Sage Brown Butter Cauliflower Gnocci with Mushrooms, Spinach, and Chicken Apple Sausage

Trader Joe’s new Cauliflower Gnocci is ALL the rage this year! So many of my clients have tried it and logged their meal in their Healthie food logs, that I just had to give it a try.

I love the flavors of fall, and also healthy one pot meals dish that takes less than 20 minutes to make. With only 6 ingredients, you can’t go wrong. Check out the full recipe below!

cauliflower gnocci

Sage Brown Butter Cauliflower Gnocci with Mushrooms, Spinach and Chicken Sausage

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons organic unsalted butter
  • 10 Chopped sage leaves, washed and patted dry
  • 2 Packages Frozen Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocci
  • 8oz Sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 4 Pre-cooked chicken apple sauasges, cut into half moons
  • 2 Cups Baby spinach (1/2 5oz bag)
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Garlic powder, to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat a large cast iron skillet to medium heat. Add the butter and let it melt, about 1 minute. Add the sage leaves and fry the sage in the butter for 2-3 minutes until fragrant.
  2. Add the bags of the frozen caulfilower gnocci and the sliced mushrooms to the skillet. Toss to coat in the sage butter. Cover and cook 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add the spinach, chicken apple sausage, black pepper, and garlic. Cover and cook another 5 minutes until the spinach is wilted and the gnocci is fully cooked through.
  4. Place in 4 bowls and serve!

Nutrition Facts (1 serving): 392 Calories, 15g Total Fat, 5g Saturated Fat, 915mg Sodium, 38.2g Total Carb, 10g Fiber, 1g Sugar, 20.4g Protein

Have you tried the caulfilower gnocci yet? Let me know your thoughts in the comment below!

#PortionPlateSeries

Did you follow along on Instagram last week for the #PortionPlateSeries? I spent the week sharing how to use this awesome tool that allows you to ditch counting calories/macros/points forever!

Keep reading for a recap of each scenario!

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If you have been to any of my nutrition seminars or have read any of my blog posts, you know I am BIG on using the portion plate 🍽 I avoid having my clients count ANYTHING – not calories, macros, or points. We use this tool in everything we do together 👍
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The concept is to fill 50% of your plate with non-starchy vegetables, 25% with lean meats, and 25% with complex carbohydrates at each meal. It’s that simple!
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Keep reading for examples of HOW to use the portion plate in different .different scenarios 🍕 🍣 🍝🥗 🥪. While sometimes it might be easy to add a 3oz piece of grilled chicken, 1/2 cup of quinoa, and 2 cups of 🥦 to the plate like this photo shows – the reality is that our plates and recipes don’t always look this way.

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Let’s talk SUSHI 🍣 is it a healthy option? The answer is YES! Keep reading as I’m breaking it down today for the #PortionPlateSeries
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Sushi is a great healthy option packed with omega 3s (healthy fats), veggies, sometimes more healthy fats 🥑, and carbohydrates 🍚. When it comes to balancing out your plate, a sushi roll counts on the protein/carb half of your plate. This leaves the other half for VEGGIES! I always recommend opting for a the salad or seaweed salad (pictured here at @murasakidowntown) on the side with your sushi roll.
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Healthy Sushi Ordering Tips:
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🐟 Go for the raw/steamed/grilled salmon or tuna roll for the most amount of healthy omega3 fats
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🍘Ask for brown rice for extra fiber and fullness. Each roll has about 1 Cup of rice, so be sure to count this in the carb portion of your plate
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🥟Watch out for tempura and deep fried rolls – this is just a fancy word for breaded in panko and deep fried! This option would be considered one of your fun foods for the week
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🌸Eat the ginger on your plate! It can help boost your immune system and also has anti-inflammatory properties
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🍜Opt for the reduced sodium soy sauce (or Tamari) to decrease bloat
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🥢Use chopsticks! Even if you’re not skilled in using them, they will help you slow your pace of eating – but also sushi with a fork just seems wrong 🤔anyone else agree? 🙋🏻‍♀️
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🍣 Still hungry after a roll and salad? Try sashimi to fill you up with more protein and good fat rather than another sushi roll with an additional cup of rice

salad

🚨 Attention: This is not a boring salad 🚨
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Salads have gotten reputation for being boring, tasteless, and unsatisfying – but I am here to bust up those myths for today’s #PortionPlateSeries post 🥗
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A meal salad is an easy way to make 50% of your plate veggies (the darker the greens the better – start with 2 Cups), but what about the other parts to your plate? 🍽 Here are some easy ways to add lean proteins, and healthy carbs to your salad. 📷 is of @traderjoes tabouli over hearty romaine, fat free feta, and grilled chicken – it’s one of my go-to lunches!
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Ways to add lean protein to your salad (3oz-6oz depending on the person):
🍗 Grilled Chicken
🐟 Roasted Salmon
Tofu
🥩 Grilled sirloin
Roasted turkey
🧀 Cheese
🌰Nuts/Seeds
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Ways to add complex carbohydrates to your salad (1/2 – 1 Cup total depending on the person):
Fruit 🍎🍉🍎🍐🍊🍓🍇🍑🍍
Dried fruit (unsweetened cranberries or raisins)
Whole grains like quinoa or wild rice🍚
Whole wheat pita chip crumbles
Organic low sodium canned beans (black, pinto, soy beans, chickpeas)
Starchy vegetables (roasted 🍠 🌽 or butternut squash)
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Of course healthy fats from 🥑 and oil based dressings are great additions as well!

sandwich

Is there a more satisfying lunch than a 🥪? There is something so comforting about the combination of bread/protein/veggies/condiments that I just love! So how does the sandwich fit on the portion plate? 🍽 For today’s #portionplateseries post we are breaking it down.
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First let’s start with the 🍞I always recommend a bread where the first ingredient says “WHOLE.” This means that it has the entire grain, and has all of the nutrients and antioxidants from the bran, germ, and endosperm – basically you’re getting more bang for your buck 👍 Examples include whole wheat bread, Ezekiel bread, sprouted wheat bread, and #glutenfree options. The bread counts as the 25% carb on your plate.
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Then we move onto the protein 🍗I recommend keeping lean deli meats (turkey, chicken, ham) to a couple of times per week mainly because they are processed and many contain nitrates. You could also opt for a grilled chicken breast as well (pictured here), or a #vegetarian protein source like cheese, hummus, or natural 🥜 butter. This counts as the 25% protein on your plate.
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Your 🥪 counts as your meat/protein, so what’s missing? 50% 🥒🥕🍅🌶 I always recommend serving raw or roasted non-starchy veggies, or a salad on the side with a sandwich. Many sub shops offer chips, an apple, or more bread with a sandwich – however this would create a possible carb overload with 75% of your plate now being carbs. I absolutely love raw red bell pepper strips, but some of my other favorites are baby carrots, celery, cucumbers, and snap peas.

pizza

🍕+🥗=😋
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It’s the weekend and time for P-I-Z-Z-A in the #PortionPlateSeries. YES pizza can fit into a healthy diet 🎉 Here’s how:
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Pizza is made up of primarily protein (cheese/meat) and carbs (crust) so this would count on 50% of your plate. Making your own pizza is a really easy way to keep it healthy, and I love using @traderjoeswhole wheat crust to make my 🍕, along with part skim mozzarella cheese. Of course a cauliflower pizza crust is another option as well! If you’re dining out, restaurants like @brixxpizza has a whole wheat option and locally both @sidewallpizza and @swamprabbitcafe have #glutenfree crust options as well. Go for the 🥦🍅🥕🌶 toppings as much as possible!
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🥗 pairs perfectly with pizza, and many restaurants have salad options to have on the side. This also fills the remaining 50% of your plate with veggies! You can opt for traditional lettuce based salad, or I love adding a fun salad like @eatsmartveggies 7 #Superfood Salad on the side to my clients meal plan pizza meals (yes I put pizza on meal plans).

pasta

“You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients.” – Julia Child 🙌
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This is one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite people, and this concept is at the root of my business! My husband and I took a trip to 🇮🇹 this past spring where I really saw this come to life everywhere we went. There were of course some masterpieces, but one of our favorite dinners was at 6:30PM (a totally inappropriate dinner time in Italy) after hiking in #CinqueTerra and they were incredibly simple 🍝 dishes with lots of fresh local ingredients! For my last #PortionPlateSeries post I wanted to share how #pasta can fit into a healthy balanced diet 🍽
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To state the obvious, a pasta dish will count as your carb portion of your plate, but the keys are #1 portion size (keep it to 25%) #2adding lean protein #3 adding 🍅🥦. One really easy way to do that is by creating a pasta primavera dish filled with lots of different veggies! This dish is one from my custom #mealplan recipes that I give to my clients, and it’s a Roasted Vegetable Pasta Primavera with Spicy Chicken Sausage featuring @traderjoes brown rice #glutenfree penne pasta (or you can use whole wheat). This dish only has 4.5oz of raw pasta for four servings, but with all of these veggies and four chicken sausages it is incredibly filling! Check out my IG story to see how I made the pasta sauce as well.
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Well there you have it y’all: the #PortionPlateSeries is complete with ways to fit 🍣 🥗 🥪🍕 and🍝 into your healthy lifestyle. I hope you have found these to be helpful, and if there are any other cuisines/dishes that you have questions about be sure to leave them in the comments below.

Healthy Game Day Recipes

It’s that time of year again – tailgating season! I recently shared my tips with WSPA’s Carolina Morning with Sibila and Christy. Check it out!

A lot of my clients ask me how they can stay on track with their healthy habits while watching the big game. My biggest tip is to bring the vegetables! You know there will most definitely be carbs and proteins at the tailgate, so be sure to bring something that you can fill 50% of your plate with.

Here are two of my favorite game day recipes featuring veggies!

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Game Day Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

A healthy take on wings!

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower; chopped into bite size piece
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2/3 Cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 Tablespoon organic unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ Cup Frank’s Red Hot sauce
  • ¾ Cup Yogurt Blue Cheese dressing, for serving
  • Parchment paper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, water, black pepper and garlic powder.
  3. Place the breadcrumbs in another small bowl.
  4. Dip each cauliflower piece in the egg batter until coated evenly, then dip in the breadcrumbs, and place on a baking sheet pined with parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, combine the melted butter and hot sauce in a large bowl.
  6. Remove the cauliflower from the oven and gently toss with buffalo sauce.
  7. Place the cauliflower back on the parchment lined pan and bake an additional 5-10 minutes or until cauliflower is tender and crisp.
  8. Remove from oven, and serve yogurt blue cheese dressing.

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Mediterranean Avocado Dip with Sweet Mini Bell Peppers

A fun veggie dip that is packed with protein and healthy fats.

Serves: 6

  • 1 avocado, pitted and removed from peel
  • 4 oz fat free feta cheese
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • ¼ small red onion
  • ¼ Cup parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 12oz sweet mini bell peppers

Directions:

  1. Add the pitted avocado, feta cheese, lemon juice, red onion, parsley and pepper to food processor.
  2. Pulse food processor until smooth.

Want to know more about finding a healthy balance? Set up  your FREE  15 minute call here!

Meet the Fall Blush Nutrition Intern: Taylor!

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This is my 7th year as a dietetic internship preceptor for Winthrop University, and I am SO excited for this year because it’s my first time taking interns in private practice! In the past I have taken interns while working in outpatient clinical and food service, but I am very excited to show my interns what being a dietetics intrepreneur looks like.

I’d like to introduce you to Taylor, who is interning with me this August/September. Keep reading to learn more about his background, interests, and being an #RD2Be. Be sure to tune in on Thursday September 6th for his Instagram story takeover!

Meet Taylor

Q: You are a dietetic intern at Winthrop University. Tell us a little bit about this internship and the requirements to become a Registered Dietitian.

 

A: Getting accepted into a dietetic internship is a required process that you have to go through in order to become a Registered Dietitian. You must first complete a bachelor’s degree and receive a verification statement from a school accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics. You then have to get accepted into a dietetic internship and complete a minimum of 1200 supervised hours through an accredited program. Once you complete your 1200 supervised hours, you are then eligible to sit for the Commission on Dietetic Registration national exam to become a Registered Dietitian. Registered Dietitians must gain licensure in their state of practice, and commit to a minimum of 75 hours of continuing education every 5 years.

Q: Where did you complete your Undergraduate studies?

A: I received my Bachelors of Science and was a double major in nutrition science and dietetics at the University of Georgia. Go Dawgs!

 
Q: What is your dream job?

A: My dream job is to work as a sports dietitian for a major professional sports team.

 
Q: Why did you choose to go into the dietetics field?

A: As a former competitive high school wrestler, I was able to first-hand experience the alleviating properties of nutrition. From struggling with disordered eating, to simply athletic performance, changing my eating habits completely changed my life as an athlete and a person.

I chose dietetics because I want to help people understand that nutrition doesn’t have to be as complex as we might think. I want to help people implement basic lifestyle and nutrition practices that they can carry with them for the rest of their lives to sustain long term success.

 
Q: You live a healthy lifestyle everyday and also love fitness. Tell us about your experience being a group fitness trainer.

A: Being a group fitness trainer has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had. I have had the opportunity to train a variety of people from ages 5-85. Through this, I have had the privilege to watch and assist people of all ages and fitness levels in overcoming boundaries and achieving goals that they never thought they could. From someone getting their first push up to someone squatting 400 lbs, I love watching people push their limits, motivate each other, and understand that physical activity is for everyone regardless of your size, shape, gender, or age.

 
Q: What’s your favorite food?

A: If I had to pick a favorite dish or food, I would say definitely sushi. If there’s a restaurant that serves sushi, I’ve probably been there.

 
Q: What are you must excited about working as the Blush Nutrition fall intern?

A: I am super pumped about getting to help people make small lifestyle changes that they can carry with them for the rest of their lives. Following Brittany’s expertise and methods, she sets up her clients for long-term success, and I am super excited to learn from her and her methods.

 

Welcome Taylor and thank you for all of your hard work this fall to continue to build the Blush Nutrition brand!

Want to know more about a Registered Dietitian vs. a Nutritionist? Read this.

Calling All Teachers!

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School is out and Blush Nutrition is offering a new package designed specifically for teachers looking to focus on their health and wellness during the summer months!

This package is perfect for developing healthy habits and continuing them throughout school year. The Healthy Lifestyle Package is a 3 month plan, which includes nutrition coaching and meal planning. I am currently offering 10% off for teachers (new clients only) until June 30th!

The Healthy Lifestyle Package is designed to take you from June through September to kickstart healthy habits now establish a plan for a healthy school year!

Blush Nutrition loves teachers, and we can’t wait to help you make this summer the best yet! Click here to set up your first 15 minute appointment for free.

Meet the Blush Nutrition Summer 2018 Intern!

 

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Thank you to the students who applied for the Blush Nutrition summer internship. I was fortunate enough to interview several students, and after careful consideration, I am very excited to introduce you the Blush Nutrition Summer Intern, Abigail!

Abigail’s studies in both nutrition and phsychology, combined with her experience in fitness and overall wellness made her a perfect fit for this position. She is energetic, eager to learn, and super social media savvy. Read more about her below!

Where are you enrolled in college and what are you studying?

Abigail: I attend Clemson University where I’m currently majoring in Food Science Nutrition with a concentration in Dietetics, and a minor in Psychology. I’m very involved in my sorority, Alpha Delta Pi, the Nutrition Club, and I’m currently working with the Clemson Football Performance Nutrition Team. I’m also a group exercise instructor at GHS YMCA!

What is your dream job?

Abigail: My dream job would have to be eventually opening up my own wellness center where I work as a dietitian, teaching people how to live a healthy lifestyle. I would also love to offer various types fitness classes, since exercise is such a big part of my life as well!

Why did you choose the dietetics field?

Abigail: I chose the dietetics field because I’m super passionate about the effects of eating whole, healthy foods on our body.

I also love working with people, and I wanted to combine these two passions into a career of helping others eat right in order to be the best version of themselves as possible.

You live a healthy lifestyle everyday and also love fitness. Tell us about becoming an ACE certified fitness instructor.

Abigail: I became ACE certified last June and have been teaching group exercise classes since then! Becoming ACE certified has been one of the best decisions I’ve made yet, because now I’ve found another outlet to help people grow, but now it’s through exercise and fitness! I teach all different types of classes, such as barre-style, TRX, spin, and HIIT to name a few.

What is your favorite dish/recipe?

Abigail: I’ve actually been a pescatarian for almost two years now, so I’ve loved experimenting with different types of fish and vegetables in order to make sure I’m getting a balanced amount of nutrients. My favorite dish would have to a one pan meal where I bake salmon, sweet potatoes, and asparagus, and drizzle the whole meal in a honey-coconut amino glaze! It’s super quick, healthy, and so easy I make it in my college dorm.

What are you most looking forward to this summer?

Abigail: I’m SO excited and thankful for the opportunity to intern with Blush Nutrition this summer! I want to learn more about goes into being a Registered Dietitian, and running a dietetic business, as this is the career path I want to take post-graduation!

Please join me in sending a warm welcome to Abigail!

The Best Diets of 2018

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The results are in! The 2018 rankings of the best diets from U.S. News and World Reports are in and guess what?

The top picks all feature the same 4 things: fruits and vegetables, lean protein, heart healthy fats and whole grains.

Yup that’s right! The healthy eating tips you have heard time and time again are proven to work. No gimmicks, no expensive meals to buy – just basic nutrition education like you learn with a Registered Dietitian goes a LONG way.

The D.A.S.H. Diet has been ranked the #1 best overall diet for the 8th year in a row. This might be because D.A.S.H. is not a fad diet, it is a healthy lifestyle change.

D.A.S.H. stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension and is research based. However, numerous studies have found that following the diet can not only help you reduce your blood pressure, but it can also help you lose weight, decrease your cholesterol, reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes and lose weight.

D.A.S.H. Diet basics include:

  1.  Avoid added salt. Too much salt can increase your blood pressure. Aim for about 1500mg of sodium per day, this means avoiding adding salt to foods as you will most likely get all of this sodium in processed and prepared foods already in your diet.
  2. Increase your vegetable intake! Be sure half of your plate is non-starchy vegetables at each meal. This will help control your weight, blood sugars, blood pressure and cholesterol.
  3. Lean Meats. Decrease your red meat intake (especially processed like hamburgers and sausage) and focus on lean meats, poultry (no skin) and fish at least 2x per week.
  4. Avoid trans fats. Be sure to read the product ingredients and avoid any products containing hydrogenated oils as these can be very harmful to your heart’s health

Are you interested in following a diet that promotes a healthy lifestyle with results that last a lifetime? Contact me today!

 

Wedding Wellness Tips for Brides and Grooms to Be

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Planning your wedding is such an exciting time, from choosing the theme, to wedding bands – it truly is a once in a lifetime experience. However, being a newlywed myself, I completely understand the stress that comes with working full time and planning a wedding. In the midst of a million color swatches, loaded up Pinterest boards and trying understand what the difference between a peony and a ranunculus is – it is way too easy to lose sight of taking care of your health and wellbeing.

Check out my five easy wedding wellness tips that will keep you healthy for the big day!

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  1. Make time to invest in yourself. It’s true – there are just not enough hours in the day when you’re working and wedding planning. Your free time is easily getting filled up with what seems like speed dating photographers, and vetting out vendors. Make a decision today to invest in yourself during this incredible time – whether it is through meal planning, exercising or just taking time to do things outside of the wedding.
  2. Come up with a wedding wellness plan. Do you want to go grocery shopping every Sunday to avoid going out to eat several times per week? Do you want to set a goal to exercise 3 times per week or try a new spin studio? If you are using a wedding planning calendar, take a couple of minutes each week to mark your wellness items in your calendar and stick to it.
  3. Find an exercise that you love. Life is too short for crappy workouts. Do you love the idea of Zumba, but are slowly finding out that indeed your hips DO lie? (Sorry Shakira, it’s not you, it’s me.) Then give barre a try! There are SO many new boutique fitness studios out there and many have wedding wellness packages at discounted rates. BONUS: exercise is a great stress relief! Take it all out on the treadmill or in the weight room. You will feel way better afterwards, I promise.
  4. Use the 80/20 rule. You are engaged – let’s celebrate!! Take this time to focus on finding your healthy lifestyle balance, but don’t limit yourself so much that you don’t enjoy your engagement. The engagement party, the wedding shower, the bachelorette/bachelor parties – all of these are being thrown in YOUR honor! So don’t limit yourself to just eating vegetables. Eat healthfully 80% of the time and give yourself 20% of the time to splurge a little and enjoy the party (responsibly of course). The most important part is that after the party is over, that you just jump right back in where you left off. You didn’t fall off the wagon, you just took a detour for some celebrating. Now it’s time to get back to it!
  5. Bring your fiancé into the fun. Life is more fun with a partner, and that includes healthy eating and exercising. Talk with your fiancé about engaging on a path to wellness together as a team. Perhaps they would like to go to the same gym as you, train for a race with you, or help meal plan and grocery shop. It’s more than having an accountability partner, it’s a way to ensure the results you see last long after you say “I do!”

Does this all sound great but you don’t know where to start? Set up your first free 15 minute appointment now.

Photo: Jenna Marie Weddings

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things: Red Kitchen Items

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Today I am excited to share with you some of my favorite kitchen items my decor theme color: RED! I chose red as my kitchen decor theme to continue a flow from our living/dining room into the kitchen a few years ago. I absolutely love how it makes our house feel warm and comforting, and this time of year it is particularly festive!

Here are some of my favorite kitchen items that double as great holiday gifts or registry items!

My Favorite Kitchen Items:

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Le Creuset Signature Cast-Iron 3 1/2-Qt. Essential Oven

I cannot say enough about how amazing enameled cast iron is. Not only can you take dishes from cooktop to the oven, but it’s also super easy to clean. I use my red essential oven to cook soups all winter long, but also love the high sides for cooking high volume dishes like sautéed kale.

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Le Creuset Heritage Stoneware Rectangular Covered Casserole

The beauty of enameled cast iron at a great price! The term “one pan meal” get’s a whole new meaning with this covered casserole – try layering potatoes and green beans on the bottom followed by a lean meat like chicken on top. Cover, cook and viola! This casserole dish is also gorgeous enough to take it right out of the oven and to bring it to a dinner party.

pie pan

Emelie Harvey Pie Pan

I had been dying to get my hands on one of these Instagram worth pie dishes all season and finally caved! The ceramic also retains heat very well – meaning you can take it out of the oven before your guests get here and it will stay warm for hours.

Fiestaware in Scarlet

We have a full set of Fiestaware in all different colors and I love the durability it has. We have had ours for over 3 years now and there are not cut marks on the plates and they hold up super well (even if you accidentally drop one in the sink while washing it).

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Silicone 5 Piece Tools Set

I love these red silicone tools from Williams-Sonoma. The handles are stainless steel and look sleek, while also offering comfort. You can put them in the dishwasher and they have held up very well for us!

And those are my holiday and registry picks for a red themed kitchen! Have other ideas? Message me