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

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  • 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 

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  • 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 

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  • 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) 

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  • 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

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The Big Green

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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.

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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.

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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%.

Berry-Cherry Protein Delight

As some of you may know I have been training for the marathon and with that comes a lot of long grueling runs that manage to suck all the energy you have. It is obviously important to eat healthy nutrient dense foods normally, so now that I am expending more energy than usual on a daily basis I have to make sure I am refueling my body with the right nutrients to help me perform to my best ability.

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As of today I am in my sixth week of training and enjoyed an 8 m pace run. If any fellow runners out there have any advice, I would love to hear it because I am about to say something that may blow your mind. As I have mentioned, I am an avid runner and have consistently kept my milage and pace up. I typically slit at 7:30 to 8:40, it varies depending upon many factors: distance that day, time of day, pre-workout meal, weather, ect. Anyhow, I began to follow my training plan the first 2 weeks, stopped the 3rd,4th, and 5th (continuing to run and cross train, just not on a marathon training plan), and I just started the schedule again this week. I am getting nervous about being ready since this is my first marathon ever and hope I have enough time because some people train for these things for years! I have exacting 12.5 weeks… this is the time when I say “What the hell am I going to do, I hope I don’t die!”. Well I am staying strict to my regime from here on out and fueling my body with healthy nutritious foods.

I enjoyed a tasty post run smoothie made with organic raw protein, fresh ginger, tart cherry juice, strawberries, bananas, and coconut milk. I like to use all organic products, vegan friendly ingredients, and eat raw as much as possible. I will always be the first to tell you I am not vegan, I am not fully raw, or any other food labels out there. I tend to eat certain ways, but I eat meat every so often and I love dairy, dairy just doesn’t love me so much, that is why I try to limit our contact. I advocate eating real whole foods and will be happy to teach more about my personal preferences for any one who wants to know more.

ginger-health-benefits-uses-fresh-gingerfresh-cherries      For this smoothie in particular, I used fresh ginger and tart cherry juice because they function as natural pain relievers. These foods have anti-inflammatory properties that minimize muscle soreness and discomfort one may feel after physical activity or a long run. Tart cherries contain phenolics, the plant compound with the anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants. In addition to relieving muscle pain, it can help with arthritis and sleep disorders. 

When it comes to pre and post workout drinks and when should you consume protein the answer is grey. It all really depends, depends on when you ate your meal prior before your workout, depends on what you ate, depends of the type of exercise you will be doing, ect, ect. I will get into that in later post or feel free to contact my via email with any questions. I just want to get to the recipe part for you guys since I have rambled on long enough.

Berry-Cherry Protein Delight   

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 banana, frozen
  • 1/2 cup Tart cherries or tart cherry juice
  • 1/4 cup strawberries, frozen
  • 1/4 cup strawberries, fresh
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 scoop protein powder, raw vanilla
  • 1 cup coconut milk

Directions:

1. Add all ingredients together and blend. I used the magic bullet, any blender will work. (Tip: add the protein powder last, it makes it easier to blend well into a smooth uniform mixture, if it is added as one of the first ingredients the powder tends to clump up and get stuck at the bottom of the cup.)

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I used Raw Vanilla Protein Powder. It is an organic protein formula made with sprouted brown rice proteins containing no added filler, artificial flavors, or synthetic nutrients. You can top with any superfood or fresh fruit of your choice. I used cinnamon, desiccated unsweeted coconut, and organic raw cacao nibs to boost the smoothies already high antioxidant level and add a rich chocolate taste. I do not promote usage of specific brands, I am only stating what I have used for my own personal use.

 

 

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I’m visualizing nutrition everyday, join me on this journey to health!

Per serving: Calories: 372; Total Fat: 9.7 g (Saturated Fat: 5 g); Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 54.1 mg; Potassium: 514.1 mg; Total Carbs: 61 g; Dietary Fiber: 8.8 g; Protein: 19.6 g; Calcium: 50.3%.

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