Nutrition Blog

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


Week 29 - Simple Roasted Chicken


Sometimes we just need a wholesome, simple, easy dinner. Roasting a whole chicken not only meets those requirements, but usually provides some leftovers for another night’s dinner or chicken salad for lunch.


  • 1 2- to 3-pound roasting chicken
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons minced thyme and/or rosemary
  • Dijon mustard
  • Twine



  • Preheat oven to 450 °F.
  • Rinse the chicken. Dry off the chicken well with paper towels. Salt and pepper the cavity of the chicken. For best results, truss the chicken (if you don’t know how, hop on YouTube for a quick demo). Trussing helps with even cooking and gives you a moist chicken.
  • Salt and pepper the exterior of the chicken.
  • Put chicken in roasting pan and place in preheated oven. I don’t mess with the chicken, just let it cook.
  • Roast about 50 to 60 minutes, or until internal temp of chicken is 165°F. Remove it from the oven and add the thyme and/or rosemary to the roasting pan. Baste the chicken with the juices and thyme and let it rest for 15 minutes.
  • Remove trussing twine, slice chicken, and serve.
  • Dijon mustard is a great dipping sauce for roasted chicken.


For sides:

  • Salad and roasted potatoes make this a balanced, simple, and delicious meal.

  • The roasted potatoes can be done at the same time. Dice up any type of potato, drizzle with olive oil and a touch of salt and pepper, place in a pan (I like to use parchment paper to prevent sticking and help with easy clean up), and cook until desired doneness.



Week 28 -Spring Cleaning - Setting your Kitchen Up for Success!

It’s difficult to keep your body healthy when your pantry isn’t being a good role model. Spring is a great time to freshen up and get organized. First, get rid of those trigger junk foods that you crave and CAN’T NOT EAT! Next, stock up with the things that will help you develop healthful habits. By having the things you need readily available, you can put together a meal even if you were unable to grocery shop for the week. Rice and beans, or a basic Italian pasta dish can quickly be pulled together on one of those last-minute evenings.

Click here for Pantry List


I’m from New Orleans. My mom was the Food Editor of The Times-Picayune (the New Orleans newspaper) for 20 years. She’s also a cookbook author and food writer for New Orleans Magazine. This is her recipe. It’s a traditional recipe and includes ham hocks and sausage. If you’d like to keep it more figure-friendly, you can omit those things or use some lean ham instead. 


Red Beans and Rice

Recipe courtesy of Dale Curry

Serves 8 to 10


  • 1 pound dried kidney beans
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped, white and green parts separated
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 ham bone with some ham on it, preferably, or 2 ham hocks or ½ pound ham chunks
  • 1 pound smoked sausage
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Long-grain white rice, cooked according to package directions



  • Cover beans with water and soak overnight.
  •  In a large heavy pot, heat oil and sauté white onions, pepper, celery and garlic.  Drain beans and add to pot along with water, seasonings and ham.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer.
  • Cover and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • There are two ways to use the sausage for this dish. You can cut the sausage into ¼-inch circles or into 3-inch lengths. Either way, brown in a skillet on all sides. This eliminates some fat. The sausage can be added to the beans at any time or served on the side of beans and rice. I prefer to add the ¼-inch circles toward the end of cooking.
  • When beans are done, smash some along the side of the pot with your spoon. This will thicken the beans.  Remove bay leaves, adjust seasonings and add parsley and green part of onions.
  • Serve over rice with hot sauce on the side.


Week 27 - Mothers Day Special

Does Mom like to be pampered with a yummy breakfast (did someone say chocolate?) on Mother’s Day, but she also happens to be health conscious? I have a nutritious and delicious breakfast recipe for you to make for her so that she feels special, while also feeling good about what she is eating. This recipe could also be used for dessert.



Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Breakfast Parfait

Servings: 3


  • 4 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 cup + 6 Tbsp soy milk (or almond milk)
  • Sweetener of choice to taste (I used 1 Tbsp honey, but you could use maple syrup or stevia…quantity to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 small banana, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp mini chocolate chips (optional, included in nutrition data)
  • Other optional ingredients for Parfait: cinnamon, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries



  • Combine the chia seeds and cocoa powder in a small resealable container. Pour in 1 cup of soy milk and stir to incorporate. Stir in sweetener of choice, to taste. Mix well. Put on the lid, and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. The longer you refrigerate the pudding, the thicker it will be.
  • When you're ready to assemble Parfait, whisk together the peanut butter with 6 Tbsp of soy milk in a small bowl. If the mixture is too thick, whisk in more soy milk until sauce consistency.
  • Layer the chia pudding with the peanut butter sauce and banana slices in a serving dish or jar. Top with chocolate chips, if using, and serve immediately.


Nutrition info for 1 serving:

Calories 285

Carbohydrates 34 g

Fat 14 g

Protein 11 g

Sodium 93 mg

Sugar 15 g

** Nutrition info based on using soy milk. Calories and protein will be less if almond milk used**



Week 26 - Omega 3s – What are they?


Omega-3 Fatty Acids are an essential type of fat that our bodies do not make, but need. Therefore, we have to get this nutrient from food. We can get them from seafood such as salmon, tuna, halibut, algae and krill, but also some plants and nut oils. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for brain function and human growth and development. They are also considered by the medical community to be a “healthy fat” because they reduce the risk of heart disease, arthritis, and cancer by reducing inflammation in the body. Bottom line - eat your fish and nuts!


Salmon en Papillote (a.k.a. “in parchment paper”) and Veggies

Recipe Provided by Lilly Novak

Serves 2


  • 2 salmon filets

  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced (divided in half)

  • ½ tsp ground ginger

  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 10 baby red potatoes, diced

  • 1 green zucchini squash, diced

  • ½ small onion, diced

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil



  • Mix garlic (half), ginger, soy sauce, and pepper in small bowl

  • Place filets on large sheet of parchment paper, pour garlic mixture over filets.

  • Wrap parchment paper around fish, folding/closing at the top, so liquid mixture will not drip out.

  • Place potatoes, squash, and onion in oven safe dish/pan.

  • Mix olive oil with garlic (half). Drizzle diced veggies with olive oil/garlic mixture.

  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Toss to mix ingredients.

  • Cover with foil.

  • Place filets and veggies in the oven at 350 for 35 minutes

  • Remove from foil and serve fillet with veggies on the side.



Week 25 - What's A Phytonutrient?


Phytonutrients, also called phytochemicals, are the naturally produced chemicals from plants. For the plant, their role is to fight off pests and to protect the plant. For the human that consumes the plant, there are amazing benefits that help prevent diseases such as cancer, and keep the body working properly. They are found in the various colors of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, and tea. There are more than 25,000 phytonutrients, but some of the more commonly known ones are carotenoids, ellagic acid, flavonoids, resveratrol, glucosinolates, and phytoestrogens. As an example, more than 600 carotenoids provide yellow, orange, and red colors in fruits and vegetables. Carotenoids act as antioxidants in your body. This means they tackle harmful free radicals (aka cancer causers) that damage tissues throughout your body.



Ginger-Honey-Lemon Fresh Spring Fruit Salad

Recipe Provided by Lilly Novak



  • 1-2 cups strawberries, cut in halves or quarters
  • 1 honeydew melon or 3-4 kiwis, peeled and cut into small bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 2 large oranges, peeled and cut into small bite-sized pieces
  • ½ - 1 fresh pineapple, peeled and cored and diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger



Place 1st 5 fruit ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together lemon juice, honey, and ginger. Drizzle over fruit mixture, tossing to coat. Cover and chill until ready to serve.



Week 24 - Organic or non-organic?

Organic is defined by the United States Department of Agriculture as “a labeling term that indicates that the food or other agricultural product has been produced through approved methods that integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering may not be used.”

According to the American Cancer Society, "At this time, no research exists to demonstrate whether organic foods are more effective in reducing cancer risk than are similar foods produced by other farming methods.”

While research does not support a link to cancer, it is a fact that there are higher levels of pesticides and chemicals in produce that is not organically produced. If you’re wanting to minimize these things in your diet but don’t know where to start I like to recommend taking the Dirty Dozen, Clean Fifteen list with you to the market. The Dirty Dozen are the fruits and veggies with the highest levels of pesticides; therefore, you may want to choose these items as your organic purchases.



Spaghetti Squash with Ground Turkey

Recipe Provided by Lilly Novak

Serves 4-6


  • 1 large spaghetti squash cut in half, seeds removed
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil (1 Tbsp to coat squash, 1 Tbsp to cook turkey)
  • Salt/ Pepper to taste (optional)
  • 1 lb Lean Ground Turkey
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning (or fresh herbs of your preference)
  • 1 jar Spaghetti sauce or 1 large can crushed tomatoes



  • Preheat oven to 375
  • Cut squash in half
  • Brush each half with canola oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper (if desired)
  • Place cut side down on baking sheet or pan 
  • Bake for 45 minutes
  • Let cool, then scrape with fork to make spaghetti strands
  • While spaghetti squash bakes prepare ground turkey
  • Heat oil in medium/large sauce pan over medium heat.
  • Add ground turkey and cook until browned (about 10 min)
  • Add canned tomato/spaghetti sauce.
  • Simmer until spaghetti squash is ready.
  • Once the spaghetti squash is scraped and ready to be served, top with serving of ground turkey sauce.
  • Optional: Top with 1-2 Tbsp of feta cheese crumbles or shredded parmesan cheese.



Week 23 - What Exactly is a Calorie?

A calorie is a unit of energy. They include carbohydrates (4 cal/gm), proteins (4 cal/gm), fats (9 cal/gm), and alcohol (7 cal/gm). You take in calories by eating and drinking. And you burn calories by the work of living, activities of daily living, and physical activity. The body needs calories to function, stores extra as fat. You gain body fat by taking in more calories than you burn. To lose you must create calorie deficit.


The Math

  • To maintain body weight, a person with BMI in “normal” range should eat between 25-30 calories/kg body weight.

  • To calculate kg, divide pounds by 2.2. My weight in kg is ____.

  • A person whose BMI is “overweight” or “obese” needs 20-25 calories/kg to maintain current weight. This is an estimate.

  • My calorie range is __________ for weight maintenance.

  • lose weight, one must eat less than that calorie range.

  • One must have a 3500 calorie deficit to lose 1 pound. To lose 1 pound per week, one would need a deficit of 500 calories/day.

  • Subtract 500 from your calorie range to get your target daily range. My calorie range for weight loss is ___________.


Are all Calories Created Equal? The answer is Yes AND No!


Calories in DO need to equal calories out, in order for weight maintenance to happen. But calories are not everything…in order for our bodies to work efficiently and to feel good, we need:

  • Balance: Carbs, Protein, Fat

  • Variety: Lots of color, texture, etc

  • Moderation: “Unhealthy” foods can be ok on occasion. Don’t go overboard with a “healthy” food just because it is the current trend.


Greek Salad

Serves 4-6

Recipe Provided by Lilly Novak




  • 2 large cucumbers diced

  • 2 medium tomatoes diced

  • 1/2 small red onion diced

  • 8-10 pitted Kalamata olives cut in half

  • 1/4 cup feta cheese crumbles

  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 1/8 cup olive oil

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar

  • 1/2 juice of lime (optional)

  • 1 tsp dried Oregano (or fresh)

  • 1 tsp dried Parsley (or fresh)

  • Salt and pepper to taste



Combine dressing with salad and toss. Let chill for one hour, then serve and enjoy.



Week 22 - Ways to Increase Physical Activity


At home:

•Join a walking group in the neighborhood or at the local shopping mall. Recruit a partner for support and encouragement.

•Push the baby in a stroller.

•Get the whole family involved — enjoy an afternoon bike ride with your kids.

•Walk up and down the soccer or softball field sidelines while watching the kids play.

•Walk the dog — don't just watch the dog walk.

•Clean the house or wash the car.

•Walk, skate, or cycle more, and drive less.

•Do stretches, exercises, or pedal a stationary bike while watching television.

•Mow the lawn with a push mower.

•Plant and care for a vegetable or flower garden.

•Play with the kids — tumble in the leaves, build a snowman, splash in a puddle, or dance to favorite music.

•Exercise to a workout video.


At work:

•Get off the bus or subway one stop early and walk or skate the rest of the way.

•Replace a coffee break with a brisk 10-minute walk. Ask a friend to go with you.

•Take part in an exercise program at work or a nearby gym.

•Join the office softball team or walking group.


At play:

•Walk, jog, skate, or cycle.

•Swim or do water aerobics.

•Take a class in martial arts, dance, or yoga.

•Golf (pull cart or carry clubs).

•Canoe, row, or kayak.

•Play racquetball, tennis, or squash.

•Ski cross-country or downhill.

•Play basketball, softball, or soccer.

•Hand cycle or play wheelchair sports.

•Take a nature walk.

•Most important — have fun while being active!


Crunchy Chicken Salad

Servings: 5


  • 2 cups cooked chicken (chunked)

  • 1/2 cup celery

  • 1/4 cup green pepper

  • 1/4 onion

  • 1/2 cucumber

  • 1/2 cup grape

  • 1 apple (small, diced, leave the peel on)

  • 1/4 cup yogurt, plain



1. Use leftover cooked chicken, or cook enough chicken to make 2 cups of chicken pieces.

2. Chop the celery into small pieces.

3. Chop the green pepper into small pieces.

4. Peel and chop 1/4 of an onion.

5. Peel and chop half of a cucumber.

6. Chop the apple into pieces. It’s okay to leave the peel on the apple.

7. Cut the grapes in half.

8. Put all the ingredients in a large bowl. Stir together.

9. Serve on lettuce, crackers, or bread.



Week 21 - Food Safety

Food safety is key when preparing and storing meals! Follow the below guidelines on how to keep food safe.


Clean: Wash Hands and Surfaces Often

Separate: Don't Cross Contaminate

Cook: Cook to Proper Temperatures

Chill: Refrigerate Promptly

Keep Cold Lunches Cold

Keep Hot Lunches Hot

For full article click here


Glazed Salmon and Charred Broccoli


  • 1 large head of broccoli, cut into 1/2"-thick steaks

  • Olive oil, for drizzling

  • Salt and pepper

  • 2 tbsp. honey

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1 piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated (optional)

  • 2 lb. salmon, cut into 4 pieces

  • 1-2 green onions, sliced


  1. Heat large cast-iron grill pan. Drizzle broccoli with live oil and season with salt and pepper, then set aside.

  2. Make glaze: In a small bowl, mix together honey, lemon juice, garlic and ginger.

  3. Grill broccoli until charred, about 2 minutes on each side.

  4. Drizzle salmon with olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Sear salmon on each side for 4 minutes. Brush salmon with glaze and remove from pan.

  5. Serve with broccoli and garnish with green onions.


Week 20 - Eating Right On A Budget

Getting the most nutrition for your food budget starts with a little extra planning before you shop. There are many ways to save money on the foods that you eat. Here are some budget-friendly tips for eating right. Today we will cover the following:


  • Buy only the amount that can be eaten or frozen within a few days and plan ways to use leftovers later in the week.
  • Be mindful of portion sizes. Eat and drink the amount that’s right for you, as MyPlate encourages us to do.


Tips for Eating Right on a Budget:

Click here for full article

  1. Plan what you’re going to eat

  2. Decide how much to make

  3. Determine where to shop

  4. Shop for foods that are in season

  5. Eat Right

  6. Food, Nutrition and Health Tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

  7. Try frozen produce. Low-sodium, canned occasionally a good option

  8. Focus on nutritious, low-cost foods

  9. Watch portion sizes

  10. Make your own healthy snacks

  11. Cook more, eat out less


Couscous with Peas and Onions

Servings: 4



  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon sage (ground) – or substitute other herb
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 1/3 cup water
  • 1 cup green peas (frozen)
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)



1. Combine oil and onions in heavy skillet.

2. Sauté for 5-10 minutes until lightly browned.

3. Add the peas, sage, water, couscous, and salt if desired.

4. Cover and cook on low for about 5 minutes or until peas are tender but still bright green and all of the water is absorbed.

5. Fluff with fork.


Note: Other veggies (such as asparagus and bell pepper), nuts (pine nuts or walnuts are delicious), or dried fruit can be added or substituted.



Week 19 - Go Further With Food

It’s National Nutrition Month and we will have key messages (+ a yummy recipe) each week during March!


  • Include a variety of healthful foods from all of the food groups on a regular basis.

  • Consider the foods you have on hand before buying more at the store.


20 Ways to Enjoy More Fruits and Vegetables

Article Courtesy of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Building a healthy plate is easy when you make half your plate fruits and vegetables. It’s also a great way to add color, flavor and texture plus vitamins, minerals and fiber. All this is packed in fruits and vegetables that are low in calories and fat. Make 2 cups of fruit and 2 ½ cups of vegetables your daily goal. Open the link to learn how to enjoy more fruits and vegetables every day. Click here for full article



Spaghetti Squash with Caramelized Onions and Zucchini

Recipe and Photo Courtesy of Farm Fresh to You

SERVING SIZE: Serves 2-4


  • 1 spaghetti squash cut in half and seeds removed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1-2 teaspoons sea salt
  • ¼ - ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large onion, thinly julienned
  • ½ cup white wine (sauvignon blanc or chardonnay)
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 (3.25 ounce) package brown beech mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • 6-8 mini sweet peppers, julienned
  • 1 -2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • Basil for garnish, coarsely chopped
  • Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)


Spaghetti squash, aptly named because of the spaghetti-like strands of its flesh, is a tasty, healthy, lower-calorie alternative to traditional pasta or rice. In this winter squash meets summer squash dish, you'll enjoy a light but filling meal full of veggies.



  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Rub the squash half with 2 teaspoons olive oil and sprinkle the cut side with a little salt and pepper. Lay the squash, cut side down, onto a rimmed baking sheet. Place in the oven and roast until the squash is tender, about 30-35 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium-high heat. Sauté the onions until they start to brown, about 5-10 minutes. Add in the white wine and vinegar and cook until the liquid is almost dry and the onions are nice and golden brown, about 10-15 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add in the mushroom and peppers and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Pour in the broth and simmer for 3-4 minutes, remove from heat, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.  

  4. Pour remaining 1 teaspoon of olive oil into the pan and sauté the zucchini until golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside.

  5. When the squash is cooked, remove it from the oven. Using a hot glove to handle the squash, scrape the flesh of the squash with a fork into a large bowl. (The squash will come out in “spaghetti” strands). Add in the onion/mushroom mixture and the zucchini and toss until well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  6. Serve in serving dishes with chopped fresh basil and Parmesan cheese if desired.


Week 18 -  Light Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

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


I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t like tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich!! Seriously, it’s one of the best things EVER! Unfortunately, it can be high in calories. So I decided to make a lower calorie version to enjoy in this cooler weather. Hope you enjoy it too.


Creamy Tomato Soup

Serves 8-10 (1 cup each)


  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped carrots
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic diced
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 (28-oz.) can San Marzano tomatoes
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 ½ cup unsweetened, plain almond milk
  • Shredded parmesan to taste (optional)
  • Sliced fresh basil to taste (optional)
  • Dollop of Greek yogurt (optional)




  1. Heat oil in medium sauce pan on medium heat.

  2. Add carrots, onion, and basil; sauté for about 4 minutes, until onions start to become translucent. Add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.

  3. Add tomatoes and broth. Turn heat to high. Stir mixture and let it come to a gentle boil. Then reduce temperature to low, allowing to simmer for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  4. Using an immersion blender (or upright blender – do in batches and cover with towel to prevent splatter from hot liquid), blend until pureed texture. Return to saucepan if upright blender used.

  5. Add almond milk, cook over medium heat (don’t boil) for about 2 minutes.

  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.

  7. Serve in bowl with fresh basil and parmesan cheese. Dollop of yogurt if desired.  

Open-faced Grilled Cheese (aka “Cheese-Toast”)

Serves 4


  • 4 large slices of preferred bread (I like sour dough)

  • Cheese, any type (I like sharp cheddar); sliced thin, or grated (just enough to thinly cover 4 slices of bread)



  1. Preheat oven to broil.

  2. Lightly toast bread in toaster.

  3. Place toast on tin foil.

  4. Place thin layer of cheese on toast.

  5. Place cheese-toast under broiler. Watch closely so it doesn’t burn, will only take 1-2 minutes to start browning. Remove once cheese becomes lightly browned.

  6. Enjoy with your bowl of tomato soup!!!   


Week 17 - Mindful Eating

Maybe you have heard of mindfulness, which is the psychological process of bringing one's attention to experiences occurring in the present moment, such as meditation. But have you heard of Mindful Eating? If you’d like to learn more, come to our free class called Mindful, Healthy Eating on the last Friday of every month at 2:00, at Henry Mayo Fitness and Health. But for now, you could try “The Mindful Bite” at home by yourself or with your family.


The Mindful Bite

1. Hold your food item

2. As you bring food to your mouth, slow down and become aware of your movements.

3. Once the food is in your mouth, clear your hands. Put hands (or silverware) or remaining food down.

4. Chew this bite with your mind in laser-sharp focus on the process. Concentrate on the taste of the food and the act of eating. Don't do anything else while you're chewing. Simply chew and pay attention.

5. Keep chewing until the food is uniformly smooth. Use this consistency of the food as a signal to swallow. 

6. After you swallow, but before you bring more food to your mouth, rest for a few seconds, thereby inserting a pause into your eating.

Taco Stuffed Peppers

Recipe and photo courtesy of

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey, chicken, or beef
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. smoked paprika
  • 3 bell peppers, halved (seeds removed)
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar
  • ½ cup shredded monterey jack
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce
  • Pico de gallo, for serving
  • Hot sauce, for serving
  • Lime wedges, for serving



  1. Preheat oven to 375° and spray a large baking dish with cooking spray.

  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat about 1 tablespoon olive oil.

  3. Add onion and cook until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add ground turkey or chicken, cook until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Drain fat.

  4. Add chili powder, ground cumin, and paprika to mixture, then season with salt and pepper.

  5. Drizzle bell peppers with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the peppers, cut side up, in the baking dish and spoon meat mixture into each pepper. Top with cheese and bake until the cheese is melted and the peppers are crisp-tender, about 20 minutes.

  6. Top each pepper with lettuce and serve with pico de gallo, hot sauce, and lime wedges


Week 16 - Valentine’s Day Gourmet Splurge without Calorie Splurge

Are you looking to prepare a romantic and delicious meal to make for Valentine’s Day that won’t ruin your healthy eating plan? Here it is!!!

It you want to dine out, you can go to a steak house and essentially have this same meal. One of you order the filet, one of you order the seafood, and share. You can ask for steamed veggies on the side instead of fries. Another way to save on calories and carbs is to “just say no” to the bread that comes out first. The meal portions at a steak house will probably be larger than the recipe below, so take some home for lunch the next day.


Surf and Turf

The idea is for the romantic couple to share one delicious, lean steak and pair it with some low calorie succulent shrimp, making this meal reasonable for the calorie budget yet still very special. Some healthy yet delicious side dishes could be steamed asparagus and half of a baked sweet potato.

And for dessert? Dark chocolate dipped strawberries!

The Surf:

  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar

  • 1 large clove garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

  • 1 pound large shrimp

  • 2 limes, cut into wedges

  • 2 tablespoons chopped, fresh cilantro


1. Whisk together lime juice, olive oil, brown sugar, garlic, and sesame oil in large bowl.
2. Peel and devein shrimp, tails can be left on. Mix shrimp in marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
3. Preheat grill or broiler. Thread shrimp and lime wedges onto 8 skewers, dividing evenly.
4. Place skewers on grill or about 4 inches under broiler, turning once during cooking, for about 5-6 minutes or until shrimp are bright pink.


The Turf:

  • 6 ounce filet mignon (one steak, to share)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil


1. Sprinkle filet with salt and pepper on both sides. Rub seasoning into meat with your fingers.

2. Melt butter with olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add filet and cook 5-7 minutes on each side.

3. Remove from heat, cover filets with foil and allow to stand for 5 minutes before serving.


Steam in steamer basket for about 5 minutes or until cooked to texture of preference. Other option is to drizzle with olive oil and dash of salt, and bake at 400°F until slightly browned (5-10 minutes).

Sweet Potato

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

2. With a fork, pierce sweet potato skin 5-6 times.

3. Place on baking sheet lined with foil. Bake until tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.



Week 15 - The Best Diets and A Yummy Smoothie Recipe

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


When the holidays end, diet seems to be the word on the street. To most people, the word diet equals restricting something in order to lose weight. According to the dictionary, the word “diet” means “the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats”. While weight loss is recommended for some people in order to keep their bodies healthy, a HEALTHFUL DIET is recommended for all people. Based on quality reviews and research, Time and U.S. News just released their best and worst diets of 2018. You can find full lists on the Internet. Here, I’m providing the top 2, in 2 different categories:


Courtesy of Time Magazine:

Best Overall Diets (these would be for anyone wanting to stay healthy)

  1. DASH Diet - The DASH diet was designed to help people lower their high blood pressure, and it’s characterized by a mix of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy. People on this diet are told to avoid saturated fat, sugary beverages, sweets, full-fat dairy and some oils—and to eat less salt overall.

  2. Mediterranean Diet - The diet gets its’ name from the eating habits of people living in Mediterranean countries and has been linked to better health and longevity. The Mediterranean Diet meal plan is high in fruits, vegetables, and healthful fats like fish, nuts and olive oil.

Best Weight Loss Diets

  1. Weight Watchers - Weight Watchers is an especially popular diet, promoted by celebrities like Oprah Winfrey. It works on a points system, where each food is given a number of points, and people are told a total number to aim for each day. Foods that are high in nutrients and are filling have fewer points overall. Sweets, on the other hand, are high in points.

  2. Flexitarian Diet - A blend of the words flexible and vegetarian, the Flexitarian diet encourages people to eat vegetarian most of the time for better health, but doesn’t call for cutting out meat entirely.

Blueberry Banana Smoothie

Serves 2-3


  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1 Tbsp honey or other sweetener (if desired)
  • Option 1: 2 Tbsp flaxseed (for Omega-3 and fiber boost + yummy nuttiness)
  • Option 2: Handful of spinach (for antioxidant & vitamin boost)
  • Option 3: A few strawberries (for added tanginess, vitamins, and extra fiber)



Put all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.



Week 14 - A Healthy Twist On A Game Day Classic

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


Game Day Game Plan:

Pregame Warm up:

  • Start the day off right with a work out.
  • Have a healthy breakfast.
  • Hydrate well. Drinking lots of water right before (and during) a party will help fill you up and prevent gorging on high calorie foods and drinks upon arrival.

Offensive Strategies:

  • Bring something yummy and healthy that you can choose to eat instead of other unhealthy options.
  • Choose plant based goodies: hummus, bean dip, guacamole, etc. Use veggies as the dipping stick/chip.
  • Have a glass of water between each alcoholic drink.

Defensive Strategies:

  • Allow yourself to enjoy some tasty treats. If you refill your plate, go for the healthier choices.
  • Sit far away from the food. Limit your trips to this “red zone”.
  • Enjoy your day, but don’t let the game-day excitement and food table get the best of you. Go prepared with a plan.


Baked Buffalo Wings With Blue Cheese-Yogurt Dip

Recipe and Photo courtesy of Food Network Kitchen

From: Food Network Magazine

For the Dip:

  • 3/4 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt

  • 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese

  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise

  • 1 small clove garlic, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon skim milk or buttermilk

  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


For the Wings:

  • Cooking spray, for the baking sheet

  • 3 pounds chicken wings, split at the joints, tips removed

  • 4 stalks celery, cut into thirds

  • 4 carrots, cut in half

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 cup fat-free low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 cup Frank's RedHot sauce (or 1/2 cup other hot sauce)

  • 2 tablespoons paprika

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 tablespoon honey



  1. Make the dip: Pulse the yogurt, blue cheese, mayonnaise, garlic, milk and lemon juice in a food processor until combined but still chunky. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

  2. Make the wings: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Put the chicken wings in a deep skillet; add 3 pieces of celery, 3 pieces of carrot, the bay leaves, chicken broth, hot sauce, paprika, butter, honey and 1/2 cup water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer until the chicken is almost cooked through, about 18 minutes. Transfer the wings to the prepared baking sheet and arrange in a single layer; reserve the sauce in the skillet.

  3. Bake the wings, turning once, until the skin is golden and crisp, 30 to 35 minutes. Meanwhile, simmer the reserved sauce over medium-low heat until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Discard the celery, carrot and bay leaves. Reserve 1/4 of the sauce for serving. Return the wings to the skillet and toss with the remaining sauce. Serve the wings with the blue cheese dip and reserved sauce; cut the remaining celery and carrot into sticks to serve on the side.


Week 13 - Fad Diets: Stay Far, Far Away

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


With obesity continuing to grow in epidemic proportions, it’s not surprising to constantly hear about the “newest, best” diet, aka fad diets. Consumers easily fall prey to them. Conflicting claims and very questionable (and often unsafe) weight-loss products are all over social media. So called experts (who often call themselves “nutritionists”) provide information and claims that may be inaccurate and can confuse even the most informed person. Best advice I can give is: If it sounds too good to be true…then it is! 

Stay clear of diet plans and products that:

  • Promote rapid weight loss: With rapid weight loss comes an almost guarantee that the weight will come back. Slow and steady wins the race. No more than 1-2 pounds per week.
  • Tell you to have unlimited amounts of any one food: Simply put, this is boring! Who wants to eat cabbage 3 times a day? A successful eating plan is something you can enjoy, sustain, and not dread.
  • Eliminate or severely restrict any one food group: Each food group provides different things… all of which the body needs. Yes, you can take a multivitamin… but the overall quality of nutrition isn’t the same.
  • Tell you to eat specific food combinations: There are no known “bad combinations” supported by solid research.
  • Force you to follow rigid menus or meal plans: PRACTICALITY!! Some rigid meal plans/diets can be excellent for your health and provide exactly what your body needs, but can you stick with something that isn’t flexible?
  • Tell you there is no need to exercise: Weight management and good health come from a combination of healthy eating and physical activity. 150 minutes or more per week of moderate physical activity is recommended for those who can. If it’s been a while since you’ve exercised, starting with a simple 5 minute walk every day can be of great benefit!


My “Co-Dietitian”, Kim Brown, introduced me to this muffin recipe. It’s perfect for any time of the day: breakfast, snack, dessert, or if you just need a little “sweet”.


Flour- and Sugar-Free Muffins: A healthy take on a delicious breakfast treat.


  • 2 or 3 very ripe bananas
  • 2 cups oats (not quick cooking)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda



  • Blend all ingredients in a blender for 2 minutes
  • Stir in ½ cup of any of the following: nuts, chocolate chips, blueberries (or any other favorite add-in)
  • Pour into muffin tins (use paper liners to make cleanup easy)
  • Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees
  • Makes approximately 12 muffins.


Recipe provided by Kim Brown, BS, RDN, and Henry Mayo nutritionist



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!