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…
..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 .
It only takes a few key ingredients added to rice to maximize flavor and leave a lasting impression. ~ by Diane Boyd, MBA, RD, LDN
Disclosure: By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by USA Rice Federation and I am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
March is a special month. It’s the month my colleagues and I get a little crazy… no I’m not talking March madness, I’m talking National Nutrition Month. Whoot! Whoot! Our theme this year incorporates food and behavior
Bite into a healthy lifestyle.
Here’s my first suggestion for an improved lifestyle:
Think U.S.- Grown Rice!
Yep, that’s it. No need to make this complicated. Rice is nutritious, sustainable, safe, locally-grown, and GMO-free! ( Look for the “Grown in the USA Rice” label on packaging.) Rice is also gluten free and the least allergenic of all grains, making it a great option for individuals with gluten sensitivity or intolerance. It’s so versatile and pairs well with the foods we all need to be eating more of: fruits, vegetables and lean protein. I’m smitten with the nutty taste of brown rice (especially in my Brown Rice and Pumpkin Risotto). Studies link whole grains, such as brown rice, to a reduced incidence of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and even some cancers. The rest of my family prefers white enriched rice (in dishes like my Copycat Ginger-Seasame Braised Chicken Meatballs). Here’s the good news: brown rice and white enriched rice are a desirable part of a healthy diet! Both are naturally low in sodium, cholesterol free, trans fat free, and contain only a trace of fat.
If I still haven’t convinced you to think U.S.- grown rice, let me ask you this, …. “faster is better, right?” So for a fast, casual meal, use rice as the base and top with lean protein such as: chicken, fish and/or seafood, lean beef, eggs, low fat cheese, or beans (for a high quality plant based protein). Today I’m using jasmine rice (my daughter’s favorite variety) to start the foundation of a meal that takes 30 minutes to prep and cook (not including marinating the chicken). My inspiration for this dish came when I purchased some dried mango on my weekly trip to Trader Joe’s. Here are the ingredients I used to make the coconut and mango jasmine rice my family is still raving about…
Dried mango gives the rice a little sweetness. Peanuts and coconut add a satisfying crunch. Topping it off with chicken satay complements the tastes and results in a meal that’s packed with protein, affordable, flavorful, and worthy of a special occasion. Now that’s a real slam dunk!
Be sure to see the links at the bottom of my post for more ways to think U.S.-grown rice during National Nutrition Month and beyond.
Chicken Satay with Coconut & Mango Jasmine Rice (serves 4)
by Diane Boyd
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup lite coconut milk
1/4 cup honey
5 tablespoons lime juice (2-3 limes)
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders
2 green onions, thinly sliced
Supplies: bambo skewers
for the coconut & mango jasmine rice
2 1/2 cups water
1 Tablespoon olive oil
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups uncooked U.S.-Grown Jasmine Rice
1/3 cup chopped dried mango
1/4 cup chopped salted peanuts
1 teaspoon lime zest
1/4 cup toasted coconut flakes*
1. Soak bambo skewers in water while prepping ingredients.
2. Add ingredients peanut butter through garlic into a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Reserve 3/4 of sauce for serving and use remainder to marinate chicken tenders for about 2 hours.
3. Preheat grill to medium high.
4. Thread chicken onto skewers .
5. When grill is hot, (400 degrees F) place chicken on grill rack and grill 6-8 minutes per side or until chicken is beautifully charred. Garnish chicken with green onion.
for the jasmine rice
1. In a medium saucepan, bring water, olive oil and salt to a boil. Stir in jasmine rice; return to boil, stirring once. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 15 minutes or until water is absorbed and rice is tender.
2. Stir in dried mango, peanuts, and lime zest. Sprinkle with toasted coconut.
Serve chicken over a mound of rice with remaining peanut sauce on the side.
* TO TOAST COCONUT: Spread coconut flakes onto a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 5 to 10 minutes or until golden brown, stirring often.
I received a gift card to offset the expense of my ingredients. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Milk Advisory Board and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
I’m renaming this month Milk Madness. Now that the winter championship seasons are here, and nothing less than men’s basketball is discussed at water coolers nationwide, I ‘m taking a break from ‘bracketology’. Like every other March, National Nutrition Month is my March Madness. The theme, Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right, is something the Recipe Redux members focus on all year long. In support of National Nutrition Month, we are joining the California Milk Advisory Board (which represents over 1500 dairy families) and their nutrition partner, the Dairy Council of California, in celebrating “dairy good”. Dairy plays a vital role in contributing to an overall healthy diet and we want to encourage everyone to adopt healthy eating habits that include dairy! So the Recipe Reduxers will be showcasing how easy it is to enjoy the taste of eating right with Real California Dairy by lightening up our favorite dairy recipes and rolling them out all week!
This March, don’t change your team, but please e-x-p-a-n-d your focus to include making healthier food choices for better overall health and wellness.Aside from great taste and good bone health, there are lots of reasons to include 3 servings of dairy everyday, including a positive effect on immunity levels, weight control, and blood pressure. You can read more about the health benefits of dairy at RealCaliforniaMilk.com and about the higher nutritional standards in milk/dairy produced in California at healthyeating.orgBecause I’m a fitness enthusiast, I’m focusing on the benefits of dairy for athletes and active individuals. Milk is a source of nine essential nutrients: calcium, vitamin D, protein, potassium, vitamin A, Vitamin B12, Riboflavin, Niacin and Phosphorus. The essential nutrients in milk can help to refuel your muscles with carbohydrates, restore energy levels, rehydrate, reduce muscle breakdown, stimulate muscle protein synthesis and over time improve lean body mass.
It’s not complicated, faster is better protein is an essential component of a sports nutrition training program. The power of protein includes its ability to maximize training gains! The protein naturally found in milk and dairy foods is a complete protein. If you want to take advantage of the interaction between training and protein, you’ll want to comsume protein immediately after workouts, and at meals. Optimally, meals should provide 30 grams of high quality protein.
Milk is a staple in my house. Besides enjoying a glass of cold milk I also include it in my skinny lattes, smoothies and delicious dairy desserts. So how do desserts fit into healthy lifestyle? I guess I should tell you, my one suggestion for eating healthier: eat what you like! I know, it might sound counter intuitive, but if you’re satisfied, you’ll find it takes much less food to feel you’ve had enough. If your food preferences are too high in fat, calories, salt, and/or sugar, have a small portion or make a lighter version of the food, like I did. I’ve recreated a lemon pudding that satisfies my craving for lemon cream. I came up with a smooth and creamy dessert that’s a fraction of the calories and fat of lemon cream, yet higher in protein and the eight other essential nutrients provided by milk.Here’s how you too can lighten up your dairy recipes:
1. Start with fresh ingredients because they have the BEST flavor.
2. Use reduced fat or fat free dairy for a portion of the full fat version when possible.
Please join me in an active lifestlye that includes California Dairy in your daily lineup. Be sure check the links at the bottom of this post for more ways to enjoy the taste of eating right with Real California Dairy!
What favorite dairy recipe will you lighten up this month?
Meyer Lemon Pudding with Graham Crackers and Sea Salt
by Diane Boyd
Ingredients (serves 4)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons finely grated Meyer or regular lemon zest
2 level tablespoons cornstarch
1 2oz. California skim milk
1 tablespoon California unsalted butter
1/2 cup fresh Meyer or regular lemon juice
4 graham cracker squares, crumbled
Flaky sea salt, (such as Maldon)
1. Place skim milk in a microwave safe measuring cup and heat just long enought to warm the milk. (This will reduce cooking time).
2. In a medium saucepan, combine eggs, sugar, lemon zest, and cornstach. Beat with a whisk until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is smooth.
3. Place the pan over medium-low to medium heat and gently whisk the warm milk into the egg mixture.
4. Take your time and continue to whisk during the cooking time until the mixture comes to a full boil and thickens. (Takes about 15 to 20 minutes)
5. Boil for one minute then remove from heat.
6. Stir in butter and lemon juice.
7. Allow to cool completely, for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.
7. To serve, layer lemon pudding and graham crackers in small glasses or bowls, finishing with graham crackers. Top with lemon zest and sea salt.
Do Ahead: pudding can be made 3 days ahead. Store in refrigerator.