have no extra time to cook a nutritious meal I will clearly be more inclined to spend money on food or grab something quick that is less healthy and much less satisfying. These are the exact reasons that make meal prepping a great way to stay on track with a healthy lifestyle. Your time is important with a life full of work, children, family, friends, and your sanity; Meal prepping could be your first step towards getting healthier.

How and Why Meal Prep is Important?

IMG_1465

1. Convenience. As I mentioned before, we are a world of convenience and if something is cooked, plated, and ready to eat, people will eat it. This saves time and  allows you to make healthier choices since you are in total control.

2. Improves Health. Meal prepping increases the nutritive value of your foods because fresh foods are used to prep meals. This limits preservatives and artificial flavors because less processed foods are used. “Throw processed food away, fresh is here to stay!” That’s my rule of thumb I just made up, sounds catchy though doesn’t it?

3. Weight loss. Meal prepping can help you lose weight because it prevents you from overeating. Pre-portioned meals leave you with no extra food, you have what you prepped. Once you eat it, your done. Make sure you are packing the correct portions of food for protein, grains, dairy, and fruits/veggies. I follow and teach the “myplate” method. protein=1/4 of plate, grains=1/4 of plate, fruits/veggies=1/2 of plate, dairy= 1 cup

***TipIn general, 1 cup of milk or yogurt or 1 ½ ounces of natural cheese can be considered as 1 cup from the dairy food group.

4. Saves time. The week typically goes by quickly leaving no extra time to cook extravagant meals every day of the week. Taking some extra time Sunday or whatever day works best for you to make meals for the week is worth it. Cooking with a friend or getting the whole family on board to help meal prep is another great way to save even more time.

5. Budget Friendly. When you cook at home, money is being saved. It always turns out to be cheaper when you buy and prepare your food on your own compared to eating out (unless your eating from McDonald’s dollar menu). Meal prepping will work wonders on your wallet because there will be no more need to randomly spend on fast foods and restaurants.

The Meal Prepping starter guide

Screen shot 2014-07-23 at 11.15.34 AM

Meal prepping does take some time to plan, but in the long run it is much less time spent in the kitchen. Some of this stuff may sound redundant, but that is because all the benefits intertwine.

If this is your first time jumping on the band wagon, you may feel over whelmed. Begin with setting aside a specific day to designate for your prep time, typically this is my Sunday. The next step is to plan ahead. You will want to decide how many meals you want to make, what types of foods you make to prepare, and last make a grocery list to determine how much and what you need to buy. Of course, containers are a must in the life of a meal planner.

I make 5 meals per week, sometimes I do 10 for lunch and dinner. It is important to leave flexibility in your diet so you do not burn out on certain foods. Be sure to prep something you will enjoy eating for a week straight. You should also change up the meals from week to week so you don’t get frustrated eating the same things. I always leave room for variety depending on my schedule. You can be a person who meal preps without prepping every week. If you want to try out some new recipes, don’t prep for the week. You don’t have to do it religiously to reap the benefits.

IMG_1214

This week I made Quinoa Mango-Bean Salads for my lunches. They are a healthy and balanced convenient meal, easy to travel with, and mess free. I used this same recipe recently to make avocado bowls. All I did to meal prep the salad jars is copy the avocado recipe and added black beans, then portioned everything out. An array of colors is always a good sign of a variety of nutrients. Check out the avocado bowl recipe in previous post to see what ingredients I used. It’s basically:

  • red onion, cherry tomatoes, corn, mango, quinoa, avocado, fresh spices and herbs, lime, and black beans.

Mason jar salads are truly a genius idea. The most important part of the layering is making sure the dressing and greens never touch. Keeping them separate will help them keep in the fridge all week long and the sealed lid will make them stay fresh. Simply shake, pour on paper plate, and eat!

I’ve read articles about the best meal prepping ideas and foods and I really like the idea of giving some personal favorites for inspiration. Here is my list of my favorite foods to use when pre-prepping your foods.

IMG_1468

Top 8 Easiest Foods to Meal Prep

1. Veggies: Raw veggies are great for snacking and adding to lunches for people of all ages. Easy to prep with minimal clean up, just chop, slice, and go.

  • Carrots, broccoli, cucumbers, peppers, snap peas, celery, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes. Combine with your favorite hummus, nut butter, or make your own ranch dip with greek yogurt and a ranch seasoning packet.
  • Pre-bag all your raw veggies into portions for the week. This could be in sandwich baggies or tupperware containers. The plus to using a container is having a solid bottom to blanch veggies in cold water keeping them as fresh as possible for you.

IMG_0422

2. Fruit: Most fruit does not have to be cut ahead of time to be easily enjoyed so that makes it even better for us folks to include fresh fruit into our every day diet. In fact, some fruit should not be cut ahead of time to prevent browning. Keep track of  what type of fruit, preparation method, and how much you want.

  • Apple, orange, pear, peach, apricot, plum, cherries, grapes, kiwi, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, bananas, ect. Sweet enough to eat alone, but adding your favorite nut butter would be a great combination.
  • All fruit mentioned above could be eaten whole. Write down what you want to eat everyday for a week and buy enough for just that. Many people buy too much fresh produce when they shop and end up throwing half of it away because they can’t eat it fast enough. This prevents food waste and saves you money.

3. Your Greens. Making salads is obviously a staple in a healthy diet. Pre-washing, cutting, drying, and storing salad greens increases your chance of eating a salad every day.

  • Kale, spinach, arugula, lettuce, swiss chard, ect. Store in a zip lock bag with a paper towel to help increase shelf life. Make sure to press out as much air as possible every time you reseal the bag.
  • I store my greens with a little added lemon juice to keep the color bright and crisp. I usually seal them in an airtight container when I add lemon as a percaution. You never know when a bag can rip.

4. Healthy Breakfast. Everyone has heard breakfast is the most important meal of the day, well lucky for me it is my favorite as well. There are a ton of options you can make ahead of time so you can sleep the extra 30 minutes in the am. This is also a great way to never skip breakfast again.

  • Overnight oats, quinoa breakfast bowls (quinoa is used in place of oats), chia bowls, egg white muffins, parfaits, baked goods like homemade granola, granola bars, or muffins. The choices are endless.
  • I always make a large batch of chia seed to make chia bowls. I pre-protion it out into small containers and make a homemade super food mix kept in a separate container. In the morning, all I need to do is top with a handful of my superfood mix and i’m done.

5. Cooked Produce. cut up some of your favorite veggies toss a little bit of olive oil and herbs over them and wrap in foil to bake. If you are already using the oven for a different purpose, you might as well pre-cook veggies for the week to kill two birds with one stone. The best part about this is you can walk away and do other things while they cook!

  • Zucchini, summer squash, broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, ect. Add to your salads throughout the week, eat as a side dish for dinners, or use in main courses.
  • When in season, my favorite thing to cook is spaghetti squash, the yield is high and it is filling even on its own. Adding a 3 oz portion to your lunch along with a salad is plenty.

6. Whole Grains. Some grains cook fairly quickly like quinoa, but can be time consuming to do everyday. Make a large batch of your favorite grains on Sunday to add to your meals throughout the week.

  • Quinoa, brown rice, farro, buckwheat, amaranth, ect. pre-portion ahead of time or keep cooked grains in a seperate container and scoop out a cup to add to your meals when need be.
  • Try making your own flat breads, loaves of bread, and tortillas with grains to use all week long. They are easier then you think. I will be posting a recipe for a healthy homemade pizza dough soon so keep an eye out for it.

7. Quick Snacks. Keeping healthy snacks on hand is key. In life, things do not always go according to plan, I believe the saying is, shit happens! Well sometimes the only day you can prep is not avaliable leaving you unprepared for the week. Keeping some healthy snacks around the house can help you avoid making poor food choices.

  • Nuts, seeds, homemade spreads/dips/pestos, unbuttered popcorn, superfoods like goji berries, cacao nibs, granola.
  • One of my favorites, despite others opinion is quest bars. Those are my go to snack that can replace my breakfast, lunch, or dinner it unexpected situations.

8. Protein. Eating plant protein is extremely healthy for your body because they tend to come attached to many other vital nutrients your body will thank you for. If meat is your thing, why not pre-prep it for the week. A lot of people already do this and I think it’s fantastic. Here are a few more ideas of lean meats you can add to your diet if you want to switch up the routine.

  •  Black beans, kidney beans, lima beans, great northern beans, lentils, black-eyes peas, cannellini beans, chick peas, edamame, mung beans, navy beans, pinto beans, split peas, white beans, and superfoods like spirulina, raw protein powders, ect. If you buy canned, rinse in a strainer to rinse off excess sodium. Lean animal proteins include chicken, salmon, chicken sausages, 100% all natural beef, and hard boiled eggs.
  • Buy bags of uncooked beans or legumes to cook all at once. Portion out what you will use for the week and freeze the rest for later use. Use the prepped animal proteins for salads, sandwiches, wraps, pitas.

The point of meal planning is to eat healthy, affordably, and conveniently. The only way you can become healthy is by eating healthy. If you are interested in a personalized meal plan contact me under the “Contact” tab. Stay focused on your health with MyNutritionVision!

IMG_1464

❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

1-Minute Vegan Chocolate Chips

IMG_1253

Chocolate lovers, look no further! Pure, organic, and raw ingredients is all it takes to create these rich chocolate chips. If I knew it was this easy, I would have done this a long time ago.

I typically buy raw cacao nibs in place of chocolate chips, but this time I wanted something bigger for my Mint-Chocolate Chip Ice-(No)Cream recipe. While I rummaged through my cabinets to see what ingredients I had, I realized I didn’t need any more then 4 things. Cacao powder, coconut oil, vanilla, and honey is all it took to create these healthy vegan chocolate chips.

Raw Cacao Powder   

Cacao powder is made of 100% pure cacao that is certified as organic, kosher, non-gmo, gluten free, dairy free, and raw. It is a good source of fiber and cold-pressed to protect existing nutrients. This can be used for a variety of foods including raw desserts, baking, sauces, spreads, smoothies, or juices.

1. Rich in antioxidants. Cacao naturally contains a rich supply of antioxidants protecting our cells from damage caused by free radicals. It is known as one of the highest dietary sources of magnesium, flavanols and polyphenols. In fact, it contains a higher level of antioxidants per 4 oz compared to acai berries, goji berries and blueberries. 

2. Improves your mood. Cacao powders contain dopamine and phenylethylamine (PEA), two types of neurotransmitters. They aid in mental alertness, improve mood to make you feel good and help with weight loss.

3. Increases weight loss. Flavonoids have also been shown to increase production of the hormone known as adiponectin. This hormone works to regulate metabolism of fatty acids, thus assisting in weight loss and reducing obesity. 

The big question when it comes to raw cacao is:

“What’s the difference between cocoa and cacao?” 

Cacao is not so different from cocoa because they are both made by grinding cocoa nibs to a paste or liquor and then removing the cocoa butter (the fat). The process to make cocoa powder it called hydraulically pressed. This is basically roasting at high temperatures changing the molecular structure, this ultimately reduces enzyme and antioxidant levels. The cocoa butter removal process to make cacao powder is cold-pressed, this preserves the vital nutrients.

The main benefit to using raw cacao versus cocoa powder is the antioxidant level. Raw cacao contains over 3x the antioxidant profile that cocoa powder due to the heating process. When using raw cacao, keep in mind the addition of any dairy products will decrease the absorption of antioxidants. Using vegan friendly products such as almond milk, rice milk, coconut milk, or water will help to avoid this.

Coconut Oil 

The use of coconut oil is beneficial for the heart healthy diet. The existing saturated fat are not harmful to the body as you often see in other oils, such as vegetable. It contains roughly 50% lauric acid, which helps in preventing a variety of heart problems. Among the numerous health benefits, here a list of a few ways coconut oil can benefits you. 

Screen shot 2014-07-22 at 3.28.56 PM

1- Minute Vegan Chocolate Chips 

Preparation time: 1-2 minutes, freeze 15 minutes

IMG_1253

Serves: 16 oz

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp organic honey

Directions:

1. Heat all ingredients, expect cacao powder, in a small saucepan over low heat until smooth. Once ingredients are blended add the cacao powder to the saucepan and continue to heat until sauce is smooth and all ingredients are well combined. Take roughly 1 minute. IMG_1372

2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Pour chocolate sauce over lined cookie sheet evenly. Place cookie sheet in freezer for 15-20 minutes or until completely hard. Gently break hardened chocolate sheet into pieces big or small. Use as topping for ice cream, smoothies, or cakes.

NutritionVision Tip: You do not have to freeze right away! Before freezing my chocolate mix, I used it as a dipping sauce for freshly cut fruit.

IMG_1374
IMG_1376

Enjoy this simply 1 minute sweet treat and Visualize Nutrition with me everyday! 
If you enjoy my blog, please help me get the word out by subscribing to the email listing and sharing it on facebook, instagram or twitter with friends and family! Thank you, Love you all!! 

❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

Per serving: Calories: 55; Total Fat: 3.7 g (Saturated Fat: 3.1 g); Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 1.7 mg; Potassium: 37.4 mg; Total Carbs: 2.8 g; Dietary Fiber: .5 g; Protein: 0.4 g; Calcium: 0.3%.

 

 

 

 

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice-(No)Cream

IMG_1295 Since it has been a week full of rain, 60 degree nights, and chilly winds I decided to jump at the chance to make fake ice-(no)cream because this weekend it will finally be back in the 80’s! Yay! This recipe is fully raw if you do not add my homemade vegan chocolate chips (recipe will be posted separately 😉 .

After my sister told me I use chia too much I thought to myself, “That’s because it is awesome, why would anyone not love using chia all the time!” Well, I looked back at all my food post on my blog, instagram, and other social media and I did realize it’s in a lot of recipes. Thus, I took her advice and changed things up a for my audience.

My mind was set on Mint Chocolate Chip Ice-(No)Cream once a received requests for healthy dessert recommendations that can still fit into a “clean eating” meal plan. My main goals when creating an ice cream recipe are: make it healthy, make it vegan so all walks of life can enjoy, and make it creamy and delicious. While blending ingredients together is simple, the tricky part is finding the perfect balance to make a great tasting ice cream. With this recipe I did two things that were different than my usual, I used coconut milk instead of almond milk and used my secret ingredient spirulina to increase the nutrient profile.

Spirulina

1. Spirulina is an algae that has been used as a dietary supplement to improve our overall health. Don’t get scared off just yet. It is one of the truest forms of a superfood containing over 100 important nutrients such as the vitamin B complex, vitamin E, beta-carotene, iron, calcium, zinc and other antioxidants. This product is also rich in essential amino acids making it a great source of vegetable protein, especially for vegetarians and vegans.

2. This product has already been long used helping many people maintain good health, improve metabolism, boost energy, and contribute to weight loss.

3. Spirulina added the color due to its high levels of chlorophyll and can be used to benefits individuals who are malnourished or have a diet with poor nutrient intake.

***Although, I do not advocate any single supplement as a miracle drug for weight loss, I will agree with the fact that spirulina will undoubtably improve overall health due to its high nutrients profile. Always consult a doctor before taking any new supplements to avoid negative side effects that can occur.

IMG_1279

The fat in coconut milk helps the ice cream form a creamy texture compared to milk low in fat. You can make this ice-(no)cream in batch quantities and store in your freezer to enjoy for days.

(Note: If you decide to make enough to freeze I recommend using canned coconut milk. The coconut milk I used gave the ice cream a smooth and creamy texture when I served and ate it immediately, however, once frozen to consume at a later date the ice cream become slightly grainy. The higher fat content in canned milk could help eliminate this issue.)

This tasty treat is vegan friendly, gluten free, oil-free, and preservative free. It was rather simple and very quick to whip up.

 Mint Chocolate Chip Ice-(No)Cream 

Preparation time: 7-10 minutes

Serves: 4-5IMG_1296

Ingredients:

  • 3 bananas, frozen
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp spirulina
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, loosely packed
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp & 2 tsp raw cacao nibs

Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients, except cacao nibs, into a food processor and blend until a smooth.

2. Add only half the liquid to determine how thick you want your end product. Pour in the second half slowly if ice cream is too thick. ( I added the whole cup, but did pour in halves to test out the consistency.)

3. Fold in cacao nibs with a spatula, top with fresh mint, serve, and enjoy!

IMG_1240 IMG_1245 IMG_1282

Top with more cacao nibs or with my homemade vegan chocolate chips. The choices are endless. Try my recipe and let me know what favorite toppings you added to your mint ice-(no)cream!

Happy Weekend!  Visualize Nutrition with me even during dessert!

❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

Per serving: Calories: 111; Total Fat: 2.8 g (Saturated Fat: 2.1 g); Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 14.8 mg; Potassium: 315.9 mg; Total Carbs: 20.2 g; Dietary Fiber: 3.1 g; Protein: 1.5 g; Calcium: 9.9%.

Tangy Avocado Bowls

IMG_1210

Find yourself eating the same foods day after day? Need recipe ideas for dinner throughout the week? How about some great tips to cut down on clean up time?

Try my tangy avocado bowls! These are like little oval shaped bowls of heaven jam packed with flavor. I love them because it is a food that is so versatile. On top of all the health benefits you’re receiving, avocados provide your meal with a naturally creamy base to replace any need for heavy dressings.

When I tell people to add them to their diet, the first response I get is, “Aren’t they high in fat?” This delicious pear shaped fruit can sometimes get a bad reputation because most people who want to lose weight do not want to eat something high in fat. Well, it’s true, avocados are fat filled, however, it is the good kind!

The fat composition in avocados are made from the healthy fats our body needs to benefit in many ways. Avocados can:

  • Improve cognitive function. They help lower blood pressure and assist in healthy blood flow creating a healthy brain.
  • Assist in a heart healthy diet. Heart health is improved by the fats in avocados, oleic acid and omega-3 fatty acid. Screen shot 2014-07-17 at 5.52.50 PM
  • Lower risk of heart disease. B-vitamins are very important in regulating healthy heart function and avocados carry significant amounts of  B-6 and folic acid making them great to eat.
  • Improve antioxidant absorption. We tend to think carotenoids (which is a provitamin to Vit-A) are only concentrated in orange and red produce, but avocados actually have a high amount of this phytonutrient. Since carotenoids are fat-soluble, the monounsaturated FA and oleic acid in avocados make it easier for the body’s to digest and absorb the antioxidants. The Journal of Nutrition has published research supporting addition of avocados with an orange or red fruit or veggie will enhance the amount of carotenoids absorbed by 200-400%. It only makes sense to pair these up with the tomatoes and mangos in my recipe 😉 !
  • Reduce inflammation. Avocados play a key role in preventing osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis because they carry anti-inflammatory nutrients.
  • Carry a low-carb profile. They fall low on the glycemic index chart and are a great choice for regulating blood sugar.
  • Fight Cancer. Since cancer is usually a result of inflammation and oxidative stress, research has shown avocados to be beneficial to help fight off certain types of cancers due to its high anti-inflammatory and antioxidant profile.

Tangy Avocado Bowl 

Preparation time: 12-15 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

Screen shot 2014-07-17 at 5.49.52 PM

  • 3/4 large red onion, chopped
  • 12 oz heirloom cherry tomatoes, sliced in halves
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 ears corn, cut kernels off
  • 1 mango, diced
  • 1 cup multi-colored quinoa
  • handful of fresh mint
  • fresh ground pepper
  • parsley flakes
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 2 avocado, roughly 8 oz

Directions:

1. Cook the quinoa in a 1:2 quinoa:liquid ratio. Bring to a boil in a medium saucepan then reduce heat to low. Add pepper and parsley to taste then cover. Let it sit until all water is absorbed. Fluff quinoa with a fork and let it cool for 5 mins. Will cook for 12-15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, chop all vegetables and herbs (onion, tomatoes, garlic, corn, mango, and mint). Note: I grilled the ears of corn a day before for a different dish, if you do not have fresh corn, canned will work. Just remember to rinse in a fine mesh strainer to reduce 1/3 of the sodium content. If you have frozen that would be a better option compared to canned.

Tip: If you have the magic bullet that chops or a food processor with a chopping blade, use it. This will literally save you so much time compared to cutting everything free hand! If you don’t have those items, don’t worry! If we survived before without all these unnecessary kitchen appliances, I think we can survive today! I actually chopped everything by hand because I was too lazy to take my food processor out of the dishwasher and I did it all in 15 minutes just in time for the quinoa to be done. Trust me, a sharp knife works perfectly!

3. Blend quinoa and all chopped ingredients into a large bowl. Squeeze lime juice and cayenne into the bowl and mix well. I saved the avocados to cut in halves last so they wouldn’t brown. Last, scoop a generous amount of the quinoa blend into each avocado half and enjoy!

I made four avocado bowls, but there was plenty of the filling to make about 15-20 more. The number of avocados you buy will depend on the number of servings you want, 1 avocado = 2 servings.

Avocados are high in calories as well as the yummy good fats. Do not eat them in excessive amounts as we all know calories can add up quickly. I like to eat 1/2 for my serving at a meal.

Remember, dinner doesn’t have to be the same old boring. Switching up your routine with a recipe makeover including the foods you already love can create a whole new delicious meal! The mangos used bring out a amazing tangy flavor and the smell of fresh mint combined with the lemon & cayenne create the perfect “dressing”. No more need for ranch or italian. Last, but not least, No dishes to wash! YAY!!

IMG_1207

I hope you all try out my recipe and let me know what you think! Visualize health with me at MyNutritionVision!

Per serving: Calories: 167; Total Fat: 13.6 g (Saturated Fat: 1.9 g); Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 11.2 mg; Potassium: 554.5 mg; Total Carbs: 11.6 g; Dietary Fiber: 7.1 g; Protein: 3.1 g; Calcium: 2%.

Quick Chia and Beet-Mango Breakfast Cup

IMG_1204

I don’t know about you, but breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. I could eat it all day long, although that might be because I essentially eat foods that can be eaten at any time of the day. Don’t get me wrong, I love my juices, but sometimes I crave something solid that I can chew rather than drink. Juicing is great and all, but constantly removing the fiber from all your foods for a drink can have negative affects for your digestive system if your diet does not consist of any other fiber source. I am a true advocate of switching things up and making sure my diet is well balanced, so I decided to make a quick chia breakfast-on-the-go cup for this up coming week to take a break from the juices. Let me tell you, I am already obsessed with this recipe and I am looking forward to every morning just so I can eat this again.

This recipe is made up of 5 main ingredients: chia seeds, bananas, non-dairy milk, beets, and mangos. It is difficult to make a breakfast that is healthy and dairy free without having to go out and buy all the expensive specialty non-dairy items like vegan cheeses (which I personally dislike most brands anyway), vegan yogurt, vegan cream cheese, and more. Although, I am not a full vegan, I try my best to limit all animal and dairy products from my diet by eating mostly plant based. I am not going to lie and say I never eat meat because when my family has get togethers my dad makes his famous dish and I can’t say no to that.

Well, I wanted to make a vegan friendly, quick, and easy breakfast recipe that is loaded with vitamins and minerals for everyone to try. The dairy-free milk is the only item you may not have in your household, but it can be found at any grocery store for a fair price. I buy mine at Jewel Osco for $2.99 a gallon (final price with use of coupon). I recommend checking websites for the brands of your choosing for coupons before going shopping. Usually many vegan brands offer coupons for a few dollars off their products. Silk always has $1 off coupons for milk products and you will receive a coupon at the register on your receipt too!

I prepped this meal Sunday night and portioned it out for the rest of the week in mason jars. If you are the person who does not have time in the morning to eat a good substantial meal, then try this recipe because chia pudding will keep in the refrigerator for about 5 days so it works out perfectly to last you till Friday. All I did was blend the pink layer with a frozen banana, mango, and beets; mixed the chia layer; than poured it into each jar. You could wait till each morning to top the recipe with fresh fruit, seeds, or nuts of your choice or put the toppings in with the recipe when you’re meal prepping so you literally have the mason jar ready to go in the morning.

IMG_1201IMG_1202

Quick Chia and Beet-Mango Breakfast Cup

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Serves: 6 (8oz cups)

Ingredients:

(For the Chia Blend)

2 cup coconut almond milk, unsweetened

4 Tbsp chia seed

2 Tbsp organic honey

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 banana

(For the pink layer)

1/2 cup coconut almond milk, unsweetened

3/4 cup beets, peeled and chopped

3/4 cup mango, frozen and chopped

1/2 banana, frozen

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp ginger, grated

Toppings (optional): granola, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, mango, kiwi.  I used a mixture of fresh and frozen fruit because as the fruit unfreezes the juices seep into chia blend and get absorbed by the chia seeds creating an extra tasty breakfast cup.

Directions:

1. Blend dairy free milk, beets, banana, mango, vanilla, and ginger. Any blender will work, but I love my magic bullet especially since beets were added to the mix. You want to make sure their is a smooth consistency with this. Blend for about 1 minutes.

2. Next, blend the dairy free milk, banana, vanilla, and honey. Takes less than 1 minute. Add the chia seeds into the mixture and stir. The longer you let the chia pudding sit the consistency will become thicker. That is why this is perfect to make the night before.

3. I started filling each mason jar with the beet-mango layer, added some granola and fresh/frozen fruit, added the chia layer and topped with more granola and fresh/frozen fruit. Of course, you can assemble this however you choose 🙂 !IMG_1195

If you try this recipe please tag me in it and tell me how you enjoyed your quick chia breakfast cup! Feel free to share my blog with friends and family! I would greatly appreciate it if you did! 🙂

Remember to start your day with a nutritious breakfast and live MyNutritionVision with me everyday!

Per serving (8 fl oz): Calories: 146; Total Fat: 5.6 g (Saturated Fat: 0.8 g); Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 97.6 mg; Potassium: 313.7 mg; Total Carbs: 18 g; Dietary Fiber: 6.3 g; Protein: 3.1 g; Calcium: 24.8 %.