Carolina Morning Segment: Avoid the holiday weight gain & Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn Balls Recipe

I had a lot of fun sharing my tips for avoiding the holiday weight gain with Siblia and Christy! Check out my top tips below, and scroll down to get the recipe from the show.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn Balls Recipe

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Why are dietitians so obsessed with snacking? Because snacks are amazing!

No really though, we love snacks because they help us reach our health goals! Snacks (especially during the holidays) can keep us from getting overly hungry before a meal, which can lead to over eating or bingeing on holiday sweets.

What’s the most important thing about snacking? That it incorporates both a carb + protein/good fat!

Repeat after me: carbs alone don’t keep you full!

This is why “healthy snacks” like an apple or a cup of berries doesn’t fill you up – but it’s also why goldfish don’t either (unless you eat the whole bag I guess). I love these Peanut Butter Chocolate Popcorn Balls because they’re not only festive, but it’s a snack the whole family will love! Have your kids help you with the assembly of each popcorn ball.

The popcorn gives you whole grains, and the peanut butter adds some good fats and protein to keep you fuller longer.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn Balls

Yield: 10 Popcorn Balls

Ingredients:

  • 9 Cups Air Popped Popcorn (1/3 cup kernels)
  • 2 Tablespoons Dark Chocolate Chunks
  • 1/4 Cup Organic Honey
  • 1/4 Cup Natural Chunky Peanut Butter

Directions:

  1. Place the popcorn and chocolate chunks in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  2. Heat a small sauce pan over medium-low heat. Add the honey and peanut butter and stir together with a spatula until heated and the honey starts to bubble.
  3. Remove from heat, and pour over the popcorn, using the spatula to scrape the sides of the sauce pan.
  4. Stir until all of the popcorn is well coated with the peanut butter mixture, and the chocolate chips start to melt.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Using your hands, form the mixture into 10 balls before the mixture cools. Set each one on the parchment paper.
  7. Place in the refrigerator to cool for 25-30 minutes, and enjoy!

This snack can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week!

Nutrition Facts (1 popcorn ball): 198 Calories, 8.1g Total Fat, 1.3g Saturated Fat, 0mg Cholesterol, 2mg Sodium, 28g Total Carbohydrate, 4.5g Fiber, 9g Sugar, 6.6g Protein

The 2018 Healthy Holiday Gift Guide is Here!

Healthy Holiday Gift Guide 2018

The holiday gift giving season is here 🎄

This year instead of buying your loved one another sweater or scarf, give the gift of health! Check out my Healthy Holiday Gift Guide with options for everyone on your list.

For your busy friend or family member

One week of Freshly meal delivery!  There a lot of meal delivery services to choose from, but for your ulta busy friend/family member there is nothing like healthy prepared meals delivered to your doorstep. Freshly offers healthy pre-made meals that you pop into the microwave for an easy lunch or dinner! Perfect for the busy parent, professional (CPAs love this during busy season!), or new college grad living on their own.

For the office

This holiday season don’t be the third person to send chocolates or popcorn to the office, check out these unique and healthy KIND Holiday Cubes! I have been a member of the KIND nutrition collective for a couple of years now, and I love their products. Not only are they a delicious snack, but they are also filled with healthy fats and protein to fight the afternoon slump.

For the pizza lover

Pizza doesn’t always have to be a treat meal, and these pre-made cauliflower pizza crusts by Cali’flour foods are gluten free and low carb! Top each pizza with your favorite cheese, veggies, and lean protein for an easy Friday night dinner.

For the cook

Some of my favorite healthy kitchen gadgets include: an air popper to make your own healthy snack at home, a sous vide for percise cooking, and of course an Instant Pot for quick cooking grains and one pot meals! Not sure if they have these already? Check out our Meal Planning Bundle featuring healthy recipes and a weekly meal planner.

For the one who is stressed out

Stress has been scientifically proven to promote disease and weight gain. Research has shown that meditation for even a couple minutes per day can decrease stress. The Calm App has been named Apple’s App of the Year and Editors’ Choice by Google Play. Get them a 1 year membership here, or turn it into a gift basket by adding on the Calm Sleep Mist , and Calm Work Book as well!

For the fitness lover

We all know how important stretching and foam rolling is, but few of us take the time to actually do it. Help your friend or family member feel better, prevent injury, and improve performance with this TriggerPoint Grid Foam Roller! The design is modeled to feel just like a massage therapists hands, and comes with an online video library as well.

For the subscription  box addict

Subscription boxes are great, but you tend to end up with a lot of mini-samples – not with FabFitFun! They offer 8-10 FULL SIZE samples of high end products with each box valued over $200. BONUS they also get access to FABFITFUNTV with free workouts. Give a gift subscription here.

For the person who has everything

Sometimes gifts of experiences that we would never give to ourselves are the best gifts. I love the Spa Finder Gift Card  because it allows your friend or family member to find a spa near them and treat themselves to some self care, whether it is a massage, mani/pedi, or a facial.

For a healthy 2019

Gift the gift of health this holiday season with a Blush Nutrition Gift Card. Blush Nutrition gift cards are available for any amount and can be redeemed for a la carte appointments or any nutrition coaching and meal planning package.

Wishing you a healthy and happy holiday season!

 

Conversation Has No Calories: Table Topic Ideas

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Food sometimes takes over as the star of the holidays, but don’t forget the true meaning of this season. Talk with your friends and family IN PERSON (and not on social media) – here are some table topic ideas for the holiday season!

Travel Back

Suppose you could travel back in time to see anyone in your family’s history. Who would you like to meet the most?

Bumper Sticker

Tell a friend or family member to speak on the bumper sticker (real or imaginary) on their car.

“Did you know that I once…?”

Every friend or family member shares an interesting story about themselves. Everyone then votes for each person as having told a fact or not. The person who gets the most votes (fact or not) wins!

Do you remember?

Have everyone at the table share their story about their: first day at their first job, their first car, the first time they used a computer or their first day at school.

Being 10 Years Old Again

Talking about childhood is always interesting. Assume you could go back in time and tell yourself some words of advice at age 10, what would you say? Everyone at the table shares their insight.

That sums it up for my healthy holiday blog posts in 2017! Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Healthy New Year. See you in 2018!

 

Stress Less & Enjoy More This Holiday Season

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but it can also be the most stressful. Between work (Q4 deadlines are real y’all), holiday parties, shopping and travel there is simply too much going on in-between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.

This year try to get ahead of the stress by making a holiday stress prevention list. Simply make a list of what you expect from yourself (and your family) during the holidays. While writing this list you just might find your potential stressors. These are things you feel like you are expected to do, but perhaps don’t have time for, or you feel like don’t add value during this busy time. Once you have your list written, write down what changes you can make to prevent stress in that particular situation. Finally go through your list and make the changes that will make the most impact on your stress level. For example, if you are stressed about making a family dinner – don’t offer so many entree options or ask someone to bring a dessert/appetizer/side. If you have items on your list that seem unrealistic (like creating the most festive holiday atmosphere) now is the time to let them go!

This holiday season I encourage you to do less and enjoy more.

Choose 1-3 holiday activities per week (work holiday party, shop at the mall, write cards) and say “no” to the rest. Don’t forget YOUR needs! Take 3 minutes every day just for you during holiday season. Try something like:

  • Writing in a journal
  • Meditating
  • Stretching
  • Listening to calming music
  • Reading a book or magazine

What do you do during the holidays to enjoy more and stress less? Leave a comment below!

Healthy Holiday Party Tips

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Holiday party season is here! That means fun, cheer and often lots of food and drinks. Registered Dietitian Brittany L. Jones shares tips to help you enjoy the holiday party season, while maintaining your healthy lifestyle!

  1. Don’t skip meals.

Research shows that skipping meals can cause overeating later in the day. Stick to your normal meal and snack patterns as much as you can.

  1. Use a plate.

It might sound simple, but picking up a small plate will help you consume less. Avoid standing by the buffet or appetizer table and grazing. By using a plate you are more aware of what you are consuming, and are more likely to eat mindfully when going back for seconds.

  1. Bring a vegetable dish to the party.

Let’s be honest, you know there is going to be meat and carbs at the party so be the one who brings the vegetables to balance it out! Bringing a healthy vegetable dish can ensure that you have a healthy option, and also brings some beautiful *color* to the spread.

  1. Make half your plate vegetables.

Filling up half your plate with vegetables is an easy way to control your calories and carbs at a holiday party. Aim to have a quarter of your plate carbs and a quarter of your plate protein.

  1. Focus on lean protein.

Opt for chicken, turkey, and fish as your protein sources. Avoid higher calorie dishes with bacon and sausage.

  1. Survey the buffet and be picky.

Check out everything before making your final decision. Be picky and choose your favorites.

  1. DANCE!

Get moving and dance! It’s a great calorie burner, aids in digestion and can normalize your blood sugars after a big meal.

  1. Hold your drink in your non-dominant hand.

Holiday cocktail season is here! Avoid the hangover with this trick that will help you consume less.

  1. Make every other drink water.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Not only will consuming water help slow down your holiday cocktail consumption, it will also help you combat the higher salt content in party foods.

  1. Conversation has no calories!

Food sometimes takes over as the star of the holidays, but don’t forget the true meaning of this season. Talk with your friends and family IN PERSON (and not on social media).

For more healthy holiday tips, recipes and follow me on Facebook and Instagram.

Healthy For The Holidays

Healthy For The Holidays

Do you ever feel like you’re stuck in the eye of a hurricane? Back to school came in like a beast, and now you’re stuck in the calm before the storm (Thanksgiving is just 6 weeks away – ah!). Many of us have fallen off the nutrition and fitness wagon in recent months, so why not use the lull before the holiday mayhem to build back your healthy habits?

Check out these 3 easy tips to get you back on the wagon before the holidays:

  1. Start your holiday exercise habit now. Let’s face it – starting an exercise program during the holidays is not all that realistic. Think about where you want to be with your health and wellness on Thanksgiving in 6 weeks and start NOW! Maybe it’s working towards exercising 3 days per week, or maybe it’s running in your local Turkey Trot. Either way, you have 42 days to make it a habit. Ready. Set. Go!
  2. Meal plan like a boss. Once holiday parties start cluttering up your calendar, it is going to be very important to have your meal planning skills down pat. Does planning 21 meals for the week stress you out? Try starting with dinners only and build from there.
  3. Find healthy holiday recipes. If you already know what your holiday plans look like, start looking up and trying out healthy holiday recipes. Vegetable side dishes like green beans and slivered almonds, sautéed carrots, and roasted Brussels sprouts are always a good place to start. Check out the new Blush Nutrition Fall eBook for an awesome healthy apple crumble pie recipe as well!

Want to know more? Ask Brittany about her custom meal planning and nutrition coaching packages to help you reach your goals and stay on track during the holidays!