protein

Butternut Squash Season!

Rachel Lifestyle, Nutrition Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , , , , ,

chopped_butternut_squash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Butternut Squash is a personal fall favorite.  Versatile, filling and chock full of vitamins and minerals (think beta carotene, potassium and fiber), this staple can be made into soups, savory dishes, sweet desserts and, of course, roasted as is!  A plethora of wonderful recipes are a mouse-click away (check out www.foodnetwork.com and www.cookinglight.com) but a personal favorite involves the combination of this autumn staple with everyone’s favorite superfood quinoa!  The following is a Rachel Rettman original, simple, easy recipe bound to please even the most finicky eater:

  • 1.5 cups white quinoa (remember to use a 1:1 quinoa to water ratio to truly cook the quinoa properly)
  • 1.5 cups cooked butternut squash (cube into 1/2 inch pieces, toss with salt and olive oil and bake at 400 degrees for 15 min)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sauteed white onion
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery or jicama (crunch factor)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • *optional – add a 1/2 cup of chopped apple of choice
  • leave plain, or use salt/pepper, a tsp of honey, 1-2 tbsp olive oil and your choice of lemon juice/vinegar and some mustard (1/2 to a whole lemon, 2-4 tbsp vinegar, 2 tbsp mustard depending on preference) to make a light dressing

 

Cook the quinoa, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.  Saute onions with a dash of olive oil, also seasoning to taste.  Combine cooked quinoa, cooked squash, onions and mix.  Add cranberries, celery/jicama and optional apple and mix, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.  Add light dressing or skip it, then sprinkle walnuts on top and enjoy! Want things a little sweeter???  Add candied walnuts for a savory/sweet explosion of taste (For fewer carbs, stick to plain nuts and omit apple and cranberry).

Serve this alongside a protein and another veggie (think spinach or kale salad) or all by itself for a wonderful seasonal dinner!

 


Food Dehydration – Fun for the Whole Family!

Rachel Lifestyle, Nutrition, Wisdom Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , , , ,

Creating fun, interesting, healthy and PORTABLE snack foods can be a challenge for even the most creative people.  Carrot sticks get boring, and buying packaged snacks gets expensive!  Those amazing Kale Chips from New Seasons Market are one of the tastiest snack foods this health enthusiast has tried all year (and the best Kale Chip ever, hands down), but at $6-7 for a 2.2 oz. container it is not exactly the bang for your buck most people look for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One idea is to dehydrate your own food!  Whether you make Kale chips or apple slices, over time you will save $$ by passing up those $8 bags of dried fruit slices.  Nesco makes some wonderful, affordable food dehydrators, with entry level models starting at under $40!  Fred Meyer also sells a good entry level model, and they often run coupons too!  Mine was purchased this past weekend for $39.99 through creative coupon use, saving $20 off of the original price of $59.99.

Once you have your dehydrator, grab some apples, some peaches, some strawberries, and a big bunch of kale and get cracking; all the instructions for how to dehydrate come with the appliance, but please remember this IMPORTANT FACT: Despite what the directions say, you need to keep temperatures under 125 degrees Fahrenheit in order to maintain nutrient profiles; heats above 125 zap vitamins and minerals and begin to degrade foods.  You can even make beef or turkey jerky and bring healthy protein snacks to work without all of the preservatives found in any mass market jerky product.

This is a fun activity for the whole family, and a way to create a conversation around healthy snacking.  So have fun with it!!


Superfoods for Weight Loss

Rachel Lifestyle, Nutrition, Wisdom Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , ,

 

 

 

 

Whether or not you want to lose weight, the following article outlines a number of benefits associated with eating some very important foods such as black beans, salmon, blueberries (wait, wasn’t there a post here all about blueberries recently?!?!?!?!), spinach and more.

Best Superfoods for Weight Loss

You can never eat enough healthy food, and in our era of highly processed foods in an overly saturated and confusing marketplace it is time to go back to basics!

Remember you ABC’s…..Almonds, Berries, (dark) Chocolate!!

 


Navitas Naturals Sweet Cacao Nibs

Rachel Nutrition, Wisdom Leave a comment   , , , , ,

Healthy eating can be challenging, and even the most dedicated wellness enthusiast has moments of weakness.  But let’s think of these moments as opportunities…chances to get a little novelty into the diet!  There are ways to have your cake and eat it too.  Or in this case, have your Cacao nibs and eat them too.

Cacao nibs, especially when covered in sweet cocoa liquer and cane juice, are a delightful and healthy treat.  Although high in fat, cacao nibs are chock full of antioxidants and trace minerals like magnesium and iron; they even have some protein.  Additionally, they are VERY high in fiber…each serving of this particular brand of sweet cacao nibs has 5 grams of fiber!  5 grams of fiber is 20% of our recommended daily intake and that is a big deal!

Check out Navitas naturals here; they also have tons of other great products which are both nutritious and delectable!  Next time you need a sweet treat try these out; you wont be sorry!

 


5 Great Ways to Eat Blueberries!

Rachel Lifestyle, Nutrition Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guess what…It’s blueberry season!  Blueberries are one of those powerhouse foods that make every ‘most nutritious’ or ‘top 10 must have’ foods list.  Rarely does one come across a person that does not like blueberries, and kids can also love them because they are both sweet and, well, blue!

There are many great ways to incorporate blueberries into one’s diet, including my top 5 recommendations:

  1. Freeze them – Begin by washing a pint or two of blueberries, letting them air dry, and then freezing them overnight in Ziploc freezer bags.  They make a great snack and last a long time since they are frozen and take longer to eat.  They also taste like little popsicle bites…
  2. Mix with Greek Yogurt, Stevia, and chopped nuts – not only does this make a balanced meal (healthy fat from nuts, protein from yogurt, and fiber/carbs from berries), but also it tastes like dessert!
  3. Sprinkle over salads – start with spinach, then add goat cheese, pecans, and a little vinaigrette; top with a generous handful of blueberries.  To add a bit more substance, mix in some Quinoa or another light grain of choice.
  4. Oatmeal!  Try oatmeal or oat bran topped with our fruit du jour.  For added sweetness and texture sprinkle in ground flax seeds and a little brown sugar or maple syrup (or stevia for a no-calorie alternative).
  5. Shake it up – a cup of Blueberries along with a cup of ice, 1/2 cup milk of choice, protein powder (something organic with few ingredients and little processing, see www.wholefoods.com for options) and sweetener if desired tastes like ice cream while serving as a filling snack or meal replacement option.

Always remember to wash your berries well…you can also soak them in grapefruit seed extract (3-5 minutes) for a natural fruit and vegetable cleaning option.  Check out Nutribiotic Grapefruit Seed Extract.

Most of all, enjoy one of the best foods of spring and summer!

 


Hello Healthy (TASTY) Dinner Round 2…

Rachel Lifestyle, Nutrition, Wisdom Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The recipe in the last post was found courtesy of the Bob’s Red Mill website.  If you are not familiar with the comprehensive line of healthy baking and cooking items produced by this fantastic LOCAL Oregon company you are mission out!

Check out Bob’s Red Mill and get your healthy on.

By the way, healthy food tastes really good when done right.  There are ingredients such as nuts, olive oil, avocado, and more that are chock full of unsaturated, extremely beneficial fats that lend a rich flavor to all sorts of meals.  While vegetables, fruits, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds do make up the bulk of a natural and nutrient-rich eating plan, certain oils are a great addition to the menu.  Of course it is ok, even recommended, to splurge from time to time.  No one can be  good 100% of the time, so let yourself enjoy treats and mainly stick to the good stuff.

Have a great dinner!


Hello Healthy (TASTY) Dinner!

Rachel Nutrition Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , ,

Cauliflower Chia Baked Falafel

Contributed by: Sarena Shasteen of The Non Dairy Queen

This recipe was not tested by Bob’s Red Mill. Gluten Free, High Fiber, Lactose Free, Low Cal, Low Carb, Low Fat, Low Sugar, Soy Free, Vegan.

 

 

Directions

Step 1

Pulse the cauliflower and onion in a food processor until it’s finely chopped. Remove the cauliflower mixture from the food processor and place in a bowl. Next, process the chickpeas until mostly pureed. Leave it a little chunky.

Step 2

In a large bowl, mix the chia through pepper until well blended. Next, add the cauliflower mixture and chickpeas to the oat mixture and stir until completely combined.

Step 3

Scoop 1/4 cup balls out onto parchment lined baking sheets. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour at 425. Allow to rest for 20 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


A note on protein

Rachel Nutrition Leave a comment   , , ,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Admittedly I think a lot about protein…and how to get enough of it.  Getting fat and carbs into one’s diet is simple, but outside of sitting down and eating half a chicken it is more challenging to meet our protein needs.

Everyone has a different opinion as to appropriate daily protein intake, but if you want to be lean and svelte protein is essential and a good rule of thumb is to eat as many grams each day as your weight.  So, if you weigh 120 pounds then eat 120 grams.  This would equate to 480 calories in your daily diet coming from protein; if someone is on, say, a 1500 calorie a day eating program then that would be about 32% of your calories.  The Zone diet would give you a thumbs up, Dukan Diet most likely too.  But most importantly we here at Rachel Rettman – Fitness. Nutrition. Lifestyle would be proud of you!

So grab your soy nuts, drink your milk, eat your tofu, and wolf down some lentils.  Whatever your pleasure, there are lots of creative ways to pack in the protein!  More on this topic to follow…

 

 

 


Healthy Eating is for Awesome People!

Rachel Nutrition Leave a comment   , , , , ,

It is important to eat a balanced diet in which you get the nutrition you need while also enjoying yourself.  There are so many competing ideas about what it means to eat healthy, but some things are certain:

  1. Nuts are healthy, nutritious, and full of good fats that help fuel our brains and bodies.
  2. Too much sugar takes a toll on the body because we are not able to process a lot of the sweet stuff; thus, it ends up wreaking havoc by causing inflammation and stomach upset as it becomes toxic (just like anything else.  If we ate meat and could not process it and eliminate the waste, it would also cause problems).
  3. Veggies and fruits should be a mainstay of any nutritious eating plan.
  4. Protein is an essential building block for your body and brain!  Whether you prefer veggies beans and nuts, or fish, chicken and lean meat, there are lots of interesting ways to get protein into your day!

Breakfast is the most important meal you eat!  It gets your metabolism moving and sets the tone for the rest of the day.  Having a mixture of fat, protein and carbohydrates is a great morning goal, and what better way to do it than with some healthy, tasty pancakes!  These are not your typical pancakes though – they have 5 nutritious ingredients and are both sugar and gluten free.  With nut butter, eggs, yogurt, vanilla, and a touch of honey, you will be both happy and fulfilled!  Have a great day!

Gluten Free pancakes!!


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