Love those Leftovers!

How to Love your Thanksgiving Leftovers

While I gave some recommendations for altering dishes to reduce sodium and sugar a few weeks ago, I thought this week I could give some leftover ideas for the Friday and Saturday following Thanksgiving. Remember on Thanksgiving to listen to your body. We enjoy food more when it makes us feel good, so take the time to be mindful in the moment of your meal, enjoying and noticing every bite! Have a great day everyone!

Breakfast ideas

Stuffing egg bowls:
Heat oven to 350 degrees
Press stuffing against bottom and sides of muffin tin.
Mix 6 eggs with 1 cup thawed spinach (or other leftover vegetable, chopped)
pour equal amounts of egg mixture into each stuffing lined muffin tin
Bake for 15 minutes

Open-face Sweet Potato Sandwich

Mix leftover sweet potato dish with 1 egg
Flatten mixture into pancake shape and cook in pan over medium heat until more firm
Top with turkey, cranberry sauce and gravy

Lunch and Dinner

Turkey Cheddar and Spinach Panini

Spread cranberry sauce on 1 slice of whole grain bread
Add turkey and spinach or kale
Shred 1 ounce (1/4 cup) of cheddar and add on top of turkey
Top with a second slice of whole grain bread
Cook like a grilled cheese in a pan or in a panini press

Turkey Lettuce Wraps

Dice leftover turkey and mix with equal amounts leftover stuffing and vegetables
Spoon mixture onto romaine lettuce leaves or cabbage leave
Wrap up like a tortilla wrap or taco and eat!

Turkey and Sweet Potato Chili

In a stockpot, saute 1 clove garlic and 1 chopped onion
Stir well and let brown 3-5 minutes
Add 1 can low sodium diced tomatoes and 1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)
Stir well and let simmer 3-5 minutes
Add diced turkey and leftover sweet potatoes
Add 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp cumin, ½ tsp oregano, black pepper to taste
Stir well
Planning to head out on Black Friday?

Many people shop at crazy hours of the day and for long periods of time the day after Thanksgiving. If you choose to go out and shop, be smart and plan ahead so that you don’t end up ravenous. This not only makes you more irritable and stressed, putting a damper on the holiday spirit, but also means you are likely to overeat later on. Bring a bottle of water with you as well as an “emergency snack”. Something as simple as a ¼ cup of almonds or soy nuts, apple, clif kits, or homemade bar (like my date and nut, cashew cookie hemp and peanut cacao ones) can make a big difference in how you feel and how your appetite will react later.

Mindful Eating During the Holidays and New Year


Last year the book club on the Bucks Campus read and discussed “Mindless Eating” by Brian Wansink. Even if you haven’t read the book, I am sure you can admit that some of, if not most of, your eating is mindless. This could mean not fully recognizing what or how much you are eating, and not feeling fully satisfied from meals or snacks. Dr. Susan Albers, a psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic lists these examples of Mindless eating and its consequences on her website (

  • Eating until you are too full and then feeling guilty
  • Emotional eating – eating when you are bored, stressed or anxious rather than hungry
  • Grazing on food without really tasting it
  • Mindlessly munching on snacks while zoned out in front of the TV
  • Eating a meal at the same time each day whether you are hungry or not
  • Skipping meals, not paying attention to your hunger signals

Other examples include eating at the movies, eating while doing work (at work or home) or while in your car, eating standing up, and not only in front of the TV but also while reading a newspaper, magazine or while on your phone. Even when having family meals, many people are on their phone texting or browsing the internet. This disconnect causes us to overeat.

I want to preface the next segment by reminding everyone that I love food! Being a dietitian doesn’t mean eating salads all day and just having more willpower than others to stay away from “bad” foods. I prepare foods that I enjoy in a healthful and flavorful way so that I can look forward to a meal or snack, enjoy it while I am having it, and feel satisfied after. I even eat Christmas cookies, too!

When it comes to the holidays, many people have it in their mind that it is normal to overeat, eat things that are not very healthful, and graze on foods without tasting it. We also typically are in situations where there is an overabundance of food, causing us to eat the foods we enjoy in excess or even eat foods we don’t really enjoy just because they are available to us. This leads to the first bullet Susan Albers highlights above. Do we really enjoy eating those foods in that quantity if we feel uncomfortably full and as if we shouldn’t eat the next day? That is not true enjoyment. Before the main meal and after on holidays, we often have appetizers, treats, and things to munch on laying around, leading to the third bullet above, grazing on food without really tasting it. If you really like gingerbread cookies, by all means have one! What you want though is to eat it mindfully, and then you may not even want a second! Try to be more mindful for the duration of the holiday season, and hopefully through 2016, too!

Mindful eating has been researched and shown to decrease stress, thereby decreasing further emotional eating. It has also been found to aid in weight management without restriction. Sounds like a winning mentality to me! If you are the type of person who has “dieted” many times in the past and you want to learn more specific ways to eating mindfully for your own body and situations, I highly recommend the book “Intuitive Eating” by two Registered Dietitians, Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD and Elyse Resch, MS, RDN, CEDRD, FADA. Their philosophy is not just to help those who overeat but is even used in eating disorder clinics around the world.

Don’t want to get that involved? Try Susan Alber’s 10 day Mindful Eating Challenge. Why wait until the New Year, when you can start today?

Warm Kale and Butternut Squash Salad

Warm kale salads are my fave. I get into patterns where I want to eat this salad every day for weeks so I am perplexed as to why I have not yet posted it. Better late than never to share with the world, I suppose! While this salad started out dressed with both tahini and sriracha, I made it a little more “clean” by adding in cayenne and ginger with the tahini instead of sriracha. Sometimes I mix it up but as I am posting this before the “jump start” week for the new 13 week wellness program pilot at the NAC, I went with this version since sriracha always has added sugar and xanthan gum (even if you choose Organicville or Trader Joe’s brands).

Warm Kale and Butternut Squash Salad (GF, V, DF)

Ingredients (for one serving):

1.5 C chopped Kale (any variety)
.5 C diced butternut squash (pre-cooked)
1/4 C diced onion
2 teaspoons sesame tahini
Ground black pepper, ground ginger and cayenne powder to taste
1 teaspoon hemp seeds


Heat a small pan over low-medium
Add diced onion and cover 1-2 minutes
Add a splash of water to keep onion from sticking, stir.
Add kale and butternut squash as well as 1-2 tbsp of water and cover immediately. The steam from the water should keep contents from sticking and quickly soften the kale without over-cooking.
After 1-2 minutes, remove cover, sprinkle with black pepper, ginger and cayenne.
Transfer contents to a small serving bowl and drizzle tahini over top.
Sprinkle hemp seeds over the salad and serve!

Kale never gets old for me – please share your favorite way to enjoy this nutrient packed “superfood”!

Spice Up Your Life! Flavor without the Salt and Sugar

For many people, Halloween marks the start of a loooong holiday season. While we should first remember that holidays are just that, a single day, I know that everyone is tempted during November and December by the overabundance of not so great for you foods, snacks, and excessive high calorie beverages. Thanksgiving is fast approaching, so I thought it would be fitting to make my next post of the holiday season about how to decrease the salt and sugar in food by adding flavor in other ways! Instead of all of the sodium and sugar, you can add so much nutrition with the antioxidant powers in spices and herbs. I’ll even be hosting a seminar this month at the Newtown Athletic Club on this topic! It’s Thursday Nov 19th at 7 PM and open to non-members so email me or sign up here if you want to attend.

While sodium is often demonized for its impact on high blood pressure, the truth is many people do not see a blood pressure impact due to salt consumption. That doesn’t mean it isn’t impacting your health though. While the most important part of a food panel is the ingredient list, don’t forget to check the sodium and recognize that the content is for 1 serving not your ideal portion.

I don’t think I need to convince you that most people need to reduce their sugar intake, too! The American Heart Association recommends adult women consume no more than 25 grams, or 6 teaspoons of added sugar each day and that adult men consume no more than 38 grams, or 9 teaspoons, of added sugar each day. For reference, one container of Yoplait strawberry yogurt has 26 grams! The average American adult is eating close to 30 teaspoons each day. Imagine how much higher it gets during the holiday season! This does not just effect your waistline but is also linked to mood disturbances, depression, altered appetite, headaches, skin problems, and poor attention span.

I am a self-proclaimed foodie and love not only cooking and food but also baking and treats. Here are some tips on how to lighten up your favorite dishes while reducing your sodium and sugar intake. Attached are some fact sheets on the health benefits of herbs and spices, too.


Use low sodium broths in soups, stews, and even mashed potatoes. If you live near a Trader Joe’s, their low sodium vegetable broth has more flavor than any full sodium broth on the market! I have tried many!

Reduce salt in recipes by half and add extra spices/herbs.

Switch to using a pepper grinder to have a stronger flavor so you don’t miss the salt.

Don’t use salt substitutes! Real salt is better for you than the chemicals in the substitute!

Use 100% pure maple syrup or honey instead of sugar to sweeten holiday side dishes


Use only ¾ of sugar listed in recipe and add an extra teaspoon of vanilla extract

Use organic granulated sugar It isn’t bleached and refined with the same chemicals as conventional white sugar

Use 100% pure maple syrup or honey to sweeten

Add cinnamon and ginger to your holiday recipes for festive flavor instead of topping with sugar

Here are 2 holiday recipes of mine. The first is a great Thanksgiving side dish and the other a nice party snack or treat.

Roasted Butternut Squash, Brussel Sprouts and Cranberries

Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Butternut Squash and Cranberries

Maple and Chia Candied Pecans and Walnuts


Stress Management Monday 4th Edition (+ 3 Tips to Prevent Weight Gain After Halloween)

guilt and sweets - eat real live well

Many of you may be coming off of a long weekend with your friend (or frenemy), Sugar. Maybe you thoroughly enjoyed your treats when you had them and indulged in moderation, maybe you had too much for your liking or so much that it made you sick. While I’ve already talked about how excess sugar contributes to stress, what you do to yourself mentally is often worse. After times like this many people wake up feeling guilty, being hard on themselves, restricting, then binging and then doing it all over again.

No one is perfect and having flexibility is part of a healthful diet. Not happy with a decision you made? Evaluate why the situation played out the way that it did, move on and do better next time! Restriction and deprivation with the feeling of guilt only stress out the body and mind, increasing levels of stress inducing hormones, which not only hurt your metabolism but impact your quality of life. I’ve seen time and time again clients or students have the “aha moment” where they stop expecting so much of themselves and start to lose weight or make better decisions for their health. Life doesn’t have to be all or nothing all the time!

Healthy Holidays: 3 Tips to Prevent Holiday Weight Gain After Halloween

Having said all of that, maybe you are still being haunted by Halloween candy in your home (or workplace) today. Even if you ignore the Christmas decorations at the grocery store and Target, the holiday season is officially upon us. That’s right, it doesn’t start at Thanksgiving, but Halloween. From Oct 31 (or before depending on when you purchase Halloween treats) through January 1 many Americans fall into several different patterns that promote weight gain. Some people mindlessly eat extra candy, baked products, and snacks and others have an “all or nothing” mentally where they binge or restrict and feel guilty or proud. Some become so stressed this time of year that they turn to food and stop prioritizing exercise.

Many media reports indicate a 7-10 pound gain while most research studies report just 1-5 pound gains for a typical American during this season. No matter what the gain, it is harder to lose it than it is to put it on. The holidays are hardly a time to lose weight – we should enjoy ourselves, but we can have a great time without extra pounds of fat! We should be thinking about our long term physical and mental health. Here are some tips for dealing with the post-Halloween candy and other holiday treats that are soon to come, so that you can maintain your weight during the season.

  1. Mindfully eat only your favorite treats

I know myself – I like chocolate. Sugary candy doesn’t do it for me so why would I waste calories and sugar intake on something I don’t even enjoy? Question whether or not the candy you’re eating is worth it and if it’s not, you probably won’t mind skipping the treat later.

  1. Pick an accountability partner

Pick a friend (or a few) that you’ll report your candy intake to. Set limits together and stick to them.

  1. Make food rules that work

Ex: If you allow yourself one piece of candy a day, make it a bite sized one. Only allow yourself a piece each day for one week, then throw out the rest or freeze them for another time. Do 10 burpees each time you have a piece, etc.

 Keep up with your normal routine and have a happy, healthy season!

Healthy Halloween 2015

halloween eggs

Boo! Halloween snuck up pretty quickly on us this year, huh? For me it did anyway! My last Halloween post that was updated in 2014 still has some great ideas but this Halloween I thought I would focus on a healthy day before heading out to trick-or-treat as well as sustainable candy recommendations, particularly Fair Trade.

Candy will be eaten on Halloween, there is no doubt about it. Knowing this, it is important that kids set out to trick or treat having been energized with healthful foods throughout the day. This year Halloween happens to fall on a Saturday which may mean even more opportunities to make healthy (or poor) decisions since the kids are home and not in school. We unfortunately live in a very “all or nothing” society but reality is that holidays and social functions are a huge part of our life. If we went “all in” for every function, it would be very hard to maintain health. Help your kids build healthy habits while allowing for flexibility in their lifestyle. There are many ways to celebrate without junk food, and a lot of them can be found on Pinterest! Check out my whole board of kid-friendly, fun meal and snack ideas here. Make pumpkin pancakes for breakfast and make cut outs with Halloween themed cookie cutters, try some of the cute snacks below, and decorate hard boiled eggs together with a marker as shown above!
Healthy Halloween Snack.:  Great healthy halloween snack ideas for kids - minus the pigs in a blanket!:

You can make pumpkin stuffed peppers for dinner. Pizza is even okay if you make them with wheat dough and add some veggies of course!

Halloween Stuffed Peppers! Healthy, kid-friendly, and basically the best idea ever.:  Halloween Ghost pizza - use wheat:

A fellow registered dietitian, Sarah Koszyk, compiled 35 great Halloween tips from nutrition professionals and shared on her blog this week. It is absolutely worth the read here.

Now for the candy! Per usual, as discussed in my previous posts, I will be giving out glow bracelets – kids LOVE them! But along with that, this year I ordered Equal Exchange brand milk chocolates. They do contain dairy and hazelnut which does mean I am making kids and parents aware of the allergens and will have other non-candy alternatives as I have in the past. However, they are made with organic fair trade cocoa butter, sugar, chocolate and vanilla. October is Fair Trade Month after all! The mini-chocolate Halloween order I placed came with the cards below that highlight the importance of fair trade and have a discount code for 10% with free shipping on the equal exchange site. What better way to promote this movement?

Fair Trade Halloween
What exactly is fair trade and why is it important?

Fair Trade USA has a great video to give you an idea of why below, but here is a simple definition:
“Fair trade is a social movement whose stated goal is to help producers in developing countries achieve better trading conditions and to promote sustainability. Members of the movement advocate the payment of higher prices to exporters, as well as higher social and environmental standards”

It’s importance on Halloween and on other holidays really shines through to me. In the US, we spend money on kids costumes and parties so they can go out, have a good time, and get yummy treats – really its a luxury holiday. While that is all good fun, these luxuries come at the expense of other families and children’s lives – as they are the ones working in unfair, sometimes unsafe conditions to provide us with luxuries like chocolate, sugar, and coffee (among many other foods). Equal Exchange is just one of many brands trying to make sweets and treats fun for all!

I wish you all and your kids the happiest of Halloween’s! Have fun this weekend! By the way, if you haven’t yet heard of the Teal Pumpkin Project – check it out and highly consider participating!

Oct 2015 I am currently…

I get enough questions about all of these things all the time, so thought it would be fun to randomly share what I am currently…


Snacking on:

Saffron Road chickpeas – Bombay Spice Flavor 

Food prepping:

Squash. Cause fall.


Energy metabolism #itsscience




I don’t watch much TV but the backstreet fan in me is loving Nick Carter on dancing with the stars. #ktbspa

Training for:

Life? I just did the Flyers Charities 5k and was supposed to run the Rothman 8k but plans that weekend changed. Any ideas for a race?
I started team personal training at the NAC this month and my 3rd session this past Monday had my glutes sore til Wednesday – fun to switch up my workouts!

Making for breakfast:

Buckwheat pumpkin pancakes
ith 1 Cup extra pumpkin per recipe….

Packing with lunch:

Local Solebury Orchards Melrose apples

Choosing for protein: 

Wild caught cod

Adding to everything:

Hemp seeds – any brand really

Recipe testing:

Nutritional yeast free vegan cheese… think I nailed it… sharing soon…woohoo!


IOnutrition and Fresh n Lean organic delivery meals