10 Easy Summer-Friendly Snacks

Summer is near! That means there so will be tons of pool parties, beach days, and outdoor fun ahead. Many people ask what kind of snacks they can keep on hand for summer, and today I will share 10 snack ideas to keep you and your family fueled for summer fun!

summer snacks healthy

  1. Watermelon Chunks

One of the things I look forward to most during the summer season! Watermelon is a great item to bring to a party or cook-out, and easily transported. You can cut it up ahead of time or simply take the whole watermelon and a knife to the party and eat on the spot.

summer snacks healthy

Got a bunch of leftovers? Pop those babies in the freezer for a cool, refreshing “pop-sickle”. 🙂

    2. Berry Salad

Blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries–they all make their appearance known this time of the year, and oftentimes go on sale at the grocery store! Wash all your fruit (and slice strawberries if desired) and add to a big bowl. Another great option to take to the beach or pool party because it does not require refrigeration and will taste super refreshing!

black berries served beside strawberry on clear glass bowl
Photo by Angele J on Pexels.com

You could even use a skewer and alternate berries for something a little extra fun for the kids. It’ll be colorful and pretty, too!

    3. Apple Nachos

I know apples are not in season, but apples are one of those fruits that are available all year long in most US stores…what better way to celebrate a family fun day than with apple nachos?

summer snacks healthy

One of my favorite snack recipes found here–go check it out! I guarantee you’re kids will love it! If you have any peanut allergies–feel free to use almond, cashew, or soy butter.

   4. Homemade Trail Mix

Easy, portable, flavorful, and a complete snack! You can really add whatever you want in this trail mix, but here are some of my favorite options: almonds, cashews, peanuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate chips, dried cranberries/raisins, dried mango/pineapple, pretzels, etc.

There are endless options and various combinations that can be made here based on your family’s preferences. This is another great on-the-go, outdoor-safe snack!

   5. Fruit Pops

There are several 100% fruit juice pops you can buy in the store for convenience, but it would be so easy to make these at home, too! All you need is a pop-sickle mold container, freezer space, and a really good fruit mixture!

summer snacks healthy

Pinterest has several great recipes, or you can create one yourself! Basically blend up your favorite fruit combo (you can add veggies, too!), nut butter if desired, and some milk or yogurt for creaminess then add to your pop-sickle mold. Freeze for at least 4 hours to make sure pop-sickles are frozen all the way through. Enjoy on a hot day by the pool!

Check out my banana pop recipe here for more inspiration 🙂

   6. Smoothies/Smoothie Bowls

One of my favorite things to eat all.year.long but especially in the hot summer months. Linked down below is one of my favorite smoothie recipes, and I have several on my instagram page, too 🙂 @mindful.eating.dietitian

summer snacks healthy

Green Smoothie Bowl

   7. Veggie Sticks with Dip

Fresh cut veggies either from your garden or the Farmers market screams summertime! Carrots, celery,  broccoli, cucumber, bell peppers, squash, zucchini, tomatoes…so many to choose from! I’m looking forward to fresh garden veggies this year.

summer snacks healthy

I love to pair my veggies with a fun dip like homemade Greek yogurt ranch, hummus, tzaziki sauce, yogurt-dill dip, or a simple vinaigrette. Great way to get those micronutrients in!

   8. Greek Yogurt Parfait

These can even be made ahead of time if you know you’re gonna be on the road all day, need some quick on the go meal ideas, or are just hungry and need something quick! Be sure to keep this snack cooled either in a refrigerator or cooler for food safety!

summer snacks healthy

Here is my favorite parfait recipe idea topped with homemade granola. Top with fresh berries or other seasonal fruit you love!

    9. Fresh Pico de Gallo

Using all your fresh herbs, tomatoes, and jalepenos from the garden, the only other ingredient you need is lime/lemon juice! Crowd favorite, too! See my recipe here.

summer snacks healthy

Serve with your favorite tortilla chips or fresh veggies for a refreshing, nourishing snack.

  10. Protein Energy Bites

A year-round staple at my house, but its something you can make ahead of time, non perishable, and nutritious! Check out the full recipe here. 

summer snacks healthy

You could even transform those energy bites into granola bars–recipe found here. 

summer snacks healthy

 

What is your family’s go-to summer snack? Let me know in the comments 🙂

 

If you’d like to subscribe to my Newsletter to help you on you mindful eating journey, click here.

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN
Registered Dietitian
Follow me on social media!
IG: @mindful.eating.dietitian
Facebook: Live Better with Kat Detter

 

“Git Up” Challenge Dance

Our version of the “Git Up” Challenge by Blanco Brown–Dance Fitness style! Feel free to use this dance as a warm up, cool down, or breather song in between sets…and most of all, have fun!

Special thanks to my dancers!! If you are in the Morganton, NC area and LOVE dance fitness type classes, come join us at Peak Performance on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s at 6pm.

**I DO NOT OWN RIGHTS TO THIS MUSIC: Used for instructional purposes only.

 

4 Reasons Why Diet Culture is Harmful

With appearance and health being at the forefront of society, many people choose to go on a diet at some point in their life…some without even realizing it…

Weight Watchers, Keto, Paleo, Atkins, Whole30, South Beach, Cabbage Soup Diet, Boiled Egg + Grapefruit, The Zone, Fat-Free, Sugar-Free, various Detoxes…

“It’s not a diet, it’s lifestyle change…”

anti diet culture

I can whole-heartidly be on board with choosing nourishing foods, finding joyful movement daily, and respecting your body–but when your “health promoting goals” become just as much of an obsession as a fad diet–it can quickly transform into a diet.

I want you to sit back and think for a moment what your incentive was for trying a fad diet…what was your purpose for it?

For me, it was to be skinny. Yep, original–I know. I was “bigger” than the other girls in school, and all I wanted was to be thin just like them. I tried what seemed like everything–skipped meals, went vegetarian, only ate fruits + veggies, fat-free…and you know where all of this got me? No where. I had little to no energy to exercise (which was the only thing that could uplift my mood), I was irritable (hello HANGRY), and wasn’t losing weight! Food became an unhealthy obsession I struggled with for YEARS, all sprung from society’s marketing for fad diets.

So, what’s wrong with fad diets & diet culture?

1. Poor relationship with food

The fad diet mindset can easily turn your thoughts into negativity when it comes to food and nutrition. Many times, especially if your goal is strictly appearance driven, you will do anything to look a certain way…restrict, diet, over-exercise, juice cleanse etc. If a diet tells you to stop eating a certain food or food group, you’ll do it. If the fad diet tells you a food is  bad, you’ll refrain from it. This quickly turns into a poor relationship with food, and when you consume the “bad foods”, you are overwhelmed with a guilt that consumes your thoughts. These thoughts are likely to turn into an obsession.

2. Obsession

Anything can become and obsession–diets included! A lot of times these low-key obsessions  start out innocently…

For example, when I was 10 years old, I went dress shopping. I found the perfect dress, and someone told me, “Katrina, now you can’t gain any weight if you want to buy this dress”…

Now, at the time I didn’t think anything of it…but eventually I started asking people “do I look fatter than I did before I ate, I gotta fit in this dress”, and it became an obsession with not gaining weight…and that is where my restriction and poor relationship with food & body began.

This obsession can be with appearance or with food. You can be constantly thinking about food, what are you gonna eat next, when can you eat it, where is it gonna come from, etc. That obsession has absolutely no benefit to reach your goals…it will get you no where. There is more to life than obsessing about food…

3. Possibly missing out on key nutrients

Most fad diets encourage an elimination of some food group–Keto: carbs, Paleo: dairy + grains/legumes, Whole30: dairy + grains/legumes for 30 days, Atkins: carbs. These fad diets are teaching people that these “food groups” are bad for you, causing you to have a “fear” of these foods…when really they each serve a purpose in human physiology.

This is how the cycle goes: 
Poor relationship with food–> Obsession over food –> Missing key nutrients

Carbohydrates are our bodies main source of energy–our needs are dependent on activity level, but every.single.person needs carbs. Now, of course certain medical conditions (such as epilepsy) may require very little amounts of carbs–but most of the human population bodies thrive off of carbs.

While we can live without dairy, especially since there are many alternatives now, dairy products have a lot of nutritional value–calcium, protein, vitamin D, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, vitamins A, B12–and if you want to have it in your diet, then do so!

Grains and legumes are nutritional powerhouses full of fiber + protein + carbohydrates. Plants are nutritious, even if they are “starchy”. Grains contain B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and folate) and minerals (iron, magnesium and selenium) which our body needs for metabolism. Legumes are the “King of Fiber” containing nearly 7 grams per 1/2 cup serving and are considered a good plant-based protein source.

While yes, you can supplement essentially any nutrient now, it’s always best to get from food first, then supplement if needed. However, our bodies are designed to metabolize FOOD…not factory made supplements…

4. Quick fixes can hinder your long term wellness goals

What happens when you restrict + count calories + eliminate foods??? You lose weight.

What happens a few months later when you reach your “goal weight” and realize you can’t sustain the diet choices you’ve made over the past few months? You start eating food again…and a couple things may happen…

a) If you’ve been restricting calories and food, your body may store food as fat because your body doesn’t know when it will get food again.

b) You could over-indulge in satisfying foods because you’ve been restricting them for so long–leading to excess weight gain.

The problem with fad diets is that they do not teach you how to sustainably eat for life. Going the rest of your life without your favorite food is unrealistic…which is why making SMART goals to transform your lifestyle is the way to accomplish your health and wellness goals.

***DISCLAIMER:  These diets may have worked for you. However, research shows dieting is not sustainable for life long term, which is why I do not promote them. Do what is best for you and your body, and if you are ready to jump-start your mindful & intuitive eating journey – download my 6 Steps to Mindful Eating guide here – it’s free!

Until Next Time,
Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN
Registered Dietitian
Follow me on social media!
IG: @mindful.eating.dietitian
FB: Live Better with Kat Detter
Twitter: @katrinadetterRD

6 Things that are Damaging for Your Health

Have you ever chased a smaller body? Felt like your worth was dependent on your weight?

Most people try to lose weight at some point in their life…and unfortunately, diet culture promotes quick fixes that do not last a lifetime. Did you know that within 2-5 years of dieting, 95% of people gain weight lost back, plus more pounds? It’s time we stopped chasing diet culture’s lies and started choosing health promoting behaviors > weight loss for good. Here are the 6 things that are damaging for your health.

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    1. You’re not eating foods that make your body physically feel good

What foods make your body feel good physically? Think about it – foods that contain micronutrients – vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Those are found in nutrient dense foods like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. If you are constantly fatigued, constipated, low energy, or you “don’t feel good”, re-assess your food choices and see where you can add in some of those nutrient dense foods. Does that mean that other foods are “bad”? Absolutely not.

With mindful & intuitive eating, choosing food that make your body physically feel good is key…but honoring your food cravings are equally important. You’ll find out why later in this blog post!

 3. You’re not drinking enough water

Our bodies are literally made up of mostly water–meaning we thrive off of water. My college anatomy and physiology professor said if you’re actually “thirsty” then you’re already dehydrated…so be sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day. Enough fluids also aids in digestion to help build that healthy colon and keep you regular, if you know what I mean. Set small goals for yourself – for example: I will drink 4 water bottles by the time I leave work for the day.

   4. You’re restricting foods

A popular diet culture belief–restriction. If you eliminate carbs, you’ll lose weight. If you avoid fat, you’ll lose weight. If you eliminate gluten, you’ll lose weight. If you eat only protein, you’ll lose weight. If you fast, you’ll lose weight. And you know what? Many people do lose weight from restriction–however, when restricted foods are reintroduced into their life, it likely leads to a “binge”, and a food guilt session follows. That is why it is so important to eat balanced meals including all, yes all, foods at each consistent meal. Eating consistently is more sustainable for life, and you get to enjoy all foods.

With a life of mindful & intuitive eating, kales & cookies can coexist!

   5. You’re only doing cardio.

Trust me, I’ve been here! I am a cardio queen-running, dancing, swimming, biking–my favorites! Cardio burns the most calories and makes you sweat-and back when I was in the height of my disordered eating, that is all I cared about. Cardio is important for cardiovascular health…but strength training is just as important. Sculpting exercises builds muscles so we can be strong, complete activities of daily living, improve body mechanics and protect bone health.

  6. Poor relationship with food

Have you ever beaten yourself up over eating a food you consider “bad”? What about feeling good about yourself for eating something deemed “good”? That is the problem. Labeling foods as “good” and “bad”. With mindful & intuitive eating, all foods can fit as long as you’re enjoying balanced nutrition. Labeling foods is not good for mental clarity. Foods do not hold moral value. Part of life is enjoyment, and if that means eating your favorite food, then do it! You will have more food freedom if you get out of the “good food-bad food” mentality.

   7. Self Doubt

Is this something you struggle with? I do too. But hunny, remember – you are beautifully and wonderfully made! This is my favorite positive affirmation to remember. God designed you to be YOU. Unfortunately, we live in a society that glorifies weight loss…and when we aren’t successful with keeping weight off from diet culture, we feel like a failure…but I’m here to tell you that you do not need to give into the lies of wellness culture. You do you, boo!

Jumpstart your mindful eating journey by downloading my 6 steps to mindful eating guide here – it’s free!!

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter
Follow me on social media!

Triple Berry Cobbler (Refined Sugar & Flour FREE)

It’s berry season! Which means strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries are typically on sale at the grocery store every.single.week and this makes me very happy!

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In the hot summer months, I have the luxury of owning blueberry bushes–so I can stock up on a bunch for the year! However, around this time every year, my frozen blueberry stash depletes…and I have to buy frozen or fresh at the grocery store. Luckily for me they’ve been on sale lately!

Berries are rich in antioxidants which battle the “free radicals” in the body to fight off the development of inflammation + chronic disease. Berries are also a good source of polyphenols (a naturally occurring chemical found in plants)–more specifically anthocyanins (blue/purple pigmentation in plants), micro nutrients and fiber. Studies have shown that these components are associated with improved cardiovascular health with “improved LDL oxidation, lipid peroxidation, total plasma antioxidant capacity, dyslipidemia, and glucose metabolism”. 1

There are endless ways to enjoy berries!

  • Fruit Salad
  • Homemade Fruit Salsa served with Cinnamon Pita Chips
  • Mixed Berry Smoothie
  • Mixed Berry Yogurt Parfait
  • Berries to top off an Ice Cream Sundae for dessert
  • Mixed Greens Salad + Berries
  • Berry Muffins
  • Berry Pancakes/Waffles (adding berries to the batter)
  • Banana-Berry Oatmeal 
  • Add on top of cereal
  • Eat on its own!

While berries are very enjoyable on their own, I love adding them to baked goods! Below you will find my refined sugar FREE Triple Berry Cobbler using only 3 Tablespoons of maple syrup in the whole.entire.thing to sweeten it up! Use whatever berry combination you like–I used strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries. This will be the PERFECT patriotic dessert for Independence Day coming up!

  • Other Berry Options:
    • Raspberries
    • Acai Berries
    • Boysenberry
    • Elderberry
    • Black Raspberry
    • Mulberry

 

Triple Berry Cobbler

  • Servings: 8 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

Filling:

  • 3.5 cups Berries of choice (I used strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries)
  • 3 Tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons PURE Maple Syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

Crumble Topping:

  • 1/2 cup Walnuts
  • 1/2 cup Almonds
  • 3 Tablespoons Flax Seed, ground
  • 3 Tablespoons Coconut Flakes, unsweetened
  • 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Oil, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1  teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Wash and chop strawberries. Rinse blueberries and blackberries. Add berries to a medium sized mixing bowl.
  3. Add cornstarch, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla extract and lemon juice to berries. Stir to combine well.
  4. Add berry filling to a greased baking dish. Set aside.
  5. In a high powered blender, add in all the crumble topping ingredients and blend until “crumbly” texture.
  6. Sprinkle crumble topping on top of berry filling. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes or until berries are bubbly.
  7. Allow to cool for at least 45 minutes to allow juices to thicken.
  8. Serve as is, with some vanilla ice cream, or whipped topping!

 

What are your favorite ways to enjoy berries?? Let me know!

 

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Follow me on social media!

@livebetterwithkatdetter

References:
  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3068482/

Mexican Quinoa Bake

Do you ever get stuck in the same meal routine and want to mix things up? I know I do! Here are a few things I look for when it comes to building meals:

  1. Quick & Easy

    • Like most people, my husband and I both have a busy work week. After I get home and workout, I just want something fast that we both can enjoy.
  2. Nutritious

    • It would be so easy to buy convenience meals which are fine on occasion, but for our everyday meal, I want to have tons of veggies + complex carbs + healthy fats + lean protein to nourish our bodies. Especially since we are both so active, it is crucial to replenish those glycogen stores + rebuild the muscles that were torn during exercise.
  3. Satisfying

    • Bottom line: you want to be satisfied after a meal! Have enough food freedom to actually enjoy your food…listening to hunger cues to know what your body needs. I could eat a salad every night (and I do sometimes), but I would be highly unsatisfied if I ate it all the time.
  4. Cook Extras

    • My biggest time saver for you! Cook extras for lunch the next day. To be honest, if I cook everything on Sunday for my lunches + dinners for the week, I am bored by Wednesday…so that form of meal prep doesn’t work well with me. My goal is to always have veggies, grains, and meats prepped on Sunday so I can cook easily throughout the week. That way I can enjoy the same meal two or three times instead of eight times…

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This Mexican Quinoa Bake was a trial run for me on Sunday and I will definitely add it to my cycle menu! If you love beans + quinoa + cheese then you will LOVE this recipe. What I love about this recipe? It contains complex carbs + protein + fat all in ONE dish! All you gotta do is add a nice mixed greens salad or roasted veggies with it and you have a complete, satisfying, fiber-filled meal! As always, there are modifications you can do such as:

  • Add more veggies! I use spinach + onion in this recipe, but bell peppers, spicy peppers, mushrooms, zucchini/squash, or tomatoes would also be a great addition!
  • Skip the cheese: If you are vegan or lactose intolerant, you could always use nutritional yeast in place of cheese. *Why I like cheese in the recipe: more protein + flavor
  • Cut the recipe in half: If you are only cooking for 1, you probably won’t want to make the full 6 serving recipe.
  • Sodium: If you are watching your sodium, skip the taco seasoning and use only spices in powder form.
  • Use Different Beans: Truthfully, any bean would work well in this dish! If you wanna mix it up, you could do a mixture or sub the black beans out completely. Other bean ideas: pinto bean, garbanzo bean, kidney bean, navy bean, white bean, etc

 

Okay, now onto my original recipe 🙂

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Mexican Quinoa Bake

  • Servings: 6 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa, dry
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 15-oz can black beans, drained + rinsed
  • 1/2 a medium sized onion
  • 1 cup of fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 pack of Taco Seasoning
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp freshly ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Valentina Hot Sauce (or hot sauce of choice)
  • 1 cup of shredded White Cheddar Cheese (3/4 cup in recipe, 1/4 cup topping)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a medium sized saucepan, add 2 cups of water + 1 cup dry quinoa and bring to a boil. Cook until quinoa has absorbed all of the water and is firm.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, add quinoa, drained + rinsed black beans, onion, chopped spinach, taco seasoning, cumin, chili powder, hot sauce and black pepper. Mix well.
  4. Fold in 3/4 cup of cheese.
  5. In a lightly greased baking dish, add quinoa mixture. Top with remaining 1/4 cup of cheese. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes or until bubbly.
  6. Serve with your favorite toppings such as: sour cream, Greek yogurt, hot sauce, salsa, green onion.
  7. Pair with  a nice mixed green salad for some extra fiber + micro nutrients + meal satisfaction.

 

I used MyFitnessPal to calculate recipe Nutrition Facts.

Nutrition Facts

Servings: 6

 
Calories 332
Total Fat 14 g
    Saturated Fat 7 g
    Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 40 mg
Sodium 656 mg
Potassium 464 mg
Total Carbohydrate 35 g
   Fiber 6 g
   Sugar 1 g
Protein 18 g
Vitamin A 20%
Vitamin C 2%
Calcium 34%
Iron 15%

 

Make sure you tag me in your creations ( @livebetterwithkatdetter )!

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!

Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Follow me on social media!

@livebetterwithkatdetter

 

Peanut Butter versus Almond Butter PLUS BONUS PB Granola Recipe

If you’re still not making homemade granola, what’s stopping you??

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I kid you not…it takes less than 5 minutes to whip up all the ingredients with minimal clean up! If you haven’t checked out my other two granola recipes, go take a look!

Maple-Almond Granola  

Almond Joy Granola 

All of my granola recipes have the same formula: 2 cups of oats, 1/2 cup nuts, 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed or chia seed, 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil, and either maple syrup or honey. Additional add ins based on preference: coconut flakes, dried fruit, chocolate chips, nut butters, etc.

This granola features one of my favorite things–peanut butter! Most recently, peanut butter has gotten a bad reputation as peanuts are not actual “nuts” but actually considered legumes. When we think nuts, our brain automatically thinks heart health, protein, and healthy fats…

Here is a comparison for you…

Almond Butter

So, as you can see…According to the USDA nutrition database, Peanut Butter and Almond Butter have very similar macronutrients: protein, total fat, and carbs.

From a micronutrients stand point, almonds are much higher in calcium, iron, and magnesium. However, peanuts have a richer source of niacin (a B vitamin important in cellular metabolism). Peanut butter is a little higher in saturated fat which has been shown to raise cholesterol levels, however, if you eat a balanced diet with plenty of fiber and limited saturated fat intake, peanut butter can fit into your healthy diet.

From a cost standpoint, natural peanut butter is a lot cheaper than almond butter. A 16 ounce jar of natural peanut butter (containing only peanuts + salt) costs about ~$2.50 (in North Carolina, prices may vary depending on grocery stores/states). For an 8 ounce jar of natural almond butter (containing only almonds + salt), it costs around ~$5.00 (in North Carolina, prices may vary depending on grocery stores/states). You get half the amount for double the price. While I do love almond butter, peanut butter is more affordable for me to consume on the regular. I’ll save the almond butter for special occasions! 🙂

 

Peanut Butter Granola

  • Servings: 8 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
  • 3 Tablespoon Natural Peanut Butter (or sub nut butter of choice)
  • 2 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Mix oats, chopped walnuts, and chia seeds in a mixing bowl.
  3. Add coconut oil + peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for ~10 seconds or until coconut oil melts.
  4. Add oil + PB to oat mixture.
  5. Add maple syrup and mix well.
  6. Pour granola mixture onto a parchment paper lined sheet pan.
  7. Bake at 325 degrees F for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  8. Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes.
  9. Store in air tight container.
  10. Enjoy with yogurt, fruit, smoothie bowls, or plain!

Regardless which nut butter you choose on the regular, know that they are both appropriate choices for a balanced, healthful diet. Pro Tip: Choose the natural nut butters that contain only nuts + salt (or no salt); many nut butters contain added sugars.

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Follow me on social media!

@livebetterwithkatdetter

References:
  1. Ndb.nal.usda.gov. (2019). Food Composition Databases Show Foods — NATURAL CREAMY PEANUT BUTTER, UPC: 011110016492. [online] Available at: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/45098931fgcd=&manu=&format=&count=&max=25&offset=&sort=default&order=asc&qlookup=natural+peanut+butter&ds=&qt=&qp=&qa=&qn=&q=&ing= [Accessed 10 Jun. 2019].
  2. Ndb.nal.usda.gov. (2019). Food Composition Databases Show Foods — NATURAL PEANUT BUTTER SPREAD, UPC: 041318210453. [online] Available at: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/45214016fgcd=&manu=&format=&count=&max=25&offset=&sort=default&order=asc&qlookup=natural+peanut++butter&ds=&qt=&qp=&qa=&qn=&q=&ing= [Accessed 10 Jun. 2019].
  3. Ndb.nal.usda.gov. (2019). Food Composition Databases Show Foods — ALMOND BUTTER, UPC: 858864004029. [online] Available at: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/45059935fgcd=&manu=&format=&count=&max=25&offset=&sort=default&order=asc&qlookup=almond+butter&ds=&qt=&qp=&qa=&qn=&q=&ing= [Accessed 10 Jun. 2019].

“Un-Cheese” Dip (Without the Cheese!)

Cheese is one of my favorite things (next to chocolate), and I probably eat some form of cheese most days of the week…cheddar, feta, mozzarella, bleu…I love them all!

One thing my husband and I love to do is order queso at a Mexican restaurant…I have no self control! We don’t do this very often, but when we do, I eat too much and usually feel bloated, wishing I had enjoyed it in moderation versus licking the bowl…

While I am not vegan, I do enjoy switching out animal based foods with plant based foods wherever I can! This recipe uses raw cashews, nutritional yeast, peppers, and tahini to create a similar alternative to dairy cheese dip.

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What’s Nutritional Yeast?

Nutritional yeast is a vegetarian dietary supplement rich in vitamin B-12 with a faint cheesy flavor–similar to Parmesan. It is a single-cell organism grown on molasses and then harvested, washed, and dried with heat to make the yeast inactive (meaning it has no leavening properties).  According to the USDA Nutrition Database, 1/4 cup serving contains 60 calories, 8 grams of protein, 0.5 grams of fat, 5 grams of carbohydrate, 3 grams of fiber and numerous vitamins and minerals including iron, niacin, vitamin B 12, and other B vitamins. Nutritional yeast is one of the few plant-based sources containing vitamin B 12 without fortification.

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What I love about this dip?

A typical serving of traditional queso at a restaurant is 2 tablespoons with 60 calories, 4 grams of fat (mostly saturated fat), 3 grams of protein and no fiber.

Traditional Queso Nutrition Facts (according to MyFitnessPal)

Serving Size: 2 Tablespoons
Calories 60
Total Fat 4 g
Sodium 200 mg
Total Carbohydrate 2 g
   Fiber 0 g
   Sugar 2 g
Protein 3 g

Vitamin A: 2%   Calcium: 8%

IMG-3954

My “Un-Cheese” Vegan Cheese Dip has just 64 calories per 1/2 cup serving with 3 grams of fat (mostly unsaturated, heart healthy fats), 3 grams of protein and 1 gram of fiber. What a nutritional win!

  “Un-Cheese” Nutrition Facts (Tracked in MyFitnessPal)

Servings: 8 servings Serving Size: ½ cup
Calories 64
Total Fat 3 g
Sodium 149 mg
Total Carbohydrate 8 g
    Fiber 1 g
    Sugar 2 g
Protein 3 g

Vitamin A: 9%   Vitamin C: 20%   Calcium: 3%   Iron: 5%

 

You can eat over twice the amount of traditional queso when swapping to “Un-Cheese” dip with less saturated fat, sodium and more fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Iron. It’s a nutritional win!

You can get the full PRINTABLE recipe below. Make sure you tag me @livebetterwithkatdetter in you creations!

 

Un-Cheese Dip

  • Servings: 8 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1-4 ounce jar of pimentos
  • 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 Tbs cornstarch
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs tahini
  • 1 can (15 ounce) of Rotel (I use mild because my palate is weak) 🙂
  • 2 cups of water, divided

Directions:

  1. Soak cashews in 1/2 cup of water for at least 30 minutes.
  2. After cashews have been soaked, add them to a high powered blender with pimentos, nutritional yeast, salt, onion powder, cornstarch, lemon juice, tahini, Rotal, and the remaining 1 1/2 cups of water.
  3. Blend until smooth.
  4. Add mixture to a sauce pan and simmer for ~10 minutes until un-cheese gets bubbly and thick.
  5. Serve with fresh veggies or your favorite dipping chip! Would also be good on salads and tacos.
  6. Enjoy!

 

I hope you love this dip as much as I do! While enjoying “the real stuff” is good every now and then, finding healthier, more nutrient dense options THAT TASTE GOOD is the way to go.

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Follow me on social media!

@livebetterwithkatdetter

 

 

 

References:
  1. Ndb.nal.usda.gov. (2019). Food Composition Databases Show Foods — LARGE FLAKE NUTRITIONAL YEAST, UPC: 039978025463. [online] Available at: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/45360902 [Accessed 6 Jun. 2019].
  2. Myfitnesspal.com. (2019). Calorie Chart, Nutrition Facts, Calories in Food | MyFitnessPal | MyFitnessPal.com. [online] Available at: https://www.myfitnesspal.com/food/calories/mexican-cheese-dip-441450166 [Accessed 6 Jun.
  3. Myfitnesspal.com. (2019). Free Calorie Counter, Diet & Exercise Journal | MyFitnessPal.com. [online] Available at: https://www.myfitnesspal.com/recipe/view/67379228593837 [Accessed 6 Jun. 2019].

“WOW” Dance Fitness Choreography

Y’all know I LOVE all forms of exercise from running to HIIT to DANCE!

I’ve been instructing Zumba (instructor since 2014) and involved in dance fitness aerobics classes for 8 years. Dancing is honestly one of my favorite forms of cardio, so I hope you like the dance!

I  choreographed this warm up dance to “WOW” by Post Malone. **I DO NOT OWN RIGHTS TO THIS MUSIC. Used for instructional uses only.**

In my classes, I typically use this dance as a warm up, “breather” dance, or cool down. Feel free to use it in your classes, too OR dance on your own at home before your workout.

 

Special thanks to my friend, Bre, for dancing with me 🙂

If you’re in the Morganton, NC area and would like to try my Dance Fitness/Zumba class, come check out Peak Performance (150 Fiddlers Run Blvd, Morganton, NC 28655).

 

What’s your favorite form of cardio? Let me know!

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Follow me on social media!

@livebetterwithkatdetter on IG, Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube

Going Plant Based: Tofu

If you’re looking for another #meatlessmonday meal idea, look no further! This Ginger Tofu Stir Fry is SO good that you won’t miss that meat!

IMG-3967

Tofu is a bean curd made from soybeans used mainly in Asian and vegetarian cuisines. I was about 10 years old the first time I tried tofu and I HATED it…I didn’t like the texture, consistency, or taste…

Fast forward ~14 years and it is one of my favorite protein sources–and I truly believe it is all in how you prepare it. My favorite kind of tofu is extra firm which is found in most grocery stores. The key is straining the liquid out as much as possible. My most used method is placing the tofu block in a clean dish towel (or paper towels) and wedging between 2 small plates. For time effectiveness, I add a heavy canned food item on top to really squeeze out the excess moisture. I let this sit for at least 30 minutes to get as much water out as possible.

Once the moisture is out of the tofu, I cut it up and place it in my marinade. Adding 1 tablespoon of cornstarch really makes a difference in cooking tofu as well–it gives it a crunchier texture after its  been baked.

What’s good about tofu?

According to the USDA nutrition database, a 1/2 cup serving of tofu contains 94 calories, ~10 grams of protein, ~6 grams of fat, 2.32 grams of carbohydrates, 0.4 grams of fiber and numerous minerals including calcium and iron. While animal protein is a fine choice, tofu is lower in calories, saturated fat and contains fiber (which no animal protein source contains). A 2017 study published in Current Developments in Nutrition concluded that consuming ~3% less animal protein and replacing it with plant protein potentially results in 19% lower risk of death from a chronic illness. Incorporating more plant based proteins (and foods) into your diet may help decrease development of chronic diseases resulting in longevity.

 

On to the meal recipe! This Ginger Tofu Stir fry can be whipped up in no time as long as you have your ingredients prepped! Biggest tip: cut up all your veggies ahead of time so you can just throw it all into the wok.

IMG-3964

Ginger Tofu Stir Fry

  • Servings: 4 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

Marinade:

  • 1 block of Extra Firm Tofu
  • 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoon Ginger Dressing (I used Makoto’s brand-only 1 gram sugar per 2 T)
  • 1 Tablespoon Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground Black Pepper

Stir Fry:

  • 1.5 cups of Asparagus (washed and chopped)
  • 1 cup of Broccoli florets (washed)
  • 2 medium Zucchini (washed and chopped into half moons)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter (or oil of choice)
  • 1/4 cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce

Directions:

  1. Squeeze out excess moisture from tofu (directions found above in blog post). Let sit for 30 minutes. Cut tofu block into cubes.
  2. Put tofu in mixing bowl and add cornstarch, ginger dressing, low sodium soy sauce and black pepper. Stir and let sit for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and bake for 15 minutes on each side.
  4. In the meantime, stir fry your veggies using a wok. Add butter and garlic to wok. Add asparagus in first (as it takes longest to cook). Then add broccoli and water, cover and allow to steam until tender. Add zucchini last, uncover to let moisture evaporate.
  5. Add low sodium soy sauce and let simmer.
  6. Add baked ginger tofu to stir fry. Serve over brown rice + cauliflower rice, or your favorite starch.
  7. Enjoy!

You can truly make this meal versatile by adding different veggies to it.

Some other suggestions:

  • bell pepper
  • mushrooms
  • onion
  • water chestnuts
  • baby corn
  • squash
  • cauliflower
  • bamboo shoots
  • cabbage
  • carrots
  • bok choy

This meal is 100% hubs approved, so try it for your family the next time you wanna incorporate some plant based proteins! This recipe makes great left overs, too! 🙂

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

follow me on social media!

@livebetterwithkatdetter

 

 

References:
  1. Ndb.nal.usda.gov. (2019). Food Composition Databases Show Foods — Tofu, raw, regular, prepared with calcium sulfate. [online] Available at: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show?ndbno=16427 [Accessed 3 Jun. 2019].
  2. Monique Tello, M. (2019). Eat more plants, fewer animals – Harvard Health Blog. [online] Harvard Health Blog. Available at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/eat-more-plants-fewer-animals-2018112915198 [Accessed 3 Jun. 2019].
  3. Micha, R., Peñalvo, J., Cudhea, F., Imamura, F., Rehm, C. and Mozaffarian, D. (2019). Association Between Dietary Factors and Mortality From Heart Disease, Stroke, and Type 2 Diabetes in the United States.