Celebrate Mom in Small and Special Ways for #MothersDay

Mother’s Day is just around the corner and what better than to celebrate mom with creative ideas to show you care? As a mom of two myself, I love getting taken care of in small and special ways and that’s what I have to share with you, little ideas that say “I love you, mom” and you can involve the kids too.

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Loved working with some of my favorite brands on the Let’s Talk Live D.C. TV segment.

Give Mom a KIND Breakfast in Bed

What a nice treat to serve mom breakfast in bed! And it doesn’t have to take a lot of time. Simply pair kind breakfastscrambled eggs with fruit and a KIND breakfast bar. KIND breakfast bars are made with 100% whole grains. They have 5 super grain blend of oats, millet, buckwheat, amaranth and quinoa. And they go great with morning coffee or tea, not just on mothers day’s but for the busy mama all year round. I also love these as a pre-fuel before a workout and they are a fun snack for mom to share with her kids too. Try Peanut Butter, Raspberry Chai, Blueberry Almond, and Honey Oat varieties.

Involve The Whole Family in the Meal – Build Your Own Taco Bar

Another fun idea is to do a family lunch or dinner where everyone can get involved. I love to set up a make-your-own taco bar and enlist Dad and the kids to help chop up chicken, shredded cabbage, beans, corn, and any veggies you like, then top them with Sabra Veggie Fusions. This is a new guacamole from Sabra and it’s delicious.

There’s three new varieties of flavor that actually put 3-Up-Fusions-Guacamole-Packsvegetables in the guacamole – I love the Southwestern for tacos, but you can also try Garden Veggie and Mango Lime. It’s also Cinco de Mayo so you can celebrate with this dinner tonight! It’s really easy to bring together. Also, don’t forget Sabra hummus – 2 spoons of hummus a day helps you Smallerget the servings of beans and more vegetables.

A colorful veggie platter is also a great idea for the “unofficial meal” — those things you eat when you’re super busy or just want something easy – we have veggies, cheese, hummus and guac – always on hand and ready to go. Check out #unofficialmeal on Twitter to get recipes and ideas from bloggers who love hummus.

Marinades, Dressings, and Condiments Just Like Mom Would Make

LEMON_GARLIC_Organic_bottleWe know mom loves vegetables – salads are always a great idea, but another way to enjoy vegetables is roasting in the oven, which I love doing with green beans. Mazola marinated veggiesYou can easily enhance the flavor of ANY dish with Tessemae’s organic dressings, marinades, and condiments. I especially love the organic lemon garlic and balsamic dressings – just the right amount of flavor to enhance any roasted vegetables.

There’s over 25 varieties to choose from – just like mom would make from scratch at home, but already done, a nice time saver. Tessemae’s contain no added sugar, thickeners, or additives and are now certified USDA organic. And one more reason to love Tessemae’s, it was launched by three brothers using their Mom’s homemade recipes. If you shop at Whole Foods or Harris Teeter, you’re in luck – pick up some Tessemae’s and taste the difference.

What to Serve Baby’s First Foods

For moms of little ones, a recent survey by Beech-Nut showed parents get confused about what to do when it’s time to start feeding baby. And there’s researchbeechnut to show that by age 1 babies get fewer veggies, and whole grains and more sodium and sugar – similar amount of sugar to about a cup of soda.

Beech-Nut  is a smart choice to get baby in the habit of eating well. They make it easy to know what goes into your baby’s food. Using the freshest vegetables and fruits, gently cooked and just as flavorful as what you would do at home. The label says it all – simply organic with simple ingredients like “just sweet potatoes,” “just carrots,” and “just apples, raspberry and avocado.”

When you eat well, baby eats well. Along with Beech-Nut, give them foods they can scoop up with their hands like tuna, peas, and scrambled eggs when you start introducing foods.

 Celebrate Mom with a Chocolaty Twist on Tofu (Yes, Tofu!)

Let’s not forget dessert! You can enjoy a yummy flavor like chocolate and still get some surprising health benefits. Try whipping up this easy and delicious Chocolate Banana Pudding – made with TOFU! Simply combine banana and tofu in blender or food processor. Add cocoa powder, sugar and cinnamon and purée until smooth. r_chocolate_banana_pudding

Tofu offers a variety of health benefits – it’s a complete protein source offering 9 essential amino acids. House Foods Organic tofu is one of my favorites. It’s non-GMO and made with soybeans that are US-grown. It also tastes great! Tofu is extremely versatile because it absorbs other flavors, so it’s a really wonderful healthy food swap. You can pick up House Foods Organic tofu at Walmart.

Disclosure: I was compensated by Sabra Dipping Company, Beech-Nut, House Foods Organic Tofu, KIND Snacks, and Tessemae’s for my work on TV. Thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Savor the Flavor of Eating Right

March is National Nutrition Month and I’m thrilled to share some creative ideas for you to savor the flavor and eat well. The #1 influencer of our food choices is taste. Not surprising. We love delicious food. Here’s of few of my favorite tips on how you can add flavor to food that’s good for you and delicious!

Think Outside the Bowl with General Mills Bell Institute Health and Nutrition

Starting with cereal, which we all know about for breakfast. Cereal can be a smart choice, and offer good-for-you Whole Grains. Look for Whole Grains first on the ingredients list. With a think-outside-the-bowl mentality you can use cereal in so many dishes. Valentines Trail Mix pic_1I used Cheerios in this Nutty Chocolate Trail Mix – a smart snack, just add your favorite nuts and dried fruit and you have a satisfy treat. Looking for something a tad more unique? I used cereal to make a crunchy crust for fish. Fish is good for you, but it can lack flavor. I made this Crunchy, Asian-inspired Baked Fish with ginger and soy and Golden Grahams for a crunchy topping – this is baked, not fried.

fish picNo matter how you take your cereal, keep in mind that cereal can be a key source of vitamins and minerals, it’s cost effective, and you have lots of options in the store now, including gluten free, and whole grain cereals. You can find this recipe at my website www.RebeccaScritchfield.com.

Wonderful Halos

Bowls are a hot trend right now. Basically, you combine a bunch of good for you foods in a bowl, and make it taste delicious. This is a Mandarin Chicken and Quinoa Bowl. You can serve it “deconstructed” so you can see all the colorful parts. This bowl is loaded halo saladwith vegetables, whole grains from the quinoa, black beans which are great for digestive health, and Wonderful halos – a California grown mandarin orange that’s an excellent source of vitamin C, naturally fat and cholesterol free. Halos are seedless and easy to peel and eat for the entire family. Get them as a snack and include them in your meals for a boost of sweet flavor.

Sweet Scarlett’s

If you’re looking for a colorful and refreshing new side dish that will impress people with flavor and color, this Grapefruit and Carrot Salad is it – made with Sweet Scarlett’s, a Texas-grown red sweet scarlettegrapefruit. Compared to other grapefruits, Scarlett’s have a sweeter flavor and more vibrant red color. This salad can come together quickly with already shredded carrots, pumpkin seeds, feta cheese, parsley, and a Moroccan spiced vinaigrette with flavors of cumin, cinnamon and honey. You can make this ahead of time and eat it during your busy day too! You’ll get 100% of vitamin C in half a grapefruit so include them in your snacks or as a something sweet after a meal.

Wonderful Pomegranates

I’m not one to skip dessert. This is Pomegranate Fro Yo made with POM Wonderful 100% pomegranate juice. It’s so easy a 3-year-old can do it. (I know because my daughter helped me.) You combine Greek yogurt, pom fro yobuttermilk, lemon juice and POM wonderful, chill, and then you can freeze it in popsicle molds or run it through an ice cream maker and freeze. POM Wonderful is a little tart in flavor, contains powerful antioxidants, and has zero added sugars and nothing artificial. Perfectly cool with the warmer weather have been enjoying.

Hear it From You

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

Find out more about these products and topics by connecting on Twitter @bellinstitute@pomwonderful@HalosFun,

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Disclosure: I was compensated by General Mills Cereals and Pom Wonderful for my work on the TV segment, but was not compensated to write this blog. Recommendations and opinion are my own.

3 Dieting Myths I No Longer Believe After Reading ‘Beyond a Shadow of a Diet’

By: Sarah Bousquet, American University student and Intern

beyond a shadow of a diet

I recently read ‘Beyond a Shadow of a Diet’, by Judith Matz and Ellen Frankel.  This book discusses the negative impact of dieting on our society and why dieting does the opposite of the intended goal of losing weight.  The authors also focus on how weight and BMI are not accurate representations of health and wellness, and what we as individuals and as a society can do to better understand our health and our bodies.  There were many myths about dieting and weight that were debunked throughout the book, but these three stuck out to me the most.

 

Myth 1: Diets help you lose weight

  • As the book proves, dieting has the opposite affect on your body.  Through dieting, certain foods that are deemed ‘bad’ by our society become forbidden, and therefore the dieter will have an increased desire to eat these foods. Although dieting can initially help you lose weight, the authors show that after about 2 years approximately 95% of dieters gain the weight back, or enter into a ‘yo-yo’ system of dieting which leads to gaining and losing weight over and over again.  This is detrimental to the health because when dieting the body will begin to burn muscle and fat, so when the dieter gains the weight back they will gain it in fat and lose overall muscle mass, and therefore their health will be in a worse state than at the beginning.

Myth 2: BMI is an accurate depicter of health

  • BMI was originally used to show the weight and general health of the population, not the health of the individuals.  BMI standards for overweight and obese has changed in 1998, creating a new basis for what is considered ‘normal BMI’.  BMI is not an indicator of health, only an indicator of a person’s overall body mass index.  Since BMI is not an indicator of health, the number of your BMI is not nearly as important as treating your body right and, as the book states, being fit is much more important than losing weight or being thin.  There is no correct body shape or weight, and, according to the authors, “a range of female body shapes celebrate life, renewal, and growth”.

Myth 3: Weight is an indicator of health, and obesity causes health problems and diseases.

  • Weight actually has little to do with fitness and health, and therefore is not an accurate indicator of health. Everyones bodies are different, and people who are considered ‘overweight’ can be much healthier than people who are considered ‘normal’. The idea that obesity can cause health problems and diseases are not founded on facts, and studies that were done on obesity tended to be biased, because the doctors who have run those studies in the past were found to work for pharmaceutical companies that were releasing weight loss drugs.

The book ‘Beyond a Shadow of a Diet’ is working to end the stigma that is associated to weight and end the weight bias.  They recognize that body shape, size and weight are not evidence of any particular way of eating or level of health.  They are trying to show that mindfulness, or bringing awareness to your own health and eating without judgement or expectation will lead to self acceptance.

California Walnuts Harvest Tour

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By: Michelle Burton, RD at Capitol Nutrition Group and Rebecca Scritchfield Media, LLC

Last week I had the pleasure of venturing out to Sacramento and the California Central Valley for the California Walnuts Harvest Tour. I experienced the autumn walnut harvest first hand, sampled a number of AMAZING dishes featuring this star ingredient, and learned about new research that’s coming out related to walnuts. I hope you’ll enjoy this brief photo journal of my trip, and that it will inspire you to incorporate walnuts into your everyday!

Walnuts Shaking

Donald Norene, his wife, and his son all took us on a tour of their family’s walnut orchard — Norene Ranches. They have a spectacular 750 acres of his farm dedicated to walnuts. He explained that you know when the walnut trees are ready for shaking when you can throw one on the ground and it’s outer shell comes right off. They showed us the tree shaking live which was very cool. It was wonderful getting to taste fresh walnuts right off the tree.

walnut sweeping

After the walnuts are shaken off the trees, they’re swept into piles, “vacuumed” up, and shuttled to a central location for the next step in their harvest journey — hulling.

walnut hulling

The walnuts arrive at the huller where the green outer shell is removed along with other sticks and debris. Then they’re cleaned, dried, and loaded into trucks to be sent to the local processing plant (which we were also able to tour). It was amazing to see the technology involved with sorting, shelling and packaging the walnuts for commercial distribution.

walnut orchard lunch

Wine & Roses put together a beautiful lunch for us in the orchard featuring a number of dishes that showcased the unique flavor and versatility of walnuts. It started with a caramelized onion, fig and walnut flatbread, followed by a squash, apple and walnut slaw salad, then a walnut quinoa salad with grilled chicken, and the finale was THE best caramel walnut cheesecake that I’ve EVER had. I’ll be sure to share that recipe once I get my hands on it!

walnut cooking demo

We came together again that evening for a food demo by Chef and Owner of Mulvaney’s B&L Restaurant, Patrick Mulvaney. He prepared a roasted chili in walnut sauce, and we dined on a salad of heirloom tomatoes with chunky walnut pesto and fettuccine with walnuts and squash among other fabulous walnut creations. During a nutrition presentation by Registered Dietitian, Heidi Diller, I was intrigued to find out that new research is coming out showing a potential link between walnuts and increased fertility in men. They’re planning to continue research in this area, but definitely some promising information!

Looking to satisfy your walnut craving?

You can find a number of easy and delicious recipes on the California Walnuts website at www.walnuts.org.

 

Disclosure: My attendance at the California Walnuts Harvest Tour was sponsored by California Walnuts, but I was not compensated to write this blog.