Pumpkin Turkey Bean Chili

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Crock pot recipe, woo hoo! When I see the words “crock pot” my mind already says yes, yes, and yes.

Throw in the ingredients, turn on the heat, and indulge. Yes, you can come home for dinner to a house filled with delectable smells and a ready to eat meal? Yep, like I said before, yes.

Now I know it has been a couple week since I have made a post and all my recipes are starting to pile up. With the weather changing from blistering hot days to chilly grey, I think we can all benefits from an appropriate change in our diet. Some people may not particularly like chili, but I have always been a chili and soup kind of girl. It is one of my favorite things when the fall and winter months sneak upon us. If I did not get the crazy stares when I order chili in the middle of June, I would.

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Chili is the best type of food! It warms you right up on a cold night, can be acceptably eaten for days because you always have leftovers (what person makes homemade chili for one?), is one of the best foods to make for football Sunday (Bear Down), makes you feel better when sick, and it is just absolutely delicous. Wow… you would think I am a sponsor for a chili company or something, I just love it so much. Specially, I love my chili ;).

I have turned the original staple meal into a healthy, convenient, fall themed delight. If you asked my boyfriend, he would classify me as “one of the pickiest costumers ever” when it comes to ordering chili or any food for that matter. I rather bypass the disappointing meal and just make my own because I know I can make it exactly how I want it, hearty. (Not that every single place is bad, because I have my favorite spots) My biggest thing, I don’t skimp on the meat people, that’s one of the best parts!

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I also love to play with all my recipes and even though pumpkin chili sounds a bit funky, trust me. I have been making it for years and it is always a hit. I might even go far enough to say I think it’s better then chili without pumpkin.

Adding pumpkin makes your recipe fun and perfect for fall, but it doesn’t stop there.

Just 1 cup of pumpkin puree provides:

-3.4 grams of iron

-contains more than 2x your daily recommended amount of vitamin A

-provides about 15% of your Daily needs for vitamin E

All of which are supportive for a strong immune system. Sounds like a vital quality to have in your food during the common sick month doesn’t it?  Vitamin A also keeps your eyes, bones, and teeth healthy and vitamin E protects your body from cellular damage that can lead to certain types of cancer.

You can add pumpkin to a variety of recipes from sweet to savory making it perfect for so many things. Personally, I have been using it in basically every recipe and I will do my best to get all the recipes up on the blog ASAP.

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Please do not get intimidated because of the ingredient list.

To be honest is may look long, but it is not that bad. Chili has a funny way of needed tons of ingredients, but most are spices or common items you might all ready have in your home. Plus, you can take my recipe loosely and improvise/play with ingredients yourself if need be. You do not always have to go running to the store to spent more money. See what will work for that meal out of the items you already have.

The recipe below is my version including tips and tricks, however, chili is a super easy uncomplicated thing to make. Through everything in a pot and heat. I need to make this more often?

Now it’s time for you to run to the kitchen and whip up a big batch to see just how good this is for yourself.

Pumpkin Turkey Bean Chili        

Preparation time:

-15 minute

Cook time: 

-6-8 hrs

Serves:

~12-14 (2 cup servings)

Ingredients:

-1 can pumpkin puree (15 oz)

-1.5 lbs grass fed, lean ground turkey

-2 Tbsp olive oil

-16 bean soup mix, uncooked

-1/4 to 1/2 large yellow onion, diced

-4 cloves garlic, chopped

-3 cups chicken broth (fat free)

-2 medium tomatoes, diced

-1 tsp chili powder

-1 tsp oregano

-1 tsp ground pepper

-2 tsp cumin

-1/4 tsp cayenne powder

-1 bay leaf

-1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

-5 sprigs fresh thyme

Toppings (optional): chives, cilantro, shredded cheese, avocado slices, plain greek yogurt (in place of sour cream).

Directions:

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Place turkey in skillet and cook until brown. Transfer turkey into slow cooker, add all other ingredients, turn heat on high for 6 hours or low for 8 hours.

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There is the shortened version for all ya’ll. Now for what I did…
I used the bullet to chop garlic cloves in 5 seconds, transferred it into the crock pot along with all other ingredients expect turkey. I bought grass fed organic turkey from Mariano’s.
Did you know they cook the meat for you right in front of you? If you live by a Mariano’s save time by getting your meat cooked in the store. They even season it how you want with a variety of seasonings available. If it’s convenient for you, kill two birds with one stone like I did. The turkey I used was cooked in store and I walked off to finish my grocery shopping for the week, came back in 15 minutes, and it was done. When I got home I added the turkey in the crock pot, stirred and allowed to simmer for another ten minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
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This chili is dairy free, but feel free to add cheese. It is also gluten free and can easily become vegan friendly if you omit the turkey and use veggie broth. Vegan or not this recipe will provide you with a good source of protein and energy. If using meat, choose lean protein like turkey, it’s less fatty than beef typically used.
 Thanks for visiting and keep visualizing nutrition with me. Bon appetit!
Follow MyNutritionVision if you are on wordpress.com or subscribe to the email listing on the home page.
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❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

Per serving: Calories: 225; Total Fat: 4.9 g (Saturated Fat: 1.3 g); Cholesterol: 40 mg; Sodium: 450.9 mg; Potassium: 103.8 mg; Total Carbs: 35.1 g; Dietary Fiber: 17 g; Protein: 21.8 g; Calcium: 5%; Vitamin A: 32.7%; Vitamin C: 9.2; Iron: 18.2%.

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Pumpkin-Coconut-Vanilla-Chia-Pudding

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Listen up everyone, this is some vital information…

When making this recipe be sure to make an abundance because you will want some for later. I made four mason jars filled with this good stuff and in all honesty, 1 mason jar can easily be shared and split into two servings. The recipe below is for a half pint so feel free to multiple it to achieve desired yield.

Pumpkin-Coconut-Vanilla-Chia-Pudding       

Preparation time: 5 minutesIMG_3824

Serves: 1 half pint (8oz)

Ingredients:

Chia Pudding~

  • 3 Tbsp chia seed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup coconut milk

Pumpkin Pudding~

  • 1/2 can pumpkin puree (15oz can) NOT PUMPKIN PIE FILLING
  • 1 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 cup pitted dates, soaked
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 2 Tbsp organic honey

Toppings: Pumpkin pie spice, cacao nibs, and unsweetened desiccated coconut.

Directions:

1.  Mix chia seed, spices, vanilla extract, and dairy free milk (or milk of your preference) in a container and refrigerate over night to allow time for seeds to soak and expand. Soak dates in water overnight to soften, they will blend a whole lot easier so do not skip this step.

2. Blend all ingredients for the pumpkin layer in a blender for 15-20 seconds. Your done! That’s it! Layer the two in a cup and top with your favorite goodies. My personal toppings are listed above.

(Note: The longer chia seed sits in liquid, the thicker the consistency will become. The chia pudding in this recipe was prepped the night before, as usual.)

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Since I am not the person who has a serious sweet tooth, try using natural sweeteners if you need. For example, add more dates, bananas, honey, or even sugar.

I absolutely love using mason jars to store food because it creates the perfect portion size and a ready to go breakfast, lunch, or dessert. Ladies and gentlemen, this one really hit the spot and it tastes even better than it looks! (If you can believe that.)

 If you or someone you know are in need of nutrition services from a Registered Dietitian, please contact me via blog email for more information on prices. Thanks!

❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

Per serving: Calories: 225; Total Fat: 7.2 g (Saturated Fat: 3.4 g); Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 30.8 mg; Potassium: 395.3 mg; Total Carbs: 33.5 g; Dietary Fiber: 10 g; Protein: 4 g; Calcium: 37.1%.

Watermelon and Mangerry Sorbet

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If you follow my blog, you may know I am training for my very marathon and I am so grateful it is the Chicago Marathon. It has always been something I planned to do in my 20’s, one of those bucket list items. I cannot begin to explain how excited I am for it and nervous at the same time as it creeps closer and closer. I don’t know if I will become an avid marathon runner, most likely not because they are so expensive, but I will be endlessly proud to say I did it. I finished to the best of my ability and that will never go away. Well, with all my long runs I get very dehydrated, as any runner would. I made the perfect combination of a refueling and rehydrating sorbet the other day after my early morning 24k. I was absolutely drained and it was much needed to say the least.

At the time, I was blissfully unaware that my run that morning would be one of the last in warm weather.:( Within only a few days, the sun in the midwest went from 80’s and shorts to 60’s and hoodies. Today, I am sad to report it even reached mid 50’s. With that said, I hope this does not have to be one of my last summer like post. I suppose I have to stop denying fall weather is coming and begin to embrace the autumn that I do love so much. You can’t blame a girl for hoping for one more hot day, right? Once I adjust my wardrobe accordingly I know my fall obsession will kick into high gear. Do not get my wrong, it is not like you cannot eat cold foods during the colder months because I am the first to make smoothies, fake ice creams, and sorbets in the winter. I am just stating the season is changing and so is my grocery list.

This was my favorite sorbet/(n)ice cream recipe I have ever made, I am truly obsessed! My only mistake was not making more because it all disappeared so quickly… I don’t know where it all went.;) I try to make all my ice cream recipes dairy free to alleviate any chances of stomach aches later as I am sensitive to dairy.

In no time at all you could create your own delicious organic sorbet that will treat your body well. No cooking, baking, or freezing necessary. Just blend the 3 main ingredients:

-Fresh fruit of your choice (I choose watermelon, mango, and raspberries)

-Maca root powder

-Dates (soaked)

In my boyfriend Tim’s words, “This is the perfect homemade Italian Ice”. In other words call it what you want, sorbet, Italian Ice, fake ice cream, (n)ice cream, or heaven in your mouth;). That last option is my favorite.

Among the many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants these fruits provide Vitamin C and lycopene is among one of the highest in my sorbet recipe.

A watermelon’s anti-inflammatory properties from lycopene increases as it ripens, so be sure to use a watermelon that is fully ripe. Lycopene is not only anti-inflammatory, but it is also known for its cancer-fighting health benefits. In addition, watermelon is rehydrating to due to its high water content and it is enjoyed at a low calorie cost.

Raspberries have anthocyanins which may lower blood pressure and improve blood circulation. While mangos contain beta-carotene which may contribute to reduced heart disease and cancer risk, and  increased protection against infection.

I chose to add dates as a natural sweetener and the maca root powder acts as a natural energizer, plus it boosts your immune system. It’s safe to say this is a nutrient dense recipe.

Watermelon and Mangerry Sorbet (Mango/Berry)       

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Serves: 5 (4 oz)IMG_3419

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups watermelon, cubed and frozen
  • 1 mango, frozen
  • 1/4 cup raspberries, frozen
  • 1 cup dates, pre-soaked
  • 2 tsp maca powder

Toppings: Chia seed, cacao nibs, unsweetened desiccated coconut, and raspberries.

Directions:

1. Soak dates the night before in a bowl of water. Make sure water is covering dates completely. This allows them to soften and blend easier. I did not include pre-soak time in the preparation time above.

2. Blend all ingredients together in a food processor until smooth. Top with toppings and your done. Freeze left overs if you have any!

Let me quickly clarify what I mean when I say fresh vs frozen. My frozen fruits are fresh organic fruits I buy from the market, wash, cut, and freeze myself. If you do not choose to buy organic fruit, the frozen packaged fruit is fine to use as well. Try to stay clear from canned fruit preserved in juice with added sugar.

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I hope you enjoy my watermelon sorbet all year long, I know that’s what I’m planning on doing! Feel free to share my blog with family and friends, it’s much appreciated! Happy Weekend!

❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

Per serving: Calories: 100; Total Fat: 0.3 g (Saturated Fat: 0 g); Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 1.8 mg; Potassium: 281.4 mg; Total Carbs: 25.6 g; Dietary Fiber: 2.1 g; Protein: 1.5 g; Calcium: 2.6%.

Raspberry Walnut Salad w/ Massaged Kale

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As I made this fantastic recipe I realized, without a doubt, I had enough to feed a small army. It was for my sweet nephews 2nd birthday party. (Side note: I cannot believe he is already 2 years old, time sure does fly and now he truly is our little man!) Yes, it may sound weird because I choose to make this type of recipe for a kids party, but I couldn’t forget all the adults. At such a young age it is mostly adults anyways and this party was a big one. Plus, we can never forget Brantley loves these types of foods anyways. It worked out perfectly, he ate his nutritious fruit/kale salad and chicken for lunch then quickly transitioned into a sugar coma after stuffing his fondant cake into his cute tiny mouth. I was surprised and thankful at the same time for having so much salad because typically kale shrinks when cooked, massaged, or whatever else you choose to do to it. Not this time, I overestimated and there was plenty of massaged kale to go around. Yes, it shrank a bit, but the end quantity was still more than enough.

I typically make my own dressings, but this time I did use a pre-made one. I bought it from Dominicks the last day it was open during the big sale blowout and never opened it so I thought this sounded like the perfect dressing to fit exactly what I was trying to achieve. I’m not to sure where else it is sold, but if you are down right determined to find it just google it, I am sure it can be ordered online. The brand is Open Nature® Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette. It has no artificial preservatives, low sodium, low cholesterol, low saturated fat content. Plus it obviously tastes amazing. After looking at the ingredients, I debated wether I wanted to make my own version of this dressing, but decided not to due to the lack of time. It is pretty simple, if you want to do it yourself, replace the store bought dressing with:

Red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, olive oil, raspberries, walnuts (soaked overnight), dash of sea salt, fresh garlic, onion powder, organic honey, lime, and spices of your choice.

Note, this is not the same exact ingredient list as on the store bought vinaigrette, but this is my version of how I would replicate it.

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For this recipe I decided to add millet as a healthy gluten-free alternative for a grain. It was cheaper than quinoa and that is enough of a reason right there. Fruit salad, you do not normally think of grains being involved at all right? Well, it’s a staple for me.

1. I add the grains to yield a larger quantity, hence the 40+ people I was making this for.

2. It adds extra fiber and other beneficial nutrients.

3. In this case, it helped to soak up the flavors. (aka the juices from the fruits and the dressing) This contributes to the amazing taste ;).

Millet is contains heart protective properties due to its magnesium content, helps develop and repair body tissue because of its phosphorus levels, and has been linked to protect against diabetes, atherosclerosis, ischemic stroke, insulin resistance, and obesity. 

Raspberry Walnut Salad w/ Massaged Kale      

Preparation time: 40 minutes

(Since I made a large quantity it took me much longer)

Serves: 35-45IMG_3223

Ingredients:

  • 1 pineapple
  • 1 cantaloupe
  • 2 pints of raspberries
  • 2 bunches kale
  • 2 cups millet, uncooked
  • 2 Tbsp crushed nuts
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 cup raspberry walnut vinaigrette
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 7 sprigs fresh thyme
  • sea salt to taste

Directions:

1. Cook millet according to packet. Bring water to a boil, place millet in. Continue to boil for another 10 minutes or until water dissipates. Cover and allow to simmer for 3-5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and allow to cool. Water: grain ratio is 2:1.

2. Meanwhile, prep your raw fruits and veggies. Since I had so much to prepare this is want took me the longest. Cut the pineapple and cantaloupe then set aside. I used a melon baller to make the ball shaped cantaloupe pieces. Juice the lime, set aside. Rinse kale and separate from stem.

3. Wash hands thoroughly, place kale into a large salad or mixing bowl and pour vinaigrette, honey, lime, thyme, and salt. Massage dressing into kale for 5-7 minutes. Next, place all other ingredients into bowl with kale and mix thoroughly. Top with nuts and enjoy.

 If you do not like your salad grain heavy, do not use all the millet that was cooked. I only used about half and stored the rest to use as left overs for the week. That still allow my salad to have a lot of millet in it too.

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If you want to make this salad for a family dinner or party, you could cut down on time in many different ways. Pre-cut the fruit the night before, separate the kale from its stem the night before, and cook the millet the night before. That is the great thing about this salad, with the exception of the millet, no cooking is involved and so many steps to make this can be done ahead of time. I hope you all try out my recipe and if you do please don’t forget to #brnutritionvision, tag me, or share me on facebook with friends and family! Thanks guys and have a fantastic Sunday!

GO BEARS!!!!

❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

Per serving (2 cups): Calories: 84; Total Fat: 1.7 g (Saturated Fat: 0.1 g); Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 46.5 mg; Potassium: 185.9 mg; Total Carbs: 14.9 g; Dietary Fiber: 0.8 g; Protein: 2 g; Calcium: 0.6%.

Hibiscus-and-Berry Iced Tea

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If there was ever a drink created in life to sip from while in your back yard on a hot and humid summer night while watching the sun go down, it is iced tea. I am so glad I made this when I did because the humidity that has come along with all this rain in the midwest is not okay with me anymore. Everyone was in need of something light a refreshing and this was the answer to our prayers.

So here’s my twist on iced tea.

I brewed up some delicious Hibiscus-and-Berry Iced Tea infused with fresh thyme for everyone to enjoy during these humid days and nights.

The acids naturally in hibiscus flowers are known for their potent antioxidant properties. It is rich is vitamin C, anthocyanins, and flavonoids. Hibiscus has been used to combat stress, fatigue, coughs, colds, prevent bladder infections, relieve menopausal hot flashes, and help with constipation.

Some research has shown hibiscus to be effective for:

Lowering high blood pressure

Lowering high cholesterol

Improving digestive health

Reducing inflammation

 My favorite health benefits is hibiscus aids in weight loss. It inhibits the production of amylase, which aids in the absorption of carbohydrates. Although more research is needed to show sufficient evidence for the effects of hibiscus, it has been used since ancient times.

Hibiscus-and-Berry Iced Tea infused with thyme

Prep time:  15 minutes

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Cool Down: 1 hr

Serves: 2.5 gallons or 40 (8 oz)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried hibiscus flowers, organic
  • 8 cups water
  • 1/2 cup honey or your sweetener of choice
  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1/2 cup blackberries
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme

Directions:

1. Place water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Add hibiscus flowers and honey into pot. Continue to boil over high heat for another 3-5 minutes, stirring continuously until honey dissolves.

2. Change heat to low, cover, and allow to simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temp.

3. Meanwhile, muddle strawberries, blackberries, and fresh thyme in tea pitcher with a wooden spoon.

4. Once tea cools, using a fine mesh strainer, strain liquid into pitcher. Push down on hibiscus flowers in strainer with spoon to extract any excess liquid. I added some of the soaked hibiscus flowers in the tea pitcher with the thyme and berries for added flavor. Add additional water until pitcher is full to dilute color and enjoy. Keep refrigerated until next use.

Personally, I do not like extremely sweet drinks in general. This made the honey a perfect addition for me. Try adding 1 tsp of stevia in the raw, honey, agave, or sugar per 8 oz of liquid if you like a sweeter beverage.

Do not throw the hibiscus flowers away! I kept mine to use them in many different ways. My favorite, candied hibiscus flowers. I will be writing a post for that recipe soon, so keep an eye out for it.

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Dried hibiscus flowers are not always the easiest to find. I bought these at a market in the city where they were dirt cheap. I suggest searching local farmers markets to find organic hibiscus flowers for reasonable prices.

Thank you all for continuing to visualize nutrition with me! Keep hydrated and refreshed with my Hibiscus Tea, I hope you enjoy it!

 Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

Per serving : Calories: 17; Total Fat: 0 g (Saturated Fat: 0 g); Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 0.2 mg; Potassium: 8.5 mg; Total Carbs: 3.7 g; Dietary Fiber: 0.2 g; Protein: 0.1 g; Calcium: 0.1%.

Massaged Kale & Pluot Salad

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Health sure is a form of wealth that is hard to attain and even harder to keep. I myself do not always “stay on track” as they say. The most important part about eating healthy is how you react when you eat junk. I do not beat myself up over it, I do not starve myself for the next couple days, I do not lie to myself by saying i’m not hungry when I truly am. I just move on and eat a good nutritious meal next time. There is nothing wrong with eating a little “off track” sometimes. I will actually commend you for admitting it and getting right back to the healthy choices.

Many people I see tell me, ” I know what’s healthy, but I just don’t know how to put the meals together or I’m sick of the typical healthy meals like a caesar salad.”  This is why I love to play with ingredients and try new things. You cannot get sick of a recipe if it’s new right? Yes, I’ll eat my unhealthy meals from time to time, but when I make nutrient dense recipes like this one, it doesn’t even compare.

I believe this recipe is from a week ago and after promising all my instagram followers the recipe, I finally got around to posting it so I apologize to all of you! This is my version of a perfect massaged kale salad with pluots. Now let me address basically every word I just mentioned in that last sentence.

Massaged Kale…Yes, you heard me right. This is a very popular thing to do among people who follow a fully raw diet. I know it sounds a bit strange, I am not going to deny that fact. All I can say is trust me, raw kale can taste delicious. I’ll teach you how to make it great right now. When I say massage, I literally mean massage. The first thing you have to do is wash your hands very well (obviously). You will be digging into the kale with your hands, so making sure they are washed is most important. Adding something with citrus such as a lemon or lime to the raw kale is typical. This breaks down the fibrous cell walls of the kale making it easier to eat and also gets rid of that bitter taste. The best way to describe the changes in the kale is by saying it softens and wilts. When you cook kale, it is no longer considered raw and it shrinks a lot. Although, massaged kale will still shrink, its end product is much larger compared to cooked. Some people use a lot of ingredients to massage their kale and some use only a few. I have done this millions of times in many different ways, but today I used lime, apple cider vinegar, and olive oil. My sister could not understand the concept at first, she continued to tell me, ” Stop massaging your kale and massage me.” However, once she tasted it, she loved it.

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This recipe was made for a dinner party and I was asked the question, “What is a pluot?”  Some of you may never have heard of this before, but it is a cross between a plum and an apricot. It’s a hybrid fruit that may have a funny sounding name, but the health benefits you get from it are no joke.

Pluots contain a significant amount of vitamin A and vitamin C, dietary fiber, and  beta carotene. 

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Health Benefits 

1. Improve digestive health. 

2. Improve Immune System. 

3. Speed up Healing Process. 

4. Contains High Antioxidant Levels. 

5. Fiber Helps Manage/Prevent Diabetes. 

6. Helps Keep Fluid Intake High. 

(Note: Pluots naturally contain a high amount of sugar. If you have issues maintaining proper sugar levels in your diet, do not consume a lot of pluots.)

Massaged Kale and Pluot Salad

Prep time:  15 minutes

Serves: 8

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 lime, juiced

2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

3 pluots, sliced

1 cup red cabbage, chopped

1 avocado, scored

1 bunch of kale, massaged

1/2 cup carrots, shredded

3/4 cup blueberries

1/2 cucumber, large

1 bunch radishes (6 total), sliced

fresh ground black pepper

sea salt to taste

Directions:

1. Chop, cut, and slice all fruits and veggies so they can be ready to throw in the salad bowl at the end.

2. Wash hands thoroughly. I find it easiest to pour the ingredients directly onto the kale when massaging it. Pour olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and lime onto kale. Massage with hands for about 3-5 minutes. Your hands will get dirty so do not be afraid to really get in there.

3. Place all other ingredients into salad bowl, add spices and herbs, and toss the salad.

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This has honestly been my “go to thing”. I do not only teach and recommend it to everyone, but I personally prepare some form of massaged kale almost everyday.

Everyone gobbled up this delicious dish at dinner. This is my vision of a vibrant summer salad. The more color in your dish, the more nutrients on your plate.

This salad is organic, dairy free, gluten free, vegan friendly, and fully raw. Enjoy!

 Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

Per serving : Calories: 140; Total Fat: 7.2 g (Saturated Fat: 1.2 g); Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 44.7 mg; Potassium: 616.8 mg; Total Carbs: 20 g; Dietary Fiber: 5.2 g; Protein: 3.9 g; Calcium: 11.7%.

 

 

National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

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With the start of September already here, it is also the start of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.

More than 23 million children and teenagers in the US between the ages of 2 to 19 are considered obese or overweight. This is a statistic that medical and health experts consider to be an epidemic.

This puts 1/3 of America’s children at early risk for Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and even stroke. These are typically conditions associated with adulthood. Can you believe that? We live in a society where many chronic diseases and health conditions adults worry about are now something young children have to worry about. It is both a sad and horrible thing. 

It is up to all of us to prevent this epidemic from spreading through increasing awareness on an individual level. Living a healthy lifestyle is the first step you can take to help model positive eating habits for your children. Eating right and incorporating daily physical activity into your life should truly be something you start for yourself, but when children enter the equation, you begin to eat healthy not only for yourself, but for your kids too. Eating fresh, whole foods and removing the processed, fried junk from your diet should really start when your children are in the womb. Remember it’s never too early to motivate your kids to eat healthy. 

1. Serve Healthy Meals. This is where it begins. The adult is the one in charge of making food choices when a child is young. Prepare healthy meals with fresh vegetables and fruit. Use whole grains and stay away from processed foods. If your child eats healthy at a young age, chances are those same habits will continue through life.

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Whole grain waffles with nut butter and fresh organic fruit. 

2. Keep Heathy Snacks Around. We all know children to do not always have the best patience in the world. How many times have you found yourself giving a child something very unhealthy because they needed a quick snack. It’s not that big of a deal right? Well, when that same behavior occurs multiple times year after year then it turns into a bigger deal. Eliminate that option all together and buy healthy snacks to keep in the house. This way the quick and easy items will be nutrient dense.    

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Root Veggie chips with tuscan white bean hummus (store bought) 

3. Encourage exercise. Get outside and play as a family. Go for a family walk after dinner, ride your bike with your children, play at the park, go on weekend hikes, play sports such as basketball, soccer, or football. My nephew loves to just be outside and run. As long as your moving its physical activity.

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4. Limit electronic time. Our world is run by the internet, do not allow your child to get sucked in at such a young age. Limit time they can watch television or play with electronics to 2 hours or less. At a young age, children should want to play outside anyway more than they want to watch t.v.

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Let’s all do our part to help kids have a brighter and healthier future.

Happy National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month!

Thanks for Visualizing Nutrition with me!

❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN