Food Celebrations Galore! Ideas for #SuperBowl, Heart Health Month, Canned Foods Month, and Valentine’s Day

February is a month of FOOD themed celebration! It’s national heart health month and canned foods month and we have Valentine’s day coming up and the Super Bowl! Phew! With lots to celebrate we can enjoy delicious food and still eat well. I’m sharing easy, flavorful, and good-for-you tips to keep the celebration enjoyable all month long.

Draw a Heart with Peanuts

Like our loved ones, peanut butter and jelly were just meant to be together. They’ve been “in love” since the PbJ-Overnight-Oats1early 1900s. I love peanuts and peanut butter because they have 7 grams of protein per serving, the most protein of any other nut, plus 30 vitamins and minerals. Peanuts and peanut butter fit into a heart healthy lifestyle. The “good” unsaturated fat in peanut butter is good for your heart. Try a new spin on oatmeal with PBJ Overnight Oats that comes together in the refrigerator. You can prep ahead this healthier take on jelly – mixed berries and chia seeds which has no added sugar. Whether it’s Valentines day and you make a cute little heart on top with a cookie cutter or just want an easy breakfast for busy weeks, everyone in the family will enjoy this dish. Get this recipe and more at NationalPeanutBoard.org

A Healthier Oil for Your Heart

A study in the journal of clinical lipidology showed that corn oil, Like Mazola, can help lower cholesterol more than extra virgin olive oil. Maintaining healthy cholesterol levels is important for heart health. mazolaMazola has more cholesterol blocking plant sterols than other oils – 4 times more than olive oil and 40% more than canola oil.

Everyone loves a good pasta dish. This version of Warm Tomato and Kale Pasta still provides all the comfort but with kale and tomato, sautéed in Mazola Corn Oil and mild spices for delicious flavor. The new Dietary Guidelines emphasizes that we choose “good fats” so I help my clients replace saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats, like in Mazola Corn Oil. You can even use Mazola in baking, grilling, and roasting. Check out Mazola.com for recipes.

Make Your Pantry a “Cantry”

One of my secrets for getting a healthy homemade meal on the table is by keeping a well-stocked pantry, or I call it my “cantry”. Canned produce is on par nutritionally with fresh and frozen varieties, and in some cases even better. soup-vegetarianthreeFor example, I used beans and tomatoes in this delicious vegetarian chili. The canned tomatoes have more lycopene. Another bonus is canned beans make fiber more soluble so our bodies can better use it. Beans are heart healthy. Dietary guidelines suggest we aim to get half our plate vegetables and fruits. All forms matter—fresh, frozen, canned, and dried. Using fresh and packaged options together will help make it easier for you to eat better. Get this vegetarian chili recipe and more at CansGetYouCooking.com.

Sabra for Super Bowl Snacking

Sabra is the official dip sponsor of Super Bowl 50. I love dips because they can add lots of flavor to fresh cut vegetables for smarter snacking. What’s easier than putting out your favoritesarbra varieties of Sabra hummus with cut up veggies and whole wheat crackers at your party? 2 heaping spoons of hummus a day will help you meet the Dietary Guidelines for beans – hummus is made with
chickpeas and 2 spoons is about ¼ cup. And it’s wonderful if you can use hummus to get even more veggies.

Looking for a crowd-pleasing platter to serve? Try serving up hummus “sushi” rolls at your Super Bowl party – it’s made with a tightly wrapped tortilla loaded hummus, lettuce, cucumber, peppers, and shredded carrot. Visit Sabra.com to get this recipe and more.

Snack Smarter with Less Sugar

You can’t go wrong with KIND nuts and spices bars. This snack contains real, wholesome ingredients like kind-bars-nuts-spicespremium nuts. The new dietary guidelines recommend we reduce added sugar intake. KIND has 50% less sugar compared to the average snack bar, only 5-6g per bar, mostly from honey or dried fruits and KIND does not use artificial sweeteners. I love that KIND offers some bars with dark chocolate so instead of overeating sugary candy or rushing to the vending machine for a lower quality bar, you can switch to KIND and enjoy an energizing snack without depriving yourself. Visit kindsnacks.com to discover your favorite bar.

 

Hear it From You

Let us know! What are some of your favorite ways to celebrate with food during the month of February?   Please share below or tweet to @ScritchfieldRD! I’d love to hear them!

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Disclosure: I was compensated by National Peanut Board, Mazola, Can Manufacturer’s Institute, Sabra Dipping Company, and KIND snacks, for my work on the TV segment, but was not compensated to write this blog. Recommendations and opinion are my own.

Take the Challenge: Boost Your Mood With Body Kindness

Exciting Announcement… I’m Hosting 30-Day Challenges Every Month (For FREEEEEE!)

Boost Your Mood With Body Kindness

 

Did I just head a loud hooray? I thought so… All the details you need to know below.

How To Sign Up and Participate

It’s as easy as one, two, three…

  1. Join the challenge by signing up for my e-mail list. (This is the list I use to send the weekly challenges and motivations)
  2. Invite your friends to the challenge. (OK, this is totally unnecessary, but you’ll have more fun if you have someone you know taking the challenge on. All you need to do is share this post.)
  3. Post your updates and questions on my Facebook page. (I will be there every day just waiting for your questions and brags about how AWESOME you are doing. You’ll get encouragement from me and others. What a wonderful way to get support and make new like-minded friends. You can also message me privately on Facebook.)

The more you put in to these challenges, the more you will get out.

Turn That Frown Upside Down

February’s challenge is all about BOOSTING YOUR MOOD. Who doesn’t want to be healthier and happier? We all do. But especially in winter time being in a good mood is not as easy as you might think. We have less sunlight, we spend more time indoors, and kind of like bears our health habits tend to hibernate. All these things and more have a direct impact on our moods and our health.

But… there are things you can do. Easy, effortless things you love can help you turn your mood around. 

When you join this challenge, you’ll get some of my best tips, including recipes, exercises, motivational encouragement, and links to free tools and resources I’ve found online all to help you boost your mood.

Ready? Set. Let’s Go!

Remember… the more you put in to these challenges, the more you will get out. I’m knocking down as many barriers as I can, but you have to take action if you want change to happen.

  1. Join the challenge by signing up for my e-mail list. (This is the list I use to send the weekly challenges and motivations)
  2. Invite your friends to the challenge. (OK, this is totally unnecessary, but you’ll have more fun if you have someone you know taking the challenge on).
  3. Post updates and questions on my Facebook page. (I will be there every day just waiting for your questions and brags about how AWESOME you are doing. You’ll get encouragement from me and others. What a wonderful way to get support and make new like-minded friends.)

 Like Podcasts?

Body Kindness with Rebecca Scritchfield, RDNHave you heard that I’ve launched a brand new podcast called Body Kindness? A positive antidote to the diet obsessed world, Body Kindness is grounded in the “radical” idea that health begins by being good to yourself and changing your habits is about love, not hate. 

Speaking of love. I’d love if you’d consider spreading the word about my new show Body Kindness by subscribing and leaving a rating on iTunes. Here’s a direct link to the show or you can cut and paste this into your browser: http://getpodcast.reviews/id/1073275062.

This simple mindfulness exercise could help transform your eating habits.

Check in on your numbers to determine if your body thinks you should eat.

Check in on your numbers to determine when you should eat and when you should stop.

What If I Told You Healthful Eating Is Not About The Food?

OK, that’s not totally true. Nutrition matters. The simplest way to follow nutrition advice is to look at your plate and fill it up with nourishing foods you love. There’s a room for a little bit of this and a little bit of that and there’s no need to eliminate an ingredient (like butter or salt) or food group (like banishing carbs).

But… We Overthink “What” Is On the Plate and Underthink “Why” and “How Much”

Humans, for the most part, suck at mindfulness. We are a culture of distracted, dedicated multitaskers. When we do 2-5 things at once we aren’t paying attention to any of it. We might be there but we are not aware.

The Culture of Busyness: We’ve made busyness a competitive sport in our busyness as a badge of honor culture. We brag about how tired and exhausted we are, how much stuff we cram onto our calendars, how we’ve run around and been so productive and crossed so much stuff off our to-do lists, and yet have so much more to do. It’s become so ingrained, we don’t realize we’re doing it! – Brigid Schulte, author The Overwhelm

My social media feed is overflowing with “what” to eat or “what” to definitely avoid.  In busyness reality, if we stop to think about “what” goes on our plate at all, we are best served to view it as an opportunity to energize, feel better, and improve health, but it is not nearly as extreme as you would think. My 3 year old will devour kale, but she needs it to taste good. When I saute kale with butter and salt, it wins dinner. I’m OK with that.

How Often Do You Think About “Why” “How Much” to Eat?

This hunger scale can help you make choices about eating more easily using a basic mindfulness skill we all have access to – self awareness.

  • Why eat? – Hungry (for the most part… this is not a rule, but a guide based on your body’s needs)
  • How much? – Until you get comfortable full, no longer hungry.

All you need to start using self awareness is two things: 1. Stop 2. Pay attention That’s it.

Eating should feel good before during and after and you will feel your best physically and emotionally eating in the range of 3-7, on a scale out of 10.

Check in on your numbers to determine if your body thinks you should eat.

 

How Can Mindfulness Transform My Habits

The definition of a habit is a routine you do without having to think about it. It’s mindless. Now, that’s a good thing when it’s a habit you want to keep. But what if you’re trying to eat better?

All the focus on calories, nutrients, and morally good and bad foods is exhausting and unnecessary. It’s a big ole waste of time you don’t have. Using mindfulness as a guide you don’t have to worry about anything except eating when you feel hungry, making a balanced plate (when you want to prioritize health and nutrition), and savoring your meal as you notice getting more full.

Paying attention will help you make food choices and it’s so much easier than dieting and calorie counting.

“I Can’t Figure Out My Numbers”

Yes you can.

You get good at mindfulness by practicing mindfulness. You get good at connecting to your body by trying to connect to your body. You get good at choosing a hunger number by practicing choosing your hunger number.

You are a resourceful person. You can do great things. But you need to slow down. Sit down. And focus on eating. I know you’re busy, but you deserve that time.

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Simple and Delightful: Morning Savory Waffles Recipe

Savory Waffle

These savory veggie waffles are naturally gluten free and can be served for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner.

Disclosure: I was compensated by Simple Mills for my time to write this post. Recommendations and opinion are my own.

We all love waffles and pancakes, but have you tried a savory waffle? If you’re looking for a new spin on your traditional waffles, save the syrup and berries for another time and try this savory mix of vegetables, herbs and cheese, instead. Sounds a bit different – and they are – but they’re easy and delicious and can even be made ahead, making a weekend-style breakfast possible even on your busiest mornings.

Veggies For Breakfast Never Tasted So Good

Preparing nutrient-rich meals can oftentimes be tricky for everyday life. That’s why I love helpful shortcuts like using whole food baking mixes such as Simple Mills. The folks at Simple Mills are passionate about providing you with
Simple Mills Pancake Mixnatural products that are simple to make, good for you, and taste absolutely amazing.

All of Simple Mills mixes are almond flour based, making them naturally gluten-free. The Simple Mills Pancake and Waffle Mix is simple and healthy, made with 7 simple ingredients and delivers 6 grams of protein per serving. It makes for a satisfying start to your weekday breakfast on-the-go or a delightful addition for a weekend brunch or entertaining.

Breakfast Anytime

Adding sautéed veggies to your basic pancake or waffle batter first thing in the morning can help you reach the recommended 2 1/2 cups per day and jump start your day with a boost of nutrients. This recipe combines broccoli, onions, mushrooms, bell pepper, and scallions with aged cheddar cheese, and eggs cooked into a grain-free waffle. Modify the recipe below to your preferences.

Savory Veggie Waffles
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 3 waffles
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups Simple Mills Pancake & Waffle Almond Flour Mix
  • 3 whole eggs
  • ½ cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, finely chopped
  • ⅔ cup diced onion
  • ⅔ cup diced mushrooms
  • ½ cup diced red bell pepper
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons scallions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme (optional)
  • Olive oil for sautéing
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat a large sauté pan with a little olive oil over medium heat and add all chopped vegetables and thyme. Stir until they begin to soften, about 6 to 8 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, and oil. Add waffle mix and combine until a batter is formed. Fold in sautéed vegetables and shredded cheese.
  3. Pour batter into heated waffle iron and cook waffles following manufacturer’s directions.

Serve your waffles with an egg, avocado and fresh fruit pairings. Dip them in soft butter, sour cream or Greek yogurt. If you’re dragging in the morning, try topping your waffle with your favorite spicy sauce (and hot coffee or tea helps too!) You can even eat these naked (you know, plain) — they’re that good!

Simply Yours

These waffles are sturdy, so they will keep in the fridge overnight or can be wrapped and frozen to be enjoyed later. Reheat under the broiler or in a toaster or toaster oven for a quick and simple on-the-go breakfast option.

Visit the Simple Mills online store to check out other fun mixes, like pizza dough, chocolate chip cookies and Artisan bread mix. Use the discount code SStart16 to save 10% on your Amazon and simplemills.com order today!

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Body Kindness Podcast – Episode 2

Body Kindness with Rebecca Scritchfield, RDNIt’s time for Episode 2 of Body Kindness!

This week Bernie and I catch up on our year-long efforts to practice Body Kindness – while Bernie channels his inner fashionista, I remember the importance of rest when illness strikes. We also have some great real talk about what’s going down in The Biggest Loser gym, and I announce a brand new challenge for you.

Have a question or comment? We’d love to hear from you! Contact us here.

Learn more about the Feel Great Guide and join my email list here.

Listen to Episode 2 below…

You can subscribe and listen to Body Kindness on iTunesSoundcloud and Stitcher. Missed Episode 1? Catch up here!

Subscribe to Body Kindness on iTunes          Follow Body Kindness on Soundcloud          Subscribe on Stitcher

Here’s what we talked about…

Join us for #DitchTheDiet in 2016!

With just a few days to go in the #30DayDrop challenge I’ve cooked up something new to keep that awesome momentum going. My new #DitchTheDiet challenge will run throughout 2016. Each month there’ll be a new theme and I’ll give you a fun, positive action you can take instead of dieting. We’ll kick off in February with Boosting Your Mood With Body Kindness.

It’s free to join in – simply subscribe to my newsletter if you haven’t already, and you’ll also get a copy of my Feel Great Guide!

We’d love to hear from you…

Thanks for your fantastic feedback on Episode 1, and a big hello to all our new subscribers! Bernie and I appreciate your support and we love hearing from you. Drop us a line here and tell us what you like and how we can help you!

Tune in for Episode 3 on Monday 8 February when Bernie and I will be talking about Intuitive Eating as well as checking in with our Body Kindness practices.

Nothing in this podcast is meant to provide medical diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevent any disease or condition. Individuals should consult a qualified healthcare provider for medical advice and answers to personal health questions.