Nutrition Blog

Welcome to our Nutrition Blog - where you will be able to find healthy recipies and living tips! Check back every Friday for a new post!


Week 12 - Superfoods

From your Henry Mayo Nutritionist: Liz Tarabour, MS, RDN

The term superfood is a marketing term used to describe nutritionally dense foods with supposed health benefits like “cancer preventative” and “good for your heart”. Most, but not all, are plant-based foods. Critics argue there is no scientific basis for the term, but I tend to think it is a positive way to describe healthy foods. There are many different lists if you google “superfoods”. Bottom line, if it’s on a list somewhere, there’s probably something good about it. Here are a few: avocados, apples, blueberries, cabbage, fish or fish oil, garlic, quinoa, kale, black beans, green tea, beets, ginger, mushrooms, almonds, eggs, flaxseeds, pomegranate, red wine, dark chocolate, goji berries, chia seeds, kefir, hemp seeds, and açai. This isn’t a list of foods to “eat as much as you want”. Many of these, such as wine and chocolate, should be eaten in moderation.


Quinoa Salad


  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed
  • ½ cucumber, chopped
  • 2 green onions, green and white parts chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste



1. Cook quinoa according to directions. Set aside, cool.

2. In mixing bowl, mix cheese, cucumber, onions, tomatoes, black beans.

3. Add olive oil and lemon juice, mixing to coat the salad.

4. Add quinoa to the mix.

5. Add salt and pepper to taste.



Week 11 - Tips for Starting 2018 on the Right Foot!

From your Henry Mayo Nutritionist: Liz Tarabour, MS, RDN


With the holiday season behind us, many of us have dropped the reigns of “daily routine”, and with that comes losing control of healthy habits. Schedules have been so busy and intense that it became easier to “swing in the drive-thru”. Over-indulging with the parties and holiday meals are what December was all about. NOW IS THE TIME MY FRIENDS, to jump back in and take control of your healthy habits and lifestyle.  



  • Spend time looking up 2-4 recipes for dinners for the week (or you could plan 2 weeks).
  • Get family input – If the kids help decide, there is a better chance they will eat it.
  • Start a calendar – As you pick recipes, write them on a calendar. This can help prevent over-purchasing and will help you remember to cook something you purchased.
  • Have a method or place for saving recipes, such as a notebook or binder. Or if you love Pinterest, you can save things there. It’s nice to reference back to great meals. Our Pinterest page has a few healthy meal ideas!
  • Shopping day – It helps to have a routine shopping day… one less thing to think about.
  • Shopping list – After you pick a date on the calendar for a recipe, place ingredients on a shopping list. After you finish with all recipes, add house staples (milk, eggs, bread, etc.)
  • Check what’s on sale – If budget is a major factor, consider planning recipes around what’s on sale in the weekly ads.
  • Plan for leftovers – Make a double batch, freeze half for later… one less night of cooking.
  • Consider prepping ahead –not all of us have huge chunks of time to do this, but some people find it very helpful to prep everything (or some) for the whole week in 1 day.
  • Keep well stocked pantry and freezer. This prevents extra time spent making unplanned trips to the store.
  • MY PERSONAL FAVORITE: If you tend to buy lots of random, unhealthy foods when you go to the store, consider online grocery shopping. Vons (Safeway) delivers free if you order $150 worth of groceries. I’ve heard that Walmart has online shopping. You can drive there and they will place it in your car for you.



Week 10 - Is Weight Loss Your New Year’s Resolution?

From your Henry Mayo Nutritionist: Liz Tarabour, MS, RDN


I don’t know the stats, but I’d be willing to bet that 50% or more of New Year’s Resolutions are, or include; “I’m going to lose weight.” Sounds great…and maybe weight loss is what’s needed…but, easier said than done, right? And maybe weight loss does happen, but it can be really difficult to keep going with a diet plan, and even harder to maintain that new attractive, healthy weight. Here are a few tips to get you moving in a healthy and achievable direction:

  • Consider what it is you really want to achieve. A quick fix isn’t sustainable, whereas lifestyle change can be.
  • Set two goals that are NOT “I want to lose weight”. Weight loss is a desired outcome, not the best goal. Examples of goals are exercising 150 minutes per week, getting 10,000 steps every day, quitting sodas, or preparing 3 balanced meals every week.
  • Eat well. Include at least 3 food groups (protein, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, dairy) in every meal. This will help you to feel good, have energy and keep a positive attitude about good health.
  • Be more active than you have been. This doesn’t mean you need to get a gym membership or run a marathon. This simply means DO SOMETHING. If you don’t do any physical activity, you could start by walking for 5 minutes after meals every day. If you take two gym classes per week, you could take three instead. Bump it up!   
  • Come to my FREE Weight Management class (call 661-200-2300)
  • I’m including a healthy recipe to get you started.


Turkey Meatballs


  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1⁄4 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1⁄4 cup fresh mint, chopped (or 1 tsp dry)
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½-1 cup (more if it feels very wet) bread diced very small



  • Mix all the ingredients and shape into 30 meatballs approximately 1" across.
  • Spray a nonstick pan lightly with veggie oil.
  • Cook the meatballs until golden brown and fully cooked.
  • Tip: For added vitamins and fiber, and reduced calories, serve over spaghetti squash instead of pasta!



Week 9 - A Healthy Holiday Breakfast

From your Henry Mayo Nutritionist: Liz Tarabour, MS, RDN:

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is having hot, breakfast casserole after opening presents on Christmas morning. When I was a teenager, I took this on as my contribution to the workload of the day. I mixed the ingredients the night before and just popped it in the oven Christmas morning before opening presents. Out came hot, bubbling, deliciousness, ready-to-eat when we were done tearing open packages. Back then I used a lot of sausage and tons of cheese, making it a real gut buster. I trim it down a bit now, and find that it is just as tasty, and maybe even better. And I don’t feel sick 30 minutes after eating it from all of that fat!


Holiday Egg Bake


  • 1 ½ cups cubed ham (or slices deli style if that is what you have)
  • ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup crushed saltines (6-8 crackers)
  • ½ cup shredded Swiss or Cheddar cheese
  • 1 can (7 ounce) green chilis, chopped (or fresh jalapenos, quantity to taste)
  • ¼ cup diced onions
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • ¼ tsp pepper



  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Mix all ingredients in large bowl. Transfer to baking dish.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting.



  • Don’t add salt! It is salty enough with the ham, saltines, cheese, and canned peppers.
  • I found whole-wheat saltines and they tasted great!



Week 8 - Alcohol and the Holiday Season

Let’s be real. Many of us like to have some drinks during the holiday season. If you don’t partake, your liver thanks you. For those of us who enjoy a libation but want to watch the calories, I have some tips and drink ideas for you.



  • Go booze-free Sunday through Thursday – if you typically have a nightly drink, consider giving it up during the week throughout the holiday season.

  • Put off pre-dinner drinks. Save some calories and a hangover, plus research shows if we’ve already been drinking before dinner, we will eat more during meal time.

  • Glass of water or seltzer water between each alcoholic drink.

  • Pick drinks that are lower in calories.


Vodka Fizz

Seltzer water is just water with bubbles…no sugar, calories, or artificial sweeteners! And it comes in all sorts of flavors now!! Add a bit of vodka, and a splash of fruit juice, or citrus, and you have a delicious, refreshing cocktail that isn’t terribly high in calories.

Cosmo “Lite”: Seltzer, vodka, and a splash of lime and cranberry juice

Moscow Mule “Lite”: Seltzer, vodka, ginger beer, lime juice (skip the simple syrup)


Extra Spicy Bloody Mary

A Bloody Mary can be a smart choice, because it isn’t loaded with extra sugar like many cocktails, plus you get some extra vitamins from the tomato juice. All of the goodies you can add, such as pickles, green beans, celery are yummy and fun! And when it’s HOT with spice, you can only drink it so fast…fewer calories and less hangover.


A Glass of Red Wine

Fewer calories + benefits of antioxidants, including polyphenols, flavonoids, and resveratrol.


Scotch, Bourbon, Whiskey, or Silver Tequila on the Rocks

Or with water or seltzer, splash of lime if you don’t like it straight up!



Week 7 - Meals In Bowls

Meals in a bowl can be fun, easy, and healthy! Flavor combinations, cuisine type, breakfast/lunch/dinner… the options are endless! And if composed with balance, variety, and moderation, your bowl will leave you feeling full and satisfied.

Meals in bowls are the new trend! And not a bad one! Because they can provide healthy calories, vitamins, minerals, and all the nutrients we need to keep going. And for whatever reason food just seems more interesting when served from a bowl.

If you look around in malls, shopping centers, town centers you’ll start to notice this trend…Buddha bowls, nourish bowls, smoothie bowls and acai bowls, burrito bowls, and polenta bowls, and rice and noodle bowls. If you search google or Pinterest, there are a billion recipes.

So if you haven’t already, join the fun, and make a bowl!!


Peanut Butter & Jelly Greek Yogurt Breakfast Bowl

  • 6 oz. nonfat greek yogurt (I use Chobani Non-Fat Plain)
  • 1 Tbsp. natural creamy peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp. wild berry jam preserves
  • Handful of peanuts
  • Pinch of sea salt

Mix together and enjoy!

Mexican Beef Bowls


  • 4 cups cooked white rice, warmed
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 cups lean barbacoa beef, lean carne asada, or grilled flank steak warmed
  • 2 cups halved cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 (14 ounce) can low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion
  • 1 large avocado, pitted and diced
  • 4 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves


1. In a large bowl, toss together the warm rice and fresh lime juice. Divide evenly among four serving bowls.

2. Into each bowl, place 1/2 cup beef, 1/2 cup tomatoes, 1/4 of the beans, 1/4 cup corn, 1/8 cup green onion, and 1/4 of the avocado.

3. Garnish each bowl with a tablespoon of chopped cilantro leaves.



Week 6 - Vitamins, Minerals and a Fall Salad!

Food might be the last thing you want to think about today, so we have a light and healthy Fall salad recipe up today that includes tons of vitamins and minerals!


What Are Vitamins and Minerals?

Vitamins are organic substances made by plants and animals, which are then eaten by humans. — There are 13 vitamins: vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and the B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B6 , vitamin B12, and folate). — You can get all your vitamins from the foods you eat, but your body also makes vitamins D and K.

Minerals are inorganic substances that are not made by living things. — Minerals are found naturally in soil and water and are absorbed by plants, which are then eaten by people and other animals. Examples of minerals are iron, calcium, and potassium. — People obtain minerals from both the plant and animal products they eat.

Eat a COLORFUL variety of foods to stay healthy and fit.

Butternut Squash, Kale, Walnut, Cranberry Couscous

Couscous Ingredients:

  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup dry Israeli (pearl) couscous, cooked in water according to package instructions
  • 3 cups chopped kale or spinach leaves
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2.5 ounces goat cheese, crumbled


Vinaigrette Ingredients:

  • 1.5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons freshly-squeezed orange juice
  • salt and black pepper, to taste



  • Heat oven to 425°F
  • Mix squash, olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper in a bowl.
  • Spread squash out in an even layer on a baking sheet (on either parchment paper or cooking spray to prevent sticking).  Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and flip the squash for even cooking.  Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the squash is tender and slightly browned around the edges.  Remove squash from oven and return to the large mixing bowl.
  • Whisk vinaigrette ingredients together until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Toss couscous, kale, cranberries, walnuts, goat cheese, and vinaigrette.
  • Serve warm or cold.



Week 5 - Holiday Do's and Don'ts & The Classic (Healthy) Green Bean Casserole


Do List

  • DO: Allow yourself to enjoy SOME (not a ton) indulgences. Healthy habits include allowing yourself to enjoy foods that might not be the most healthy on occasion. Complete restriction can lead to binge eating and making poor food choices in abundance.
  • DO: Fit in a few extra minutes of physical activity when you can. For example: after dinner, walk for 5 minutes. Or if you have a break at work, walk up and down the stairs for 5 minutes.
  • DO: Monitor and respond to hunger cues. If your tummy is growling, you’re getting a headache, you feel cranky, or it has been > 4 hours since your last meal or snack, it may be time to eat. If you WANT to eat just because there is food in front of you and there are no hunger cues, consider holding off (especially if you have eaten in the previous 2 hours.)


Don’t List

  • DON’T: Overindulge. Pick your favorite things at the holiday meal and have a little of each. Avoid the items that are just “ok” completely. After you finish your FIRST plate, give your stomach 20-30 minutes for digestion before deciding if you should get more. It takes that amount of time for our brains to realize that we are full.
  • DON’T: Feel like because it is the holiday, it’s ok to eat whatever you want whenever you want. This can really help you put on the pounds! Instead, enjoy time with family and friends doing things that don’t always revolve around eating/meal time.
  • DON’T: Stop being physically active! Exercise and physical activity can help with some of those extra calories!


Healthy Green Bean Casserole


  • 2 pounds green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups low-fat milk
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs (fresh or homemade, whole wheat is healthier choice)
  • ¼  cup shredded or crumbled cheese



  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Mix green beans in a bowl with 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Spread evenly on baking sheet(s) in a single layer.
  • Roast in heated oven, stirring 1-2 times until tender and beginning to brown, about 25 minutes.
  • Once beans are removed from oven, turn broiler on.
  • Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, cook, stirring frequently.
  • When onions become soft and golden brown add flour, salt, pepper; stir and cook for about 2 minutes.
  • Add milk, stir quickly, incorporating browned bits.
  • Cook, stirring, until the sauce  thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, and then remove from the heat.
  • Mix green beans with milk sauce in a large bowl and spread evenly in 2 quart baking dish.
  • Mix breadcrumbs and shredded cheese together and spread evenly on top of green beans.
  • Place dish under broiler, for about 2-6 minutes. It is important to monitor closely as it is easy to burn things in the broiler. Check frequently! When topping is golden brown, remove from oven, let cool, ENJOY.  



Week 4 - The Perfect Fall Recipe

If you're anything like me, the Fall and cool weather bring the desire for warm beverages and soups! I dream about hot cider/cocoa/tea, soups like gumbo and chili, and smells of pumpkin spice of course.

Traditional chili recipes tend to be high in saturated fat because they are made with ground beef typically higher in fat content. But it doesn’t have to be this way. I like to make my chili with lean ground turkey (or chicken) and white beans (or any bean for that matter). Recently I’ve been pureeing squash and zucchini, and tossing that in (shhhh…my kids don’t know).


Turkey Chili


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 small-medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground turkey (93% lean)
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed organic tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (16-ounce) can white beans or red kidney beans, drained, rinsed, and mashed (dried beans can be used too, but will need to be soaked overnight)
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock (or water can be used)
  • 2-3 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil or Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Optional: Hot sauce, to taste; Salt, to taste



In a large pot, heat olive oil on medium heat, sauté onions for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic, sauté for 1 minute (or until onions and garlic are translucent, not browned). Add ground turkey and cook until browned.

Add crushed tomatoes and kidney beans. Stir.

Add chicken stock or water.

Add remaining ingredients and stir well to combine. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30-60 minutes, stirring occasionally.


Week 3 - How to Build a Delicious and Nutritious Salad

  1. Start with leafy greens.
  2. Add vibrant colorful fruits or veggies.
  3. Power up with protein (chicken, fish, lean meat, beans, tofu, tempeh, lentils, other legumes).
  4. Dazzle with a simple dressing.

Balsamic Grilled Steak Salad with Peaches


  • 1 lb. skirt steak, trimmed of fat
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 Tsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. honey or brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 c. baby arugula
  • 4 c. baby spinach
  • 2 peaches, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 c. crumbled goat cheese



  • Mix steak, canola oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, garlic and honey (or brown sugar) in a Ziplock bag and let it marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  • While steak is marinating, make dressing: whisk together olive oil and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Heat a grill or grill pan to high. Grill steak until desired doneness (2-4 minutes per side for medium rare). Let rest 5 minutes, then slice into ¼ inch slices.
  • Arrange salad: In a large serving bowl, add arugula, spinach, peaches, goat cheese, and steak. Top with dressing. Serve immediately.


Serves 6


Week 2 - Guilt-Free Halloween Treats!

Halloween is such a tough week to stay healthy or stick with a diet plan. Even if you don’t have kids, candy and treats always find their way on to someone’s desk at work, on the counter at the doctor’s office, or at get-togethers with friends and family. While we can’t always control what others put in front of us, we can make small changes in our own home, or what we take to school, work, or a party. There are always small tricks and tips to spruce up a recipe, making it more figure-friendly!


Improved Triple Boo-berry Muffins


Muffin batter ingredients:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup raw cane sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt (I used 2% but you could use fat free)
  • 1/2 cup blueberry jam (I used a blueberry lemon preserves from Target)
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

“Drizzle” ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp water

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare 12-cup muffin tin by greasing it or lining it with muffin papers.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda.

3. While muffins are cooking, make “drizzle”: Mash “drizzle” ingredients together in small bowl, heat in microwave for 1 minute, stir.

4. In another smaller bowl, whisk together your eggs, blueberry yogurt, blueberry jam and oil.

5. Pour your wet mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until they are just combined.  There should be some dry flour still showing.

6. Fold in the blueberries

7. Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups.

8. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle.  It’s hard to see when a purplish blue muffin is golden so the toothpick test is best.

9. Remove from oven, let cool.

10. Spoon “drizzle” on top in desired. Enjoy!


Week 1 - Meet Liz

Meet Liz Tarabour, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist educator at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital. Liz has been successfully helping the Santa Clarita Valley by educating on how to eat healthy and why it is important.


From Liz:

Prior to working at the Community Education department at Henry Mayo Fitness and Health, I worked as an inpatient and outpatient clinical dietitian at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, Olive View Medical Center, and Bartz-Altadonna Community Health Center, ensuring clients/patients nutritional needs were met. I’m from New Orleans and LOVE GOOD FOOD! Because of my love and passion for food and cooking, I attended/graduated from Culinary School in San Diego. Prior to my career in food/nutrition, I served as an Aircraft Maintenance Officer in the United States Air Force for 6 years.

I love teaching people about all aspects of nutrition and I’m hoping to share some fun tips, knowledge, and recipes with all of you. I’m married and have two young children, so I have a great appreciation for balanced meals that are both easy and healthy!