Celebrate Mom with Parmesan-Herb Zucchini Brunch Bites (Gluten-Free)

Disclosure: I was compensated by The General Mills Bell Institute of Health & Nutrition for my time to write this post. Recommendations and opinion are my own.

This May, celebrate Mom and all she does with a home cooked meal she’ll remember. This recipe was designed with my two little girls and their tiny hands and I hope you’ll try this recipe, one the whole family can help cook.

As both a daughter and a mom, Mother’s Day gives me the opportunity to tell my mom how much I appreciate her. It also reminds me to aspire to do my best for my own kids, and as a mom, my best almost always begins with a hug and a nutritious meal.

The Goodness of The Grain

Ready to eat cereal was one of the first foods I introduced to my girls. It’s a great way to start the day. In fact, people who eat cereal tend to take in more key nutrients that are essential to good health like calcium, vitamin D and fiber1.

Whole grain cereals also combine well with other healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, lean meats, eggs and dairy products.

Think Outside The Bowl

These savory muffins will hit the spot at your special Mother’s Day brunch or even breakfast in bed. The blend of zucchini, eggs and cheese make a flavorful way to incorporate more veggies into the day. These muffins take less than an hour to make, start to finish. It’s the perfect recipe suited for all moms alike. 

May is also Celiac Awareness Month, a disease we continue to recognize more in the culinary world. This recipe uses whole grain Rice Chexcereal, which are gluten-free. Chex is also free of artificial flavors and colors from artificial sources, and high fructose corn syrup so you can feel good about serving it to your family.

Make Ahead

These muffins can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or individually wrapped and frozen for up to 3 months. Reheat at 350ºF for about 8-10 minutes, until heated through.

Share Your Mom Memory

Happy Mother’s Day, to our mothers everywhere! Please share your family baking memories in the comments section below. I look forward to hearing from you.

Parmesan-Herb Zucchini Bites (Gluten-Free)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 8 muffins
Ingredients
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini (about 2 medium)
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • ½ cup onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese (or your favorite), shredded
  • 1 cup crushed gluten free Rice Chex Cereal
  • 1 Tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • Cheese cloth
Instructions
  1. Lightly grease a muffin tin, and preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Shred zucchini into a colander or large bowl. Once shredded, place zucchini onto square of cheesecloth and sprinkle with a pinch of salt to help release excess water. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before squeezing out excess liquid. After wringing out, zucchini in large bowl.
  3. Add the eggs, onion, garlic, cheese, Rice Chex Cereal, herbs, salt, and pepper to the shredded zucchini. Stir until evenly combined.
  4. Scoop the mixture into the greased muffin tin, filling each well to the top. Bake at 375ºF for 15-20 minutes, or until golden. Allow to cool slightly before removing to a wire rack to cool.

Want More Like This?

Sign up for my e-mail list and get my FREE Feel Great Guide and get a handy health and happiness journal and more.

Disclosure: I was compensated by The General Mills Bell Institute of Health & Nutrition for my time to write this post. Recommendations and opinion are my own.

Reference: 1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Data. Hyattsville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, [2011-12] [http://cdc.gov/nchs/nhanes].

You’re Thanksgiving Full, Is It Time to Diet?

I sincerely hope you enjoyed every bite of delicious food and did not worry about calories, food rules, or anything but your comfort, joy and happiness.

Usually, my clients come back from Thanksgiving feeling guilty.

Even if you got “stuffed like the turkey” it happens to us all and as you probably noticed it goes away with time to “rest and digest.” You may have even noticed you felt better after a nice brisk walk with family or play time with kiddos.

If you have guilt for overeating, or some emotional eating check in with yourself. Is it your “diet brain” talking? Is it the fear of weight gain?

After you get curious about your guilt, forgive yourself immediately! I’m not talking about apologizing for indulging. I’m talking about forgiving yourself for feeling guilty.

Last time I checked lots of people indulged on Thanksgiving.  There is no special reason you should feel bad. Even if you got too full, even if you felt uncomfortable, I’m 100% confident you weren’t the only one.

There’s a reason we use “Thanksgiving full” as the 9 out of 10 on the fullness scale I use with clients. It’s that once-a-year full (OK maybe more often than once, but it’s not what you usually do at most meals and snacks. You wouldn’t because it’s not comfortable.)

Practice Loving Kindness

If you would like to practice self-forgiveness, try the Loving Kindness Meditation (or Metta) which has been shown to increase positive emotions and happiness.

RS-LovingKindness

Over the next several weeks I will be sharing a series of posts that focus on the practice of Intuitive Eating and how our relationship with food influences our happiness. Before you consider your next diet, hear me out on why you should reconsider…

Why Diets Don’t Work

As anyone who has ever been on a diet knows, it is difficult to permanently and safely lose weight. Why is this? It seems straightforward – calories in, calories out, right? Actually, one of the biggest problems associated with weight concerns is that most people have problems discerning the difference between emotional hunger and physical hunger.

Take a minute to think about what your weight was the first time you went on a diet…now where is your weight? With each diet we often end up regaining all the weight we lost, plus more. Why is this? When we diet we are manipulating our metabolism — slowly depriving it of the fuel it needs. Over time it becomes very “efficient” by slowing down so it is able to function on minimal energy. This makes it very difficult to maintain any weight loss and over time our set-point weight creeps higher and higher.

What Matters Most

I would like to invite everyone to think about what matters most in your life? Often we think we will be happier if we lose weight, but take a second to think about what in your life will change when you lose the weight?

  • Will your friends and family still love you?
  • Will you still have the same job?
  • Will all the things that make you happy still make you happy?

Our lives really don’t change unless we change our habits. And if you’ve been on even one diet and stopped it, you know that it didn’t do squat for your habits. Instead of focusing on your weight, focus on your habits and how they make you feel.

It’s not just weight loss that won’t make you happy. Jobs, relationships, money and others also don’t do much for you for very long. Read 7 happiness myths you should stop believing from researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside.

Join in #WhatMattersMost

What matters more in your life than counting calories or dieting? I’d love to hear from you! Share your tweet or snap a picture using the hashtag #whatmattersmost. Stay tuned, next week we will be discussing emotional hunger and how you can respond in useful ways.

 

 

 

5 Tricks to Treating Yourself on Halloween

There’s nothing scarier than approaching Halloween (or any holiday) with a mindset that you can’t join in on any of the fun.

But how do you go in with a plan that makes you feel good November 1st? You try my five tricks (my treat for you!)

How do you approach a Happy Halloween? Leave your favorite celebration mantras and philosophies in the comments below.

ItsHalloweenQuiz1

Trick 1: Lose the Food Rules

It’s called will power, not won’t power. Unless you want to feel like it’s Night of the Living Dead, you will want to keep your self control in check, which means you need to stop saying “I won’t eat this or that or that or….” The human brain is a powerful organ and it really tries to follow your arbitrary rules, but the reasonable part gets tired quickly and then the unreasonable part takes over and sends you reeling toward your sugary food reward except now moderation is out the window. Stay rational and say I will enjoy some Halloween treat.

Don't go into any Halloween situation with a moral judgement or irrational belief about any of the food. Click To Tweet The rest of the “tricks” I offer will help you keep your self control.

Trick 2: Play Favorites

When it comes to candy, I’ll be honest everything is my favorite except maybe black licorice, circus peanuts, and candy corn (I know blasphemy on the last one.) If I had to choose, it would be Reese cups, hands down. The more choice options you have the more you want and the more you are probably going to eat. A sign of good self control is that you can rationally pick your favorite candy and come up with a plan for what you want to do. Ask yourself What treats would I enjoy most in my ideal Halloween evening? 

Ask yourself What treats would I enjoy most in my ideal Halloween evening? Click To Tweet

Trick 3: Savor the Flavor

Most of us don’t know how to savor our food anymore – especially treats and desserts. Part of the problem is the food rules situation I mentioned above. When you decide you dig in, your brain also (counter intuitively) says “let’s get this over with!” It makes no sense, but it’s because you feel bad deep down about your choice. You take your mind out of the game and you tend to overeat it and feel guilty later. (Where is the fun in that?)

Savoring your Halloween treats is easy. Just use your senses – all of them. Notice how it looks, the aroma, mouthfeel and taste. A sign of a flexible eater is the ability to sit with that urge to gobble it up like a Gremlin and just enjoy the food anyway. Give yourself a challenge to make it last, then get on with other Halloween fun to savor. gremlins2_48-12

Savor your Halloween treats. verb: taste (good food or drink) and enjoy it completely. Click To Tweet

Trick 4: Let Yourself Get Satisfied

Many of my clients will say something like “It’s so hard to do moderation when my husband/kids/friends are going crazy with the candy. It’s not faiiiiiiiiiirrrrrr. What’s happening here is that we are all a little bit childish and want immediate gratification with what all the cool kids are doing. If you are only letting yourself have one and then you’re back to food policing, you’re a restrained eater. Instead of telling yourself how much you can have, Ask yourself How much do I think I would want to get satisfied?  Summons the rational thinker.

If you’re eating mindfully and recognize you’re not satisfied, I bet it’s the just got out of jail and the cops are looking for me problem. Tell yourself that it’s OK to eat more as long as you are calm and mindful about it. Usually, the free feeling of permission allows you to recognize that you are satisfied or slows you down so you eat less staying “checked in” rather than “checking out” and acting like a Gremlin.

Trick 5: Show Yourself Some Love

No matter what goes down on October 31, there’s good news. The day ends and November 1st is here. Don’t use honest mistakes as an excuse to continue to avoid your long term goals. Also, don’t beat yourself up. That only makes you feel bad, stressed out, and (shocker) emotionally hungry for MORE candy!!!!

If you overdo it on Halloween, forgive any mistakes you made. You are human. It’s part of the growth process. Instead, ask yourself What can I learn from this experience? What did I truly enjoy and what did I do that is not who I want to be?

How do you approach a Happy Halloween? I’d love to know what “tricks” you have up your sleeve.

Leave your favorite celebration mantras and philosophies in the comments below.

Speaking of Love, Link Love!

I’m not the only level-headed realistic dietitian who follows the rule of “no rules”! Check out some of my favorite blogs, tips, and recipes from some of my fabulous RD colleagues!

5 Tricks to Help Kids Manage Halloween Treats

Teal Pumpkin Project (food allergies and non candy treat options)

Treating Without All the Tricks

Halloween Ravioli Recipe

Want More?

Rebecca Scritchfield's Feel Great GuideGet my free Feel Great Guide if you would like to create a healthy, happy life you love.It’s 20+ pages of creative and realistic ideas for living joyfully (and yes, still being healthy!) You’ll get on my  e-mail list which offers additional tools, resources and tips I don’t provide anywhere else.

If you love it, recommend it to your friends too. Muchas gracias

Get @ScritchfieldRD free Feel Great Guide 20+ pages of creative and realistic ideas for living joyfully and still… Click To Tweet

Also check out from my fellow mom RD friends: Self care tips for moms and Treating Yourself (on Mother’s Day) but we know we need this 365!

DIY Freezer Smoothie Bags + Recipe

 

 

 

DIY Smoothie Bag

I make smoothies almost every day, for breakfast, exercise pre- or post-fuel, or as an after-school snack for my kids. But when I’m trying to juggle work, being a mom, and all the craziness life throws my way, even the simple task of throwing together a quick smoothie can seem overwhelming. So, what’s a busy mom to do? Prep ahead of time, of course! Prepping and assembling smoothie ingredients in smoothie bags ahead of time can make all the difference in the world between getting a nourishing, frosty smoothie in your belly STAT versus ravenously grabbing whatever food you can get your hands on.

In just about ten minutes, you can get smoothies for an entire week prepped and ready to go! Assemble them ahead of time and then keep in the fridge or freezer to pull out whenever you want them. Prepare them just like you would if you were making the smoothie right then and there. Here’s how to make it happen:

Chop and Prep Fruits and Veggies

  • Use whatever you like/have on hand. I like bananas, kiwifruit, blueberries, tart cherries, cranberries, kale, spinach, avocado, etc. Seriously, pretty much anything goes. Chop into small pieces, if necessary, and place in small, sealable plastic bags.
  • If you have any fruits or veggies that are about to turn, these smoothie bags are a perfect way to reduce food waste! Just be sure you freeze these ones when they’re assembled!

Add Extras

  • Toss whatever add-ins you like into bag with your produce. Nut butter, Greek yogurt, and protein powder are all good options. I also like cinnamon, vanilla, and other spices to enhance the flavor.

Seal and store

  • Roll up the bag to squeeze all the air out, and then create a tight seal to keep ingredients fresh. If you’re freezing your bags, use a freezer bag for optimal freshness.
  • If you prefer reusable containers, fill these up as much as possible to reduce amount of air in the container
  • Store in fridge or freeze them. The freezer will definitely keep everything fresh for a longer time, but be sure to pull them out the night before you want to use them to keep your blender happy.

Blend and Enjoy

  • Pop the contents of the bag in your blender. Add liquid to make it smooth (your preferred milk, water, coconut water, etc.) and ice to get it nice and cold, and blend as usual

Like I said, these are no-brainers that you really cannot mess up. Just about anything can go in a smoothie. Below is one of my tried and true recipes, but feel free to play around with it and find your own personal faves!

Banana Split Smoothie
 
Prep time
Total time
 
It's dessert in a cup! This creamy blend of cool sweetness delivers a heap of nutrition and fiber, making it a perfect option to satisfy that sweet tooth or refuel after a workout.
Author:
Recipe type: Smoothie
Serves: 3
Ingredients
  • ½ cup pineapple (fresh, frozen, or canned)
  • ½ cup of strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 ripe banana, sliced
  • 1 cup plain or Greek-style yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate sauce
  • ⅓ cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup ice
  • ½ cup your favorite milk
  • 1 T peanuts, crushed, for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients except ice, milk and peanuts, in bag and freeze or refrigerate until ready to use. Place bag contents in blender, add milk and ice, and blend until desired consistency is reached. Top each with crushed peanuts, if desired.
  2. *Add spinach, kale, or avocado to “green” up this recipe

 

Join the #Spring2Wellness Challenge Today (3 more weeks left)

Spring (1)Since the start of spring, over 1,000 people have been enjoying their time learning new tips for motivation, recipes and workouts absolutely FREE with my latest challenge, “Spring 2 Wellness.”

It’s not to late to join in. We have three more weeks left of weekly challenge emails. Sign up here.

After you complete it, I’ll be sharing my 7-day “feel good guide” (also free). Then you’ll get messages from me ongoing 1-2 times a month, with some of my favorite tools, tips and resources right to your inbox.

Read on if you would like to catch up and get some wellness in your life instantly! Next challenge goes out Friday April 25th,

Spring 2 Wellness Week 1

Week 1 was all about goal setting.

Your intention is your commitment to take action. Start by (1) get a clear on what you want and why you want it and (2) WRITE IT DOWN or it isn’t happening.

I will ______ on (or by) ________.

Check out this link for more goal setting tips 9 Habits For a Happier Healthier Life

Sign up for the challenge

Spring2Wellness Week 2

Week 2: plan, plan, plan.

You know the saying “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Even if you can eek by without planning, imagine how much more could you get done with healthy living if you plan. You save time, you’re more clear on your goals, and you’re more likely to stick to them when you feel like bailing.

Learn how to meal plan like a boss.  Meal planning makes grocery shopping much more efficient (saving you time and money), and keeps your mind set on eating healthy.

Sign up for the challenge

Spring2Wellness Week 3

Week 3: Move to the rhythm of the work out

Turn something dreadful into something less dreadful.  Let’s face it, you may not feel like working out at all.  It’s tiring, takes up time or uncomfortable.  It’s OK.  Do it anyway.

Use music as a distraction and it can make your workouts more fun.  Think of some of your favorite songs, create a play list, and I dare you not to move to them!

Sign up for the challenge

Spring2Wellness Week 4

Week 4’s challenge was all about meditation.

While I love yoga, I could never seem to get into meditation. My brain is constantly thinking, moving from one idea to the next. Trying to control or stop my thoughts seems like the opposite of what I am supposed to do.

However, after trying to give my self 1 to 5 minutes every morning to just do nothing, I could see how it helped me feel more positive and energized for a great day. I got a real boost to my health and happiness.

I wrote an article published on US News: Health, check it out, it talks more about Mediation and how and why you should try it.

Sign up for the challenge

Spring2Wellness Week 5

Are you dying to know? Sign up for the challenge and you’ll see what’s up my sleeve next.