Wedding Registry Picks For A Healthy Kitchen

Wedding Season is almost here, which means that bridal shower season is upon us! I get a lot of questions from my wedding wellness clients about my favorite kitchen tools for a healthy home – which prompted me to make this list.

If you are engaged, here are my 25 Registered Dietitian approved registry picks for a healthy life together! (PS if you’re already married and you didn’t get these for your wedding, it’s not too late! They also make great birthday, holiday and anniversary gifts too.)

registry collage

  1. Food Scale. THE key to a healthy balance. You don’t have to weigh everything, but it’s always super handy to have a food scale on hand to measure oz of meat, nuts, vegetables and more. Also it doubles as a mail scale to make sure your invites don’t need extra postage…
  2. Salad Spinner. Buying whole heads of lettuce and cutting it or fresh salad greens is WAY cheaper and healthier than buying the prepackaged bag stuff. A salad spinner can save you a lot of money and help you eat healthier!
  3. Sous vide. This cooking technique has been called the most percise way to cook. It cooks without any oil or fat, and all of the food is melt in your mouth good.
  4. Spiralizer. Chances are you have seen zoodles or sweet potato noodles on Instagram (unless you have been living under a rock). A spiralizer can help you eat more vegetables by turning them into pasta!
  5. Herb Keeper. Cook without salt by adding lots and lots of fresh herbs to your dishes! This herb saver can keep all of your parsley, cilantro, rosemary, mint and more fresh for weeks – it’s a must have!
  6. Herb Scissors. The easiest and most effective way to cut green onions and more!
  7. Citrus squeezer. Get fresh squeezed lemon and lime juice without all of the preservatives of the bottled stuff with this awesome gadget.
  8. Garlic press. If you made any of my recipes, you know I love cooking with garlic! It adds lots of flavor (and smells amazing) without adding a lot of salt. I love this press because it bascially cleans itself.
  9. Salad dressing shaker. Avoid the high sugar dressings in the grocery store and make your own! I love this shaker because it has recipes on it to give you some inspiration as well.
  10. Small food processor. This 4 cup processor is perfect for making your own sauces (think low salt and low sugar), chopping nuts and also comes in handy for my avocado mousse recipe!
  11. Tea kettle. Herbal tea on a cold night is one the most comforting things – it also is low in calories. Try having a hot cup of tea when you’re on the couch instead of snacking during your favorite show – you might find it very satisfying!
  12. Air popper. Air popped popcorn is a very high fiber and healthy snack! Not to mention it is less expensive than buying prepared popocorn.
  13. InstantPot. Not only does this gadget combine a slow cooker and a pressure cooker – it cooks whole grains VERY fast! It has been a great addition for our kitchen, mainly for making quinoa quick.
  14. Vacuum sealer. Keep your lean meats long with a vacuum sealer. Purchase them on sale, seal and freeze. It’s also great for leftovers!
  15. Thermometer. Cook your meats to the correct internal temperature to avoid food poisoning. I love this thermometer because it is magnetic and is easy to find on the fridge, and the probe is very easy to clean.
  16. Pasta measurer. Stick to 2oz portion of pasta per serving with this gadget!
  17. Kitchen Mat. Cooking at home will not only save you money, it is also going to help you eat healthier. Of course this also means more dishes. I love this kitchen mat for time spent at the kitchen sink – my feet and back never feel tired with it!.
  18. Small liquid measuring cup. Measure oil, lemon juice and vinegar for recipes in an accurate way in a liquid measuring cup. I actually have 2 of these because I use them all the time!
  19. Sheet pan. You need a good sturdy sheet pan with great sides for lots of healthy and easy sheet pan dinners!
  20. Le Cruset Essential Oven. This is the best for one pot dinners, soups and the high sides make it perfect for sauteeing a large amount of vegetables!
  21. Avocado slicer. Stop cutting your hand when you’re trying to cut an avocado. This tool can cut, remove the pit and slice an avocado – making it the perfect addition to your kitchen.
  22. Pepper mill. Keep the salt low in your cooking and pump up the flavor by adding fresh ground pepper! Not only is it beautiful, it’s also so fun to use.
  23. Muffin tin. These are not only for whole grain muffins – you can also use them for healthy grab and go breakfast egg muffins!
  24. Small collander. A necessity for your kitchen to rinse and wash berries or to strain and rinse a can of beans. I use mine all the time!
  25. Water bottle infuser. Bored with the taste of water? Add in some fresh fruits or herbs into the infuser and flavor your water the healthy way.

Want to know more? Head over to my wedding wellness page!

Brittany L. Jones, MS, RD, LD is a Registered Dietitian, newlywed and overall wedding wellness expert located in Greenville, SC. Be your healthiest self as you say “I do” and every day into your new life with Blush Nutrition! Offering meal planning, grocery shopping, nutrition counseling and more for brides, grooms and their entire wedding party. 

 

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

Sauteed Green Beans with Toasted Almonds, Lemon & Garlic as Featured on Scene on 7

Today I had the pleasure of meeting Jamarcus Gaston from WSPA’s Scene on 7! I shared my top 3 Healthy Thanksgiving tips including:
1.  Make half your plate vegetables
2.  Be picky and if you can’t choose, opt for 2 Tablespoons of all of your favorites
3.  Bring a healthy dish with you!

For my last tip I shared my Sauteed Green Beans with Toasted Almonds, Lemon & Garlic recipe. It’s quick, easy and packed with fiber and good heart healthy fats! If you don’t have a dish to bring to Thanksgiving dinner – I’ve got you covered!

green beans

Sauteed Green Beans with Toasted Almonds, Lemon & Garlic 

Serves:4

​Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ​2 Cups green beans, trimmed
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 Cup slivered almonds

Directions:

  1. In a skillet over medium heat, add 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and the crushed garlic. Saute until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add the remaining olive oil, lemon juice, green beans and black pepper. Toss to coat. Cook 3-5min or until the green beans are tender and crisp.
  3. Add the almonds and toss. Cook 1-2 minutes to toast the almonds.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts (1 serving): 116 Calories, 10.1g Total Fat, 1.2g Saturated Fat, 0g Trans Fat, 0mg Cholesterol, 4mg Sodium, 6.5g Total Carbohydrate, 2.9g Fiber, 1.2g Sugar, 2.5g Protein ​

See you guys next time and Happy Thanksgiving!
scene on 7

 

Healthy Holiday Recipe Substitutions

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Thanksgiving is all about food, but sometimes that food isn’t always the healthiest.

Start out your holiday in the negative by supporting a local charity and running a Turkey Day Run. If you are in the Greenville, SC area – we look forward to seeing you at the Trees Greenville Turkey Day 8K! Interested? Register here. 

Another way to stick with your healthy lifestyle is by bringing a healthier version of your favorite dish to your Thanksgiving dinner this year! Check out these 10 easy recipe substitutions that can help transform your favorite holiday recipes into healthier versions. The recipe substitutions below can be used for cooking or baking, so be sure to try the one, two or three substitutions that work best for your holiday recipe!

10 Healthy Holiday Recipe Swaps

  1. Cut the amount of sugar in half. Does your dessert or cranberry sauce recipe call for 1 cup of sugar? Try adding 1/2 cup instead, I promise no one will even notice the difference.
  2. Half white and half whole wheat. If your recipe calls for all-purpose (white) flour only, try substituting some whole wheat flour for part of it. If it calls for 2 cups, try swapping one cup all-purpose flour for one cup of whole wheat flour to add in fiber and ease digestion.
  3. Look for reduced fat dairy. Dairy products (milk, cheese) contain saturated fats, which the American Heart Association recommends we consume in moderation. To keep the saturated fat in your recipe moderate, try substituting skim or 1% milk and part skim or 2% cheese in lieu of whole milk and cheeses. You will cut back on the calories in your dish as well!
  4. Switch out the sour cream. Dips are a popular appetizer dish on Thanksgiving, and many call for sour cream. If your favorite recipe is one of them, try switching the sour cream out for the same amount of nonfat Greek yogurt instead.  You will cut back on the saturated (bad) fat and calories, while also giving your dip a protein boost! Check out these other easy substitutions from Siggi’s yogurt.
  5.  Go for low sodium broth. Reduce the salt in your gravy by choosing low sodium broth or bouillon instead.
  6.  Opt for olive or avocado oil. Have you noticed that butter is a common ingredient in traditional Thanksgiving recipes? Try using olive oil or avocado oil instead of butter to sauté your green beans or roast your potatoes. This will keep the saturated fat content low and the healthy fats high.
  7. Lighten up your mashed potatoes. Instead of heavy cream, which is high in saturated fat and calories, try this: for every 1 cup of heavy cream in the recipe, substitute 2/3 cup skim milk and 1/3 cup olive oil instead.
  8. Try white meat turkey sausage in your stuffing. Be sure to look for the 97/3 lean ground turkey to decrease the number of calories and the level of saturated fats in your dish. The turkey sausage has the same texture as pork and it tastes so good your guests won’t have a clue that you have health-ified this dish! Check out my Long Grain & Wild Rice Rosemary Stuffing with Chicken & Mushroom recipe.
  9. Leave the frying pan in the cabinet. Roasting, baking, steaming, grilling, braising and sautéing can keep the flavor high and the calories low. Try these cooking methods for your holiday recipe instead of frying which can add additional calories, but not necessarily a ton of flavor.
  10. Say NO to trans fats! Many recipes call for prepared foods such as pie crusts and frostings, which often times can contain trans fats or partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs). PHOs raise your bad or LDL cholesterol, and contribute to heart disease. The USDA recognizes this risk and plans to eliminate partially hydrogenated oils in our food supply within the next 3 years, but until then we recommend reading the ingredients on prepared foods to ensure they do not contain PHO’s.

Want to know how to start your New Years Resolution NOW? Contact me for more information on special holiday pricing.

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!