Meals made ezpz

When we started our son on solids we didn’t buy a lot of fancy feeding dishes/utensils.  We had 2-3 bibs, 3 baby/toddler sized bowls, two divided plates, and a handful of silverware.  We taught our son to eat using our dishes and magically he never even thought about throwing a dish or food.  We were lucky! When I heard about the ezpz less mess Happy Mat in the Fall of 2014 I thought it sounded like a great idea.  The ezpz less mess Happy Mat has been hyped up as a “game changer”.  I was first introduced to the product by The Baby Guy NYC (Jamie Grayson) when he posted his video of the Happy Mat during their Kickstarter phase of development.  Jamie’s video focused on the suction function of the mat which, in part, helps to prevent children from throwing their dishes.  This is where I stopped looking.  My toddler didn’t need to be prevented from throwing his plates.  When it popped up in my news feed on Facebook many months later, after achieving full Kickstarter funding, I took a closer look.  I wasn’t interested in it for our family, but I was intrigued for my clients.  The more I looked at the Happy Mat, the more I realized the brilliance of the design.  The Happy Mat is terrific for children who don’t want food to touch, teaching parents correct portion size for children (and adults), and for anyone who has any challenges that make feeding physically difficult.  The ezpz less mess mats do all of this and more, but I still didn’t want to spend the money on the product.  After all, one Happy Mat costs $25 and I probably spent the same amount on ALL of my toddler dining pieces combined. Still thinking about just how wonderful a tool the mat would be from a nutrition standpoint, I joined a small test group for ezpz and learned more about their product.  We had the opportunity to test out some concept designs as well as the Happy Mat.  I dutifully ordered the concept products and a Happy Mat still thinking it would just be about reviewing the product from a health coach perspective. When our mats arrived I was excited to try them, but you know who was even more excited?  Our toddler!  He was, and is still, enamored with them.  The colors are fun, vibrant, and...
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Cookbook Review: So Easy by Ellie Krieger

Cookbooks are some of my favorite books.  Even though you can find so many recipes online these days, there is something exciting about leafing through a cookbook, looking at the pictures, seeing the splatters on the much loved pages, and picking out a recipe for the day that is intrinsically appealing to me. I am a Food Network lover but have found that so many of the recipes are not healthy.  They are loaded with saturated fat, cholesterol, and sugar.  This isn’t true of all of the recipes, but a fair portion of them are this way.  Ellie Krieger, who became well known after her show on Food Network Healthy Appetite, is different.  She is a registered dietician with a master’s degree in nutrition from Teacher’s College, Columbia University (Ellie Krieger Bio).  So you know that the recipes she provides are going to be well balanced and include lots of colors and nutrients.  She isn’t a big fan of packaged products, but is a big fan of healthy eating made easy. With a toddler at home, a husband who works outside the home, and too many commitments of my own we need easy, fast, and delicious meals. So Easy: Luscious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Week delivers.  The cookbook begins with an explanation of nutrition as well as what the general breakdown of fat, protein, carbs, etc. should be in a typical 2000 calorie diet.  Ellie emphasizes that you don’t need to count every little calorie, gram of protein, or carb however.  She emphasizes eating lots of fruits and veggies, eating lean proteins, and making sure your plate is colorful. After this informative intro she goes on to provide a list of suggested items for your pantry.  I have a fairly well-stocked pantry and find that I agree with her suggestions.  They keep my options open during the week if I suddenly decide I want to deviate from our weekly plan and make weekly shopping simple. All of this information is great, but you may be wondering about the recipes.  A lot of times when you see “healthy” and “recipe” together all that comes to mind is BLAND.  The recipes in this cookbook are well-seasoned and flavorful.  They range from really simple – cheddar-apple quesadilla with only three ingredients – to spaghetti frittata with salad presto.  It doesn’t matter your level of cooking competence, you can easily...
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Transforming your favorite cold weather comfort foods

I don’t know about you, but as the weather turns colder I crave comfort foods.  Those foods that warm your whole body from the inside out and the outside in.  The foods that make you think of warmth, that smell warm, and that are warm.  Unfortunately, I struggle with making sure I am adopting healthy comfort foods.  I think about crock pot spaghetti sauce, holiday cookies warm from the oven, hot chocolate (usually in combination with those warm cookies from the oven), homemade soups, calzones, and the list could go on.  These foods, the way I traditionally make them, are not very healthy.  They often lead to overeating and a general feeling of “ugh!” afterward. I would like to share with you a couple of the strategies that I use to prevent that “ugh!” feeling while still getting the comfort food effect I crave in the colder months. Swap a high fat meat for a leaner source of protein.  I make spaghetti sauce in the crock pot using my mother-in-law’s recipe.  It calls for ground beef, canned tomatoes, onion, green pepper, bay leaf, tomato paste, garlic, and oregano.  I typically make a double batch and we freeze half for another week.  This is my husband’s favorite meal and we always overeat.  Recently I have started switching out the ground beef for ground white turkey.  The result is just as filling, just as comforting, but uses a leaner meat. Opt for “No salt added” products.  When we are adding products such as canned tomatoes, tomato paste, and stock to our meals we always make sure to use the “no salt added” version to control the sodium.  While the Sahara Desert is often quite warm, if your mouth and body feel like the Sahara Desert you will not be feeling very comforted after your meal.  Too much sodium, particularly right before bed will lead to a lot of water consumption during the night and probably multiple trips to the restroom (which means getting out of your nice warm bed) as a result.  I feel like this rule is more important in the winter months since so many more of our typical meals include some sort of stock or canned tomatoes.  By using “no salt added” products you can control the sodium content of your food and salt to taste if you choose to do so.  Obviously one of the best options...
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Eating Well: Southwestern Salmon Cobb Salad

Today I am sharing with you a truly yummy Salmon recipe from the August 2013 edition of Eating Well Magazine.  The Southwestern Cobb Salad is filling, light, contains a variety of textures and colors, and has some kick (which you can adjust to your taste).  You will see two pictures of the dish.  The one on the white plate was published in the magazine, the meal on the brown plate is what I made.  This is one of those meals that you can actually make similar to the picture! Ingredients: 4-6oz servings of Wild Alaskan Salmon skinned (we use King Salmon) 1 tablespoon Adobo sauce from canned chipotles, plus 1 Tablespoon minced chipotle in adobo, divided 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream 2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar 2 tablespoons water 10 cups mixed salad greens 1 avocado, diced 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese Instructions: Preheat the grill to medium-high. Brush salmon with adobo sauce and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Oil the grill rack, grill the salmon, turning once, until opaque. About 3 minutes per side depending on the thickness. Combine sour cream, vinegar, water, minced chipotle and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl.  Toss the greens in a large bowl with 1/2 cup of the dressing. Divide the greens and salmon among 4 plates.  Top with avocado, tomatoes, and blue cheese.  Drizzle with the remaining dressing. Notes: We like to leave the skin on the salmon until after it has been cooked. You can try swapping out the sour cream with plain greek yogurt. We find the adobo sauce to be a little spicy so we don’t brush it on the salmon.  We use extra virgin olive oil instead.  Additionally, we leave off the salt. If you aren’t sure if everyone will like the same amount of dressing, which has some kick, just serve the dressing on the side so that everyone can add their chosen amount. Feta cheese works nicely in this meal if you don’t like blue...
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Whole Foods Rosemary-Lime Wild Alaskan Salmon Kabobs

Taken from the Whole Foods Website Recipe Section, these kabobs look delicious. A definite must try this summer! Ingredients: 1 pound wild salmon fillets, cut into chunks 1 zucchini, cut into chunks 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into chunks 1 large red onion, cut into chunks Sea salt and black pepper 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 tablespoon (about 2 small sprigs) chopped rosemary leaves 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil 3 tablespoons lime juice Wooden or bamboo skewers, soaked in water 10 minutes Method: Place salmon, zucchini, bell pepper and onion in a shallow baking dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Whisk together garlic, rosemary, olive oil and lime juice in a small bowl. Pour mixture over salmon and vegetables, toss and marinate 15 to 30 minutes. Preheat the grill or broiler. Skewer the salmon and vegetables, reserving marinade, and grill or broil 5 to 7 minutes, turning once, until salmon is cooked through and vegetables are tender. While cooking, boil the marinade in a small saucepan for 5 minutes. Drizzle over skewers and serve. Nutritional Info Per Serving: 380 calories (230 from fat), 27g total fat, 4g saturated fat, 70mg cholesterol, 360mg sodium, 9g carbohydrate (2g dietary fiber, 4g sugar), 27g protein Special Diets: Dairy Free Gluten Free Sugar Conscious Wheat...
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