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!
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.
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!
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.
Pomegranate’s benefits are found to be antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant properties, and helpful in some disease.
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!
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.
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!
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:
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
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.
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
- 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!
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!
Gone Apple Picking and Now You Have a Ton of Apples? Here Are Five Healthy Ways to Use Up Those Apples (Bonus recipe: Garlic & Herb Pork With Apples and Acorn Squash One Pan Meal).
The result of apple picking is a ton of apples. Don’t let your apples rot! Here are 5 ways to use your apples.
Pumpkin protein ice cream
1 package of silk tofu
3/4 cup chilled coconut milk**
1/2 cup almond milk
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp water
3 tbsp maple syrup
- Maple Coconut Whip Cream
1 can coconut milk (full fat)
2 tsp pure maple syrup
- Create date paste: emulsify dates and water.
- Mix date paste with maple syrup.
- In a large bowl, add all ingredients together, including date and maple syrup, and emulsify to mix together.
- Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or overnight for best results.
- Add into ice cream maker and follow directions per your ice cream maker.
- Add mixed ice cream into a chilled loaf pan.
- Freeze for 30 minutes.*
- Scoop and enjoy all the pumpkin feels.
- Directions for coconut whip cream
- In a chilled whipping bowl, add the maple syrup and coconut milk BUT only the solid part of the milk. (You can keep the liquid for a smoothie or something later.)
- Whip until frothy.
- Scoop and top your desserts!
- **Chill the can overnight and using the thick part.
- *This is best when made that day. If freezing over night, make sure to take out 30 minutes to defrost, before serving.
Dunkin Donuts announced they have their pumpkin flavor available now! Which I love hearing pumpkin flavor is starting, but also that means winter weather is coming too soon. So here is my blend of summer and fall called ‘I don’t want summer to end but love fall flavors’ ice cream.
Speaking of fall, I will be hosting my second wellness group in October! There will be a discounted pre-sale price before it goes live, so stay tuned at the end of August for it! Make sure to subscribe to my email list to hear it first or follow me on my socials!
My 4 week wellness group is perfect for any women that want to get healthier, are looking for sustainable weight loss while not eliminating any of your favorite foods, learn about nutrition, and get moving more with me– your coach! Each week we will have a check in to hold you accountable. You will be included in a private Facebook group to ask any questions to the dietitian and personal trainer–that’s me, Chrissie! I am only taking 20 women, so make sure you sign up before it gets booked!
Here is what each week looks like:
- Week 1: Mindset
- Creating goals that are realistic
- Learning portions
- Cooking with Chrissie
- Week 2: Macros (Carbs/protein/fats)
- How to calculate macros
- The job and sources of each macro
- Cooking with Chrissie
- Week 3: Nutrients
- Job and sources of other nutrients Americans lack in
- Cooking with Chrissie
- Week 4: Continue the healthy lifestyle post group
- Shopping list
- Building a healthy pantry and fridge
- Cooking with Chrissie
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 …
Only a few more days to sign up for my July group course. A month of nutrition and fitness accountability:
- Weekly nutrition topics to gain a healthier relationship with food and weight loss
- 2 live workouts a week
- Month of unlimited access to the group page & time to ask me questions!
- Month of accountability
Since it is my first one, I am running a special for this group at a discounted rate of $149 (Value of $199)!
I have been working hard on creating the content so you can get the most out of it! Here is a little example of what is to come each week!
Just because it is in the middle of summer, doesn’t mean you forget about your health. Many people get so caught up on bathing suit season, that they forget about the importance of food is to fuel our bodies and provide us nutrients. So it is never too late to focus on your health, this course is for you!
Avocado Beet Salad with Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette
Flavors of summer mixed into this refreshing salad.
4 cups mixed greens
6-8 oz of crab meat
4 beets, cooked (I boiled mine until soft) and chopped
1/2 avocado, sliced
2 tbsp goat cheese
- Ingredients for balsamic vinaigrette
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dijion mustard
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp fresh basil, chopped
- In a medium bowl place greens on the bottom. Top with crab, beets, avocado, and goat cheese.
- Mix all ingredients together for the vinaigrette.
- Top salad with vinaigrette.
- Enjoy as much as I did!
Hi friends!! Thank you for coming to my blog and reading my content. I hope I am able to inspire you to take care of your health with nutritious and delicious food.
I love PF Chang’s chicken lettuce wraps, but do not enjoy the high salt and sugar content with it (per their website: 660 cal, 27g fat, 1820 mg salt, 66g carbs, 27g sugar, 37g protein). So as I always do, I tried to make a healthier lettuce wrap filled with veggies, low salt, lower sugar, while keeping the delicious taste. I like to use veggies that are in season and local, from my family’s farm, but I encourage you to support a local farmer around you. Here are a few veggies that are in season in NJ: peas, asparagus, spinach, beets, radish, and kale (to name a few on our farm).
My husband LOVES them and takes them for leftovers. This recipe has become a weekly meal for us now. Check out the recipe below so you can make them at home and skip the high salt/sugar elsewhere (plus saving money). Did I mention… this recipe takes about 20 minutes to make?! FAST, EASY, HEALTHY, AND DELICIOUS! You can not beat it!
Chicken Lettuce Wraps
1 pound ground chicken
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup red pepper, chopped
1/4 cup fresh peas
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce OR coconut aminos
1 tsp sesame oil
1.5 tbsp honey (I used garlic infused honey)
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 head of bibb leaf lettuce
Olive oil spray
Toppings: brown rice, green onions, Sriracha sauce or gochujang sauce, toasted sesame seeds
- Heat a large skillet on high heat, spray pan with olive oil. Add chicken, break into pieces, and cook until brown for about 5 min.
- While the meat is cooking, prepare the sauce. In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, and pinch of red pepper flakes.
- In the skillet reduce heat to medium, add onion, garlic, chopped red pepper, fresh peas, and ginger. Cook for 3-5 minutes until veggies are soft.
- Pour sauce onto chicken and veggies, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Wash bibb lettuce and dry. Fill the lettuce with the chicken mixture, top with optional toppings.
Being a dietitian, most of my discussions are around food— all day!! Which always makes me remember flavors that I may have been missing out on. Today, my client brought up Zoe’s kitchen and automatically I thought of falafels and their salmon kabobs. Proud to …