Double-Layer-Chocolate-Chia-Spirulina-Smoothie

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

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

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

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

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

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

cardiovascular disease

some types of cancers

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

Double-Layer-Chocolate-Chia-Spirulina-Smoothie 

Prep Time: 5 minutes

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Servings: 1 (pint)

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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

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

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Enjoy your weekend and your smoothie! Thanks for visiting!

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

❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

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

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Breakfast of Champs

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Hey Y’all!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Co-Yo Bowl with Spirulina  

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

Servings: 1

Ingredients:

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

Toppings:

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

Directions:

1. Blend ingredients for base first.

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

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

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

Enjoy your breakfast of champs!

Thanks for visiting!

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

❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

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

Raw Apple Nachos

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

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

Raw Apple Nachos 

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Servings: 5

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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

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

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

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

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Enjoy your healthy alternative apple nachos! Thanks for visiting!

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

❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

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

Butternut Squash Mash

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

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

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

Butternut Squash Mash

Prep Time: 40 minutes bake, 50 minutes total 

Servings: 10 cupsIMG_4407

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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

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

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

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

❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Serves: 1 (pint)IMG_3970

Ingredients:

Chocolate Mouse

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

 Chia Pudding

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

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

Directions:

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

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

❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

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

Fun with Fall Food

Since everybody is obsessed with Fall and Halloween so much, including myself, I thought it would be a great idea to share some of the personal favorite recipes I have done in the past that are fall theme. I am only including the shortened version of each recipe so I can post lots of ideas. If you have questions or comments about any item below, please feel free to ask and I will help you as best as I can. Thank you everyone, Happy October!

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1.  Pumpkin Spiced Carrot Juice 

Carrots, oranges, pumpkin spice, turmeric, grated ginger, and a dash of cayenne pepper. I used a juicer for this one, but if you do not have one try using a blender. It will not come out as smooth with a blender, so you will most likely have to add water. However, I think it will taste just as delicious. Other option, buy freshly squeezed orange juice and carrot juice at a local store, ex. Mariano’s, then add the spices and your done. Aim for using organic, non-gmo produce. This recipe is immune boosting with a variety of antioxidants like vitamin A, C, and phytonutrient beta-carotene. Try out my amazing orange juice today and enjoy it as it’s polyacetylenes, an anti-inflammatory agent, provides cardiovascular protection. 

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2. Raw Peach Pumpkin Pie

My signature raw pumpkin pie is perfect for so many people. Whether you are following a raw diet, vegan, dairy-free, or gluten-free this is the recipe for you. I made a fully raw nut crust using almonds, walnuts, pecans, dates, flax seed, and spices (grated ginger and cinnamon). Blend in food processor, press in pan and freeze. Next I sliced peaches and layered them as the filling and topped with pumpkin puree and drizzled organic honey and desiccated coconut. Modify at your discretion because making minor changes are extremely simple in this case. Use any fruit you have on hand: apples, pears, plums. Prefer it warm? I made two and left one raw and baked the other for 10-15 minutes at 225 degrees. If you have a sweet tooth, this is a great health option for you. 1 slice= 280 kcals, 10 g fat (the “good” fat), and 7 g protein.

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3. Health Candy Corn Cups 

First layer, chopped pineapple (organic of course). Second layer, clementines. Top layer, Whipped topping. The easiest recipe known to man, am I right? I’m going to be honest with this one, I saw something sort of similar last year online, but of course I had to modify it to make it my own. I made my own vegan whipped topping with coconut milk so my sister could enjoy it as well. I made these for a halloween event I worked where all the kids loved it. Needless to say, I skipped the wine glasses for the little ones;). To save time, using fat free cool whip or vanilla greek yogurt are both great options to use as well. Plus you get the added protein bonus with the yogurt. This is a fun and quick sweet treat that can be shared with your kids and family for Halloween. Adults can use a wine glass to make it a bit more fancy;).

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4. Cauliflower Mashed Boo-Tatoes

I clearly love my veggies and try to get them in everywhere. The best advice for weight loss and weight management is to get in as many veggies as you can, but the trick many people struggle with is not getting tired of them so quickly. Cooking with vegetables is like an art. You can use them in many different forms using creativity and disguising them to look like something new. For this recipe, simply steam the cauliflower. I added some of my favorites: fresh garlic, onion powder, a small amount of grass fed butter, and salt and pepper to taste. This is a good low carb side dish that is nutrient dense and great way to get your kids to eat their veggies. The pumpkins are made from sweet potatoes and topped with a sliced almond. Bake for 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees. I used a plastic bag and cut the tip in place of a pipet to form the ghost and pumpkins.

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5. Pumpkin-Cabbage Smoothie Surprise 

This one may sound weird, but the finished product was amazing and was more filling than any other smoothie I have every eaten. Red cabbage, oranges, and mango for the purple, pumpkin, oranges, and carrots for the orange. Use coconut water and sweetener of your choice for the whole thing. I used stevia in the raw. Blend in food processor.

I hope you all have at least one new fall recipe idea after reading this post. Now go enjoy this weather and have a fantastic Sunday!

Thanks for visualizing nutrition at MyNutritionVision!

❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

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!
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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%.

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%.

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%.