Real California Breakfast Bowl

Build a better breakfast bowl in 5 minutes with Real California Dairy. Cottagechees (3)Disclosure: By posting this recipe I am entering a Recipe Redux contest sponsored by Real California Milk products and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

Have you noticed, people are changing the way they eat? We’re eating simplier. We’re eating less processed foods. We’re cutting back on sugar and adding in more fruits and vegetables. We’re experimenting with  a myriad of whole grains, from quinoa to  sorghum. But  one thing hasn’t changed: the foodie in all of us is not willing to compromise taste! Make no mistake, allowing taste to rule  is a good thing!  Satisfaction can be, and should be,  a goal for healthy eating. (We tend to eat less when we’re satisified.)

So how do you enjoy the taste of eating right? Here’s one of my  secrets:  California Dairy. California is the country’s leading producer of milk, ice cream, butter, nonfat dry milk, and whey protein. It’s  the second largest producer of cheese and yogurt.  Real California Milk represents the simple and real dairy foods made with milk from more than 1,400 California dairy families. It’s real food made by real familes kissed by the California sun. When purchasing dairy products, look for foods made with 100% Real California milk that feature the Real California Milk or Cheese Seal..realcaliforniaseals_705x237

When you see this seal, you’ll feel good knowing that the product is certified as having been made with 100% Real California Milk from Real California Dairy families.

Today, Real California Cottage Cheese is at the heart of my  wholesome breakfast bowl. IMG_4138Prepping it, is as simple as combining these  five ingredients (and fresh mint to make it pop) ..IMG_4161.3..into  cereal bowls side by side.    Then spoon  into the  layers and savor the texture and terrific taste and of eating real food, real simple. One single bowl has  only 320 calories and is filled to the brim with  benefits including:  a source of healthy fats and  whole grains, protein rich (18 grams per serving), high in  fiber (6 grams) and a source of both calcium and iron. It’s as delicious, as it is eye appealing. Join me in enjoying the taste of eating right,  build yourself a Real California Breakfast Bowl!CottageCheeseB-fastBowl

Want to learn more about Real California seals and California Dairy? Visit the Real California Milk website at

Real California Breakfast Bowl

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • dash of salt
  • 1 cup frozen Wild Blueberries
  • 1 cup 1 % milkfat lowfat Real California Cottage Cheese
  • 2 tablespoons pecan pieces
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • fresh mint, optional garnish


for the oatmeal

Combine water, oats and salt in a 2 cup microwave safe container. Microwave on high for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Mix well. Set aside.

to assemble breakfast bowl

1. Place frozen wild blueberries in a microwave safe bowl. Use defrost setting for 1 minute or until thawed.

2. Arrange prepared oatmeal, cottage cheese, blueberries and pecans side by side in two cereal bowls. Drizzle each bowl with maple syrup. Garnish with fresh mint.

Powered by Recipage

Posted in Fitness, Health and Wellness, Recipe Redux, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

small things

Motivational Songs #ameestrong PlaylistToday I am honored to be the guest blogger at Amee’s Savory Dish, a healthy living blog. Please read Amy’s story,  Three words I never thought I’d hear.. then  check out my post on her blog. With the help of Amee herself, and some of our mutual friends meet through the blog brulee, I’ve put together a playlist of fight/ fitness/motivational songs. If you have a favorite fight song, I’d love for you to  share it in the comments below. But more importantly,  please listen to the #ammestrong Playlist for whatever it is you might need a lift with right now.

Posted in Fitness, Health and Wellness, Inspiration, Lifestyle | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Why I Joined the Produce Box

The Produce Box brings the farmer’s market to your doorstep!Image-5
Disclosure: I am a member of the Produce Box and have been asked to participate in the blogger program  “join The Produce Box”. I have been compensated for this post. Opinions are my own.

You never know what good fortune attending a health fair will bring, no matter who you are! For me, it was meeting Robyn Arthur, an area manager of the Produce Box and learning  how North Carolina residence can have fresh local produce (pictured above)  delivered to their doorsteps!

Initially,  doorstep delivery seemed superfluous.  I am, however, passionate about eating local, eating seasonal, and  supporting North Carolina farmers. But let’s face it,  all of the above can be achieved by shopping at any of the numerous farmer’s markets in my area.

However, after my first few delivered boxs from the Produce Box, and getting in the routine of ordering, I am finding the convenience of delivery is one of the BEST reasons for being a member! Prior to becoming a member of the Produce Box, I would set aside time during the week to shop at  one of farmer’s markets in Wilmington. Going early was always smart, as goodies sold out quickly and were often picked over by noon. I generally bought what looked good, and figured out what to prepare with it after I got home.

Now the process of ‘shopping’ for fresh, local produce is simplfied. It not only saves me time by eliminating a trip to the market, it has also improved my effciency with meal planning.  On Friday afternoons, I log into my Produce Box account and view the menus. It looks like this..IMG_3536TheProduceBoxScreen Shot_edited-1TheProduceBoxScreen Shot

TheProduceBoxScreen ShotTheProduceBoxScreen Shot

There are generally 5 to 8 different varieties of North Carolian farmer-grown fresh fruit and vegetable produce boxes. Contents vary depending on what’s in season. Specialty items  from local artisans are also available, including: honey, local meat, seafood, bread, cheese, butter, peanuts, peanut butter, jams and desserts. I can make my selection online immediately, but generally I think about the choices over the weekend , considering what I have going on in the coming week and plan meals around one of the  boxes offered.  I place my order by Sunday night at 9 p.m. Deliveries are Wednesday; right to my front door. All I need to do is unpack my box and refrigerate the produce. This week I selected the Harvest Box. Here’s how I  plan to use it:

Green beans will be steamed and used in my light and healthy Salad Nicoise.IMG_2006 copy_edited-1

Yellow squash will be prepped into zoddles in  this easy recipe for  Cod, Pasta and   Zoddles with Lemon Pesto .IMG_codwithzoodles_edited-2

The corn will be cut off the cob and made into a  Roasted Corn, Black Bean and Mango Salad  that’s a perfect accompaniment for just about anything I put  on the grill this week.

Field tomatoes  and bibb lettuce will be the base of the salads I make  for lunch or dinner.

Strawberries will be gobbled up in between meals (with  a little whipped cream). YUM!

I never realized how much time I spent shopping and planning meals until I streamlined the process with doorstep delivery made possible via the Produce Box. Join me in making healthy eating easy, sign up for local produce delivered  to your doorstep today!


Posted in Fitness, Health and Wellness, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Locavore, product review | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Asparagus with Lemon and Feta Cheese

Fresh lemon brightens foods for spring, like this quick and easy side of steamed asparagus served with a Mediterranean herb feta cheese.IMG_4014What’s more painful, doing your own taxes or eating right? A number of years ago, I was taken aback when I read this surveys that shows Americans picked healthy eating as more difficult! Geez! Come on my friends, eating well does not have to be be herculean! Today The Recipe Redux comes to the rescue with recipes that call for seven ingredients (or less). Here is our timely challenge:

7-Ingredient (Or Less) Recipes

It’s Income Tax Season, so our brains could use some easy arithmetic; as in seven-ingredient-or-less recipes. Show us the healthy, no-brainer dish you fix for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Think beyond smoothies or drinks, please. (And for those of you living in countries where it’s not Tax Season – we’re pretty sure you and your readers would still love doing the math for seven-ingredient-recipes!)

My recipe inspiration comes from two  dietitian friends. First Jessica’s Spring Ingredient Spotlight influenced my pick for aspagagus.  Check it out for more great ideas to add the seasons finest produce to your taxing days. Secondly,  Regan’s video for three genius Easter recipes was a great reminder that lemon is a terrific way to brighten foods. In her video, she shares 3 ways to use lemon curd, including Spring S’mores!

So now, let’s talk about Asparagus with Lemon and Feta Cheese! This recipe uses only 5 ingredients and takes under 10 minutes to prepare, from start to finish. (Try doing your taxes in under 10 minutes!)  Asparagus is low in calories, and bursting with nutrients including: folate, vitamin C , vitamin A, vitamin K , fiber, potassium, copper and manganese. Adding lemon helps to pop the flavor. I finished this side with a Mediterranean herb feta cheese; it’s a great way to enhance the taste of a dish without having to add lots of other ingredients since the seasonings are already in the cheese! Be sure to check out what my colleagues are prepping (besides taxes) this month. Links are at the bottom of this post.

Asparagus with Lemon and Feta Cheese

by Diane Boyd


  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 fresh lemons
  • 2 tablespoons crumbed feta cheese (Mediterranean Herb)


1. Place asparagus in a steamer basket over boiling water. Steam , covered until tender, about 6 minutes.

2. Arrange asparagus on a serving plater and toss salt, olive oil and fresh squeezed lemon. Top with feta cheese. Garnish with lemon wedges.

Powered by Recipage

Posted in Fitness, Health and Wellness, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Recipe Redux, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Use Mindfulness to Savor the Flavor of Eating Right

Nutrition is  not just about  what you eat. How, when, why and where we are are just as important.  During March,  The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics)  is highlighting this point with the National Nutrition Month theme, Savor the Flavor of Eating Right…NNM16CoverImage

..because  healthy eating is also about enjoying food!  We are reminded to take time to enjoy food traditions and appreciate the pleasures, great flavors and social experiences food provides. Here’s a tip for savoring the flavor of eating,

Develop a mindful eating pattern that includes good for you foods that taste great, too.

What does  mindful eating mean? I like this definition from the Center for Mindful Eating:

“Being aware of the nourishment available through the process of food preparation and consumption, choosing enjoyable and nutritious foods, acknowledging food preferences nonjudgmentally, recognizing and honoring physical hunger and satiety cues and using wisdom to guide eating decisions.” 

 Most of us get that it’s living in the moment and being present. But what many don’t get is the important component of nonjudgment.

Decades of dieting have conditioned us to second guess eating decisions, such as judging what you deserve to eat based on what you’ve eaten earlier in the day (or whether you have exercised), rather than on hunger cues. Learning to be a master of mindful eating can improve your eating habits and create a positive relationship with food.The quantity and quality of the foods you eat are important, but only a part of the puzzle for optimal health. Try  to become more aware of the other factors influencing your eating decisions with a mindful or intuitive approach .

Posted in Fitness, Health and Wellness, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Recipes | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments