Tex-Mex/Cajun Leftovers 

Last night we headed out to dinner at #JoseTejas in Fairfield, NJ for dinner after enjoying an open house event at #NewYorkRedBullsArena (however like so many NY teams, the stadium is in Jersey).  The best part of eating out, for me at least, is reinventing my leftovers. I had the vegetable jambalaya, which surprisingly did not have beans. I added a #Gardein Chipotle Black Bean burger and a few tablespoons of salsa. Once plated, I added a 100 calorie pack of guacamole, fine, 2 of them. Oh, and I am one of those unique folks that dislikes plain cornbread and as much as I typically avoid wasting food, it was tossed. Totally better the second time around.

What to do with leftovers?

Last night we had some Japanese take away with friends for a fun, relaxing evening.  After having an avocado brown rice roll, miso soup and a side salad, I was stuffed and ended up taking about half of my main meal of Vegetable Yaki Udon home.  The best way to doctor it up so the smaller amount is actually filling? First, boil 3 oz each of frozen broccoli and spinach, 1/2 cup white beans, and 1/2 cup of vegetable broth.  Once the broth has reduced and the vegetables are heated all the way through, throw in the leftover noodles and serve once heated completely. I prefer to reheat on the stove, but this totally works in the microwave.

Best Breakfast Berry “Soup”

Come wintertime, the organic berry selection can be pretty dismal (and expensive) here in Jersey. Instead, I rely more and more on frozen organics. Pictured is 1 serving of mixed organic berries with 1/4 cup of quick oats, 1 tbsp of chia seeds, topped with unsweetened almond milk and cooked in the microwave for 2.5 minutes. If organics aren’t quite accessible, remember, a nonorganic berry is still way better to eat over any junk.  

 

Top 5 Secrets to Optimal Health

healthy_back Black SHIRT

Some of the best tools in your kit for reclaiming your health, involve more than just changes in what you select to eat and what you choose to avoid.

5 things to keep in mind when making a plan to “Bringing Healthy Back” include:

  1. Always eat with hunger and not out of habit.
  2. Be present at every meal.
  3. Know your trigger foods.
  4. Get plenty of quality sleep.
  5. Find ways to alleviate stress.

Quick Tomato Stew

IMG_0974

Serves 1, however can be made in bulk for multiple portions.

  • 2 oz whole grain pasta
  • 1 serving of frozen meatballs thawed (I usually use vegetarian or vegan, however choose 1 serving of your preferred “ball”)
  • 1 cup of prepared tomato soup
  • 3 oz frozen spinach
  • 1/2 cup canned, rinsed beans (any variety)
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 oz cheese (I tend to use rice cheese)
  • Red pepper flakes, optional
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. If “ball” of choice is frozen, thaw according to package directions.  I usually cook them at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.
  3. While pasta cooks, warm up the tomato soup until simmering.
  4. Add the spinach until thawed.
  5. Add the beans, soy sauce, cheese and red pepper flakes (if using) and continue to cook until heated thoroughly.
  6. Add cooked pasta, toss until combined.
  7. Serve.

 

 

 

 

3 Easy Steps For Big New Year’s Changes

December begins to signal a time that gets many of us geared up for the new year to come. Many of us feel the push to change our lives for the better.  For each of us, the objective or goals are quite unique and often personal.

I have to admit I totally get wrapped up in setting goals for myself and over the years, my approach has evolved.  Believe it or not, my goals don’t revolve around food or even health anymore, well at least not directly. Let me explain.

As I mentioned in my previous post “Alzheimer’s Disease: The Year After” the latter part of 2014 and much of 2015 was spent clearing out my mother’s home and sorting through massive amounts of her belongings. She held on to so much.  Receipts, catalogs, magazines, newspapers, cookbooks, you name it, she kept it. She had shelves of pots and pans yet rarely cooked. We sorted through multiple bags of clothes. At the end of the day, it all amounted to nothing.

It was from this experience, and bit of help from my studies of Buddhism, I began to learn the process of letting go.  Objects are just that, objects. They have a hold on you only if you let them. I vowed to never let the material keep a grip on me. My way may not work for everyone, but if it helps one of you, then sweet, I’m happy!

3 Steps that worked for me in 2015:

  1. Set professional and/or personal goals.
  2. Look at what is sustainable and achievable.
  3. Reevaluate often.  

For 2015, my professional as well as my personal goal was to let go of what no longer mattered in my life. Pretty vague, no?  Rather than saying I would get through all of my professional and personal belongings, I focused on only a few tasks at a time which meant I would have to revaluate often as I went. I only required myself 1 file and 1 bin per week.  If I got through more, great, if not, no biggie.

How far did I get? I downsized as much paperwork as possible.  I went through 3 packed file cabinets, 8 full drawers in all. Scanned, archived, sorted and recycled. My husband and I looked through all of the bins that remained in the basement from when we moved in about 13 years ago. Yup, 13 years! We moved about 1-2 bins per month and had donation trucks scheduled each month to force us to do it. It took the entire year, but I got through my share of mom’s belongings, by sorting and donating what she couldn’t use. I really hope many were helped by the 35 coats she held on to, most of which still had tags still on them.

What are my goals for 2016? Not quite sure of that just yet. The downsizing will surely continue. I think I am moving to scanning pictures and converting to computer scrapbooking, actually putting some fish in my office fish tank and finishing the next book.  ;-)

What are your goals for 2016?

 

Click here to support NutritionMap.com 

 

Balance.  

Progress and not perfection.  That is what we strive for here at Nutrition Map. We strive for balance. For example, pictured here is one of my favorite desserts. This is a total, “have an oatmeal with chia seeds in the morning before you have it” kind of dessert that should come after a meal full of beans, oodles of plants with a flax seed berry smoothie chaser followed by a long walk. BALANCE.

Upside Down Chocolate Caramel Flan Cake

 

 

Alzheimer’s Disease: The Year After

I am, generally speaking, an incredibly optimistic person. I can find the good in pretty much anything that comes my way.  Everything, everyone and every experience has some beauty, some “magic” that ultimately has some divine plan, or at least I like to think so.

Another jam packed holiday season is upon us.  It is around this time, every year, that I try to get my home and family in order for the festivities. Part of this yearly ritual for me is to look back to see where I have come.  I am grateful for so many things, but what I am most thankful for? My mind and the gift of my memories.  This year I learned first hand about the disease that no one wants. A disease that you wouldn’t wish upon your worst enemy. This crippling disease that no one dare speak of? Alzheimer’s disease.

My mother was diagnosed officially December 3, 2014 with what the doctor reported as “Moderate Alzheimer’s” disease at the age of 65. You read that correctly, 65.  She had no concept of what year, day, season, or month she was in. She couldn’t recall 3 simple words (Yellow, Tulip, Cadillac) after several attempts. I don’t think I will ever forget those 3 words. The list goes on. I knew this was coming after several experiences with her throughout the last 7 plus years. She closed the door on our relationship when I tried to get her help, something I am learning, can be very common for family members to experience. This disease has destroyed my mother as I knew her, revealed facts about her I probably should have never known, and wrecked many relationships, some beyond repair.

My Family & I at the holiday party at held at my mom’s place December 2015
 There is so much I learned in the past year that I am sure I could write a book about, but for now I will focus on what changed since my mother’s diagnosis.

I started the practice of living, I mean really living.  This is still a practice and I am still learning. No longer a prisoner of the past, which I never really was, but now I also let go of what I can’t control: the future. Yoga has been a life saver.

It all became enough: My entire life my mother focused on bigger and better things.  When my sister and I cleared out my mother’s house and storage shed we encountered countless, what I will call, “vision” lists about all the things she would attain when she was wealthy.  She even wanted a car she could never fit in quite right to drive at barely 4’10”.  She never realized all she had.  Now, this doesn’t mean I don’t strive to do better, it means that I have learned that what I have is always enough. The material doesn’t define me or my happiness.

I started loving me.  I love this body I live in.  For the last 10 years especially the first 5 of those 10 years, it has been a working body. This body grew 2 beautiful children and fed them each for 1.5+ years each, and at times, exclusively. This body plays with her children and takes them on wild adventures with its partner in crime, Mr. Syto.  This body is a warrior.

I learned to take many pictures and to be in as many pictures as possible no matter how my hair, skin or body is performing that day.

I became fearful. I am a dietitian. I know what that pound of bacon will do to my arteries especially the ones in my brain.

From fear I became plant based. I dislike it immensely when someone labels their eating patterns, but the plant based moniker, I love.  It leaves it open ended.  My choices are plant based.  I like the saying: “I’m not afraid to die, I just don’t want it to be my fault.” You don’t have to agree with my food choices. Living this was keeps me happy, and it gives me hope.

I learned to practice forgiveness.  My life has been one wild soap opera. I think we all have these types of experiences throughout our lives.  I learned not to ever forget all the trials, to learn from them, forgive (even if it is a silent forgiveness in my own heart), and to move on.

Finally, the most important lesson I learned? First, when you mother doesn’t recognize you, it shatters your world, even when she remembers a moment later. That initial “who are you look” is forever imprinted in my brain.  My final lesson? I am a survivor.

Happy Holidays From Nutrition Map

The holiday season can bring great times with those you love and hope for the new year to come.  This year has been a wild ride for me and I had to take some time off from the website to get some things into much needed order (more on that another time), but I am back with big plans for you all for the rest of the year and in 2016. Enjoy!

 

Nutrition Map Presents: Coffee Wars!

Are you serious about your morning cup of piping hot java?  Are you a brand loyal die hard that can’t fathom going anywhere else except (insert your brand) for your cup o’ joe?  Do you enjoy the gasps and stare downs you get from friends when they ask if you want anything from the café and they actually hear your order? Do you get a hearty internal giggle the more intricate your order is, or are you a straight up “light and sweet” kind of person? Let the coffee battle begin! Nutrition Map presents: Coffee Wars!

Show your support and choose your favorites by voting with your purchase. We have t-shirts in short and long sleeves as well as sweatshirts for those chilly days. Choose between:

Green bad-coffee
I am partial to this one for some pretty obvious reasons.  Click here to see my video for evidence. 
DD bad-coffee
For those of you that run on this establishment. I am partial to the Nutrition Map orange they use.

 

Don’t like coffee?  We have you covered! Check out our neutral and uber sexy “Bringing Healthy Back” shirt just in time for the new year!

healthy_back Black SHIRT
Get off the fad diet bandwagon and start your “forever” lifestyle just in time for 2016. Share the message and start bringing healthy back! 

Can’t decide? Buy them all for you and everyone you adore!

This project will benefit www.nutritionmap.com in the development of the next publication due out in 2016 geared at demystifying nutrition as it relates to health, disease prevention & management, and weight loss.  This is our way of making the world a better place in our own little way. We hope to once and for all remove the body shaming that happens in the nutrition world between the “experts” in nutrition (e.g. that diet doesn’t work, the creator of it is overweight!”) and get you on the right journey for you in your quest for health.

We will remove the labels from meal patterns.  No more of that:

  • “I can’t eat that, I am low carb” or
  • “I have to avoid that, it is too low in fat” (yes, I hear this one), or my favorite…
  • “I’m Paleo” so I cant eat that”. You know what Paleolithic man ate? Paleolithic man ate bugs my friends, bugs.  Let that one stew for a bit.

Happy voting and thanks for supporting our small business.

Click here for the StoreFront for all the shirts in Coffee Wars! 

 

Where Diet is a Four Letter Word.

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