Why You Will Never Find the Word “Detox” In My Recipes

image from natural mentor.com
image from natural mentor.com

This morning I opened up one of my favorite food blogs, excited to read about whatever great new recipe she had cooked up. Excited until I read the recipe title. The Best Detox Soup. That’s when all of my happiness turned into rage and annoyance Really, detox soup? Girl, you made soup. Sure, the soup is healthy, maybe it is THE BEST (who am I to judge?) but I will tell you it is not a freakin’ detox. And you are being a sell-out by giving it that title. I don’t care if adding the word detox to recipes gets more hits, it is completely false and misleading. The greenest green juice smoothie with chia seeds and organic grass fed fairy dust is not a “detox,” and neither is your soup.

By definition, a detoxification or detox for short, is the physiological or medicinal removal of toxic substances from a living organism, including the human body, which is mainly carried out by the liver. The liver, yes, you’re working liver can help detoxify you. If you think that eating detox soup, detox juice cleanse, supplements, or other “detox” diet is going to rid your body of toxins you are wrong. That’s not how it works.  Our kidneys and liver work hard to detoxify our bodies. Yes, you should eat healthy foods, maybe you should even eat lentil soup to help keep your organs healthy, but the soup itself is not a detox.

If you are thinking that there is no real harm in calling something a detox as long as it is healthy, that is at least partially true. I want you to make and eat her vegetable soup, I’m sure it’s awesome. I just don’t want you to be under the impression that the soup detoxifys you from last nights Corona’s, nachos, or rat poison. I also don’t recommend dropping cash on any non-food supplement type products being pushed as a detox. Because they don’t work and you don’t need them.

Last but not least, let’s talk about a sugar detox. If you want to detox from sugar, sure, I support you on that one. But why can’t we just go back to 2005 (the good ole’ days) and say something simple like “I’m not eating sugar this week.” or “No thanks, I don’t want cake today.” In 2016, abstaining from sugar is a drama filled event which all of your friends must be reminded of through constant Facebook updates (the headaches, the cravings, stay strong you can do this!) and early morning gym check ins.

Alright, as you may guess, I’m exaggerating ever so slightly. I just hope you understand that the word detox in relation to food is total B.S. and largely a marketing scam!

Friday Favorites

friday

Hi Friends! On Fridays I’m going to be rounding up some of my favorite foodie finds from the week. Also some non-foodie things because sometimes we (me!) need a break from that! How was your week? My week has been a little more hectic than usual, but definitely in a good and exciting way! I’m on a seemingly never ending quest to be fluent in Spanish, so I’m waking up early to Skype with a Spanish teacher in Nicaragua before work. Every morning we have a nice little chat about nutrition, culture, and our mutual disgust for Donald trump. I also have a few new career opportunities on the horizon so we will see how that pans on. But first, some blog lovin!

Good Reads

Fat Doesn’t Make you Fat (And neither do carbs…)

Four Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Quit Sugar From one of my favorite Canadian, tell it like it is dietitians.

Take Your F*ckin Lunch Break! It’s good advice. And while you’re at it, don’t go to work when you are sick either!!

How to Stop Grazing on Snacks throughout the Day. Grazing on snacks has never really been my issue, but I know that it is for many of my clients. Here’s how to nip that habit in the butt!

Good Eats

Coconut Kale and Blueberry Smoothie by Danielle Omar at the Healthy Aperture Blog

blueberry_smoothie2

Roasted Artichokes with Black Truffle Aioli Love me some artichokes, I usually boil them, but I’m definitely going to try this roasting method! artichoke

Banana Chocolate Chip Chia Pancakes. Yes please! My family has determined that pancakes made with almond milk are the absolute best, and bonus these are filled with lots of other nutritious ingredients as well! panc

Crunchy Lentil Tacos You might think you’re taco needs meat, believe me, it doesn’t. Give these a try. taco

Chipotle Stuffed Sweet Potatoes. A whole meal in a sweet potato, why didn’t I think of that?pot

French Onion Soup As fancy as this soup looks, it’s actually quite simple and has a short ingredient list!French-Onion-Soup-4-678x1024

Vegan Chocolate Cake with Avocado Frosting. For the plant based chocolate lover in your life. vegan chocolate cake

Feel Good Friday (News to make you happy!)

Have you seen this girl perform her perfect routine with one leg? AMAZING!  As a former gymnast I can tell you that just walking on the balance beam is hard enough.

Just in case we needed another reason to save the polar bears…

Kathryn Smith is the first full time female coach in the NFL. You go girl!!

Have a great weekend everyone!!

Pesto Avocado Pizza

Pesto avocado pizza www.nuttynutritionandfitness.com

Hi friends, as promised, I’m posting my perfect pesto pizza today! A tad late, but better late than never, right? Last week I went to dinner with some friends at Stonefire Grill and ordered Stonefire’s Favorite pizza. Oh my gosh, so soo good. As soon as I had it I knew I had to recreate it at home, so I could eat it all day, every day. Just kidding (kind of). The ticket to this pizza perfection is the pesto sauce and red onion. I recommend using my 5 minute pesto sauce, but store but will do in a pinch. That flavor combo is a winner for sure. Topped off with a little salty feta and creamy avocado, it doesn’t get much better than that. If you think avo on your pizza is weird, I dare you to try it. You won’t regret it!

I used whole wheat pizza dough from Trader Joes, making this pizza slightly more nutritious. Their wheat crust is actually really good and not grainy at all. It’s by no means diet food, but two slices paired with a nice green salad would make a balanced meal in my opinion. Notice I didn’t say healthy.  I recently read an interesting article titled “No food is healthy. Not even kale.” The author makes a valid point that the word healthy is bankrupt and really should not be used to describe food at all. A person can be healthy, a food is nutritious. If one were to eat only kale they would become very sick.

pesto pizza
The crust pictured here is actually not the wheat crust but the crust in the final product is. And it is tasty!

pesto pizza

Alright, no more health talk. Go to Trader Joes, buy some pizza dough, and make this pizza. Don’t make it because it is healthy, or even nutritious. Just make it because it’s delicious and also because pizza is really fun to make.

Here’s a tip. If you have leftover pizza and you want to reheat it quickly don’t use the microwave! Come on guys, microwaved pizza is the worst. Stick that slice in the toaster, preferably a toaster oven (to avoid a melty cheese disaster). In college I saw this girl from the Humboldt Rugby team put her leftover pizza in the toaster, genius move. I mean, rugby players are all about drinking beer from a dirty, sweaty used rugby boot, but soggy pizza? No thanks! So much better and crispier from the toaster.

pesto pizza

 

pesto avocado pizza

4.0 from 1 reviews
Pesto Avocado Pizza
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 refrigerated pizza dough (whole wheat or white)
  • Enough pesto sauce to lightly cover pizza
  • Sliced fresh mozzarella cheese, or shredded
  • ½ small red onion, sliced thin
  • ¼ cup feta cheese crumbles
  • A few leaves torn fresh basil or cilantro
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • ½ avocado, diced
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 475.
  2. Roll out pizza dough to 12” round.
  3. Place on pizza stone or baking sheet covered with tin foil (tin foil optional)
  4. Cover lightly with pesto sauce. Leave edge for crust.
  5. Sprinkle shredded or sliced mozzarella over pizza
  6. Add red onion, feta, and basil or cilantro
  7. Cook for 8-10 minutes until cheese is bubbling and crust is golden brown
  8. Add diced avocado and fresh ground pepper.
 

Minestrone Soup And Mindfulness

Minestrone Soup www.nuttynutritionandfitness.com

I recently read an article that “souping” is the new juicing. I’m not sure if this trend will actually catch on, but I hope it does! Green juice is not my jam, and orange juice is just not that healthy (high in sugar, void of fiber). Soup on the other hand, soup is a winner! Especially in the winter time, who wants a freakin’ cold smoothie or juice when you can have a nice piping hot bowl of soup? Loaded with nutrient dense veggies, beans, and whole wheat pasta you can’t go wrong with this minestrone soup.

MInestrone
If you want your green beans to stay bright green (instead of olive colored), add them at the last 5 minutes of cooking. I wish I had done this!

Another reason soup is better than juice: it forces you to be mindful. You can easily chug a smoothie while driving to work, and then forget that you drank something 2 hours later. Go ahead and try to eat a bowl of soup while driving to work. On second thought, don’t. Although we love to save time and multi-task it is not always the best thing for our health or mental well being. The act of taking a break to eat and enjoy your food is really important, no matter how busy you are!

This soup is adapted from the Food Network Minestrone Soup. I simplified the recipe just a tiny bit and amped up the nutrition by using whole wheat pasta instead of white. I also added pinto beans because I had them leftover from my meal prepping from the weekend. If you are wanting this soup to be low carb you can totally leave the pasta out, but then you have to call it vegetable soup, not minestrone! Either way, give it a try! It makes a fantastic, filling, vegetarian meal. When I made this soup, my Mom and I had both already eaten dinner, but we proceeded to eat soup for dessert because it was so good!

MInestrone Soup

 

Minestrone Soup

Minestrone Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 2 handfuls green beans, trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces (about 1½ cups)
  • 1 tsp dried Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tsp salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 28 -ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cartons vegetable broth (should be 8 cups or 64 ounces)
  • 1 15 -ounce can low-sodium kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup pinto beans (optional)
  • 1.5 cups mini whole wheat shell or macaroni pasta
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds.
  4. Add the celery and carrot and cook until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the green beans, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper to taste; cook 3 more minutes.
  6. Add the diced and crushed tomatoes and the vegetable broth to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer 10 minutes.
  7. Stir in the beans and pasta and cook until the pasta and vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
  8. Taste, season with additional salt and pepper if necessary
  9. Top with fresh parsley and grated cheese if desired
 

 

Tri-Color Zoodles with Cashew Cream Sauce

Noodles with cashew cream sauce www.nuttynutritionandfitness.com

Zoodles = Zucchini noodles. I’ve seen them around, boasting in their paleo-friendly low-carb glory. I’ve pondered, are they worth the trouble? Can a zucchini noodle actually taste good? The answer is yes, my friends. Especially when accompanied with poodles and swoodles. (potato and sweet potato noodles). If you have also been curious about zoodles, 2016 is the year to stop wondering and start spiralizing.

I received two spiralizers for Christmas, if that wasn’t a sign to blog about zoodles, I don’t know what is. To be honest, the idea of zucchini noodles wasn’t super appealing to me until I found out you can make sweet potato noodles. The first time I saw a recipe with sweet potato, I knew I had to try this veggie pasta phenomenon.

zoodles with cashew cream sauce

These noodles are a combination of zucchini, sweet potato, and purple potato. Go for purple sweet potato if you can find it. With the addition of potato this recipe is no longer low carb, but it is still significantly lower in carbohydrate than regular pasta. You would be amazed by the volume of noodles you get just from one potato. In my opinion, adding three types of veggies makes this meal more filling and nutritionally balanced. Yes, I could eat a plate full of zoodles, but I’m pretty sure I’m gonna be starving two hours later…

Let’s talk about the sauce. Creamy dreamy dairy-free cashew sauce. It’s every bit as rich and delectable as a heavy alfredo sauce would be, but without all the saturated fat and packed with micronutrients. The sauce may appear just a teeny bit lumpy in the pictures, but that’s because I had to use a blender instead of a food processor. Sad to say my food processor has seen better days, and apparently Santa didn’t know 🙁 If you have a food processor definitely use it, but a high powered blender will work too!

Zoodles with cashew cream sauce

 

zoodles with cashew cream sauce

Recipe inspired by Creamy Spinach Sweet Potato Noodles by Pinch of Yum.

4.5 from 2 reviews
Tri-Color Zoodles with Cashew Cream Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main Dish
Serves: 3-4
Ingredients
Noodles
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled
  • 2 small purple potatoes
  • 2 small zucchini (or 1 large)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
Cashew Cream Sauce
  • 1.5 cups raw cashews, soaked
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded
  • ¼ cup water or non-dairy milk, plus more as needed to thin sauce
Instructions
  1. Peal, wash and spiralize zucchini and potatoes.
  2. Heat large pan over medium heat. Add oil and veggie noodles. Cook for 10-15 minutes over medium heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. For the sauce, soak the cashews in water for at least two hours.
  4. Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well combined. Add enough water or milk to create a creamy sauce.
  5. Heat sauce briefly over low heat on the stove. Stir constantly to avoid burning. Serve over warm veggie noodles.
Notes
The sauce makes 6 or more servings and the noodles about 3. If you would like to use all the sauce double the veggie noodle recipe.
 

Turmeric: Love It or Leave It?

Mango-Turmeric-Smoothie
Photo from Dietitiandebbie.com. Click for recipe.

Turmeric (the orange spice in curry) has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. It is believed to help fight infections, prevent certain types of cancer, aid memory, reduce inflammation, relieve stomach pain, and help indigestion. Although it has been used for many years, there are relatively few human trials proving its efficacy. Recently, turmeric supplement sales have been booming in the states. I have even heard turmeric is the new Tyenol (thanks Sara). Let’s examine the facts and see if it really works.

Curcumin is the main active component of turmeric. It has anti-inflammatory properties and it is an antioxidant. In one study it was found to be just as effective as ibuprofen at relieving pain from osteoarthritis. According to the National Institutes of health, curcumin may also be effective for preventing colon cancer, stomach upset, and diabetes, however, more human research is needed. Early research shows that it is not beneficial for Alzhemiers disease.

Turmeric is on the GRAS list (generally recognized as safe) and has few side effects. The effective dose is anywhere from 500 mg 2-4 times per day. If you are not interested in taking a supplement but would still like to enjoy the health benefits of curcumin try cooking with the spice. Here are some fabulous dishes to get you started!

The final verdict on turmeric: Love it!

Dishes with Eggsturmeric egg salad sandwichTurmeric Egg Salad Sandwich by Season With Spice

Summer Sunshine Bowls by Pantry Doctor

Shakshuka by Nutritiolicious

Mini Breakfast Quiches by RDN Mommy

Vegan and Vegetariancauliflowr riceMorrocan Tomato Sauce over Cauliflower Rice by Dishing Out Health

Roasted Cauliflower, Tomatoes, and Chickpeas by MJ and HungryMan

Easy Cauli Mac N Cheese by No Nonsense Nutritionist

Farro Salad with Roasted Turmeric Beets by Abby Langer Nutrition

Indian Chili Tofu by Carrots & Cake

Savory Spiced Pumpkin Hummus by E.A. Stewart

Snacks and Smoothiesginger pear turmeric muffin

Ginger Pear and Turmeric Muffins by May I Have That Recipe?

Mango Cardamom Kefir Lassi by Food Pleasure and Health

Mango Turmeric Smoothie by Dietitian Debbie

Crunchy Turmeric Banana Chips by Spright.com

Turmeric is most commonly used in curry, but if you are not a curry lover, try some of these unique recipes! What is your favorite way to use turmeric?

 

 

Waist Trainers: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

To the girl at the gym, wearing that horribly uncomfortable neoprene band around your stomach. WHY???
Not sure if it’s just me, or the fact that I’m in Central America, but I have been noticing an abundance of women at the gym wearing a “waist trainer” while working out. If you are not familiar with a waist trainer or “trimmer,” it is a band that can be worn around your midsection which supposedly melts fat and tricks your waist into thinking you are Barbie. They are ridiculous.
First, the good. Oopsy, this part was just a joke. There is nothing good about waist trainers, they are an abomination. In my opinion they take women back to the times of foot binding and rib bruising from wearing tight corsets. If you want to wear a waist trainer just for a special day or night, kind of like spanx, that’s one thing, but to wear one 24/7 in hopes of a smaller waist, bad idea folks!
The bad. The bad part is they do not work and they are (I imagine?) uncomfortable. Personally I can not wear tight jeans without getting a stomachache. Why anyone wants to have something tight around their waist for fun is beyond me. if you are thinking, “I am not doing this for fun, I’m doing this for results” think again. A waist trainer may cause you to sweat more while working out or doing daily tasks, but in the end, excessive sweating does not result in greater weight loss. Excessive sweating results in 1) consuming more fluids or 2) dehydration (very bad).

The ugly. Not only are waist trainers ineffective, they can be downright harmful.If worn too tightly they can cause acid reflux, shallow breathing, and potentially cause rib damage. Also, back acne. No one wants backne.

Now that we know what doesn’t work, what does work? High intensity interval training, lifting weights, plank variations, eating healthy. All of those things actually work to make you stronger and slimmer, but none of them change your physical bone structure.

Tell me, have you ever worn a waist trainer? What was your experience? Are there any other weight loss or body shaping gadgets/supplements you would like me to blog about?

*Please note, if you were advised by your physician to wear a “waist trainer” or other device postpartum that is a different situation and may be advisable.

Y ahora, algunas fotos de NicaraguaNicaragua12039195_464374037077251_4438631148371924810_n Nicaragua

Sometimes, holding your ice coffee in your shirt is the only way you can survive the heat without air conditioning. This also allows you to type with two hands and drink at the same time.
Sometimes, holding your ice coffee in your shirt is the only way you can survive the heat without air conditioning. This also allows you to type with two hands and drink at the same time.

Let’s Get Nutty. What Type of Nut Butter is Best?

What Type of Nut Butter is Best?

Peanut butter has been a lunch time staple for children and adults for years. Until recently there was not much competition on the nut butter front. But in 2012, almonds officially surpassed peanuts as America’s favorite nut, and almond butter began to give peanut butter a run for it’s money. Almond butter is marketed as being the more health conscious choice, but is it? And what about that beloved hazelnut spread, known as Nutella. Is Nutella a healthy addition to your whole grain toast as the commercial suggests?  With the nut butter section jam-packed with options, it’s hard to make the right choice. Let’s take a look at the facts.

Nut butter confusion

Almond butter and peanut butter are very similar in terms of macronutrients (carbohydrate, fat, and protein) and calories. They both have approximately 190 calories for a two tablespoon serving. Making them both a high calorie, but nutrient dense food. Peanut butter has a slight nutritional edge over almond butter in terms of protein, with eight grams of protein per serving versus seven. When it comes to fat, almond butter has the advantage because it is slightly lower in saturated fat and higher in monounsaturated fat (the good kind).

The real difference in these two nut butters is in the micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). Almond butter is an excellent source of vitamin E. One serving of almond butter has four milligrams (mg) of vitamin E, compared to only one mg in peanut butter. Vitamin E helps promote a healthy immune system and acts as an antioxidant which protects against cellular damage. Almond butter is also higher in magnesium and calcium which are important for bone health. However, this does not mean that peanut butter is a nutritional loser. Peanut butter has higher levels of some B vitamins, including niacin, folate, and B6. B vitamins are important cofactors in metabolism and help our body create energy.

Sorry Nutella lovers, but when it comes to nutrition, Nutella can not compete. Nutella should really be sold with the pudding or ice cream, because it is more of a “dessert food” than anything else. Just take a look at the ingredients. First ingredient sugar, second ingredient palm oil. Hazelnut spread you say? More like a sugary fatty spread with a hint of hazelnut and cocoa. No doubt, Nutella is delicious, but it is not in the same realm as actual nut butters.

When buying your nut butter some quick things to look for:

  • Nuts should always be the first ingredient
  • Little to no added sugar
  • No hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated fats
  • The shorter the ingredient list the better

Almond Butter

If I had to choose a nutritional winner, I would give it to almond butter. Although peanut butter is a close second. If you’ve never tried almond butter before it’s definitely worth a go. Here are some delicious recipes to try using almond butter: Almond Joy Cups, homemade almond butter, and pineapple macadamia granola bars.  Although I admit, I do love peanut butter and it is often times half the price of almond butter. Yesterday I made this peanut butter and banana grilled sandwich and it was to die for.

The final score card on nut butters:

Almond Butter : A+

Peanut Butter: A

Nutella (hazelnut spread): D

What is your favorite way to eat nut butter? On a sandwich, from the jar, in a smoothie?

Pistachio Power Pasta

Asparagus and Pistachio PastaIt’s not often that you will find nuts in a pasta dish, unless it’s pine nuts, which are not super nutritious.  Being the “Nutty” Nutritionist my goal is to put nuts in everything I make, or almost everything.  You may think it’s weird to put pistachios in your pasta, but give it a try. The flavors meld perfectly with the asparagus in this dish, and they give the pasta a nice little crunch. Not to mention the wonderful nutrients that are in pistachios. Pistachios are the lowest calorie nut and they are a great source of potassium and B vitamins, particularly thiamin and B6. One serving of pistachios is 45 nuts, compared to only 23 almonds or 14 walnut halves.

Look at all of that cheesy goodness
Look at all of that cheesy goodness

P1030279

I could have named this pistachio protein pasta, but I didn’t want to be that annoying nutritionist that titles all of her posts with “protein.” For example, my Protein Salad.  So, I went with power. Power because this pasta is full of carbs (which give you energy), and also full of protein (which helps build muscle).  The protein comes from my secret ingredient in the sauce – plain Greek Yogurt. Greek yogurt has between 12 and 15 grams of protein per 6 oz serving. Regular yogurt only has 3-5 grams of protein per serving. Usually white sauce is made with two main ingredients, butter and heavy whipping cream. This recipe uses minimal butter and Greek Yogurt instead of heavy whipping cream, making it higher in protein and much lower in saturated fat.P1030308

Pistachio and Asparagus PastaThis recipe was inspired by my favorite pasta dish at Viva La Pasta; number 8, no prosciutto. The Viva version is soo creamy and delicious, but due to its high fat content it sometimes  gives me a stomach ache. If you have had your gallbladder removed you will definitely know what I’m talking about. My lightened up version has all of the flavor but no unpleasant side effects. Try it out for yourself!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Pistachio Power Pasta
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 box penne pasta (13-16 oz.)
  • 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup grated part-skim mozarella cheese
  • 1 cup half-n-half
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 -7 oz. container Greek Yogurt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
  • ½ cup pistachios, toasted
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions
  2. Boil asparagus in salted water for three minutes and place in ice bath to avoid browning. Cut asparagus into 3 inch spears.
  3. Melt butter in large saute pan, add minced garlic. Cook two minutes.
  4. Add half and half and both cheeses. Bring to a simmer. Stir until cheese fully melted. Add salt and pepper.
  5. Reduce heat. Whisk in yogurt until smooth.
  6. Toss penne with sauce and asparagus. Add toasted pistachios. (toast by heating on the stove, optional). Add red pepper flakes if desired.
 

Fruits and Veggies with a Bad Reputation

I am often asked, “which fruits are bad?” I hate that mainstream media has Americans so confused to think that there are actually bad fruits and vegetables. All fruits are good for you.  All fruits offer vitamins, minerals, and fiber. If I had to choose the very healthiest fruit, I would probably go with berries (raspberries, blueberries, strawberries). However, you do not need to eat berries every day. Eat berries when they are in season (the summer time in California) eat apples when they are in season (fall). Here is a list of a few fruits and veggies which have a bad reputation but are really quite healthy!P1160381 - Copy

1. Carrots. My clients like to tell me they avoid carrots because they are “high sugar.” This is 100% not true. One large carrot has 3 grams of sugar and only 30 calories. You would have to eat 10 large carrots to equal the amount of sugar that is in one glass of orange juice. So go ahead and put some carrots on your salad, eat them with hummus, or roast them with some other root veggies!P1160391

2.White Potatoes. Ok, so white potatoes are not kale. But they do offer some important nutrients. Did you know that one medium size potato has more potassium than a banana? Potassium is beneficial in helping lower blood pressure and of course, as we all know, it can help with exercise induced cramps. Potatoes are also a good source of fiber if you eat the skin. Eat the skin, it’s good! The problem with potatoes is mainly that they are the number one consumed vegetable in America because they are eaten in the form of french fries. Yes, this is a problem. Baked potato with veggies and a little cheese- good. French fry- bad.P1160437 - Copy

3. Bananas. What is not to love about a banana. It comes in its own natural wrapper! Making it portable and practical. Yes, bananas might be considered “high sugar.” But I can’t really think of a fruit that isn’t high in sugar, as all fruits are full of fructose. Fructose means fruit sugar. One medium banana has 100 calories and 15 grams of sugar. That still pales in comparison to our friend orange juice with 30 grams of sugar. I’m not hating on orange juice, I’m just saying eat your fruits first!P1160412 - Copy

4. Frozen Fruits and Vegetables. Fresh is best, but frozen is a very close second! Vegetables and fruits are typically frozen right after being harvested which means they retain their nutrients. Sometimes, it can even allow the fruit to vine ripen for longer because the producers won’t have to worry about the fruit rotting or becoming damaged during transportation to the market. Frozen is also economical and can help you cut back on food waste. If you only go the grocery store once a week, eat fresh at the beginning of the week and have some frozen green beans and fruit smoothie at the end of the week! With frozen just make sure to check for added sugar or sodium. Look at the ingredient list, ideally you want it to have just one ingredient- the fruit or veggie you are buying and that’s it.

Just one ingredient, corn!
Just one ingredient, corn!

In a nut shell, if you are eating a fruit or vegetable, you are doing a good job! Try to get at least 2 cups of fruit and 3 cups of vegetables in your diet every day! If you exercise a lot or are very tall/big then you need even more!P1160365 - Copy