Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pesto Pasta

I LOVE pesto so this time of year when basil is growing like weeds and my CSA supplied me with TON of fresh garlic, I make pesto. Any extra amount I freeze for a later date.
Fresh Basil Pesto Recipe
from Simply Recipes
Prep time: 10 minutes
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Special equipment needed: A food processor (Check's sales on Cuisinart food processors)
1 Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.

2 Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Serve with whole wheat pasta, or over baked potatoes, or spread over toasted baguette slices.
See some of my other favorite uses for pesto here.
Yield: Makes 1 cup.

I grilled up chicken, sliced uptomatoes, and cooked up whole wheat angel hair to combine with the pesto for a delish dinner.

Check out for info on the 31 Heroes WOD this Saturday!

Until next time...
look good, feel good, do good

Monday, August 29, 2011

Nutrition Advice, take it or leave it?

Nutrition Advice: Take It Or Leave It, But Should You Give It Out?
From NASM Newsletter

Key Points
Personal trainers help clients achieve their personal health, fitness, and performance goals via the implementation of exercise programs and suggestions in lifestyle modification, including nutritional recommendations.Prudence about scope of practice and providing useful referrals to dietetics professionals when appropriate is essential to responsible practice, and serving clients' needsAccording to a 2002 article in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association , food and
nutrition misinformation can be a serious barrier to public health.

With certifications, continuing education, and even university-based education, fitness professionals bring safe, science-based exercise
> programming to their clients and group class members. But what about dispensing nutrition advice? When a client asks, "what do you think of this supplement? or "what diet should I follow to reduce body fat, improve my mile time, or vertical leap?" What should the answer be?
Personal trainers help clients achieve their personal health, fitness, and performance goals via the implementation of exercise programs and suggestions in lifestyle modification, including nutritional recommendations.
The Issues
> Not many years ago, the fitness field lacked the standardization and
> professionalism it is beginning to enjoy. Today, consumers are
> becoming better informed about how to locate a certified personal
> trainer and trainers are becoming more knowledgeable about how to find
> qualified continuing education. Consequently, the profession is
> benefiting from standards that are producing safe and consistent
> results. However, questions remain about fitness professionals and
> nutrition counsel.
Who should dispense nutrition recommendations? What
> are the prudent parameters of scope of practice with dietary advice
> and how can trainers learn to recognize and respect them? Before
> trying to answer these questions, it is important to define some of
> the terms and credentials in nutrition -- both qualified and
> questionable.

> Many accredited universities offer degrees in nutrition. A bachelor's
> degree (B.S.) in nutrition requires four years of full-time study that
> qualify a graduate for entry level positions in dietetics. These
> positions are extremely varied and might include work with a food
> company, a government agency such as the USDA, or a medical environment.
> The Registered Dietitian (R.D.) credential is available to individuals
> who obtain a bachelor's degree in nutrition, complete an American
> Dietetics Association (ADA) -approved dietetic internship, and pass a
> comprehensive written test. RDs must keep their credentials current,
> just as fitness professionals keep their fitness certifications
> current,
with continuing professional education credits (CECs). RDs
> also have varied employment, including corporate wellness, community
> and public health settings, sports nutrition, universities, medical
> centers, research areas, and many others. Although completion of a
> master's degree and PhD is valuable to nutrition professionals, it is
> not required to become a Registered Dietitian.
> There are other credentials in the field of dietetics, some credible
> and many questionable
. For example, active membership in the American
> Society for Nutritional Sciences (ASNS) -- formerly called the
> American Institute of Nutrition -- is open to those who have published
> meritorious research on some aspect of nutrition and are presently
> working in the field. The Certification Board for Nutritional
> Specialists was founded by the American College of Nutrition in 1993.
> It offers a Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) credential to
> professionals with an accredited master's or doctoral degree that also
> have clinical experience and pass an examination.
> However others, like the Certified Nutritional Consultant (CNC),
> issued by the Society of Certified Nutritionists, do not require the
> same rigorous study or clinical experience that an RD must
> successfully complete. Other questionable credentials include
> Certified Clinical Nutritionist (CCN) and Certified Nutritionist (CN).
> Because the titles "nutritionist" and "nutrition consultant" are
> unregulated in many states, they have been adopted by many individuals
> who lack accreditation and are unqualified to practice.

> Forty-one states have laws that regulate the profession of dietetics
> and nutrition. (Iowa is one of those)
> The regulations fall into the following categories:
> licensure
> statutory certification
> registration.
> This is a complicated legal environment. According to Craig Busey,
> legal counsel to the ADA, "The treatment of this issue varies greatly
> from state to state. Some states address the difference indirectly by
> delineating the difference between dietetics and other forms of
> nutrition counseling, while others equate dietetics to nutrition
> practice. This notable lack of uniformity adds to the confusion and
> makes a general answer all the more problematic."
> While the discussion can get bogged down in legal minutia, it is
> important for fitness professionals to realize why they got involved
> in fitness. For most, it was the desire to help people. Busey adds,
> "dietetic licensure laws generally do not limit the right of an
> individual to provide nutrition advice and information related to non-
> Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT)."
> With as many as 70% of American deaths due to diet-related diseases
> and conditions(1) , there's plenty of need.

Did you know?
> Twenty-four percent of physical activity professionals believe they
> know enough to provide all the information their clients need on
> nutrition, compared with 14 percent of dietetics professionals who
> stated that they know enough to provide all the information their
> clients need on physical activity. (2) In fact, according to IDEA
> Fitness Journal (2002) 26 percent of personal trainers use nutritional
> analysis software, 70 percent provide nutritional assessment, and 75
> percent provide nutritional coaching - practices that should be
> reserved to the scope of practice of registered dieticians who have
> four years of specific nutrition education. (3)

> With most health professionals looking toward the combination of
> balanced nutrition and regular physical activity to help stem the
> rising tide of obesity, it makes sense that those professionals
> trained in nutrition and those trained in physical activity should
> collaborate to help consumers realize the potential benefits of these
> healthful lifestyle practices.
In 1997, the American College of Sports
> Medicine (ACSM), the ADA, and the International Food Information
> Council (IFIC) retained the Gallup Organization to conduct telephone
> interviews of both ADA and ACSM members to determine attitudes on
> nutrition and physical activity. The poll indicated that physical
> activity professionals tended to be more confident in their ability to
> provide nutrition information than dietetics professionals were about
> their ability to provide physical activity information. Even dietetics
> professionals observe specific limits to their practice scope, called
> the Scope of Dietetics Practice Framework (SODPF). (4) In theory, an
> RD without an accredited fitness certification has no more authority
> to give out specific exercise advice than a certified fitness
> professional does to give out specific dietary instructions.
What's the harm?
> For fitness professionals, the dangers of giving advice outside of
> practice are significant. According to a 2002 article in the Journal
> of the American Dietetic Association , food and nutrition
> misinformation can be a serious barrier to public health. Misinformed
> consumers may not only have a false sense of security about their
> health and well-being, but they also may delay appropriate, effective
> healthcare or replace it with products, services, or behaviors that
> may be harmful to their health. (5)

> If a fitness professional does not hold a recognized nutrition
> credential, how should they proceed with nutrition advice? "Certified
> personal trainers can provide general, non-medical nutrition
> information," explains Cynthia Sass, MPH, MS, RD, and ADA
> spokesperson. "But, they should not perform individualized dietary
> assessments, prescribe individualized diets, or even individualized
> dietary advice."
Sass adds, "General information can be very helpful
> and still provides a great deal of freedom to talk about nutrition in
> a general way such as educating clients about the difference between
> saturated and unsaturated fat; which foods are good sources of fiber,
> etc. However, the fitness professional should be 100 percent confident
that the information they are providing is accurate, up-to-date, and science-based."
This is a challenging question," adds Dr. Mike Clark, President of the National Academy of Sports Medicine. "Only because there is no easy 'yes' or 'no' answer. Like with exercise, we want our professionals to always provide the best service to their clients, all things considered. If a trainer can help a healthy individual improve their diet, they should, through delivering general guidance which is science-based and well supported by established health authorities.
However, if the individual seeks medical nutrition therapy, they should pursue a qualified professional, a Registered Dietician, to
deliver this support."

Dr. Clark also points out that most accredited fitness certifications, including NASM Certified Personal Trainer, do include some nutrition information as well. NASM and other accredited role and functions of the macronutrients (protein, carbohydrate, and fat) in performance and healthy weight achievement. They should understand the role and importance of water, fiber, and the micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and the basic nutrition guidelines for altering body composition. Certified fitness professionals should also be aware of issues surrounding supplementation, including the legislative environment regulating
supplements, as well as the government's Dietary Reference Intakes for
healthy people.

How to know what to say when
> With this knowledge, how can fitness professionals determine if they are stepping outside their scope of practice? By asking themselves a few key questions. This will insure that they are giving out sound, science-based information, thereby protecting their liability, professional ethics, and their client's well-being.

When to Refer
If you are a fitness professional, without a qualified credential in nutrition, here are some questions to consider. If the answer is
"yes," the client should be referred to a dietetics professional.
1. Is there a possibility that the client has a disease or co-morbidity associated with their weight or with their health?
2. Would your advice be considered medical or in the context of
disease treatment?

3. Does your advice involve the interpretation of blood work or other clinical tests?
4. Is the client asking you for individualized dietary assessment?
5. Is the client asking you to prescribe an individualized diet or
dietary advice (versus general information like portion awareness or nutrient density)?
6. Are you recommending a supplement as part of your counsel?
7. Is your client trying to manage medical symptoms through diet?
8. Could your assessment or advice possibly cause a delay in treatment
or a misdiagnosis that may result in serious harm to your client?
9. Could your advice result in an unwanted interaction between
foods/drugs, foods/medical condition, supplement/drugs,
10. Did you neglect to access the authorities and academic research on the topic in question?

> "The ultimate success of these two groups working together," explains
> ADA spokesperson Cass, "is that it isn't about territorialism. It's
> about working together and respecting scope of practice which is in
> the best interest of the trainer and the client." The need for sound,
> science-based nutrition information is evident. Consumers are confused
> and have a hard time discerning fact from fiction and science from
> marketing. However, an examination of issues surrounding scope of
> practice reveals that the lines are not always clear and ongoing
> vigilance and evaluation are necessary to best serve clients' needs.
> The general consensus among wellness professionals is that
> science-based, general information about healthy nutrition, including
> nutrient density, portion awareness, and the potential dangers of
> supplements and fad diets, remain inside the fitness professionals'
> scope of practice. In all cases, fitness professionals should continue
> to enlighten themselves through qualified continuing education so they
> can always position themselves as their client's best advocate and
> resource.
> References
> (1) Nestle M. Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences
> Nutrition and Health University of California Press; 2003.
> (2) Professionals' Opinions Concerning the Role of Nutrition in
> Physical Activity for a Healthy Lifestyle. Princeton, NJ: The Gallup
> Organization; 1997.
> (3) Ryan, P. Trendsetting. IDEA Fitness Journal 2004;16(5):S2-S14.
> (4) Understanding and Using the Scope of Dietetics Practice Framework:
> A Step-Wise Approach. J Amer Diet Assoc 2006;106:(3):459-463.
> (5) Ayoob KT, Duyff, RL, Quagliani, D. Position of the American
> Dietetic Association: Food and Nutrition Misinformation. J Amer Diet
> Assoc 2002;102:260-266.
> (6) American College of Sports Medicine; The American Dietetic
> Association; International Food Information Council. For a Healthful
> Lifestyle: Promoting Cooperation Among Nutrition Professionals and
Physical Activity Professionals. J Amer Diet Assoc 1999;99(8).

Saturday Sept 3rd 8:00. CFDM will be hosting a memorial WOD for the 31 souls who lost their lives on Aug 6th in helicopter crash. Please visit www.31heroes.comto register if you wish to donate and receive a t-shirt.

Until next time...
look good, feel good, do good

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Roasted Red Pepper Dip

Looking for a great app for your next dinner invite or party!? Look no further! This dip ROCKS and is so fresh with seasonal summer squash as dippers.

Roasted Red Pepper Dip

with Veggie Crudites
1 C olive oil mayo

1 8 ounce 1/3 fat cream cheese (I used half fat free, half reduced fat), at room temp

1/2 C roasted red pepper in oil, drained and chopped

2 cloves garlic, pressed

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp black pepper

1/2 to 1 tsp sea salt

3 green onions with tops, thinly sliced

1/4 C chopped basil (optional)


In a food processor, pulse the mayo, cream cheese, red peppers, garlic, cayenne, pepper, and salt until blended. Add onions and if desired, basil and process briefly. Serve at room temperature with veggies or toasted baguettes.

Option: this can be made in to a Sun-Dried tomato dip by simply replacing the red peppers.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Zucchini Bread

For those of you who have a garden...have you started your stock pile of zucchini? Did you let some grow too big and not quite sure what to do with it all? Look no further...
Zucchini Bread
I love this recipe and so does everyone else I share it with.
Helpful hint: grate zucchini and freeze in Ziploc bags so you can make this bread all year long!
2 (up to 2 .5) cups zucchini, grated, juices NOT removed (1 large zucchini or 2 small)
1 cup canola oil or half unsweetened applesauce/half oil
3 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons Watkins vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups sugar or organic evaporated cane juice, Stevia, OR you could try honey?!?
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour + 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour if you can find OR regular whole wheat flour (Sift flour together with the baking powder/soda/salt/spices for a lighter texture.)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Combine zucchini, oil, eggs and vanilla. Stir in sugar. Stir in flour with baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg until combined. This is easier when done in batches. If the batter looks thick, don’t panic! Place batter into two loaf pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray, and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Enjoy!

Good quote: “If we only address the symptoms and not the causes, the same problems will come back again.” Dean Ornish, M.D. founder and president, preventative medicine research institute

Until next time...
look good, do good, do good

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Homemade Baby Food

With Trey turning 6 months yesterday (and my 27th bday, wahoo), he has graduated to solid foods in addition to his mommy's milk diet. That's right, my little boy gets to eat veggies! This couldn't be more exciting for me :) As you might have guessed, I make my own food as it is the simplest process.

I received a baby cook book, The Best Homemade Baby Food on the Planet, which has been a nice guide for how to store, freeze, and schedule. It also has some great recipe/combo ideas for when he gets more advanced however, the "starting off" recipes make me laugh:
Zoom Zoom Zucchini
1 small zucchini

1/4 C breastmilk, water, or formula

Creamy Butternut Squash Puree

1/2 small butternut squash

2 T breastmilk

Steam veggies or roast in oven till soft. Allow to cool. Puree in food processor, baby food grinder, or blender. Add breastmilk to reach desired consistency. Serve!
Can you handle that?! The recipes do get a bit more complex, but nothing you can't handle. I make a big batch by doubling, tripling, or quadrupling) during a free moment (naptime) and freeze in ice cube or baby food freezer containers. Now I have food whenever I need it!

Check out to learn about when and how to start solids

Check out Momtastic for a quick guide on how to get prepare

Check out Homemade Baby Food for recipe ideas

Although he hasn't tried all of these, so far I've made sweet potato, zucchini, carrots, beets, broccoli, mango, plum, and nectarines.

Look at all that color aka nutrients for his growing body and mind!

Homemade Baby Food: Advantages of Making It Yourself

Parents who prefer homemade baby food have many reasons for their choice.
They know exactly what they’re feeding their baby.
It’s more economical than buying pre-packaged foods (although some parents note that this is not always the case).
They can choose their own fruits, vegetables, and other foods for purees, instead of relying on the flavors chosen by manufacturers. You’re not going to find melons or avocados in the baby food section of the supermarket.
It gets the baby used to eating the same food as the rest of the family -- just in puree form.

On a side note, for Trey's health and my peace of mind, I personally choose to purchase organic for at least the dirty dozen items.

Seriously Mom, I'm trying to eat, enough with the pictures!
Until next time...

look good, do good, feel good

Monday, August 15, 2011

Juicy Juices!

Can I get a dramatic drum roll....introducing my new kitchen toy....

She a beaut.

I've tried lots of fun combinations of fruits and veggies.
Like this one made of carrots, apples, and watermelon.

Find some great recipes here
Don't shy away from these recipes just because you don't have a juicer, a blender works well for many.

J particularly likes the green ones ;)
Until next time...
look good, feel good, do good

Friday, August 12, 2011

State Fair Time

Yes, it's that time of year....and time for a repost:
How to Eat Healthy at the State Fair
Until next time...
look good, feel good, do good

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Farmer's Market Food - Fresh and Fit

Have you visited your local farmer's market yet!? There is no excuse as there are a bizillion in's a list to find one near you.
Check out my latest article in Iowa Momentum Magazine

recipes found here

Thanks to my intern Caroline McKinney for her contribution!
Great quote: “If only we cared as much about our Net Health as we do our Net Wealth.” -Sekou Andrews
New website coming soon!!!
Until next time...
look good, feel good, do good

Monday, August 8, 2011

Kale and Mushroom Stuffed Grilled Chicken

This recipe was adapted from one of my favorite recipes Cranberry-Stuffed Chicken. With summer and grilling season in full swing I wanted to try grilling instead of baking and use more seasonal produce. Whatever you have on hand and use you really can't go wrong with the stuffing....just follow the basic instructions.
Kale and Mushroom Stuffed Grilled Chicken

2 tsp olive oil, divided
4 medium shallots, minced
1/3 cup sliced mushrooms

1/3 cup cranberries
4 cups shredded kale, packed
4 T toasted pine nuts or walnuts
2 tsp fresh sage, chopped
sea salt, to taste
1/4 t ground pepper, divided
4 4oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts
juice 1/2 lemon
Heat 1 t oil in a saute pan over medium high heat. Add shallots and saute until softened, stirring frequently for about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and continue to cook for one minute, stirring frequently. Add kale to pan, stir well and cook until wilted, about 1 min. Stir in nuts and sage, season with salt and pepper, and pour stuffing into a mixing bowl lined with a paper towel to drain excess liquid. Set aside and allow to cool at room temperature.
Lay 1 chicken breast horizontally on a cutting board. starting at the thickest side of the breast, hold a sharp knife parallel to the work surface and slice breast horizontally about 3/4 of the way through, then open up breast like a book.
Place sliced breast opened-faced and flat between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and gently pound to 1/2 inch thickness with flat side of meat mallet or rolling pin. remove plastic wrap and repeat process with remaining 3 breasts. Divide stuffing evenly among 4 breasts, placing stuffing lengthwise along bottom edge of each breast. Carefully roll up the chicken breast tightly (like making a sandwich wrap) Secure with toothpicks.
In small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, remaining olive oil and salt and pepper. Brush over chicken.
Place on grill and cook for about 30 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked (165F internal temp) and stuffing is heated throughout.

Until next time...

look good, feel good, do good

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Burger Pizza

Burger Pizza

adapted from Clean Eating Magazine


8 oz lean ground beef (I use grass fed from Wallace Farms)

1 small onion, chopped

1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

14 1/2 no salt added diced tomatoes, drained (can use fresh tomatoes as well)

3 T Dijon mustard or regular

1 C low fat ricotta cheese

1 C 2% mozzarella cheese

1 1/2 C baby arugula or baby spinach

1 whole wheat crust (I used whole wheat dough from Trader Joes)

follow directions on dough bag

mushroom slices (optional but as always I pile on the veggies where I can)


Preheat oven to 450F. Preheat a nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add beef, onion, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper and cook for about 5 minutes, breaking up beef with a spoon or spatula until no longer pink, Stir in tomatoes and Dijon mustard. Set aside. Place crust on a pizza pan and spread ricotta cheese over top. Top with beef mixture, spinach and top with mozzarella. Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese melts and dough is cooked. Remove from oven and let rest for 1 minute before slicing.


Until next time...

look good, feel good, do good

Monday, August 1, 2011

Sun-Dried Tomato & Red Pepper Chicken Penne

Sun-Dried Tomato & Red Pepper Chicken Penne

from Clean Eating Magazine

With a recipe title like that how can you not be drooling and licking your chops. The cold pasta salad which I decided to make hot was delish and worth a try.


2-5 oz boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 tsp olive oil

2 tsp dried herbs of sort, come on...get creative

1 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1 1/2 C uncooked whole wheat penne pasta

1 yellow bell pepper, diced (good to purchase organic)

2 T finely chopped fresh basil

Red Pepper Sauce

1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, coarsely chopped

2 tomatoes. coarsely chopped

1/4 unsalted raw cashews

1/4 whole fresh basil leaves

1 clove garlic

1 shallot, halved

fresh ground pepper, to taste


Preheat grill to medium -high. Diagonally score (1/4inch deep) chicken breasts and rub with a thin coating of oil, dry rub and black pepper, dividing evenly. Grill chicken for about 7 minutes per side until juices run clear when pierced with a fork (or, roast in oven for about 20 minutes.) set aside until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes, then chop. Meanwhile, prepare pasta according to package directions. Rinse in cold water to remove sticky starches; drain well and set aside. Prepare red pepper sauce: In a blender or a food processor, add all sauce ingredients; blend until very smooth. In a large bowl, toss pasta with 1 to 1 1/2 cups red pepper sauce, yellow pepper, chicken and basil.

Until next time...

look good, feel good, do good