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!

Healthy After School Snacks

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Thanks everyone who came out to my Atheta G!rl Greenville healthy after school snacking workshop! We made these adorable and healthy butterfly snack bags (click here for the recipe) and reviewed healthy snack tips. Check them out below!

5 Tips for Healthy After School Snacking

  1. Snacking won’t ruin dinner! After school, you might feel like don’t want your child to eat so much that they are not hungry for dinner – however feeding your child a small, healthful snack after school can help to boost their metabolism, keep blood sugar from getting to low before dinner, and ensure that they are consuming adequate nutrients for their growing bodies!
  2. Focus on Protein + Produce. Whether it is carrots and hummus, yogurt and berries, or an apple and peanut butter – combining a protein with produce will help your child to build strong muscles and also ensure that your child is consuming key vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
  3. Go for Whole Grains! Choosing a whole grain snack such as whole wheat crackers, brown rice cakes, or whole air popped popcorn will ensure that your child is receiving adequate fiber, carbohydrates, protein, and a wide range of vitamins and minerals. These snacks will help slow digestion to stay fuller for longer, control blood sugar levels, and help with regular bowel movements.
  4. Low-Fat Dairy: The one and done. Consuming an after school snack containing low-fat dairy such as low fat yogurt, a low fat cheese stick or a glass or skim milk will ensure that your child is receiving the necessary calcium to help build strong bones and teeth, as well as carbohydrates + protein. Our bones can be seen as a “Bank of Calcium.” If calcium is not deposited over time, it will be withdrawn and used in different areas of the body. Consuming a low-fat dairy snack can ensure that your child is receiving adequate Calcium and Vitamin D for building strong bones!
  5. Get The Family Involved! Having your child involved in picking their snacks can help them build confidence and ownership in what they are eating. Bonus – they will take these healthy habits into adulthood with them too!

Questions? Contact Brittany to set up your FREE 15 minute appointment today!

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.

A Review of Freshly by a Registered Dietitian

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Meal delivery services are all the rage right now! I mean who doesn’t like having food for the week delivered to their door?

By this point I have tried them all, and while a meal delivery service is a “nice to have” I have not found that it is a forever fix for many of my clients. That being said, it is great for a busy week, the first week back from vacation, or even if you are traveling for work and have a kitchenette where you are staying!

The latest meal delivery service I have tried is Freshly, and I have to say I really liked it! The main reason Freshly appealed to me is for my really busy professional clients who sometimes just don’t have time to make dinner. Their meals are gluten free, focus on using whole foods, and their nutritionals check out with what I recommend for my clients. The best part? You don’t have to cook! The biggest thing I always said about other meal delivery services is that the nutritionals were almost just as unhealthy as dining out, yet I also had to make it. I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to eat my day’s worth of carbs in one meal, I want someone else to make it for me 😂 Freshly is a balance between a delivery service with the ingredients to make a meal, and meals from the frozen aisle of the grocery store. They are made with fresh ingredients, and you can just pop them in the microwave or toaster oven. They are obviously better tasting and quality than frozen meals, and their calories are more optimal  too. Is anyone really ever satisfied from a 250 calorie frozen meal? I think not.

As I mentioned above, the nutritionals really check out, and many are carbohydrate controlled, and the saturated fat is pretty low. They are also very moderate in sodium (which is rare for prepared meals) and I love this about Freshly – they give you seasoning options right on the package!

Keep reading for a glimpse into my first week of the Freshly meal delivery service!

NOTE: Just like any other meal delivery service it auto renews and until you manually cancel they will keep delivering and keep charging you. You can skip several weeks at a time, but it’s something to be conscious of! 

IMG_4245MOROCCAN CHICKEN with Cauliflower Couscous

I think this was our favorite meal of the week! The cauliflower couscous was very rustic, and had a lot of texture. The sauce had amazing flavor and the chicken was very moist.

 

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CHICKEN & RICE PILAF with Green Beans & Carrots

The chicken was also very moist, and the veggies were very tasty all mixed in with the sauce.

 

IMG_4251GRILLED CHICKEN RISOTTO with Spring Peas

This was the meal that was probably the highest and saturated fat and carbs, however that was to be expected with risotto! The rice was very creamy, and the chicken was moist. Being a dietitian I really wanted a non-starchy vegetable with this one!

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SAUSAGE & PEPPERS with Tomato Rice

My husband had this one, and I didn’t get to try it, but it wasn’t as good as the Moroccan chicken he had the day before. The vegetables seemed overly cooked and he didn’t love the tomato sauce.

 

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BUFFALO CHICKEN BREAST with Loaded Cauliflower

I LOVE the idea of loaded cauliflower than potatoes here, and it keeps the carbs down and keeps the nutrients high (though the saturated fat is higher from the bacon and cheese here). The chicken left some to be desired though, as it just tasted like hot sauce on chicken – but maybe that’s because it’s not fried (which is a good thing).

 

 

 

IMG_4265ROASTED TURKEY with Quinoa Stuffing

WhileI had this meal in May and not around the holiday’s, it was very enjoyable! I loved the quinoa stuffing and the green beans were very crisp. The turkey was also moist and had a great texture and quality to it, and the gravy was good but not too much (I don’t typically like gravy).

 

 

 

Overall? I would recommend this to someone who is struggling to cook for one person and is trying to avoid eating out, or for someone who is looking to get through a tough week of work /travel stress. They were very good and the nutritionals really check out on this one!!

Have questions? Let me know!

 

Establishing Healthy Habits for Life

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Have you ever found yourself saying “I know what to do, it’s just making myself do it”?

Here are 5 easy tips to establish healthy meal planning and a consistent exercise habits now, to give you the results you have always been looking for. After reading this blog post, write down one thing that you would like to implement right away!

1 – Lifeong Habits Take More Work Than a Fad Diet

Congratulations on saying “no” to the yo-yo dietiting and “yes” to developing healthy habits that will last a lifetime! The secret to wellness is not only making changes you know you can hold on to, it’s starting slow, and building up. It’s going to be harder than following someone else’s rules for 21 days or 30 days – but the results will last longer too.

2 – Make Time for Wellness

It’s true – there are just not enough hours in the day and wellness doesn’t often just “happen.” There is no perfect time for weight loss, so make a commitment NOW to invest in yourself – whether it is through meal planning, exercising, or just taking time to do something for you. Establishing new habits, and avoiding going back to what’s easy takes time and dedication. Schedule an appointment with yourself in your phone, in your planner or on your family calendar to carve out this time and start to create a new healthy habit.

3 – Meal Plan the Easy Way

Meal planning does NOT mean that you have to plan for 21 meals including 7 dinners. Dinner is typically where we tend to end up in the drive thru line, or on the phone with the pizza place. Try planning for just 3-4 dinners and include leftovers into the plan. Many of my clients love meal delivery services, and this utilizes that same concept, but you will save even more money, and cook healthier! Start by putting your “events” in your calendar, and then build healthy meals and snacks around them!

4 – Schedule Your Workouts On Sunday

Take a look at your week ahead and schedule your workouts in your planner ahead of
time. Write it down in your planner and reschedule if you have to – just like you would a
doctor’s appointment.

5 – Be Realistic

It’s about progress – not perfection. This is a time to accept a broader form of excellence
rather than a narrowly defined one. We are not aiming for A+ on a test here, in all reality we are aiming for a really solid B. Did you set a goal to workout 5 times per week but have only gotten in 3? Congratulations you got in 3! Celebrate that win, and consider re-adjusting your goal to build up to 5 times per week – you might need to change up your schedule or ask for some help with your to-do list. Think about what needs to be done to get there, start slow, and build. Remember – you have the rest of your life to build these healthy habits and nothing ends in 21 or 30 days – it’s forever. Focus what works for YOU!

Want to know more? Your first 15 minute phone appointment is FREE! Contact
me here.

Nominated for 2018 Best of the Upstate “Best Weight Loss Services”

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Blush Nutrition has been nominated for “Best Weight Loss Services”!

Brittany L. Jones, MS, RD, LD is the ONLY Registered Dietitian on the ballot, and casting your vote for Blush Nutrition will send the message that Greenville is looking for a sustainable weight loss service, and not a quick fix. At Blush Nutrition, my focus in on healthy small lifestyle changes, customized to each client, and everything I do is backed by research.

What’s the difference between a Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist?

Simply said, all dietitians are nutritionists, but not all nutritions are dietitians. A Registered Dietitian has additional qualifications that must be met, which include:

  • Minimum of a bachelor’s degree with course work including food and nutrition sciences, food service systems management, business, economics, sociology, biochemistry, physiology, microbiology and chemistry
  • Completed an accredited dietetic internship
  • Passed the national Registered Dietitian examination
  • Completes continuing professional educational requirements to maintain registration (75 every 5 years)

Click here to cast your vote for Blush Nutrition – click on the “Health & Beauty” page and scroll down for Best Weight Loss Services.

Thank you Greenville for this nomination, I am honored!

Nutrition Tips for Your Healthiest Summer Yet

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Summer is almost here! That means lots of BBQs, weddings, vacations and more. Wondering how your healthy lifestyle fits into your busy and very fun summer schedule? Check out my top nutrition tips for summer – including healthy grilling, managing parties, staying on track on vacation, and more.

1. Use the Portion Plate at BBQs & Buffets

Make half your plate non-starchy vegetable at lunch and dinner – it’s easier than counting calories! This will keep the carbs and lean meat to the other side of your plate, keeping calories low and nutrients high. Keep in mind if you don’t use your carbohydrates for energy, they will get stored as fat.

2. Meal Plan for Success

Summer schedules are BUSY! With vacations, work events, and kids being out of school it seems like the summer just flies by. Choose a day on the weekend to take 10 minutes to look at your week ahead. See what days you have an event going on and work backwards to see which days you will want to plan healthy meals for.

3. Use the 80/20 Rule

Focus on functional foods 80% of the time, and give yourself 20% of the time to enjoy the fun foods of summer! The most important part is that after the party/BBQ is over, that you just jump right back in where you left off. There is no falling off the wagon when you are focusing on building healthy lifestyle habits.

4. Fire Up the Grill

Focus on lean meats (chicken, fish, bison burgers) to focus on getting as much protein as possible, and also prevent grill flare ups. Grill vegetables whole or use a grilling basket for a healthy side!

5. Maintain Don’t Gain on Vacation

Let’s be honest – no one expects to lose weight on vacation (what fun is that?). Enjoy yourself while keeping your healthy habits in mind by utilizing the portion plate when dining out and finding a way to incrorporate movement into your day (walk, local gym, swimming, and more).

6. Alternate Alcoholic Drinks with Water

Keep hydrated and keep the calories low with this trick. Even better, choose a low calorie drink like a spiked seltzer over a beer.

7. Cut Out Sugary Drinks

This includes sodas, sweet teas and juice. Cutting out two sugary drinks per day could result in losing over half a pound per week. Remember, these count in the carb portion of your plate. Try regular, or infused or sparkling water for best results!

8. Schedule your workouts on Sunday

Take a look at your week ahead and schedule your workouts ahead of time. Write it down in your planner and reschedule if you have to – just like you would a doctor’s appointment.

9. Let your hunger and fullness drive your choices

Recognizing your hunger and fullness cues is the key to dining out on vacation and eating at BBQs/weddings. On a scale of 1-10 try to eat when you are at a 3-4 and eat until you are a 6-7. Avoid being ravenous going into a meal, this will put you at risk for overeating.
Want to know more? Your first 15 minute phone appointment is FREE! Set up your appointment here.

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.

Should I Buy Organic?

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Should I buy organic, and is it worth the investment?

This is a question that I am asked all the time as a Registered Dietitian. Organic produce is grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, and research has shown that it has higher cancer fighting potential because of this. It’s true – buying all organic produce can be pricey – so I tend to recommend following the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” when my clients ask me about purchasing organic and sticking to a budget. This is also what I use when writing the grocery lists for my clients’ customized meal plans.

The “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” are two lists of produce to help you choose which foods to buy organic, or conventional. Note: this list changes yearly. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a non-profit organization which determines the list each year, and updates it based on new findings in pesticide use, and contamination of certain foods. The “Clean Fifteen” is made of the top 15 foods which are grown using the least chemicals and pesticides, while the “Dirty Dozen” is made of the 12 foods grown with the most amount of pesticides. If possible, I recommend purchasing the the produce on the dirty dozen list as organic to keep pesticide levels down. As you can see from the list below, the dirty dozen are often things where we eat the skin and the fruit/vegetable, whereas on the clean fifteen the skin is not consumed.

  • Within the Dirty Dozen, the EGW uncovered a few surprising facts. Strawberries, spinach, peaches, cherries, and apples all were found to have traces of at least one pesticide residue. Strawberries were found to have at least 20 different forms of pesticide residue (definitely buy these organic if you can!).
  • In the Clean Fifteen, avocados and sweet corn were found to have less than 1% of any form of pesticide residue, and not one fruit on the Clean Fifteen was found to have more than four types of pesticide residue.

With that being said, it is always better to have fresh produce than no produce.

There is not a drastic nutritional difference between organic and conventional foods, and there are TONS of vital vitamins and minerals within conventional, non-organic produce. Also note that there are many other fruits and vegetables which fall in the middle of the two groups, such as bananas or kale. For these “inbetween foods” I recommended shopping by the season. Organic strawberries will always be more expensive in the fall as compared to organic apples, since they are in season. Therefore, shop around for seasonal, fresh produce to fit your budget and keep the nutrition level high!

Print out this 2018 Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 list to bring on your next shopping trip!

The 2018 “Dirty Dozen”

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Nectarines
  4. Apples
  5. Grapes
  6. Peaches
  7. Cherries
  8. Pears
  9. Tomatoes
  10. Celery
  11. Potatoes
  12. Sweet Bell Peppers

The “Clean Fifteen”

  1. Sweet Corn
  2. Avocados
  3. Pineapples
  4. Cabbage
  5. Onions
  6. Sweet peas frozen
  7. Papayas
  8. Asparagus
  9. Mangos
  10. Eggplant
  11. Honeydew Melon
  12. Kiwi
  13. Cantaloupe
  14. Cauliflower
  15. Grapefruit

Using the “Clean Fifteen and Dirty Dozen” while shopping is a quick and easy way to save money, while still getting the highest amounts of cancer fighting potential from produce and keeping pesiticide levels down. Keep the list on your phone, or a piece of paper in your purse/wallet for easy access during grocery shopping! Want to know more? Contact me.

Citation

  • Environmental Working Group. “EWG’s 2018 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™.”EWG, www.ewg.org/foodnews/full-list.php.

-Written by Abigail Palmquist, Blush Nutrition Intern and Brittany Jones, MS, RD, LD, owner of Blush Nutrition

 

Blush Nutrition is Looking for an Intern!

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Blush Nutrition continues to grow and I am looking for a summer intern to help take the business to the next level. The intern can assist me in continuing to deliver the highest level of service, support and nutrition education! Candidates must:

  • Currently be enrolled in a Didactic Program in Dietetics or have a B.S. or M.S. in Nutrition
  • Plan on applying to a dietetic internship in the next 1-2 years
  • Be available to work in Greenville, SC at least 1 day per week (other work can be done virtually)
  • Be available April 9th – July 31st

Any candidates that are interested please send an email to BrittanyJonesRD@gmail.com with your resume and a cover letter indicating why you would be interested in working with Blush Nutrition by Friday March 23rd.