NAC Chia Seed Pea Milk Pudding

Chia Seed Pea Milk Pudding

Blog written by NAC Registered Dietitian, Lisa James.

While I like to start my mornings with protein, I get tired of eggs and greek yogurt. You too? I’m loving my most recent food concoction. It’s full of fiber, protein and healthy fats. And it’s plant-based if you’re vegetarian.

Ingredients

1 cup of blueberries

1/4 of chia seeds

1 cup of pea protein milk

3/4 tbsp of agave nectar

2 tsp of vanilla extract

Directions

Mix all the ingredients together.

Let sit overnight, or for a few hours, and enjoy!

chia seed pudding nutrition label


Want to learn how to incorporate healthy food and beverages into your meal routine? Schedule a nutrition counseling session by filling out our form below!

Everything Bagel Toast

Toast for a meal

The reality is that the convenience of toast makes it perfect for lunch and dinner on a busy day, too! What you see below boosts protein, healthy fat and veggie content so your nice and satisfied for hours to come.

Skip the bagel for a lightened up and more nutrient dense breakfast!

If you have yet to pick up Trader Joe’s “Everything but the Bagel” seasoning, I am not sure what you’re waiting for! It is perfect on top of avocado toast or cream cheese (Kite Hill vegan) and I even sprinkle it IN the eggs when I scramble them, too!

These meal also included some leftover roasted vegetables and was a perfect breakfast on a morning I had 4 hours before I could eat a balanced lunch.

>> More healthy toast toppings

Recipe & tips from Kelly Jones MS, RD, CSSD.

 


 

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Pre-Workout Fridge Clean Out Toast

If you’ve got 1-2 hours before an intense workout, the combo below will give you the perfect amount of energy without a blood sugar spike and crash.

Just grab what you have to use up and add it to your toast!

  • Avocado toast with some pesto mixed in and a few leaves of arugula
  • Coconut with almond butter and blueberries – this is a combo that you need!

>> More healthy toast toppings

Recipe & tips from Kelly Jones MS, RD, CSSD.


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On-The-Go Summer Snacking

Vodka Honey Lemonade

Enjoy this yummy summer cocktail during the hot summer days! With only three ingredients, this drink is easy to make and very refreshing.

Ingredients

Honey Syrup:

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup warm water

Drink:

1 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 ounce vodka

1 ounce honey syrup

Lemon wheels, for garnish

Directions

For the honey syrup: Whisk together the honey and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and stir until dissolved, about 1 minute. You can cool and store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

For the drink: Put 2 cups ice to a cocktail shaker and then pour in vodka, honey syrup and lemon juice. Shake, and then strain into a glass. Garnish with a lemon wheel.


In need of more healthy and fun recipes for your next summer barbecue? Look no further than our own NAC Registered Dietitian! They are here to answer any questions you have about nutrition and they’re always happy to help. Did you know, your insurance might cover some Registered Dietitians consultations? Fill out the form below, send us your insurance information, and we’ll let you know how many visits you have covered. Get on your way to your healthiest self today!

Mini Meals for Fitness

So, fitness is a priority for you. You make it to the gym or hit the pavement 3 or more times a week, but because of your schedule, you exercise during what a lot of people would consider dinner time. That 5-7 PM time frame when your body is just exhausted from the day and hungry. But, you power through and make it to your workout. You’re either depleted until after or take one of those God-awful pre-workout supplements and call it energy. Then you come home and wind up eating a huge dinner, plus a large dessert (or second dinner) and feel overly full, wondering why you ate so much (again).

Evening fitness doesn’t have to be this way… and your stomach doesn’t have to be eating itself by the end of a morning exercise session, either! Embrace the mini-meal.

This post is written by Kelly Jones MS, RD, CSSD, LDN blog. Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Luvo Inc. As always, I only align myself with companies and products that are in line with my values and all opinions are my own.

mini-meal is just that. Bigger than your average snack, but smaller than your main meal. They’re timed to give you the energy you need for that workout, without excess hunger during it, and then provide you with the right amount of energy, protein, and nutrients afterwards to aid in recovery from exercise and your busy life. Really, it’s like having a slightly larger meal split into two. And don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you’re slaving over the stove for unnecessary amounts of time. As you’ll see below, companies like Luvo make your life easier.

luvo meals postworkout

I started recommending mini-meals years ago to younger athletes. I’d give a sports nutrition talk to teams, and parents were always concerned about their kids having dinner too late or having a large meal before a late practice. Splitting dinner into two is the logical answer {and I wish my 14 year old self knew this instead of having a teeny dinner and then bingeing on Reese’s puffs and PB at 9:30 PM after swim practice}.

The mini-meal theory is perfect for active individuals of any age, but harder to get adults to try because of the diet crazed world we live in – where people try to “make it” to dinner or have a tiny snack between a 12:30 lunch and a 5:30 workout. Your brain’s preferred energy source is carbs, believe it or not… oh, and yes, your brain uses lots of energy during the day, especially when you’re focused trying to be focus in the afternoon at your job. When you’re depleted, productivity plummets, as does your energy level and mood, and that evening workout is a struggle to get through.

On the weekends, I don’t think I’ve worked out without splitting my breakfast since college. For many people, Saturday and Sunday means not having to rush to exercise and/or a longer training session than during the week. Far too many people enter this longer workout under-fueled and as with those who don’t eat enough in the afternoon, wind up eating more than they wanted or needed after that weekend sweat sesh, too.

So, I have for you the art of building split meals, or mini-meals, and some examples of what to have – that are easy and convenient of course!

Your Pre-Workout Mini Meal…

should be 1.5-2.5 hours before exercise. It needs to be rich in easily digestible carbohydrates so they can fuel your exercise without sitting in your stomach. Still, you don’t want to load up on straight sugar or dried fruit or you’ll see a blood sugar spike and crash. You’ll want some protein, fat and fiber here, but not too much, since they slow the movement of food through the digestive tract, allowing for a steady release of energy and preventing you from getting hungry again before exercise.

Your Post-Workout Mini Meal…

needs to replenish the energy you used so that you have it to fuel your body and mind the rest of the day (or night), plus more protein than the pre-workout meal. This is also a good time to get in more of the fats we need for their anti-inflammatory benefits (and just because they taste good). Of course, you likely didn’t have veggies pre-workout, so this is where to fit in that nutrient packed produce.

Split Breakfast Ideas

Think of this as brunch split in two, since just a standard breakfast will be too small to fuel a long workout and normal life.

My go-to’s before exerciseOatspancakes, a couple of homemade muffins, or toast! I just recommend going a bit lighter on the toppings/fillings than if this were a full meal. Other than the toast, you can make all of them ahead of time, too.

The easiest option post-exercise? A pre-made veggie frittata or tofu scramble with a slice of toast and/or fruit. Or, how about some leftover shakshuka Want to make it even easier? Hard boiled eggs, of course, pair easily with fruit and nut butter, carrots and hummus. A high protein yogurt, high protein cereal and fruit will also do the trick. No cooking involved with the last two!

Split Dinner Ideas

One of my favorite options to provide heavier carbs in the preworkout half of dinner is to use sweet potatoes. Simply top with some nut butter and hemp seeds – and if you didn’t food prep any, just use the microwave! If you have a bit longer and digest food easily, top with some black beans and guacamole. Toast is an option here and I even have clients that will microwave some oats and add a little fruit and seeds. Another at work option is yogurt, granola and fruit.

At the end of a long work day and after your workout, I doubt you want to pull up a recipe and start following directions for your dinner. This is where easy pairings like eggs, frozen mixed vegetables, and minute rice can come together with a sauce. A sheet pan meal or simple grain, veggie and eggs may sound good, too. Or, some days you can turn to nourishing frozen meals {yes, you read that correctly}. Luvo has options that provide 20+ grams of protein and you can pair the meals with an extra serving of anti-inflammatory veggies from fresh or frozen.

Tim loves this Chicken Chile Verde meal that provides 19 grams of protein, but hits 22 when you add a cup of sautéed spinach. I love their plant-based meals that are easy to add a quick egg or two to, or some edamame to get what I need post-workout in no time at all.
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luvo plant based

 

 

 


 

 

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Collaborative Meal Planning

Content by Kelly Jones MS, RD, CSSD, LDN on her blog.

Often, ingredient prep is my go-to so that I feel ready for the week ahead. Lately though, we’ve been so busy with travel and work that either we haven’t been home or I just don’t feel like spending time on Sundays prepping since there’s been a lot to catch up on. So, something that’s worked for us a few times this year is collaborative meal planning.

I’ve shared some of the details on my Instagram stories and have gotten a handful of responses asking to share more. I decided it would be easy to put up a blog post on weeks we have joint prepped showing what we planned and how it actually played out! Plus, I’ll share next week’s plan if we’ve made one.

Collaborative Meal Planning

This means I’m not figuring it all out on my own. Women/wives/moms often get frustrated that all of the food responsibilities seem to fall on their lap (or it feels that way), but really shouldn’t get upset when they aren’t asking their significant other or other family members for help. Sorry, but everyone has things on their plate and everyone else isn’t reading your mind!

In our household, collaborative meal planning meals Tim picks 2 meals (minimum) and I pick 2 meals for dinner the week ahead. If you have kids old enough to help with decisions in your house, get them involved, too! Even if it just means they’re choosing the vegetable that goes with a meal.

We tend to either go out or pick food up on a Friday, and Saturdays are unpredictable, so we plan for Sunday through Thursday. We can easily prep extra eggs or pancakes on Sunday morning’s for the first part of the week and oats are easy so we don’t include breakfast in our plan, but if that’s a meal you’re working on improving, that may be what you’re planning out rather than dinner! Another helpful tip: I plan the easiest meals for later in the week when I know we will have the least desire to cook.

Why Plan Vs. Prep?

As I mentioned above, sometimes I just don’t feel like prepping! Often I’d rather spend my time outside with my family or maybe I need to catch up on something like laundry. Other times I may not be home on a Sunday, and that shouldn’t mean takeout and frozen meals all week (though some frozen meals are a good fall-back when you need them).

Another reason is to improve focus at the grocery store and reduce food waste. I always have a list when I go food shopping, but having a list doesn’t mean the items make sense! I’m a big advocate for reducing food waste, but it’s easy for me to get overly excited about seasonal produce or new products and then over-buy. Then I wind up having to cook or freeze a bunch of things I didn’t need before they spoil and don’t have ingredients I actually need to make meals.

Finally, the food might not be made when you get home from work, but for me and many others, not having to decide what you’re eating just means less stress at the end of the day!

What if I don’t feel like that meal on the day I planned it for?

This should be common sense, but our culture makes us feel eating should be strict and you have to do exactly what you planned. Don’t want tacos on Tuesday? Swap that meal with what you had planned for Wednesday. Wind up with an unexpected social activity or appointment? Remove the meal from your plan that you can move to next week without it spoiling (more on that below).

If you force yourself to eat things you don’t want, you won’t be satisfied and you’ll be searching for other things after the meal which can lead to overeating. Make the adjustments you need within reason! And keep plenty of extra sauces and shelf stable toppings (like seeds and chopped nuts) around to change flavor and texture if necessary.

Our Plan

When I was heading to Whole Foods, I texted Tim and said to send me 2 meals for the following week. That darling sent me this back:

I decided when those meals would be and added the rigatoni and broccoli rabe meal you see (recipe coming soon). Then while shopping, the KiteHill ravioli was on sale and I decided that would be a good addition since I hadn’t thought of anything else yet.

Recipes:

What We Actually Ate

Sunday night after dinner we had to head to the ER cause Cooper’s cold was in his chest and he was wheezing pretty badly. We had to follow up with the ped Monday night, so cooking wasn’t happening. Tim made nachos and I honestly can’t even remember what meal I pulled together at this point! I think it was more of a “snack dinner” (see my friend Mary Ellen’s Instagram for more ideas on snack meals).

Anyway, we moved Monday’s planned meal to Thursday. Broccoli rabe holds up pretty well so it wouldn’t spoil by then, and we had the lentils for tacos already prepped for Tuesday. The packages ravioli could easily be moved to the following week so that was an easy swap!

So there you have it. A collaborative plan with flexibility and no food waste. Huge win! Hope it’s helped give you ideas for our own plan, or motivated you to work with others to build a plan better for your lifestyle and preferences.

Here’s next week’s plan that I’ll follow up on with you, too!

Recipes:

 

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Healthy Marshmallow Fiber Treats

Fiber not only lowers our bad “LDL” cholesterol but it also keeps hunger and blood glucose levels in check.

How much does your child need?

  • 1 – 3 years old should get 19 grams a day
  • 4 – 8 years old should get 25 grams a day
  • > 9 years old 26 grams a day (female)
  • > 9 years old up to 38 grams a day (male)

Here’s a fiber-packed snack your children will crave!

Marshmallow Fiber Treats

Ingredients

  1. ½ stick of unsalted butter
  2. 1 package (10 oz) of marshmallows
  3. 5 cups of Fiber One Cereal
  4. ½ cup of chia seeds

Directions

  1. In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.
  2. Measure and pour chia seeds and cereal into bowl; add to marshmallow butter mixture until well coated.
  3. Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into large baking pan coated with cooking spray. Cool. Cut into 2-inch squares. Serve.

Nutrition Facts


Want to learn how to incorporate healthy food and beverages into your meal routine? Schedule a nutrition counseling session by filling out our form below!

NAC kombucha cocktail

Ginger Lemon Kombucha Cocktail

Our kombucha kick is still going strong! We found even more ways to sneak this yummy fizzy tea and gut healthy drink into our diet – make it your Saturday night cocktail. Low calorie & delicious!

Ingredients:

2 ounces vodka

4 ounces ginger lemon kombucha

1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice

Ice

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake, then strain into two glasses. Garnish with lemon slices and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts:

NAC Ginger Lemon Kombucha Cocktail Nutrition Label


Want to learn how to incorporate healthy food and beverages into your meal routine? Schedule a nutrition counseling session by filling out our form below!