Friday, December 19, 2014

Roasted Apple Sweet Potatoes

A delicious lower calorie recipe for sweet potatoes the whole family will love this holiday season!

Meet my new favorite holiday recipe!  A few weeks ago I prepared this recipe for my family's Thanksgiving feast (yes I have been hoping to share this recipe for a few weeks now).  The roasted Apple Sweet Potato recipe was an instant hit and loved by all.  The tart and sweet flavors provided by the apple bring the sweet potatoes to a whole new level.

When most people think of sweet potato recipes for the holidays they picture mashed sweet potatoes with a layer of melted marshmallows on top.  In my opinion you either love or hate the mashed sweet potato recipe.  I happen to love them, but that love is not shared by all my family members.  Of note I have only recently come to love mashed sweet potatoes.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

ATLANTA PLUGGED IN Television Interview "Pantry Staples"

A few weeks ago I was offered the opportunity to tape (thank goodness not live) a television segment on "Must-Have Food and Beverage Staples to Survive the Holidays" on a local show, Atlanta Plugged In (on CBS46).  I never want to turn down the opportunity for a television interview because I always have a blast being interviewed and want to gain more experience in the media. My recent childbirth made me question if I was up for this at the present moment. Would I get sleep before the interview? Could I find clothing that actually fit?

I decided to give it a shot and the planning went underway.  It was a blast planning for the segment. First I had to decide on what pantry staples I would choose.  Here is what I chose:

1.  Whole Grain Crackers - Who doesn't attend a holiday party that doesn't have crackers?  It's important you choose crackers that are made with 100% whole grains. This can be verified by looking at the ingredients on the side panel and the first ingredient should say Whole Grain (will likely specify the exact grain).
2.  Canned Tomatoes - A versatile pantry staple packed with nutrients such a lycopene (an antioxidant that may help prevent certain cancers and heart disease).  Perfect to have on hand for a last minute dinner preparation or for appetizers.  Try to choose lower sodium or no added salt varieties.
3.  Lower Calorie Beverages - Having lower calorie options other than water will certainly please the guests over the holidays.  Vitamin Water Zero is a delicious option for those who want some flavor in their water. For the soda loves consider Coca-Cola mini cans or the new Coca-Cola Life (a reduced calorie cola).
4. Nuts - Pantry staples would not be complete without a protein source.  Nuts can be eaten alone, added to baked goods, mixed in salads, and much more.  In addition to protein, nuts are packed with heart healthy fats that may reduce the risk of hear disease.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Rice Cake Ornament

Happy Friday!!

Since the arrival of Max I have not been able to spend any time creating recipes for upcoming blog posts.  I miss this creative time I used to have (of course the adorable baby is a better trade), so it felt good to get back into the kitchen yesterday and let my mind go.

Today's recipe does not involve any cooking or baking, but I still was able to come up with a treat the whole family will enjoy.  The creation is a Rice Cake topped with peanut butter and candy to resemble a Christmas tree ornament.  The peanut butter not only creates a layer for the candy to adhere to the rice cake, but also adds protein to the snack.  I choose chocolate coated chocolate candies and red licorice to create the ornament design, however you could choose any of you favorite candy pieces.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

10 Healthy Holiday Gifts for 2014

This holiday season there is no shortage of health themed gifts to give your family and friends. Whether you are trying to find something for your health conscious friend or trying to aid your family member into a healthier lifestyle you are sure to find something fitting.  In today's post I am going to share some of my favorite "healthy" gift ideas.

1.  Dessert BulletTM

The Dessert Bullet is my number ONE gift pick.  Its perfect for the ice-cream lover as it creates a lower calorie all natural frozen dessert in seconds.  All you have to do is put your favorite frozen treat - such as bananas or strawberries into the machine - and within seconds you have a smooth frozen treat.  The Dessert Bullet is very economically friendly at about fifty dollars.

2.   VeggettiTM

Over the past year I posted several recipes using vegetable spaghetti made with spiral slicer such as Chicken Spinach Spaghetti Squash and Garlic Beef Vegetable Pasta. The Veggetti is a much simpler option to a spiral slicer due to its compact size and easier storage option.  Hopefully the Veggetti will help to introduce even more people to the dramatically lower calorie pasta option using vegetables.

3.  Food Saver Vegetable Containers

So often times people throw away the unused portion of the vegetable or herb they are cooking with.  These adorable themed containers will help reduce waste and promote storage of the unused produce.   The food saver containers will be one of the most economically gifts of the holiday season.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo 2014

Last month the annual Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE) was hosted by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in Atlanta Georgia.    This conference is one of the largest Nutrition conferences in the world and attracts thousands of attendees.  Fortunately I have been able to attend the conference the past few years and certainly didn't want to miss out this year, even if I was pregnant.  Given the conference was local I was able to attend the conference all three and half days at 38 weeks pregnant.  In fact I think all of the walking may have helped Mr. Max show his face a few days early!

The opportunities at FNCE are endless.  Days start early with sponsored breakfasts and go late with sponsored dinners and receptions.  The daytime is filled with informative educational sessions, visits through the massive Expo hall, and even more networking.  In today's post I will highlight some of my experiences at FNCE.

Expo Hall - Hass Avocado Board Booth

First and Foremost, I Presented at FNCE
After attending FNCE last year in Houston I decided the following year I wanted to present at the
conference. Working in a Bariatric Surgery department over the past year I opted to speak about Weight Regain after Bariatric Surgery.  Unfortunately this is an increasing problem that can occur anywhere from 1 to 10 years after bariatric surgery.  Approximately 20-30% of people who undergo bariatric surgery do not achieve successful weight loss results.  There is no easy or simply solution to prevent weight regain after bariatric surgery, but it is important perspective candidates view bariatric surgery as a tool to a permanent lifestyle change.
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