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Oct 21

Nutritious Dining in the Twin Cities

Let's face it; we don't always have the time to prepare a nutritious meal at home, and dining out can be stressful when you are trying to watch what you eat. Going to a restaurant doesn't have to be an excuse to gobble down an array of unhealthy foods. Lucky for you, Viverant has compiled a roster of our favorite nourishing eateries in the Twin Cities that will leave you energized and satisfied! Agra Culture Kitchen & Press resides in Uptown Minneapolis. They offer a variety of garden-fresh salads with the option to include meats like wild salmon, grass-fed beef, cage-free chicken, and more. Their nutritious ingredients will satisfy your appetite at any meal! Ecopolitan Restaurant is known for its 100% organic, vegan, and raw philosophy. The menu includes many options that are additive, GMO, and refined-sugar free. You can pick up fresh beverages like ginger lemonade and vanilla almond smoothies at its Minneapolis location for a tasty treat any day! Good Earth is located in Edina or in Roseville. Their close relationship with local growers and organic suppliers make for fresh, unprocessed, high quality meals. Edamame in a basket or baked artichoke dip are just two of the many nutrient-filled options offered at Good Earth. Simple is a Minneapolis restaurant whose produces are locally sourced. Classic delights like sandwiches, soups, salads, vegetables, nuts, and more are prepared fresh each day. Yum! Kitchen and Bakery is located in St. Louis Park. Everything on the menu is made from scratch with high quality ingredients. Fresh chicken, brussel sprouts, and broccoli are just a few of the flavor filled options offered at Yum! Tell us about your favorite healthy spots in the Twin Cities with the hashtag #Viverant!

Oct 09

The Teal Pumpkin Project

If your child has food allergies, you're always on the lookout. With the exchange of lots of different food types, Halloween can be an especially worrisome event. To help ease parents ª minds, and raise awareness of food allergies, houses in the Twin Cities, and other cities across the country, will be participating in the Food Allergy Research and Educations (FARE) new Halloween tradition the Teal Pumpkin Project FARE.                    

The new campaign encourages families to provide non-food treats like Halloween pencils, glow sticks, bracelets or bubbles for trick-or-treaters. To show your participation, FARE asks that you paint a pumpkin teal the color of food allergy awareness and place it in front of the house or in a well-lit window. In addition, FARE also has two free printable signs that indicates whether you have non-food treats or non-food and candy treats available. Interested in learning more? Kare 11 recently profiled the Teal Pumpkin Project. Check out their story here: Making Halloween safer for kids with allergies. And, if you're participating in the teal pumpkin project, we'd love to hear about it! Leave us a note in the comments below. Are you the parent of a child with allergies? We'd love to hear if you're participating in the teal pumpkin project.


Oct 08

Tabbouleh with a Twist

Anytime is an ideal time for experimenting with new foods and recipes in the kitchen! A recent visit to the Birchwood Cafe right off of Riverside Avenue in Minneapolis inspired this post to feature a recipe they do extremely well: tabbouleh. Tabbouleh is a vegetarian dish that originates from Lebanon and comes from the Arabic word, aabil, meaning seasoning. This dish, typically served as a starter or side, incorporates cucumbers, tomatoes, bulgur wheat, parsley and mint to make a refreshing summer salad.                              

(Photo courtesy of blog contributor Emily Champoux; features Mark Bittman's Quinoa Tabbouleh)

Mark Bittman, an American food journalist, author, and columnist for the New York Times, gives this dish a new twist by adding white beans for more dietary fiber, and substituting quinoa for bulgur wheat to add more protein! This dish is sure to be a hit for dinner tonight or at an outdoor picnic with family and friends! Quinoa Tabbouleh (Recipe source: Mark Bittman) Makes: 4 servings; Time: 40 minutes

  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • Salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • Black pepper
  • 1 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup roughly chopped fresh mint
  • 6 or 7 radishes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions
  • 2 celery stalks (leaves included if possible), chopped
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • About 6 black olives, pitted and chopped, optional
  • 1 cup cooked or canned white or pink beans, drained, optional
  • 1/4 cup chopped pistachios or almonds, optional

1. Put the quinoa in a small saucepan with 3/4 cup water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and bubble gently until the quinoa has absorbed all of the water, 15 minutes or so. Remove from the heat and let rest, covered, for 5 minutes. Toss the warm quinoa with the oil and lemon juice and sprinkle with pepper. (You can make the quinoa up to a day in advance: Just cover and refrigerate, then bring to room temperature before proceeding.) 2. Just before you're ready to eat, add the remaining ingredients and toss gently. Taste and adjust the seasoning as you prefer or add more oil or lemon juice, then serve. Try out this unique tabbouleh recipe with dinner tonight!


Sep 28

Sweet Potatoes: The Root Vegetable of Fall

Fall brings an abundance of change. Crisp air and vibrant leaves are refreshing after the heat of the summer months. One of our favorite aspects of fall is that it is an excellent time to eat sweet potatoes! This root vegetable is the perfect good-for-you comfort food. Rich with vitamin A, sweet potatoes are fantastic for maintaining a healthy immune system, healthy skin, and strong vision. Not to mention they are a low sodium, natural source of carbohydrates to keep you energized. Try this simple sweet potato fries recipe for a warm, delicious appetizer at your next get-together!                    

(Photo source: annies-eats.com) Ingredients:

  • 2 Large sweet potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt for sprinkling

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 420 degrees
  2. Peel the skin away from the sweet potatoes and cut them in half horizontally
  3. Slice the halves into thin wedges that resemble fries
  4. Combine the sweet potato wedges and olive oil in a large plastic baggie and shake until the wedges are fully lathered
  5. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil and lightly grease it
  6. Evenly distribute the wedges onto the baking sheet
  7. Sprinkle the wedges with salt (to taste)
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until wedges begin to brown

How are you using sweet potatoes this fall?


Sep 21

A Green Super Smoothie for Summer!

Tropical Green Super Smoothie                    

(Slightly adapted from recipe shared by Averie Sunshine of Averie Cooks) Makes 1 large or 2 small, creamy, dreamy healthy tropical super smoothies Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango pieces
  • 1/2 cup of frozen peaches
  • 1/4 cup of frozen pineapple pieces
  • 1/2 an overripe banana (preferably pre-frozen)
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 1 Tablespoon of Chia Seeds (optional)
  • 1/2-1 cup water (or milk of choice) more or less depending on how thick you like your smoothies
  • 1/2 cup of ice (optional Ò I didn't add any ice, it was ice cold and thick and creamy enough just using the frozen fruit. If you use fresh fruit I suggest you add the ice.)

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients into a blender and process until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust sweetness if necessary, maybe add a dash of vanilla, stevia, maple syrup or honey if you feel like you need a little added sweetness but it may be perfect straight up as it is.
  2. To serve, pour into a chilled glass or mason jar, sprinkle over a few extra ch-ch-ch-chia seeds and chug, chug, chug.

What's your favorite ?green? to add to smoothies? Spinach? Kale? Lime?


Sep 18

Irritable Bowel Symptoms, aka ? 'IBS

IBS is the most common functional gastrointestinal. Diagnosis: How do you know if you have IBS? IBS is different depending on the person, because each gastrointestinal track is unique. Some may find they are dealing with recurrent episodes of diarrhea, while others suffer from constipation. There are even some who are afflicted with both. According to the Mayo Clinic website, IBS does not have clear diagnosis criteria, so doctors will use a system of eliminating other conditions to narrow down whether or not the patient is suffering from IBS. Tracking symptoms is the best way to discover if you are dealing with IBS, and doctors look for symptoms occurring more than 3 days per month for more than 3 months. Treatment: Elimination of trigger foods. Most people find success dealing with their IBS by eliminating types of carbohydrates known as FODMAP foods. FODMAP stands for: Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. Following a low FODMAP diet, full of green peppers, carrots, bananas, meats, rice, potatoes and others may help eliminate symptoms. If you suffer from constipation it may benefit you to include additional fiber into your diet for reduction in symptoms. Living with IBS: What a dietitian can do for you. Working with a registered dietitian can help you navigate the challenges of living with IBS. They have the knowledge and understanding on how to develop a meal plan that incorporates all the necessary nutrients to stay healthy, while eliminating symptom-causing foods. While living with IBS can be challenging, it is something that you can control with the help of a dietitian. If you struggle with gastrointestinal issues on a regular basis, make an appointment to see one of the registered dietitians at Viverant to help alleviate your symptoms. Information source: mayoclinic.org

Sep 10

Crazy for Chia!

Chia seeds are becoming one of the hottest trends in nutrition today. They are being seen in granolas, breads, rice and salads. They add a boost of healthy nutrients to an otherwise traditional recipe. They are loaded with protein and they have an excellent source of iron, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids!                    

(Photo source authoritynutrition)

Although putting seeds on top of a salad or into brownies may seem rather strange, chia seeds are so small they go practically unnoticed However, don't be surprised by the gelatinous quality that emerges from these small seeds when they are immersed in any liquid, as chia seeds have the ability to grow 9x their size through absorption For those of you who are just starting to incorporate these super seeds into your diet, try this bite-sized energy ball recipe and you are sure to be convinced of the fantastic chia! Energy Bites - ?Bite Sized ? Energy Chia Seed Energy Bites                   (Recipe source superhealthykids) Yields about 30 balls Ingredients:

  • 3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl
  2. Using your hands, mix ingredients together until fully combined. The mixture should be thick enough where it adheres together
  3. Place bowl in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes to allow ingredients to chill and become firm
  4. Using a cookie scoop, roll out the dough into 1.5 ? diameter balls
  5. Place in the refrigerator for storage and enjoy!

How do you incorporate chia seeds in your daily nutrition?


Sep 04

The Minnesota State Fair ? A Health Seeker's Guide

It's that time of year again - the great Minnesota get-together is here! As wonderful as the fair is, it can be a challenge for those who are searching for something healthy to fuel their bodies. Fear not nutrient lovers, because Viverant has a special guide to the ins and outs of delicious and nutritious fair food that does not involve a deep fried, sugar coated, grease dripping ball of regret:

  • Bayou Bob's provides one of the best baskets of frozen red grapes you will ever encounter.
  • Corn Roast offers the classic fresh corn on the cob with butter at for a healthy source of both carbohydrates and fats.
  • Mario's is home to whole grain pita sandwiches and fresh squeezed lemonade.
  • Minneakabob allows meat-lovers to indulge in fresh sirloin steak, chicken, or buffalo kabobs for an excellent source of protein.
  • Minnesota Apples brews fresh pressed cider and pure applesauce to satisfy just about any sweet tooth.
  • The Produce Exchange features a variety of fresh fruits for you to fill your body with natural antioxidants and vitamins.
  • Simply Nuts offers almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, roasted pistachios, and more for an excellent source of healthy fats.
  • Strawberries me is home to fresh strawberries topped with nondairy whipping cream for a healthier dessert.
  • The Shrimp Shack offers nutrient-packed grilled shrimp on a stick for all you seafood lovers.

You can find the location of all these scrumptious delights using the State Fair's Food Finder. Let us know what nutritious fair foods you are trying this week!


Aug 20

Celebrating 5 Years!

Viverant would like to send our sincere thanks to all the patients, employees, and partners that have helped us reach our 5 year anniversary! We are fortunate to have had the opportunity to have you as part of our success, and look forward to the next five years as we hope continue to expand our brand within the Twin Cities marketplace! 

The team on Lake Minnetonka celebrating Viverant's 5 year anniversary!


Aug 10

Testimonial- Jenny S.

What did you like about your experiences at Viverant? First off, I love the clinic space- warm, friendly, and inviting. I'm always greeted with a smile and a friendly hello from Doua or whoever is working at the front desk. They are more than willing to help resolve any insurance or scheduling issues and answer any questions that come up. And, of course, I have such respect for the owners of Viverant for bringing Rasa Troup on to their staff. She is so incredibly knowledgeable about nutrition and fueling your body properly, and she cares so deeply. She has challenged me and made me go outside my comfort zone, but it is all because she wants to see me succeed. I can't really say enough good things about Rasa! What goals did you accomplish with Viverant Nutrition? When I first arrived in Minneapolis, I was beginning treatment for anorexia. I was a highly successful distance runner in college and unfortunately developed an eating disorder as I finished and began pursuing professional running. Rasa immediately began working with me to challenge my irrational thoughts and behaviors centered around food, and it is with her help over the course of the last two years that I have recovered and am able to enjoy not only food and eating, but life in general. Her patience, persistence, encouragement, and support has been unbelievable, and words cannot fully express how grateful I am to have come in contact with her on my road to recovery. I am happier and healthier than I have ever been thanks in huge part to her mentoring and guidance. She has truly helped me turn my life around. What separates Viverant Nutrition from other nutrition programs or services you have tried? I saw a nutritionist briefly as a professional runner when I lived in Michigan a few years ago, and she had never been a runner and did not completely relate or understand where I was coming from. I wasn't able to make much progress. When I moved to Minnesota, however, I met Rasa, who is of course an Olympian and has been a runner all her life. I instantly felt at ease. There is no substitute for direct experience. She knows the nutrition/fuel runners and athletes need to be at their best. And, she is also extremely honest and balanced. She advocates for balance in all areas of life, and that especially includes in your meals. For example, she was able to give me very important information at times in debunking food trends that you often hear in the media, like carbs are bad for you, or that you need to completely cut out certain foods. I would recommend Rasa Troup in a heartbeat to anyone needing help with the often confusing world of nutrition, whether it be to optimize performance, learn how to better eat intuitively, or to overcome an eating disorder. She is without a doubt the most knowledgeable individual I've ever come across in regards to nutrition. I trust that she can help empower anyone to make better nutrition decisions and, as Viverant's motto says, discover their true potential. She has certainly helped me find mine. -Jenny S.

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