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Feb 25

Here Comes a New Smoothie Idea

Making a smoothie can be a simple and nutritious replacement to juice in your daily breakfast meal; depending on the ingredients can even turn into your full breakfast! With smoothies you are able to easily change up the content every day by mixing and matching your favorite fruits, adding creaminess or crunchiness, even tossing in leafy greens. When comparing to a pre-made juice concentrate, smoothies have more added benefits. They provide natural fiber and protein, which are key nutrients most fruit juices are lacking. Fiber and protein are essential breakfast nutrients because together they help keep you feeling fuller for longer. In addition, adding a handful of spinach or other green vegetable you get a boost of calcium, folate and vitamins A, C and E. Check out this link from Eating Well to read more on the benefits of smoothie 's vs juices. PB & J Smoothie The peanut butter and loads of fruit give this simple, yet delicious smoothie a reminiscent flavor of that traditional PB&J sandwich we all love. PB&J Smoothie (Photo source: Ingredients:
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries and blackberries mixes are great)
  • _ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • _ tablespoon chia seeds (optional but a great way to add Omega-3 and protein)
  • 1-1_ cup(s) unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • _ frozen banana


  • Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender.
  • Cover and blend at a high speed.
  • Pour into a large glass, cup or bowl.
  • Enjoy!
*Optional - Top with almonds and a sprinkle of granola, bran flakes and raisins or fresh fruit! What's your favorite smoothie addition?

Feb 18

Don't Hold Back Your Testimonial

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.

Feb 16

Happy National Almond Day!

National Almond Day is February 16th. almonds (Photo source: antpkr at Besides being good for your heart, waistline and skin, a new study just published in the Journal of the American Heart Association showed that snacking on 1.5 oz of almonds every day versus a muffin with the same number of calories not only reduced LDL cholesterol, but also reduced abdominal (belly) fat and waist circumference. To learn about the history of almonds or other ways almonds can benefit your health, visit What's your favorite type or flavor of almonds? Tell us in the comments section below!

Feb 14

Chocolate Cravings on Valentine 's Day

With Valentine 's Day come stores stacked full with every variety of chocolate possible. Have you ever wondered why we crave chocolate? A 2014 article from Psychology Today explains how the craving for chocolate is driven by the pleasure system in our brains. As human beings, when we experience anything (yes, anything) enjoyable, our brains release a neurotransmitter called dopamine. This neurotransmitter travels throughout our body via neurons and provides feelings of pleasure and enjoyment. This explains our craving for chocolate; the moment that a piece hits our mouths, a neuron signals our brain to release dopamine and we are overcome with pleasure and enjoyment. Unfortunately for us, this experience is short lived, which often results in us craving more and more chocolate. And with chocolate cravings increasing for Valentine 's Day, we have found a great recipe from Smitten Kitchen that pairs fruit and chocolate in a way that you and your brain won 't be able to resist! Chocolate Oat Crumble Chocolate Oat Crumb Chocolate Oat Crumble (Photo source: Topping
  • 1/3 cup chopped dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
chocolate crumb topping (Photo source: Filling
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 pears, peeled, halved, cored and diced into small chunks (cooking times for other pear varieties will vary)
  • 1 cup raspberries
chocolate crumb filling (Photo source: Directions Heat oven to 350F (180C). In a small dish, combine chocolate, oats, maple syrup and set aside. In a small/medium ovenproof skillet (mine was 8-inch/1-quart), melt butter over medium heat. Add sugar and cook together, stirring, until it becomes golden at the edges. Add pear chunks and cook in this caramel-y syrup for 5 to 8 minutes, until slightly softened or half-cooked. (Bosc pears always take longer for me; ripe Bartletts, less.) Scatter raspberries over top. Sprinkle with chocolate-oat mixture. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until fruit is soft and the oats crisp. Note: This is a sloshy crumble, because there 's no thickener in the base. We loved the fruit syrup over ice cream, but you can easily stir 1 to 2 tablespoons cornstarch before baking it to give it more body. Recipe source

Feb 05

Strength, Conditioning & Injury Prevention Program

Viverant is excited to announce a 4-week Baseball Offseason Strength, Conditioning, and Injury Prevention Program, led by Steve Kraushaar, Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) and former St. Scholastica baseball player! The Program will focus on each student 's understanding of the mechanics of the shoulder and elbow complex, as well as importance of synergy and neuromuscular control to optimize training, on-field performance and injury prevention. In addition, Viverant 's Registered Dietitian and former Olympian, Rasa Troup, will also tackle common nutritional deficiencies limiting student athlete 's performance. Steve and Rasa 's extensive background in high-level athletics, combined with their clinical expertise in physical therapy and nutrition, allow them the unique ability to assess each athlete 's strengths, areas for improvement, mechanical and/or nutritional deficiencies that take away from them reaching their optimal performance levels. Baseball To improve our participant 's athletic readiness, Viverant 's Prevention Program is structured such that each weekly session will build upon the previous week(s) in preparation for the upcoming baseball season, as well as provides home exercise and customized nutritional plans to follow during the baseball season. Progress will be monitored from week to week through pre-and-post rotator cuff and periscapular strength and range of motion testing. This will allow our participants to see their progression throughout the program, as well as highlight areas their coaches/trainers can focus on during the season. Each player will conclude the program with the knowledge to identify correct mechanics with baseball-specific exercises, efficient movement patterns, correlate exercises learned to on-field performance and understand how crucial proper nutrition can be for health and achieving performance goals. Viverant 's thorough baseball experience and therapeutic expertise makes us very well equipped to offer step-by-step guidance and put your student-athletes in the best possible position to prevent injury and maximize performance! Viverant 's Baseball Offseason Strength, Conditioning, and Injury Prevention Program begins on Sunday, Feb 15th at 4:00 pm at our Vadnais Heights location. Each session will be 90 minutes. Subsequent program dates are Feb 22nd, March 1st and March 8th. Learn more by calling our office at 952.835.4512, option 4, or emailing us directly at

Aug 22

3 Post-Race Recovery Tips

Athletes spend a lot of time planning and preparing for race day, but it 's important to have a short plan for after the big race, too. We 've put together a few tips to help you quickly recover post-race. Post Race Recovery

(Photo source: Running & Jogging)

Walk: Immediately after the race, keep moving. Don't sit down. For 20-30 minutes post-race walk around, stretch and keep your blood flowing. Stopping immediately after a long run might cause fainting or leg cramps, which can hurt your muscle tissue. A few hours later, in the afternoon or evening, it can also be beneficial to your body's blood flow to go for another short walk. Eat: Begin refueling shortly after you cross the finish line. Many organized races provide food and drink at the end. If nothing is available, pack a drink or light snack in the car. Grab water, sports drinks and/or a balanced snack that includes carbohydrates, protein, and some fat. This helps your body replenish essential elements lost during exercise and recover quicker from the strenuous activity. Rest: After a hard race, your body needs time to recover. (It 's during this recovery that it actually gets stronger.) If you head back out too soon, you increase your chance of injury. Your hard-earned fitness will not disappear with a few days of recovery time. If you feel the need to get active, try going for a short walk, stretching or going for a light swim, but stay away from a taxing workout. Have you competed in any races this summer? We 'd love to hear your post-race recovery tricks! Share them in the comments below.

Aug 20

Blueberry Breakfast Cookies

It is often said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but why? Eating breakfast revs up your metabolism and keeps it going for the rest of the day. It also can improve your mood and keep you from binging later in the day. Many people say they don 't have time to sit down and eat a healthy breakfast so here is an easy recipe that you can make ahead of time for a ? 'grab on the go breakfast! Blueberry Breakfast Cookies Blueberry Breakfast Cookies:
  • 2 Ripe Bananas
  • _ cup Blueberries
  • 4 oz Apple Sauce, Unsweetened
  • 1 _ cup Old Fashioned Oats
  • _ tsp Vanilla
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F
  2. Combine all ingredients together
  3. Scoop out onto baking sheet
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until light golden brown
What's your favorite ? 'grab & go breakfast?

Aug 07

5 Ways Post-Operative Physical Therapy Improves Recovery

Surgery is often just the beginning of a patient 's healing journey. For a full, effective recovery from surgeries like hip, knee, shoulder, hand, wrist neck, spine, ankle or foot, physical therapy, or PT, is often an essential next step. The main goal of post-operative PT is to help regain mobility, and it is typically broken down into separate phases that help a patient return to previous activity levels over time. Here are 5 ways PT helps patients fully heal:
  • Restores strength and flexibility
  • Alleviates pain without medication
  • Improves range of motion and circulation
  • Breaks up scar tissue
  • Boosts core strength and stamina
Post-Operative PT (Photo Source: UMMC Health) Viverant 's team of physical therapists specialize in post-op recovery, and we are available at several locations around the Minneapolis metro including: St. Louis Park, Lakeville, Vadnais Heights, Minnetonka and Relief Medical. Contact us at 877-609-0123 or to learn how we can help you achieve your optimal physical potential.

Aug 05

13 Tips for Staying Hydrated this Summer

Minnesota summers are hot. Are you drinking enough water? Whether you 're spending the day at the beach or squeezing in a morning jog before work, it 's not always easy to stay hydrated. Summer Hydration Tips (Photo source: NutriWell Coaching) Katherine Tallmadge, M.A., R.D., is a registered dietitian and author of "Diet Simple: 195 Mental Tricks, Substitutions, Habits & Inspirations" (LifeLine Press, 2011). Originally published on, Tallmadge offers these helpful tips for staying hydrated before, during and after physical activity. Hydrateon Tips By Katherine Tallmadge 1.) Drink enough water to prevent thirst. 2.) Monitor fluid loss by checking the color of your urine. It should be pale yellow and not dark yellow, too smelly or cloudy. 3.) For short-duration (less than 60 minutes), low-to-moderate-intensity activity, water is a good choice to drink before, during and after exercise. 4.) Any time you exercise in extreme heat or for more than one hour, supplement water with a sports drink that contains electrolytes and 6 percent to 8 percent carbohydrates. This prevents "hyponatremia" (low blood sodium), which dilutes your blood and could also lead to serious impairment and death. 5.) Begin exercise well-hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids the day before and within the hour before, during and after your exercise session. 6.) Avoid alcohol the day before or the day of a long exercise bout, and avoid exercising with a hangover. 7.) Consider all fluids, including tea, coffee, juices, milk and soups (though excluding alcohol, which is extremely dehydrating). The amount of caffeine in tea and coffee does not discount the fluid in them, even if they have a slight diuretic effect, according to the most recent report by the National Research Council's Food and Nutrition Board. 8.) Eat at least five cups of fruits and vegetables per day for optimum health, as they all contain various levels of water and the all-important nutrient potassium. 9.) During exercise, for those who experience high sodium losses, eat salty foods in a pre-exercise meal or add an appropriate amount of salt to sports drinks consumed during exercise. Orange juice is high in potassium. Dilute juices, such as V-8 or orange juice, 50/50 with water so that the drinks are 6 percent carbohydrate solutions (the same as sports drinks), which will empty from your stomach quicker than 100 percent juice (juices are naturally 12 percent solutions), allowing the electrolytes and water to quickly reach your heart and organs. 10.) Following strenuous exercise, you need more protein to build muscle, carbohydrates to refuel muscle, electrolytes to replenish what's lost in sweat, and fluids to help rehydrate the body. Low-fat chocolate milk is a perfect, natural replacement that fills those requirements. 13.) You can also replace fluid and sodium losses with watery foods that contain salt and potassium, such as soup and vegetable juices. 14.) For long hikes, when you'll need food, dried fruit and nut mixtures contain high amounts of potassium, sodium, protein, carbs and calories though continue to drink plenty of water. 15.) To determine your individualized need for fluid replacement: During heavy exercise, weigh yourself immediately before and after exercise. If you see an immediate loss of weight, you've lost valuable water. Drink 3 cups of fluid for every pound lost; use this figure to determine the amount of water (or sports drink) you'll need to drink before and during your next exercise session to prevent weight/water loss in the future. These tips were originally published on LiveScience's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights and picked up by the Huffington Post. Do you have other tips for staying hydrated? We 'd love to hear your tips in the comments.

Jul 24

Daily Veggie Dose: Asparagus

It is easy to grab a snack that does not fulfill the nutrients we need daily. To help fix this, here are some ideas to incorporate vegetables as snacks into your diet, providing you with fiber, nutrients, and energy for the day!

Asparagus is an excellent source of vitamin B6, calcium, zinc and magnesium. It also functions as a diuretic which can help control diabetes and has a number of anti-inflammatory compounds, helpful for preventing heart diseases. This vegetable is also rich in dietary fiber which is great for digestion and a great additive with any summer grill recipe!

Learn more about asparagus and it 's nutritional benefits on the World 's Healthiest Foods website.


Photo source: Oh My Veggies

Roasted Asparagus Recipe:

Total prep time: 17 minutes


1 bunch of asparagus, rinsed and trimmed 3 tbsp olive oil 2 tbsp feta cheese crumbles 1 clove garlic, minced 1 tbsp sea salt _ tsp ground black pepper 1 tbsp lemon juice or two slices of lemon


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spread one layer of asparagus out on a pan and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle feta cheese, garlic, salt, and pepper over the asparagus. Place pan into oven and bake for 10-12 minutes. Sprinkle lemon juice on top and enjoy!

(Recipe via

You can also include carrots, cucumbers, or asparagus onto homemade thin crust pizza, or throw some kale and spinach into a smoothie. Enjoy these snacks and make them your own. Be sure to follow the Viverant blog for more healthy snack and meal choices!

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