Kale Shakshuka

You guys, I’ve been wanting to try this “shakshuka” thing for a while…

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Shakshuka is a traditional African dish of poached eggs in a simmering tomato sauce…however, thanks to Molly Yeh, I was inspired to try the kale shakshuka version.

 

See Molly Yeh’s original recipe here– my recipe is adapted from hers.

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Kale Shakshuka

  • Servings: 2 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 4 cloves fresh Garlic
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 cups fresh Kale, washed & chopped
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 eggs
  • Feta Cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a cast iron skillet, add oil and saute garlic. Add kale.
  3. Allow kale to cook down. Once slightly wilted, add vegetable broth.
  4. Salt & pepper to taste.
  5. Once cooked down, make 2 wells in kale mixture and crack eggs into wells.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-20 minutes (depending on how you like the yolk)
  7. Serve with crusty bread, roasted potatoes, or any other favorite breakfast side dish.

 

Enjoy!

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Follow me on social media!
Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube: Live Better with Kat Detter

Instagram: @betterwithkatdetter_rd

Seek Adventure

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Badlands National Park, South Dakota (2015)

One important part of well-rounded wellness is the sense of adventure.  Many people have different ideas of adventure…for example…

My husband’s idea of adventure is going to Carolina Adventure World for a weekend with his buddies to ride dirt bikes 24/7 for 2 days straight. He gets the thrill of excitement and it makes him happy.

For me, my idea of adventure is being out in the wilderness surrounded by trees, pine cones, and a nice breeze. I spent a lot of summers going on outdoor excursions as a child, and I still enjoy them to this day.

 

 

I want you to think about your favorite adventure spot…imagine what you would be doing there right now…

And I will tell you mine…

When I think of adventure and true bliss, I think of the time my parents and I visited Mount Rainier in Washington state in September 2015. The first day we arrived, I was not too impressed…it was rainy and gloomy, we had no cell reception, and I missed my boyfriend…

 

The next day, I woke up to a cold breeze and ready to see what this place was all about.

As I hiked up the mountain, I was surrounded by a mystical land that looked like it came straight out of a fairy tale book. To make the experience even more magical, it began snowing…it felt like Christmas in September! Soon, the enchanted forest became covered in the fluffy snow making our hike unbelievably beautiful.

 

Though on our hike we did not get to see the panoramic views due to the clouds, snow, and wind, we still had an amazing adventure–and one that I consider my favorite.

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Do you ever find yourself overwhelmed with stress? As humans, we tend to stress about all sorts of things–relationships, school, work, health…but stress can shed years off your life. My mom used to tell me to “go to my happy place” when I am feeling down or overwhelmed…it is a tactic I have implemented in my life that I truly believe improves my well-being.

Mount Rainier is an adventure that I experienced and is now my “happy place” that I visit often. I encourage you to think of your happy place and visit it when it seems like things just aren’t going your way…it happens. We can stay organized and make plans for things, but sometimes things just don’t pan out the way you want them to. When this happens, go to your happy place.  Counting your blessings can help with stress and depression too.

Seek adventure in your life so you can re-visit them when times get tough.

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

 

5 New Ideas for Summer Crops

watermelon

It is officially summer, if you couldn’t tell by the sweltering heat and humidity (if you are on the east coast), which means our gardens will be spitting out fresh produce for us once again. I have to be honest, I get excited about summer produce initially, but by the end of the season, I am sick of corn and zucchini! Have no fear! I have chosen 5 popular summer crops to research the history, nutrition, and cooking ideas to beat the boredom this season.


…Summer Squash


Fun fact: Did you know that all squash in general are native crops of North America? The Wampanoag Indians cultivated winter and summer varieties in the early stages of America. Summer squash such as yellow squash and zucchini are relatives of winter squash such as butternut, acorn, and pumpkin.


Nutritionally, summer squash are rich in Vitamin C, an antioxidant which aids in collagen production, wound healing and iron absorption. In just one ½ cup serving, squash contains 15% of the daily recommendation for vitamin C. In addition to that, summer squash contains 1 gram of fiber per ½ cup serving.  Fiber aids in digestion and helps you have a healthy colon. 


Make no mistake, I love some squash, but I get tired of eating it sautéed for 2 months straight. You can grate squash and add to your baked goods or salads for some extra nutrition and flavor. Or, you can boil, microwave, sauté, roast, and of course-fry this delectable veggie. Most recently, my favorite way is grilled, thanks to my husband.


Directions: First, prep your veggies. Wash the squash and cut the ends off. DO NOT PEEL! Most of the nutrition is in the skin. Chop your squash in whatever form you like best. I prefer circles. Second, grab some aluminum foil and make a “foil packet” as shown above. Add another sheet of aluminum foil to the top forming a pouch to enclose the veggies. Add in your chopped veggies with a little drizzle of canola, grape-seed, or avocado oil. Sprinkle some salt and pepper over the top. If you want to get a little creative, add herb of choice: rosemary, oregano or basil would be good options for a burst of flavor. Third, place foil pack on your grill for about 20 minutes or until tender. You will be AMAZED with how delicious this is. I could eat a mountain of grilled summer squash!

…Basil


An herb used in many Italian and Thai dishes, basil is another fun summer plant.  The origination is debatable as the plant has been cultivated in many different areas for many years, but it is thought to originate in India6. Oddly enough, in ancient Egypt times, basil was used as an embalming agent and has been found in tombs and mummies since then.
With virtually no calories, basil is a great addition to foods to achieve flavor without extra sodium.  Adding fresh basil to soups, pastas, curries, and even fruit can add a burst of flavor. Below is my take on basil pesto.

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Photo by monicore on Pexels.com

Directions: Gather your fresh, clean basil (1 cup) and add to food processor or blender. Add: ¼ cup olive oil, 3 tablespoons of walnuts or pine nuts, a dash of parmesan cheese, and 2 fresh garlic cloves. Pulse mixture together until smooth. Serve over pasta, spread on toast or sandwiches, or use as a dip for veggies. Make a double batch to have on hand for whenever you want it!


…Watermelon

“How do you put water in a watermelon?”

“You plant it in the spring!”

(go ahead, laugh at my corny joke.)

It’s a hot summer’s day, you are chilling at the pool and want a refreshing snack.  What better way to enjoy a nice chunk of watermelon! Watermelon is the definition of summer, and quite possibly my favorite summer crop.

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Cultivated in South Africa, watermelon quickly made its way to Egypt, to Europe, to the Mediterranean, then to India and finally to China. Interestingly enough, China is the world’s largest producer of watermelons5. Watermelon later made its way to America through the slave trade.


Watermelon is a very nutritious fruit made mostly of water (91%) with 6% sugar. This fruit is loaded with vitamin C while low in fat and sodium. Another fun nutrition bit on watermelon is that it is full of fiber! Yes, fiber which we know aids in digestion. One cup of watermelon contains about 50 calories and 1 gram of fiber.


Recipe time! One thing I think pairs well with watermelon is feta cheese-you get a little bit of salty/sweet action. Below is my recipe for Watermelon-Feta Salad.

Directions: First, prep your watermelon by cutting it in half and using a melon baller to form melon-balls. You will want to spoon out about 3-4 cups of watermelon. To the watermelon, add ¼ cup of feta cheese crumbles. Mix together.  If you want to get a little spunky, add some freshly chopped basil. This fruit salad is a great dessert option for a patriotic holiday cookout.


…Beets


Did you have that one vegetable growing up that you absolutely loathed and begged your parents not to make you eat? Yeah, beets were that vegetable for me, and of course my father made me eat at least one each time it was on the menu. They say your taste buds change every seven years-must be true because I love them now!


Originally from the Mediterranean, the actual beetroot was generally used medicinally.  That’s right, people generally ate the greens from beets before discovering the fleshy, earthy part many of us enjoy today7. Due to their strong staining effect, beets were used to dye clothing in the olden days.
Beets are highly nutritious for the fact they are good sources of antioxidants. Antioxidants are generally in substances containing vitamin C and remove potentially harmful oxidizing agents in a living organism, which potentially can decrease the amount of cancer cells8. Per 1 cup of beets, there are about 60 calories, 13 grams of carbs, and 4 grams of fiber. Beets are rich in vitamin C and potassium, which help maintain our natural acid-base balance in the body.


Beets are mostly canned or pickled, but my favorite way to cook beets is by roasting in the oven.

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Directions: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Peel and wash your beets. Chop beets into bite sized pieces. Drizzle oil of choice-I choose one with a high smoke point like canola or grapeseed oil. Add: ½ tablespoon of honey, 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon of onion powder, and 1 teaspoon of garlic salt. Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes or until tender. Add to a nice spinach salad with your favorite goat cheese for some extra flavor. Roasted butternut squash or carrots would be a nice addition to that salad, as well.


…Corn


When I think back to my childhood and helping my dad in his garden, corn was always something we had an abundance of, and to be honest it was my least favorite summer crop (and still is). However, the history behind it is very neat!


Corn was actually nonexistent in the wild until it was cultivated in Central Mexico many, many years ago. Eventually when the Mexican culture migrated to America, they cultivated this crop in the Americas. Later when the Europeans came over, it was the Native Americans job to teach them how to cultivate many grains-especially corn. There are many varieties and colors of corn out there-blue corn, yellow corn, sweet corn, popcorn…which is your favorite? Corn can then be processed into many things we eat today from chips to grits (if you are a Southerner like me) or polenta.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Though is does contain calories and carbs our bodies need, corn is actually one of the least nutritious grains. It contains poor quality protein (mainly because it is incomplete, as most grains are) and there is no niacin in this grain. Niacin is the precursor to tryptophan, an essential amino acid in our body. Essential amino acids are those that are not naturally made by our bodies. We have to eat foods that contain essential amino acids to make proteins in our body. Without niacin, our bodies will not make tryptophan. Corn does have some benefits though as it contains numerous vitamins and minerals to aid in processes in our bodies.

Wanna fight the boredom with this starchy grain? You can do many things with it-saute, boil on the Cobb, creamed…the recipe I am sharing with you is corn salsa. If I have to eat it, I prefer it with the Mexican flavors.


Directions: First, obviously, get to shuckin’! Once you have gotten all the silk off the corn, wash thoroughly. Next, cut corn off the Cobb and add to a bowl. Add: 1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed), ½ cup of diced tomatoes (I like using Roma or grape), a bundle of finely chopped cilantro, lime juice, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon of cumin, salt and pepper to taste. Then just mix it all up!  Refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the flavors to integrate. Serve with your favorite tortilla chip or top a salad with it for some extra flavor.


What’s your favorite summer crop?

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, RD, LDN
Follow me on social media!

References:
1.    Horttech.ashspublications.org. (2018). [online] Available at: http://horttech.ashspublications.org/content/6/1/6.full.pdf [Accessed 27 Jun. 2018].
2.    National Museum of American History. (2018). From the Victory Garden: American history told through squash. [online] Available at: http://americanhistory.si.edu/blog/2011/11/from-the-victory-garden-american-history-told-through-squash.html [Accessed 27 Jun. 2018].
3.    Whatscooking.fns.usda.gov. (2018). [online] Available at: https://whatscooking.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/factsheets/HHFS_SUMMERSQUASH_900151Dec2012.pdf [Accessed 27 Jun. 2018].
4.     Encyclopedia Britannica. (2018). Corn | History, Cultivation, Uses, & Description. [online] Available at: https://www.britannica.com/plant/corn-plant [Accessed 27 Jun. 2018].
5.    Vegetablefacts.net. (2018). History of Watermelon – Origin of Different Types of Watermelons. [online] Available at: http://www.vegetablefacts.net/vegetable-history/history-of-watermelon/ [Accessed 27 Jun. 2018].
6.    The Spruce Eats. (2018). The History of Basil From Food to Medicine to Religion. [online] Available at: https://www.thespruceeats.com/the-history-of-basil-1807566 [Accessed 27 Jun. 2018].
7.    The Spruce Eats. (2018). With Their Earthy Flavor, Beets Fan a Love ‘Em or Hate ‘Em Debate. [online] Available at: https://www.thespruceeats.com/the-history-of-beets-1807568 [Accessed 27 Jun. 2018].
8.    Nutritionfacts.org. (2018). beets | Health Topics | NutritionFacts.org. [online] Available at: https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/beets/ [Accessed 27 Jun. 2018].

“DIET”…It’s a bad word

woman measuring her waist
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

How many of you have gone on a diet?  To be honest, who hasn’t?  In the past, I have definitely tried different fad diets. When I was a young teenager, I told myself I would only eat fruit to lose weight. As I got older, I thought restricting my calorie intake through skipping meals, only eating almonds and carrot sticks for lunch, and exercising all the time would make me lose weight.   Do you want to know what the outcome of all these “diets” were?  I lost weight! But, as soon as I lost the weight and started eating real foods again, I gained it all back. You see, the problem was not that I was eating ‘bad foods’–it was that I did not know how to eat.  I did not understand how the body works and why it needs energy.

Let’s look at some popular diets and see what they all have in common.  In general, when people “diet” they are on a special food plan and usually restrict certain food items solely to lose weight.  Diets like Atkins, NutriSystem, and Jenny Craig are specific, planned out meals that are sent to the consumer ready to eat (with minimal preparation involved).  These programs are carefully thought out by their inventors generally based on calories—calories in, calories out.  These programs for sure can help you lose weight, but when we stop purchasing these products, we don’t know how to eat for ourselves. People get in the routine of the prepackaged meal that when it comes down to a free-range way of eating, we don’t know where to begin.

Weight Watchers is one of those diets where you kind of have free range in what you eat as long as you keep up with the points system. This diet does give you ‘free range’ to choose what you want – but what happens when you’re out of points for the day and you’re hungry? You restrict until morning. We can get so preoccupied on that point system to where we become obsessed with food but not in a healthy way. It is a constant battle of “oh this has 10 points, and I am only allotted 23 in one day” or “fruits are free! I can eat as much as I want to”.

Another somewhat recent diet immersion is the keto diet. I scroll through Facebook and Pinterest and see keto recipes and products that made me wonder…are people really putting their bodies in ketosis to lose weight?

Ketosis is a metabolic state characterized by raised levels of ketone bodies in body tissues.  This is usually the result of a diet that is very, very low in carbohydrates.

In my profession, the keto diet is primarily used in children who are diagnosed with epilepsy. The thought behind the keto diet for epilepsy and some other nervous system diseases is to utilize ketone bodies (made from fat) instead of glucose (from carbohydrates) to help reduce seizures. Typically, our bodies utilize glucose to make energy,  but when we restrict glucose (and I mean truly restrict carbohydrate intake), our bodies go into a mode of starvation-ketosis. Scientists are still researching exactly how it can help seizures, but statistics show that the keto diet truly only benefits about 1/3 of people who have epilepsy.

Below is a diagram of what a true keto diet for epilepsy consists of.

photo found at https://medium.com/@beepucsd/sports-performance-altered-by-ketogenic-diet-4d04898b3afe

This diet is majorly fat, little bit of protein, and even less carbohydrates. Though this may benefit someone with a nervous system disease, for the average American, this diet may not be the answer.

Many people on a true keto diet may struggle with constipation because the diet is heavily fats and extremely low in carbohydrates, meaning fiber is difficult to get unless supplemented.

Sources of fiber: fruits, grains, vegetables which brings me to my next point.

10-Important-Tips-for-Digestive-Health
photo found at https://www.medicalindiatourism.com/blog/tips-digestive-health.html

Many of us know what foods contain carbs. Grains and fruits contain about 15 grams of carbohydrate per serving.  In the keto diet, 1 serving of carbs is about all you would be eating daily. However, people generally do not think about vegetables containing carbs. Vegetables contain about 5 grams of carbs per serving.  One half a cup of cooked broccoli contains 5 grams of carbs, but let’s be real…who only eats 1 serving of cooked broccoli?  I know I eat at least 1 full cup which would contain 10 grams of carbs…but that is okay. There are so many other vital nutrients in vegetables (and fruits) that our body truly needs!  Fiber, vitamins, minerals, CARBOHYDRATES.

Carbs are the body’s main source of energy, and when you restrict carbs to lose weight, it can hinder the metabolic process. Take it from me. I have restricted, and I have lost weight, but it was not until I found mindful & intuitive eating that I was finally able to find my body’s natural ‘happy weight’- or set point weight. You see, the more a person restricts, the harder it gets for the body’s metabolism to work the way God intended it to.  The older we get, the slower our metabolism is, especially if we have spent our lifetime restricting vital nutrients.

A GREAT BOOST FOR YOUR METABOLISM
photo found at https://thecalorieninja.com/tag/weight-loss

Many of you may be thinking, “how do I make this lifestyle change when we live in a world that promotes dieting?”

 You see, the reason I hate the word “diet” is because I constantly hear people say “oh, I am starting my diet tomorrow” or “I’m trying to lose weight…I should go on a diet”, but we really shouldn’t be.  One of the most enjoyable parts of life is enjoying what we eat. I hear all the time “eating healthy just isn’t as good as the real stuff”, but the beauty of food is that we can be creative and make it taste good!  Making a lifestyle change instead of going on a fad diet can do a multitude of things for us. This will help our bodies stabilize at the weight it function best and help us develop a healthy relationship with food.

My challenge for you is to not promote any diet but to promote mindful & intuitive eating. By doing so, you’ll say “buh bye” to diet culture, food rules, and weight stigma and finally be at peace with your body, mind and food choices.

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, RD, LDN
Follow me on social media!

References:
  1. Ketogenic Diet. Epilepsy Society. https://www.epilepsysociety.org.uk/ketogenic-diet. Published March 1, 2018. Accessed June 13, 2018.
  2. Precision Nutrition (2018). The Ketogenic Diet: Does it live up to the hype? The pros, cons, and the facts about the no-so-new diet craze. [online] Available at https://www.precisionnutrition.com/ketogenic-diet. Accessed June 13, 2018.
  3. Popsci.com. (2018): Consent Form | Popular Science. [online] Available at: https://www.popsci.com/not-in-ketosis. Accessed June 13, 2018.

5 Tips on Staying Active with a Busy Schedule

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What is your view on exercise?

I’ve been exercising regularly for nearly a decade, but my relationship with movement wasn’t always the best.

I thought if I wanted to be “healthy” that I needed to workout every single day, only do cardio (you know, because it burns the most calories), sweat profusely, and be in physical pain. I thought a workout needed to push me to exhaustion…and if I couldn’t sit on the toilet the next day without being in pain, then I didn’t work out hard enough.

After finding a life of food freedom using mindful & intuitive eating, I am so happy to say that I have found joyful movement – moving my body in a way that physically feels good. I’m not working out 2+ hours a day anymore, leaving my body exhausted. But, I am realistic in that joyful movement makes my days better. I get that endorphin release that sets a tone for my day. So, I make it my goal every morning to get my workout in – to physically feel good.

Here are tips I use to find time in my busy life for joyful movement.

Tip 1: Build time in your schedule.

The great thing about having a busy schedule is that you are in control of it!  Find time in your day that works well for you. It can be as simple as getting out your calendar and penciling in your workout regimen. 

Tip 2:  Pick an exercise plan that you will love.

Personally, I love all types of exercise, but I have grown to appreciate them.  I used to hate lifting weights, but now I love it and do it at least 3 times per week.  The point is that you will be more likely to stick to your exercise plan if you choose something you enjoy doing.  Of course, I am a promoter of dance style workouts (my personal gateway to fitness), but that is because I am a dance instructor, and I love it!  I have a story with dance fitness, but it is not for everybody.  I really do not like biking, so guess what?  I do not bike…not now anyway.  Find what you enjoy doing, and set goals for yourself. When you do something you love, it will not seem like “exercise” at all, and you will be looking forward to it.  This will be a great tool for you so you can move your body in an enjoyable way.

Tip 3:  Get an accountability partner.

In other words, get a workout buddy!  This is someone who can encourage you to keep it up.  Find time a few times a week to exercise with this person. This person can help motivate you to make time for exercising with them. I have had several accountability partners for many different things.  For instance, the picture below shows my cousin and I completing a half marathon.  She helped me through my first half, and encouraged me when I did my second.

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Tip 4:  Take recovery days.

This is so important.  Give your muscles a break.  When I first began my exercise journey, I was obsessed with getting fit-fast that I never let my muscles rest.  Because of that, I put some permanent damage on my knee and had physical therapy help me strengthen it back.  Taking a recovery day is vital to your muscles as they repair from your workouts.  You can still be lightly active on these days (think walking, swimming, etc), but be careful to allow enough time for healing.

Tip 5: Stay hydrated and fueled.

Of course, I had to give my dietitian tip.  In order to be privileged to move your body, ya gotta eat and drink…there is just now way out of it.  Without food and water, you will be sluggish and tired and not motivated to workout, which hinders that “endorphin release” (aka, happy hormone) to make your body feel good.  Trust me.  I have been there.  Drink a few bottles of water before and after your workout that way you will be nice and energized for your workout. Drink your water.  Eat your nutrient dense, whole grains, fruits, and veggies throughout the day, and if you are lifting heavy loads in the gym, you may want to look into adding a little more protein to your diet.

cold cool drink field
Photo by PhotoMIX Ltd. on Pexels.com

There you have it–five simple, yet easy ways to add exercise into your busy schedule.  Make it a part of your life, not just an accessory you try on from time to time.  You can pick one tip to try, or go the extra mile and do all five.  Let me know if any of these helped you!

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, RD, LDN
Follow me on social media!