Posted in Food News

My Summer To-dos from July/August 2011 Women’s Health Magazine

I typically only buy magazines when I travel so I’m at the mercy of what happens to be out when I’m running through Washington Reagan National Airport.  Sometimes I feel underwhelmed when I read the same old articles, but I must say the July/August 2011 issue of Women’s Health Magazine had me dog-earring pages like there was now tomorrow.  So here are my Top 10 faves from the magazine that I’m adding to my summer to-do list:

  1. Buy Invisible Zinc (pg. 48) – SPF 30 water resistant sunscreen that give you the physical blocking power of zinc without the white mess.
  2. Pimp my Smoothie (pg. 86) – These smoothie recipes seem perfect to beat this summer heat.  I especially like the Apple Mojito Lite at only 107 calories.
  3. Try the waffle topped with greek yogurt and blueberries for breakfast (pg. 92).  I have some whole-wheat waffles in my freezer that seems too plain to get excited about, but this high-protein, high-antioxidant add is right up my alley.
  4. Pick up a bottle of Mas de la Dame Rose du Mas 2010.  The description of cherry, raspberry, lavender and thyme seems like a awesome combination.  Chill it and have a refreshing happy hour just in time for the weekend.
  5. Freeze some pops (pg. 98) – Perfect summer heat treats that also tantalize your taste buds.  I’ll be trying the Thai Iced Coffee (70 calories) and Pomegranate Swirl (50 calories!) and soon as I find some popsicle trays.
  6. Grill up some chicken kebobs (pg. 100) – Easy weeknight grilling recipes that seems to have the perfect blend of sweet and spice.
  7. Check out  (p. 115) I’m not sure what it’s all about, but I’m a sucker for healthy living/nutrition websites.  I’ll check it out and report back if I find something good.
  8. Get my bikini body! (p. 122)- Ok, let’s be realistic, I’m not sold that doing this alone is going to have lightening fast results, but I needed something to shake up my routine.  I’m adding this to the end of my current cardio workout (gotta shed that fat with cardio before you can see those toned muscled underneath).  I’m on Day 4 and it’s definitely using muscles I haven’t used in a long while.  I added cobra pose and modified child’s pose to Day 3 and I thought it really enhanced my stretch day.
  9. Bulk up my salad (p. 130) – I can’t even pick a favorite salad recipe.  They are making me drool as I type this.
  10. Chill out with some mediation (p.143) – Truth be told this is one that’s been on my list for a while, but the approach seemed simple and achievable.  I like the idea of starting small…maybe even 5 minutes and work your way up.
Bottom line, if you are staring at the Women’s Health Magazine with Rosie Huntington-Whiteley on the cover, buy it!  it’s worth the read and you’ll want to cut out some recipes to try this weekend.
Good luck staying cool this weekend!
Posted in Food Travels

Indulging in the Flavors of Puerto Rico

So my family and I had a wonderful time exploring the flavors of Puerto Rico.  When I think back on our eating escapades I remember seafood, fresh fruit and MOFONGO!

Catch of the Day

I didn’t make a conscious effort, but I believe I had seafood at every meal we had out.  In general, I try and stick to that rule since that means I get to control where my meat and poultry come from.  It’s an even better idea in Puerto Rico when most of the seafood is freshly caught from the surrounding waters.

Fruit, Fruit, Everywhere

It was so easy to get your daily dose of Vitamin C in Puerto Rico.  The fruit was gorgeous and delicious.  One of my favorites was mango we picked up from the local supermarket.  You had to pick around and find a ripe fruit, but my mom cut up slices for an afternoon snack after the pool and it was sweet heaven.  Fruit was everywhere!  You could buy Coco Frio (cold coconut) on the roadsides stands.

We found some in during our drive through El Yunque Rainforest.  You need to have the right tools.  Our vendor uses a machete to cut off the top.  Then all you need is a straw to reach the refreshing and electrolyte-filled coconut water. Best of all, you find local fruit featured prominently in their fruity drinks where they add coconut, mangos, apples, citrus and more to homemade sangria, mojitos and margaritas.

Los Kioskos

Another great way to sample the local fare is to hit the kiosk food stands strewn throughout Puerto Rico.  We were lucky to be close to a popular set of kioskos in Luquillo.  While we had been told there would be mostly fried food options, we had one of our best meals in at Tapas 13 where we were able to sample small plates of yucca sticks, spicy garlic shrimp and calamari.  Walking through the stands was an adventure for the senses and we felt like locals partaking in this rustic experience. 

And for the grand finale! Mofongo!

I was told this was a must-have dish for our Puerto Rican experience.  I had heard of the dish, but had never tasted it.  I’m glad my first time was authentic.  We hit a beachside restaurant and I ordered my first Mofongo Relleno de Camarones (Stuffed Mofongo with Shrimp).  Mofongo is made by mashing plantains (typically fried first to soften) and then filling it with a thick soup of protein, garlic and vegetables.  I was momentarily disappointed when my plate arrived with only two shrimp on top only to “crack” into the mofongo to find a dozen shrimp swimming inside a garlickly broth.  It was delicious and fresh – reinforced by the plantain delivery they received during our meal.  

I arrived home a little sleep deprived and very well fed.  I’d recommend a trip to this tropical destination that is closer than Hawaii and where you don’t need to use your U.S. passport…just be sure you bring an adventurous appetite!

Safe summer travels to everyone!

Posted in Food Travels

Taking Eat2Win Global…well, sort of

Hey there. I’m coming to you from my iPhone 4. You got that right, my iPhone 4. No, I’m not texting this whole blog, but using my new Apple Wireless Keyboard and my iPhone WordPress App to write this test blog. I’ll be traveling to Puerto Rico, India and Istanbul over the next two months and I thought it would be great to share my food experiences from across the world. In any event, I think I am ready to pack and bring the worlds dishes to you.

Stay tuned if you are interested in international cuisine!

Posted in Food = Fuel

I’m having an Eat2Win day :-)

So I didn’t think I’d have time to blog today, but I was having such an Eat2Win day, that I wanted to shout it out!

7:15 AM Woke up.  Finally caught up my sleep from my hectic weekend.  It’s so important to get enough sleep for your body to repair itself and ensure that your hunger hormones don’t get out of whack.

8:00 AM Broke my fast with a banana and coffee.  I call it my AM snack.

10:00 AM Breakfast – Smear of natural crunchy peanut butter and apple butter on whole wheat toast with skim milk.  Healthy fats and carbs to fill you up plus some fat-free dairy.  Good pre-workout meal.

12:00 PM Spinning interval workout (65 mins). I didn’t intend to go that long so I have to thank my Tivo and Oprah re-runs.  My workout is my ME time and I get to catch up on what I call ME TV.  This could mean Oprah, Ellen, American Idol, Top Chef, Friday Night Lights  (read:  all the TV shows my husband won’t watch with me).  Today it was Oprah re-runs.  I did 6 interval of 7 mins moderate intensity and 3 mins out of my seat high intensity with a 5min  cool down.  We were in perfect sync.  I fast forwarded through commercials during my moderate intensity segments and always made it through my high intensity minutes without hitting a commercial.  Just when I thought I was done, Oprah brought out Bon Jovi and I had go another interval and sing a little It’s My Life from the Australia episode.

It also could have been the shot of OJ I put in my water bottle.  You need fuel if you are going to extend your workout.  I also use G2 which is low cal and has some sodium and potassium to replenish your electrolytes.  Most important is that your are drinking before, during and after your workout.

1:15 PM Recovery Lunch – Morning Star spicy bean burger, whole-wheat tortilla, 1 slice reduced-fat pepper jack cheese, cilantro from the garden, 1 pack 100-calorie Wholly Guacamole, spinach, tomato, 6 multigrain Tostitos with a glass of skim milk.  I smear about 1/2 of the guacamole over the bean burger and enjoy a few chips with the other half.  It’s about a 500 calorie lunch with a mix of carbohydrates, healthy fats and protein which is going to stimulate muscle recovery and replenish my glycogen stores.

4:30 PM Wrote this blog and had a PM snack – Chobani Nonfat Greek Yogurt.  Yummy and great source of protein.

Key takeaways from today:

  • Don’t skip breakfast! You need it to wake your metabolism up and kick it into high gear.  You are not doing yourself any favors by starving yourself until lunch.
  • You need to fuel to win.  If you don’t eat, you won’t workout as long and hard and you want to.
  • Eat after you workout to help your body recover with a mix of carbohydrate and protein
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Have a snack.  It will help sustain you and ensure that you aren’t ravenous come meal time
  • Sleep does a body good (not to mention milk)
  • Do something fun when you exercise…get outdoors, dance, walk with a friend…or watch your ME TV!
I hope you had a great day as well.  If not, there is always tomorrow.
Now off to figure out dinner!
Posted in Food = Fuel

Eat2Win with Wholly Guacamole

So I can’t claim to have discovered Wholly Guacamole, but I have been using it for years and have recommended it to many friends and family members.  I was so excited to see it featured on The Biggest Loser this season.  Hope this gets the word out and ensures that we all have access to this awesome product.  I’m finally getting around to officially declaring my love for Wholly Guacamole with this blog post!  It’s not easy for a girl from Texas to admit that I start my guacamole from a package, but it’s true!  As part of my love letter to Wholly Guacamole, I thought I’d share the Top 10 reasons I love this product:

  1. It comes in 100 calorie packs!  This means I can have guacamole whenever it want it, don’t overindulge and never have to wait for my avocados to ripen!
  2. It’s portable.  I can throw it in my lunch bag and take it to work or school!
  3. It fills you up.  The healthy fats and fiber you get will fill you up and keep you satisfied for hours.
  4. It’s so versatile.  Use it as a dip, salad dressing or condiment! It goes great with veggies or spread over chicken, veggie or beef burgers.
  5. It is allergen free! No gluten, milk or soy in these guys.
  6. It contains no preservatives…100 % all natural baby!
  7. You can dress it up!  If you are making it for a party and want to jazz it up, you can add lime juice, chopped cilantro, tomatoes, onions and/or jalepenos.  To make it even easier, I use the fresh salsa from my grocery store with chopped onions, tomatoes and peppers and it is doctored up in a flash.
  8. You can get it plain jane or hot ‘n spicy.  It comes in Classic, spicy or pico de gallo flavors.
  9. Talk about nutrient dense, it has 20 vitamins and minerals including tons of potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate and iron!
  10. It tastes delicious.  All that and it tastes good to.  Don’t take my word for it, try it for yourself and you’ll be hooked.
It is the perfect Eat2Win snack to fuel you up and keep you going without any guilt.  Enjoy!
Posted in Food = Fuel, Uncategorized

Filling Falafel Salad

So I fully admit stealing this idea from Sweetgreen (an awesome chain of healthy food with many vegetarian/vegan options), but I needed my fix at home one day.  I’m always looking for meat-free lunch and dinner options that are also filling and I was excited to find Veggie  Patch Falafel Chickpea Balls at my grocery store.  These things are super tasty, easy to bake and a good source of protein.  Throw in another favorite snack food of mine, Stacy’s Simply Naked Pita Chips, and you are going to have a crunchy salad with tons of protein and at least 3 servings of veggies that is going to keep you feeling satisfied for hours to come.

Here’s my at-home version:

Salad ingredients:

1 serving Veggie Patch Falafel Chickpea balls (4 balls) (bake in a toaster oven according to instructions and quartered)

1 oz Stacy’s Simply Naked Pita Chips (crushed or use the ones at the bottom of the bag like I did!)

1 oz fat-free feta cheese (like President Herbed Crumbled Feta)

1/2 chopped red pepper

1 chopped roma tomato

1/2 cup chopped cucumber

1 cup spinach

Dressing ingredients:

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/4 teaspoon oregano

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 tablespoon lemon juice

Combine all your dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together.  Combine all your salad ingredients in a larger bowl and toss.  Pour in dressing and toss again to coat evenly.

This salad is only 445 calories, 53 g CHO, 17 g fat (almost all mono- and polyunsaturated fat)  and a whopping 19 g protein!

The best thing is that you can scale up or down to meet your energy requirements. You can make the recipe work for you and your partner without too much fuss.

  • You can add another two chickpea balls for only 80 calories.
  • You can dial down the pita chips to 1/2 ounce and save 65 calories.
  • You can add another ounce of cheese for only 35 more calories and 7 more grams of protein.

This salad is tasty, filling and ensures you Eat2Win!

Posted in Food = Fuel, Uncategorized

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Peanut Butter Banana Bread Loaf

One thing Eat2Win Nutrition is not about is depriving yourself.  I don’t just eat oatmeal every morning! One thing I have a weakness for is peanut butter.  So when I found this recipe for Peanut Butter Banana Bread I just had to try it out.  It’s from my favorite magazine, Cooking Light.  I get their magazine off the rack a few times a year, but my favorite thing to do is search their recipes on their website (for free!).  They combine several magazine recipes on so you have to filter if you only want to see those for Cooking Light.  I’ve had so much success with their recipes and they all have nutritional information at the bottom of the page so you know exactly what you are putting into your body.  Another of my favorite features is to look at the reviews for each recipe which are comments from regular readers who have tried the recipe and give you their take.  I always find great hints or substitution that help you prepare the recipe to your liking.  It also helps to remind me that it’s fun to experiment in the kitchen!

I did my own adjustments to make things a little easier.  I used 1/3 cup of crunchy peanut butter and then skipped the 2 tablespoons of chopped peanuts.  I must also admit that I skipped the 1/4 cup of group flaxseed since I didn’t have a grinder.  However, ground flaxseed  is high in fiber, healthy omega-3 fatty acids and phytochemicals called lignans so definitely add it if you can.  I used to 3/4 cup of white flour and 3/4 cup of whole wheat flour to boost up the nutrient profile a little.  I’m not a fan of overly sweet breads so I skipped the glaze, but indulge if you have a sweet tooth.

All that healthy goodness and as published, 1/16 of a loaf has 198 calories, 7.4g fat( 2.3g saturated fat, 2.7g monounsaturated fat, 1.8g polyunsaturated fat) and 27 mg of calcium.  The secret to success is going to make a loaf to share and properly portion your share so that you keep it to around 200 calories as published.

Finally, I’d recommend heating it up for 20-30 seconds in the microwave and enjoying it with a cold glass of fat-free milk!

Enjoy your breakfast!

Posted in Uncategorized

Starting the Journey

I’m on a journey.  I’m a 39-year-old career changer who went back to school with the dream of becoming a Registered Dietitian to help people to live longer and healthier lives.  Healthy living is my passion and I’ve finally decided to put that passion to work in my blog and upcoming dietetics business.  I have one more year left in my dietetics program at Eastern Michigan University, but don’t want to wait until then to share what I know.  When I was trying to come up with a name for my blog and business, I came across this quote from Steve Young,

“The principle is competing against yourself. It’s about self improvement, about being better than you were the day before.”

It resonated with me because we are always so focused on the endgame that we rarely take time to celebrate all the accomplishments we achieve on our journey to get there.  As a result, too many of us find ourselves giving up on our goals because the finish line seemed unreachable.

Thus, I’ve started Eat 2 Win Nutrition.  It’s about winning in everyday life.  It’s about beating your battle with the scale. It’s about competing to be the best YOU that you can be. It’s about fighting the obesity epidemic we face in this country.  It’s about fueling yourself to win the game of life.

My goal is to share my nutrition and exercise knowledge with you in hopes of inspiring you to start your own journey to be the best YOU that you can be!