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.
I love hearing from all of you so continue to follow me in Instagram, twitter, tumblr, and pintrest.
❤ 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%.

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

Chocolate Peanut B(e)tter Ice-No-Cream

IMG_2420Hey all, so I have been on vacation for the past week enjoying the beautiful weather from Pensacola, FL. I would have made a couple post from Florida because everything I ate was amazing, but did you think I was going to bring my computer and spend vacation time doing that? Sorry! I loved the seafood options, fresh veggies and fruit, and of course the scenery. I had my fair share of eating out during the week while I was there, so now that I am in Illinois again I am getting back on track with some of my favorite foods.

As I mentioned before in my Tips on How to Keep Food Healthy and Fun: Banana Edition post, there are a ton of ways you can utilize bananas to make a healthy version of your favorite sweet treat. Anyone who knows me personally knows I am all for using alternative baking methods so when it comes to replacing sweetened condense milk and heavy cream with bananas I am jumping for joy. If you follow my blog, instagram, or other social networks you know I always make my “ice cream” with frozen bananas. This is the key ingredient because once it’s blended it is a close contender with the consistency of real ice cream. Of course, it is not exactly the same and my boyfriend and father would be the first people to argue my version of ice cream is not comparable to the real thing, but I will argue that it is even better because it taste delicious, is a lighter choice in calories and fat, is filling, and leaves your body feeling good not guilty. You know what I mean, that feeling of eating an entire carton of ice cream to then feel horrible immediately after doing it. Well I was never really a fan of ice cream anyway and now because of my obsession with banana fake ice cream I will never buy the real thing again. I’m sure my boyfriend is thrilled about that one. 😉

This recipe is vegan friendly, gluten free, and dairy free. To learn more about the benefits from maca root powder check out my Greek Yogurt Cup post.

Chocolate Peanut B(e)tter Ice-No-Cream 

Prep time: 5-8 minutesimage

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup diced mango
  • 1 Tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 tsp maca powder
  • 1 Tbsp almond butter
  • 2 Tbsp PB2
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Ice

Toppings: Raw cacao nibs and my homemade 1 -minute vegan chocolate sauce

Directions:

1. Blend all ingredients until consistency is smooth and creamy. Food processor, the bullet, vitamix, or any old blender will work. If you choose not to add milk the consistency will be much thicker and you might have to scrap the sides down a couple times, but it still works. 😉

(Note: My measurements are precise for an accurate nutrition analysis, however, with a recipe such as this one you can just eye ball the ingredients. This makes it much faster for you. When I make anything I typically eye ball because I have gotten good at knowing how much I am using, but when I make a post I make sure to use measuring spoons just because I want to provide my audience with the most precise nutrition analysis as I can.)

2. The vegan chocolate sauce is my homemade recipe. You can get it here: 1-minute vegan chocolate chips  . I already had some of these chocolate chips left over in my freezer from the last time I made them so I took about three pieces and heated them in a sauce pan for 30 seconds because they melt quickly. You may not even need 30 full seconds. Next, I drizzled the sauce over my fake chocolate peanut b(e)tter ice-no-cream and topped with cacao nibs.

(Note: the raw cacao nibs are not accounted for in the nutrition info, to be honest it’s only because I forgot to add them and did not want to do it all over again, I am in a pinch for time. I used a bit less than 1 Tbsp, which would add roughly 30 calories to your dessert.)

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 I hope you enjoyed my version of chocolate peanut butter ice cream. Indulging never felt so good and this dessert is something I will eat for breakfast. How exciting!? Remember to tag me at #brnutritionvision when you make something from my blog. I love seeing beautiful photos of my recipes out there. Keep visualizing nutrition with me. Thank you!!!
❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

Per serving (no toppings) : Calories: 198; Total Fat: 7.9 g (Saturated Fat: 3.1 g); Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 64.4 mg; Potassium: 443.8 mg; Total Carbs: 27.4 g; Dietary Fiber: 5.6 g; Protein: 6.4 g; Calcium: 27.2%.

 

Meal Prep Ideas

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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?

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN

Back and Blazing

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Hey all!

Im finally back! Yes, I took a hiatus even though I haven’t been blogging for long at all. To be honest, getting into the routine of this whole posting everyday thing is hard for me. I am constantly on the go, have a million things going on in life, and I am not embarrassed to say I have self diagnosed myself years ago with attention deficit disorder, even though doctors didn’t officially diagnose me I feel like my overactive mind prevents me from focusing on getting these entries done. I’m just joking, partly. The real reason for my lack on consistency is I truly have never been the social media expert. I was the person who never had a xanga, had someone else make my facebook for me because I either didn’t care enough to do it or I didn’t know how, and couldn’t use it for a year because I didn’t know my password and didn’t bother to get a new one. Yep, I may have been technologically challenged and realized I dated myself by bringing up xanga.

Well there comes a time where a new leaf should be turned and I am trying to embrace the social media world and connect to as many people as possible because I realize I have something I can give to the world to help others! I have always wanted to live in an environment where I can do my part to help make people happy and for me that is through nutrition. I love a lot of things, but nutrition is something i’m passionate about. I want to help people change their bodies, their health, their lives. If I can help people reach their weight loss goal by starting a blog, then so be it, I am starting it because many people in the world need professional dietetic advice, motivation, and support (me including). A lot of people who I have encountered do not know where to start looking for the right professional assistance they need and that’s where I step in.

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So if you care at all about what I have to say, are remotely interested in your health, like to exercise, or want some great healthy recipe inspiration then follow me on my blog MyNutiritonVision.wordpress.com if you haven’t already because I will be talking about all those topics. And if your not interested than that’s okay, please be nice and don’t write any mean things. That would be great, thanks!

Oh and don’t mind my grammar or run-on sentences. I never claimed to be the best writer, but for some reason I feel compelled to share my words with the world so I am telling you ahead of time I most likely will be writing my thoughts as they rapidly pour out of my head. With that said there may be a mistake or two, but I probably won’t be proof reading much because this is not a published book, so I think I can live with a misspelled word here and there.

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Thanks for Visualizing Nutrition with me!

The weekend is almost here so what’s not to smile about!