Fresh Ideas for a Happy and Healthy Holiday

‘Tis the season to celebrate! The holidays are officially the best time of year-it’s a time for baking, holiday parties, and giving gifts from the kitchen. And what better way to celebrating in the festivities than with healthy, delicious and easy tips. Check out my latest appearance on Let’s Talk Live to get fresh ideas to make your holiday gatherings delicious and memorable without the fuss.

Let HelloFresh Help With Dinner

Let HelloFresh help with dinner and your health doesn’t have to take a backseat to the holidays. HelloFresh is a great meal delivery service that delivers boxes with fresh ingredients and recipe cards that are simple and easy to follow, each taking no more than 30 minutes.

They offer favorites like Italian Ciabatta Burgers — so easy and fun.  You can pour a glass of wine, put on some lovely holiday music and follow the cooking instructions. ciabatta

I like working with HelloFresh because they are the only meal delivery service that has a full time registered dietitian on staff to make sure your meals are nutritionally balanced. These quick, simple and nutritious meals are big on flavor too. They have vegetarian options and they change the meal each week. Costing only $10 per person per meal, it doesn’t break the bank. Looking for a last minute gift? You can purchase holiday gift certificates for HelloFresh from their website.

Snack Smarter with Wonderful Brands

Snacking is a biggie during holiday gathering. We want options that don’t take a lot of time and quite often can be pieced together to make nutritious mini meals. Fruits and nuts offer a great foundation for healthful snacks, which is why I love working with the brands at Wonderful.

Wonderful Scarlett’s is Texas Red Grapefruit, with a sweeter flavor and brighter scarlettesred color than most grapefruits. Just half a grapefruit gives you 100% of your daily needs of vitamin C, for good immunity and also support collagen formation for healthy skin. Use them in smoothies, or broil them with a light topping of brown sugar to satisfy your sweet tooth. They will go great with oatmeal, salads, or paired up with any side vegetable as well.

halos2Pick up a box of Wonderful Halos, California grown
mandarins that are easy to peel and eat. I love that Halos are palm sized and seedless so if you have kids you can just hand them over. They are filled with goodness, including vitamin C and fiber and make a delicious pairing with cheese or some Wonderful Pistachios!

I’m nuts for Wonderful Pistachios. You get a good source of protein and fiber and there’s 49 nuts in a serving of pistachios – more than any other nut. If you’re looking for something easy to take to the party – guests will not be disappointed to see you bring Wonderful pistachios instead of chips. You can get great flavors like salt and pepper and thai sweet chili.

Send the gift of KINDness

You can’t go wrong when you take KIND nuts and spices bars as on-the-go snacks. This snack contains real, wholesome ingredients and uses 50% less sugar compared to the average snack bar, only 5-6g per bar, mostly fkind cuberom honey or dried fruits.

I’m excited about KIND cubes – a gift you can give to share your love of KIND snacks. You can get this gift at KIND Snacks. For $39.50 you get 20 bars – 8 varieties from the Nuts and Spice line, including Dark Chocolate Nuts and Sea Salt, Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan, Caramel Almond Sea Salt.

In the spirit of the holiday season approaching, KIND has made it easy for you to celebrate someone doing a KIND act by sending them a free #KINDawesome card on Facebook or Twitter. They can redeem it for FREE KIND, or they can send another card and pay it forward.  Visit howkindofyou.com to learn more.

Hear it From You

Let us know! What are some of your favorite time-saving, fuss-free holiday entertaining tips?  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 @getcrackin@KINDSnacks@HelloFresh, and follow Sweet Scarletts on Facebook.

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Disclosure: I was compensated by KIND Snacks, Wonderful brands and HelloFresh for my work on the TV segment, but was not compensated to write this blog. Recommendations and opinion are my own.

Is Your Diet Making You Unhappy?

‘Tis the Season (to be merry, bright, and full)

It’s basically a given that overeating, to some degree, is going to happen during the holiday season. So how do we eliminate overeating during the holidays? We don’t! It’s unrealistic, and honestly, unnecessary. Overeating is part of the holiday experience, but what we can do, is ensure this occurs in a healthy way.

Most of my clients feel an overwhelming sense of guilt for indulging in the holiday spreads, which leads to shame. Let’s not forget ’tis the season to feel joyful. My hope is by sharing posts on Intuitive Eating it will help you forgive yourself for feeling guilty and be merry instead.

dear diet

3 Signs That Your Plan Isn’t Working and How to Change it

1. You Can’t Follow The Rules.

When you’re following a plan that is inflexible with “yes” or “no” or “good” or “bad” food rules, guilt always follows. This type of restrictive eating is controlling and rigid, often making you preoccupied with food thoughts. So how do we deal with these moments and get on with enjoying the important part of the holidays like our family and friends?

Make a truce with yourself right now that you are going to overeat and you are going to savor every bite you choose to take with awareness and gratitude. When making your plate, ask what do I really want (not necessarily what is healthiest/you should eat). When you eat, use all your senses like sight, smell, taste, touch (texture on your tongue) to enjoy your food.

 2. You’re Measuring Success by “Losing”. 

Whether you’re measuring weight loss by pounds or inches lost or by what you are not eating, you’re labeling your success by deprivation. As humans we needs rewards and positive praise. I have never met a single person who said they got pleasure and enjoyment out of denying themselves foods they love. Don’t measure success by deprivation, instead start counting the positive stuff in your life, like spending time with people who bring you joy.

3. No One Wants to Hang Out with You

The holiday season is a time for socializing, connecting and celebrating with people that bring joy to your life. But when you’re standing around the hors d’oeuvres blabbing out “I shouldn’t have that!” or “I’m going to regret this later,” you’re ruining everyone’s holiday cheer, including your own. When you’re so caught up in how you look or too worried about what you’re going to eat, people begin to sense the negativity and don’t want to be around it. 

Imagine what would happen if you just let go and gave yourself permission to eat? In my experience (personal and with clients) you tend to enjoy the food without the guilt and you tend to eat it in moderation. You still get the healthy stuff you like too. Not because you have to, but because you want to.

Join in #WhatMattersMost

whatmattersmostDiets shouldn’t exist, but healthy lifestyles should! Let’s kick off holiday cheer with diet-ditching, body-loving self-care together! What matters more in your life than counting calories or dieting? I’d love to hear from you! Share your tweets or snap a picture using the hashtag #whatmattersmost.

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Three Flexible Ways to Eat Better Today with Eggs

Disclosure: I was compensated by Egg Nutrition Center for my time to write this post. Recommendations and opinion are my own.

When I tell people what I do for a living and the word “nutrition” comes up, the next thing I hear is… “Please, tell me what to eat!” I think everyone is looking for some guidance on what is good for you and how to get more of it. I wish it were as easy as giving people a “do’s and don’ts” list of foods, but it’s not. Your personal preferences matter because if you don’t love the food and how it tastes, you won’t make it a habit. Nor should you. That’s why I think it’s better to seek out nutrition advice that is flexible and guides you to choices you feel good about.

Three Healthy Eating Patterns to Fit Your Life

As a nutrition expert, I look to the scientific evidence for guidance in making my recommendations. In a report earlier this year, the 2015 Dietary Guideline Advisory Committee (DGAC – a group of food and nutrition researchers and scientists) placed a strong emphasis on the importance of healthy eating patterns as an effort to improve the major diet-related health problems we face as a nation. They recommended three flexible healthy eating patterns: Vegetarian, Mediterranean and Healthy US. In this blog, I will describe what makes up healthy eating patterns and share recipes and ideas that make them easy to follow. In addition to staples like fruits, vegetables and whole grains, one of my favorite versatile lean proteins, nutrient-rich eggs, is present in all three patterns.

Focus on Nutrient-Dense Foods

In a perfect world, everything we eat would taste delicious, be super-convenient, and offer plenty of nutritional benefits. But do such foods exist? Sure do! One egg contains 14 essential vitamins and minerals, 6 grams of high-quality protein, all 9 essential amino acids, and the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, all for 70 calories, making it one of the best nutrient-dense foods to eat.

Plant Powered Eating

The key to healthy vegetarian eating is to enjoy a variety of foods. One common concern with plant-based eating is getting in enough protein. Eggs provide one of the highest quality proteins of any food available. One egg provides six grams of protein, but don’t toss the yolk! Nearly half of the protein is found in the yolk. Eggs are also one of the few foods that are a naturally good source of vitamin D, nothing artificial.

pepper egg

Bring some color to the table with these easy to make Broccoli Quiche in Colorful Peppers.

A Plant-Based Diet Doesn’t Mean Only Plants

There’s no strict criteria that defines plant-based eating. The focus is on the foundation, which is mostly grains, nuts and seeds, fruits, veggies and legumes. At each meal, pairing plants with 20-30 grams of high-quality protein like eggs, fish, chicken, lean meat, and low-fat dairy can help support healthy muscles and strong bones and keep you feeling satisfied. Check out this neat infographic for more protein and plant pairings to help inspire you.

Looking for way to jazz up traditional egg salad? Try adding flavorful image003ingredients like tomato, red onion, avocado and cilantro for more zing. This Tomato Avocado Egg Salad can be enjoyed as a meal or a hearty sandwich filling or serve in hollowed-out tomatoes.

Long Live the Mediterranean Way

This stands as one of the world’s healthiest and tastiest ways of lifestyles. So what is it about this lifestyle that is so protective? Lots of physical activity for one, but also this style of eating thrives on an abundance of fruits and veggies, olive oil, more fish, less red meat and processed foods, and they enjoy their wine in moderation.

Looking for a high lox eggprotein breakfast option? Heart-healthy fish has a strong presence in the Mediterranean diet, so why not add some to your morning meal? Scrambled Eggs & Lox Breakfast Bagels puts a sunny twist on the bagel and lox combo with the simple addition of a scrambled egg to help you power through your day.

The Pattern on Your Plate

Composing a healthy meal means getting the right balance of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. When planning out your Balanced Plate fill your plate at each meal with one-half fruits and vegetables, one-quarter protein and one-quarter grains or starches. But don’t forget the fat. Studies now show enhanced absorption of nutrients in veggies when consumed with a source of fat, such as eggs or olive oil. Here’s another neat infographic that highlights the latest research.

Nature’s Form of Portion Control

Eggs are naturally portioned (one egg is one serving) which makes them easy to prepare, whether you are cooking for one or many. Compared to other proteins, they are relatively inexpensive (average cost 25 cents/egg) and can remain in your fridge for several weeks without spoiling.

Boiled to Perfection

Boiling an egg is a simple way to create a healthy snack that can be taken on the go. Boiled eggs are also easy to pack in kid’s lunch boxes, or can be stored away in the refrigerator for later snacking. To get that perfect boil, cover eggs with 1 inch of cold water, and start heating. Take the pan off the heat as soon as the water boils. Cover and let eggs stand in hot water for 12 minutes (for a large egg), then drain immediately and serve.

Which Eating Pattern is Best for You?

A healthy eating pattern is not a rigid prescription for eating or a diet. It’s a style of eating that gives us flexibility in making choices to help meet our nutritional needs and also account for our personal preferences, food budget, and availability. If you’re looking to adopt healthier ways of eating the best eating pattern is the one that fits your lifestyle and you can stick with!

Visit IncredibleEgg.org Recipe Resources for more creative ways to use eggs in cooking.

Sources:

  1. http://www.ars.usda.gov/main/site_main.htm?modecode=12-35-45-00.
  2. http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015-scientific-report/10-chapter-5/
  3. http://www.ars.usda.gov/main/site_main.htm?modecode=12-35-45-00

Disclosure: I was compensated by Egg Nutrition Center for my time to write this post. Recommendations and opinion are my own.


 

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Tutorial: How to Keep a Gratitude Journal and See the Bright Side (through the dark)

I’m Grateful For…

I recently read The Gratitude Diaries by Janice Kaplan. I loved learning how she was able to convert her natural pessimism to optimism by seeking out the bright side of things. (She spent a whole year committed to finding gratitude).
Janice recommends keeping a gratitude journal. It’s a great way to keep yourself in a thankful and positive state of mind. I encourage you to give it a try! You could make it focused on gratitude for your health, the people in your life, or anything that makes you feel energized, strong, or happy!

gratitude journa;

Gratitude Makes You Happier and Healthier

Happier people are healthier people. This excites me because I’m fascinated by the amount of control we have over our health. We can choose to grow happiness by choosing to express gratitude. Whether you write in detail or just take a moment to pause and reflect, the choice to do something is in your hands.

I’m grateful for this delightful piece on Gratitude by Arthur Brooks in the New York Times I’ve seen copiously shared in my social media feeds, primarily because he says even if you don’t feel grateful, you should practice gratitude anyway! (YESSSSS!)

How Does Gratitude Help You?

Are you grateful on the regular? What’s your secret? How has gratitude transformed your life and your health?

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Celebrate Gratitude With a Healthy Twist: Breakfast Strata, Corn Chowder, Roasted Cranberries

Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 1.36.53 PM

Check out my latest appearance on WBAL talking healthy eats during the holiday season.

Thanksgiving is only days away but the holiday season is just kicking off! I love this time of year because it’s all about gratitude – celebrating with good friends, family – and of course, FOOD. Check out my recent TV appearance where I share some last minute healthy twists to your festive holiday dishes and where to find the best grocery bargains.

Holiday Entertaining That Won’t Break the Bank

When I’m hosting a crowd I love making one dish meals. It saves time and doesn’t skimp on flavor. I love this savory recipe inspired from bacon kale stratBon Appetite Magazine: Bacon, Kale, Parmesan strata  Strata is dish where you combine sautéed vegetables (I added mushrooms and tomatoes to the original recipe), eggs, and bread and then bake it. It’s surprisingly easy to pull together simple natureand it’s a great dish to serve around the holidays, especially for a crowd. You can get this recipe and many more at Aldi.US.
And who doesn’t love to save money this time of year? If you haven’t shopped at Aldi yet, you can save up to 50% on your grocery bill! (Surprising, right?) You can find great deals without compromising on quality – including organic fresh and frozen produce and even a line called Simply Nature with no artificial ingredients.

What to Serve With the Bird

Dairy-Pure-Milk-Printable-Coupon-Looking for last minute ideas on “what to serve with the bird”?  Mashed potatoes are a favorite on Thanksgiving – but don’t let the white color fool you, potatoes are a vegetable with good nutrients. These Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes are a guaranteed crowed pleaser at your Thanksgiving feast. mash spuds For a twist on the corn side dish, try making this Creamy Corn Chowder filled with vegetables.  Both recipes are made with milk too, which offers a boost of protein, vitamins and minerals.

I like DairyPure milk for all my holiday cooking and baking recipes. It contains no artificial growth hormones and is the only milk backed by a Purity Promise. Fresh, quality milk for your family. You can get these recipes at Dairy Pure or follow them on Facebook.

Add Color and Health with Cranberries

This time of year it’s all about cranberries – fresh, frozen, dried, and cranberry juice can benefit your health. New research from the Cranberry Health Research Conference shows that drinking cranberry juice may protect the heart. A study on healthy men showed improvements to vascular function and blood flow. cran spritzerServe up a festive looking beverage to your guests with a simple cranberry spritzer using sparkling water and a splash of cranberry juice.

For Thanksgiving dinner, take a shortcut using canned cranberry sauce and dress it up with chopped dried cranberries, pecans and orange zest. cranberry-and-pecan-green-beans-033Or try adding a pop of color and tang to any holiday dish using chopped dried cranberries — they’re a great compliment to Brussels sprouts, green beans or any grain-based salad. Cranberry products are usually sweetened because they are naturally acidic and low in sugar. Dried cranberries have similar sugar to other dried fruits. You can visit The Cranberry Institute to learn more great health benefits of cranberries.

Hear it From You

Let us know! What festive Thanksgiving dishes will you be serving up? Please share below or tweet to @ScritchfieldRD! I’d love to hear them!

Find out more about these products and topics through Twitter at @USCranberries and @AldiUSA and follow Dairy Pure on Facebook.

Disclosures: I was compensated by The Cranberry Institute, Aldi US, and Dairy Pure for my work on the TV segment, but was not compensated to write this blog.