Peach-Pineapple Protein Shake

Serves 1 , Serving size 1 Shake

  • 1 16-oz bag frozen peaches
  • 1 can sliced pineapples (in water or natural juice)
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  1. Using only half of the bag of frozen peaches and 5 slices of pineapple, place in blender.
  2. Add protein powder and almond milk.
  3. Start blending at medium speed, increasing speed after about 1 minute to make sure all chunks are blended.
  4. Pour into glasses and enjoy!

Calories 210. Fat 2g. Protein 14g.

KP’s Tip: It may look like the carb content is high, but it’s all natural carbohydrate which your body needs for immediate energy!

Cromosa

Serves 1 , Serving size 1 Drink

  • 1 bottle of champagne
  • 1 bottle of Trop50 Orange juice
  • 1 bottle of Ocean Spray “Light” Cranberry and Raspberry Juice
  • Clementines
  1. Pour desired amount of champagne into glass, leaving some room for juice splash.
  2. Splash the orange juice, and then the cranberry juice (about ½ oz each) making sure not to overfill the glass.
  3. Garnish with a clementine slice and enjoy!

Calories 84. Fat 0g. Protein 0g.

KP’s Tip: I love this drink because it’s DELICIOUS, but it’s also friendly to your waist line. Less than 100 calories per drink is lower than almost any other mixed drink or beer. 

Put a Little “Everything” In Your Life

Everything bagel seasoning has emerged as the latest thing to literally put on everything. So why not provide you with some knowledge on why it can be great for you and how you can use it more often! It all started with a grocery store called Trader Joe’s. They came out with a little bottle of magic called “Everything but the bagel” seasoning, and it sounds exactly like it is…everything but the bagel.

It’s simply the seasoning that you find on an everything bagel, but guess what….it’s good on everything!! 

It’s comprised of sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried onion flakes, dried garlic flakes, and sea salt. All these flavors formed into one make a super seasoning! So why should we use it on foods? The poppy and sesame seeds are going to offer up more healthy fats (omega-3s), offer more satiety in meals, and of course load it up with flavor. Calories are moderately low, so this seasoning is a great choice to add a burst of flavor. A serving size is considered ¼ tsp which offers up a whopping 5 calories, so while it still provides calories, it’s not going to load calories onto a meal like a sauce or marinade would. You do still have to be aware of the sodium, since sea salt is one of the ingredients, but as a whole, this can be a great choice on lots of different foods. 

If you haven’t tried “everything” seasoning yet, here are a couple of foods you could try it with to see if you truly like it. I’ve personally thrown it onto my eggs (which is amazing), coated chicken and steak with it, added it to roasted veggies, and you could also add it to a soup, salad or avocado toast as well! There are SO many ways you can use this seasoning that it’s almost silly not to try it. 

Finding this seasoning used to be much harder, but with the popularity of it growing, it’s easier to find. Some big stores you can find it in include Walmart, Costco,Giant, Redner’s and of course the OG Trader Joe’s. If you don’t feel like buying it, chances are you have all the ingredients to make it at home too! Here are the ratios:

¼ cup sesame seeds

¼ cups poppy seeds

3 tbsp dried onion flakes

3 tbsp dried garlic flakes 

2 tbsp course sea salt 

Mix all this together and you’ll get 1 cup of deliciousness! Try it for yourself and comment below to let me know what you thought! Time to take your meals up a notch!

Berry Banana Breakfast Shake

Serves 1 , Serving size 1 Drink

  • 1 banana, peeled
  • 1/3c low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1/2c raspberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 ½ c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • ½ scoop vanilla protein powder
  1. Add all ingredients into a blender.
  2. Start out at medium speed until the fruit is mostly chopped into tiny pieces.
  3. Increase the blender speed to high and run for about 30 seconds.
  4. Pour and enjoy!

Calories 291. Fat 6g. Protein 21g.

KP’s Tip: This is a great shake to start your day. It’s important to make sure you get a good balance of your macronutrients first thing in the morning; carbohydrate, protein, and fat.

Chicken Caesar Flatbread

Serves 4 , Serving size 2 slices

  • 1 refrigerated thin crust pizza dough
  • 5oz plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 small can sliced olives
  • ½ c cherry tomatoes, sliced lengthwise
  • 2-3 cooked chicken breast tenderloins
  • 3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp light Caesar dressing
  • 1 bag romaine lettuce
  1. Preheat oven to 425⁰.
  2. Coat your pizza stone or sheet pan with flour and roll out pizza dough evenly.
  3. Place in preheated oven for 6 minutes. This is to make sure the middle of the crust cooks evenly after all the toppings have been added.
  4. In small bowl, mix yogurt, garlic, salt and pepper.
  5. Take dough out of oven, top with greek yogurt mixture, tomatoes, olives, and chicken.
  6. Place in oven for another 10 minutes, or until crust is golden.
  7. Top off with romaine lettuce, drizzle with dressing, and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
  8. Let cool about 5 minutes, slice, and serve!

Calories 326. Fat 7g. Protein 24g.

KP’s Tip: To speed things up, you can always use rotisserie chicken or pre-cooked chicken pieces for the pizza. This way, all your ingredients are ready to be made into a delicious, colorful meal.

Chicken Enchiladas

Serves 4 , Serving size 2 enchiladas

  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 package “Tumaro’s” Let’s skip the sandwich wraps (8 count)
  • 1 green pepper (chopped)
  • 1/2 sweet onion (chopped)
  • 1tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 10oz cans of mild enchilada sauce
  • 1 can mild salsa (hot if you like spicy foods)
  • 1 4oz can diced jalapenos
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp each of salt and pepper
  • 2 cups shredded mexican blend cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 375⁰ and spray 9×13 pan with non-stick spray.
  2. Spoon 1/2 can of enchilada sauce on the bottom of the pan. 
  3. Brown ground chicken over medium-high heat.
  4. Once browned, add pepper, onion, jalapenos, and garlic and saute until onions are translucent.
  5. Add in red pepper flakes, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper and mix to combine.
  6. Add remaining half of enchilada sauce to meat mixture. 
  7. Prepare assembly of enchiladas. 
  8. Layer one wrap with about 3 tbsp chicken mixture, top with 1 tbsp cheese, and 1 tbsp salsa. (Be sure to reserve 1 cup cheese)
  9. Wrap tightly around mixture to form enchilada, and place seam side down into pan. 
  10. Continue with remaining mixture to form 8 enchiladas. 
  11. If you have any meat left over, just pour on top of assembled enchiladas. 
  12. Top with another 1/2 can enchilada sauce, and 1c cheese. 
  13. Bake for 25 minutes or until bubbling, take out and enjoy!! 

Calories 408. Fat 20g. Protein 25g.

KP’s Tip: Buy the pre-chopped peppers and onions mix if availabile in your grocery store. They make life so much easier, and quicker! Not a fan of ground chicken? Buy a rotisserie chicken, debone and shred into small pieces to use. 

Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Oatmeal

Serves 6 , Serving size 1 cup

  • 1c uncooked quinoa
  • 2c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/3c craisins
  • 1/4c sugar
  • 3 medium apple (any variety), peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

1. Place all ingredients into slow cooker and mix in together well. Place on high for 2.5 hours (You’ll start to smell apple pie in your house). 

2. Scoop out into bowls and enjoy! Be careful, it’ll be very hot. 

Calories 180. Fat 3g. Protein 4g.

KP’s Tip: If you want the most out of your apple, leave the skin on. The skin is where all the nutrients hide out at, so if you keep the skin on, you’ll get all the benefits from the apple as well! You could also switch this up as a dessert. Just top with low-fat vanilla frozen yogurt while the oatmeal’s still hot and it’ll turn into an amazing after-dinner treat. 

Top 5 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions SUCK!

In 2017, 2018, 2019, AND 2020, the top 3 New Year’s resolutions were to eat healthy, get more exercise, and save more money with the fourth runner up being not having a resolution at all (⅓ of population). Why do you think this is? Why do we always put so much pressure on ourselves to be a healthier person just because a new year is starting? 

I thought 2020 would mean flying cars, ready-made meals with the snap of our fingers, and teleporting to anywhere in the world. Although we’ve had  A LOT of ingenuity and progress in the world, we’re not quite that far yet. So thinking about what 2020 means to you is how you should reflect on this year and see where you want to go in the next decade. What will you bring to 2020? How do you want to change your life for this “new year”? There are a lot of things to put into practice to make sure you reach your goals, but new year’s resolutions are NOT one of them. Here are 5 quick reasons why…

  1. We think more on a short-term basis

It all comes down to goal setting. When we set goals it’s important to make goals that are SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-related). We often think either too big or too small. If you say you’d like to lose 50 pounds, are you thinking within the next couple of months or, more realistically, in the next year? In order to make a concrete plan to meet that big goal, start setting small ones first. Set a goal to drink more water, get outside and walk for 30 minutes, anything that you know you can handle on a daily basis that will ultimately allow for consistent and steady weight  loss. 


2. We never make them realistic and often go too big 

Making a resolution of “exercising more” when you haven’t been to a gym in the last year or even last few years, is only going to make you feel like it’s that much more of an arduous task. When you try to incorporate something that you’ve never really had as a part of your routine and all of a sudden, it’s a new goal, you need to figure out how this is actually going to work. How are you going to work it into your day? Are you even going to be able to? What will you do if your day goes to shit and you have absolutely NO time during the week to get there? Be realistic, because those small goals you’re reaching will ultimately lead you to that big goal you have in mind. 

3. We never figure out our WHY

If a “new year” is the only time you think about wanting to eat healthier and move more, you’re probably not doing it for the right reasons. A healthy lifestyle isn’t something that you can just start all of a sudden, it takes months, years, even decades of nourishment to truly live a consistent, healthy life. Setting one or two goals at the beginning of the year isn’t going to change your life as a whole. It’s a commitment to yourself in LIFE, not just in January. Figure out the exact reason why you want to change. How badly do you want it? How much are you willing to commit? Nothing worth having ever comes easy, so you still need to be able to put work and effort into it. 

4. They inevitably give us a sense of failure 

The moment we stop and realize we’re not living up to our expectations, we give up and throw the rest of the year away. “Well, I guess I’ll just next week, or next year” and those years never actually come. Making a resolution just because you know it’s what you should do, doesn’t mean you’re going to do it. So making a goal that isn’t relevant to what you actually want to achieve, is only going to give you the sensation of failing yourself and that you’re not good or strong enough to stick with something. The last thing we need is feeling like we failed, we’re hard enough on ourselves as it is! 

5. Why wait? 

There’s never a “good” time to start taking an initiative towards your health, but the time is always now. Waiting for a new year gives you a false sense of hope that just because we’re writing a new date on things, means you’re going to change everything else in your life. If I were you, I’d start thinking more along the lines of the ⅓ of the population that doesn’t make a resolution at all. Stop giving yourself restrictions, rules and regulations. Live your life to the fullest and you won’t have the need to make resolutions. Start today! Not because it’s January, but because you WANT to change.

Top 10 Holiday Tips and Tricks

1. Identify your non-negotiables
Figuring out what foods are absolutely necessary during a holiday is key to creating a good game plan. Identify the foods that you “need” to have to feel like you’re getting the most out of your holiday meal, and don’t guilt yourself for eating them. Enjoy them, don’t over-do it, and move on.

2. Keep Yourself in Check and Look Ahead
Remember that you are in control of what goes in your mouth. Keep away from the mindless snacking and it will greatly decrease the extra calories you’re likely to consume. Look ahead at the week you have and pinpoint any times that you think will be a challenge when it comes to eating right. Identify those road blocks and come up solutions that will keep you on track.

3. Survey the Buffet
Scope out your options first. Pick out the foods you absolutely have to try, and balance those out with healthier options. Once you’re done with your plate, get up and walk around after; distance yourself from the food table to limit temptation.

4. Follow the “half your plate” rule
Filling half of your plate with vegetables will dramatically decrease empty calories that are often so available at parties. Whether they’re raw, steamed, grilled, or baked, they’ll provide you will plenty of fiber and antioxidants which will leave you full and satisfied.

5. Pick your “cheat day”
Planning ahead goes along with picking the days in which you’ll allow yourself to indulge. If you know you have a party one day out of the week, pick that day to loosen up and let yourself enjoy that mac and cheese or pasta salad. Keeping yourself in check the rest of the week will help you find that healthy balance. Pick one day a week, and no more.

6. Focus on the holiday, not the food
We’re so accustomed to relating food to events; birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, showers, whatever the occasion. Focus on the people around you and enjoy the company you have rather than thinking about the food you’re going to eat. Keeping them the focus of the event helps put food to the side.

7. Drink before you drink
Alcohol can tack on calories very quickly at parties. Start by drinking 20oz of water, and another 20oz for every drink that you have. It will cut down on the risk of a hangover, as well as keeping calories low.

8. Check out the Menu
If you’re going out to a restaurant, always google the menu and nutrition facts so you have a game plan as to what options are healthier. Planning the choices you have will prevent the mind game of what to order, and you’ll have more time to focus on the company the surrounds you.

9. Avoid Store-Bought Anythings
Would you rather have homemade chocolate cake, or store bought brownies? There’s nothing special about store bought foods, you can get them at any time. Save the real indulgence for foods that are homemade with real ingredients and better taste.

10. Keep on Snacking
Keeping quick snacks in your car or in your purse is only going to help to make sure you don’t go more than 5 hours without eating. Always prevent yourself from getting too hungry, because that’s when we make bad choices. Lean on nuts, granola bars, or dried fruit to prevent that “hangry” urge.

Apple Cider Vinegar: the 4-1-1

The new superfood? The new weight loss fix? What is apple cider vinegar and why is everyone all about it?! I get a lot of questions from patients asking “If I drink apple cider vinegar, will it help me lose weight?” I always answer this question on the side of caution, only because it’s been shown to help people lose weight in studies, but isn’t really studied enough to say one or the other that it will do the trick. So if you want to know more about apple cider vinegar (what it is, why it’s useful and how to consume it), read on! I’ll be explaining all that and more to put the rumors to rest!

So first thing’s first; what the heck is apple cider vinegar? Vinegar is made by converting sugars to alcohol with yeast, and then converting the alcohol to acetic acid using bacteria. By bacteria, I mean the good, gut-health inducing bacteria. In addition to the good bacteria, the vinegar that’s made has high phenolic and flavonoid content which helps fight free radicals (lowers cancer risk). Just to show it’s age, apple cider vinegar was used as far back as 400BC as an antibiotic, a healing solution to treat scurvy and pneumonia, upset stomach, and wound healing. It’s got A LOT of health benefits, as long as you use it right!

Speaking of health benefits, why are people all of a sudden consuming apple cider vinegar? Well of course there’s health benefits, but what are they really? The first benefit is that it’s an antioxidant. Antioxidants help with many things, one of them being cancer. Apple cider vinegar contains phytochemicals, polyphenols, flavonoids, and phenolic acids which are all antioxidants. They can have positive affects on diseases such as cancer because they prevent free radical formation (the cancer-causing cells). Not only does apple cider vinegar provide you with great antioxidants, it can help with blood sugar as well.

In previous studies, consuming apple cider vinegar has been shown to lower blood sugar levels after eating because it blocks some of the starch digestion after a meal. Having less starch absorbed into the bloodstream will keep blood sugar levels lower and also improve insulin sensitivity in those with Diabetes. Not only does it help with blood sugar, but it’s also been shown to help with lowering total cholesterol, LDL (bad cholesterol), and your triglyceride levels. So not only can it help with blood sugar stability, but also with heart health as well.

While health is obviously important, a lot of people have been correlating apple cider vinegar to weight loss. I wasn’t sure why, so I did the research to see what the hype was all about. The reason apple cider vinegar has been linked with weight loss is because many people who would drink it daily would start to lose weight. The most common speculation as to why is because consuming it before a meal will promote satiety with meals and increase the acetic acid level in your body (causing you to get fuller quicker).

I have to say this with emphasis: There is NOT enough evidence out there to say that apple cider vinegar will make you lose weight!!

There has only been ONE study done in Japan to test this theory. Participants in this study were split up into two groups; one that would drink apple cider vinegar before each meal and the other group drank water before each meal. The group that was drinking the vinegar did indeed lose 1-3 pounds over the course of the study, but as soon as they stopped the study they gained their weight back. It did seem to help with fat utilization in the body which is why people were losing weight. However, even with this study in place, apple cider vinegar still isn’t the answer to weight loss. Is it beneficial? Absolutely. But it’s not an answer for weight loss without also increasing exercise and eating right in general.

Still interested in trying it out? I encourage you to! As I said, it’s not a weight loss method, but still has many health benefits. Something to consider is you want to make sure you’re getting the right type of apple cider vinegar. There are many forms out there and you want to make sure you’re using the right one. If you haven’t heard already, Bragg’s apple cider vinegar is the most natural and best for you. It contains “the mother” which is a murky, cloudy blob that sits in the bottle. The “mother” is beneficial because it’s made up of strands of proteins, enzymes, probiotics and good bacteria for your gut health. It can also help with immune support and constipation. So when in doubt, always get an apple cider vinegar with “the mother” in it. Otherwise, you won’t be getting all the benefits from it!

So you found the right stuff, but how do you consume it how often? You need to be careful with apple cider vinegar because it’s extremely acidic. If you take a straight shot of it, you can really do damage to your esophagus and intestines. It can also break down the enamel on your teeth and lower potassium levels ultimately affecting bone mineral density. It’s also important to note that if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, it’s not recommended to take it only because there is not enough evidence to be deemed safe.

In order to ingest apple cider vinegar without compromising your insides, you always want to dilute it into water. You might have heard that people drink it with water, lemon, and cayenne or make their own cocktail every morning. You can make up whatever fancy cocktail you want, but for every ounce of apple cider vinegar, be sure to dilute it with 8oz water. Try this out 1-2x a day and see how you feel! Again, this may not be something you necessarily “feel” but it’s promoting heart health, blood sugar stability, lowering cancer risk, and satiety with meals which are all bonuses in my book!

As always, consult a doctor if you have any pre-existing medical condition and you’re not sure if this is something you may benefit from. While it may not be the new “superfood”, apple cider vinegar is definitely something that can help us with gut health, heart health, and overall health in general. Is it something I would suggest everyone do immediately? Not necessarily, but I also wouldn’t rule it out. Everyone benefits from things differently. My goal with this blog entry was to provide more information on this topic and hopefully get people more educated about it! I hope you enjoyed and now know more about apple cider vinegar than you did yesterday!