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May 27

Improving Your Food Environment

Mindless eating may be triggered by a variety of factors, or may be a result of your ? food environment Ł. Review these tips on various situations and strategies to make the environment you are in a healthy one. Improving Your Food Environment

(Photo source www.wholesomeroad.com)

  1. Convenience is Key
    • Prep veggies right when you are home from the grocery store so they are just as easy to grab as a bag of chips
  2. Social Eating
    • Pay attention to the conversations and then take a break to pay attention to your food
  3. Portion Sizes
    • Visual plate rule Ď half of plate made up of fruits and vegetables
  4. Food Conditioning
    • Instead of giving kids a ?treatŁ for a chore, use solutions for ?bribesŁ or rewards such as going to the park or having a friend over
  5. ?See-FoodŁ Diet
    • Out of sight, out of mind
  6. The Forgotten Food
    • Put everything on your plate that you want to eat and don't go for seconds
  7. Surveying the ?Table-ScapeŁ
    • Reduce number of items on your plate at one time, use skinny glasses and smaller plates
  8. Nutritional Gatekeepers
    • Repackage large boxes of food into smaller containers
    • Bring less unwanted food into your home, buy more healthy options
  9. Distracted Eating
    • Don't multi-task
  10. Eating Out
    • Try ordering half an entrÚe or share with a friend
  11. Fast Eating
    • Slow down, give your body time to decide when it is full
What will you do this week to change your food environment? Twitter: #mindless eating #mindful #food environment

May 19

What Everyone Is Saying About Farmers Markets

It's about that time when summer produce starts flourishing and vendors fill up the local farmers markets. From strawberries and apples, to zucchini and fresh basil, farmers markets are a great source of local and fresh produce. Farmer's Market Season

(Photo source www.seela.org)

Some open as early as the first weekend in May, but most markets don't begin sales until early June. Typically running until late September, the farmers market is a great way to support farmers in the area and get in-season, affordable produce. Keep an eye out for local honey, BBQ sauces and baked goods as they are commonly sold at the markets too! This year the Metro Transit is making farmers markets more accessible by offering free bus rides to and from the Downtown St. Paul Market on Saturdays from 5 am until 2 pm. Follow this link www.stpaulfarmersmarket.com to download your pass for the bus now and get ready for delicious summertime produce! What do you look for at the farmers market?

May 04

Grilled Guacamole

Take your avocado appreciation to the next level with this incredible avocado-inspired mash-up: grilled guac

(Photo source: realfoodco.com)

GRILLED GUACAMOLE
  • 3 avocados (pit removed, skin still on)
  • 1 medium onion, cut in rounds
  • 1 red, yellow or green pepper cut in half
  • 1 roma tomato, halved
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • Lime juice
  • ň_ tsp cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Preheat grill, oil the grate. Arrange first four ingredients on the grill. Be sure to place avocados flesh side don. Cook at high temperature, turning, until ingredients get some scorching and color, 5-7 minutes.
  2. Dice onion, peppers and tomato. In a bowl, mix and season with cumin, lime juice, salt and pepper. Feel free to add jalape˝os for extra heat, cilantro for extra flavor or diced peaches for sweetness.
  3. Spoon mixture into avocado halves.
  4. Serve with pita chips or just with a fork and enjoy!
Recipe courtesy of Hass Avocados.

Apr 29

Top Your Salad Series: Protein Punch

Spring has sprung, which means fresh, local produce is heading our way! Salads are a great way to add veggies to any meal, but they don't have to be the same boring old salad. Traditionally, salads may lack adequate protein if they consist mostly of greens, vegetables, dressing, and croutons. Making sure your salad is loaded with a healthy protein source is vital for keeping you feeling full all afternoon. Pick up some of these toppings to pack a protein punch to your salad. salad

(Photo source: Taste of Home)

  1. Try a meat
    • Grill up a chicken breast the night before and add sliced cold chicken to your salad. Pairs great with strawberries, almonds and poppy seed dressing. Add croutons, Parmesan cheese and Caesar dressing for a tossed Caesar salad.
    • Try thinly sliced beef with mandarin oranges, water chestnuts and an Asian-style ginger dressing.
    • Crumble bacon with blue cheese, or add tuna with a squeeze of lemon juice for a variety of creative options.
  2. Add some beans
    • Beans are an easy way to add protein, iron and fiber all-in-one. Most have a mild flavor, and add another dimension with their soft texture. Mix together garbanzo beans with cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes and sliced avocado with balsamic dressing and add on a bed of greens.
  3. Go for grains
    • Grains are a great source of protein to keep you full. Toss wild rice, quinoa, or cooked barley on a bed of greens or enjoy your grain on the side such as a baguette.
  4. Don't forget the eggs
    • One hard-boiled egg added to your salad adds 6 grams of protein. A simple addition with a great protein punch. Not a fan Ď try tofu or edamame for additional protein.
How do you add protein to your salad? You may also like: Top Your Salad Series: Fresh Fruit

Mar 10

Healthy Fats You Should Be Eating

It is common belief that eating too much fat leads to unwanted body-fat and weight gain. Research studies show that eating fat is essential for regulating body temperature and protecting your organs, as well as for satisfying our taste buds and hunger. Fats are frequently classified the same way as cholesterol; ?goodŁ and ?badŁ. ?BadŁ fats are typically identified as ?saturatedŁ or ?transŁ fats on food labels, and many times come from animal sources. ?GoodŁ fats generally come from plants and are unsaturated. Below are examples of foods you can add into your diet this month to increase your healthy fat intake. We have also added a delicious Avocado Hummus recipe incorporating some of these healthy fats. Healthy Fats:
  • Fatty fish
  • Flaxseed and chia seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Canola oil
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Olive oil
  • Peanut butter
  • Avocado
Avocado Hummus Ingredients:
  • 1 (15 oz) can chick peas, well drained
  • 2 medium ripe avocados, cored and peeled (13 oz before cored and peeled)
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more for serving if desired
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. tahini
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cumin
  • 1 - 2 Tbsp. finely chopped cilantro leaves, for topping
  • Red pepper flakes, for topping
Untitled 1Untitled 2 (Photo source: cookingclassy.com) Directions:
  • Pulse chick peas, olive oil, tahini, lime juice, and garlic in a food processor until smooth, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste (I did a scant 1/2 tsp salt and about 1/8 tsp pepper), add cumin and avocados and pulse mixture until smooth and creamy, about 1 - 2 minutes longer
  • Serve topped with more olive oil if desired and sprinkle with cilantro and red pepper flakes. Serve with pita chips, carrots, celery, etc.
(Recipe source: cookingclassy.com) Post a picture of the meal that you integrate healthy fats in this week and include the hashtags #healthyfats and #nnm2015!

Mar 05

National Nutrition Month Kick-Off

March 1st marks the first day that the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has devoted to promoting sound eating and physical activity. This year, the Academy chose to focus its campaign on reducing caloric intake and increasing physical activity. These areas help reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases. nutrition month

(Photo source: www.nationalnutritionmonth.org/nnm/)

Over the next four weeks, Viverant will be encouraging you to take a ? Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle Ł by practicing healthier lifestyle habits. We will focus on recipes as well as fun nutrition-related facts. For more information visit the website for Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics at www.nationalnutritionmonth.org/nnm/. What do you want to see on the blog for National Nutrition Month?

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: www.hungryhealthygirl.com) Ingredients:
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries and blackberries mixes are great)
  • ň_ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • ň_ tablespoon chia seeds (optional but a great way to add Omega-3 and protein)
  • 1-1ň_ cup(s) unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • ň_ frozen banana

Instructions:

  • 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 FreeDigitalPhotos.net) 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 NationalAlmondDay.com. 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: smittenkitchen.com) Topping
  • 1/3 cup chopped dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
chocolate crumb topping (Photo source: smittenkitchen.com) 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: smittenkitchen.com) Directions Heat oven to 350ňíF (180ňíC). 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

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