Smoky Quinoa Breakfast Bowl with Avocado

Boosting protein at breakfast can be as easy as adding two scrambled egg whites to a  delicious and trendy  plant-based I enjoyed seeing many of my registered dietitian (RD/RDN) friends in  Boston last weekend at the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE); all committed to staying abreast of the current  scientific research  in the field. Please take note: this is what makes registered dietitians your source for credible nutrition information. I hope in the coming weeks to share nuggets of knowledge learned and more yummy ways to  integrate that knowledge into your meals and snacks.

On the heels of my trip to Boston, is the October Recipe Redux. Here’s our challenge: Plant Protein Power Bowls: Packed with protein, fiber and color, plant protein bowls are trendy and delicious.

Today I share

 Using  the whole grain quinoa as a base (flavored with smokey paprika), I  slip in some high quality protein as egg whites  allowing me to  keep the calories low and still meet my protein needs early in the morning. Here’s a little fact that influences my food choices:  older adults need less calories, but NOT less protein.  To this high fiber,  lean protein base,  I add sauted grape tomatoes in olive oil and top with heart healthy avocado cubes. Tossing in some fresh oregano from the garden adds even more color and flavor. Please visit the links at the bottom of this post to see how my Recipe Redux colleagues are packing in protein, fiber and color into their trendy bowls.
Smoky Quinoa Breakfast Bowl with Avocado

by Diane Boyd, MBA, RD, LDN

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 3 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 cup rinsed tricolor quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • pinch of salt
  • 8 egg whites
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • fresh oregano


1. Heat one teaspoon of oil in a saucepan. Add onion and cook over medium -low heat until soft, about 3 minutes.

2. Add minced garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add smoked paprika. Stir and cook 1 more minute. Add rinsed quinoa and stir to combine.

3. Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10-15 minutes.

4. Sprinkle the cubed avocado with lime juice and a pinch of salt. Mix and gently set aside.

5. Place egg whites to a microwave safe bowl, and microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir. Continue to microwave about 30 seconds longer or until egg whites are set.

6. In a separate saute pan, heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil. Add halved tomatoes. Cook over medium heat until tomatoes soften and the skins begin to wrinkle, about 2 minutes.

7.Add quinoa and cooked egg whites to sauted tomatoes. Stir to combine. Spoon into serving bowls.

8. Top each bowl with cube avocado. Sprinkle with fresh oregano.

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Running with the Ta Ta’s: Tips for Buying A Sports Bra + Review of My Favs

Sports bras  are fashion forward,  but make no mistake, they ‘re invaluable gear for  female runners.  I like to  think of ’em as an insurance policy for your breasts. IMG_4737Disclosure: I received  the sports bras mentioned in  this post free  of charge. I was not compensated financially  for my time. Opinions are my own.

Female runners tend to agree with males when citing their most treasured running equipment: shoes! I concur, but would add a good fitting sports bra, for reasons of comfort and maintenance of shape. Here are 2  facts to remember.

No bounce = Comfort

Minimal movement  =  Maintenance of Shape

The first point is no secret.  You learned this early on.  The second point, isn’t quite so obvious, and if you’re young, you might get fooled.  But make no mistake,  less movement =  less damage to your ta ta’s. Yes I’m talking about sagging and drooping : ( .   Saddly, there is no exercise or diet that will preserve the youthful appearance of  breasts. Unlike biceps and tricips, your breasts DO NOT tone with exercise; they aren’t made of  muscle.  Rather, breasts consists of glands,  fat and  fibrous tissues, and  they will eventually succumb to gravity. Further problematic is the fact that when you move, so do your breasts. The repetitive bouncing can stress, stretch and irreversibly damage the Cooper’s Ligaments (fibrous strands that keep breasts attached to  the chest wall, and are first defenders for holding up the girls and maintaining  their shape).    Preventative measures, like  extra support while you exercise, are prudent and may help you maximize your lift. I was shocked to hear that 44% of women do not wear a sports bra. Geez, does this mean  they’re not exercising? IMG_4748_edited-1

Please make exercise part of your lifestyle  and get the insurance policy for your breasts I call  a sports bra. There are a daunting number to chose from, so here are two tips for selecting the right one for YOU!   First : Get fitted by an expert. It doesn’t matter if you buy  a recommended bra  or one touted the best.

  I had Stella, the owner of Lillies and Lace in Wilmington,  fit me.  If you can’t find an expert in your area, there are sites on the web. Secondly, “test drive” the sports bra in the store. Many shoes stores now have treadmills onsite offering the ability to run in the shoe before you buy it.  The same concept applies to sports bras. Check the support by trying on the bra and moving. I like to do some running in place in the dressing room.. you can also jump, and stretch while trying on the bra. Does it support? Is it comfortable?

Here are few new sports bras I most recently tested during a 5 miles run..IMG_4741

Panache Sport

A new name in sports bras for me.  Where have I been? This cute little number has underwire wrapped in silicone making it both comfortable  and supportive.    The bra cups encapsulate breasts rather than compressing them, so it is ultra flattering! It was a hot morning when I  ran in  this one and thank goodness for the fabric that wicks away moisture!    I love the versatility of the wide straps that also adjust to racer back with a hook and eye closure. (The racer back is my preferred way of wearing when running.)  Don’t you think the colors are beautiful?..

The flat seams of this bra make  it  look  great under any sportswear. Love love love this one!!!IMG_4772

IMG_4740Ta Ta Tamer III  by Lululemon

This is the first  Lululemon sports bra I have ever had, but it won’t be the last! This bra holds the girls in place and is NOT compressing.  The bra features secure mesh fabric side  panels to keep bounce at bay.  The sweat-wicking Luxtreme fabric with added LYCRA fibre keeps it’s shape while keeping me dry! This gem gives you two ways to wear the straps, up and down as pictured or crossable in the back. It comes in a variety of colors , but aren’t the blue bubbles adorable?




Run Stuff Your Bra IIIIMG_4779

If you like your girls packed in and compressed, you’ll love this  sports bra also by Lululemon!







Attachment-1-11Do you ever use the cup of  your bra as a pocket? If you do, this one is made especially for you!! The built-in pocket feature  allows you to stash keys,  lip balm , money or snacks. LOL!  The  fabric feels like a second skin.  Pull it on  overhead and you’re good to go..



with  comfortable wide straps that crisscross in the back . It comes in a variety of colors; choosing just one will be tough. But every gal should have a black sports bra. Am I right?

RUNSTUFFYOURBRADo you wear sports bras? If so, what do you look for in a sports bra? What are your favorites?

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Watermelon Radish Salad

Although the color of the watermelon radish  is screaming summer, this vegetable is  actually a fall crop and may make its way into some of your CSA boxes soon.  Shave this mild radish  to  make a crisp and colorful  base for a salad.

IMG_4584It was my Mother’s influence, in a rather indirect way,  that interested me in cooking. Today, the Recipe Redux is challenging us to share our first cooking recollections. Buckel up,  because mine goes back the year Bennie and the Jets was a top 10 single. Sigh.  It start’s with the  the story of  my first attempt to bake a cake from scratch.    The day was Oct. 9, my Mother’s birthday.  Barely a teenager,  I was home alone and hoping to surprise her (in a good way). Before I began,  I asked myself:

What could go wrong?

How could this be difficult?

Not convince  it was a bad idea, I opened Mom’s Betty Crocker Cookbook to the recipe for a family favorite,  chocolate cake, and  began to assemble the necessary ingredients. Soon I was on to the instructions…but then there was this..

Grease and flour the pans. 

 Suddenly, I ‘m stumped. Sure, I knew how to grease a pan, but the flour part? What’s up with that, I thought to myself.  Googleless, and  feeling a little unsure of myself,  I scooped up some shortening on a piece of wax paper,  smeared the cake pans, cautiously  added a little flour to the slick pans, shaking and turing  them until they looked  a tad dusty.  Voila. Why was that so perplexing? IDK. The story has a happy ending with  a delicious cake and  a cheerful Mother and Daughter!!!

Now you’re probably expecting me to share a recipe for a baked good or that chocolatae cake, right? But let me take this story a little further.  Mom was the baker in the family. Like most daughters (then and now), I craved my own identity, which  is why I  taught myself to cook, #gofigure. Unlike my mother, I tried new and different things, and never  worried if anyone else in the family would like them,  #teenagersareselfish. In the spirit of this first food recollection, I am trying something new and different, made with a  vegetable I have never had (but looks kinda cool), the watermelon radish. On the exterior,  this radish is creamy white, but cut into it and you’ll  expose the exceptional  magenta interior. Shaving it spotlights its color and crisp texture, making it a fabulous  base for a salad! Because I like to keep things simple, I finished the salad with just  feta cheese, a lemon vinaigrette and fresh chopped mint. Have you ever had  watermelon radishes? If so, please share your experience in  the comments below. Don’t forget to  the visit the links at the bottom of this post for more  first cooking recollections!IMG_4578

Watermelon Radish Salad

by Diane Boyd

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1/2 pound watermelon radishes
  • 1/2 pound red radishes
  • fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese

for the lemon vinaigrette

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon orange juice
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil


1. Wash and peel watermelon radishes. Shave with either a vegetable peeler or a mandolin slicer. Set in bowl.

2. Wash red radishes and slice into rounds. Set in bowl with shaved watermelon radishes.

3. Combine ingredients for lemon vinaigrette in a small prep bowl and whisk briskly. Pour over radishes.

4. Top with feta cheese and fresh mint. Toss. Serve immediately.

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Low FODMAP Aloha Bowl

A Hawaiian inspired meal, for peace of mind for those with digestive sensitivity,  that ‘s nutritionally balanced and tastes fab made with low FODMAP ingredients.low-fodmapgoodness-in-one-hit

Disclosure: By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Nestle Health Science and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. As a participant in this contest, I also received a free trial sample of ProNourish, a Low FODMAP nutritional drink developed by Nestle Health Science. I was not compensated for my time.

There was a time,  I  would  cringe when a  client  sat  in my office  explaining why they’ve  abandoned a healthy lifestyle for GI comfort. I think it’s safe to say, we’re living  in an era where more and more individuals are fraught with digestive sensitivity.  One in four people suffers from gastrointestinal discomfort to the point it interupts their lives .

Only after serious medical issues are  ruled out, can a registered dietitian  implement a nutrition therapy to lessen symptoms by idenfication and elimination of certain foods. Enter  the LOW FODMAP DIET.

 FODMAP is a acronym for Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, And Polyols, which classifies specific types of short-chain carbohydrates that can trigger digestive distress in some people.

Althougth the low FODMAP has been around for nearly a decade, I am finding few individuals are aware of it. It  brings me pleasure to tell you,   Nestle  Health Science is championing innovative nutritional solutions  addressing the dietary needs of people suffering from gastrointestinal conditions, including those with food intolerance. In the Spring of 2016, Nestle launched to support both the consumer seeking more knowledge about FODMAPs and the healthcare professional looking to build knowledge and practice skills. After reviewing this site myself, I am  happy to see the  effectiveness of a Low FODMAP diet is now supported by 30 clinical trials!

Just this month, Nestle Health Science introduced ProNourish, a delicious low FODMAP nutritional drink carefully formulated with ingredients that are low in FODMAPs  for those individuals who suffer from digestive sensitivities  due to food intolerance. ProNourish can be enjoyed as a mini-meal img_4896or snack. See ProNourish website www.ProNourishcom for more information.

The folks at Nestle are smart. They  know what individuals with digestive sensitivity really want:  to enjoy food with their friends and family, that’s both nutritious and delicious and feel fabulous afterwards! So this week, Nestle Health Science is    challenging dietitians/ Recipe Reduxers to develop low FODMAP recipes in a sponsored contest: Feel Fab without FODMAPs. By combining ingredients that are low in FODMAPs, it is possible to create delicious and  nutritious recipes suitable for those with GI sensitivity due to food intolerance.  It does take getting familiar with appropriate foods, and  the   Monash University Low FODMAP Smartphone App is helpful in putting this info right at your finger tips (available  at ) For me, the hardest part of low FODMAP recipe development  is leaving out the onions and garlic, #soguilty.  However, you can use oil infused with both : ).  Here’s the result of my tinkering in the kitchen, over the weekend, with low FODMAP ingredients..a low FODMAP Hawaiian inspired bowl …img_4894-copy… that provides protein, plenty of vegetables (because they’re often omitted by individuals with digestive sensitivity), and even a whole grain (because you should not ditch all fiber when following a low FODMAP  diet)!  The dipping sauce (also made with low FODMAP ingredients) adds bold flavor to this meal,   even without onions and garlic!   Please note that restricting high FODMAP foods is only meant to be temporary. The FODMAP elimination diet is not just a list of foods, it’s a process  and reintroduction  involves a strategic plan a registered dietitian can help with.

 Don’t miss  the links at the bottom of this post for more Low FODMAP recipe ideas contributed by registered dietitians and members of the Recipe Redux.

Note: This recipe was developed using Low FODMAP ingredients, but the recipe itself has not been tested for its FODMAP content.

Low FODMAP Aloha Bowl

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients (serves 4)

    for the marinade

    • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
    • 1 1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon canola oil

    for the bowl

    • 1 pound pork tenderloin
    • 1/2 pineapple, cut and sliced
    • 2 zucchini, cut into rounds
    • olive oil
    • 1 bell pepper
    • shredded lettuce
    • 1 cup cooked tricolor quinoa

    for the dipping sauce

    • 5 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
    • 21/2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
    • 1 Tablespoon Fish Sauce


    1.  Combine ingredients for marinade and whisk. Pour over pork and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 6 hours.

    2. Preheat grill.

    3. Drizzle zucchini with olive oil and thread onto skewers.

    4. Place pork on grill rack along with pineapple slices, zucchini skewers and whole bell pepper.

    5. Turn pineapple slices and zucchini frequently to cook evenly. Remove from grill when they begin to brown. Set aside.

    6. Turn pepper to char on all sides. Remove from grill and cover tightly with foil. Allow to sit for 30 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Remove stem from pepper and cut into bite sized pieces.

    7. Grill pork, turning to cook evenly, until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F.

    8. Prepare dipping sauce by combining rice vinegar, brown sugar and fish sauce in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat until mixture begins to boil. Lower heat and cook until mixture is reduced by one half.

    9. In each of 4 serving bowls, divide lettuce, quinoa, pineapple slices, grilled pork, roasted red pepper, and grilled zucchini. Serve with dipping sauce on the side. Serves 4.

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    Summer Caprese Bowl

    Under 400 calories,   this summer caprese bowl with a peachy sauce is inspired by a dated but delicious food memory.Summer CapreseSalad (1)This summer I did not budge from Wrightsville Beach, NC. IMG_0979_edited-2It’s not as liesurely as it  sounds (or looks). Let me assure you, I have not adopted the lifestyle of a wahine,  and I did not trade in my running shoes for a long board or even a paddle board.  Please do not call it  a staycation. It was a whirlwind of business and activity, from  my day job as a dietitian/nutritionist working in my private practice,  to my on call responsibilites managing a property at the beach. I loved each and everyone of  my guests, but if I said, I’m sorry  the tourist season is over,  I’d be deserving of four


    So this month’s Recipe Redux theme: a vacation inspired recipe,  comes from a not so recent trip. Some of my fondest memories are  traveling in the summer with my kids while they played junior golf. I ‘m not just unpacking memories, I’m digging deep into the achives… July 2008 when my son played in the US Junior Amateur Championship, sponsored by the United States Golf Association…IMG_4348 Boomer was sixteen, a rising sophmore at Laney High School.  He  was fortunate enough to have our friend and  club pro, Sara Bush  serve as a loyal caddie! The three of us loaded my SUV and drove fourteen hours to the event held here at …
    IMG_4347_edited-1 Shoal Creek Golf Club,  Birmingham,  Alabama. My son (and all the junior golfers inlcuding the now PGA stars Jordan Spieth, and Emilio Grillo) were treated like tour pros and had terrific access to the club and it’s amenities, including meals. Parents paid for food, but were happy to have the convenience, not to mention the spread and hospitality this private club is know for!  Boomer and Sara ate quickly as they were focused on the difficulties of the course and the competition.  I  on the other hand, spent more time enjoying the food, and I distinctly remember the ginormous platers of roasted summer vegetables and a peach vinaigrette.  So today I’m combing these two food memories, into a balanced meal served in a bowl; cause that’s how we roll in 2016!

    I love the tastye  and the nutritional profile  of this meal which meets my goal  to consume 30 grams of protein, along with plenty of veggies  and a  whole grain. Rememeber,  you don’t  always have to start from scratch. Using  leftovers makes putting together healthy and delicious combos, quick and easy;  I used grilled chicken and quinoa from last night in this bowl.IMG_4523_edited-1

    CALORIES: 380; FAT 15 grams (3.9 sat, mono 6.2, poly 2.5) ; PROTEIN 33 grams; CARB 32 grams; FIBER 5 grams; SUGARS 7 grams; CHOL 70 mg; IRON 4.49 mg; SODIUM 553mg; CALCIUM 179 mg

    Be sure to check out the links at the bottom of this post to see what vacation memories are inspiring my colleagues recipes this month!


    Summer Caprese Bowl

    by Diane Boyd, MBA, RD, LDN

    Ingredients (serves 2)

    • 1 cup cooked quinoa
    • 2 cup fresh greens (romaine, red leaf lettuce, arugula)
    • 1 charred grilled zucchini (about 1 cup)
    • 1 oz. part skim mozzarella cheese
    • 1 tablespoon fresh basil
    • 6 ounces grilled chicken, sliced

    for the peach vinaigrette

    • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme
    • 1/2 teaspoon honey
    • 1/2 ripe peach, finely chopped
    • 1 tablespoon EVOO


    for the peach vinaigrette

    Combine all ingredients except the oil in a blender. blend until combined. Allow to sit about 15 minutes. Slowly add EVOO to blender and combine.

    1. In two bowls arrange cooked quinoa, lettuces, zucchini, basil, grilled chicken, torn mozzarella cheese. Drizzle with peach vinaigrette dressing.

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