Author: bittnutrition

Take Your Easter Brunch Up A Notch With These 5 Recipes!

Take Your Easter Brunch Up A Notch With These 5 Recipes!

Impress your guests with these 5 Easter brunch dishes, that will also be a bit more nutritious and prettier! Included is a the recipe for a quick and healthier cinnamon bun recipe!

Chicken Tortilla Soup and Digestion 101

Chicken Tortilla Soup and Digestion 101

Get warm with this Chicken Tortilla Soup and learn all about digestion!

5 benefits of Pomegranate & A Winter Salad with Pomegranate Seeds

5 benefits of Pomegranate & A Winter Salad with Pomegranate Seeds

Pomegranates… the decorative fruit that should be opened and consumed more than used as decoration!

One of the oldest fruits as a symbol of life, luck, fertility!

This fruit is a new favorite the past couple years. Prior, I thought it was just for decoration. Not anymore! I am so glad I was introduced to these beautiful seeds, not so glad about some of the clothing it may have stained, but I found a new way to de-seed them without getting the juice all over (will describe later).

Where are they grown?

This vibrant red fruit is from West Asia in the Mediterranean region part of the world and now some in America. They grow best in sunlight-exposed mild winters and dry summers. Examples: California and Mexico.

It’s parts:

When you open the skin, you will see tiny seeds, which are covered by red, juice arils.

Edible parts: the arils and seeds

Non-edible parts: the thick skin; the root and stems are actually poisonous!

Caution:

If you take certain medications that you are unable to consume grapefruit due to it’s interactions with the medication (different dosage depending) like blood pressure meds, statins, blood thinners, some anti-anxiety drugs, corticosteroid for IBD, anti-epileptic, or certain anti-histamines, you want to talk with your doctor about the interaction with pomegranates and the appropriate amount.

Nutritional Benefits

Pomegranate’s benefits are found to be antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant properties, and helpful in some disease.

Skin Health:

Skin is our biggest organ and a focus for many woman. Pomegranate’s red color produces the flavonol anthocyanin, which acts as an antioxidant. Pomegranates are packed with a powerful antioxidant is Punicalagin, an ellagitannin, shown to have more antioxidants than green tea! Punicalagins metabolize into ellagic acid (a phenolic acid) to protect our skin from damage, such as wounds and UV exposure. One cup of pomegranate seeds provides 30% of your Vitamin C requirements for the day! Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant and is needed to form collagen that makes up your skin!

Heart Health:

The high antioxidant level of punicalagins help decrease inflammation, helping to reduce heart disease. Pomegranate’s phytosterols and punicic acid are found to lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels. Punicic acid is a polyunsaturated fatty acid that has shown to improve triglycerides and HDL “good” cholesterol levels. One cup of pomegranate seeds provides 12% of your potassium needs for the day! Potassium is critical for muscle function, especially of the heart.

Cancer fighting:

Pomegranates have been studied in cancer cells to encourage apoptosis (cell death) and slow cell growth. The most studied cancer, with improvement, was prostate cancer when drinking pomegranate juice. They also believe this can be true for breast cancer, but more research is being done. The rich antioxidants help decrease oxidative stress, which will decrease inflammation levels. Chronic inflammation from a long exposure from: infections, allergens, radiation, toxic chemicals, autoimmune disease, chronic disease, obesity, alcohol, smoking increases the higher risk of cancer. Getting those antioxidants in are so important!

Bone Health:

Anthocyanin is shown to help reduce damage of cartilage and inflammation of joints, which helps prevent arthritis. Pomegranates showed increase in bone production from increasing osteoblast activity (responsible for new bone formation) and decreasing osteoclast (responsible for breaking down older bone). Osteoporosis is when bone loss begins and decreased levels of bone formation occurs, so you want osteoblast activity to be greater than osteoclast activity.

Improve Bacterial and Fungal infections

This benefit goes back to Egyptians using pomegranates for infections. Phytochemical compounds in pomegranates have shown to provide antimicrobial activity: ellagic acid and punicalagins. With the addition of anthocyanins and flavonols, bacterial (oral, gut, wounds, food preservation, infections) and viral (Herpes, HIV, food-borne) diseases can improve. Pomegranates provide prebiotic fiber, which is food for probiotics and provide healthy bowel movements. Pomegranates have also decreased dental plaque buildup, which decreases risk of oral diseases.

A few key research articles:

Food Applications and Potential Health Benefits of Pomegranate and its Derivatives

Potent Health Effects of Pomegranate

Pomegranate and Its Derivatives Can Improve Bone Health through Decreased Inflammation and Oxidative Stress in an Animal Model of PostMenopausal Osteoporosis

The Pomegranate: Effects on Bacteria and Viruses that Influence Human Health

How to eat them:

Cut the beautiful, round fruit in half. To remove the arils (seeds), I like to fold the skin back to push the seeds out. I highly recommend doing this process in a bowl of water. Other wise, you will have pomegranate juice everywhere (take it from experience!). Remove the white flesh to just get the seeds as themselves!

You can eat the seeds as is, juice them, or add to a dish to add a touch of color or flavor.

Here is a holiday favorite of mine: roasted fall veggies with pomegranate seeds. You make sure to cook the veggies first and add the pomegranate seeds after and before presenting.

You can add touch of color to cheese or any type of board you create. I made an avocado toast board and a pancake board for a brunch. Pomegranate seeds can add that festive touch of color and burst of sweetness to any toast or pancake! For more holiday boards click here!

Add pomegranate seeds to a salad to give a pop of color, flavor burst, and give the green veggies the hint of red just in time for the holidays! See recipe below!

Winter Salad with Pomegranate Seeds, Brussels Sprouts, Pear, & Pecans

Recipe by Chrissie Bittner, RD
Servings

6

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking timeminutes

This salad gives you all the colors of Christmas with the green leafy veggies, shaved brussels sprouts, pear and then a touch of red from fresh pomegranate seeds.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups baby spinach

  • 2 cups brussel sprouts, shaved or sliced thinly

  • 1 pear, thinly sliced

  • 1/2 cup pomegranate arils (Seeds)

  • 1/2 cup pecans, raw unsalted

  • Salad dressing
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar

  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard

  • 1 tsp honey

  • S&P

Directions

  • Add salad greens in large serving bowl.
  • Add remaining ingredients on top. Mix together before serving.
  • Mix together all salad dressing ingredients.
  • Enjoy the raw veggies with the light dressing!

I would love to work with you to Ditch the Diet in 2021. Gain a healthy relationship with food, work one-on-one with me monthly, be in a supportive of like-minded women, get daily tips, accountability all for 3 months! From January 1 to March 31, you can be a part of a game changer for you!

I want you to start feeling your best around food, nutrition, healthy habits, energy levels, sleep, and mental thoughts. When quarantine ends, do you want to look and feel better than you did coming into quarantine? This is the group for you!

Ditch the Diet 3 month accountability group is for you!

Sign up here!

On the Hamster Wheel That Is Leading to Illness? Here Are Five Ways to Hop Onto a Wheel of Healing!

On the Hamster Wheel That Is Leading to Illness? Here Are Five Ways to Hop Onto a Wheel of Healing!

The hamster wheel of unhealthy habits leads to illness. Here are five ways to hop on to the wheel of healing, nourishment, and living your life!

Building healthy habits

Building healthy habits

Trying to find a title for a health group is actually tough. I called my first group July Accountability Group. I wanted a name that defined what the group was really about. On October 1, I will be starting my second group called: Building Healthy Habits.

What are the dates?

October 1- October 30 (the Facebook group will be up until the end of November for you to go back to)

Why Building Healthy Habits?

A habit can take months to be built in your subconscious mind. Do you remember when brushing your teeth or putting a seat belt on was a thing you think about? Or maybe you are like me and start to drive to work, to only realize it is your day off and you are going somewhere else. It is because you have built these things in your mind and you don’t have to think about them.

We all have A LOT going on in our minds these days with our normal routine changing, back to school, working from home, and so on. Now is a perfect time to start forming healthy habits so when things go back to so-called ‘normal’, these healthy habits are already installed.

Many of my clients have tried different diets, to only come back to me with no clue how to make it a lifestyle. Diets don’t help you after, actually after the diet they go back to their old habits… so back to square one.

I want you to save your time and start building those lifelong healthy habits now. Stop wasting your time (and money) on the next fad diet. I can’t emphasize this enough (I have seen way too much money and time wasted on the next new fad diet)!

How will I help you build those habits?

My course is 1 month of daily nutrition or fitness education, eventually I will create a longer course to really dig deep. Four weeks is still a good time to get started on habits. This course will provide ways to get your mind in the right place, start becoming consistent with workouts, learn new tools to continue for life, and just learn how to create a balance between nutrition and life.

Once you sign up, I will invite you to a private Facebook group. Group coaching is amazing to me, because there is a community and you are not in it alone. Everyone can help each other out and provide ideas.

During the 4 weeks, everyday I will be providing a nutrition topic, workout, recipe, or cooking technique. Each week I will check in with you individually to see how you are doing on your goals you created in the beginning.

During the 4 weeks, if you have any questions, you can reach out to me to ask (a $150 session without being in the group!).

You will have access to the information and videos for 1 month after the group ends.

Here is what the weeks will look like:

Who is this group for?

I am only taking a max of 20 people– WOMEN only group. I want an environment for women to feel comfortable to open up. A lot of my information is directed to women’s needs.

It is for the woman that:

  • Want to be at a healthy weight, that is sustainable
  • Want to have a better relationship with food
  • Want to escape the diet and build the healthy lifestyle
  • Want to eat their favorite foods without restrictions
  • Want to become consistent with exercise
  • Want to learn how to have a balance meal
  • Want to learn healthy cooking techniques
  • Want a community of women with similar health goals

If you want a specific topic for a future group, feel free to leave me a message below:

Think about what is holding you back from investing in your health.

If you don’t invest in your health now, you will have no decision to pay for your illness.

This is the lowest price for this group, that it will ever be

$169 ($30 savings)!

The pre-sale price ends Sept 14, then the price goes up to $200.

Pumpkin protein ice cream

Pumpkin protein ice cream

When fall meets summer: vegan pumpkin protein ice cream along with maple coconut whip cream

Building a nourishing smoothie

Building a nourishing smoothie

Build a smoothie that will provide a ton of nutrients, keep you full, and prevent a spike in blood sugar!

Jersey Fresh Corn, Avocado, Tomato Salad on Grilled Chicken

Jersey Fresh Corn, Avocado, Tomato Salad on Grilled Chicken

Corn, Avocado, Tomato Salad on Grilled Chicken

Recipe by Chrissie Bittner, RD
Servings

3

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

16

minutes

Summer burst in your mouth!

Ingredients

  • 1 ears of corn

  • 1/2 cup grape tomatoes

  • 1 avocado

  • 1/2 lime, juice

  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 tbsp basil, fresh, sliced (leave some to garnish)

  • S&P

  • 3 chicken breasts

Directions

  • Heat grill. S&P the chicken. Grill 7-8 minutes on both sides, until internal temp of 165°F.
  • As corn is grilling, get the salad ready. Remove the kernels off the cob with a knife or kernel remover.
  • Slice grape tomatoes in thirds or halves.
  • Cube avocado, best to do it in the skin and remove it with the spoon.
  • In a small bowl, mix together apple cider ving, juice from 1/2 lime, olive oil, slice basil, and S&P.
  • Add dressing into the vegetable mixture to marinate together.
  • Remove chicken from grill, slice.
  • To plate you can place salad on the bottom or on top of the chicken. Finish with basil to garnish.
  • Enjoy the flavors of summer!

August already? How is this possible? My little nugget is 10 months old and we are still in quarantine. My July accountability group is ending Aug 10, I can’t believe we are 3 weeks into it. I have been enjoying the group so much and look forward to many more in the future!

I continue to see clients from my day job, via zoom and some in person. Some clients have gained 15+ pounds! I preach how I dislike the scale, I have seen too many people go down a depressed-like spiral just because of the numbers… yes that is all it is… just numbers! The scale, once in awhile can be healthy at times, just to see how you are doing with our goals. But it isn’t my favorite. Here are some other ways to identify how you are doing with your nutrition and physical activity:

  1. How do you feel– increased energy? self-confidence? stress level down?
  2. How do your clothes fit?
  3. Have you improved any fitness techniques or increased in weight for exercises or able to run another mile?
  4. Are you able to eat items and have no guilt or need to do a hard core workout because of it?
  5. You don’t think about food 24/7, you live your life.
  6. Women: your menstrual cycle improved or you got pregnant.
  7. Your sex drive improved!

If you are someone that weighs yourself daily, I encourage you to step away to 1x/month if you want. Think about why you weigh yourself so much, the start with weaning away from it. Start with 1x/week and decrease slowly. It is an obsession for many, but an unnecessary one. When you weigh yourself daily, your weight fluctuates due to many factors: fluid, menstrual cycle, food, sleep, and stress.

Instead of focusing on the scale, your stress level will go down and you will have more time to focus on life and eating the right foods for your body. Gosh I lived too long focusing on the number on the scale or the number on my pants size… let me tell you, it is so relaxing to not focus on them. I have been able to enjoy the little things in life, that I wouldn’t have before because I was down about my number on the scale or pants.

Through that process, I also started to eat healthier and felt more comfortable in my clothes. I only get weighed at the doctors or once in awhile with my scale for work.

If you are able to weigh yourself and it doesn’t effect how you feel, feel free to continue. Once it starts messing with you mentally, trying stepping back and figuring what is the reason behind the scale.

If stepping away from the scale or measuring your health is difficult for you, I would love to work with you to gain that self-confidence back and feel comfortable in your own body. Click here to pick a package that works for you!

Avocado Beet Salad with Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette

Avocado Beet Salad with Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette

Summer in a salad filled with crabs, beets, avocado, goat cheese, and topped with homemade balsamic vinaigrette.